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Final General Plan Project Community Meeting July 21

A document that outlines proposals on how to develop Newark in the future will be presented.

The City of Newark is inviting Newark residents to its fourth and final community meeting about the Newark General Plan Enhancement Project.

The community meeting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 21 at the .

The General Plan Enhancement Project's objective is to update the 20-year-old Newark General Plan, a policy document that acts as a guideline for county and city leaders when it comes to decision-making for future development.

At Saturday's meeting, a document known as the Preferred Growth Scenario will be presented. The document presents recommendations for growth that was created by a team of graduate students and one professor from the California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

The proposals outlined in the Preferred Growth Scenario were drawn from various meetings, documents, community surveys and more, according to an email from Community Development Director Terrence Grindall.

In previous meetings, Newark residents expressed their desires for a “thriving downtown” and a civic center that provides more spaces that can be used by residents.

The Preferred Growth Scenario (PDF) document shows ways to do this by transforming the NewPark Mall area into a mixed-used area, expanding its Civic Center toward the corner of Thornton Avenue and Newark and renovating Newark’s Old Town district – an area located on Thornton Avenue that spans from Interstate 880 to the Union Pacific Rail.

The following are excerpts of the proposals for each area as written in the Preferred Growth Scenario.

NewPark Mall area is proposed as a town center that combines new commercial office buildings and an enhanced retail presence, while preserving the existing central mall building. The development in the NewPark Mall focuses on converting the overabundant amount of surface parking into opportunities for employment, housing, traditional and high end retail options, and a possible entertainment center.

Plaza

The Preferred Growth Scenario proposes a redesign and expansion of the Civic Center in its current location that expands north to Thornton Boulevard. The redesign and expansion of the Civic Center allows for a Civic Center Plaza as a community focal point, modernized facilities for the City, and an established identity.The Civic Center Plaza is envisioned to contain government offices, a public library, a police department, and proposed retail and office uses. The incorporation of the retail and office uses in the Civic Center Plaza provides employees in the plaza with amenities and offers employers opportunities to locate their business in a focal point destination.

Old Town

The Old Town District within the Old Town Corridor is the historic area of the city and is planned to contain mixed-use buildings and high density residential as proposed in the City’s 2010 Housing Element. Although building height is to remain within current zoning (a maximum of three to four stories in height), the Preferred Alternative Scenario recommends that development stay within two to three stories in height. …High-density residential use in the Old Town District is proposed to front Thornton Avenue and is envisioned to be lofts, condos, and apartments. The integration of residential uses in Old Town will enhance the area and maximize commercial growth. Recommended density of development in Old Town ranges between 20 to 30 units, which could be accomplished within structures that are two to three stories in height. With this level of development, Old Town could support the amenity of a public park proposed along Thornton Avenue at Magnolia Street. …The proposed area and park could host neighborhood events, such as farmers’ markets, festivals, and movie nights.

The document also outlines more information about the city’s plans to build a linear park along an undeveloped portion of Cedar Boulevard, the Dumbarton Transit-Oriented Development that will develop about 200 acres of land near Willow Street and the development of Area 3 and 4 near Cherry Street between Stevenson Boulevard and Mowry Avenue.

For more information, see the attached document or visit www.newark.org.

What do you think of the plans to enhance Newark's civic center, Old Town district and NewPark Mall areas? Tell us in the comment section below.

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Editor's Note: This report was updated to correct the date of the meeting.

Nadja Adolf July 19, 2012 at 08:38 AM
They could always run one of those little railroads like you see at the Zoo and at parks right down the middle. That ought to make for some amazing traffic accidents.
Mona Taplin July 19, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Good idea Nadja! They could lay the tracks where the drunkards style sidewalks are now. One train on each side of Bettencourt, going round and round. Wouldn't that be fun? They could put in a couple carnival type concessions in the center, selll greasy burgers and earn lots of money! Popcon! Candy! Whoop de do! On my side the tracks could go from the rr tracks to Bettencourt. 3 trips around the oval for $2.00. Toot! Toot! All aboard!! On the other side of the tracks pony rides and more carnival concessions. On second thought maybe we shouldn't give the planning commission any more ideas. I don't want any part of that land to revert to me, but I sure would like to see it turned into someting useful. Right now it's the place where all the dirt and gravel are dumped for trucks to pick up while doing road work. The conifers they are pruning row are beautiful trees, but they are way too big to be planted curb side even on a street that never opens.
Hilda July 20, 2012 at 07:34 AM
How about putting up a pre-cast wall on the north side of westbound Mowry Avenue from Cherry Street to Cedar Boulevard. This is the only portion of town that does not have the wall where the south side of street does, Cedar does, as does Mowry. The fences are worn and falling apart, looks horrible. If the city had money to update all of the other stuff why not this??? Not mention, it is the main road leading to the prestigious Silliman Center.
Hilda July 20, 2012 at 07:40 AM
south side of street does, Cedar does, as does CHERRY* (typo)
Alex July 20, 2012 at 10:53 AM
Most important Albert, her belief that urban planners and architects should not be realizing visions, but creating and preserving resilient, inclusive and adaptable neighborhoods – places which can largely look after themselves – still resonates.

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