Goals, Actions and Tactics
These recommendations are organized to iteratively build upon each other over the next 10 years. With measurable objectives, we recommend testing, planning and re-planning to reposition Downtown as a compelling destination for locals and visitors to live, work, play, shop, learn, worship and govern.
The Downtown Vision Plan’s primary Goals in order of importance are:
- Rebuild trust and confidence between Oxnard’s Citizens and its Government’s dedication to
- Make small development as easy as large developments;
- Add a significant amount of new housing; and,
- Propose no Silver Bullet fixes, but test small, incremental changes first and adjust towards what is working best.
The Downtown Vision Plan’s measurable Actions are:
- Increase connectivity of Oxnard Boulevard within Downtown (remove median barriers, slow traffic
with traffic-calming devices, improve signage and gateway elements);
- Fill the vacant lots downtown first;
- Add a significant amount of new housing first (up to 2,284 new Residential units and 1,024,370 sf of Commercial space is allowed by-right under the existing General Plan and Environmental Impact Report – build that amount first then re-plan Downtown again in 2025);
- Focus new development around Park Plaza – the Plaza Park is Oxnard’s crown jewel and provides the most value to newly built adjacent buildings; and,
- Enable an ethnically diverse restaurant cluster between 7th and 8th Streets on Oxnard Boulevard
(a cluster of restaurants has occurred and should be supported and increased).
- Waive existing 39 unit per acre density limitation and control number of units by existing building height zoning limitations to promote housing.
The Downtown Vision Plan recommends the following Tactics:
- The City Council adopt by Resolution the 2016 Oxnard Downtown Vision Plan Report in order to
state its intention to follow the plan, empower a Downtown based’ community-led organization
to ‘redevelop’ Downtown, and limit its time frame for a ‘testing period’ for a limited duration of time (approximately 5 to 10 years).
- Enable a community-based Downtown ‘Director’ administrative structure to manage implementation of the Downtown Vision Plan. The City should enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Oxnard Downtown Management District (see Civic San Diego MOU authority excerpt in Section 3.5 below). The intent of this body is to:
– Add planning, design, and review capacity to the Community Development Department and staff;
– Provide downtown specific expertise in making decisions and recommendations on
improvements for localized issues, such as safety (Street Lights, Clean & Safe Programs, Security Services, and Management);
– Primarily focus on supporting local retail, commercial, housing and vacant lot infill success;
– Generate and circulate downtown administrative and discretionary decision permitting revenues within the district.
- The ‘Director’ of Downtown’s development should be charged with making specific administrative decisions as delegated by City Council resolution. The power to delegate such authority implies the authority of the ‘Director’ to adopt resolutions to be reviewed by the city council. The authority of this Director should be tasked with:
– Assisting the City and its legal counsel to identify and establish the optimal support/oversight legal structure (Oxnard Planning Commission or Oxnard Downtown Partnership);
– Staffing and Managing the Downtown Design Review Board; Assist the City to identify a
qualified outside consultant, if needed, to conduct Design Review;
– Offering Pre-Application services for a fee to assist applicants in expediting project processing;
– Making Zoning decision appeals to the Planning Commission;
– Conducting a review of the current Downtown business and development regulations and fees to identify opportunities for reduction and elimination, where appropriate, and management of the district fee schedule and downtown district distribution of such fees;
– Be charged with decision-making authority. Identify and prioritize investments in the public realm, private realm (small scale), and private realm (large scale), with implementation strategies identified for each project. See ‘Implementation Thresholds’ in Table 3.1 of this section for specific recommendations;
– Educating the public about the plan and its importance to Downtown’s and the City’s future. The Director will provide the City Council, City Manager, and residents with an annual update regarding progress in the Downtown’s revitalization; and,
– Managing public improvement and public-private partnership projects and will be funded principally by development impact fees. The Partnership will provide the City Council, City Manager, and residents with an annual update regarding progress in the Downtown’s revitalization.
- The Director’s salary can be supported by the $6.1 million settlement proceeds, at least for the first few years to ‘test’ its viability.
- Alternatively, the City and its legal counsel, may form a non-profit public benefit corporation with the Oxnard Downtown Partnership, that integrates elements of the PBID and Parking District operations and maintenance functionality with the Downtown Design Review Board. The City should choose to define the optimal legal structure, distinct from the City-wide Departments, to specifically support and oversee the downtown implementation activities.