Oxnard Public Participation
Local citizens led several events. We held the first charrette New Urbanism Film Festival on Saturday night at the local Plaza Theater with over 100 attendees.
A pop-up studio space, led by Oneita Hirata, created a ‘Tactical Urbanism’ Art Gallery showing the works of local artist throughout the week and beyond.
Our team talked to local high school students, and local video teams documented the event to share with the community. And, we hosted over 200 visitors throughout the week learning something unique from each exchange.
What we heard
The following comments and themes were collected from 30 individual interviews conducted over the course of four weeks leading up to the Vision Plan Charrette. Interviews included elected City officials, City planning and development staff, local business and property owners and residents.
Public Realm Design and Function
- Oxnard Boulevard needs improvement;
- Better walkability is needed including wider sidewalks in places;
- Too dark; insufficient lighting;
- Inadequate wayfinding signage;
- Safety and security have gotten better, but still a perception of a problem;
- Parking is not distributed well;
- Which is the City’s Main Street – A Street or Oxnard Boulevard (or both)?
Mix of Uses
- There is not enough to do Downtown, including uses that are supposed to be there;
- The best retailers are outside of Downtown;
- Need more restaurant variety;
- Live-performance theatre groups have left;
- Children’s museum closed;
- There are no business class hotels (as hotels are the living rooms of cities);
- More housing is needed Downtown;
- Retail rents are below the cost of construction;
- Apartment rents are extremely high in the area, which should support multifamily residential development Downtown;
- Oxnard’s median household income ($61,000) is solid – about same as State’s, and above the national average;
- Strong competition for retail, restaurants, and entertainment by The Collection and Downtown Ventura;
- Unpredictable, expensive investment environment (City regulation) is a disincentive to new investment.
Doing Business in Downtown
- City’s actions in past (movie theatres, painting permit fees, etc.) have created unpredictability and discouraged investment;
- Slow response from City Hall when a repair request is made;
- Condition of streets and sidewalks is lacking in places;
- Homeless presence keeps some visitors away;
- Friendly establishments are welcoming to visitors.
- More housing downtown would be welcome and is needed;
- Some small units (300-500 s.f.) mixed into the fabric may be a good affordability strategy;
- Need for a better homeless solution;
- Shortage of rental apartments and resulting high rents suggest strong viability for such units Downtown.
Here are two examples of New Urbanism in action!