El Sobrante Community Meeting #2
September 4th, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
Thank you to the residents of El Sobrante who joined us to discuss guiding principles at the second community meeting convened as part of Envision Contra Costa 2040! The 15 community members in attendance expanded upon the draft guiding principles with additional feedback and new concepts for the future of the community. From these conversations, the following ideas emerged:
- Encourage a diversity of locally-serving and locally-owned businesses or smaller chains with practical goods and services (e.g., a grocery store with fresh, high quality food) so residents do not have to travel elsewhere for shopping.
- Attract businesses that also provide community gathering spaces to draw people Downtown, like coffee shops or grocery stores with seating and eating areas.
- Establish an arts district with rotating public art and live/work studio spaces for artists.
- Provide parks and amenities and encourage new businesses that cater to families with children.
- Install both place-making signage, like welcome signs and gateways with iconic imagery, and safety and wayfinding signs, like speed limits and directions to open space resources.
- Prioritize pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements to main thoroughfares like San Pablo Dam Road and Appian Way. Any improvements should implement universal design principles to improve access for differently abled people and those with mobility challenges.
- Identify areas for alternative housing development like tiny houses and live/work studio spaces.
- Prioritize affordable housing, allowing for flexibility and mixed uses.
- Improve access to creeks with amenities like a boardwalk trail, lighting, and benches.
- Provide more health and emergency services (like hospitals and fire stations) that are close by and easily accessible.
- Develop a community plan for disasters which includes disaster resilience training for residents.
During the meeting, several participants emphasized that the General Plan Update should build on the existing 2001 Downtown El Sobrante Land Use and Transportation Plan, which contains a community vision, a set of community priorities, and other content that is still relevant and that relates closely to the General Plan Update. Participants stated that the current project to re-pave and restripe San Pablo Dam Road seems to ignore the 2001 Plan because the project does not include pedestrian or bicycle improvements, which are explicitly identified as a community priority in the Plan. The discussion concluded with the recommendation that the County’s Public Works Department coordinate with other departments (like Conservation and Development) to improve communication and transparency around infrastructure projects.
Link to the meeting presentation.
Link to the Draft Guiding Principles.