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2020 Central Coast Planning Awards

 

The 2020 Central Coast APACA Planning Awards Program was scheduled for April 11, 2020.  The Board and the Planning Award Nominees were disappointed that the program had to be canceled this year due to the pandemic crisis for COVID-19.  The five 2020 planning award jurors and I met on March 20, 2020 to determine the award winners via Zoom conferencing.  We have always met in person for the juror meetings and met several challenges along the way.  However, I am considering conducting this format in the future to allow potential jurors the flexibility as proximity has been a deterring factor in the past as the Central Coast Section is comprised of three counties. The Award Winners have been notified and they will be receiving their awards and plaques in the next few weeks. 

 

The 2020 Planning Award Jurors were:

 

Rosie Dyste, Project Planner, City of Santa Barbara

Amanda Fagan, Director of Planning and Policy, VCTC

Mindy Fogg, Permits Planning Manager, Ventura County

Bill McReynolds, Director of Land Acquisitions, Warmington Residential

Shannon Nash, City of Simi Valley

 

We hope to see you next year, in person, for the 2021 Central Coast APACA Planning Awards, already planned for April 10, 2021 in Santa Barbara. 

 

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

 

These projects have been awarded with an Award of Excellence for the 2020 Central Coast APACA Planning Awards Program.  These projects are eligible to be nominated for the 2020 State APA California Planning Awards Program.  The winners were notified early enough to complete their State APACA nomination packets by the deadline.  Below is the list of award-winning projects with juror descriptions and comments. 

 

IMPLEMENTATION AWARD

 

City of San Luis Obispo Wayfinding and Signage Program

 City of San Luis Obispo and RRM Design Group 

The San Luis Obispo Wayfinding and Signage Project received an Award of Excellence for the 2020 Central Coast APACA Planning Awards.  The jurors thought the project submitted was thoughtful in meeting its design goal to create a straightforward wayfinding program for more consistency in design and to improve overall circulation helping both residents and tourists.   The colors, sizing, materials, and simple font struck the right balance of historic character befitting of San Luis Obispo, along with the function of providing information to users.  The use of different City seal medallion treatments was a nice feature tying the signage program together.  Additionally, the jurors commented on the program implementation and appreciated the pictures of the wayfinding signs in use. The jurors unanimously determined that the San Luis Obispo Wayfinding and Signage Project met the criteria for the Implementation Award.

 

INNOVATION IN GREEN COMMUNITY PLANNING AWARD

 

Habitat Connectivity and Wildlife Corridor Ordinance

County of Ventura Resource Management Agency, Planning Division

The County of Ventura Planning Division’s Habitat Connectivity and Wildlife Corridors Ordinance has received an Award of Excellence from the APA Central Coast Section. The jurors felt that the Habitat Connectivity and Wildlife Corridors Ordinance serves as an excellent example to other jurisdictions interested in preserving critical linkages and biodiversity through an incentive-based approach to land use planning and regulation. The County of Ventura Planning Division’s extensive outreach to stakeholders and the public, and the Division’s efforts to modify the draft ordinance to address stakeholder and public concerns, demonstrate a commitment to both serving the public interest and to protecting habitat and wildlife. The jury acknowledged the County of Ventura Planning Division’s multi-level planning approach, including updates to the General Plan, zoning ordinance, overlay zone, approval regulations, and zoning map amendment, addressing standards ranging from lighting regulations to vegetation management to lot coverage.  The jury applauds the County of Ventura’s leadership to develop, adopt, and implement this first-of-its-kind ordinance in the region.

 

BEST PRACTICES AWARD

Ventura County Resilient Coastal Adaptation Project

 County of Ventura Resource Management Agency, Planning Division

The Ventura County Resilient Coastal Adaptation Project has received an Award of Excellence for the 2020 Central Coast APACA Planning Awards.  The jurors thought the project exemplified the Best Practices Award as it is innovative and replicable as a model for communities facing similar issues statewide.  The jurors were impressed by the public outreach effort given the challenging topic and critical need to obtain public and private support to move forward.  It was informative to understand that Ventura County has the most armored shoreline in California and that through the outreach effort, staff and the consultant found that further education and public outreach should be prioritized before going further with policy development. The documents are well organized, easy to read, with excellent graphics for telling a difficult story and one juror noted that the GIS Story Map was an excellent outreach tool.  The jurors unanimously determined that the Ventura County Resilient Coastal Adaptation Project meets the criteria for Best Practices. 

 

PUBLIC OUTREACH AWARD

Ventura County 2040 General Plan Engagement Process

County of Ventura Resource Management Agency, Planning Division,

 

RRM Design Group, Mintier Harnish

The County of Ventura’s 2040 General Plan Engagement Process has received an Award of Excellence from the APA Central Coast Section. The jurors agreed that the 2040 General Plan Engagement Process serves as an excellent example for outreach, communication, and engagement in a community planning process. The jurors highlighted the County’s multi-lingual communication approach, by engaging Spanish and Mixtecan speakers using multiple engagement formats, and the use of various outreach methods, including online surveys, in-person workshops, focus groups, and pop-up events such as the County Fair to reach a broad cross-section of the County. The County’s efforts to engage communities across the County, including more remote areas such as the Lockwood Valley, and to use a variety of meeting location types to encourage participation of a diverse population, were well received by the award jury.  

 

ACADEMIC AWARD

Redevelopment Visions for the Boys School Site

Department of City and Regional Planning Cal Poly San Luis Obispo,

Dr. Hemalata C. Dandekar and

 

City of Paso Robles Community Development Department

The Redevelopment Visions for the Boys School Site, has received an Award of Excellence for the 2020 Central Coast APACA Planning Awards. The four distinct development concepts envisioned by the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Master’s students were comprehensive and creative, yet realistic. The jurors were impressed by the amount of work completed in only ten weeks, including site assessment, concept development, plans/models preparation, and presentation to City of Paso Robles officials. The final report is an inspiring display of land use planning and urban design with excellent visual representations of the four concepts. The jurors particularly liked the dynamic VinoTech model as a marketable idea that would be compatible with the community. The jury applauds Cal Poly’s talented graduate planning students and professors for the level of effort and thoughtfulness that went into this project.

 

AWARD OF MERIT

 

 

These projects have been awarded with an Award of Merit for the 2020 Central Coast APACA Planning Awards Program.  Below is the list of award-winning projects with the juror descriptions and comments.  

 

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN – SMALL JURISDICTION AWARD

City of Goleta Parks, Facilities, and Playgrounds Master Plan

 

City of Goleta and KTUA

The City of Goleta’s – Park, Facilities, and Playgrounds Master Plan has received an Award of Merit from the APA Central Coast Section.  The jurors felt that the Park, Facilities, and Playgrounds Master Plan was a good example of how to develop a population-based park level of service while considering equitable distribution and universal access to parks via multiple transportation modes.  The jury was impressed by the creation of the realistic park service coverage area with the use of the actual street network to generate realistic and accurate walksheds that reflect access barriers such as freeways, cul-de-sacs, rail lines, and creeks.  The City and consultant’s community outreach were strong. The jurors especially liked the pop-up outreach effort.  The plan is well structured, easy to understand, and contains strong pictures and illustrations.

 

ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING AWARD

Goleta Train Depot Master Plan

City of Goleta, Rincon Consultants, and Steer

 The City of Goleta’s – Goleta Train Depot Master Plan has received an Award of Merit from the APA Central Coast Section.  The jurors believe that the Goleta Train Depot Master Plan is a helpful document in setting forth the guidelines and policies that will determine the future design of the Goleta Train Depot.  The jurors appreciated the City’s commitment to the continued development of the train depot regarding climate change, low income-communities, and the enhanced economic impacts. The jury looks forward to the continuing coordination with Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District for the development of first/last mile transit service that will connect the depot and UCSB.  The plan is organized well and has strong graphics illustrating what the Goleta Train Depot can become in the future.

 

BEST PRACTICES AWARD

San Luis Ranch

 

City of San Luis Obispo, MI San Luis Ranch, LLC, and Lisa Wise Consulting

The City of San Luis Obispo – San Luis Ranch Specific Plan has received an Award of Merit from the APA Central Coast Section.  The jurors consider the San Luis Ranch Specific Plan as a strong example of a specific plan that uses innovative and forward-thinking principles. The plan utilizes convenient, logical connections to public transit, a mix of uses, agriculture and open space preservation, all while providing a variety of housing options.  The jurists welcomed the commitment to providing housing to a diverse range of income levels and age groups.  The jury appreciated the City and consultant team addressing the concerns and challenges of the community by understanding the community’s vision for the property.  The plan is well laid out and structured with strong graphics and illustrations.

 

URBAN DESIGN AWARD

Mission Plaza Concept Plan

 

City of San Luis Obispo and RRM Design Group

The Mission Plaza Concept Plan has received an Award of Merit for the 2020 Central Coast APACA Planning Awards.  The jurors thought the project submitted created an excellent catalog of current conditions from a visual assessment of the various structures as a starting point.  The flexible design of the sub-spaces within the conceptual plan addresses the multi-faceted desires of the citizenry and businesses within the area.  The plan rightly identifies the cultural and archeological features of the site as major considerations in project implementation, which will likely result in the use of significant funding and time. One of the design aspects that the jurors commented on was the mention of transient and undesirable activity, but the plan failed to address how that issue was resolved or assisted by the project, especially in light of the context of Catholicism (incorporating the fact that this is a mission plaza) and its views on alleviating homelessness.  The jurors unanimously determined that the Mission Plaza Concept Plan met most of the criteria for the Urban Design Award, with the exception of the “effectiveness and results” category.

 

 

 

 

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