Begun by the town of Piedmont this previous summer time, the Moraga Canyon Particular Plan will decide one of the simplest ways to make use of city-owned land within the metropolis’s Moraga Canyon to develop 132 new housing models, 60 of that are to be inexpensive housing for residents with decrease incomes.
The incorporation of recent housing and enhancements associated to the protection and use of areas on each side of Moraga Avenue contains Blair Park, Coaches Discipline, Kennelly Skate Park, and the town’s Company Yard.
When finalized, the plan would require an modification to the town’s normal plan, with density and improvement requirements established to satisfy web site circumstances and different phrases laid out by the California Division of Housing and Group Improvement (HCD), which determines housing coverage and constructing codes throughout the state.
Importantly, the plan seeks to take care of leisure open area and use of the world for public works whereas additionally assembly the state’s housing necessities to be licensed by the HCD for Piedmont’s sixth cycle housing factor.
To adjust to the Affiliation of Bay Space Governments (ABAG) mandate to develop 587 new Piedmont housing models by 2030, be eligible for time-dependent funding and replace its housing factor each eight years as required, Piedmont like all communities should have its housing factor authorized by the state HCD. The sixth cycle runs from 2023 to 2031. ABAG officers have estimated the associated fee to create a selected plan at about $544,000.
As a result of rezoning and different parts associated to revisions to codes and improvement requirements are a public course of and require vital group engagement and a number of public conferences, the town held a group dialogue Oct. 11 and just lately issued a citywide survey.
Public suggestions from these initiatives shall be studied by metropolis employees, members of the planning fee and Metropolis Council members and used to develop a collection of potential improvement ideas that shall be shared at a Nov. 30 group workshop.
The survey invited residents to answer a number of open-ended subjects, equivalent to how usually and the way they usually use Moraga Canyon, what they worth most in regards to the space, their ideas on how properly completely different architectural kinds may slot in Moraga Canyon and what kind of enhancements are most essential for future improvement within the space.
Planning and Constructing Director Kevin Jackson stated that earlier than the group gathering in November, the town is assembly with sports activities organizations, builders and different stakeholder teams.
“After the group workshop on November thirtieth, we’ll be seeking to schedule extra engagements and maybe a examine session in early January 2024,” he stated. “That assembly shall be with the planning fee, Metropolis Council and members of the group, so it wouldn’t be an action-ized assembly, it might be examine session. And relying on the primary survey outcomes, we’re hoping to have new follow-up data gathered to share and different teams recognized for engagement.”
Jackson stated particular enhancements to the world will solely be finalized after the examine and public engagement interval is concluded however pointed to focused and sure areas ripe for change.
“With site visitors security, the objective could be to enhance bicycle and pedestrian security all through. By way of wildfire mitigation, it’s essential to notice that any new developments must meet the extra stringent codes for compliance, equivalent to defensible area and constructing and fireplace codes for building — so this may truly enhance the general security of the world.”
Aesthetically and by way of group and use, the Company Yard would profit underneath the brand new plans.
“That space was by no means deliberate on a complete foundation,” Jackson stated. “One objective is to enhance circulation on the positioning. How metropolis automobiles are finest saved might be improved inside the planning course of.”
Targets for the world already set out within the metropolis’s normal plan name for the continuation of the athletic areas, however choices for increasing the scale of the soccer discipline would imply it meets the scale to turn out to be extra usable by sports activities teams and enhance its accessibility.
“Additionally up the hill from the baseball diamond, there’s a staircase to the skate park,” Jackson stated. “The hours the skate park is open and it’s remoteness imply it’s underused. We’d wish to create a extra dynamic and accessible skate park with this new plan.”
Jackson stated group enter shall be important in figuring out if the steeper terrain of the northern portion of the land turns into a community of mountain climbing paths or finds different functions. No matter public opinion, housing improvement has to journey in tandem with the town’s housing factor necessities that Jackson stated are “fairly completely different from earlier cycles” and “immensely difficult for small cities that don’t have quite a lot of half-acre or bigger websites” that may be developed within the subsequent eight years.
“The HCD necessities don’t have a metropolis the scale of Piedmont in thoughts. How does that play out? We’ve been approving ADU (accent dwelling unit) developments, and that helped us meet the fifth (housing factor) cycle and really exceed the 60 models it required.
“However ADUs is not going to get us to the 587 models wanted for the sixth cycle, so we’re additionally processing duplexes and partial splits and different developments that can nonetheless facilitate a constructive expertise for the group.”
Jackson believes as a lot because the group has expressed robust curiosity in preserving the world’s open areas and rural really feel, most individuals don’t absolutely perceive that assembly the extra housing numbers is a requirement, not a selection the town is making impartial of residents.
“I don’t assume that’s absolutely understood. We’re not simply doing this on a whim. The state has a housing disaster, and the Piedmont group themselves voted for and elected legislators who proposed laws associated to this situation.”
Requested what measure performs the best function in gaining public help, apart from encouraging transparency and plentiful group enter, Jackson stated it’s all a query of time.
“It’s folks getting used to vary and discovering out it’s truly constructive. They study that welcoming new folks to the world provides extra college students to the varsity inhabitants, makes the group extra various and vibrant. I believe it’s experiential. Folks’s fears are calmed after they discover adjustments meet their wishes and are good issues.”
Lou Fancher is a contract author. Attain her at [email protected].