Santa Paula Times

Cal Poly students to again return to historic Downtown for plan update

October 28, 2011
Santa Paula News

Come Saturday they’ll be back, and Planning Director Janna Minsk is hoping Santa Paula citizens will again be welcoming to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students conducting a survey of the historic downtown.

The October 29 visit is the second for the group: in September, 19 students and two professors from the Regional Planning Department at Cal Poly visited the historic Central Business District to start the process of updating the Downtown Implementation Plan.

The update will determine how to meld the old with the new commercial areas that eventually will be a part of Limoneira Company’s East Area 1 development. On Saturday students will again be focusing their efforts in the historic Santa Paula Downtown area, part of ongoing visits and surveys to cumulate with ideas/concepts to update the Downtown Implementation Plan that was completed in 2004.

During their Santa Paula visits the students will be taking photos and meeting with city leaders, civic groups and the community to help determine what they see as an ideal downtown. And that includes dovetailing nicely with the 25-acre commercial/retail center that will be created when Limoneira East Area 1 is developed with 1,500 new residences.

The effort will last about six months, and the update has a target date of May 2012. “At this point I’m not sure where they’ll be setting up camp” for Saturday’s downtown survey, but Minsk said she expects the students and professors to start the survey in the mid-morning and continue to talk to people throughout the afternoon.

The group will also be surveying those at the Limoneira Soccer Fields and, Minsk said, possibly those who attended Saturday’s Halloween Parade by dropping by Veterans Memorial Park where the procession ends. She noted the students and professors “really enjoyed themselves the first time they were here and found everyone to be very pleasant” when asked questions at Vons grocery market and in the downtown area that is the focus of the survey.

The students will ask for input from Santa Paulans “pertaining to the city, the retail community and attractions particularly in the downtown area.” Also known as the Central Business District, Minsk said those participating in the update will help determine the future of the downtown.

Minsk noted that it’s an “exciting time for the Downtown,” with its growing list of cultural attractions and restaurants all close Railroad Plaza - with its soon to be completed recreational trail and newly opened Museum of Ventura County Agriculture Museum.