“With some final tweaking, that is the plan we will send to the county,” said project consultant Geoffrey Le Plastrier.
Before a gathering of about 200 adults and 60 children at Bethany School, consultants presented a drawing that identifies a shopping center anchored by a supermarket, an adjacent three-acre town green, four blocks of Main Street intended for mom-and-pop shops, and housing throughout the downtown area.
“From our point of view, we’re very excited about it,” Le Plastrier said. “The community wanted a small-town feel.”
By rerouting De Anza Boulevard to the west closer to Central Community Park, he said, the designers tried to make the town center friendlier to walkers and bicyclists going to and from community facilities.
“We put the retail component on Byron Road and Mountain House Parkway. The town hall, library and community center are now on the western part facing the park. There is a retail plaza. And we eliminated the De Anza Boulevard extension,” Le Plastrier said. “The entire quadrant is more pedestrian friendly.”
To keep the area vibrant and active after hours, the plan also calls for downtown housing.
“Currently in the plan, there are 400 (housing) units approved for the town center,” Le Plastrier said. “What we’re proposing is bringing (housing) into the town center, making it part of the community.”
Those homes will likely be townhouses and possibly senior housing, but not apartments, according to the consultants.
“We’re not looking to increase density, just moving it around a little bit — bring residential uses into the town center to activate retail,” consultant Frawn Morgan said.
The first phase of development will include the supermarket site, some small storefronts and the town green, along with a town hall, library and community center.
But all of that is likely three years away, Le Plastrier said.
“This could take a couple of years to get through the county and CSD (Mountain House Community Services District),” he said. “It’s a process to receive the entitlement. We would love to accelerate it, but that (time frame) would be a reasonable goal.”
Although Saturday’s meeting was the last chance for residents to respond to the town center design at the local level, Le Plastrier said that people could still comment during county public hearings.
He said that residents would also have a say on the amenities of the town green and central plaza when they were closer to fruition.
“That’s got to come out of what the community residents want,” he said. “We’ll look at the cost and maintenance, and we’ll reach into the community when we do the designs of those facilities and do a series of workshops.”
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4225.