City of East Palo Alto wins Grassroots Initiative Award of Merit for Ravenswood Business District/4 Corners Transit Oriented Development Specific Plan

City of East Palo Alto- The City of East Palo Alto will receive a Grassroots Initiative Award of Merit for the Ravenswood Business District/4 Corners Transit Oriented Development Specific Plan.  The Northern California Chapter of the American Planning Association will present the award to the City of East Palo Alto at the annual awards dinner on May 17, 2013.

The Ravenswood Business District /4 Corners Transit Oriented Development Specific Plan (Specific Plan) represents East Palo Alto’s primary opportunity to accommodate land uses that will create jobs and improve the quality of life of all residents.  The Specific Plan is a community-based vision of a walkable downtown and employment center with a network of parks, trails, and community facilities.  The Specific Plan will facilitate the transformation of East Palo Alto by adding almost 5,000 new jobs, 30 acres of parks, 4.5 miles of trails, 835 residential units, and more than 1.5 million square feet of office, R&D, and industrial development.  The Specific Plan is available at: http://www.ci.east-palo-alto.ca.us/Archive.aspx?AMID=61

The success of the Specific Plan was based on a comprehensive, meaningful, and transparent community engagement process that included extensive community-based outreach. East Palo Alto Mayor Ruben Abrica said “the collaborative process really brought us together to create a compelling vision for the future of East Palo Alto.  The constructive participation from the residents, the Community Advisory Committee, the San Mateo County Public Health Department, the property owners, the RBD LLC, Urban Habitat, YUCA, and the Urban Land Institute strengthened and improved the Specific Plan.”

The Specific Plan was adopted on September 4, 2012.  The City would like to also express its appreciation to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for its financial support. The Planning Center/DC&E was the prime consultant and key partner during the process. Bruce Brubaker, Associate Principal, said “It was rewarding to work on a plan where the community had such positive energy and saw the planning process as a method to resolve potential differences and create a unifying vision.”

The Grassroots Initiative Award recognizes planning efforts that have expanded the public understanding of the planning process and have a high degree of collaboration between civic leadership and community interests.  For more information about the Award and the Northern California Chapter of the American Planning Association, see: http://norcalapa.org/programs/awards/