(Los Alamitos, 5/145/2014) If you’d like to help shape the key blueprint for Los Alamitos’ future for the next two decades, read on:
Los Alamitos’ Planning, Traffic, and Parks & Recreation Commissions will be meeting jointly tomorrow evening in the Council Chambers to review & discuss three important Elements of the current General Plan Revision:
- Land Use
- Mobility and Circulation
- Open Space, Recreation, and Conservation.
6:00–Roll call, short overview video
6:15–Introductions, overview timeline
6:30–Draft goals & policies from the 3 Draft Elements: Highlights, questions, discussion
7:55–Next steps and adjournment
Lots of ideas, lots to consider:
With 21 Commissioners plus the public, there will be lots of viewpoints on lots of topics. The City Staff and their consultants have come up with many ideas, some quite creative, most with pros and cons. Consider a few:
Los Alamitos Blvd. narrowing north of Florista/Katella: The City Council deadlocked 2 – 2 with Marilyn Poe having to recuse herself when this first came up four years ago as a proposal from SCAG’s Compass Blueprint Commercial Corridors Plan (click here for the whole plan, Table of Contents on p. 3). Basically, the plan is to narrow Los Al Blvd. and widen the parkways on both sides of the street, possibly slowing traffic to make a pedestrian-friendly “downtown” south from Cerritos Blvd. to Florista, just north of Hoff’s.
The hope is to create a “destination” sort of strolling area of shops & eateries. The concern is the plan takes away the possibility of expanding Los Al Blvd. to three lanes in that area, which could result in. . . .
Losing the best hope to uncongest Katella?
In the last Measure M election, where OC’s half cent sales tax was extended, voters were promised a multitude of improvements, including the expansion of the Spring/Cerritos interchange with the 605 to add a southbound onramp to the 605 and a northbound off ramp.
When OCTD discussed this with our City Engineer, they indicated Los Alamitos would have to be expanded to three lanes in each direction north to Cerritos for them to put in the interchange. While I question the logic of that requirement, I do see the addition of those two ramps as the most logical way to reduce congestion on Katella, providing full access to the 605 to Cypress and North Los Alamitos residents and businesses and employees without having to drive down to Katella.
Community Development Director feels that completion of the interchange is unlikely, and it’s time to stop putting cars first and consider pedestrians and cyclists. I’m inclined to seek clarification from OCTD before permanently eliminating one of the best chances to reduce gridlock.
Lots of other items are on the table:
- Rezoning Los Al Blvd. from Florista south to Farquhar to allow multi-story mixed use development in the hopes of revitalizing our older retail areas. I’ve seen where this was attempted in Fullerton, where most of the ground floor retail still sits vacant. Personally, I think allowing for multi-story retail and entertainment might work better. In past discussions over 90% of the Commissioners indicated their support for the mixed use approach.
- Possibly rezoning the Arrowhead Property for possible future retail development should Arrowhead ever leave. This has been a hot jobs vs, sales tax discussion with the Commissioners fairly evenly split. The back half of the Arrowhead property is primarily vacant land, and the property is one of the largest parcels in town.
- Rezoning the north side of Katella from the Civic Center to the freeway for retail.
The meeting will not be televised.
As always, your reporting and your perspective is welcome.