The current work of the Oxnard Community Planning Group:
The question is often asked: What can we do to bring back downtown Oxnard? The OCPG believes the answer is build as much housing downtown as quickly as possible. However, our current development standards and design guidelines are suburban in nature and are not up to the task. The OCPG believes Oxnard needs to implement new development standards and design guidelines as proposed in the Downtown Oxnard Vision Plan Charrette report, as soon as possible.
There is no silver bullet. But there are tried and true ways to make our downtown sing once again:
Infill housing and more housing – currently there is no limit to the housing demand in Oxnard. Build it and they will come – and buy, rent, work, shop, recreate, and live in Oxnard. Downtown housing will bring business back – guaranteed.
Fix Oxnard Boulevard – repair the street and provide curbside parking to separate people from cars. This makes for a great walking experience and will bring back business on Oxnard Boulevard and our downtown – guaranteed.
Plant colorful drought tolerant natives in the 18 planters around Plaza Park. (However, city planting standards do not allow such plants!)
Develop an Arts Hub in downtown Oxnard.
And there is more…read section 2.0 of the Downtown Oxnard Vision Plan Charrette report.
The Oxnard Community Planning Group advocates for visionary practices in planning, design, and development that will lead to a more livable, walkable and prosperous city.
The Oxnard Community Planning Group envisions a city that grows wisely, preserves farmland and open space, drives smart economic development, welcomes vertical density, cherishes our past, and boldly anticipates our future.
The Oxnard Community Planning Group believes in a city that works to meet the needs of all our residents: young, old, people with disabilities, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists; even people who don’t go anywhere. We strive to be open-minded, welcome thoughtful discussion, and are willing to invest our time and efforts towards bringing these beliefs into being.
History of the OCPG
The Oxnard Community Planning Group (OCPG) formed late in 2014 around the City of Oxnard – Oxnard Community Corridor Transportation Improvement Plan (OCCTIP) process. The OCCTIP process came into being when CalTrans re-assigned Hwy-1 from Oxnard Blvd to Rice Ave and gave the City of Oxnard a $250K grant to revision 8 segments of Oxnard main streets. The upshot is that the City of Oxnard regained complete control over Oxnard Boulevard.
The OCPG came together because the City hired a street engineering firm, instead of an urban design firm, to make recommendations for the future of Oxnard’s namesake main street, Oxnard Boulevard. The OCPG was hoping that in addition to street improvements the study would also take investment, economic development, housing and walkability into consideration – but these forward thinking issues were not in the street engineers contract. The OCPG was initially formed to focus on walkability, economic development and housing for the Oxnard Boulevard corridor (including Saviers Road).
Since our OCCTIP beginnings we have become the community champion for a walkable and successful downtown Oxnard. The OCPG will continue to evolve always focusing on topical planning issues for a more successful Oxnard.
Today, July 2016, the work of the OCPG is to encourage the City of Oxnard to implement several recommendations from the Vision Plan – new Development Standards and Design Guidelines along with the hiring of a Downtown Development expert.
Oxnard Community Planning Group Accomplishments
- The www.OxnardCPG.com website
- The www.OxnardCPG.com Facebook page
- Many public presentations – 2014 to present
- Participation in almost all OCCTIP public community workshops – 2014 – 2015
- Downtown Oxnard Vision Plan Charrette – Jan-Feb 2016
The Charrette came to being in partnership with the City of Oxnard and under the auspices of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). The CNU organized and ran the very successful community oriented Charrette over 5 days. Click to view The Downtown Oxnard Vision Plan Charrette report.
- Downtown Alliance Summit – June 2016
- Tasked by the City of Oxnard to make suggestions to it’s Facade program – work in progress
I am interested in or want to contribute to the work of the OCPG – how can I participate?
First we thank you for your desire to make a difference for Oxnard!
The OCPG invites you to join our on-line community which is open to our friends and supporters – please contact us for access info.
And we update our website and Facebook pages on a regular basis.
A Livable Oxnard
A new–and very old–approach to designing a city.
Complete Streets, Walkable Community, Mixed-Use Urban Corridor
As you may know, Oxnard now has the opportunity to transform Oxnard Boulevard with new life as an attractive, customer-friendly downtown business destination as Caltrans has reassigned Highway 1, with its heavy truck traffic, to Rice Ave.
A group of concerned community members wants to contribute to this transformation process. Our goal is to promote more active civic life along Oxnard Boulevard, to be more than just a traffic conduit based on conventional traffic engineering.
We believe the City should remake its main street and downtown according to a Complete Streets model— directing the future of Oxnard’s development. The Complete Streets model incentivizes investment, economic development, and housing…three major planning issues facing Oxnard today. Cities are recognizing the many benefits of the Complete Streets concept as it brings new vitality to an area, providing a boon to business. To do so, we must consider how people lived in cities before cars took over.
Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from train stations.
Walkable communities are desirable places to live, work, learn, worship, and play; they are a key component of smart growth. Their desirability comes from two factors. First, goods (such as housing, offices, and retail) and services (such as transportation, schools, libraries) are located within an easy and safe walk. Second, walkable communities make pedestrian activity possible, thus expanding transportation options, and creating a streetscape for a range of users—pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and drivers. To foster walkability, communities must support mixed-use development and build compactly, with safe, inviting pedestrian spaces.
Mixed-use urban corridor development is a combination of low-income and market- rate housing above a row of commercial enterprises along the street edge at specifically chosen locations along the Oxnard Boulevard corridor to make a more populated street that has an urban look and functions as an urban street.
We envision Oxnard Blvd as a Mixed-Use urban corridor with a strong emphasis on the residential infill element. There remains considerable pressure for more housing, especially affordable housing, in Oxnard, which historically has led to sprawl. Increasing evidence reveals that sprawl bankrupts cities; kills city centers, and requires infrastructure improvements that are better applied to a city’s center.
Great public spaces don’t happen by accident—they have been and are created by communities with visionary leaders who understand city planning and work hard to bring the vision of a beautiful thriving small city into reality.
If Oxnard is going to have a great downtown and no sprawl, Oxnard has to change, and that change can only come from the City Council. The City Council must adopt a Complete Streets and mixed-use urban corridor policy—to assure the change Oxnard needs. The beauty, or lack thereof, of a city lies within a city’s governing body’s ability to connect and work together with residents. As stewards, the governing council sets the policy and tone—so that a city may flourish.
It will not happen overnight. But with proper vision, guidance, and fortitude, Oxnard will thrive block-by-block and neighborhood-by-neighborhood.
Remaking Oxnard Boulevard into a Complete Street and walkable Mixed-Use Urban Corridor will require support from, and policy changes by, the Oxnard City Council. We invite you to step up and make it so!