A VIBRANT DOWNTOWN OXNARD

 

A VIBRANT DOWNTOWN OXNARD:

Oxnard’s Core Downtown Corridor will become vibrant and alive places when there are more people to frequent the areas. Oxnard must increase the density of nearby residential areas to get more people Downtown. Zoning changes, to mandate Moderate density, is what is needed and is the only thing that will change the current poorly frequented Downtown areas.

To get more people Downtown, Oxnard needs to change its zoning ordinances to incentivize infill housing and mixed use building in its Downtown Corridor areas. I am not talking about the current single corridor zoning currently in place – I am talking about increasing Moderate density mixed use zoning several blocks (+/- 5 blocks) either side of Oxnard Blvd and Saviers Rd from The Collection (101) to Huemene Road.

Current Oxnard zoning incentivizes sprawl. Zoning changes along the Oxnard Blvd/ Saviers Rd Corridor will reverse this negative trend and bring building, investment and vitality back to our Downtown areas.

The major benefit and result of zoning changes will be to bring more People into core Downtown areas which will encourage small businesses like restaurants and galleries, clothing and book stores, local foods and produce, and other like small businesses catering to people that live in the area and beyond. For example nearby communities have stores that sell specialty olive oils, kitchen supplies and local produce. This will happen because zoning changes will increase property values and stimulate investment in Downtown Oxnard.

Zoning changes, in addition to benefitting Oxnard as a whole, will benefit local property owners, contractors, builders and crafts people as the money earned and spent on smaller infill projects is recycled in the local community many times over. With large-scale developers (developments), there is little incentive to do the right thing for Oxnard and where the money mostly goes out of the area, the community is saddled with long-term costs. Large scale developers, all too often – hit and run – shunting long-term costs onto the Oxnard community for many years to come.

Anyone who thinks that promoting and developing Downtown Oxnard specifically to attract tourists is seriously misguided. Tourists, pure and simple, are attracted to vibrant culturally alive places, which unfortunately Downtown Oxnard currently is not. However, once Downtown Oxnard is a thriving place that locals are attracted to and frequent – then and only then – does Downtown Oxnard have a chance of attracting tourists.

A PLAN:
Embrace and encourage Oxnard’s cultural diversity (one successful example is Vallarta Market)

Recognize and develop Downtown Oxnard for the People of Oxnard (when we are successful the tourists will come)

Change the zoning to INCENTIVIZE building and development to create Moderate density housing and mixed use in Oxnard’s Downtown Corridor areas

Make Oxnard a pedestrian and bicycle friendly community – People first – cars only after people (listen up traffic engineers)

Redesign/recreate the Oxnard Blvd/Saviers Rd Corridor (The Collection-101 to the Sea) into a tree lined road with wide sidewalks, separated bicycle lanes with lots of bicycle parking (because of the vibrancy created by increases in density, People will flock to pedestrian/bicycle oriented vibrancy)

FIRST STEPS:
Establish an Oxnard Blvd/Saviers Rd (The Collection-101 to the Sea) Design and Development District. Staff it with visionary and creative City planners and arborists – and include, from the public, artists, restauranteurs, Master Gardeners and stakeholders interested in a vibrant Oxnard.

KEEP AT ARMS LENGTH:
Anyone who says “it can’t be done” or that “there is not enough money” – or whatever the negative conversation…

YES WE CAN:
This is a long-term endeavor…keep the faith, stay the course.