Beaumont has determined that its “Downtown” area is defined as along 6th Street from Egan Avenue in the west to Highland Springs Avenue in the east, and Beaumont Avenue from Highway 10 to 13th Street.
According to its latest Master Plan Update, the Downtown area is divided into three sub-districts: the Downtown District begins at Egan Avenue in the west to Palm Avenue in the east along 6th Street; the extended 6th Street District of Palm Avenue extends to Highland Springs Avenue.
The Beaumont Avenue neighborhood stretches from 8th Avenue to 13th Street, divided into three neighborhoods.
The “heart” of the downtown neighborhoods will be City Hall.
During a few city council meetings, Beaumont discussed ideas to implement as part of his latest general plan, or master plan for the development of the city.
Cities generally update their general plans every 15 to 20 years.
Beaumont has not updated its general plan since 2007
An election night public hearing continued until the November 17 council meeting.
Since the spring of 2017, the city has been working on an update, through surveys, meetings, and strategic in-person events, and a draft environmental impact report related to the project was released in September, ahead of the city’s recommendation. planning commission on October 27 for Beaumont’s latest project. general long-term plan over 20 years.
A dozen shareholder interviews, a community workshop and a few working group meetings were held to gather feedback, and the city reached out to 280 mailing list subscribers. The city received 564 community survey responses; 854 responses via surveys on visual preferences; 678 responses to community personality surveys; and 733 additional responses to “alternative” surveys, or 2,800 solid responses.
Simran Malhotra, vice president of the Berkeley-based urban design and research firm, which has offices in Riverside, reviewed the land use elements and long-range plan priorities outlined in the master plan. , which include “creating a vibrant downtown with diverse employment opportunities” and providing more housing options “while preserving Beaumont’s natural setting and open space”.
The plan calls for creating a safe and healthy city and improving the city’s fiscal health, Malhotra said.
The downtown corridor along 6th Street would see the most notable change and include the addition of three mixed-use areas and a “local commercial” designation.
Elsewhere in the city, a new “traditional neighborhood” with single-family detached homes and small-scale multi-family housing (such as duplexes, garden apartments and townhouses) is on offer.
Another designation includes Neighborhood Commercial zoning (for service-oriented markets, restaurants, and walk-in traffic) and General Commercial Zone for a variety of big-box and larger-format retailers in malls .
The general plan would add two new designations dedicated to an employment district with zoning for light industry, research and development businesses, creative offices and retail services; and another for industrial use, intended for research parks, private trade schools and business parks.
Three mixed-use designations, including for downtown and an urban village, intended between Oak Valley Parkway and Highway 60, for higher-density residential and educational uses, and numerous open spaces and recreational facilities.
A final region involves a transit-focused neighborhood overlay to allow for residential and commercial use near the notional Metrolink transit station which is expected to be near Pennsylvania Avenue and 1st Street.
Two existing designations dedicated to public facilities and open spaces are still part of the plan.
The extended 6th Street neighborhood has larger lots for slightly larger development than downtown and includes mixed-use zoning to accommodate a variety of housing options. Closer to Highland Springs is a commercial designation for light commercial, retail and medical support facilities.
The general plan is about healthy communities and limits industry which creates a lot of waste and environmental hazards to be allowed near residential areas and schools; and consider partnerships with entities such as the school district to provide access to grounds and recreational facilities outside of school hours.
The plan emphasizes green building design; public safety and planning for extreme environmental or climate-related events; new construction would employ strategies to reduce noise, both during and after construction.
Zoning ordinances would be changed, added or removed to meet the plan, in particular to address density, lot sizes, building heights and set standards for pedestrian connectivity, for example; or to address the protection of historic resources. Further zone changes were advised to ensure consistency with zoning in neighboring areas.
Most of the comments received from residents who received letters were about concerns about how the zone changes would affect their properties.
Some owners have asked the city to maintain or change the zoning of their lots.
Bob Miller of Bob Miller RV, owns three properties along 6th Street in an area intended to be zoned as an urban village.
“We have a lot of traffic on this street; if the highway is closed, I can’t even get off my lot. You must realize that Highway 10 is among the five best in the country; my business would not survive without this highway. If I put something unusual on the freeway, it’s like a window,” urging motorists to “come to town; they buy gas, they eat – so I feel like I’m contributing a lot and would like to be considered when we make all of these changes.
Despite his concerns, consultants have advised the city to rezone areas around his properties.
A representative from the Southwest Regional Carpenters Council has sent a letter to the city expressing concern that the general plan’s environmental impact plan is not doing enough to address projected increases in greenhouse gases and does not address impacts on water resources.
Mayor Pro Tem Mike Lara wanted to ensure that the mixed-use elements of the plan would be flexible and was told that if a Metrolink station came to Beaumont, the plan would allow commercial and residential uses to co-exist in the downtown area.
He also wanted to ensure that the city addresses existing industrial areas that may be adjacent to residential areas.
Councilor Nancy Carroll acknowledged that staff will need to take a ‘unique approach to economic development for this area’ instead of relying on a traditional ‘model’ of recruiting well-known retailers to populate the neighborhood that can thrive as part of de Beaumont’s “unique personality” to the area “To make it a more vibrant, walkable, mixed-use small town,” Carroll said at the Nov. 3 public hearing.
She appreciated the consideration of trees to be incorporated into the plans.
Councilman Julio Martinez was on the original committee in 2017, was pleased to see its progress and had confidence in the plan’s “guiding principles”.
Councilor Lloyd White wanted to ensure the plan addressed secondary suites.
The city has received three appeals since its first public hearing on the matter; concerns were about environmental resources and government transparency and area changes, and concerns about the potential loss of open space.
The city’s consulting team responded to specific concerns regarding development mitigation measures.
Beaumont City Council unanimously adopted the master plan update and code amendments.
Editor-in-chief David James Heiss can be reached at [email protected], or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.