Downtown Watsonville Specific Plan

Project Underway

In July 2019, the City of Watsonville initiated a Specific Plan for downtown Watsonville. This planning effort will build on the historic origins of the area while establishing a clear vision for the future of downtown Watsonville. 

What is a Specific Plan?

A Specific Plan is a comprehensive planning document and regulatory tool for implementing the City’s General Plan and will guide development in downtown through customized land use and design regulations and provide recommendations for improvements to the public realm. For more information on the purpose of a Specific Plan and for an overview of its timeline, click here.

Objectives 

Objectives for the Specific Plan include the development of multi-story mixed use buildings through both new construction and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. For instance, infill development along Main Street may include new residential housing with commercial retail on the first floor. 

The Plan will encourage compact development near transit to decrease automobile dependency, reduce both local and regional traffic congestion and related greenhouse gas emissions, and provide additional guidance and plans to increasing multimodal access to and from the historic Downtown area.

Recent News

  • In response to community interest in how the City's affordable housing program works, the Housing Manager held two workshops online to provide a history on the program, answered questions, and addressed how it would apply to new development downtown. Separate videos are available in English and Spanish for the June 16 and 17 workshops, respectively.
  • A second community survey collected feedback on design recommendations for public spaces, character areas, streetscapes, and bike network in downtown Watsonville. Click here for a summary of the survey.
  • Two meetings were held recently. An Advisory Committee meeting was held on April 28, 2021, and a Community Workshop was held on May 6, 2021, both from 5:30 to 8:00 PM. Meeting topics included potential opportunity sites in downtown, as well as proposed street and bicycle network concepts. The second community survey was unveiled at the May 6 Workshop. Full meeting agenda and presentation materials are available below.
  • Meetings will take place virtually online due to Covid-19. The City of Watsonville invites the public to attend via zoom and participate by watching the live stream of the meeting on the City’s Facebook page.
  • Community members and stakeholder inform the vision for Downtown Watsonville. Click here to read about the vision themes and guiding principles for the Specific Plan. For a summary of public comments, click here.
  • A community survey collected feedback on strengths, issues, opportunities, and community vision for the Downtown. Click here for a summary of this survey. Below are pictures of community members sharing their views at the Farmer's Market in the Plaza.
  • Existing conditions analysis and reports have been completed by the consultant team. View the documents here.
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6Public Engagement Events