Friday, February 19, 2016

City's master plan can benefit from other entities located near waterfront

When Assistant City Manager Hans Uslar was asked how long it would take to fully implement the City of Monterey's approved waterfront masterplan, his answer offered more than just an overstated time element.
It's a good question. It can take a long long time but there are always opportunities there,” said Uslar. “A lot of things are changing.”
Uslar's comment was indicative of something that occurred at the meeting when a representative for MidPen affordable housing spoke to the council, soliciting their support for affordable housing grants using the waterfront intersection improvements. If supported, the city could benefit too.
As of today, there is no money for the redesign of the Washington/Del Monte intersection improvements part of the plan,” said Uslar. “However with the sudden opportunity for this organization to receive $3 million in grant money comes the city being required to have up to 10 percent of matching funds as part of it.”
Uslar said a project like that illustrates well how opportunities can present themselves, which allow the city to implement elements of specific plans on short notice.
So now we may actually find funding to implement the plans for the intersection and have that done in the next 3 years,” said Uslar. “With the project we can jump on that and say 'Council here's our plan, here's our funding strategy,” explained Uslar. “They can say 'yes' or 'no' but at the end of the day those opportunities open up.”
He cited the North Fremont plan as an example. Because the city identified a grant opportunity given by the state to cities that have plans ready to build better bike ways and pedestrian crossings, it was approved and is now progressing forward.

So sometimes opportunities present themselves,” Uslar said. “These are interesting times. With the downtown specific plan and the waterfront master plan – now the city has a vision and we can implement things as opportunities happen.”

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