In an effort to provide business owners in Arcadia with the opportunity to voice concerns and suggestions, the City of Arcadia and Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored a General Plan Business Workshop on Tuesday, August 4 at the City Hall Council Chambers.
Despite a low turnout, the meeting provided a few business owners and members of the General Plan Advisory Committee to review the plan’s goals and approach, and to discuss potential problems.
“We want to make sure we get every stakeholder and party involved to continue to have a prosperous economic future,” said Lisa Flores, senior planner with the city’s Development Services Department of the Planning division. “We want to discuss how to retain businesses, continue growth, and work with business redevelopment and revitalization.”
Though city staff expected a higher turnout, Flores said the low attendance rate may be due to people having already submitted their input, or that people will have comments and questions once a draft is ready, she said.
At the meeting, Development Services Director Jason Kruckeberg reviewed the revisions of the land use concept, which has been a major discussion over the past six months, and how the changes will provide business owners with more types of land to work with.
“There will be lots of opportunities to allow business to grow,” he said. “However, intensification of land use requires parking to support it.”
Business owners voiced concerns over how further development may result in a parking shortage, as well as the potential impact of the Metro Goldline extension project.
Kruckeberg also discussed business concerns such as the high vacancy rates of business space in the city, as well as a need for coordination among businesses to increase activity.
“We want to make Arcadia business-friendly,” he said.
The workshop is the third in a series of workshops oriented to different community groups, following a community workshop in May of 2008 which included a police department safety fair, and a Downtown area workshop to discuss what residents and merchants would like to see happen in that area.
The General Plan Advisory Committee also conducted stakeholder interviews, reaching out to business owners, among others, on what they would like to maintain and what can be improved.
“There was definitely a lot of consistency about what (the community) would like to see change in the city and I think that’s kind of what guided us in what direction to go down,” Flores said.
The next step in the process is to begin the environmental impact report with the revised land use concept, Kruckeberg said.
“We’ve been doing this for 18 months now so we’re getting closer, a little more to halfway done,” Flores said.
The draft plan is anticipated to be ready for the Planning Department staff and the Advisory Commitee by October of this year. The general plan draft and environmental impact report are expected to be submitted to the planning commission and city council by March of 2010, he said.
By Sameea Kamal