Village design group sets workshop dates

Ramona Village Design Group has scheduled a three-day workshop with Consultant Howard Blackson of PlaceMakers for  Aug. 6, 7 and 8 to craft the Phase II village design plans.

The workshop will be held in the Century 21 Building at 2102 Main St. and will consist of structured committee meetings in the mornings, public drop-in from 1 to 5 in the afternoon, and public presentations from 6:30 to 8 in the evenings, according to a schedule submitted by Blackson.  There will be a “Project Pin-Up” on Thursday and Friday evenings, Aug. 6 and 7, and a final presentation on Saturday, Aug. 8.

Participating in the meetings will be members from the village design group and members from other community interest groups. A meeting will also be held with retailers, at their businesses, if necessary.

Last month, Blackson delivered a presentation to the design group about using “form-based codes” in communities to create character that suits the town and the residents.  Blackson showed examples of municipalities and developments that used form-based codes and transformed their “Main Streets.” He noted that conventional zoning ordinances are based on use and density, while the form-based codes address the physical form of building and development.

County supervisors in May approved $50,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant money administered by the county for the Phase II project. While Blackson will be the project principal for the coding team, an architect and three designers will also be involved in the plans.

The Village Design Group is reviewing the Phase I village design document and hopes to re-work portions of it for Phase II. The group was scheduled to hold its monthly meeting July 22. Membership is made up of representatives of the Ramona Design Review Board, Ramona Community Planning Group, Ramona Unified School District Board, Ramona Municipal Water District Board, and Ramona Chamber of Commerce, and a director at large.

Village Design Group Co-Chair Carol Fowler said it’s been difficult to get people to build in Ramona because zoning is too restricted.

“Tailored zoning is more developer-friendly,” she said.

Hoping that the tailored zoning will attract more businesses, Fowler said, “I think we will see community growth, maybe less traffic on (Route) 67,” Fowler added, with the thought that residents will want to stay and shop in Ramona. 

   
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