Ramona Village Design Group is applying for a $150,000 transportation planning grant through the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
The community-based grant would be used to replace design guidelines with design standards using form-based codes that will be put into Ramona’s Community Plan and the San Diego County Zoning Ordinance. The project summary states that the design group’s goal is to create standards that allow for “the development or creation of unique village and neighborhood streetscapes that preserve and enhance our unique rural character.”
The application describes the project area as the commercial core of Ramona and states that the grant would be used for the Old Town and Colonnade portions of Main Street.
Village Design Group Vice Chair Carol Fowler has been working on the grant application with members of the county’s Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU) and Howard Blackson of PlaceMakers. Blackson was the consultant hired by the county to work with the design group on setting up code-based tailored zoning for the Paseo section of town, from 10th to Pala streets.
Fowler told members of the design group at their March 11 meeting that letters of support from other community groups would be helpful. Having received a letter of support from the Ramona Community Planning Group, Fowler discussed with members the many other committees and clubs in Ramona that could be contacted to provide letters of support.
“The more letters, the better,” said Rob Lewallen, Village Design Group chair.
Fowler said the grant application needs to be submitted by March 19. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will have a hearing requesting a board resolution for the grant on March 24, and the final grant submittal to Caltrans is March 31.
Lewallen said a meeting is scheduled with Supervisor Dianne Jacob on March 18. He said Jacob has approved matching funds of $11,500 if the design group receives the grant.
The application describes Ramona as a destination for eco-tourism, riding, hiking, biking, golf, antique shops, equine activities and wine, and explains that the desire is to have a more walkable village center. Fowler said grant money could also be used for streetscapes, sidewalks, kiosks and plants.