Aug. 4, 2011
Ramona residents and County and private planners are scheduled to hold a week-long workshop starting Monday to create "designer" building codes aimed are reinvigorating Ramona's Main Street by encouraging pedestrian-friendly development form-fitted to Ramona's rural character.
The workshops and the planning work that will follow --- coordinated by the County's Department of Planning and Land Use --- are being funded by a $135,000 grant from the California Department of Transportation and $15,000 in Neighborhood Reinvestment Funds from County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.
"This is a great opportunity for Ramona residents to take part in a process that will help shape what their Main Street will look like in the future," said Jacob, whose Second District includes Ramona. "People who live in our unincorporated communities, like Ramona, know how important it is to maintain their communities' unique character."
The intensive week-long workshop will kick off at 9 a.m. Monday and conclude at 7 p.m. Saturday. It will begin with a tour of Ramona's downtown area, include meetings with property owners, the community's design review committee members, neighborhood groups, sheriff's and fire officials, and residents, and eventually conclude with design ideas to be forged into "form-based" codes. Proponents have described form-based codes as "grass-roots planning by, and for, communities."
DPLU routinely works on special projects with unincorporated communities when opportunities arise. In the past DPLU helped Fallbrook create a Specific Plan tailored to its downtown area; it is working with the communities of Jamul and Valley Center to created needed community evacuation plans and it has committed to help Tecate create a Special Study Area.
Ramona's codes could eventually be included within the County's Zoning Ordinance.