San Mateo Begins Formal Downtown Specific Plan Update Process
By Jacob Bourne
Following a Request for Proposals period that ended last July, the San Mateo City Council awarded a contract to Perkins & Will in late November to fill the role of primary consultant for the Downtown Specific Plan update planning process. The Plan, originally adopted in 2009 to guide development for San Mateo’s main neighborhood, is due for a major refresh for today’s bustling Peninsula economy. The overarching goal of the update is to create a vision for Downtown that will carry the community 30 years into the future while incorporating flexibility to accommodate social and economic change.
The official start date for the planning process was January 23 when a kick-off event was held at the San Mateo Library to show findings from the two-year outreach and engagement effort conducted with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and to launch the project’s website, engagedowntownsanmateo.org. The next community meeting is a Taste & Talk forum on February 8 to discuss what characteristics define a vibrant Downtown that contributes to a high quality of life, as well as explore planning specifics like housing density, mix of uses and mobility. Egon Terplan, regional planning director at SPUR; Kelly Kline, City of Fremont’s economic development director; and Karen Alschuler, principal at Perkins & Will are scheduled to make presentations at the forum.