At their July 6 meeting the Claremont City Council unanimously approved the Village South Specific Plan.  The approval was the culmination of a lengthy process of public engagement, engagement with two developers who became interested in the plan area while planning was underway, and multiple rou

nds of refinements in response to public, City and developer input.  The resulting Plan provides a long-term vision, customized development standards and design guidelines, and robust implementation plan for a 21st century expansion of the early 20th century Claremont Village. The Plan Area is within easy walking distance of the historic Village, and an existing Metrolink Station and planned Metro light rail station connecting the Village to Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley to the west, and to the Inland Empire to the east.  The Plan carefully balances compatibility with the historic Village with the functional requirements of modern transit-oriented development, and the community’s desire for “more Village” with rapidly growing imperatives for more housing and jobs near transit, the Claremont Colleges, and the commercial and civic amenities of the Village. 

Envisioned public market plaza, shops, offices and boutique hotel at the wharf

At their regular meeting on June 22 the Ventura County Board of Supervisors warmly received a presentation of the Channel Islands Harbor Vision Report.  Over the past year, Sargent Town Planning has worked closely with the County Harbor Department and a Visioning Committee composed of Harbor busi

ness owners and residents of surrounding neighborhoods to define a new vision for the future of this small harbor on the south edge of the City of Oxnard.  Owned and operated by the County, the Harbor for many years has not attracted or retained the high-quality development and active visitor-serving uses for which the County, City of Oxnard, and community had hoped.  Through the visioning process - which included dozens of Committee meetings, online community surveys and a well-attended virtual public workshop - the STP team produced richly illustrated presentations of potential improvements to the waterfront promenades, walking and biking network within and surrounding the harbor, and a range of infill development types that might generate new activity and value in the Harbor.  The overarching goal defined through the Visioning is to make the Harbor a more active place that attracts residents and visitors to pursue a wide range of boating, fishing, recreation, dining, shopping and educational activities in a beautiful, welcoming, unique, waterfront environment.  The Committee reached consensus that the Vision Report is a good start for attracting new investment and potentially updating an outdated master plan, and the Board seemed generally to agree.

Mixed-use center surrounding Metrolink/High-Speed Rail Station Plaza

The Public Review Draft of Rancho Cucamonga's comprehensive General Plan Update was posted for public review on June 16. The Plan can be found by simply Googling PlanRC. As part of a large multi-disciplinary team retained by the City, Sargent Town Planning has been leading the work o

The Public Review Draft of Rancho Cucamonga's comprehensive General Plan Update was posted for public review on June 16. The Plan can be found by simply Googling PlanRC. As part of a large multi-disciplinary team retained by the City, Sargent Town Planning has been leading the work on the general plan vision and preparing a new Land Use and Community Design Element that is based on Place Types rather than conventional land use designations.  Throughout 2020, City staff and Circlepoint led an expansive Plan RC public engagement process that included numerous community stakeholder meetings, community surveys, and virtual public meetings and workshops.  STP supported that process by preparing richly illustrated presentations, including mapping, imagery and illustrations of potential development and public space typologies for the the future of each part of this large and diverse community.  Based on robust community input, STP and the rest of the team collaborated in compiling prefered elements and conccepts into plan alternatives that were presented back to the community.  Based on the community's expressed preferences, and on State planning policiy and economic and fiscal imperatives, the team then defined a preferred alternative and STP crafted a highly illlustrated Land Use and Community Design Element.  The Element includes 8 "Focus Area Plans" for areas in which significant near- and mid-term change is anticipated, some benefitting from significant collaboration with Torti Gallas Partners and Grimshaw Architects.  The public review period will conclude in mid-July, at which point the team will prepare updated documents for considertation by the Planning Commission and City Council.  

Hwy 111 as Envisioned in the 2019 General Plan

The City of Indio has retained a team led by Bay Area Economics and Sargent Town Planning to prepare a specific plan for the historic Highway 111 Corridor that runs through the center of Indio.  The plan is funded by an SB 2 Grant, intended to facilitate the development of new housing within the

250-acre corridor, much of which is still vacant land.  The team helped City staff lead an initial study session with the City Council, reviewing with them the  vision for the Corridor as defined in the recently adopted General Plan Update, and sharing what the team has learned and heard so far through existing conditions analysis and conversations with major Corridor property owners and other stakeholders along with some initial urban design concepts.  The Council was very enthusiastic about the possibilities presented and shared their hopes for the evolution of the old highway toward a significant City Center boulevard, along which new mixed-use centers, visitor attractions, and diverse new neighborhoods would be well integrated with historic visitor attractions, a redeveloping shopping mall, the Riverside County Fairgrounds and justic center, the historic downtown, and adjoining existing neighborhoods.  STP previously collaborated with Raimi Associates and the City in preparing the new General Plan and the 111 Corridor vision, adopted in 2019, and subsequently worked with the City to prepare a new Downtown Specific Plan, adopted in 2020.

New public plaza adjacent to the historic Vortox Building in Village South

At their meeting on June 1, the Claremont Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the City Council approve the Village South Specific Plan.  Through a public process over the course of nearly 4 years, Sargent Town Planning has worked collaboratively with the City, the community, property

owners and prospective developers to produce a plan to deliver a 21st century mixed-use, transit-oriented development a short walk from a planned Gold Line Metro station and existing Metrolink commuter rail station.  The plan - including a form-based code, objective design and development standards, and detailed implmementation strategies and procedures - has been crafted to ensure human-scale, pedestrian-oriented urban patterns, building forms, and active public spaces that reflect the unique character, quality and scale of the historic early 20th century Claremont Village just to the north. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Commission Chair commented that the Village South Plan was the best specific plan she had ever seen, a much appreciated compliment coming from a senior principal of a prominent national architectural firm.

On June 1, 2020, Smart Growth American and the Form-Based Codes Institute announced that Rancho Cucamonga's Etiwanda Heights Neighborhood & Conservation Plan (EHNCP) was one of two form-based codes to be recognized with a 2020 Driehaus Award.

The award, now in its twelfth year, is made possible by the generous support of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust, and recognizes communities that have adopted and implemented exemplary form-based zoning codes. 

The jury found the EHNCP commendable for the way in which it balances and connects walkable neighborhoods and very large amounts of permanently conserved rural open space and natural habitat. Sargent Town Planning prepared the plan and code in tight and seamless collaboration with a very talented planning and design team and the City of Rancho Cucamonga's professional staff, without whose strong and creative support this result would not have been possible.  This is the fourth time that Sargent Town Planning's work has been recognized by the Driehaus Trust and the Form-Based Codes Institute.

At their April 15 meeting, the Indio City Council unanimously approved the new Downtown Specific Plan.

Starting in 2018 with a partial draft plan begun by others, STP worked closely with City staff and the community to clarify the vision for a revitalized and expanded Downtown, and crafted a form-based code with customized development standards and design guidelines for infill commercial, mixed-use and residential development, and for a safe, comfortable, human-scale network of walkable streets and attractive community gathering spaces.  A top priority of the plan – established as part of the recently adopted General Plan Update, for which STP led the urban design vision work from 2017 to 2019 – was “putting Downtown back on the map”, re-establishing strong gateways from Highway 111, Indio Boulevard, and Jackson Street, which bound and provide primary access to the Downtown.  The historic Downtown is part of a larger envisioned City Center that includes the Midtown District to west on “Boulevard 111”, to which old Highway 111 is envisioned to evolve.

11th Floor

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we began working remotely on March 17.  On March 20, in response to the mayor's and governor's orders, our office building was locked down until at least April 19.  Since thaot time we have adopted a hybrid work schedule, balancing time together in the stu

dio with remote working.

We have always been configured for flexible, mobile and remote working and have a wide array of online collaboration tools, cloud storage and remote server access, so the effect of this emergency on our ability to continuously conduct business as usual and respond to the needs of our existing and future clients and collaborators is effectively zero. 

Our office phone numbers all forward to our mobile phones, we are checking email as usual, conducting team meetings and client meetings of all types through screensharing and video-conferencing apps, and producing and delivering documents and presentations electronically, as is our usual practice.  Please contact us at any time for any reason.  

We continue to follow recommended social distancing and hygiene practices to keep ourselves and our families safe, and hope that you are also.  Please stay safe and be well, as we need all our valued collaborators and clients.  We look foward to seeing you in person when this crisis passes, which should be reasonably soon if most people follow the good advice of medical professionals who actually know what they are talking about.

And yes, that's a live shot of the office on that date.  Nest camera, we're were not there, but as of later 2021 and 2022 we are on a regular basis.

All the best,

David Sargent