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Smart Growth Award policy/plan nominee

Fifth amendment to Central Imperial Redevelopment Plan

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The Central Imperial Redevelopment Plan (CIRP) was initially approved by City Council in 1992, and was subsequently amended four times. The redevelopment plan area comprises approximately 145 acres and encompasses areas located east of I-805 along Market Street and Imperial Avenue in need of revitalization. These areas currently include industrial and commercial development that is aging and underutilized.

This amendment is intended to facilitate village, mixed-use and high-density residential development in accordance with the City of Villages Strategy of the general plan. This strategy focuses growth into high-intensity activity centers that are pedestrian oriented and linked to a regional transit system.

The amendment is the result of an almost 10-year planning effort that began with a grassroots plan prepared for the area in 2000. This plan, prepared by the Euclid/Market Action Team (EMAT), ultimately resulted in the Village Center at Euclid and Market Pilot Village proposal. Concurrent with this effort, the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. (SEDC) engaged the community with a series of density dialogues to determine reasonable densities for this area.

The Village Vision is for a revitalized community that provides a wide range of housing, shopping and work opportunities conveniently joined together by the historic major transportation corridors along Euclid Avenue, Imperial Avenue and Market Street. The vision is anchored and supported by existing civic uses, public infrastructure and amenities such as the rebuilt Lincoln High School and the Orange Line of the San Diego Trolley. It builds on current city and SEDC planning documents and regulations.

The plan's fifth amendment incorporates the housing and land use polices adopted in the general plan, bringing together mixed-use residential, commercial and retail uses, much as they were when this community began in the 1920s, but updated to the 21st century. There are three "villages," which include the Village Center at Euclid and Market and the Imperial Crest, and Encantada transit corridors. The Village Center will provide a combination of commercial and community facilities along with multi-family housing opportunities. The Imperial Crest and Encantada areas are expected to develop as transit corridors with a residential focus and limited commercial development. A fourth element, the Hilltop and Euclid site, will provide lower-cost, single-family housing by permitting small-lot and single-family attached development strategies.

The project incorporates new design regulations to assure high-quality, pedestrian-oriented developments, but offers developers the incentive of ministerial development review for incorporating these regulations. When implemented, the amendment will provide approximately 1,925 new for-sale and rental housing units at a broad range of affordability levels in a village atmosphere.

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