Council OKs $807,500 consultant for Fairfield plan

By From page A3 | June 26, 2014

FAIRFIELD — An $807,500 consultant’s contract for a south downtown Fairfield and West Texas Street plan has won City Council approval despite reservations about accepting funds from regional government.

“We do need a plan for these areas,” Councilwoman Catherine Moy said.

But she said taking money from OneBayArea concerns her and asked if the regional agency could direct high density housing and other developments for Fairfield.

Brian Miller, an associate planner for Fairfield, said of the funding: “They’re basically no strings attached.”

He said the only requirement is to finish the plan by June 2016 and that the document address such matters as streetscapes, which Miller called a common planning practice.

The OneBayArea program uses federal highway funds to pay for planning, said a city staff report. The Solano Transportation Authority distributes a portion of the money.

An effort by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments to guide regional development evolved into the OneBayArea grant program, according to the city staff.

Councilman John Mraz raised concerns about the Solano Transportation Authority’s role, saying the agency “is telling us what to do in this city.”

The Davis office of Berkeley-based MIG Architects will prepare the planning document while working with three other firms on the plan for south downtown Fairfield, including land between Highway 12 and Kentucky Street as well as the County Justice Center and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Vice Mayor Rick Vaccaro said he understood concerns about the involvement of other agencies but that driving along West Texas Street and in downtown shows “the real need for change.”

Councilwoman Pam Bertani said of the work: “It’s high time we have a plan.”

Fairfield requested proposals from more than
200 consultants and received proposals from seven.

Resident Brian Thiemer told the council that the out-of-town consultants will be paid an average of $250 an hour.

He said of the government grant funding: “I just don’t want people to think it’s free money.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]


Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 17 comments

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  • Tax PayerJune 26, 2014 - 4:55 am

    John the plan comes from Agenda 21. STA is just a tool to drive their overall plan! Your city probably agreed on all of this.

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  • JimboJune 26, 2014 - 12:49 pm

    High ho tin foil hat brigade.

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  • CD BrooksJune 26, 2014 - 6:08 am

    Of course they did! I've all ready said what downtown needs and did so for nothing. Let's hope the "experts" come up with a good idea.

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  • rlw895June 26, 2014 - 8:10 am

    CD: Let's hope the experts are expert enough to tap the many good ideas community people have, sort them out, take the good ones, and come up with a comprehensive plan the City can afford to implement.

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  • CD BrooksJune 26, 2014 - 9:24 am

    rlw895, yes I hope they take a little more time to fully consider the plan and if necessary, we spend a little more to get it right. Fairfield needs to stop the practice of piecemeal alternatives. There are many albeit expensive projects that can make us better, somebody just has to take the reins. Turning highway 12 Suisun to I-5 a super highway opens up unlimited possibilities for all the cities gaining access by that means. That would mean a huge bonus in jobs, businesses and revenue for Solano County. Creating a welcoming atmosphere downtown with good business and hours of operation would be a great start.

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  • Rick WoodJune 26, 2014 - 9:26 am

    Thank you, City Council and staff, for directing these funds to the downtown. "Streetscapes" are important. The City entryways create lasting first impressions of our city as well as provide statements of community pride.

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  • AlfJune 26, 2014 - 9:27 am

    Some members of the City Council need to come out of the shadows. West Texas Street is a gateway to the City and it's embarrassing. Many people talk about attracting business to the downtown. A plan, that can be executed, is the first step in finding out how to do that. Downtown Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill were embarrassing too, until those cities got with it, developed a plan and executed it.

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  • CD BrooksJune 26, 2014 - 10:22 am

    Alf, PH never had a "downtown." PH and WC were never embarrassing.

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  • AnthonyJune 27, 2014 - 9:32 am

    Pleasant Hill did and does have a downtown, it is located at Contra Costa Blvd and Monument Blvd. I lived there for years. The downtown was a dump in the late 90s, but through good planning and investment is now a destination.

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  • CD BrooksJune 27, 2014 - 9:53 am

    Anthony, I grew up there and until 2000 there was no downtown. And in the traditional sense it still isn't a "downtown."

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  • clancyJune 26, 2014 - 12:48 pm

    Downtown PH is very nice with the shops and restraunts. I think we need crime cleaned up before these businesses would want to open here Its hard to shop downtown Fairfield the hours of the businesses are not convient and there are s lot of challenged people hanging out and it feels unsafe

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  • JimboJune 26, 2014 - 12:52 pm

    Yeah because all those county and court employees wandering around looking for lunch are soooooooo intimidating to be around.

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  • AnthonyJune 27, 2014 - 9:34 am

    Dude, he's not talking about during lunch time around the County Building. Go past Beck Ave and tell me how safe it feels...

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  • clancyJune 26, 2014 - 1:37 pm

    I'm not talking about the court employees . Im talking about the people wandering around talking or yelling to someone who is not there or asking for money or are intoxicated . the ones who need mental healthcare and are not receiving it.. Those people..

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  • Mr. PracticalJune 26, 2014 - 7:10 pm

    Creating an appropriate infrastructure is key, but nothing will change until private property owners start reinvesting. The buildings on West Texas, and downtown to some extent, are tired and uninviting. Now that Redevelopment is gone and city revenues are low, there is little they can do to encourage property owners to make needed improvements.

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  • rlw895June 26, 2014 - 9:26 pm

    It would be interesting to inventory the property owner-landlords downtown and ask them why they don't spiff up their properties.

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  • HereComesACarJune 26, 2014 - 8:44 pm

    City of Fairfield paid for a fence along the North side of West Texas Street Park (aka Allen Witt Park) to make it more difficult for the travelers to cross the street at multiple locations. Then just up/down the street some apartments were constructed: The Park Crossing Apartments.

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