FAIRFIELD — A Davis consultant and others would be paid a total of $807,500 for a south downtown Fairfield and West Texas Street plan funded by OneBayArea and the city – a proposed document the City Council takes up Tuesday and which could qualify Fairfield for future OneBayArea grants, the city staff says.
Mayor Harry Price said the city spent $8 million more than 20 years ago on downtown improvements. It’s appropriate to extend planning to West Texas Street and south downtown, Price said.
Councilman John Mraz said he’s concerned about Bay Area planners trying to dictate which cities will grow.
But he added that, “West Texas needs a facelift.”
“They did it to downtown,” Mraz said of work undertaken decades ago in the central business district.
The Davis office of Berkeley-based MIG Architects would prepare the planing 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.
West Texas Street includes the corridor between Pennsylvania Avenue and Oliver Road along with the north side of West Texas Street to Woolner Avenue.
Planning will take about 2 1/2 years.
The OneBayArea program uses federal highway funds to pay for planning, said a city staff report, and 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.
The work program for the Fairfield plans states that MIG will draw upon previous West Texas Street master plans. Brian Miller, an associate planner for Fairfield, said a 2004 plan for West Texas Street is the principal document and that later plans refine the 2004 work.
The plan is not available on the city website, Miller said, and Fairfield doesn’t have a copy of the document at the Community Development office.
Mayor Price said the lack of access to the plan doesn’t mean the work is overlooked.
“Whether they’re on the website or not,” he said, “they’re certainly not forgotten.”
The proposed work program for the new planning states MIG may explore parking strategies that include charging for parking.
City planner Miller said that reference is standard language in planning documents.
“It’s just one of the things they threw out there,” he said. “I would definitely not focus on that.”
Mraz said paid parking will not happen downtown.
“We have some really good restaurants,” he said of the area. “The problem is there’s no parking.”
MIG will develop newsletters in English and Spanish to inform the community about progress of the plan. The firm will also create a website, including a moderated blog and options for an online survey, for the project.
City staff and MIG will tour West Texas Street and downtown and the consultant “will photo-document the planning area.”
Fairfield requested proposals from more than 200 consultants and received proposals from seven. The website for MIG states it’s a woman-owned corporation “building inclusive communities.”
The Fairfield city staff recommends MIG. Fairfield’s funding for the planning totals $110,000 and will be provided primarily through staff time.
Council members meet at 6 p.m. in the City Council chamber at 1000 Webster St.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.