The Area Plan
The Area Plan: Adapting the Reuse Plan into a California Regulatory Document
After years of City and community collaboration, the Concord Community Reuse Project culminated in a final Reuse Plan in 2010. However, the Reuse Plan is a Federal document without regulatory authority under California land use law, so the City needed to amend its General Plan to reflect the vision of the community. To do this, the City created the more detailed Concord Reuse Project Area Plan.
The Area Plan reflects the Reuse Plan's goals and concepts developed with the community, but converts them into policies and standards for land use, transportation, environmental protection, labor agreements, affordable housing, and public safety. To organize all this information, the Area Plan consists of three books describing the overarching vision and standards, detailed policies, and a climate action plan.
Book 1: Vision and Standards
Book 1 provides an overview of the vision for the future of the CRP planning area. It focuses on the land use and circulation plan, site development standards, and principles for community design and mobility. It also includes overviews of technical topics covered in more detail in Book 2.
Book 2: Technical Chapters
Book 2 covers topics in greater detail, capturing key results of the community planning process and prior environmental review. The chapters provide background and policies specific to the CRP planning area by topic:
- Transportation and circulation
- Conservation and open space
- Safety, health, and noise
- Community facilities and parks
Book 3: Climate Action Plan
Book 3 presents the approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with development of the CRP Area Plan. It includes strategies [in the four substantive categories, including transportation, green building, etc] development's impact on the climate.
Revised Land Use Diagram
The Area Plan includes a land use diagram that depicts different land use 'districts,' representing different development intensities, community characters, and mixes of land use. Area Plan Book One explains different elements of the diagram and district types. The land use diagram is based on the Reuse Plan's diagram, with some adjustments to simplify it (see below to learn more).
From Reuse Plan to Area Plan
The Area Plan includes a similar development program and general land use pattern as the Reuse Plan, but differs in several ways, including:
- Complete neighborhoods and centers: land uses shown in individual zones in the Reuse Plan are incorporated into complete, mixed-use neighborhoods in the Area Plan. (see Area Plan Book 1, page 29)
- Integration of low-density housing: Low density housing is distributed across the site, rather than being clustered in one location. This creates a more diverse housing mix in neighborhoods and expands open space. (see Area Plan Book 1, page 30 for a graphic representation)
- Refinement of the circulation network: the conceptual network in the Reuse Plan is refined into a hierarchy following Complete Streets principles, configured to support site-wide circulation needs. (see Area Plan Book 1, page 30, for a graphic representation)
- Flexibility: The development program in the Area Plan provides estimates of housing units and commercial square footage by district, rather than specifying fixed numbers. This will allow flexibility in development, while still meeting the Area Plan's maximum site development and daily convenience standards. Further, several district types allow for a range of uses, such as Commercial Flex and Campus, allowing the Area Plan to retain the key elements of the Reuse Plan while permitting greater flexibility within districts.