Downey City Council adopts long-term vision

Alicia Edquist, Advertising Manager/Lab Aide

The Downey City Council adopted the Downey Vision 2025 for the city last Tuesday after a public hearing.

Downey Vision 2025 is a plan to make changes in the city and follow them over the next 20 years. It is a comprehensive update of the city’s general plan, including an update in the land use diagram and proposed chapters for land use, circulation, conservation, safety, noise, open space, design, economic development, and certifying an environmental impact report.

There are 30 areas for change in the plan and 19 were approved.

It has been a long process for the City Council, Planning Commission and the General Plan Committee appointed by the Council and city staff.

The committee had 30 sessions, five community meetings, two study sessions and two public hearings to look over the plans for the city. Also, a community survey was sent out to get opinions from the community about their likes and dislikes about the city.

There were only 193 responses out of the 40,000 that were sent out; those received included both positive and negative reactions of the city. The survey mostly looked for changes to the community as a whole and for what the residents felt was most important to improve.

The survey showed that the number one item on the residents’ list was the need for more restaurants in the city.

Residents also asked for better shopping areas and regulations for the improvement of the appearance of residential areas, including keeping up with landscaping.

Concern for parking, traffic, crime/gangs and the commercial areas was also noted.

There was discussion in the committee meetings about building a row of restaurant near Stonewood Mall.

Over the past decade, Downey has seen a 15 percent growth in population and an increase in the average size of households in the city.

The increase is expected to continue, but at a slower rate. The population is expected to increase by 6,000 over the next 20 years. An update on the housing plan is not scheduled until 2007, but with Downey Vision 2025 the city is looking at an overall increase in housing to accommodate the growing city.

Within the plan there are also plans to upgrade the aging infrastructure in Downey including water, sewers, roads and energy. One concern was the railroad cutting the city in half and the need for safe access to the hospital from both sides of the railroad track.

In the areas designated as open space, the committee would like to enhance the parks in the community and add cultural amenities. They also would like to capitalize on the city’s location and the entertainment industry, which will soon be a part of the Downey community with Downey Studios, which is a part of the Downey Landing project.

The next city council meeting will be next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Downey City Hall in Council Chambers.