The Danville Town Council is set to host a study session on Wednesday, providing information and recommendations on items focused on addressing the needs of the growing community, while maintaining the town's signature community character.
Set for discussion are updates on the town's efforts to accommodate more housing development, recommendations on how to best update the Downtown Master Plan, and plans for allocating the town's business promotion funds.
At the heart of Danville's evolving landscape is its downtown area, and the council's efforts to revitalize and modernize the area with the changing times. On the agenda for Wednesday is a suggestion to combine the current Downtown Master Plan with the town's Beautification Plan and Comprehensive Economic Development Plan.
The idea is to offer a "more comprehensive approach" to Downtown Danville's future than its current emphasis on retail. In addition, with the popularity of outdoor dining since the start of the pandemic, this and more outdoor community spaces are potentially on the horizon.
In addition to streamlining plans for Downtown Danville's future, the goal is to solicit input from relevant stakeholders and community members, with an emphasis on "placemaking". Although the discussion includes all portions of downtown, the emphasis lies on finding ways to "activate locations in Old Town for public enrichment and engagement."
A further change on Danville's horizon is new state legislation aimed at addressing California's housing crisis, which mandates the development of increased housing. This means planning for 2,241 more units on the horizon, in the face of financial penalties otherwise.
To address this, the council will present on its three-phase plan aimed at community education and engagement, identification of sites for new housing, and solicitation of community input.
Community education about Danville's place in the state housing crisis, as well as solicitation of community input as to how to best move forward, are central to the goals of this project. Since this spring, community related efforts have included updates to the town website, the launch of a community website to promote discussion, as well as informational webinars and an initial priorities survey.
According to the results of the survey, maintaining open space ranked as the top priority, with maintaining a "small town feel" and parks coming in as second and third respectively. The top three concerns were traffic, overcrowding and parking, which have notoriously plagued more populated areas of the Bay Area.
In addition, the council will hear suggestions on how to best allocate its annual funds to support local businesses. These include a holiday recovery campaign, aimed at increasing local shoppers, a radio campaign, and the potential hiring of a marketing firm, as well as grants aimed at encouraging small businesses to promote these messages and engage in community development.
The study session is set for Wednesday (Sept. 15) at 8 a.m. in the Veterans Memorial Building on 400 Hartz Ave. in Danville. The agenda can be found here.
In other business
*Staff will present a memorandum with an update on the town's receipt and use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
Danville was granted a total of just over $10.5 million in ARPA funding in order to make up for projected losses sustained by the Covid pandemic. Half of this funding was dispersed last July, with the second half set to be disbursed in July of next year.
Approved uses include aid to households, small businesses, nonprofits, and industries impacted by the pandemic, as well as updates to infrastructure aimed at public health, such as improved ventilation in public spaces. For Danville, these funds could be used for maintaining and improving existing infrastructure, improving cybersecurity systems, as well as supporting services such as police, public safety, health and education.
*The council will discuss plans and set future meeting dates for the 40th annual Mayor's Installation and Community Service Awards.
* In closed session, the council will conduct the performance evaluations for Town Manager Joe Calabrigo and city attorney Robert Ewing.