By CLARK MASON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
As the youngest city in Sonoma County with the newest downtown, Windsor may seem like the last place that needs help in planning development in its central core.
But Windsor residents are being asked to share their ideas on what they’d like to see in their downtown.
Planners have sent out a 17-question survey to almost 10,000 households to find out how residents use their downtown and what they’d like to see there in the next 25 years.
It focuses on the half-mile radius around the town’s downtown transit station, located next to the Town Green Village. The information will be incorporated into a $300,000 “Station Area Plan,” funded mainly by a grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
“Frankly it’s to help intensify the land uses in the downtown to help support the train and busineses already in there,” said Windsor Planner Kevin Thompson. “It’s trying to get a feel for what people want downtown.”
Although funding shortfalls are predicted to delay the commuter train service in Windsor beyond the original target date of 2014, planners are moving ahead with integrating new development, the train and other public transit.
The plan’s goals are to advance “Smart Growth” principles by creating pedestrian-friendly environments, replace an outdated 1997 downtown plan and create development that reduces greenhouse gases.
The survey, which asks general questions about income levels and other demographics, also is intended to gather data for an economic analysis to determine what can succeed in downtown.
The survey touches on land use issues, including building height, pedestrian connections and public amenities, as well as business opportunities.