Fair Oaks/ Orange Grove
The tour started at Starbucks in the Fair Oaks Renaissance Plaza.
The Planning & Community Development Department along with Council District 3 Councilmember Kennedy and Council District 5 Councilmember Gordo hosted an interactive walking tour of the Fair Oaks/Orange Grove Specific Plan area. Tour participants were asked about their thoughts on mixed-used development, opportunities to improve the walking environment, parking accessibility, existing and future uses, and their overall pedestrian experience.
Walking Tour Agenda
Participants walked east along Orange Grove Boulevard and discussed pedestrian-friendly storefronts.
The walking tour started at Starbucks in the Fair Oaks Renaissance Plaza and ended at Heritage Housing Senior Apartments. Participants wrote comments on walking tour worksheets as they walked east along Orange Grove Boulevard and then north up Fair Oaks Avenue. At the end of the tour, participants identified specific locations on large maps with image cards depicting desired uses.
What We Heard
The walking tour concluded with an interactive mapping exercise held at Heritage Housing Apartments.
More than 35 community members attended the workshop and provided feedback on the future of Fair Oaks/ Orange Grove. The following represents major themes that emerged during the walking tour:
- General support for residential development up to 3 stories and mixed-use development up to 4 stories with upper story step backs
- Outdoor dining, landscaping, setbacks, building articulation, and better lighting are all important elements in development
- Discourage future auto oriented uses
- Concern about additional density and its impacts on police and fire services
- Residential on the ground floor is appropriate
- Designate Orange Grove Boulevard as the primary frontage
- Encourage mixed-use development with neighborhood-serving retail, sit-down restaurants, and cafes
- General support to require commercial uses at key intersections
- Activate the corners with building entrances that face the street and provide easier pedestrian access
- Prefer parking be located behind buildings, underground, or consider shared parking opportunities
- Encourage a variety of uses, including cafes, restaurants, and retail such as bicycle stores
- Consider outdoor dining and patios where it is most appropriate, discourage elevated patios
- Incoporate more street trees, landscaping that are native and drought- tolerant, and other sidewalk amenities such as trash bins
- Prefer setbacks with landscaping
- Limit amount of signage on storefront windows to provide visibilty into stores, prefer consistent signage
- General support for murals and wall paintings
- Discourage security grills and fencing that make the area feel unsafe, fences should incorporate landscaping to soften the look along the sidewalk
- Mixed opinions on commercial businesses that appear residential in character
- Participants expressed concerns on trash along the sidewalk and vehicular traffic that made the walking experience unpleasant
- Consider more street trees, landscaping, and pocket parks