My city of Santa Rosa, CA is going through a big planning process to help determine future growth. Right now the city is seeking public input on three potential development scenarios, based on zoning, equity, vision statement, etc.
I'm writing because after looking at the options, I was uncertain. I'm an advocate for all the core Strong Towns values and here locally have been pushing for less of the sprawl we've seen the past 50 years, more city-centered growth (given our lackluster downtown) and more real neighborhood investment, as we've got a painful housing shortage here.
Of the 3 options, we can throw out the 3rd, which is business-as-usual, more or less. But what I'm writing to ask is how option 1 vs 2 might be viewed through the Strong Towns lens? Essentially: #1 focuses future commercial and residential growth near downtown and along central thoroughfares in a compact, transit-oriented form of development vs. #2 concentrating development on multiple "Neighborhood Main Streets" with less focus on downtown. We're not a huge city (population 170K) but given we're the biggest city between SF and Portland, our downtown sure doesn't feel like the regional seat that it ought to be.
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