The city is embarking on what’s likely to be a two-year process to update the Redding Riverfront Specific Plan, and they’re ready to begin listening to community input.
The planning process will begin almost a year after the offer that initiated it: a September 2021 proposal from a consortium of developers and non-profits to develop a 45-acre area of prime publicly-owned riverfront land, including the Redding Rodeo grounds and Redding Civic Auditorium grounds.
What many saw as the city’s less-than-transparent approach to discussing that proposal led to months of community complaints about lack of public inclusion. Shasta Scout‘s analysis of public comments at the city’s riverfront workshops and responses to city surveys indicated that most community members who responded to the city did not support selling the land, but that overall, few community members had engaged on the issue at all.
The City Council finally voted against accepting the proposal to buy the riverfront land in April of 2022, deciding instead to spend up to $1.25 million in COVID-relief funds to make a long-overdue update the city’s plan for the greater Redding riverfront, an area that includes 500 acres of public and private land and water along the Sacramento River. They said during that discussion that the update should include significant public input, to ensure all stakeholder voices are heard.
The listening process will start this coming week, the city announced Friday, with two preliminary meetings. The one-hour open-house sessions will focus on soliciting community thoughts about what should be included in the riverfront plan update. The meetings will not include formal presentations, the city said. Instead, the public is invited to attend to “express their thoughts and ask questions.” Many more opportunities for community engagement will come as part of the larger planning process over the next two years, according to Lily Toy, the City’s Planning Manager.
The Redding Riverfront Specific Plan determines how riverfront land can be developed and guides how it will be utilized. It’s a legal document that was last updated in 1992 and falls under the city’s larger and more comprehensive General Plan. The new version of the plan will “reintroduce the City to the river” and provide for “implementation strategies and techniques to transform the vision for the Riverfront into a reality,” according to wording on the city’s website.
After the upcoming open house sessions, the city says it will begin the process of requesting proposals from planning and environmental consultants, one of whom will be chosen to update the Redding Riverfront Specific Plan and prepare a related Environmental Impact Report (EIR). That consultant is expected to be hired sometime during the Winter/Spring of 2023. The city says the Planning Commission and City Council will hold public hearings related to the update during the summer and fall of 2024. The update should be be completed in November of 2024.
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Want to get involved? The one-hour open house meetings will be held Monday, July 25 and Wednesday August 3 from 5:30-6:30 in the Community Room at the Redding City Hall.
- You can see the current Redding Riverfront Specific Plan, which was adopted in 1992, here.
- You can see the city’s Environmental Impact Report for the riverfront, which was created in 1989, here.
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