Downtown Dublin

The Dublin City Council is scheduled on Tuesday, July 21, to vote on a series of land-use changes as it moves forward with a vision to radically reconfigure the downtown area.

In November, the council approved what is known as the Downtown Dublin Preferred Vision. The vision aims to spur infill development downtown. It calls for the creation of a Town Square, a new street grid network and includes land-use and development guidelines and funding methods to foster a pedestrian-friendly downtown with a diverse mix of retail, restaurants, services, entertainment, office space, housing and hotels.

At its regular meeting Tuesday, the council will consider four proposed amendments to downtown specific plan to implement the vision.

The revisions would allow: (1) A new street grid in the Retail District; (2) Creation of a Town Square; (3) Pooling nonresidential development between the Retail and Transit-Oriented Districts; and (4) Additional development standards and allowable uses in the Retail District.

Work would begin with the siting of the Town Square, a block north of Dublin Boulevard and a little west of Amador Plaza Road, along the proposed extension of Golden Gate Avenue.

New Retail District Street Grid

The proposed amendment to reconfigure streets would establish a new street grid network that breaks down the current large block format into smaller, walkable-sized blocks.

A proposed extension of Golden Gate Drive north from Dublin Boulevard up to Amador Valley Boulevard would become a new main street with a street grid network. The new street grid would include three new north-south streets and three new east-west streets. The northernmost east-west street is intended to be flexible to meet the demands of future development and could be designed for pedestrian use only.

New Town Square, 1-Acre Park and Plaza

The new Town Square along the proposed extension of Golden Gate Avenue north of Dublin Boulevard would include a 1-acre park and plaza, serving as a primary public gathering place. The city has set aside funds for the land and is prepared to acquire it, according to the city staff report.

Nonresidential Development Within Transit-Oriented and Retail Districts

The amendments call for combining the allocation of nonresidential development currently allowed in the Transit-Oriented and Retail Districts into a single pool. This would not change the maximum limit of new nonresidential development downtown.

Because of the urban nature of the two districts and their close proximity to the West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, city planners say the development of the two districts is intertwined and pooling provides greater flexibility and will let market forces drive the location nonresidential structures.

Currently, nearly 550,000 square feet of retail space are allowed in the proposed Retail District and more than 1.5 million square feet and a 150-room hotel can be built within the Transit District. The proposed change would allow a total of a little more than 2 million square feet and 150 hotel rooms across the two districts.

Design Standards and Allowable Use Changes in Retail District

The initial focus of the planning is on the first four blocks north of Dublin Boulevard, including the Town Square, referred to as “The Core.” The proposed amendments would allow retail businesses to make use of the Town Square and add lodging in the Retail District.

It would also add design considerations in “The Core” to strengthen design guidelines to encourage a walkable and pedestrian-friendly development throughout the district. The standards broadly include building design, pedestrian and vehicle access,

Among the considerations for “The Core” would be minimum building heights of 40 feet, locating entrances to retail shops close together, encouraging high ground floor ceilings and spacing structural columns out to increase usable retail space.

Meeting details

The meeting will take place July 21, at 7 p.m., streamed live on Zoom, www.tv30.org and the city’s YouTube channel. It is also broadcast live on Comcast TV, channel 28.

To find instructions on participation, visit https://bit.ly/3hbe5Xm.