Here are some Answers to Frequenty Asked Questions. Feel free to contact us if you don’t find your specific answers here.

What is a Specific Plan?

A Specific Plan is a regulatory tool that local governments use to implement the General Plan and to guide development in a localized area. While the General Plan is the City’s overall guide for growth and development and the Zoning Code is the tool for regulating development in the entire City, a Specific Plan focuses on the unique characteristics of a special area by customizing the planning process and land use regulations to that area.

A Specific Plan is intended to be a tool for developers, property owners, City staff and decision makers by providing strong and clear policies, development standards, and a vision that guides land use decisions, infrastructure improvements, design, and economic development activities in the project area. A Specific Plan should remove constraints to efficient development and encourage desired patterns of activity, land uses and development types.

What are the City’s goals for the Specific Plan?

The City’s goals for transit oriented development within the Downtown area include: 1) to create a strong community identity and sense of place in the heart of town; 2) to increase the level of goods and services available to residents of the community; 3) to provide new employment and housing opportunities for the residents of the community; 4) to attract shoppers from outside the community; and 5) to strengthen the City’s tax base.

What is Transit Oriented Development?

Transit oriented development is development that is located within easy walking distance of a major transit stop, generally with a mix of residential, employment, retail, and complementing public uses designed for pedestrians without excluding the auto. Transit oriented development can be new construction or redevelopment of one or more buildings wherein the design and orientation facilitate transit use, and the density is appropriate to the setting. The location, design, configuration, and mix of uses in a transit oriented development provide an alternative to current suburban development trends by emphasizing a pedestrian-oriented environment and reinforcing the use of public transportation. Transit oriented development significantly reduces auto dependency, helps revitalize areas and offers a new model for managing growth. For more information click here.

A transit district, such as Downtown Baldwin Park, is a compact, mixed-use community centered around the transit station that, by design, invites residents and workers, and shoppers to drive their cars less and ride mass transit more. A transit district extends roughly a quarter mile from a transit station, a distance that can be covered in about five minutes by foot. The centerpiece of a transit district is the transit station itself and the civic and public spaces that surround it. The transit station is what connects village residents and workers to the rest of the region, providing convenient and ready access to downtown areas, major activity centers and popular destinations.

Source: Transit Villages in the 21st Century, Michael Bernick and Robert Cervero

Has the City already made a final decision about changing the zoning designations?

No. Public input received at the workshops and hearings will be used to consider and refine proposed land use changes. In some cases, existing zoning designations may ultimately remain unchanged.

How could a change in zoning designation affect the value of my property?

Property values could be affected by changes in zoning in a variety of ways subject to the real estate market. Depending on its size and location, a particular underutilized property could become more valuable under a new zoning designation that provides for more development options or greater densities. However, in the end, the effect that a zoning change may have on property value is speculative and hence, cannot be predicted.

How is this project being funded?

This project is funded by the Metro TOD Planning Grant Program  and the City of Baldwin Park. The TOD Planning Grant Program is designed to spur the adoption of local land use regulations that are supportive of Transit Oriented Development in Los Angeles County. Goals for the program include the following:

  • Increase access to transit by assisting local governments to accelerate the adoption of TOD regulatory frameworks;
  • Improve utilization of public transit by reducing the number of modes of transportation necessary to access regional and local transit;
  • Further the reduction of greenhouse gases through encouraging in-fill development along transit corridors and transit use; and
  • Support and implement sustainable development principles.

Who are the consultants working with the City on this project?

The City has selected The Arroyo Group, a planning and urban design firm located in Pasadena, California, to prepare the Downtown Transit Oriented Development Specific Plan. For over thirty-five years, The Arroyo Group has created award winning land use and design plans in the western United States that have been, and are continuing to be, successfully implemented. The Arroyo Group team includes a variety of disciplines necessary for this complex Specific Plan project, including planning, urban design, architecture, transportation planning, civil engineering, environmental assessment, and implementation.

How do I get more information about this project?

Check the website regularly to learn about the latest news regarding the Specific Plan and upcoming community workshops. If you cannot find the information you need on this website or have additional questions, contact the City Planning Department via Email.