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Ideas for Enhancing Downtown Creeks Posted on City of Lafayette's Website

 

Ideas to help achieve the City’s goals of increasing the community’s appreciation of its downtown creeks and enticing more people to shop, dine and linger downtown have been posted on the City’s website www.lovelafayette.org/creeksplan, which has an entire webpage dedicated to development of its Downtown Creeks Plan.


A consultant team with expertise in landscape architecture, civil engineering and environmental restoration is developing the Plan under the guidance of the City Creeks Committee. Will Elder, Chair of the City Creeks Committee, said the purpose of the Downtown Creeks Plan is to provide a long term vision for restoration and public enjoyment of downtown creeks.

“Some of our initial concepts for creek enhancements involve designing stormwater retention features adjacent to the creeks, establishing creek overlooks where roads bridge over a creek and developing a series of public spaces connecting some of the majestic oaks that remain along our downtown creeks” he said.

Most of the 1.6 miles of creeks flowing in the downtown are in private ownership, so reintroducing native riparian plants and enhancing public access is likely to occur gradually over many years as individual properties redevelop. Many of the areas where enhancements could be made are currently occupied by parking, so creek enhancements will need to be addressed in tandem with addressing parking issues.

One illustration from the webpage depicts a catalyst project for restoring a stretch of Lafayette Creek located across from the Veterans Memorial Center at the west end of downtown. The sidewalk would be widened along Mt Diablo Boulevard, creating a creek overlook plaza and stabilizing a creek bank that is threatening to undermine the road.

“This is one of the few publicly owned stretches of creek in our study area so its timing will depend on City priorities, but it could trigger enhancement of privately owned creeks further east” said Elder.

Another publicly-owned section of downtown creeks is where the East Bay Regional Parks District’s Las Trampas-Briones Regional Trail crosses Lafayette Creek near its confluence with Las Trampas Creek. A potential project under discussion at this location involves providing public access to a lower terrace beneath the pedestrian bridge.

“This is a unique location in our downtown because it provides an opportunity for public access into the creek, but developing this project will require cooperation among the three property owners which are the Park District, the City and the County Flood Control District,” said Elder.

Opportunities for these and other creek enhancements will be described at walking tours being organized by the City Creeks Committee during Lafayette’s Earth Day celebration on April 24th. When the schedule for these tours is determined it will be posted on the City’s website.

The next public workshop on the Downtown Creeks Plan is scheduled for April 27 at 6:30 pm at the Lafayette Library’s Community Hall. The draft plan to be presented at that workshop will include refinements to potential creek enhancements, tasks for gaining approvals for individual projects and measures needed to fund and maintain them.

For more information, contact Steven Goetz via email at sgoetz@ci.lafayette.ca.us and visit our website at www.lovelafayette.org/creeksplan.



 

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