Public invited to Vacaville Planning Commission on Brown-Markham improvement plan


The Vacaville Planning Commission will receive an update on the improvement plan for the Brown-Markham area at Tuesday’s meeting.

The Brown-Markham Neighborhood Public Recreation Improvements Plan was approved by the City Council Oct. 13 and creates a strategic neighborhood action plan for improved public recreation amenities serving the neighborhood of Brown Street and Markham Avenue, planning technicians Maya Amichai and Saul Uribe wrote in a staff report. The primary elements of the plan include remodeling Trower Park on Holly Lane, building a new recreation and city facility on a Brown Street property and planning or implementing additional improvements along the Rocky Hill Trail corridor.

The council authorized the Community Development, Parks and Recreation, and Housing Services departments to apply for Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program (SPP) grants. The council also directed staff to seek input from neighborhood residents and the city’s two commissions.

If the SPP grant funding is not approved, the council directed staff to pursue funding from other grants, Measure M and/or the Community Block Development Grant.

For Trower Park, staff have conducted 134 surveys and hosted various community meetings about which amenities residents would like to see. Among the most popular, Amichai and Uribe wrote, were covered group picnic areas, a splash pad, enchanted tot lot with additional play elements, skateboard elements and a flat grass turf area. The estimated cost for improvements is between $2.1 and $2.7 million, and another community meeting is scheduled for Jan. 20.

The city is also developing a Master Plan for city-owned property on Brown Street. The development would include a city building for the Housing Services Department, shared community meeting and office spaces, and an outdoor public recreation component.

“Because it is a new recreation amenity and public facility in a low- income and underserved park area under the SPP grant criteria, this could potentially be a strong application for the SPP grant,” Amichai and Uribe wrote. “The SPP grant could provide up to $8.5 million of the approximately $9 – 10 million project costs.”

The Housing Department is working to submit the SPP grant application in March.

The Rocky Hill Trail corridor has some changes on the horizon. The Housing Services Department received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to install a piece of public art along the trail, and staff are conducting neighborhood outreach on potential projects and locations.

The Police Department’s Youth Services staff as well as Community Development Department staff created the Rocky Hill Trail Corridor Master Plan with an emphasis on the need for lighting and landscaping along the trail as well as amenities like drinking fountains and waste stations.

The Master Plan also identifies additional land at the south end of the Rocky Hill Trail for potential expansion in the future. The report’s authors wrote that completing improvements to the area could supplement the work already planned for the public art installation and finishing the southern boundary of the trail. The plan may also lay the groundwork for additional neighborhood planning.

The public is invited to provide input on the improvement plan.

In other business, the commission will hold a study session on ways to reduce vehicle miles traveled and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and discuss draft development requirements for the Downtown Specific Plan.