Sunday, July 14, 2013

Vallejo Vision report

Note: the following report has been only slightly edited for posting on the web, but is still readable, and provides all the ideas recorded during the "VALLEJO VISION" Potluck & Brainstorming Party, held in Vallejo 2013-03-09. The convention was facilitated by Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, and groupVision

Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
The visioning and policy creation report of more than one hundred Vallejo residents coming together to consider citizen priorities and suggestions to be incorporated in the forthcoming Vallejo General Plan review and update.
Volunteer facilitators guide citizens, through spirited discussions, capturing their ideas to improve the City by
creating a framework of policies and actions that will lead to sustainable development while improving the
quality of life and preserving the heritage of Vallejo.
The following report is a consolidation of all ideas put fourth during the four-hour event that took place in
downtown Vallejo on the 9th of March 2013 at the historic bank building on Georgia Street. Common themes came up repeatedly at various table conversations, which are evidenced in this report. The report embodies the expectations of the citizens of Vallejo and serves as a primary visioning and policy creation guide going forward.

1. City council should work in concert with the school district to improve education. They should be “joined with them at the hip.”
2. Build a Cornerstone school in Solano360, with 360 days use, and community use.
3. Reinstitute the D.A.R.E. program.
4. Make school campuses closed and enforce the policy.
5. Teach students about the rich history of Vallejo.
6. Expand schools into full-service community centers open on Saturday and after 4 p.m. with
health, youth and art community programs (example: North Vallejo Widenmann).
7. Develop a network involving the Forest Service, Loma Vista Farm, local farmers and Greater
Vallejo Recreational District to provide environmental education opportunities for the public and
school children; research and support wetlands and estuaries, community gardens and parks.
8. Recognize that 80% of public school students are dropping out or failing in school. It's
impossible to succeed as a town without education. Focus on schools; they are the biggest
leverage to be able to improve Vallejo. Improve our schools, improve our kids' behavior.
9. Provide school children with needed support to study more, and encourage more after-school
10. Ensure that minority outreach is part of economic development efforts.
11. Expose students to public service, such as police and fire explorer programs, teaching and
civic clubs.
12. Help improve education through teacher support, effective school climate. Eliminate
nepotism on the school board and in the administration. Implement term limits for school board
13. Establish trade school curriculum, with apprenticeships and other options to college.
Programs should include music, sports, art, life skills (carpentry, homemaking, survival). Train
students in the rehabilitation and renovation of homes and other buildings.
14. Set aside monies to put officers back into schools; or at a minimum have Citizens on Patrol
(COPers) or police cadets in uniform patrolling schools.
1. Provide bookmobiles and similar activities, including officers for children in the Crest and
other high-risk neighborhoods. Hold a reading hour at the police station or traveling library
2. Police officers should come out to local schools and read to small children, interact with,
befriend and mentor them. Also, Citizens on Patrol (COPers), cadets in uniform and volunteers
can do this.
3. Offer a monitored skateboard park for children on the West Side.
4. Open a boys and girls club in the central part of Vallejo.
5. Establish a Youth Conservation Corp, ages 16-22, with minimum-wage jobs in Vallejo.
6. Offer basketball hoops outside; give children a safe place to play.
7. Open a recreation center between Vallejo high and middle school.
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 3 of 16
8. Offer PAL scholarships to help keep children in sports and off streets; improve advertising
and promote fundraising for PAL.
9. Ensure there is individual officer outreach, including financial encouragement, to coach
school teams, etc.
10. The city could enlist the aid of local organizations, equivalent to SF Bikes for Kids, in order
to provide bicycles for children whose families cannot afford them.
11. Encourage retired officers and volunteers to work with children, especially as coaches. Have
a youth softball team to compete with police.
12. Offer more youth programs and participation, such as having a representative from each
high school attend council meetings to inform city council of student needs.
13. Include city-sponsored art projects on the city's website for young school-age children.
Have an art contest in schools, along with festivals to showcase talent and literacy.
1. Fix the baseball field at Federal Terrace, and open it for youth programs.
2. Expand youth recreation, especially safe places for skateboarding. Skateboarding in schools
is dangerous and damages schools.
3. We need more police officer-citizen interaction that is fun, such as softball games.
4. Retrofit parks with playground and exercise equipment, and make parks more accessible to
community members.
5. Chapters of the Major Taylor Bicycle Club are present in many cities in America. The city
should establish a cycling club for adults and youth in Vallejo.
6. Solano 360 Project should be "done right." Make Vallejo a great family town. Create things
for families to do. Take charge of our destiny.
7. Music venues and concerts and fun activities to attract all ages.
8. Offer food competitions, such as a chili cook-off. You bring your best and we'll bring ours.
9. Create a 5k race from downtown to Mare Island and back.
1. Ensure citizen representation in government. Cultivate our local representatives from the
2. Reach out to other economic, social and racial groups to integrate our ideas. Work on
listening rather than pointing fingers.
3. Increase participation by all ethnicities in Vallejo's civic life.
1. Install charging stations for electric cars to encourage them and to help put Vallejo on the
2. Work toward BART improvements for Vallejo.
3. Expand ferry service to and from Vallejo and linked to more communities around the bay.
Encourage private ferry service to Mare Island.
4. Generate more business from inside Vallejo to minimize needed parking infrastructure.
5. Improve commuter support, include late-night transportation up to at least midnight.
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 4 of 16
6. Develop Zip Car concession, so Vallejo can join with other bay area cities in providing
transportation for those who need it.
7. Create traffic calming by diagonal parking and reducing the number of lanes.
8. Design safe, highly visible bicycle travel lanes and parking in multiple-use areas. Bike lanes
need to be continuous and clearly marked, especially along Mare Island Way. Create more bike
lanes and trails.
9. Install speed bumps on heavily trafficked streets.
10. Establish traffic-calming roundabouts and rotaries at intersections, especially at Solano and
Maine. The roundabouts and rotaries need a tree planted, and/or landscaping and possibly
include sculptures or other forms of artwork in the center of the roundabout or rotary.
11. Create better lighting at bus stops.
12. Invest in infrastructure. Projects such as the proposed improvements for Sonoma Boulevard
are critical.
13. Improve the ferry schedule to allow people to dine or visit Vallejo.
14. Exploit the extensive railroad tracks that exist in Vallejo. Promote a Vallejo-to-Napa wine
15. Establish a pedestrian bridge from downtown Vallejo to Mare Island.
16. Develop more integrated transportation, especially for the elderly, including jitneys to
transport people from homes to transportation hubs. Sunday bus service is needed.
17. Increase commuter population to bring commerce to downtown, and make the downtown
more pedestrian-friendly.
18. Bus to El Cerrito needs to accept small bills and provide change.
19. Add more streetlights on very dark streets. We need brighter streetlights, and we also need
to use shielded neighbor-friendly lights that cast light downward where it’s needed rather than
sideways or upward.
20. Improve streets and curbs and repair potholes. Hold a pothole-counting contest and award
the winner with four new tires and a front-end realignment.
21. Street sign lights are burned out. Either replace them or go back to reflective signs.
22. Plant and maintain street trees. Neighborhoods with street trees have less violence and
domestic problems.
23. Create "parklets" such as those seen in San Francisco, rolling planters and benches into
parking spaces.
24. Create traffic-slowing along Curtola Parkway and Sonoma Boulevard.
1. Establish an ordinance to require a business license and registry for rental property.
2. Require interior and exterior maintenance of rental homes to include adequate lighting and
appropriate landscaping to assist in neighborhood security.
3. Promote Vallejo as a Ft. Lauderdale West retirement and special-needs community, with safe,
affordable, convenient places to live, close to cultural centers, outdoor activities and medical
4. Establish ordinances holding banks responsible for foreclosed homes and preventing banks
from holding foreclosed properties indefinitely. If there is no response, the city should exercise
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 5 of 16
its eminent domain powers to take over such properties. Encourage nonprofits to buy up
5. Make a concerted effort to change both federal and state laws dealing with "affordable"
housing in cities. Vallejo needs development of quality-of-life issues that will enhance the
economy. Without this, we will continue to spiral downward.
6. Make the use of existing buildings a priority as opposed to new construction. Encourage
investors to rehab and resell existing structures in order to create more affordable housing
without new construction. Provide incentives similar to the ones currently in place for
affordable housing.
7. Establish training programs in order to provide a pool of skilled renovators to use in
renovations of foreclosed homes.
8. Ensure that early-release felons do not get easy access to subsidized housing.
9. Require the Vallejo Housing Authority to balance the affordable housing allocation equally
among the city census tracts instead of concentrating affordable housing in certain
neighborhoods to the exclusion of others.
10. Protect views through ordinances.
11. Make some of the Temple Artist Lofts available to some higher-income levels. People all
over the Bay Area would love to live in such distinctive apartments. People with higher incomes
will have more money to spend at future downtown businesses.
12. Encourage market-rate home ownership/rentals as compared to other waterside Bay Area
13. Better oversight by the Vallejo Housing Authority of affordable housing is required, with
quicker response to neighbor concerns.
14. More public funding for saving homes from foreclosure.
15. Help home-buyers with a first-time buyer down-payment assistance program. Increase the
income limits for such programs. Lower middle class families also need closing cost help to
purchase a home. The restrictions on income caps are too low.
16. Establish services downtown, such as school sites, training and social services, to
counteract an outrageous level of subsidized housing (59%).
17. Set ceiling for percentage of subsidized rentals in any census tract, such as no more than
18. Audit market values of voucher "affordable" housing more frequently to prevent landlords
from inflating rents and reaping windfall profits.
19. Encourage landlords to participate in Crime Free Multi-Unit Program to curb crime in
subsidized housing. Landlords should pay fees, not the city.
20. Manage levels of both vouchers and large subsidized complexes.
21. City should sponsor solar for homes like Berkeley does, pro-rated over years; and
encourage home improvement through steps such as lower permit fees.
22. Require design assistance process during planning to paint homes acceptable colors as
applicable in respective neighborhoods.
23. Encourage denser urban housing near public transportation, downtown condos and infill’s
with mixed use, making walkable neighborhoods.
24. Improve accountability with security issues in low-income housing developments.
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 6 of 16
1. Vallejo as a city needs to develop zero waste policies. No plastic bags and no plastic food
containers to be used by commercial businesses within the city limits. Our dump needs to
accept more recyclable items. We as a community request city involvement in citizen
composting of food scraps and yard waste and assistance and education in recycling in
general. We would like worm bins to be provided by the city and have classes to teach citizens
composting skills and maintenance of worm bins. A worm bin could be located in every school
2. We know that people who live on tree-lined streets have 25% savings on energy bills and that
trees mitigate airborne pollution. Therefore we would like the city to develop necessary
infrastructure to allow for trees to be planted throughout Vallejo.
3. We would like more designated bike paths, which are distinct and different from automobile
roadways. Bike paths are a quality of life issue and will draw people to live here in Vallejo.
Different from the automobile roadways, we would like to create bicycle/hiking trails in various
areas of the city, including a trail that completely circles the perimeter of Mare Island and be as
close to the water as possible. The city needs to connect Vallejo bike paths to the Columbus
Parkway bicycle trail to Fairfield, (their trail goes along the south edge of interstate 80), and
connect Vallejo to American Canyon trail along the Napa river. Also there needs to be a
connection from a bicycle trail in Vallejo to Benicia State Park. Another bicycle-based project is
to convert Marin Street to a bike boulevard. Bike boulevards must give cars and bicycles equal
right of way. Bike lanes will get people to exercise more, and get people out into the streets in
order to meet each other.
4. The city needs more public recycling bins in all public spaces, thus creating opportunities for
the public to recycle whenever they can. Food waste needs to be able to be composted
5. We need to stop the sideshows by people in cars. People doing donuts in the middle of
intersections releases cadmium into the environment from the automobile tires. Cadmium is a
toxic heavy metal. Please stop people from doing donuts.
6. Support neighborhood clean-ups. Enforce cleanup of trash at shopping centers. Hold owners
accountable for trash and blight.
7. The city needs to post signs that state the law against feeding wildlife.
Noise Abatement
1. Citizens would like to see enforcement of the noise ordinance by law enforcement. This
action would include acting against barking dogs, loud stereo systems in automobiles, loud
motorcycles, and other road noise. Decibel sensors are needed by officers and then could be
loaned to community for enforcement, with volunteers helping with the program.
2. The city needs to add a noise abatement ordinance to specifically govern the use of
amplifiers at waterfront festivals. Festival sponsors need to point their amplifiers downriver and
southward so that the Saint Vincent's Hill neighborhood and downtown are not flooded with
noise pollution from festival amplifiers. The Pow wow and Pirate Festival are usually good
about controlling noise and should be seen as examples of how festivals need to be run.
3. Citizens would like to require ice cream trucks to shut off their music when they stop to sell
their wares.
Air Quality
1. Citizens would like the city government to limit the number of outside commercial barbeques
in any given area because these barbeques adversely affect the city's air quality.
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 7 of 16
2. Some cities have outlawed fireplaces. We should have a city-sponsored incentive for people
to not burn wood for heating and the city needs to limit burning of wood products for heating in
order to preserve air quality
3. Concern was expressed about the refineries in the area causing air pollution, but the
community members do not know what action to take.
Climate Action
1. A city incentive is needed to encourage individuals and businesses to implement alternative
energy such as solar power. Vallejo should replicate Berkeley city policies on solar energy.
Palo Alto or Menlo Park also have these policies.
2. All new construction must include enough solar panels to provide for 75% of a building's
usage and all circuitry constructed so that solar can easily be installed. Also, all remodels that
increase square footage of home or business must include solar installation.
3. Take sea level rise into account. According to the EPA, it is predicted to be at least 39 inches,
which will affect Vallejo's low-lying areas extending well into the area along Highway 29 near
White Slough.
4. The city needs to support use of electric cars, through installation of charges. A fast 440
charger somewhere in the city would allow people who drive electric cars in California to extend
their range, and Vallejo would become a destination and/or stopover for those who travel by
electric car. Vallejo already has a couple 220 chargers in town that take the drivers of electric
cars an average of seven hours to charge their vehicle. A 440 charger takes 20 to 30 minutes to
charge a vehicle.
1. We need more officers and a quicker response time. We want a minimum number of officers
per capita specified in the general plan.
2. Bring back Beat Health. Explore community-oriented policing for Vallejo. We know it uses
more staff than regular old-school policing, but we have well-trained Citizens on Patrol
(COPers), volunteers and cadets that can fill in the gaps with community networking,
information exchange, and building a positive bond between our citizens and police. We need to
reopen a couple of police substations.
3. Implement a SHOT SPOTTER program. A shot spotter pinpoints the location of where a gun
has fired. Volunteers can be used to monitor the equipment.
4. We need to have a task force to conduct sting operations on metal thieves and buyers. The
seller should be required to have a contractor or business license. There should be a waiting
period for check dispersal.
5. We would like to see the CAT (Combat Auto Theft) program initiated. When automobiles are
registered with the Vallejo Police Department, a sticker is placed on the back window of the
automobile. If police see the car between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. they have access to
information on the registered owner and if the information does not match the description of the
person driving, they know to stop the car.
6. We need stings targeting prostitutes and their “Johns.” Crack down on aggressive
panhandling. Put a link on the City of Vallejo Police Department website to the Solano County
Court Connect link.
7. Increase traffic and vehicle registration enforcement. Perform organized crackdowns on
unlicensed drivers. Utilize “Meter Maids” for parking violations. Increase fines.
8. We need a neighborhood commission linked with community policing.
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 8 of 16
9. Implement software solutions such as “c-click-fix” that allow people with cell phones to take
pictures of criminal activity and/or illegal dumping and to upload photos to the Police
Department, Code Enforcement and/or to Public Works. Revisit the idea of having homeowner
neighborhood camera systems linked to the Vallejo Police Department.
10. Implement the “Adopt a Cop” program, where a neighborhood has a designated liaison that
can be contacted regarding questions, concerns or advice.
11. Promote the use of a communication network such as “Next Door” to coordinate
neighborhood watch organizations. Model the Portland, Ore., program.
12. Review the City of Richmond’s program for possible replication. It appears Richmond has
been very successful in reducing crime and attracting businesses.
13. The Day Reporting Center (DRC) for parolees that will be placed in Vallejo will undoubtedly
contribute to crime due to the recidivism rate. We need to establish city-sponsored training
programs for hard-to-employ individuals with limited skills. Create a vocational training center
on Mare Island. Teach the trades and have trainees get work experience by
remodeling/restoring buildings.
14. We need to perform random drug testing on police officers to offset community accusations
when citizens and police have altercations.
15. The city should implement a program to register neighborhood watch groups and provide
the information, including names of block captains and contact information, to the police
16. Have quarterly town hall meetings with the police department and invite Chief Kreins.
Promote better relations between community and police. Develop a “coffee with a cop”
17. Market the Citizen Academy so more people join to be trained to volunteer to perform
various assigned tasks for the police department.
18. Utilize code enforcement officers to patrol the city and log unregistered vehicles to report to
the Vallejo Police Department. Citizens on Patrol (COP) should be used to patrol schools to
reduce student bullying and identify truant youth.
19. Implement a Crime Free Multiple Unit Program throughout the city of Vallejo paid for by the
owners of the property, not the taxpayers.
1. Implement the RDA Global Economic Development Strategic Plan proposed in August 2012.
2. Encourage new businesses through grants and tax breaks. We need wine bars, boutique
B&Bs and hotels, restaurants with locally produced organic ingredients, nice restaurants,
independent book stores, coffee shops, etc., right near the waterfront but not on the west side
of Mare Island Causeway.
3. We need a far-reaching marketing campaign that promotes Vallejo as a beautiful, good place
to live. A concerted effort is required to change the reputation that is not based in reality. This
campaign should be built around concrete positive assets that Vallejo offers, such as the
climate, natural areas, the proximity to wine country and San Francisco. Do not hire a contractor
from outside Vallejo to come up with this campaign.
4. Develop Vallejo as a tourist destination for birders. Birding is one of the most popular
pastimes in the U.S.. People will travel from far away to see birds. Vallejo is next door to the
San Pablo Bay Wildlife Reserve and a key stop on the Pacific Flyway, with birds all year round.
If Vallejo encouraged B&Bs, upscale hotels, and restaurants to establish near the waterfront and
downtown areas, we could then have a marketing campaign to encourage birders to come stay
here (and spend their tourist dollars!)
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 9 of 16
5. Showcase the history of Vallejo by a historical tourism program where people (unemployed
youth) dress up in costume as Jack London, civil war soldiers, Navy shipyard people, Rudyard
Kipling or General Vallejo and conduct tours .
6. Clean up commercial properties that are contaminated so they can be "plug-in ready" for
building and use.
7. Find alternatives to Lennar for encouraging more businesses to move to Mare Island. The
present process is very cumbersome.
8. Discuss with the Empress Theatre having an annual film festival in Vallejo, inviting budding
filmmakers to showcase their work.
9. Make Vallejo more beautiful through the arts. Bring more art festivals to Vallejo.
10. Kayak/paddle boat rental could be located at the boat ramp - not interfering with the ferry
11. Close marijuana dispensaries. Attract healthy businesses that don't sell products that can
be used illegally.
12. The city needs to sponsor a fun ride and bicycle race, which would be a medium-sized event
to raise funds for bicycle improvements including bicycle trails and paths in the area. This
annual event would bring people from all over the state and country in order for them to
participate, and the subsequent business would foster economic growth. For an example of a
community that has done such a race for many years, look at Nevada City, or the “Death Ride”
in the Tahoe area.
13. Establish a Major Taylor Bicycle Club. Major Taylor (1878-1932) was a black bicycle racer at
the turn of the last century. Major Taylor Bicycle Clubs were established in East Palo Alto, and
in New York and New Jersey.
14. Zone areas to protect from oversaturation of certain businesses, so that there aren’t too
many grocery stores in one area and food deserts in others; or too many liquor stores or Cash
for Gold stores. Encourage food stores to locate in areas that are saturated with fast-food
15. Hire a central event coordinator to bring events and people together. We need more events
and coordination for volunteer groups to avoid duplication and schedule conflicts.
16. We are exporting workers that are in bio-technology. Bring bio-tech here to Vallejo and keep
our citizens local. Provide incentives to bio-tech and tech companies to move to Vallejo.
17. Streamline the business license application, so that it’s competitive with other cities.
Remove auditing service. Reduce the business license fees.
18. The city should put together a corporate recruiting package to bring corporations to Vallejo.
Encourage higher-end businesses to come to Vallejo, which will provide higher paying jobs.
19. Do a study on business outreach and find out why other cities can attract valuable
businesses to come to their city. Look at Petaluma, Fremont and the old Hamilton Air Force
20. Develop a business retention plan. Provide incentives for business to stay and grow.
21. Provide incentives for a solar manufacturer to come to Vallejo. Energy can be resold.
Provide incentives for homeowners to solarize their homes.
22. Create grants to help start up small businesses to fill up the downtown areas. Perhaps use
grants generated from Participatory Budgeting funds.
23. Create a marketing campaign to promote the assets of Vallejo: Great weather, great and
affordable homes, waterfront community near the wine county. Promote that geographically
and per maps, Vallejo is actually located in the Napa Valley.
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 10 of 16
24. The city should partner with large businesses to support small businesses in Vallejo.
Encourage having large businesses open a satellite branch or office in our city. Vallejo could
help find space to lease and streamline the permit process; and provide grant money or tax
relief to owners who give their buildings a facelift.
25. Tell young professionals how affordable Vallejo homes are. Organize tours and promote our
housing and weather to the “mega-commuters” who have a 1.5 hour or greater commute to San
Francisco via auto. They could live in Vallejo, take the ferry and have a relaxing commute.
26. Impose fees for empty buildings in the downtown to create incentives to landlords to rent
out commercial properties
27. Reduce fees for building on vacant lots. Encourage infill building.
28. Communication with the Times Herald needs to improve. The result could be better stories,
fewer negative stories.
29. Create theme-based festivals, such as the "daffodil festival," Civil War reenactments at Mare
Island, antique fairs, etc.
30. Establish better, and possibly municipally controlled, Internet connectivity. Vallejo has
rights to 18 fiber optic strands at a major junction located at Marin and Georgia streets. This
unused capacity, subject to existing laws and city agreements, might be leased to provide
services to rural communities and nearby cities; used to attract new innovative businesses and
"hi-tech" companies; or used for city and educational services.
31. Utilize volunteers to reach out to potential businesses for Vallejo. Give Economic Vitality
Commission a charter and some work to do. Leverage the Chamber of Commerce.
32. Position Vallejo as a family town, central to the Bay Area. The only thing we control is how
we raise our children and how we treat our neighbors.
33. Make a city policy regarding pot -- get pot out of the city, or remain with a free-market
capitalism model. The debate continues.
34. Brand Vallejo as “City of All Americans.” Highlight local celebrities, like CC Sabathia;
Gregory Allen Howard, author of Remember the Titans; Olympic swimmer Natalie Caughlin;
Joey Chestnut. Vallejo is a gateway to the wine country and Napa Valley
35. Market the arts and Vallejo’s music heritage. Make the downtown more attractive to the arts
with a downtown gallery and Sunday afternoon art walks.
36. Encourage tourism within Vallejo. We need to make information available about the
interesting sites within Vallejo.
1. Encourage and ensure more citizen involvement through adequate and timely notices at
every level regarding zoning and land use policies, general plan update, zoning changes,
development and permit applications.
2. Support and strengthen codes related to historical properties to ensure that the State
Historical Building Code is used when historically important properties are renovated or
3. Create additional historic districts where they don't exist: Vista, Vallejo Heights, east of the
Heritage, Fleming Flats, the Crest, Mare Island, Steffan Manor.
4. Develop and support community gardens in all neighborhoods. Use as an avenue to teach the
community healthy eating habits. Donate excess foods to the food bank or possible sale within
the community. Develop a blueprint with city ordinances for future Community Garden
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 11 of 16
5. Create a dog park at River Park
6. Provide sod to develop a southern waterfront open space between the ferry building and
Brinkman’s Marina.
7. Provide a financial incentive for buyers to purchase and develop down-zoned buildings.
8. Create a bike trail that connects the entire city of Vallejo with neighboring cities (Napa,
9. Plant more street trees, and develop a historic tree walk.
10. Develop an open space and recreational section on the City of Vallejo Website.
11. Create or review a sign ordinance with regard to size, dimensions, height, etc.
12. Protect wetlands from detrimental activities.
13. Put power lines underground.
14. No more retail at the Fairgrounds. There are enough empty buildings.
15. State opposition to Solano 360 plan as it is proposed. It does not take into account the
Environmental Impact Report (EIR). There are no guaranteed bike trails, and lighted bike trails.
The sports complex should have complete detailed plans and ideas for additional skateboard
parks, basketball hoop areas and soccer fields. Do not obligate tax dollars to a plan that does
not divulge how exactly our money is being spent. After coming out of bankruptcy it is critical
that we know what we are being asked to spend our money on. Is this a land grab by Discovery
Kingdom for additional parking?
16. City should immediately deal with homeless camps.
Open Space
1. Implement the River Park Master Plan to construct trails and elevated boardwalks with
interpretive signs and viewing points throughout the wetland and open space areas in River
Park and also west of Mare Island Causeway (from the Yacht Club north to 37 and even north of
37). This will improve quality of life for residents and also be an asset for promoting bird and
wildlife tourism. Trails will be used for recreation and also keep people out of sensitive wetland
2. Partner with the Solano Land Trust in more urban types of park activities such as the Trust
for Public Lands work with urban parks, making nature more available to people.
3. Engage Federal and State agencies and non-profits to fund wetland restoration of River Park
and realize the GVRD River Park master plan as it was envisioned by the 1990s Citizens
4. Develop a wetland restoration position to ensure excellence in wetland restoration, and
create an alliance with a university environmental science department.
5. Protect and restore Vallejo's wetlands and watersheds by changing zoning along Mare Island
Way and Wilson Ave to open space-conservation. Restore wetlands in River Park and west of
Mare Island Way and Wilson Ave (by Zio Fraedos/River Park) and have it managed by Greater
Vallejo Recreation District (GVRD). Change the zoning for this area west of Mare Island
Causeway and south of Tennessee so that it is not zoned for housing.
6. Protect White Slough from overdevelopment and enhance wetland environment by enforcing
the White Slough Master Plan.
7. Connect open spaces in Vallejo with Forest Service and other agencies, in order to protect
native species. Connect with schools to set up research and conservation education projects.
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 12 of 16
8. Restrict development of wetlands. If artificial wetlands are proposed to mitigate for
development on wetlands, require a follow-up study 5-10-20 years on artificially created
wetlands to ensure functionality as wetlands.
9. Zone underutilized vacant land within the urban community for urban farming and community
gardens; encourage urban farming in certain areas of Vallejo by matching incorporated Vallejo
zoning with unincorporated Solano County.
10. Create ordinances requiring shielded lighting and other steps to reduce light pollution
adjacent to wetlands. Diminish lighting along Mare Island Way/Parking Garage to reduce light
pollution and reduce light blindness when driving.
11. For economic development take advantage of Vallejo's location next to a wildlife preserve
and on the Pacific Flyway by encouraging and marketing bird and wildlife tourism.
12. Open Space. The Presidio was created in San Francisco. Can we create something similar
here in Vallejo such as large green open spaces? Can we add a “Crissy Field” to Mare Island?
We have the area and people would come and use it.
1. Support more stores in the downtown area, to reduce a 60% vacancy rate. Reduce the
number of empty business properties, especially on Georgia Street with its beautiful
2. Eradicate loopholes that allow property owners to keep buildings empty for years. Develop
and enforce fines for vacant buildings, especially downtown. Make commercial rents more
3. Require the city to create a more business-friendly model for the downtown in order to
increase commerce and attract higher quality merchants. Encourage shops to stay open late.
4. Improve downtown commerce and diversity in downtown businesses. Encourage a grocery
store and higher quality businesses. Create a lively and positive vibe, creating an exciting
5. Encourage restaurants to stay open later
6. Support a flea market in downtown.
7. Return farmer's market to farmer's market not flea market
8. For Participatory Budgeting, support plans for new businesses or for encouraging
businesses to move to the downtown. Allow up to $5,000 to $30,000 to be on the Participatory
Ballot, with $300,000 total available.
9. Establish better, and possibly municipally controlled, Internet connectivity. Vallejo has rights
to 18 fiber optic strands at a major junction located at Marin and Georgia streets. Two local
residents have already spoken with a large telecommunications and networking company, Level
3, that operates a main trunk through Emeryville. This unused capacity, subject to existing laws
and city agreements, might be leased to provide services to rural communities and nearby
cities; used to attract new innovative businesses and "hi-tech" companies; and used for city
and educational services.
10. Open satellite campus for Academy of Art or art institute in the downtown. There are older
students who will be able to support restaurants and other businesses downtown. Convert
buildings to dormitories.
11. Create a historical walking tour downtown; and post better signage. Road signs need to
delete any references to “old.”
12. Increase commuter population to bring commerce to the downtown.
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 13 of 16
13. Encourage people who get off the ferry to stop in Vallejo. This requires increased police
presence so that people can feel more secure.
14. Establish jitney service to visit historical sites around the downtown and to go to Mare
15. Repave the streets downtown.
16. Improve Maine Street near the parking garage. Solano, Mariposa, Maine streets could all use
a traffic circle.
17. Increase security, safety, and lighting in the downtown and on the old buildings. A police
substation should be reopened in the downtown. Also, we need a volunteer policing presence in
groups of four just to walk in the downtown.
18. Reduce drug trafficking and prostitution in the downtown and in back of city hall.
19. Improve appeal of downtown by improving safety; reduce loitering by scary elements.
20. Improve distressed neighborhoods downtown.
21. Preserve Veterans Memorial Park and provide a security presence.
22. Preserve the McCune Room on the first floor at the library. Expand space into the foyer for
binding and printing classes.
1. Create better marketing and publicity for waterfront activities that are available to the public.
2. Improve planning along the waterfront, complementing density with open parks and open
3. Limit development of the waterfront to land east of Santa Clara Avenue.
4. Encourage more fairs and activities at the waterfront.
5. Extend ferry hours on Friday & Saturday, appealing to younger crowds and additional groups.
6. Hire a salaried but no-benefit position (retired) to bicycle up and down the waterfront and pick
up trash daily.
7. Clean-up dumping all along the waterfront, and especially west of the ferry building. There are
chemicals between the dentist office and Brinkman’s Marina. Plant grass in the large area
between the dentists office and Brinkman’s Marina.
8. Open or support a kayak concession at waterfront.
9. Establish soccer and volleyball fields on the waterfront, including land towards Zio Fraedos.
Paint the fields for open play like they do in Emeryville.
10. Place mosaic planters extending west of the ferry building.
11. Fill empty space in the ferry building; and plant more trees at the building.
13. Establish vaporettis - water buses along the Napa River.
1. Mare Island should be an interesting place that is part of Vallejo and not just Mare Island.
Vallejo should be working to market the Island and make it marketable.
2. Think of any three waterfront cities and implement ideas that have worked.
3. Promote natural resources like MI Preserve. The city should fund them.
4. Arrange for public input on businesses locating on Mare Island.
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 14 of 16
5. Housing on Mare Island could be used for housing for the homeless, low-income, affordable
housing, homeless veteran housing, and housing for Touro University students.
6. Revisit University Village for Touro: i.e. housing, grocery store, etc.
Business Development
1. Replace Lennar with a non-profit to encourage business development.
2. Retain businesses that have come to Mare Island. Assist with upgrades of facilities. Provide
assurances that there are facilities to move into. Tenant’s burden: triple-net lease means all
expenses are borne by the tenant, including window replacement and upkeep of 100-year-old
buildings. What can be done to relieve tenants so that they don’t leave?
3. Remove distressed properties so that visitors and potential leasees will not be scared off.
4. Reduce restrictions on Mom and Pop stores where folks can buy items like milk and bread, no
5. Support a biking collective to repair, support and get bicycles inexpensively to citizens
similar to “Bike Fourth” in Davis.
6. Marketing: Work on the image of Vallejo. Establish city help for developing solar energy. A
solar panel farm would be great for Vallejo’s image. It has a welcoming feel. By putting in high
solar panels, we create shaded useable space. These could be used for recreation, music
events, art shows, etc.
7. We used to have a public relations officer. This would be good to bring back. We have the
oldest U.S. Navy base on the West Coast and we should be marketing it. A high-level official
should be seeking funding for a world-class naval and historic museum. We need something
more robust than what we currently have. It could be all about the nuclear submarine.
8. If Lennar officials want to sell more property they should be marketing it better. Why are they
kicking out tenants? They should be courting the movie industry. A park was put in place on the
old elevated railroad tracks in New York. The home and business values tripled. Marketing of
Mare Island needs to be brought alive by the people who are working there.
9. Economic Development: Lennar needs to be more willing to work with tenants. The city will
need to push this for it to happen. They are letting buildings sit empty and deteriorate. A
bowling alley would be a great business on the Island. The bowling alley building has been
damaged by water.
10. Tourism: Thomas the Train is a big draw in other places. Tie in Thomas the Train with our
theme park and try to draw people from all parts of the bay area. Would FDR’s boat come to
Mare Island in combination with other day events? We have dredged, so we have the facilities.
11. Job growth: Approach manufacturers of green energy items like solar companies and
windmills. Put in a solar farm on the north end of the island. We have lots of land and we should
use it. Creates jobs, revenue and uses for the existing space. Electric cars are another option.
12. Energy Sources: The city would benefit financially by putting in solar panels.
1. Add website and maps to attract tourists to Mare Island. No one knows where anything is.
Bring to attention the many historical facts, items, graves, (including Francis Scott Key’s
daughter) which exist on Mare Island.
2. Utilize the old historic buildings as a draw for the Island. You could easily spend the whole
day there. The old hospital has been used in movies for example. Parties are held in the old
officers mansions. Highlight the preserve, the chapel, the old military homes, etc. Implement
some kind of tour of the island.
3. Increase City support of the Mare Island Preserve and Myrna Hayes' efforts.
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 15 of 16
4. Create a Welcome Center at Mare Island Park. Orient the people who are coming to the Island.
It is difficult to find anything on the island.
5. Increase outreach to local Vallejoans about the attractions on Mare Island. A lot of locals
don't know what is here.
6. Follow the example of our nearby communities to market the Island.
7. Support a beautiful B&B on the island and/or new-built hotel.
8. Make a music venue and/or event venue on Mare Island.
9. Bring in wine touring and tasting. We are the real gateway to the wine country.
10. Simplify transportation on the Island, and to the Island. Establish ferry connections or other
water transportation from the Ferry Building to Mare Island: i.e. a small ferry or water taxi that
can go back & forth.
11. Establish a Mare Island trolley or part trolley and part walking tour.
12. Look into bringing the FDR Boat from out of Oakland. The boat is at Jack London Square. If
it were brought here that would be great for day or weekend events.
13. Tie in a Thomas the Train event with something at 6 Flags, kid-oriented. This would draw a
lot of people. This would bring people and revenue to the island and to Vallejo in general.
14. Expand housing on the island for the students.
15. Light up the Smoke Stack on Mare Island with LEDs.
1. Revise the National Historic Landmark boundaries on Mare Island to current standards.
2. Community Gardens: Called allotments in Europe, people are responsible for small lots or
3. Historical Preservation: Preserve the island in such a way that we have some of the old
buildings in disrepair and the historic homes. A contrast of good and bad. Develop a strategic
plan for what to keep and what to get rid of on the island. We need to be serious about this
preservation! Involve citizens in what is kept and what is not. The preserve needs to be funded.
City, state or even federal funding is needed. Is there any chance of getting the Navy to take
interest in preserving their significant naval history on Mare Island?
1. City should lessen restrictive attitude toward neighborhoods seeking historic status.
2. Promote and assist neighborhoods that are eligible to be included on the National Historic
3. Since the City has Certified Local Government (CLG) status, the inclusion of a preservation
element plan is mandatory in the new General Plan. The plan element will identify preservation
missions, goals, and priorities and will establish preservation strategies, programs, and time
schedules. The CLG will also be used to support and justify CLG grant applications.
4. Add a Traditional Zoning Category for Vallejo that supports the diverse texture of the historic
5. Include a comprehensive local historic preservation plan.
6. Preserve historic homes - provide owner-occupied incentives (such as reduced inspection
fees, permits, etc.).
Session: Fixer-Mixer March 2013 Consolidated Report
Facilitated by: Brendan Riley, Lori Allio, Anthony Adams, groupVision
Vallejo, CA 9 March 2013 Page 16 of 16
7. Leverage historic buildings and Vallejo history as a key component of Vallejo, one of our
unique qualities.
8. Develop an updated list of historic buildings in Vallejo; set policies to ensure that we preserve
9. The Architectural Heritage and Landmarks Commission is a jurisdictional body like the
Planning Commission and its agenda should be posted on line.
10. Expand the McCune Room into the library foyer for classes in printing and bindery.
11. Shift the ratio of homeowners to renters by implementing a policy whereby banks donate
their vacant homes to a nonprofit that will assist first-time homebuyers who agree to live in the
home for five years. This is done in other cities.
12. Investigate adjusting HUD subsidized housing in Heritage/Historic Districts to balance the
disparity of HUD renters to first-time HUD home buyers/owners.
13. Establish a process to select colors to paint homes that will enhance heritage
14. Develop historically compatible building guidelines for new construction in historic areas.
Do not approve plans for buildings that do not fit the architectural standards of the
15. Promote Vallejo as historic. Develop Vallejo's history incorporating all parts of Vallejo,
including the transition of statehood from Mexico to California. Include the values of General
Vallejo who fought against slavery, and for women and Native American rights to own property.
Include General Vallejo's testimony before the first Constitutional Convention about the
crossroads of culture and the true center of commerce (Native American trade route through
Vallejo 10,000 years ago.)
16. Update historic block listings; reinforce historic rules when new owners buy the property.
17. Make historic neighborhoods more walkable for historic walking tours.
18. Promote Vallejo's homes and neighborhoods. Define boundaries through signage, maps,
and branding.
19. Improve the marketing and visibility of our existing museums, and look to build on our
historic heritage.
20. Create historical walking tours incorporating Mare Island, Neighborhoods, Downtown.
21. The city should seek grant funds to set up training programs for unemployed Vallejo
residents to develop skills to work on restoration of buildings and homes in historic districts
including Mare Island.
22. HUD funds should be converted to training dollars to allow HUD recipients to become
trained to work on restoration projects too.
1. Establish a Poet Laureate program, which would promote literacy and connect to schools.
2. Enhance the communication between the various groups in Vallejo and outlying towns
(Benicia, Napa, etc.) instead of being isolated.
3. Encourage representatives from high schools to attend various city meetings so that they
have a voice.
4. Preserve Vallejo's inclusivity & diversity.
5. Continue a Daffodil Project with help from the city to maintain it.
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