The Duarte City Council adopted the Town Center Sepcific Plan in September 2016 with the goal of transforming the core of Duarte. The Town Center Specific Plan is creative and forward thinking; and it sets in place standards and guidelines that will encourage quality growth and provide incentives to develop the community in a better way. The plan is also a strong economic tool for the city. The plan is comprehensive and in addition to zoning standards addresses architectural and site design, mobility, infrastructure needs and implementation practices.
The Duarte Town Center Specific Plan was recognized by the American Planning Association California Chapter with an award of excellence for 2017 Comprehensive Plan Award: Small Jurisdiction. The plan was acknowledged because of its creative, economic development focus and its impressive public input process.
In June 2017, the Duarte Town Center Specific Plan was also recognized by the Los Angeles Section of the American Planning Association as best Comprehensive Plan for a Small Jurisdiction.
Recognition of the plan's quality by professional organizations are a further testament the unique qualities of the plan and its potential to promote positive change in Duarte.
In 2003, the Duarte City Council adopted the Town Center Concept Plan, which envisioned a community-oriented, walkable, mixed-use activity center in the heart of Duarte. In 2012, the City convened a Town Center Ad Hoc Committee to review the 2003 Town Center Concept Plan vision. The Ad Hoc Committee reaffirmed the original Vision and recommended that the City Council authorize development of a specific plan to implement that Vision. The specific plan would encourage and promote mixed-use development and set forth a plan for streetscape improvements in the area.
Through concerted, strategic efforts, the Town Center has the potential to become an iconic and attractive place for new and existing businesses to flourish, accompanied by new residential developments, shopping opportunities and entertainment uses in an inviting, walkable, and bikeable environment. This document represents the community’s cohesive vision and provides solutions to transform the area into a memorable, vibrant, pedestrian-oriented, and interconnected Town Center.
The Town Center Specific Plan and related EIR was funded by a Metro Planning Grant that the City received to plan for area near transit. The area is near the newly opened Duarte/City of Hope Gold Line Station and serves as a natural extension to the Duarte Station Specific Plan that was adopted in 2013.
A specific plan is a zoning and development tool to implement the City’s General Plan. It establishes a link between General Plan policies and individual development proposals in a defined area. State law requires that specific plans be consistent with the local General Plan. The Duarte Town Center Specific Plan is a direct implementation measure of the Duarte General Plan, which called for creation of a Specific Plan in this general area to foster mixed-use development and overall revitalization.
The Town Center Specific Plan process was guided by the Community Development Department and the City’s consultant team, MIG, Inc.—the same firm that prepared the 2003 Concept Plan.
To assist in the process of developing the plan and getting maximum public input, the City Council convened an Ad Hoc Committee comprised of 15 residents and businesspersons to articulate the community vision and provide input throughout the process. Ad Hoc Committee members were comprised of Economic Development Commission and residents appointed by the City Council. The Ad Hoc Committee met monthly from April 2015 through July 2016 to weigh in on development of the Specific Plan and review draft documents.
Tina Carey, Chair
Lisa Magno, Vice-Chair