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Feb. 24 meeting for High Speed Rail Station Area

Mike Conway

Post Date:02/12/2016

High Speed Rail Station Area Plan to Kick Off with Community Meeting


The City of Merced is seeking community input for its High Speed Rail Station Area Plan. The City and consultants have begun work on a plan for the area surrounding the High Speed Rail Station in Downtown Merced.


During this first phase of the project, the City will be looking to residents to generate ideas as to how the 'Station Area' should change or stay the same to respond to the opportunities and challenges of High Speed Rail development.


The City of Merced, in partnership with the High Speed Rail Authority, is hosting a Visioning Workshop on Feb. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sam Pipes Room in the Merced Civic Center, (City Hall) 678 W. 18th St., Merced. Participants interested in learning about the project and the process and in sharing ideas and a vision for a new Downtown are welcome for a collaborative presentation and discussion.


Developing a plan for Downtown Merced, the historic heart of the city, can position Downtown as a destination and crossroads, according to City Manager Steve Carrigan. 'This property represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design an iconic project for the city,' said Carrigan. 'Creating a new rail gateway to Merced is critical to our long-term success.'


City leaders believe that the area around the High Speed Rail station can drive new investment and new life to the Downtown area that will spur economic growth. Regardless of participants' feelings about the California High Speed Rail Project, the Station Area Plan provides a forum and opportunity to steer the future of the City of Merced, and to shape how the Downtown looks and feels.


The Plan will address land use, circulation and infrastructure. The first step in the planning process will be the creation of a vision for the Station Area that leverages past planning efforts and community input.


The vision will serve as the foundation for the Station Area Plan that will guide future development downtown. The proposed Station Area Plan and a detailed environmental impact report will be released in early fall 2016, with final approval scheduled for late 2016.


Questions or comments can be directed to the City's Economic Development Director, Frank Quintero, at quinterof@cityofmerced.org or Development Associate Maria Mendoza, at mendozam@cityofmerced.org. For general information about the City of Merced, please visit www.cityofmerced.org.

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