An enthusiastic group of stake holders welcomed the Community Revitalization Vision Plan presented Jan. 31 at the Mojave Veterans Building.
The Kern County Planning and Community Development consultants showed what Mojave might look like in the future. The vision is based on wishes expressed in last years’ workshops, to which all community members were invited.
Supervisor Zack Scrivener greeted the 80 person crowd, thanking them “for their energy and time devoted” to the volunteer Revitalize Mojave group, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. The group has held monthly meetings devoted to improvement ideas since its kickoff in April 2012 as the Hometown Pride Revitalization group.
He announced that the supervisors are setting up a $1.5 million yearly fund devoted to improving the unincorporated areas of Mojave, Rosamond and Boron. The Renewable Energy Neighborhood Enhancement Wind will be known as RENEWBIZ. The money comes from revenue collected from the wind turbine power farms in Kern County. The administrator will be Michelle Vance, currently field representative for Supervisor Scrivener. Vance was the coordinator for Tehachapi’s very successful Main Street Depot rebuilding project. She has been guiding the efforts of the revitalize Mojave group. In order to participate in the funding, the grantee must have prepared a revitalization plan. Rosamond has previously completed its plan. Boron is starting its effort now, and hopes to have it completed by June.
Kern County Planning and Community Development Commissioner Lorelei Oviatt attended. She pointed out that federal funding from Community Block Development Grants is available to Mojave and Boron. It will be sought by the county.
The Mojave vision plan was prepared by Pacific Municipal Consultants [PMC] based on two days of workshops in September. The entire community was invited to say what they would like improved or established in Mojave. PMC then prepared a vision plan which incorporates these desires The Mojave area considered has boundaries of Oak Creek Rd. south to Meyer Rd., and O Street east to the railroad tracks along Sierra Highway. The objectives were to encourage business, improve public spaces and provide aesthetic character for the area.
The plan shows a tree shaded Avenue K with continuous sidewalks as the focus of a pleasant area that includes a restored theater, an art alley, and restaurants and brew pubs. There are bike and pedestrian paths along the railroad tracks. At the south end of town is a commons area, with a charter school and grass boarded condominium housing. There are three entrance monument gateways to Avenue K along Sierra Highway. Eventually, there is a restored Harvey House hotel.
The plan is time phased, with accomplishments at 5, 15 and 25 years in the future. There will be a community development Website. PMC prepared a community action plan and a county action plan.
The community action plans includes seven items. These are divided into Beautify; Clean; Safety; Education; Health; Economic Vitality; and Festivities. Each has activities listed.
The county action plan is much larger. The seven items have multiple actions listed for each. Funding, three items, calls for seeking grants for streetscape and facade improvements and residential rehab. Land Use Design Policy, 22 items, includes code compliance enforcement. Circulation, 16 items, includes bike paths and sidewalks. Public realm, civic programs, 16 items, includes streets aping and lighting. Business retention, five items, includes buy local. Business recruitment, seven items, lists establishing a Website. Housing has two items, one of which is issuing a request for proposals for condominium building.
The attendee’s reactions were sought. Everyone was given sticky paper squares to post at the vision plan and along the action plan. These were headed “I Like” and “I Want” About 50 people stayed to work on the community action plan items, which was at two hours after the presentation began. It is notable that the attendees included several citizens of Boron and Tehachapi.