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Published April 20th, 2016
Final Downtown Creeks Meeting Will Offer Preview of Plans
The West Ranch - on Lafayette Creek at Mt. Diablo Blvd, across from veteran's hall - is "catalyst" project.for the creek. Image provided

Lafayette residents will have one final opportunity to chime in on what the future of downtown waterways will look like at the third and final public Downtown Creeks Workshop next Wednesday, April 27.
The downtown sections of Happy Valley, Las Trampas and
Lafayette Creeks meander over a mile and a half across the city center, at points partially hemmed in by concrete channels constructed by the Flood Control District in the 1950s and continually face pressure from ongoing development. This is an effort to craft a plan to protect and enhance them for public enjoyment.
The city, along with consultants Gates and Associates, are working together with the Creeks Committee to develop a comprehensive long-term plan that will preserve and restore the creeks.
"You can't fix them up, if you don't have a plan," said Senior Planner Steve Goetz. He emphasized that having a plan in place is critical to guide future development and to provide opportunities for expanded public access.
Initial concepts for the creeks plan, according to Will Elder, chair of the all-volunteer Lafayette Creeks Committee, include stormwater retention features, establishing creek overlooks, developing a series of public spaces and reintroducing native riparian plants.
Specifically, the Downtown Creeks Plan will address flood protection, preserve riparian corridors, guide how the creeks will flow and interact with adjacent buildings, offer physical access to the top of creek banks as well as preserve creeks as a significant contributor to downtown character. When complete, the Downtown Creeks Plan will become part of the Downtown Specific Plan.
Since August, the consultants, with expertise in landscape architecture, civil engineering and environmental restoration, have been working on the project, doing extensive mapping and assessments, then developing concepts and ideas. Workshop attendees can check out and comment on their draft drawings.
While some of the land on the banks of the local creeks is privately owned, there are two large sections that are publicly owned, across from the Veterans Hall, and near the gazebo on the east end of town.
One "catalyst" project, as Goetz calls it- on publicly owned land restoring a stretch of Lafayette Creek near the Veterans Hall - would widen the sidewalk along Mt. Diablo Boulevard and create an overlook plaza area that would stabilize the creek bank.
The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. April 27 at the Lafayette Library's Community Hall. Those looking for a sneak preview can go on guided creek walks with members of the creeks committee to examine creek enhancement opportunities. The walks will start at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. from the Sustainable Lafayette Earth Day celebration on Sunday, April 24, which will also be held at the
For more information on the city goals of increasing community appreciation of its downtown creeks go to www.lovelafayette.org/creeksplan or contact planner Goetz at sgoetz@ci.lafayette.ca.us.

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