Project Background

The intent of the Downtown Redding Specific Plan is to lay the foundation for the transformation of Downtown through a number of policies, development standards/guidelines, and capital improvements meant to improve the jobs/housing balance; maintain and enhance downtown as a center for office, entertainment, government, and cultural center of the City; enhance pedestrian orientation; improve the physical appearance of the area; and stimulate investment in Downtown.

The existing Downtown Redding Specific Plan was adopted by the City Council (Council) in January 2001. This document is a “regulatory specific plan” that provides a comprehensive guide and associated development regulations and guidelines for implementing General Plan policy as well as facilitating and directing the physical and economic revitalization of Downtown Redding. Since adoption of the existing Specific Plan in 2001, there have been some notable accomplishments towards the Plan’s objectives including:

  1. Removal of the Downtown Mall roof which allowed establishment of the “Market Street Promenade” (the former mall’s pedestrian ways) and related building-façade improvements
  2. Restoration of the Cascade Theatre
  3. Rehabilitation of the Redding Hotel and the historic Lorenz Hotel
  4. Two new mixed-use developments
  5. “Wayfinding” improvements
  6. Reconstruction of the Market Street and Yuba Street “Demonstration Blocks”
  7. The construction of an affordable residential development for seniors

In 2010, the Council approved a “housekeeping” update to the Specific Plan to provide consistency with recent General Plan and Zoning Ordinance amendments and to reflect Specific Plan accomplishments since its adoption. While these minor amendments reflect individual policy changes and certain physical improvements affecting Downtown during the past ten years, a comprehensive review of the Specific Plan in its entirety has not occurred.

Furthermore, the General Plan was amended to remove restrictions on allowable residential density and commercial intensity (i.e. elimination of “floor area ratio” limitations), and to recognize that both high- and mid-rise buildings should be allowed in the Downtown area. Additionally, in view of the public and private improvements (i.e. new buildings), property transactions that have occurred since adoption of the Specific Plan in 2001, and the loss of redevelopment agency funding opportunities, it is recognized that some of the revitalization concepts or implementation strategies identified in the adopted Specific Plan are no longer feasible from a financial or practical standpoint.

In 2016, the City of Redding initiated the Downtown Redding Specific Plan Update, which seeks to comprehensively reexamine and update the existing Specific Plan’s regulations, goals, and policies to provide a vision for Downtown. The Specific Plan Update will factor in occurring and planned developments within Downtown, including:

  • The State’s plans to construct a new courthouse on approximately six acres within the current Plan-area boundary on Yuba Street between Court Street and Oregon Street.
  • Relocation of the Redding Police Department. The new police department building will be relocated by June of 2015, thus vacating the City-owned property at the existing location at the corner of California Street and Shasta Street.
  • The Riverfront Playhouse’s new theater at the southeast corner of Pine and Placer Streets.
  • The “Dickers” building located in the Market Street Promenade at 2222 Market Street is planned for redevelopment by K2 Development; this effort was made possible by a recently awarded Sustainable Cities Grant. K2 has expressed interest in assisting in the reestablishment of the historic street system through the Promenade as a component of the redevelopment of the site. The City of Redding owns a below grade parking lot under the structure that will be key to the design and functionality of K2’s preliminary plans for the site.
  • The Redding Area Bus Authority’s (RABA) recent acquisition of an entire block of land bounded by Tehama on the south, California on the East, Shasta on the north, and the railroad tracks on the west. RABA desires to see this property redeveloped with a transit-orientated design.
  • The Downtown Redding Transportation Plan (DRTP) was just completed in December 2016. The DRTP establishes the circulation and infrastructure plan for the Downtown area and recommends improvements to all modes of transportation in Downtown Redding. The findings of the DRTP will be incorporated into this Specific Plan Update.

The process of updating the Specific Plan will involve engagement with the community and the various stakeholder groups to reevaluate the vision for Downtown and the means to achieve that vision. The updated Specific Plan will provide clear direction for development and create an economically viable strategy to develop Downtown to its fullest potential, but should also capitalize on current trends that are transforming many city centers into live, work, and entertainment areas.