Overview and Purpose


In mid-2019, the City of Watsonville (City) initiated a Specific Plan for Downtown Watsonville that is intended to establish a clear vision for the future of Downtown Watsonville.  The Downtown Watsonville Specific Plan will build on the historic origins of the Downtown area, celebrating its historic buildings, community events, and open spaces, while harnessing new ideas, investment, and innovation. The Specific Plan will knit together the historic Downtown with adjacent industrial and residential areas to create walkable, complete neighborhoods with a mix of retail and services, amenities, employment uses, and residential buildings that help to activate Downtown throughout the day and into the evening, seven days a week.

The Specific Plan will be a comprehensive planning document and regulatory tool for implementing the City’s General Plan and guiding development in Downtown through customized land use and design regulations and recommendations for improvements to the public realm.  The Specific Plan is intended to be a tool for developers, property owners, City staff and decision makers by providing strong and clear policies, development standards, and a vision that guides land use decisions, infrastructure improvements, design, and economic development activities in the project area.

Overview of the DWSP Process/Timeline

In Spring 2019, the City of Watsonville initiated a Specific Plan for Downtown Watsonville that will demonstrate a clear vision for the future of Downtown. Creating a Specific Plan for a Downtown is a complex task - it involves research and analysis, evaluation of current and future trends, creating new policies and regulations, developing a regulatory document, and preparing an environmental impact report. 

The result of the Specific Plan process will be a comprehensive regulatory document which reflects the voices and ideas of the Watsonville community. Therefore, throughout the estimated two-year process, Watsonville staff and the consultant team will ask the community for input on various aspects of the Downtown Specific Plan. City staff and the consultant team will listen, inform, and translate the community’s and stakeholders’ viewpoints and vision, and continually report back on how the information gathered will be shared and used.