Vision Sonora in a community revitalization plan that was initiated to provide the City of Sonora with a plan to create a more vibrant community by addressing the following areas along the Highway 49 and Washington Street corridors:
- Circulation and Congestion Management
- Parking Management
- Gateway Features and Wayfinding Signage
- Transit Facilities
- Aesthetics and Beautification
- Multi-modal Connectivity
- Economic Development and Quality of Life
- Finance and Implementation Planning
The Vision Sonora Project was funded under a California Department of Transportation Community Based Planning Grant awarded to the Tuolumne County Transportation Council (TCTC). The Vision Sonora Plan received the 2014 Outstanding Planning Award in Urban Design from the Central Section of the American Planning Association.
To develop the Vision Sonora Plan, the City of Sonora and RBF Consulting worked in partnership with the TCTC and Caltrans while receiving input from business owners, residents and community organizations. A community based Advisory Committee was formed to guide Plan development. Additionally, the public was provided opportunities to provide input through the Community Visioning Week, Mind-Mixer Website and finally the Community Forum which provided the public an opportunity to view the initial draft.
Instead of developing strategies for land use, circulation and economic development in silos, Vision Sonora integrates all of the components into recommendations that are intertwined and supportive of each other. The Plan is focused around the following goals that capture the main points in the comments, concerns and ideas of community members:
Vision Sonora Committee Members:
(Committee meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 9:00 a.m. in the City Council Chambers)
- Connie Williams, City Council Member
- Colette Such, City Council Member
- Sherri Brennan, Dist. 1 Supervisor
- Darin Grossi, Transportation Council
- Mary Rose Rutikanga, City Administrator
- Rachelle Kellogg, Community Development Director
- Strengthen Sonora’s Identity & History
- Attract & Welcome Visitors
- Create Places to Enjoy
- Boost Downtown Appeal & Commerce
- Enable Pedestrian & Bicycle Travel
- Take Care of Locals
The Vision Sonora Plan provides recommendations to revitalize the local economy, enhance Sonora’s unique historic character and improve quality of life. These recommendations fall into two major categories, Mobility & Community Design and Tourism, Local Economy & Community.
Mobility & Community Design recommendations focus on improving/enhancing gateways, pedestrian facilities, public spaces, parks and green spaces, bicycle and transit facilities, traffic circulation and parking, and way-finding signage within the project area.
Tourism, Local Economy and Community recommendations focus on improving/enhancing the historic downtown corridor, expand the City’s economic base, visitor information and promotion, cultural and heritage tourism, arts and culture, business support and recruitment, and overall community health.
By integrating recommendations for physical improvements as well as programmatic strategies, Vision Sonora has the ability to improve the quality of life for Sonora’s community members through many different avenues including economic opportunities, health and well-being, access to open space and recreational facilities, and multi-modal circulation options.
The Plan is not an engineering document or capital improvement program and funding has not been received to implement the Plan. Implementation will be a long-term effort involving the City, community partners and the community at large. Development of the Vision Sonora Plan was an important step in moving forward as the community preserves its past and defines its future.
The City Council established the Vision Sonora Committee which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Vision Sonora Plan. As community involvement is vital to the success of Vision Sonora, the Vision Sonora Committee has established various sub-committees to encourage public participation.