By Jonathan Smith/Garden Grove Journal
A new downtown look may be just right around the corner.
The Garden Grove City council heard a special presentation about updating the downtown area during a special study session before Tuesday’s night meeting.
The presentation, titled “Imagine Downtown: Visioning Concepts for the Future,” consisted of different concepts and plans about updating the area that runs down Euclid Street. The proposed updated area will include the current civic center area and the historic Main Street.
While the plan is in the preliminary phases, the hope for the proposed concept is to create a specific identity for residents of the city, said Susan Emery, the community development director of the city.
“We’re hearing more from the residents asking about what we are doing about the downtown area,” she said. “We’re hearing that there’s more interest than before.”
The research group looked at different downtown areas in cities across the world. The presentation offered several similarities and differences that Garden Grove can be used as inspiration.
Erin Webb, senior planner for the city, said the current proposed area already has a lot of potential interest to attract people to it.
“We have great weather, we have sunshine,” said Erin Webb, senior planner for the city. “Won’t it be great if people thought they can come out and sit and enjoy their coffee?”
“We already have a place that people can come to,” she added “You can use that as a building block to build upon.”
Some of the concepts presented included diverse architectural designs related to look of the area as well as considerations for updated transit areas and pedestrian-friendly environments. Other concepts included modern residential, commercial and cultural additions
The presentation also included proposed plans to expand the Main Street district.
Several city councilmembers were very excited about the thought of a new downtown area during the meeting.
“It’s very timely,” Councilman Steve Jones said. “Everybody wants to be done with recessions; everybody wants to move forward and talk about what we are going to do in the future.”
The next step for the plan is to gather more ideas and create a vision plan to present to city council, Webb said.
The council also heard a presentation on adopting a social host ordinance for the city.
A social host ordinance is specific prevention strategy that targets teen alcohol use and the individuals responsible for providing the alcohol during private gatherings and parties, City Attorney Thomas Nixon said.
The social ordinance will try to address minors’ consumption on private property and the guardians who provide the alcohol.
There are currently state and federal laws related to minors’ possession of alcohol, Nixon said.
Councilwoman Dina Nguyen said she supports moving forward with social host ordinance.
“It think it’s another tool to help us promote a safer environment for the minors,” Councilwoman Dina Nguyen said.
So far, in Orange County, five cities have a social host ordinance. Those cities are Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Irvine and Huntington Beach.