Community Workshop #3 Recap

December 3rd  6:00 – 9:00pm

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Healdsburg’s Design Character and What it Means for Healdsburg Avenue

This session will focus on what makes Healdsburg special from a design perspective – architecture, landscape, urbanism and sense of place.

Community Input: Using a workshop format attendees will be invited to help define the essence of Healdsburg, so our design team can incorporate these elements in future design solutions for Healdsburg Avenue.

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If you missed the Community Workshop #3 and would like to see the presentation, please click on the link below.

Community Workshop #3 Summary

The third community workshop to discuss the proposed Healdsburg Avenue Improvements was held on Wednesday, December 3rd. The session was framed as an ‘interactive community work session’ and was well attended with almost 50 local community members.

The three hour meeting began with a recap of meetings #1 and #2, to ensure that those in attendance all had a common background on the project. With over half of the attendees acknowledging that they had not been to the prior two meetings, the recap briefly covered highlights of the project’s history and evolution; the overall scope of work which is much more complicated than just a roundabout; and some of the key benefits of a roundabout replacement at the five-way intersection – enhanced vehicular and pedestrian safety, improved traffic capacity and the ability to better define the entry experience to Healdsburg’s downtown (see presentation for details).


Following the recap, David Gates, the project’s landscape architect, provided an overview of the key design challenges and opportunities associated with the improvement project. With a focus on defining the streetscape’s aesthetic character (sidewalks, planting, furnishings and signage), the meeting provided an important transition from prior technical meetings to the design stage.

Gates shared a preliminary drawing for the corridor from Exchange Avenue to just north of the Roundabout. Building on the principles established through the CHAP process, he explained how this length of Healdsburg Avenue actually consists of three different areas: The Transition, which starts at Exchange Avenue with four travel lanes, minimal landscape, and minimal visual amenities; The Approach, where the travel lanes narrow to two lanes with a more pedestrian experience, architectural setbacks, landscape and visual amenities; and The Arrival, which includes the roundabout that leads you into downtown itself.

Following the presentation, attendees were divided into five work groups and given a base map and diverse set of character images that were broken down into zones. Zone 1: Travel Lanes; Zone 2: Crosswalks/Medians; Zone 3: Parking; Zone 4: Planting Areas; Zone 5: Walkways; Zone 6: Extended Building Edge; Zone 7: Plaza; Zone 8: Corners; Zone 9: Roundabout; Zone 10: Creek. Groups were asked to identify imagery that they felt was most appropriate for the project area, and to annotate the plan with ideas they had for how the project area might be developed. At the end of the session, a representative from each group presented the results of their discussions. The output can be viewed on the Healdsburg’s access channel

In addition to defining image and character elements for Healdsburg Avenue, each group was asked to answer two questions:

  • Define Healdsburg’s Character: What words reflect Healdsburg Avenue’s unique character?
  • Zone Priority Worksheet: Assuming budgets are limited, which Zones are the most important place to spend $$ within the corridor as the initial effort?

The most popular descriptive words were ‘Small Town’ followed by ‘Casual’, with ‘Agricultural’, ‘Eclectic’, and ‘Artful’ tied for third place. The complete list of results are shown below. The five groups were highly aligned in asking that money be focused toward the creek zone, the walkways, the planting areas and the hardscape in the roundabout.

If you were not able to attend the meeting but would like to weigh-in on the conversation as the project’s design evolves, a special social media platform is being set up to discuss and gather more input from the community. Located on Healdsburg’s new ‘Community Voice’ weblink, questions will be posted for input starting January 1st. We hope you will participate in this ongoing discussion.

Three more community work sessions are scheduled for Spring of 2015. Dates have not been established, but meetings are anticipated to occur in March, April and May. Potential topics include plan options for the design of the public realm along Healdsburg Avenue, more technical discussion on how the roundabout will operate, and a final presentation of the preferred design. Visit this site for updates after the holiday season.

Summary Graphics

Meeting 3 Summary Chart 1
Meeting 3 Summary Chart 1
Meeting 3 Summary Chart 2
Meeting 3 Summary Chart 2
Meeting 3 Summary Chart 3
Meeting 3 Summary Chart 3

Implementing the Central Healdsburg Avenue Plan