Vallejo Waterfront Design Guidelines

Vallejo, California

Callahan/DeSilva Vallejo

Lead Consultant

2004 - 2007

The Vallejo Waterfront includes several large, underutilized properties located along Mare Island Strait in and around Vallejo's Downtown, totaling 125 acres. Callahan/DeSilva Vallejo (CDV) hired Community Design + Architecture to prepare design guidelines for the waterfront's three districts, to provide the public with more certainty regarding the character and quality of future development. The guidelines improve upon previous plans for the waterfront's streets and public spaces. All of the districts include a mix of uses, yet each varies in terms of character and intensity of development.

The Central Waterfront is located between Downtown Vallejo and the Vallejo Ferry Terminal, and will create transit-oriented development with an intensive mix of residential, commercial, and civic uses. The guidelines define a strong urban character for the area's public realm of streets, plazas, and parks providing multiple paths for pedestrians to move between the waterfront and downtown. The building design guidelines provide a high level of flexibility for the location of specific uses, but ensure that development contributes to the public realm and takes full advantage of the dramatic views of the Strait and the direct relationship with downtown Vallejo.

The Northern Waterfront is largely built-out with a marina and related commercial uses. New development includes two new public parks and a residential neighborhood consisting of townhomes arranged around a restored wetland park. In this area, CD+A focused on the waterfront promenade, which unifies the entire waterfront and provides connections with adjacent open spaces and to Mare Island Causeway, another major growth area in the City.

The Southern Waterfront includes a relocated post office, a refurbished boat launch, a small mixed-use building, area for industrial research & development, and is anchored by a new residential neighborhood of up to 650 units. Marin Avenue extends from the downtown into the district and becomes a park-promenade street with 4- and 5-story residential buildings fronting it and dramatic views from porches and balconies across the park to the Strait.

Vallejo City Council adopted the guidelines, prepared by CD+A, along with the Master Plan in October 2005. In response to concerns from a local Vallejo community group, the City and CDV entered into a settlement agreement with the group. CD+A worked with CDV, the city, and the group to refine the Master Plan and Guidelines to address the group's concerns while maintaining development feasibility and the urban design goals of the original Master Plan. The revised guidelines and Master Plan were then re-adopted by the City Council in 2007.