2016 New Year’s Resolutions

Solve the parking problem downtown by creating diagonal parking, thereby developing hundreds of new spaces, just as in the 30’s and 40’s when most Stocktonians worked there. And, while we’re at it, we should have a parade for the scofflaws who removed the 100 or so offensive meters. Downtown businesses have been trying for decades to remove meters, and eliminate the unfair and regressive parking district.

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Eliminate all fees for new homes if built in the central core. After all, Stockton went bankrupt providing services to an ever-increasing suburban sprawl (no need to reward bad planning).

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Kudos to our current crew of housing pioneers in the new downtown. Our expectation is that we will have our first market rate projects take shape in 2016.   After all, a great many of our Stocktonians, and others, would like to live in creative lofts/historic housing.

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Fire in the hole. We don’t want to leave a sense of decrepitude downtown. Burnt out buildings are not acceptable. We don’t want to do our best imitation of Detroit/Kosovo for our community and investors to see. Demand that the city assists property owners in the removal of this blight, NOW!

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Solarize all city owned buildings through power purchase agreements. Let private investors enjoy tax credits, and a fair return for investing in solar panels on city buildings that ultimately the city will own. Hence, creating partial energy independence and huge savings.

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Lofts at the Hall.   As the City of Stockton moves their offices downtown, initiate a public/private partnership to create living spaces in the former city hall surrounded by the river and parks and the amenities of downtown. (It’s bound to be a success. After all, nothing shouts failure louder than an empty historic city hall.)

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Scourge of the hyacinths. There is no need to call off the holiday boat parade and limit recreational boating in our delta based on the hyacinth problem. Instead, our city and county needs to employ barges to rake up and transport the offending weed to the port lands to be digested and harvested into energy.

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Houseboat community (Sausalito reprised). Once we free ourselves of the hyacinth problem, let’s recruit an attractive and artistic houseboat community downtown that would economically invigorate and visually improve the waterfront. We have the resources and 1000 miles of waterways.

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4th of July celebration. Speaking of things to remove, imagine a 4th of July sky lit up with fireworks, celebrating our nations independence, while imploding the old courthouse. Then we can put a park on the site as was always promised, and let our community enjoy the space.

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Support bicycle traffic.    Congratulations to the Downtown Stockton Alliance and the San Joaquin Bike Coalition for the Full Moon Riders citywide rides. Since this program is so successful, it’s time to secure the riders’ safety by providing bike lanes on city streets so they may continue this great tradition. Someday soon we will have bike commuters in the downtown area.

 

Dan Cort is a historic downtown visionary, and author of Downtown Turnaround. For over 35 years, Dan has been committed to preserving downtown Stockton’s architectural heritage, and has participated in the restoration of over a million square feet of historic buildings.   He is also the former mayor of Pacific Grove.

 

A healthy and Happy New Year to all!

 

Dan Cort

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