Banking on an incentive-based development model never tried in Poway, city officials are inching closer to establishing new guidelines for future construction along Poway Road that they hope will revitalize the city’s main drag.
For the past two years, an ad hoc committee has been creating future guidelines as part of its Poway Road Corridor Study.
In simplified terms, the committee will soon ask the City Council to approve new development standards for the road that are aimed at encouraging the construction of numerous residential/retail centers, which will transform the center of town into a walkable destination.
Poway Road is unquestionably the main thoroughfare in the city of about 50,000 people, yet it lacks an identity. Strip malls that need work are surrounded by some nice, new buildings but also by abandoned ones, empty lots and low-end shops.
Ever since the city was incorporated in 1980 people have been talking about creating a new vibe along the road. It can’t be done with taxpayer money now that redevelopment funds have dried up.
Instead, the concept pushing the corridor study is to make Poway Road more attractive to developers by offering incentives that will allow them to build enough condominiums to make a project financially feasible, even if that means some of the projects could be three or even four stories tall, which defies long-established local height limits.
One of the goals is to create “attainable” housing in the city where the children of Poway residents might be able to afford a starter home. Right now, many say, housing is too costly in Poway for young people to even consider moving in.
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