Bluhon Group | Envisioning a New Downtown

Envisioning a New Downtown

County of Alameda Planning Department


San Lorenzo Village is a 22-acre site and the only commercial and cultural hub for this unincorporated residential community.  Alameda County Planning convened a 13-member task force comprising residents, business, and the primary landowner/developer. The group was tasked with creating a sustainable, long-term redevelopment vision grounded in economic and demographic data.


Bluhon served as lead facilitator with design support from Field Paoli Architects, economic analysis by EDAW, and planning support from  county staff. The Task Force used a consensus-based method according to a set of ground rules to guide dialogue, fact-finding, and decision-making. Through 10 plenary meetings, the task force examined opportunities and constraints, economic data, and design alternatives.


The task force unanimously ratified a comprehensive set of design guidelines for circulation, open space, and buildings and a implementation and monitoring plan. The County prepared a draft specific plan based on the task force’s recommendations and adopted a final specific plan several years later.