Downtown Watsonville Specific Plan

Project Underway

In July 2019, the City of Watsonville initiated a Specific Plan for downtown Watsonville.  This planning effort will build on the historic origins of the area while establishing a clear vision for the future of downtown Watsonville. 

What is a Specific Plan?

A Specific Plan is a comprehensive planning document and regulatory tool for implementing the City’s General Plan and will guide development in downtown through customized land use and design regulations and provide recommendations for improvements to the public realm. For more information on the purpose of a Specific Plan and for an overview of its timeline, click here.


Objectives for the Specific Plan include the development of multi-story mixed use buildings through both new construction and adaptive reuse of historic buildings with market rate residential housing and commercial retail on the first floor. The Plan will encourage compact development near transit to decrease automobile dependency, reduce both local and regional traffic congestion and related greenhouse gas emissions, and provide additional guidance and plans to increasing multimodal access to and from the historic Downtown area.

Public Engagement Events

  • Past events:
    • Stakeholder interviews held September 25th and 26th
    • Advisory Committee Meeting (open to the public) held September 25th (summary notes)
  • Upcoming events:
    • Advisory Committee Meeting - March 26, 2020, 5-8 PM, Main Library meeting room (location)

Relevant Documents for Public Information

  • Aerial base map of Specific Plan Area
  • Public Participation Plan
    • This Plan provides a "roadmap" or synopsis of the activities that will be undertaken to develop the Downtown Watsonville Specific Plan.  The Public Participation Plan outlines the engagement strategies that will be employed to support the technical planning and environmental efforts needed to help define a clear vision going forward for downtown Watsonville.
  • Existing General Plan Land Use Designations
  • The Planner’s Guide to Specific Plans
  • Watsonville Planning Documents
  • Downtown Complete Streets Plan
    • The Public Works Department has prepared a Downtown Complete Streets Plan which was approved by City Council on October 22, 2019. The focus of this Plan is on Main Street, and its purpose is to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and motorists, and allow the City to apply for grant funding. For more information, click here.

Contact Information