Four Rincon Projects Awarded by California APA Central Coast Section's 2024 Award Program

 

It is with great excitement that we announce the four Rincon projects that recently received 2024 California American Planning Association (APA) Awards for the Central Coast Section! We are proud to be honored with these awards that celebrate the great planning work occurring throughout California.

The purpose of the APA California award program encourages quality in planning and increases the public’s awareness of the planning profession by recognizing outstanding achievement in the field. The program also honors innovative plans and projects, distinguished APA members, lay contributors to planning, and the achievements of APA California’s Sections.

🏆 Award of Excellence; Hard Won Victory Award category

Ventura Regional Fire Safe Council, County-wide Community Wildfire Protection Plan

Rincon assisted the Ventura Regional Fire Safe Council (VRFSC) with the preparation of a countywide Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). This process precipitated the development of nested CWPPs for the communities of Bell Canyon, Fillmore, Piru, and Santa Paula as well as for land managed by the Rancho Ventura Conservation Trust and the Ventura Land Trust. Significant outreach and interaction with partner agencies, local, state, and federal officials, area NGOs, land management groups, the Ventura County Fire Protection District and other interested stakeholders played a key role in the development of the CWPPs. Rincon worked with existing structural ignition treatment programs such as the Resident Grant Program Pilot, the VRFSC Home Hardening Resiliency Program, and Structural Hardening Assessments through the Ventura County Resource Conservation District to find opportunities to expand the effectiveness of wildfire risk reduction programs and reach more of the community. Rincon also included social vulnerability mapping to find opportunities to broaden environmental justice and equality within Ventura County in relation to program access for the whole of the citizenry.

🏆 Award of Excellence; Transportation Planning Award category

City of Ventura, Active Transportation Plan

Rincon was thrilled to partner with Nelson/Nygaard and Chen Ryan Associates to assist the City of Ventura with the preparation of the 2023 Active Transportation Plan. The plan is a roadmap for priority projects and programs that will make walking, bicycling, and taking transit great choices for all people living, working, and visiting Ventura. The priority projects would establish connectivity throughout the greater transportation system and would develop a citywide pedestrian priority network. The plan identifies an all-ages and abilities (AAA) network to equitably serve residents citywide. Projects, programs, and policies were recommended and prioritized based on their potential to achieve the vision that “Ventura will build community and maintain its small-town feel by becoming a great place for all people to walk, bike, or take transit.” The final plan is a community-supported framework for future investments that the City can use to seek funding and set Ventura on a course to improve its Bicycle Friendly Community designation.

🏆 Award of Merit; Resilience and Sustainability Award category

City of Camarillo Sustainability Master Plan for Municipal Operations

Rincon worked with the City of Camarillo to prepare a comprehensive Sustainability Master Plan (SMP) for Municipal Operations. The primary purpose of the City’s SMP is to provide a specific roadmap for Camarillo’s municipal operations to become more sustainable and resilient to climate change, while reducing GHG emissions. As part of the SMP, the Rincon team completed water and energy audits to determine which areas have the greatest room for growth. Additionally, the SMP serves as a planning resource for City staff and stakeholders, outlining the metrics for success (e.g., key performance indicators), responsible departments, potential sources of funding, and key partners for future sustainability projects. The SMP identifies areas for Camarillo to grow as a sustainability leader by identifying strategy gaps, and future opportunities for sustainability action. The City will utilize this opportunity to highlight and build-on past achievements, identify current opportunities for sustainability improvement projects, and be a resource for future sustainability planning projects. Furthermore, the SMP was developed to anticipate sustainability and climate-related challenges and to ease transitions to make action seamless for the City Council and City Staff, as well as community members, partners, and other stakeholders.

🏆 Award of Merit; Comprehensive Plan Award – Large Jurisdiction category

City of Oxnard Adopted Amended 2021-2029 Housing Element

Rincon staff provided oversight of the preparation of the 6th Cycle Housing Element as an extension of City of Oxnard staff. Rincon’s lead planner coordinated with City executives to provide guidance to the consultant team preparing the Housing Element. Tasks involved preparing internal memorandums to City leadership to advise on state housing law, legal requirements, and processes, coordinating with multiple City department representatives to ensure that all affected departments were informed of project implications, and communicated regularly with the consultant team to advance the project in a timely manner. Responsibilities also included public outreach and engagement. Rincon’s planner responded to questions and comments from the public, and prepared informative presentations for City staff to present to a wide variety of audiences and updated the City website. Throughout the process, the City conducted extensive outreach for public input and collaboration. Rincon’s planner assisted the City with developing stakeholder list of affordable housing advocates, realtors, developers, architects, and interested parties and met with the stakeholders throughout the update process through individual meetings virtual community workshops. Input from these meetings was incorporated into the adopted Housing Element. Rincon staff prepared Planning Commission and City Council staff reports for adoption and attended adoption hearings to respond to questions. 

Congratulations to all involved with these award-winning projects!