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Montebello - Whittier Boulevard Development Code and Streetscape

Client: City of Montebello

Whittier Boulevard is the central arterial corridor spanning Montebello between East Los Angeles and Pico Rivera. Post-freeway suburban evolution and 1971 earthquake damage sapped vitality from the corridor. FTB was selected to prepare a Specific Plan and a subsequent corridor streetscape project. Through a public workshop process, the Plan proposed policy changes and design improvements for mixed-use residential and downtown segments along the corridor to restore it as a vital heart of the City.

A rendering of the Plan's envisioned corridor streetscape improvements within the downtown segment.
 

Before

Whittier Boulevard before streetscape improvements.

Montebello's stretch of Whittier Boulevard was a relinquished portion of State Highway 72 and an unattractive, auto-oriented “strip” corridor struggling with disinvestment, yet its downtown segment was the historical and physical heart of the city.

Assignment

  • Prepare a Specific Plan to enable mixed-use, improve design controls, and define capital improvements to attract new investment. Update zoning controls with a form-based format.
  • Design streetscape improvements to support  the Plan’s proposed land uses and corridor character.  Reconfigure two city parking lots to enable their use as special events plazas.

Outcomes

  • Planning work began in May 2001. The community workshop series was successfully completed and a Draft Specific Plan document was submitted in 2002.
  • The City directed the FTB team to begin streetscape and parking lot improvement design in 2003. Phase I improvements (0.6 miles) were completed in 2006. The project received the 2007 Southern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association Project of the Year Award for cities of 50,000–100,000 in population.  Phase II improvements were designed and construction was completed in 2010.
  • With major elements of the revitalization strategy implemented, in 2009 the City redirected FTS to update the corridor’s zoning.  FTS prepared a draft Development Code in a form-based format which is currently under City review.

     

In collaboration with:

Conley Consulting Group, AAE, Inc., SFE/Landscape Architects, Rempel Architects, Dream Engineering,