County supervisors are looking to attract some state money that would help them spruce up Oceano.
The board gave the go-ahead to county planners on Tuesday to seek a grant of $150,000 for 2011-2012 from Caltrans to conduct a revitalization study for the seaside community. The county would chip in $11,250 from the Department of Public Works road fund.
The county already has a guideline, called the Oceano Specific Plan, in place. The new money, should the county receive it, would allow planners to move forward with that plan.
“If we are successful in getting the grant, the resulting ‘revitalization plan’ will focus primarily on the downtown area and neighborhoods around the elementary school on ways to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and travel, streetscape enhancements along Highway 1, and other circulation and safety issues,” according to Chuck Stevenson, division manager for long-range planning.
It would allow planners to “provide a finer grain of detail,” Stevenson wrote in an email to The Tribune.
He said the county would have workshops in order to involve residents. The community is 45 percent Hispanic.
After the revitalization plan is finished, the county will seek more money from the state in order to implement it.
The town could use the help, Stevenson noted.
Oceano, which is the gateway to the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreational Area, is considered a low-income community, Stevenson wrote in his report to the Board of Supervisors.
Residential areas are 80 percent built out, he wrote, “but commercial development has not kept up and has, in fact, declined on the historic Highway 1 corridor.”
Stevenson wrote that the Oceano Community Services District, the most visible local government, “does not have sufficient revenues to replace and maintain basic water and sewer infrastructure, let alone assume additional funding obligations for more services.”
Sidewalks, street lights and furniture are missing along most streets, he added, and “a clear demarcation of pedestrian and bicycle routes is lacking.”
“The downtown has few signs of prosperity, and many indications of marginal success or minimal stability,” Stevenson wrote.