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.

Recent News

  • Draft Vision Themes and Guiding Principles are ready. These were informed by community and stakeholder input received so far. We are asking for your thoughts and ideas to help the planning team develop the Specific Plan! Share your thoughts here on whether the Vision and Guiding Principles are consistent with your vision for Downtown Watsonville.
  • A community survey was conducted to collect feedback on strengths, issues, opportunities, and community vision for the Downtown. Click here for a summary of the recently completed survey.  Below are pictures of community members sharing their views at the Farmer's Market in the Plaza.
  • The third Advisory Committee meeting was held on December 15, 2020 from 5:30 to 8:00 PM. Due to COVID-19 this and other future meetings will take place virtually online. The City of Watsonville invites the public to attend and participate by watching the live stream of the meeting on the City’s Facebook page. Meeting topics included recent survey results and potential guiding principles on the future of Downtown Watsonville. A full meeting agenda and presentation materials are available below.
  • Existing conditions analysis and reports have been completed by the consultant team. View the documents here.

Public Engagement Events

  • Upcoming events:
    • Advisory Committee Meeting- TBD, virtual meeting. The public is invited to attend and participate via Facebook Live Stream.  
  • Past events:

Contact Information