Key members of the Dover, Kohl & Partners team including Jason King, principal with DKP, Dena Belzer, of Strategic Economics, and Bryan Jones of Alta Planning + Design met with FORA staff and the RUDG Task Force on September 21, 2014 to officially kick-off the project. This was a first opportunity for the DKP team and FORA staff to officially meet and discuss the goals and objectives for the RUDG, finalize the project schedule and review how the process would inform the overall document.
A key element in preparing for the charrette was generating public awareness. FORA staff spread the word about the RUDG planning process through Save the Date cards, e-mail blasts, updates on FORA’s website, and extensive use of social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.
Online Engagement – MindMixer, an online town hall, was a key component in gathering public input even prior to the charrette. Since its launch in August 2014, over 800 unique visitors have contributed ideas and initiated discussions between neighbors.
A site visit in November 2014, allowed the planning team to meet FORA Staff, the RUDG Taskforce, elected officials, residents, developers, and other local stakeholders in preparation for the charrette. Technical meetings were also held with members of the California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB), Monterey County, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC), the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG), and the Monterey Salinas Transit Authority (MST) to discuss topics such as regional transit, trails and trailhead development, development, and habitat conservation. The various, initial hands-on visioning sessions, meetings, and interviews helped the team to grasp the dynamics of the former Fort Ord and gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the region.