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Changes coming to Third Allison K. Sampite | Sat, Mar 26 2011 12:00 PM

The proposed facelift for Third Avenue's downtown village is a done deal.

The City Council on Tuesday approved the final design for changes to the heart of the city's downtown area.

Consultants Howard Blackson from Urban Planning and Design and Michael Stepner of Stepner Design Group gave a final presentation to council incorporating public input on the streetscape design.

Three evening workshops were held at a Third Avenue banquet hall the first week in March, ending with an update to City Council, the public and staff in the City Council chambers March 11.

As a result of public workshops, changes include combining street pavers into common pavement areas such as crosswalks and eliminating existing landscape planter boxes along E and F streets to open up sidewalks providing more visibility to businesses and a more open feeling for pedestrians.

"We want to make Third Avenue a lively destination with a small-town feel, with entertainment and retail that energizes the area to thrive," Stepner said.

Third Avenue between E and H streets will be narrowed from four lanes to two, residential parking standards will be modified and an outdoor dining design will be added.

In addition, new medians will be constructed between G and H streets and the historic queen and date palms will be kept and maintained.

Chula Vista Development Services Director Gary Halbert said the process was necessary to "assure that the final result is a truly unique vision for the future of our Third Avenue village as a vibrant and intimate place to gather and to conduct business..."

"This project was the brainchild of the people who live and work on Third Avenue," Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox said.

Executive director for the Third Avenue Village Association Greg Mattson said that providing vitality through the design will motivate investors to come back to Chula Vista and add much needed curb appeal.

Construction will begin sometime in August.

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