Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning


City and Regional Planning


Umut Toker, Assistant Professor



Specific Plans: An Implementation Tool for Downtown Revitalization A Specific Plan Proposal for Downtown Delano, California

Emily Suzanne Henderson

This study builds off the assumption that downtowns are socially and economically important to cities and the people who live, work, and visit them. For these reasons, many suffering downtowns are pursuing revitalization strategies. The strategies summarized in this paper represent mainstream revitalization techniques currently practiced by cities, planners, and developers. The strategies and techniques presented in this paper are supported by two case study specific plans. The case studies serve as model specific plans that were able to successfully utilize multiple of the proposed revitalization strategies.

This paper demonstrates the potential for specific plans to be used as an implementation tool for downtown revitalization. These comprehensive documents are able to combine multiple regulatory processes in order to achieve the overarching goals of a city’s general plan and the detailed community goals generated through public outreach and participation. The case studies exhibit how cities have been able to complete revitalization projects in their downtowns through the use of specific plans.

The proposed strategies and case study findings were used in the creation of a Specific Plan Proposal for Downtown Delano, California. In early 2008 the City of Delano underwent a community participation planning process to improve their downtown. The resulting Downtown Delano Concept Plan urged the City of Delano and the Community Development Department to produce a Downtown Specific Plan as soon as possible.

The Downtown Delano Specific Plan Proposal contains a summary of the Concept Plan’s findings and recommendations. The plan begins with a vision statement and a set of goals created from community input received during public meetings. The plan includes proposed land uses for the downtown project area. A circulation concept is presented for the major downtown streets and thoroughfares. Form Based Codes include design guidelines for new development and redevelopment projects. The proposal concludes with project cost estimates and suggested financing mechanisms. The attached Downtown Delano Specific Plan Proposal is a guide for the future completion of a Specific Plan for Downtown Delano.