The much anticipated and talked about Folsom River District will soon be working towards its very own master plan, according to the latest update on the proposed project from the City of Folsom.
The City of Folsom is home to more than six miles of frontage on the American River and Lake Natoma—some of the city’s greatest natural resources. Folsom grew around the river, and in many cases, pushed the river into backyard areas of the community. The city’s beloved Historic District looks inward instead of looking out to the natural beauty of the river and lake. Our waterfront areas are underutilized, and access is limited and poorly identified. But this can change.
The Folsom 2035 General Plan process identified this shortcoming and recommended the city complete a River District Master Plan. The plan would serve as a more detailed vision of future opportunities and improvements that can be implemented over time.
River District Master Plan Key Objectives
- Increase public access to the river and lake.
- Increase recreation opportunities.
- Increase economic development opportunities.
- Commit to high-quality design.
- Enhance Folsom’s heritage.
- Celebrate and protect our environmental, cultural, and historical resources.
- Recognize city gateway opportunities.
- Integrate old and new areas of the city.
- On January 24, 2023, the City Council directed the creation of an advisory committee. The committee will be comprised of stakeholder organizations and businesses within the district, residents, land managers, and resource representatives.
- The committee is expected to form in late spring or early summer 2023 and will exist for up to one year.
The committee will provide a sounding board for a selected planning consultant to test ideas, challenge assumptions and ultimately make recommendations to the City Council. Recruitment is underway for a planning consultant experienced with the complexities of community planning, urban design, environmental and cultural resources, federal and state coordination, recreation, and community engagement.
On April 12, 2022, the City Council approved using American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds to create a River District Master Plan. The master plan process will address substantial community interest in the following:
- Improving access to Lake Natoma (American River) and elevating its place in the community related to tourism, recreation, business and commerce.
- Protecting and celebrating historically and culturally significant sites.
- Preserving significant habitat and environmental resource areas.
Property Within the River District
- Federal and state properties comprise more than 75% of the land within the River District. The city must work closely with California State Parks and the Bureau of Reclamation while following the framework of their planning documents.
- The remaining riverfront areas owned by the city and private property owners present unique and exciting opportunities.
The schedule is tentative and subject to change.
- February 2023: Distribution of consultant Request for Qualifications (RFQ).
- March 2023: Consultant responses are due.
- April 2023: Consultant shortlist established and scope of work proposals due.
- May 2023: Consultant interviews, selection, and contract award.
- June 2023: Project planning begins.
- Fall 2024: Master Plan complete.