The Mojave Community Revitalization Vision Plan, established in 2013, outlines the desired ways for the community should develop over the next 20-30 years. The Revitalized Mojave citizens group worked with Kern County to create the Vision Plan it can be read in full on the Kern County website. Since it was spearheaded by a citizens’ group and prepared with input from local residents and the business community, it’s an indicator of the strong community feel already present in Mojave.
Vision Plan Objectives
- Establish a unified theme for public improvements
- Identify improved public spaces
- Encourage and support local businesses
- Improve aesthetic character of residential neighborhoods
- Provide opportunities for a range of residential types
- Develop an action-oriented vision plan to guide implementation of improvements
The Vision Plan is focused on a project area just west of the Mojave Air and Space Port, defined by Oak Creek Road to the north, Meyer Road to the south, O Street to the east, and Sierra Highway to the west. The area includes commercial, residential, and service/industrial zones.
To develop the Vision Plan, organizers interviewed stakeholders in the community and held a visioning workshop and unveiling event, where residents were invited to provide input and feedback on the proposed ideas and initiatives.
These outreach events identified current community assets (the Air and Space Port, historic architecture, local businesses, schools), community needs (more retail and department stores, restaurants, a community/teen center, safe pedestrian crossings), and strategies for improvement (paint neglected buildings, develop a historic preservation program, install trees and landscaping along streets and sidewalks).
What Will Mojave Look Like?
The approved Vision Plan includes a narrative that describes the community’s future:
There will be a commercial district as the community’s focal point, with mixed-use buildings featuring street-level shops and restaurants with offices and residences on upper stories. Pedestrian-friendly streets will be landscaped and provide places to gather, rest, and socialize.
The vibrant Arts & Entertainment district will house the community’s “cultural heart,” with a restored theater and independent film house, public gathering spaces, an Art Alley with murals and art installations, and areas to host community events.
Mojave’s transit hub past will be celebrated in a variety of ways, including architectural references and a heritage museum. A new Metrolink station will connect residents with the rest of the region.
The Sierra Highway District will welcome and serve tourists and travelers with restaurants, hotels, and other services.
The Mojave South District will get new amenities like a charter school, recreation facility, youth center, entertainment venue, and condos.
Artists, makers, and entrepreneurs will find places to live and work in the industrial/flex space district, which will feature incubator businesses, fabrication shops, art studios, and live/work lofts.
Residential parks throughout the community will provide playgrounds, dog parks, community gardens, and picnic benches.
The community will feature safe and attractive places to walk and bike, with continuous sidewalks, controlled intersections, designated bike routes, and a bicycle-and pedestrian-only Heritage Trail along the railroad.
A clear identity for Mojave will be showcased with gateway features, coordinated signage, architectural design, and streetscape furnishings.
Details of the Vision Plan
Examples are given in the Vision Plan for design preferences, which including desert rock, reclaimed materials, a mix of retro, art deco, and contemporary signage/architecture, and native shrubs and plants. A colorful, retro color palette is presented as well.
The Vision Plan also includes four appendices that outline recommendations and action items to turn the vision into a reality:
- Appendix A (County Action Plan) describes the actions Kern County will take.
- Appendix B (Community Action Plan) describes the projects that community groups, including Revitalize Mojave and other organizations, business groups, and volunteers, will undertake.
- Appendix C (Potential Funding and Financing Mechanisms) lists the various grants and other sources of funding (federal, regional, and private) that may be available for the various improvement projects.
- Appendix D (Table of Recommended Initiatives) describes programs that may be implemented to attract new businesses to Mojave.
The Vision Plan shows a community that’s eager to move forward. While it’s still early in the process, we at Pacific States Land are eagerly anticipating the changes and improvements to come to the already-strong community in Mojave.
VISION PLAN OBJECTIVES – Photo from Kern County Planning and Natural Resource Department