Downtown Master Plan

Conceptual image showing pedestrian oriented scene with traffic management and landscaping features.

A vibrant downtown is essential to the health of the greater city around it.  Modesto’s downtown is attracting attention for its current appeal and its future potential.   This potential can be realized through vision and community engagement - those are the motivations for the Downtown Master Plan.  The Downtown Master Plan project will address improved parking, attractive public spaces, such as tiny parks and plazas, and opportunities for housing, transit and other elements of a successful downtown.

Modesto City Council Approves Downtown Master Plan

The Draft Downtown Master Plan (DMP) was presented to the City of Modesto Planning Commission at their regular meeting on August 3, 2020.  The Planning Commission recommended that the City Council approve the Draft Plan.  The City Council considered the DMP, including the Planning Commission’s recommendation, on August 11, 2020, and unanimously approved the Plan.

Council minutes and agenda packets are available in the City of Modesto website’s Agenda Center.

For questions regarding the DMP project, contact Brad Wall, Principal Planner, at 209-577-5273, or by email.

Building on Community Engagement

Have comments?

Image link to downtown master plan comment form


City Council Workshop:  December 17, 2019

The City Council conducted a study session with Opticos, the Downtown Master Plan (DMP) consultant, in order to learn about progress to date and next steps toward a draft DMP document. The discussion and feedback from council members and citizens was positive, and Opticos will proceed with preparing the formal DMP in the first quarter of 2020. View the City Council Downtown Master Plan Workshop presentation (PDF) from the December 17, 2019 study.

Design Charrette:  September 30 - October 4, 2019

Image of audience at presentation at Greens on Tenth

The City of Modesto hosted a week-long Design Charrette from Monday September 30 through Friday October 4.  Inputs from the July 22 Visioning exercise were integrated with best downtown design practices and concepts in an interactive format that included presentations, specific brown-bag lunch issue discussions and a design pinup/popup.

Follow these links to presentations and content presented during the Design Charrette:

Kickoff Downtown Walking Tour and Visioning Workshop:  July 22, 2019

Side by side photos of downtown walking tour group, and visioning workshop group taken on July 22, 2

The first community engagement event involved a walking tour of downtown and a visioning workshop.  The Mayor, Council members, city staff and Modestans gathered to get an on-the-street perspective of the current downtown and some exciting future opportunities.   Later the same day, a visioning workshop was held at the McHenry Museum to gather additional input as to how the City and consulting firm Opticos should approach a holistic, downtown-wide plan.  More than 80 active community members attended these events, listening and sharing their hopes, concerns and great ideas.   

Focus Groups

Several Focus Group meetings were also facilitated on July 22 to identify topical issues and concerns to be addressed in the Downtown Master Plan.  Those notes have been assembled by Opticos for reference.

Workshop Summary Notes

Twelve tables of 6-8 participated the Visioning Workshop Exercise, producing a diverse array of concepts for the improvement of downtown Modesto from strategic to detailed.   The recommendations from all of the tables have been assembled by Opticos for reference.

Workshop Presentation

Opticos staff presented a variety of concepts about downtown planning to help generate ideas and discussion.   The information and images as presented have been assembled by Opticos for reference.