What Happens When You Give Kids a Voice in the Planning Process?

Acosta Plaza is a 305-unit condominium development, constructed in the 1970s, which had over the years become mostly rental apartments for farmworkers. It also had developed a reputation as one the toughest neighborhoods in Salinas.

Nearly five years ago, the owner of the last undeveloped piece of property inside Acosta Plaza—one acre where the main house of the original Sanborn Ranch had once stood—approached the housing nonprofit I run with a proposal that we buy the property and build 14 new units. We said no to the housing idea—and then asked, why not build a community center for Acosta Plaza there instead?



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