From the Santa Maria Times:

The Pismo Beach City Council will take more steps toward revitalizing the city’s downtown core when the elected officials meet Tuesday night.

Several years ago, the council took the initial steps to create a long-term vision for downtown and has since implemented a number of improvements in the area, including installing new benches and bicycle racks in the core, envisioned in that blueprint.

On Tuesday, the council is expected to enter into an agreement with RRM Design Group for consulting services to complete conceptual design drawings and preliminary cost estimates for upgrades to the pier plaza and parking lot, as well Price Street streetscapes, moving Pismo Beach closer to realizing implementation of the city’s Downtown Specific Plan.

During public visioning workshops the city hosted in 2013, ideas for improvements that surfaced during those meetings included closing the pier parking lot and revamping the area as an outdoor pedestrian plaza, which is no longer on the table, as well as demolishing the existing restrooms at the base of the pier and replacing the facilities at a different location.

“We are looking at ways to increase the capacity of the bathrooms and the pier parking lot, making it better,” Mayor Shelly Higginbotham said. “We don’t want long lines at the bathrooms, and we don’t want porta-potties (out there).”

The conceptual design drawings, which will be the city’s third set for the area, also will help the council best maximize the use of the areas surrounding the pier, such as the parking lot, which likely will see additional spaces added to it, Higginbotham said.

“We know we are going to keep the pier parking lot open,” Higginbotham added. “We don’t have any other place to put all those cars.”

Proposed streetscape improvements along Price Street include removing and replacing existing lighting and installing alternative crosswalk material, such as colored, patterned asphalt.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, Council Chambers, 760 Mattie Road.

April Charlton covers South San Luis Obispo County for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow her on Twitter@WordsDawn