Dave Reno has a vision for the future of Hesperia.

It's one where businesses and offices line Interstate 15, auto dealerships straddle the highway near a Ranchero Road interchange, offices and businesses line Main Street and the area surrounding Hesperia City Hall and the library is turned into a place where people will want to walk to work, shop and play.

It's a vision outlined in the Hesperia Main Street and Freeway Corridor Specific Plan, which will officially recognize the zoning of existing development and reorganize the zoning of the main commercial corridors -- present and future -- as well as parts of I Avenue and surrounding neighborhoods.

"The basic point of the freeway corridor [plan] is to create sales tax, generate jobs," said Reno, the principal planner for the city of Hesperia.

The plan's formal goals include turning the freeway into a regional shopping draw, increase the number of well-paying jobs, protect the rural feel of residential neighborhoods, create more choices in housing and create more shopping opportunities.

"I can't buy running shoes in my town," Reno said. "I can't buy a nice suit."

The Main Street and Freeway Corridor Specific Plan is actually a subset of the city's master plan for development, the General Plan, which they created and update in accordance with state law.

"We're required to do long-term plans," Reno said. "We're required to update our plan."

And Hesperia has changed dramatically since the first General Plan was drawn up, shortly after the city's incorporation in 1988. Since that time, the city of Hesperia has grown by 25 square miles and almost 30,000 people.

"Those factors alone require us to look at General Plan updating."

Dozens of property owners attended the July workshop discussing the specific plan and at the subsequent planning commission meetings. Many of them expressed concerns that the land they purchased when it was zoned one way would be changed to another category, which some would leave them with less desirable "downzoned" property.

"Downzoning" means different things to different owners, Reno said.

"Depending on the economy, some people will tell you residential is better, or commercial is better."

The plan that the city council will vote on later this month has been repeatedly modified based on feedback at the workshop and planning commission meetings.

And for those who have already developed their property, they'll be able to continue to use it in the same way, even if the zoning changes underneath it.

"Your use, whatever it was, as long as it was built under the zoning at the time, you can still use it."

There's one wrinkle, however: Property owners with non-conforming use under the new zoning will need to be able to prove they were using the site that way prior to the changes becoming official, which will typically require a business license from the city for proof.

"A lot of this plan is about interesting architecture design, creating a modern, interesting city," Reno said.

Among the requirements for future development along the freeway and Main Street --- should the plan be passed in its current form -- will be new rules about building facing, parking spaces and cosmetic appearance of a site.

"Right now, we have very little in our general plan that gives guidance to developers," Reno said. But existing structures will not be required to comply. "There's no mandatory provisions of 'you will upgrade your facades.'"

The plan along Main Street resembles the city's plans for the neighborhood around city hall, including trees, public furniture and points of interest designed to get residents out of their cars and into the community.

"I think people are looking for more than utilitarian services."

Reno's office in city hall looks out over Hesperia Civic Park, which opened to the public earlier this summer.

"There are people out here every day," he said. "If you build a safe, comfortable place, people will use it."

But should the city council approve the plan, Hesperia won't be transformed into a High Desert version of Old Town Pasadena. (The Arroyo Group, which developed the plan for the city, also developed the Old Town Pasadena plan for that city.)

"It'll still be Hesperia," Reno said. "There will be architectural standards, but there won't be architectural themes."

And the changes won't come quickly in any case.

"It's going to come with the pace of development," Reno said. "It's a 20-year plan."

Reno understands the concerns of property owners who are worried about the city's changes to the zoning of their undeveloped property.

"You buy more than dirt, you buy more than concrete, you buy expectations," he said. "And when you change that, it's very touchy. ... And we never forget that."

An information session on the proposed Main Street and Freeway Corridor Specific Plan will be held on Wednesday, August 13, at 6:30 p.m. at Hesperia City Hall, at 9700 Seventh Avenue.

The Hesperia City Council will consider the plan at their next meeting, on Tuesday, August 19, at 6:30 p.m. at Hesperia City Hall, at 9700 Seventh Avenue. Should the plan pass, it will get a second reading at the September 2 meeting and then go into effect 30 days later on October 2.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.