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2013 Downtown Master Plan Update (DTMP)

A master plan looks ahead.  It simply asks the question “if we set aside the obstacles, what do we want to be?  Where do we want to go?”  The end result, the plan, becomes a guide for day to day decisions, to be sure that limited and precious resources (time, budget dollars and staff time) are aligned with a shared goal.  Ideally, it eliminates duplicate efforts and a waste of resources.

The master plan for our downtown is just that.  A guide for future decisions.  Some of the things the community prioritized that were built into the plan were the concepts of services for local residents; safety; pedestrian circulation; vibrant; self-sustaining and; to include pleasant spaces (click here for the full mission statement).  So the master planning committee made up of more than 20 residents, with input from the wider community, developed a master plan.  A guide for how we might collectively make decisions going forward.

On February 11, 2014, with the help of Legat Architects, a firm with a national reputation in downtown design, we took the ideas expressed by the community, put them in front of the volunteers on the economic development, land use and design sub committees and imagine what might be possible.

These sketches reflect what might be possible 5, 10 or 20 years from now.  Between now and then a wide range of decisions will be made, circumstances will change, and the unforeseen will become a factor.  But this gives us something to aim towards.

These sketches represent ideas and concepts contemplated in the draft maps under development as part of the updated master plan.  They show a downtown that has both residential and business use.  They show a downtown that has lots of places to gather, places for kids to hang out and for families to walk, dine and play together.  They are built upon the values put forth by the community, expanded on by the sub committees and brought to life by the pro bono efforts of one of the nation’s leading architectural firms in municipal design, Legat Architects.

These sketches give us an idea of what’s possible.  And it’s a place to begin a conversation about what could/should happen next. Take a close look at these sketches by clicking the poster to the right and ask yourself if you can imagine yourself and your family in the picture.  And let us know what you see.

Economic Development Panel Discussion - The DTMP Economic Development Subcommittee recently hosted a Panel Discussion to review the economic viability of the draft long-range land use and design concept plans. In addition to the questions prepared by the DTMP Economic Development Subcommittee, the 30 plus attendees asked questions regarding retail viability, traffic, parking, building heights and the effect retail rent rates have on potential development.  In general the panel liked the plan’s built-in flexible and market driven themes; they liked the increased intensity (building heights) being considered in the plan, however, the panel tempered expectations noting that even with increased foot traffic the downtown may not be able to sustain a full service grocery store; downtown retail will need to be destination type businesses since we won’t be able to rely on drive by traffic.


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Conce‚Äčpts for Public Gathering Spaces

Click below to learn more about each image:

1. Sloan Triangle - A view north on S Prospect Av at Park Av

This image illustrates:

  • Corner bump-outs and brick-paved crosswalks to provide additional public gathering spaces and reinforce pedestrian circulation safety.
  • Downtown branding through the installation of pergolas, banners, streetlights, bicycle racks, benches and trash/recycling containers of a predetermined design and material.
  • Introduction of blade-signs on buildings allowing retailers to better orient their identification to the pedestrian.
  • The provision of balconies and rooftop spaces overlooking public spaces and the downtown streetscape.
  • Incorporation of awnings along the streets to provide shelter and a sense of human scale. Corner buildings to emphasizing architectural elements and entrances adjacent to street corners.

2. Eastern Av Plaza - A view north on S Prospect Av, South of Eastern Av:

This image illustrates:

  • Development of Central Plaza at the west end of the commuter station property and expansion of Eastern Av Plaza at the southeast corner of S Prospect Av and Eastern Av. These two plazas could be used together for smaller community events (ie farmers markets, etc) without needing to close-off S Prospect Av.
  • Downtown branding through the installation of pergolas, banners, streetlights, bicycle racks, benches and trash/recycling containers of a predetermined design and material.

3. Golf Plaza - A view west on Burlington Av, east of Ann St

This image illustrates:

  • Conversion of the Golf Av curve adjacent to the Village Hall property into Golf Av Plaza. This new plaza would provide public space four activities (ie - art festivals, etc) north of the BNSF railroad.
  • Redevelopment of the Village Hall and Public Library properties for a multiple-family residence or office building.
  • Corner bump-outs and brick-paved crosswalks to provide additional public gathering spaces and reinforce pedestrian circulation safety.

4. Commuter Station/Community Center Development - A view southeast of Burlington Av at S Prospect Av

This image illustrates:

  • Realignment of the commuter station driveway and the addition of intersection bump-outs at Ann St and Eastern Av.
  • Development of a community center and public plaza on the commuter station property, a facility conceptions containing village hall, public library, park district, commuter station and post office services, and commuter parking. The building portrayed in these illustrations is conceptual.
  • Making the piped-creek along the north and east side of Easter Av from S Prospect south to Park Av a visible water feature in the downtown. Entrances to the commuter station property and Ann St would be “bridged” over the exposed creek, providing formal gateways to the new community center facility and the Ann St neighborhood.

5. Golf Plaza & Commuter Station/Community Center development - A view southeast on Burlington Av at S Prospect Av

This image illustrates:

  • Converting the Golf Av curve adjacent to the Village Hall property into Golf Av Plaza. This new plaza would provide public space four activities (ie - art festivals, etc) north of the BNSF railroad.
  • Improved commuter shelter and BNSF utility shed north of the BNSF railroad tracks. The conceptual community center can be seen south of the tracks.

6. Burlington Plaza - A view southwest on Burlington Av, east of S Prospect Av

This image illustrates:

  • Redevelopment of the properties at the southwest corner of Burlington Av and S Prospect Av for a mixed use building with a plaza for outdoor dining and public gathering.
  • Corner bump-outs and brick-paved crosswalks to provide additional public gathering spaces and reinforce pedestrian circulation safety.
  • Improved commuter shelter and BNSF utility shed north of the BNSF railroad tracks. The conceptual community center can be seen south of the tracks.