(Photos: Mayor Fuller with young residents during June at Public Design Week for Hello Washington Street!; chalk artful welcome mat)
What do we want Washington Street to look like in the coming years? What types and amount of businesses and housing? Heights and styles of buildings? Parks? The street itself?
After spending 75 hours listening to more than 400 residents and business owners who stopped into the design studio on Washington Street last spring, draft plans are ready.
A first draft of the vision plan and draft zoning recommendations from Principle Group, the consultants hired to work with the City, will be presented at a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Newton North High School.
I’m excited to hear what residents have to say about the draft plans. We have a lot of decisions to make together and this is another step toward creating a future of our choosing along this vital street.
The Principle Group grouped what they heard thus far into several objectives:
- Creating more public spaces for people to sit and linger as well as socialize and eat.
- Preferring strongly compact spaces and abundant trees to create a canopy of leaves enclosing gathering spaces.
- Ensuring a safe walking environment along Washington Street.
- Differing opinions on whether to minimize the amount of development and limiting growth along Washington Street but consensus that new commercial and residential development should preserve the character of the street.
- Keeping the retail and storefront commercial uses along Washington Street unique, independent, and locally owned with plenty of restaurants.
- Having different kinds of housing along Washington Street, including affordable housing, housing for seniors, and housing that is accessible for persons with disabilities.
So, how are these goals achieved?
The planning team will bring on October 24
three dimensional images of possible options for sites along Washington Street to clarify the choices.
(Photo: illustrations in-process)