Draft plan addresses appearancePublished 8:40pm Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Washington’s draft comprehensive plan lists several “action steps” when it comes to improving community appearance.
Those steps include the following:
• Identify strategic gateway locations and prepare plans to enhance them. A priority shall be the gateway at Main and Gladden streets.
• Prepare a coordinating wayfinding sign system to post at gateways and downtown.
• Prepare plans for additional streetscape improvements along key corridors.
• Pursue initiatives to relocate overhead utility lines underground in strategic corridors.
• Enhance regulations and guidelines for design of new buildings.
The draft does not provide specific details on implementing those steps. That direction will be provided by the Planning Board, city planning staff, City Council and the public.
The draft states that new development and redevelopment in the city will incorporate high standards of design that enhance the visual character of the city. It also notes that gateways and entrances to the city will be enhanced with signage and landscaping in a manner that announces entrance to the community and welcomes visitors. The draft also states road corridors and streetscapes will be landscaped in strategic locations, with attention to lighting and public improvements that add visual character to the corridors, in addition to ongoing attention to road maintenance.
The Planning Board is expected to play a major role in developing those “action” steps so they are complementary to other economic-development strategies and activities in the city.
The draft plan — “Pride in the Past, Faith in the Future” — lists three initiatives that should be pursued first. They are supporting efforts to promote the downtown/waterfront areas, actions that are feasible, inexpensive and relatively easy to complete quickly and new opportunities to implement and pursue medium- and long-range ideas.
The 2030 plan was prepared to “articulate a vision for the community’s future and a road map for how to achieve that future,” reads the draft plan’s preface. The draft plan is organized around five major themes — downtown and the waterfront, economic development, community appearance, historic preservation and tourism, including eco-tourism.
Before it can be approved, a public hearing on the draft comprehensive plan will have to be conducted.