Thursday, January 20, 2011

Final Broad Street Visual Preference Survey Results

The final Broad Street visual preference survey results are in! This survey was part of the new Broad Street "form-based" zoning regulation currently being drafted. Participants were asked to look at a series of photographs and rate each photograph based on whether it would be something that is desirable or undesirable in the Broad Street redevelopment area. The survey results will help inform what types and styles of development and public spaces will be prescribed in the regulation. The future of Broad Street continues to be a popular topic of conversation around town and throughout the 2020 planning process.

The response to the survey was overwhelming. Over 600 people took part of the survey. Of those, over 400 completed it and over 100 took the time to make individual comments. The Survey results, which show the highest-rated image for each category, can be viewed HERE.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Manchester Wins a 2010 Smartie Award

Did you know the Town of Manchester won a 1000 Friends of Connecticut "Smartie" award for it's recent planning efforts- including the Manchester 2020 planning process? Check out the release below:

Manchester was the recipient of a Smartie Award presented by 1000 Friends of Connecticut at the 1000 Friends’ annual meeting on October 6th in New Haven Connecticut. The award recognizes Manchester for its “proactive pursuit of smart, sustainable growth, vibrant mixed use walkable neighborhoods, affordable housing, transit-oriented development and the planning and updated codes necessary to them.”

Dara Kovel, a member of 1000 Friends Board of Directors, presented the award. She noted Manchester’s various boards and commissions have been pursuing projects and plans consistent with smart growth principles. These principles include creating walkable neighborhoods, encouraging a mix of land uses and compact building and site design, creating a range of housing opportunities and choices, fostering attractive communities with a strong sense of place, and preserving open space and critical natural features.

Among the projects Ms. Kovel cited were the conversion of the vacant and deteriorating Dye House in the Cheney Historic Mill District into 57 affordable homes, and the approval of a mixed use and mixed income project on Center Street that will provide affordable housing in a location where there are existing public transit, utilities, and other services.

She noted that Manchester’s Broad Street Redevelopment Plan promotes compact, mixed use development that will include green building and green site development techniques. It will create a walkable and sustainable neighborhood and eliminate blighting property conditions while directing growth to undeveloped land with existing infrastructure in the center of the community. The Manchester Redevelopment Agency and the Planning and Zoning Commission are partnering to develop a form-based zoning code to ensure the type of development envisioned in the plan. That code will include green building and site development practices developed for a vacant shopping center in the Parkade site with funds from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Also significant to 1000 Friends is Manchester 2020, the collaborative community planning process that is re-examining Manchester’s future by looking at the extent to which the Town meets the smart growth principles in the State Plan of Conservation and Development. Manchester 2020 involves all of Manchester’s boards and commissions and residents in a series of interactive workshops to identify the issues and opportunities that face Manchester, and strategies to achieve a vision for Manchester’s future. By focusing on growth management principles and smart growth aspirations, the plan should result in a more integrated approach to community building and placemaking.

1000 Friends of Connecticut is a statewide organization whose mission is to promote and shape growth to ensure a prosperous economy, a healthy natural environment, and distinctive, integrated and attractive communities while promoting opportunities in education, housing, transportation, and employment for ourselves and future generations.