Enhancing Our Downtown

Comp Plan Forum

Jamie Greene, Principal of ACP Planning and Visioning, was the NDDC’s guest at our monthly forum this morning. ACP is the consultant for the City’s redrafting of the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinances.

In his opening remarks, Jamie stated that his firm does not work with communities where the process ends with the plan. ACP is committed to implementation, where the plan reshapes the ordinances and actually guides the community toward its desired future.

ACP’s approach is to replace the old paradigm of segregating uses with a focus on the character of place and form-based development goals. The new paradigm strives to achieve the community’s vision through the type of development that it supports.

Downtown stakeholders attending this morning’s meeting brought up a number of issues. These included a desire for a closer integration between the colleges and the community to pursue shared goals, the increasingly inefficient conversion of agricultural land for new housing, and the need for policies and programs to better reflect the community’s value of our authentic downtown.

In responding to the issues raised, Jamie cited his firm’s work in Oxford, Ohio to include action steps between the university and the community in their comprehensive plan, the potential for more dense, more diverse housing options within a walkable district, and downtown stakeholders’ participation in this process to shape the outcomes. He urged them to begin this evening with the Community Workshop.

The session is tonight (Tuesday, April 3rd) from 7 to 9 pm at the Northfield Armory, 519 Division Street (6th and Division). All are encouraged to attend.