Planning for the Downtown of our future: La Crescent
The following ‘boards’ were presented at a Public Meeting on February 22. They represent a draft of ideas for Downtown Development. They are based on the recently completed La Crescent Comprehensive Plan and another Public Meeting in November where we asked questions, conducted a walking tour and learned from our consultants. The final ‘idea boards’ will guide the City Council, Staff and Committees in their work. Action is required to meet the citizens’ requests for more local retail and commercial options and a more ‘attractive’ and ‘active’ downtown. City aggregation of property, generation of policies, seeking out developers for specific projects, crafting our community image….all depend on a common vision, a common goal. The process of idea generation, public input and refining and adopting a vision is essential.
It is also essential that we do not just meet and share our ‘opinions’–an outside experienced professional opinion is required to introduce new ideas, new thinking and the knowledge of what has worked, or failed, in other communities. Jason Valerius and his team with MSA Professional Services from Madison, Wisconsin is guiding our process.
Our work is led by the Planning Commission with the assistance of the Economic Development Committee and the local Chamber of Commerce. The City Council will review and adopt the ideas and concepts and then it will be the direction we are headed. From then forward each of our decisions should be with an end goal in mind. We will not have a different future unless the next decision we make or the next building that is permitted is on the path toward a better future.
These boards are not the specific final outcome. No one can predict the future this precisely. But zoning, regulation, street reconstruction, redevelopment funding can be ‘aimed’ in the direction to support ‘the vision’.
Comments are encouraged as is your participation. If you would like be involved you can send your email address to [email protected] and you will be added to the emailing lists. If you have comments you may send them to [email protected]. You are also encouraged to share your perspective with me as the Chair of the La Crescent Planning Commission and feel invited to attend our meetings and participate and stay informed.
Some themes are shown on the various board: narrowing the streets to gain more sidewalk for out-of-doors seating; use of ‘reverse’ angle parking; use of multistory mixed use (retail, commercial and housing) buildings; relocation and reconstruction sites for a City Hall/Library/Police/Governmental lease space; Downtown higher density housing; Grocery location; focus on prime redevelopment sites; residential reuse if a future decision was to relocate the Elementary School; and a location for a gathering ‘place’ at the ‘take-off’ of a bike and pedestrian bridge from 1st Street South to cross HWY 14/61.
On April 4th we will be discussing the next draft based on the February meeting. To get an email notice please send your email address. If you are already getting notices you will be informed.
Thank you for reviewing our work to date. On behalf of the many that are part of envisioning a bright future for La Crescent, Don.
Donald Smith / 608.792.9897 / [email protected]