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PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT: PLAN, ADAPT & OVERCOME

Presented by: Nancy J. Williams, Project Manager Veronica O. Davis, PE March 26, 2011

Agenda
Introduction   Alexandria Waterfront Plan Overview   Public Involvement Process
 

  The

Challenge   The Plan   The Adaptation

Lessons Learned   Discussion
 

Alexandria Waterfront Plan
Daingerfield Island to Jones Point   Unique role throughout history
 

Alexandria Waterfront Plan
Builds on past planning efforts   Community revitalized by the arts
 

The Challenge: Balancing Interests
 

Multiple stakeholders along Waterfront
  City   Residents   Business   Nonprofits   National

Park Service

 

Regulatory and Legal Tools
  Land

use agreements   Zoning/historic district/height districts

Opportunity: Connectivity
 

Connecting a Revitalized Waterfront to surroundings in a harmonious way:
  Good

Neighbor to Old Town, North Old Town, City at large, Region   Avoiding Impacts: Scale/Traffic/Parking/Noise/River   Sensitivity to Area’s Past: History/Architecture   Sustainable Future: Economical and Environmental   Maximizing Public Benefit: Amenity for all

The Challenge: Citywide Amenity
 

Waterfront as a Citywide amenity
  Accessibility

to the waterfront: visual and physical   Activities for all age groups   Ability to traverse the waterfront along the water’s edge   Programming and activation of parks   Water-based activities   Art and History unifying features

Public Involvement: The Plan
6 Community Meetings   Kick-off Meeting   Lessons Learned from around the world   Community visioning   Community Open House   Concept Plan   Design Schematic Public Review Period

Public Involvement: The Adaptation
6 Community Meetings   2 Walking Tours   1 Boat Tour   Trip to NYC   4 “theme” nights   Public Comment period
 

WHAT WE DID

Community “Open Mike” Forum
Meeting #1 of 6  Kick-off event  Groups/organization were given 2 minutes
  Vision

for Waterfront   Guiding principles for the Plan

Community “Open Mike” Forum
 

Purpose: give the community an opportunity to talk first Lessons Learned
  Opportunity

 

to listen   Shape guiding principles   Acknowledge concerns and brainstorm solutions

Community Forum – Expert Panel
Meeting #2 of 6  Expert Panel  Waterfronts from around the world  Best practices  Lessons learned

Community Forum
 

Lessons Learned
  Community
  Historical   Size   Scale

enjoyed seeing what has been done   Show examples of comparable communities
Context

  Show

elements of extreme examples

Boat Tour

View of Waterfront from the water   Discussed history, zoning & development sites
 

Walking Tour #1
Representatives from all City Agencies   Walked from Robinson Terminal to Terminal   Challenges and opportunities
 

Walking Tour #2
Waterfront Committee Annual Walking Tour   40 citizens walked from Robinson Terminal to Terminal   Historic places & buildings
 

Tours
 

Lessons Learned
  Helps

people understand issues when they can see it   Explore community from different perspectives   Allows community to provide feedback

Community Visioning Workshop

Meeting #3 of 6 Over 100 people attended  Day long visioning exercise
  Red/Green

Dot   Drawing on maps

Community Visioning
 

Lessons Learned
  Skilled

facilitators are important   Manage the discussion without guiding it   Make sure everyone at tables participates   Allow community to draw on maps and measure their preferences   Document feedback through plenary session and website

Field Trip to NYC

Field Trip to NYC
5 out of 7 Planning Commissioners   Board of Architectural Review   Parks & Recreation Commission   Arts Commission   Waterfront Committee
 

Field Trip to NYC
 

Lessons Learned
  Experience

is more powerful than photos   Important that leadership from stakeholder groups attend   Have local representative guide tour
  Questions   Lessons

learned

Community Open House
Meeting #4 of 6  Presented maps & concepts based on all outreach events  Over 100 people in attendance

Open House – Activity Map

Theme Nights
Purpose: to gather input from community experts and lay persons on important components   History, Arts, and Marina Night
 

  Outreach

to specific interest groups   Workshop format

Theme Night: History
Outreach to all commissions with history in mission   Purpose: Focus on how to reflect history in the plan   Historical maps of the waterfront
 

  Identified

places and historic buildings   Community used post-it notes
 

Waterfront history white paper followed

Theme Night: Marina
Outreach to commercial and private boating communities and local Waterfront Committee   Purpose:
 

  Understand

operational needs and financial requirements of a viable marina and local vision

Use of meeting to share consultant data   Use of meeting to get practical information from boaters, other users: water taxis, passengers of local cruises, and Waterfront Committee
 

Theme Night: Arts
Outreach to arts community   Purpose:
 

  Integrate

art into Waterfront Plan   Determine how to incorporate art and to marry it with history and other cultural resources
 

Art Walk white paper followed

Community Meeting: Concept Plan
Meeting #5 of 6  Concept Plan - Vision Illustrated  Goals/Ideas  Conceptual Drawing w/Activity Nodes
  Piers

and Marina at Food of King   Public Plaza at Foot of King   Expansion of Parks   Improvement of Parks   Identification of Development Sites/Uses

Concept Plan Design

Community Meeting: Plan Design
Meeting #6 of 6 Plan Design  Use of scaled model  Use of schematic design for core area  Use of illustrative perspectives  Provided time for group feedback sessions & plenary session

Plan Design

Community Meetings: 5 and 6
Lessons Learned last two meetings  Use of media for outreach and information  Use of other technology for outreach  Effective use of visual tools  Tie products to previous agreed upon visioning goals and objectives – reinforce often  Keep lines of communication open

General Lessons Confirmed
Tours were excellent tool; All tours before community visioning   Ongoing citywide outreach – clear message   Communicate often with neighboring stakeholders   Efficient use of technology for outreach   Effective use of visual tools – model; illustratives   Keep community leaders involved and informed   Provide ongoing mechanism for feedback   Demonstrate that community has been heard
 

Additional Outreach
Staff attendance at commission, board & civic association meetings   One-on-One and small group meetings by request   Meeting with individual property owners   Social and traditional media
 

Public Review Period
Plan is released   First Public Hearing – Alexandria Planning Commission
 

  April

5, 2011   May 3, 2011
 

City Council to follow www.alexandriava.gov/Waterfront

Nancy J. Williams, Project Manager nancy.williams@alexandriava.gov Veronica O. Davis, PE vdavis@nspiregreen.com

QUESTIONS