Would you rather see a commercial corridor or a business transition district?
Village officials are seeking community input on developing a vision for the Division Street (Route 59) corridor from Main Street south to Union Street.
Once a residential neighborhood, the corridor is now a major road traveled by an estimated 40,000 vehicles every day.
This month, urban design firm Civic ArtWorks launched the Vision for Division website, designed to give residents an active role in the planning and design of the corridor.
Village Planner Michael Garrigan said the site launched Sept. 15 to coincide with River Days. Village staff used the event to spread the word about the website.
“We handed out over 1,000 postcards,” Garrigan said, adding another 1,000 postcards will be mailed this week to residents and business owners in the corridor.
At issue is whether the stretch of Route 59 should remain a business transition district (BTD), which encourages property owners to convert residences into low-traffic businesses, or become home to higher-traffic commercial developments.
Village officials began discussing the issue after a proposed gas station at Route 30 and Route 59 stirred controversy among residents, many of whom objected to placing the business at the heavily traveled intersection. At the developer’s request, the proposal has not yet gone before the village board for a vote.
This summer, the village partnered with Civic ArtWorks to launch the Route 59 Visioning project, at a cost not to exceed $5,000.
Now, the project will use the Vision for Division website and social media to reach residents.
“Right now there have been very limited comments,” Garrigan said. But the village is working to spread the word in the hopes of sparking conversation.
“We’re just hoping to get a good discussion going,” he said.
“You can leave comments everywhere,” Garrigan said. “The only caveat is that you have to give your full name.”
Though Garrigan said there is no deadline for leaving comments, eventually, Civic ArtWorks will use the feedback to create a drawing of the vision shared by residents.
“That’s the exiting thing about this process, because it’s really going to end up as a three-dimensional drawing,” Garrigan said. “This really allows community members to provide some input.”
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