North Amherst Village Center
Public Design Workshop
Saturday, May 7, 2011
North Amherst Parish Hall
Meet and Greet - 8:30 to 9:00 AM
Introductions and Goals Session - 9:00 to 10:00 AM
Topic Work Groups - 10 AM to Noon
Open Hours - Noon to 2 PM
Putting Together the Pieces - 2 to 3 PM
Workshop Summation and Follow Up – 3 to 3:30 PM
Workshop Description and Purpose - The Town of Amherst has retained The Cecil Group to prepare village center design plans and form-based zoning amendments for the North Amherst and Atkins Corner village centers. To initiate the planning and public participation process, The Cecil Group is conducting a Public Design Workshop focusing on major topics within the context of the overall planning, design and regulatory objectives for the North Amherst Village Center. The Design Workshop will be an interactive, visually-oriented charrette that introduces the public to the overall village planning process and engages them in design and development opportunities. The overall goal of the workshop is to define design and development scenarios that can be translated into appropriate conceptual plan and form-based zoning for the village center.
Meet and Greet - 8:30 to 9:00 AM: As participants arrive, they will be provided with a village center fact sheet outlining general trends and conditions in the North Amherst Village Center. A series of base maps, plans and photos will be on display and used to identify specific locations for future changes and enhancements. Coffee and light snacks will be served.
Introductions and Goals Session - 9:00 to 10:00 AM: The Cecil Group will introduce the village center planning and zoning project to workshop participants and solicit general ideas in terms in challenges, opportunities and goals for the North Amherst Village Center. We will seek to identify prevailing attitudes and opinions as to what makes a good place.
Topic Work Groups - 10 AM to Noon: During this session, participants will be divided into focus groups to identify specific use and design components for a successful village center, and where these characteristics exist or are absent in the village center. Topics of focus may include the following based on the feedback from participants:
• Development Scale and Mix of Uses - Desired development patterns, uses, scale and dimensional characteristics of new development, appropriate renovations, expansions, redevelopment, and the physical plan implications of attracting new residents and economic development.
• Design Themes and Characteristics – Preferred site and building design themes, landscaping, parking, and buffering techniques for surrounding neighborhoods.
• Public Infrastructure and Enhancements - The pedestrian environment, streetscape enhancements, parks and open space, public parking improvements, intermodal access and circulation, gateway treatments and wayfinding sign systems, and public transportation.
Open Hours - Noon to 2 PM: During Open Hours, participants will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with project team members to create drawings, graphics and illustrations for various public and private improvements throughout the village center.
Putting Together the Pieces - 2 to 3 PM: The Cecil Group will work with workshop participants to assemble all identified challenges and opportunities, goals and visions, the results of the topic meetings, and other written and conceptual materials into an overall theme board for the North Amherst Village Center.
Workshop Summation and Follow Up – 3 to 3:30 PM: At the conclusion of the Public Design Workshop, The Cecil Group will make a public presentation of the workshop results including challenges, opportunities and conceptual changes identified by participants. After the workshop, The Cecil Group will work closely with the Planning Board and Town staff to develop Draft Conceptual Village Center Plans for North Amherst. Land uses, design, form, and character concepts will be prepared based the public input received at the workshop as well as previous research.