Kickoff Week recap

Trip #1 for the Advance Addison Comprehensive Plan took place October 17th and 18th, 2023. The primary objective of this first trip was to make introductions, learn more about the Town, and get some initial input on the community’s ideas about the future.

Community Tour

The first day started with a staff-led tour of the Town for the Verdunity team. The van tour covered the entire town and allowed staff to showcase the thriving areas as well as areas in need of reinvestment while also providing context for areas of upcoming and/or significant development within the Town.

 

Council and Planning Commission Workshop

The first joint meeting with the City Council and Planning Commission was hosted on the evening of Tuesday, October 17, 2023. Ken Schmidt gave an overview of the project and introduced the consulting team. His presentation emphasized the importance of broad-reaching, authentic community engagement and discussion, and provided background regarding the importance of the Comprehensive Plan and how it needs to be a living document that is referenced to guide future development decisions. Kevin Shepherd with Verdunity then shared information about the project plan structure and timeline. The workshop wrapped up with an interactive dialogue about five key questions that the planning effort will be exploring and addressing. These questions were the same ones utilized in the Community Engagement Kick-Off event the following evening.

Interviews with Town Staff

The second day of the trip included in-depth conversations with Town staff leadership regarding the four(4) components of the Comprehensive Plan:

  1. Land Use and Development Character
  2. Housing and Neighborhoods
  3. Mobility and Connectivity
  4. Economic Development

These conversations with Town staff were an important first step in building relationships between the consultant and staff members who will be providing information, community context, and technical feedback during the planning process.

Community Kick-Off

The trip wrapped up with a Community Kick-Off event on the evening of October 18th. This event consisted of a brief presentation by Town staff and Verdunity in which an explanation of a Comprehensive Plan and its impacts were discussed, as well as the project timeline and ways to get engaged. After the presentation, attendees were asked to participate in two engagement exercises.

Activity 1

The first activity consisted of five(5) stations, where attendees were asked to share their answers to the following “How Might We…?“ questions:

  • How might we…revitalize aging buildings and commercial centers?
  • How might we…provide quality housing options for everyone?
  • How might we…improve connectivity and walking/cycling options?
  • How might we…enhance and increase our supply of public spaces?
  • How might we…attract and retain businesses and their workforce?

Activity 2

The second activity was a drawing wall with the question “Tell Us What You Love About Addison!” Attendees were encouraged to write and/or draw aspects of Addison that they loved with colored markers. A tablet was also provided for people to record short videos of their responses as well.

 

Over 60 people attended the community event. The combination of the tour, conversations with staff and elected and appointed officials, and interaction with residents provided the consultants with a great foundation to build on going forward.

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