City Council Receives Preliminary Design Concepts for Town Center Development

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At a Burgdorf Board of Directors working session on Tuesday evening, the board heard a pair of presentations regarding design concepts for the downtown quadrant bounded by Mountain Ave to the south, Massachusetts Ave to the north, the third street east and fourth street west and then discussed plans for metropolitan neighborhoods.

The agenda of the Board of Directors’ working session focused on a presentation concerning the 3rd Redevelopment of the Street/Massachusetts Ave corridor. The board heard from Roger Sherman of BHS Design, whose company developed the design concepts.

The two concepts were similar in overall design – making the area a more pedestrian and cyclist friendly urban square. The area along 3rd The street north of Mountain Ave uses a pedestrian corridor that also provides ample parking for businesses located on the west side of the street, but also incorporates walls of artwork, planters, benches and a picnic shelter -nice. A similar concept, although smaller and without a parking lot, was presented for the alley between the buildings occupied by Berthoud Drug and Re-Max Town & County.

City administrator Chris Kirk said the city wanted to have “general conversations…before we take too long in the design process.” Sherman explained that preliminary design concepts revolve around creating an area with “fewer streets, shared streets, a more inviting atmosphere” and one that would be “ideal for events.”

Further north, both concept plans call for a gravel parking area directly east and north of the grain elevator adjacent to the railway tracks, which would eventually increase the number of parking spaces in the area (from 87 to 93 in one concept and 87 to 112 in the other), since the initial design called for parallel parking on the east side of 3rd Street. The loss of diagonal parking spaces currently in place there is offset by an increase in parking further north, with Sherman saying the company wanted to ensure adequate parking remained available in the area.

Kirk succinctly summed up the parking issues in the plans by saying, “we’re adding more parking space, we’re adding more pedestrian space.” The plans will tie into a proposal due soon for the old City Hall building on Massachusetts Ave. The advice was largely complementary to the designs presented with Mayor Will Karspeck questioning the feasibility of providing a platform for the proposed Front Range rail connection. which is currently being considered by municipalities across the Front Range.

Second, the council was presented with a draft Metropolitan District Service Plan Policy. While the details of said policy are long and detailed, in outline, the proposed plan – which will be presented to council and released to the public for comment and review in July – establishes the criteria used by council and city staff. to assess service plans, or modifications thereof, for new metro areas within the city’s jurisdiction.

According to the draft policy, the council would first have to approve the development of the planned unit and the corresponding neighborhood master plan, as currently required by the city code. Once these have been approved by council, any development requesting a metropolitan district service plan would, according to the information provided, be assessed to ensure its ability to “deliver public benefits through extraordinary development results”, providing a “public benefits story” that outlines the means by which the district will deliver said benefits in at least four of the following areas: environmental sustainability, critical public infrastructure, smart growth management, affordable housing, workforce housing work, infill/redevelopment and economic health outcomes.

The developer, if the policy is approved as currently proposed, will submit this and other information, including financial information, to the city for review. A series of reviews and meetings will follow, with city staff, council and the public all having input and access to proposals and details before any proposed plan is approved.

The surveyor will continue to report council actions regarding metropolitan district policy as developments progress.

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