Northfield frameworkplansept2011


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Northfield frameworkplansept2011

  1. 1. Framework Planning in North eld A Perpetual Work in Progress Community ideas about the future of North eldFacilitated and Compiled by North eld Roundtable September 2011
  2. 2. What is a Framework Plan? A document of conceptual illustrations to inspire ideas, generate conversation and explore “what could be” “A reminder to all of us that these represent long-range principles and directions, not xed physical plans.” – Bill Johnson• New Ideas are tested: with the !"##$%&%()#*#)+#, balanced with the !"##$%&%-./0$,. is is an on-going discussion that nds a t and compromise to provide forward momentum.• A Framework Plan supports a larger idea of the whole, &1#%/"&#)2""#2&#$%3"$%*4"#)5/*&/2%/$#"&/&46 that is easily lost when individual elements are only considered as separate entities or identities.Framework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 2
  3. 3. Intentions of the Framework Plan e Framework Plan will always be a work in progress. It is a document designed to be inspira-tional rather than prescriptive, with an emphasis on what could be as opposed to what should be. e goal is to encourage long-range visioning that will keep North eld, Minnesota, an attractive and vibrant place to live, learn, work and play . . . well into the future.• Provide a +/*.30%3"$%&#7&.30%2"2#(t for development and redevelopment opportunities in North eld• Strengthen 8)&19#0$:*%2)#%1/*&)/2%-.*/"#**;3)&*;2.0&.)30% $/*&)/2& while recognizing how these districts are surrounded and supported by residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, educational and recreational districts• Guide &1.51&<.0%3"$%=#3*.)#$%5)>&1 of the greater down- town area• Foster a *#"*#%<%2==."/&4• Integrate the .)-3"%*#&&/"5%>/&1%"3&.)30%<#3&.)#* while re- specting the rural landscapes that are integral to the greater North- eld area• Support the vision, identity and key directions articulated in the 8)&19#0$%?=()#1#"*/+#%@03"Framework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 3
  4. 4. Guiding Principles of the Framework Plan Five principles that currently guide the group in discussions and in work with others:• Foster 2"&/"./&4 including historic, • Enhance 2""#2&/+/&46%/"&#)$#(#"$#"2#%3"$%*.*&3/"3-0#% • Encourage #"535#=#"& in the rural, educational, cultural, agricultural 0/"B35#* with improved gateways to North eld, strong relationships broadest sense, including welcoming and commercial elements that have between the colleges and the community, continuous trails and sys- new people and ideas into North- supported and continue to support the tems for bicyclists and pedestrians, interconnected streets and routes eld’s enduring identity, looking North eld community. within and through the city, and public spaces for people to connect for new solutions to persistent chal- with one another. lenges, nurturing existing partner-• Support a *#"*#%<%(032#6 including ships while seeking new partners to urban elements that enhance com- !! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! continuity grow the community, and fostering munity building, our historic river growth that is reliable and sustain- town and college town identity, a self- able into the future. standing town in a rural landscape, and a community rich in arts and cultural !"#!"$%&$()*" • Foster the 5)##"/"5%<%8)&1A opportunities. 9#0$6 using landscaping as an inte- !"##$!%&&%( grative tool to support continuity, community identity and connectiv- !!!" # $%$"&"# ity, and to link the urban setting to ! its natural and rural surroundings. ! !!!!!!"#$ $ % & % "! ( ! ) # *+ ( & $, - e principles of the Framework Plan are intentionally conceived and articulated to be consistent with the City of North eld’s Comprehensive Plan and other guiding documents. Framework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011 A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 4
  5. 5. Conceptual Diagram of North eldOur central city contains a traditional downtown adjacent to the Cannon River, runningparallel to a major transportation corridor that includes Highway 3 and the railway. Potentialdevelopment on the west side of Highway 3 would bring more symmetry to the zones of action inthe greater downtown area. e two colleges provide opportunities for “stepping stones” throughthe community to downtown and to one another.Planning ConsiderationsC% D3*&AE#*&%37#* are important 2""#2&)* between the east side and west side of the greater downtown coreC% F1#%)/+#) is North eld’s !G#>#0,H our downtown provides great opportunities for public access to the river as well as a river orientation for our businesses• ere is the potential to view the corridor formed by the parallel railway, highway and river as a !?=="*,H this could be a transformative idea in shaping North eld’s future• ere are mutual bene ts to a )#*/$#"&/30;2==#)2/30%/"&#)<32#• Be mindful of B#4%53&#>34* to the central city, +/*&3* open to people passing through and important 2)"#)*&"#%$#+#0(=#"&*C% !I)##"/"5, is more than just about trees... it is a philosophy. It is about creating a comfortable, safe and inviting environmentFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 5
  6. 6. Framework Concepts – Overview 1 is broad conceptual diagram of North eld’s downtown emerged from a community planning session on August 20, 2010. Observations • Imagines development on the west side of Highway 3 that brings *4==#&)4 to the downtown core • Creates the center segment of a 2))/$)% that embraces downtown, the river, the railway and the major artery for motorized tra c • Envisions 1.-*%<%32&/+/&4 that will not only bene t the community, but also the speci c stakeholders in this area of the city • North eld’s #$.23&/"30%/"*&/&.&/"* (including Carleton, St. Olaf and the public schools campus) create strong anchors at three distinct entrances to the cityFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 6
  7. 7. Framework Concepts – Overview 2 is broad conceptual diagram of North eld’s downtown emerged from a community planning session on January 29, 2011. Observations • Considerable opportunities exist to build #3*&A>#*&%2""#2&)*, tying together the whole of the downtown core • e ?3"""%J/+#)%!" supported by Division and Water Streets, Highway 3 and the railway - deserves special emphasis • Existing assets such as the @.-0/2%K/-)3)4 and the U.S. @*&%L<92# build- ing create opportunities to build upon important existing landmarks Utilizing the City of North eld’s Comprehensive Plan and other existing guiding documents, this framework is designed to promote ideas and excitement for what North eld could be.Framework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 7
  8. 8. Framework Concepts – Overview 3 is diagram of North eld’s downtown core emerged from two community planning sessions on January 29 and April 28, 2011. Observations C% M)-3"%$#*/5" ideas in the vicinities of 5th Street and 7th Street along the Cannon River • e @*&%L<92#%;%K/N.)%O&)#% P02B and the J/+#)(3)B%Q300%P02B have an important riverfront presence • e ?3"""%J/+#) as an ideal stage for the entire downtown experience • A E/"$>%"%&1#%J/+#)<)"& could o er inviting views into and out of downtown A constant reminder: is Framework Plan suggests possibilities and opportunities tied to long-range principles.Framework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 8
  9. 9. Framework Ideas – Focus on the “Q Block” e “Q Block” could play a central role in creating an east-west axis for North eld. Many havesuggested it as a long-range location for a transportation hub that could provide a “hook”connecting emerging West Side redevelopment to the East Side historic downtown. • Potential site of a refurbished historic train depot that could serve as a North- eld visitor center among other uses • Concept of parking lots as parks... ef- fectively planned and landscaped creates a exible space for parking or for public events • Transit hub for trains, buses, bicycles and cars • A safe, inviting “greened” walkway across the railroad tracks, Highway 3 and Cannon River is crucial to e ective east-west connections Applied Planning Concepts • Second Street is a key east-west connector • “Q Block” is a potential cornerstone development • Green edges reinforce greening philosophy • Highway 3 & 2nd Street intersection create key gateway to city centerFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 9
  10. 10. Framework Ideas – Focus on the Cannon River e Cannon River is North eld’s jewel. Whether as natural habitat, leisure and entertainmentcenterpiece, commercial attraction or re ective park, the river creates an ambience that could be alocal and regional draw. Applied Planning Concepts • e river as an all-season park and focal point of the “Commons” • A river park becomes a part of our parks and recreation system • Extend the river’s in uence – not only north and south – but east and west into the community • e river could be an ideal stage for the downtown experience • Imagine downtown North eld as if traveling down the middle of the river • Provide an attraction for the Division Street businesses by extending river views • Visualize the river and surrounding walkways/parks as a cohesive greenway/blueway corridorFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 10
  11. 11. Deep Dive River IdeasVarious groups of North elders have come together to take a closer look at speci c areas ofNorth eld and brainstorm possibilities for those areas. ese brainstorming sessions have beendubbed “deep dives” and it is anticipated that North elders will continue to take these “dives”throughout the years to spark new ideas and consider new perspectives. River Opportunities (not prioritized) 1 Dam Removal/Redesign 2 Second Street Pedestrian Underpass 3 Pedestrian Bridge at St. Olaf Avenue Extended with Connected Walkways 4 Improved River Face of Downtown Buildings 5 Improved West Side River Access 6 Safety Center Relocation 7 Ames Park Enhancements 8 Portage Route Along River 9 Boathouse 10 2nd Street & Hwy. 3 intersection as Cornerstone River-oriented Development 11 Water/River/Natural Habitat EducationFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 11
  12. 12. Framework Ideas – Focus on Arts and LibraryArts and the Library play vital and vibrant roles in de ning the North eld community. Intandem, they provide a rich atmosphere of culture and education. is component of planningo ers the opportunity to create a connective thread throughout the corridor, North to South aswell as East to West. • Library is an anchor for downtown North eld; it is the City of North eld’s only presence in the historic district • Library expansion need not cut o ird Street; working with the natural hillside the building design could ensure that connectivity is enhanced rather than hindered Applied Planning Concepts • Art is a powerful connecting theme • East-West corridor of performance could be anchored by the North eld Arts Guild and e Grand eatre, extending to Carleton’s Weitz Center for Creativity • Gateways and vistas create key opportunities for the e ective display of art • Historic emphasis, relationship with two nationally renowned colleges and proactive citizenry that values art and culture could enhance their impact on North eldFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 12
  13. 13. Framework Ideas – Greening of the CommonsUnique aspects of North eld include the three major corridors runnings side-by-side throughtown – river, railway and highway – that are both blessings and challenges, either connecting orsplitting downtown. Imagine if this corridor were a people place as well as a place for cars, threecorridors coming together to create a “Commons.” Applied Planning Concepts • Commons unites East andWest • e River is the Blueway... partner to the Greenway • Greening is essential to the establishment of “the Commons” • ere is a natural interface to westside neighborhoods • e “Commons” includes gateways and vistas to Downtown • Greening is vital to the cornerstone developments and creates a transformational opportunity to apply greening as a philosophyFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 13
  14. 14. Greening of the Commons (continued) “When we say we want to work with greening the Commons, one thinks about more trees. A tree can be a great friend, but a group of trees can hide things. is sketch of tree arrangement options is only a reminder that one needs to plan with care in getting trees along the high- way. You can use tree masses with strate- gies to open up as well as to hide; it is not either/or, but doing it right. If you plant trees into full, park-like quality, they will hide and close out op- porunities. However, you don’t have to think about trees hiding commerical signs. Woodland groves can green an area while maintaining permeability.” – Bill JohnsonFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 14
  15. 15. A Big Idea A “Commons” could be transformed into a new Central Park. What could happen if we as a community bought into this concept and kept this vision in front of us as development and rede- velopment opportunities emerge? As a community, we need to remember that the highway is a state highway designed speci cally to move tra c through e - ciently. Consideration needs to be given about how we can create a park out of that without sacri cing the Department of Transportation’s goal. Over time – up to 20 years – with 1 to 2 trees here and there, Highway 3 could become a woodland drive.Framework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 15
  16. 16. Framework Ideas – Northern Gateway ZoneDrivers and pedestrians on the northern edge of North eld heading southbound on Highway 3rise over a crest and see the core of North eld unfold before them. e area near the intersectionof St. Olaf Avenue and Highway 3 becomes a gateway opportunity for the city. Applied Planning Concepts • is gateway o ers a critical opportunity for in- troducing the greening concept to the corridor • Dotting the area with trees, greenery and, perhaps, sculptures would provide a facelift for the area. If strategically planned and planted, sightlines will not only be preserved, but actually enhanced for ay 3 area businesses hw Hig • To the extent that area businesses and landowners St. Olaf Avenue buy into the idea of “parking lots as parks,” the greening of this corridor can help to enhance the image, visibility and cohesiveness of the commons • e landscape could be designed to ensure that trees become a visual accent rather than a barrier • e greenery will provide a calming in uence for tra cFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 16
  17. 17. Northern Gateway Zone (continued)Here is an example of the possi-ble transformation of the North-ern Gateway. Plantings on boththe east and west sides of theintersection at St. Olaf Avenuecould be spots for the biggesttrees. Plantings on both sides ofthe highway could incorporatelarge trees with high canopiesto clear the height of signs andleave an open view of the signage.With the tangle of wires in theelectrical station, there may be away to nd a space for poplars tosoften that zone.Framework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 17
  18. 18. Framework Ideas – Highway 3 Central Section e intersection at Highway 3 and Second Street in tandem with the Q Block create a centralsection of the Framework Plan. Another key spot along this section of Highway 3 is Ames Park.In each of these instances, with creative landscaping and parking the areas can be permeable tobene t businesses while enhancing the aesthetics of the area. Furthermore, especially withdistinctive lighting at night, trees can compliment the building facades throughout this area. Second Street Applied Planning Concepts • e Q Block and its centrality along with current interests in the area create an opportunity to make a strong and lasting statement for North eld y3 relative to the Framework Plan wa gh Hi • is area is well-suited for parking lots as parks • To accomodate sightlines and overall aesthetics, it ird Street ird Street is not inappropriate to consider removing or moving trees at certain points Water Street • oughtful redevelopment of the Q Block could create a featured cornerstone and a lasting east-west connectionFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 18
  19. 19. Highway 3 Central Section (continued) Planting groves of trees with the permeability that allows a view through to downtown.• is drawing illustrates clusters rather than rows of trees that enable indications of activity through the park• Ames Park at night/dusk with trees and lights framing and accenting the beautiful facades of downtown North eld• Art and sculpture can be considered as enhancements to attract attention and activity.• As always, these drawings are only indicators of what could beFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 19
  20. 20. Framework Ideas – Southern Gateway Zones e Southern Gateways along Highways 19 and 3 o er wonderful opportunities on both thenorth and south sides of 5th Street for magni cent day-time and night-time, four season views ofdowntown North eld and the Cannon River. oughtful greening of the gateways could lead to vistas and a sense of arrival at someplace inviting. • Strong potential for special riverside lighting • ere are locations on both ends of the pedestrian bridge that are pleading for more greening • ere are pleasant zones of established plantings currently in this areaFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 20
  21. 21. Framework Ideas – South Water Street Area is area o ers a transition point from the downtown core to the surrounding neighborhoodsand public schools on the south with the primary transition point being the Riverpark Mall. isarea (highlighted in blue) is very visible from Highway 3. Applied Planning Concepts • Strengthening the continuity and visibility of the Riverwalk concept • Enhancing pedestrian accessibility from neighborhoods to the Riverwalk • Continuing the “greening” of Water and 7th Streets A Vibrant Riverwalk • Highly visible from the highway, this area provides an opportunity for a series of linked “pocket terraces.” Uniquely lit at night, this area can create an attractive promenade. In Concert with Owners/Tenants • Riverpark Mall development/redevelopment could be completed incrementally to create a river’s edge amenity. Key Identity Intersection • e 5th and Water Streets intersection creates a quality opportunity for pedestrian crossing between downtown and the Riverpark Mall block. is is a critical point for ensuring• If the dam were removed or redesigned, the riverwalk loop could be an outstanding stage for safe pedestrian street crossings while assuring continuity of water activities and river use. the riverwalk.Framework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 21
  22. 22. Framework Ideas – Window on the RiverfrontWith the river as our “jewel,” there are opportunities to create windows to the river with both pe-destrian and vehicular tra c. e sidewalks along 5th Street could be lined with columnar treesand pedestrian-scaled lighting to make distinctive cross-routes amid the downtown core. ont erfr Riv Applied Planning Concepts the on • Greening of the Commons could be enhanced by keeping the Safety Center/ d ow Ames Park sites open for views to the river and edge of downtown in • A downtown walkway circuit could be developed with a number of W sub-loops ... possibly tagged as a tness or wellness network • An identi able Riverside/Riverview Park could be developedFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 22
  23. 23. Framework Ideas – 6th Street to the River Fifth Street is is a staged version of how 6th Street could some day be a riverfront approach lane, working on one end Sixth Street of the existing structure, with lateral shopping along the way. is could Division Street be a part of an outlined story Water Street sequence yet to be determined. Seventh Street Fifth Street Fifth Street Sixth Street Sixth Street Water Street Division Street Water Street Seventh Street Seventh StreetFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 23
  24. 24. Framework Ideas – Bridge Square e Post O ce Building An Identity Corner Tying Bridge Square with the • Now a valued historic build- • With special lighting and ing with an iconic address on sculpture a this corner, it service areas and alleys the River and Bridge Square. could help to strengthen the It brings strong identity to this identity of marketing events surrounding the Post O ce e Post O ce Block • In e ect, this entire block, locat- unique part of Downtown with along the River and extend Building and the buildings potential marketing in uence the spirit of Bridge Square ed ON the River could become well beyond the immediate site. commons. facing Division Street, all over time, a mixed-use Market Block, featuring an extension of properties on the block could the river market theme already popular. be ON THE RIVER. is could Bridge Square make the properties on Water, • A classic community green act- ing as a pleasant commons on the Division, 4th and 5th Streets River, around which shops cluster appropriate for a new river and holiday events can center. • A more extensive Market Block market zone. A portion of the concept would feature Bridge alley could even be covered with Square as the primary identity. Bridge Square can be strength- glass as in a conservatory or an ened by connecting it more di- rectly to the River through a atrium. Such prospects could ‘lifted street’. is improvement make residential lofts in the could coincide with a ‘through block’ pedestrian connection to block particularly attractive. sustain the continuity of the River Walk.Framework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 24
  25. 25. Aerial ImagesViews providing context and revealing opportunities for the development, redevelopment, andgreening of North eld - the big picture view.Framework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 25
  26. 26. About North eld RoundtableNorth eld Roundtable is a self-gathered group of committed community members who havecome together to consider, discuss and encourage a long-term vision for North eld, with the solefocus being to help our community be thoughful and strategic about planning for the future.North eld Roundtable is about e genesis for the Roundtable grew of place, fostering the greening of Development Authority (EDA),envisioning what could be, not out of the success story of Holland, North eld, and enhancing con- the Planning Commission, thenecessarily what should be. It Michigan, nectivity North eld Downtown Develop-values and embraces ongoing city a commu- through- ment Commission (NDDC), andplanning. We utilize existing plans nity similar out the a host of others are a testament toand ideas as our starting point on to North eld commu- this. Our goal is to look at North-which to build. that has in- nity. eld from a broad conceptual vested more perspective to help ensure a long-We work to facilitate broad-based than a quarter e com- term, sustainable vision for makingdiscussions toward achieving a of a century munity of North eld a great community.shared vision that ensures that in the concept North eldNorth eld remains a wonderful of visioning a has good Other than through our individualplace for generations to come. We better future people votes on Election Day, the North-derived our name from the sense for its city. As with cre- eld Roundtable has no decision-that there is no “head” to the table. a group, the North eld Roundtable ative ideas and a deep commitment making authority. Our goal is toIt is a group where every voice — is committed to fostering continu- to the region. e comprehensive help facilitate a consistent directionwhether regular attender or guest — ity, encouraging community engage- plan and the e orts of groups like toward reaching a quality vision forshares equal credibility and weight. ment, supporting North eld’s sense the City Council, the Economic North eld’s future. Our mantra has always been: “It is amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit.”Framework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 26
  27. 27. North eld Roundtable (continued)A completely volunteer group, North eld Roundtable works to clarify, support and facilitate aclear vision and framework for development and redevelopment opportunities that enhance theeconomic vitality and livability of North eld. You may o er feedback by contacting theseRoundtable Intentions: Roundtable Members:C% @)+/$#%203)/&4%3"$%3)&/2.03&/"%<%2==."/&4%+/*/" through the Framework Plan. • Blake AbdellaC% R32/0/&3&#%&1#%/"&#5)3&/"%< development and redevelopment /$#3* across the community • Dixon Bond into the Framework Plan. • Rick EstensonC% @)+/$#%0"5A&#)=%2==/&=#"&%3"$%2"&/"./&4 to the Framework Plan. • Tim GearyC% S$+23&# for the intentions and principles of the Framework Plan. • Margit JohnsonC% P#%3%23&304*&%<)%32&/" towards implementing the Framework Plan. • Bruce King • Art Monaghan • Dave NeugerRoundtable Principles:• Inclusivity North eld Roundtable is • Brett Reese • Fred Rogers• Patience modeled on a citizen’s group in • Betsy Spethmann• Persistence Holland, Michigan, which has a • Alice omas Past Members:• Community above self 20-year history of advancing a vision • Dave Van Wylen • Joel Leer for their community working with • Steve Wilmot• Action minded • Suzie Nakasian both public and private entities. • Jennifer Sawyer• TransparencyFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 27
  28. 28. 2010–2011 Focus SessionsSession 1: 2nd Street Corridor Session Observations:• Q Block• Gateway Corner of 2nd Street & Highway 3• Crossing the River to LibrarySession 2: 5th Street Corridor• Gateway Corner of 5th Street & Highways 3/19• Riverpark Mall Area• Bridge SquareSession 3: Greening the “Commons”• Making Highway 3 Corridor more comfortable and inviting• Bridge Square VisioningFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 28
  29. 29. About the Focus SessionsRoundtable Conversations:• Bill Johnson has been the facilitator of the public sessions and author of the many drawings incorporated into the Framework plan. He is an accommplished urban planner and land- scape designer with experience going back many decades to when he taught at the University of Michigan and planned the expansion of the Ann Arbor campus• Property owners and stakeholders were invited to each of the sessions with participants sharing their expertise with the given study areas• Citizen input has been and will continue to be an important part of developing the Framework Plan - the opinions of the public are vital to creating a plan that re ects the values of North eld and its hopes for the future• Public o cials including elected, appointed, and professional sta have provided valuable input to developing the Framework PlanFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 29
  30. 30. Your Input is Important Please Join the ConversationFramework Planning: What could be, not what should be September 2011A Perpetual Work in Progress Page 30