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Civic masterplan sector1-appendixd


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Civic masterplan sector1-appendixd

  1. 1. APPENDIX D CLOSINGP R E S E N TAT I O N On March 28, 2011, Demetri Baches concluded the Sector 1 Charrette conducted by the Office of Civic Investment with a public presentation of the designs and ideas generated during the previous week’s public charrette process. Nearly 100 local residents and stakeholders attended the final presentation, which was held at City Hall. The following is the transcript of the comments Mr. Baches gave at the closing presentation.
  2. 2. Sector 1 | Appendix D C L O S I N G P R E S E N TAT I O N To put this presentation in context and reiterate what Daniel Burnham to prepare its master plan. He laid Josh Martin, Mayor Billy Keyserling and Craig Lewis out a vision that is extraordinary today for its beauty have said, if you look at the process we’ve set out and, in his day, for its boldness. It was a vision similar for Sector 1, the downtown area of Beaufort, this to something you would see in continental Europe at presentation marks the mid-way point of our effort. We the time: grand park systems, iconic civic building started on January 1st collecting information through architecture. This is a time when much of Chicago’s meetings with individuals, groups, and organizations, industry was on Lake Michigan and along the Illinois and by collecting data, physically through on-the-ground River – rail yards, slag heaps, factories. It was not a surveys of every lot, as well as digitally through all pretty place. Commerce was the law of the land, so the various plans, reports, and studies completed in the imagine the disbelief when he proposed to reclaim the past. The results from this three-month effort will be entire Lake Michigan waterfront for a park. People presented here tonight. We still have another two to looked at him as if he were crazy. This is the man who three months to go to wrap up the work before we start said the now famous quote, “Make no little plans; they the next sector of the City later this year. What you will have no magic to stir men’s blood.” Well, one hundred see presented is the assimilation of all the work to date years later, Chicago has one of the most amazing park into a clear and comprehensive draft of ideas and visions systems in the world, as this picture of Grant Park that can be taken forward over the next several months along the lake front shows. It is also one of a handful and vetted with the public. Once completed, the final of communities in the rust belt of the Midwest, to be plans will become the Civic Master Plan for Sector 1. It growing and prospering. And it’s a result of a process will generate the discussion points, budget priorities, and similar to what we’re embarking on here in Beaufort. implementation objectives for the City over, at least, the next twenty years to properly lay the groundwork for its With all plans, like the Burnham plan, they aim to next three hundred years. improve the fortunes of a place, they foster change. Just as people questioned the drawings Burnham prepared What Beaufort has had the foresight to do follows in showing parks and buildings on private land, I’m sure the tradition of some really great places. I said in a people have been looking at our plans on the walls, presentation on Saturday that the great communities of or will be soon, and have many concerns, such as: “I today are great because they spent the bad times thinking see you’ve knocked down my building to construct a about what they wanted to be when times got good park,” or “You have removed my neighborhood park again. In the United States, the era of grand planning to construct a building,” or “You’ve put a road through during the late 1910’s, the Great Depression, and early my yard.” Keep in mind the most powerful tool 1930’s occurred in many of the places that are admired planning possesses: time. Planning is an effort that lasts in the country today for their economies and quality generations, but you’ve got to start at some point, or you of life. The one thing these places have in common is never achieve anything. It is almost always the case that they had the vision to think outside the box and a that what is needed to be done is impossible to do today. desire to take control of their destinies. Some of the If I told you to learn a second language and you said I greatest plans and architecture that the United States has can’t do that today, does that mean you can never do it? today, places and buildings that are admired around the Just because you can’t master Spanish or French by the world, can be dated to this period. Most of the grand weekend, do you throw in the towel? Of course not. It civic buildings, schools and town halls; almost all the took hundreds of years to arrive where Beaufort is today. impressive museums; and many of the beautiful park And most, if not all, that time passed without access systems that are the treasures of their communities today to an endless pot of gold at its disposal. More on that had their initial plans prepared during this time period. in a moment. Very little is possible today, everything is possible long term. Another important ingredient is One such example that you may know of is in the City “the champion.” You can have a collection of plans and of Chicago. Chicago hired a very brilliant man named ideas, but unless they find a champion that makes it his2 Civic Master Plan | Sector 1
  3. 3. 3or her business to will them into reality on a daily basis, excited about what it is you’re doing, and clever peoplethey never materialize. The final need is for compelling rally around the vision, and the money follows.visions, such as what Burnham provided the residents of I’ll give you a great example here locally. Right nowChicago. It galvanized the thoughts of the citizens and the Open Land Trust (OLT) is generating the excitementbusiness community to nominate champions, who, over and getting the money, and as a result, they have becomethe years shaped policy that allowed the vision to be the de facto regional planners for the entire County.realized. Through donations and successful tax referendums, they have made saving the natural habitats and scenicAnother example is in Boston. This is a photo of views of the local area exciting and important. Muchthe “Emerald Necklace” designed by a man named time and effort by the citizens of this community goesFrederick Law Olmsted, a magnificent landscape planner into the work of the Open Land Trust. Here are photosand urban designer who also designed Central Park, of the Bluff and Bellamy Curve. These purchases haveamong other wonderful places. He envisioned a future shaped the image of Beaufort as well as its developableBoston ringed by parks. For those who have visited footprint. To properly leverage this fine work, it isBoston it is easy to see how the City and its residents critical to ensure that as much effort and care are paid tohave benefitted from the vision. Boston has some of the the Human Habitat, (the neighborhoods and communitiesgreatest civic spaces and urban structures in the United we live in) through excellent planning and urban design.States, arguably the world. The natural habitat has the OLT. The Human Habitat now has the Office of Civic Iinvestment (OCI). We haveThen there is San Francisco, another Burnham Plan. an opportunity to weave the communities we live in withThis is an area called The Presidio, which at that time the natural setting they exist in. To succeed, the visions– the late 1910’s – was on the outskirts of town. It is a we have and the plans developed to execute them needhilltop and on it he designed a park. And he connected to be as compelling as the nature that is to the rest of the city with grand civic monuments.Here’s the Presidio today. It’s a magnificent park, an As already mentioned, The Lawrence Group, underurban park surrounded by some of the most valuable Craig Lewis’ direction a couple years back, was hiredreal estate in the US. So compelling was the plan and after a competitive process to do a comprehensivethe illustrations that accompanied it that a few of the plan for the City. A “Comp Plan,” as they are called,monuments were actually built as drawn. typically is one of those documents that sits on the shelf unused. In reality, most comprehensive plans are madeBeside the beauty and technical expertise of the planning work projects for bureaucrats. The great thing thatand urban design achieved by these masters, there is Craig and his team did, though, was they actually wentone additional take away from these examples. I’ve to that shelf and collected the dozens of plans that hadalready brought it up and will do so again. They were been done for the city of Beaufort over the past 30-40envisioned and executed in a time when these places years, which didn’t find champions. He dusted themwere not wealthy. We accomplished the best community off, polished them up, and consolidated the best intodesign and building in this country when it was poor the Beaufort Comprehensive Plan. And actually, asin relation to today. Imagine that. All you hear about comprehensive plans go, it’s excellent. It prioritizes andtoday, if you try to get anything done, from placing a lists out in great detail what it is the city should do. Thatcross walk on a street to paving a sidewalk, is, “We was the first step that led to what’s happening right now.have no money.” This is a false excuse – a straw man You need to have a document like this in order to getargument. No place that has ever accomplished long- everyone’s ideas on the table and prepare the plans youterm greatness has had money at the start. In fact, it’s see around you now.almost a prerequisite that a place be poor in order to beable to achieve greatness. All great work starts off with What we’ve done is use this as the base for the workan idea. The money follows the idea. You make people we’ve been doing to generate a Civic Master Plan, along Sector 1 Civic Master Plan City of Beaufort, SC |
  4. 4. Sector 1 | Appendix D | Closing Presentation the lines of the examples of Chicago, San Francisco Country Real Estate. Each group was given a dossier of and Boston. This is very impressive for a City the size important information pertaining to their section. This of Beaufort. We divided the city up into five sectors. is the information that has been collected over the past The map at the top shows the city of Beaufort in color. three months, all of the projects, all the wish list items, We’ve started with Sector 1, which is downtown, and the information we’ve gathered not just from the several we’re calling downtown everything east of Ribaut Road, dozen meetings we’ve had the past three weeks, but the which you can see in this beautiful picture, the peninsula, many dozen meetings we’ve had the past three months. basically. From day one, we said, “Downtown is not Many of you probably have been at one of our meetings just the three blocks along Bay Street.” When we first at some point, some of you more than once. started this process, someone said, “You’re going to do a master plan for downtown, so what are you going to In addition to understanding thoroughly what exists do with Bay Street?” And we said, “Well, Bay Street is now, we also take a look at what existed before. In not all of downtown: There’s Boundary Street, there’s many communities around the country, growth has Bladen Street, there’s Carteret Street and Pigeon Point meant the destruction of history, historic buildings, and Road, the Old Point, and Higginsonville, and on and places. Beaufort hasn’t suffered that as much. Everyone on. There’s the Bluff, the Northwest Quadrant (NWQ). wants growth and prosperity, but with it, post-World Downtown is a series – a collection of neighborhoods – War II, that growth and prosperity has come with a lot the core of the larger area that is Beaufort, so you have of really ugly things. It’s quite a dilemma for most to study it comprehensively, not just Bay Street. The communities: If we grow, we loose what we are; If three blocks that constitute the historic “Main Street” we don’t grow, we stagnate and lose what we are by cannot be the vessel in which every aspiration, idea, and neglect. The reason for the dilemma is because we need for Beaufort is forced. Too small. stopped building real communities post-WWII. This is not to say we stopped building. In fact, we built more We started on several fronts simultaneously. We went things since WWII – houses, shopping centers, offices, out, and we had students for four weeks walk every foot factories – than we had leading up to WWII. But notice of every street in downtown, and they carried around what I listed: I listed real estate product, not places in with them these surveys. For every property and every the form of neighborhoods and communities, villages, building, we collected this information and created a towns and cities. We have built only a handful of new database. It allows us to do some pretty amazing things. “places” since WWII. We’ve built endless miles of It allows us to quickly see patterns, create maps. We can suburban product. Suburban Development became an go in and say, “I want to see every house that has a 10’ industry unto itself, and as you may have heard, it was setback,” and we can get a list with photographs of each one of the major reasons for the financial collapse and house in Sector 1 that does. We will be able to do this the subsequent Great Recession. That’s an entire other for any of the more than 30 attributes we have listed in presentation, but for our purposes here, the negative the audit/survey for each property. impacts of the suburban development pattern are what we are trying to remedy. This information allows us to study the City’s DNA, When you introduce car-oriented suburban development how it works on the ground. This is an important into traditional urban fabric, like downtown Beaufort, step because it allows you to understand how to help that development destroys the surrounding traditional it grow while retaining the charm and character that development. It might not do it initially, but the made it special. We have divided the downtown into accumulation of this type of development ends up five zones, and these five zones were assigned four eradicating what is the most special part about place- to five professionals each. Those were the 27 people based traditional communities, which is their mixed- who worked here this past week in the shop front off use, walkable quality of life. And keep in mind that the of Charles Street so graciously donated to us by Low suburban development pattern is the default setting for4 Civic Master Plan | Sector 1
  5. 5. 5all zoning, financing, and health and safety matters in the by water and by bus/car. Because how the communityUS today. Whether you plan or not, whether you have impacts visitors directly impacts the well-being andzoning or not, the suburban model is so entrenched in opportunities of its residents. Let’s do water first.every aspect of American development and marketing Wouldn’t it be fabulous if there were a reliable systemthat it is what growth delivers. Ironically, not much of water taxis and ferries that allowed you to get heregrowth has happened post-WWII in Beaufort, so not a from Savannah and Charleston and Hilton Head tolot has been lost. One piece of the community that was here and vice versa? All up and down the Intracoastallost was the old waterfront, which I think was a very Waterway connecting the coastal communities. In suchcool, edgy piece of town. However, it was replaced by a world, what do we need to do here in Beaufort tosomething worthy – Waterfront Park. In city building make ourselves a destination that would require a day,this is called a fair trade. This is an important concept, or maybe two, to fully appreciate? After all, if youa litmus test for anyone passionate about community. really look at the region correctly, Beaufort is the beltWas it a fair trade? If you loose a piece of marsh land buckle of the low country, the mid-way point betweenand gain a village, or a meadow and gain a proper Georgetown, SC and New Brunswick, GA. What wouldneighborhood the trade is fair. When either of these is be compelling enough to entice someone who landedlost to a shopping center or subdivision, it is not. And here, at a new day dock for example, to walk into townnaming the new development after what was destroyed and do something besides turn to the right and buy adoesn’t make it better. t-shirt, eat a hamburger or have a drink and then stroll the park? Keep in mind the locals are the ones thatIn the instance of the Waterfront Park, the civic space purchase whatever high-end wares are sold downtowngained is a worthy replacement, especially since there and they do so infrequently because that’s the nature ofis still an opportunity to develop an urban, dockside such purchases. The tourists – well, you’ve seen themfabric on some of the land nearby that did not end up – they buy what’s left, and don’t spend much time at thea fair trade – the Marina parking lot. Bringing back park either. Why is this important? Because if we arethe opportunity for a vital and busy waterfront is an only a trinket tourist stop, and our local population is notimportant objective. More about that in a moment. sufficient enough to support other pastimes that includeLook at this picture taken of the end of Charles Street. cultural offerings now unavailable, then our residents areSome of you who’ve been here awhile may actually left with jobs that are not sufficient to build a resilientremember it. This is a photo of the Beaufort Hotel; community. Places like that are exporters of talent, andif anyone knows where in downtown Beaufort this that is what Beaufort is now.building existed, we’d love to know where. We couldn’trecognize any of the buildings on either side. That was What if the offerings were much more varied and robust,a great building. Here are photos, some close-up shots offerings that embed you in the place and its history: Getof the actual working dock and the structures. And this off the boat and browse local arts and crafts at a marketwonderful picture of a festival, the Water Festival, back or shops, visit a museum or two, stay at a spa/hotel orin 1955. Look at all those people. Look how amazing inn grounded in wellness and health. Dine at fabulousthat is. There’s nothing about that photo that can’t be restaurants that offer indigenous local cuisines that onlyrecreated today. places like the Gulf Coast around Louisiana and New Orleans can also boast of. There’s a lot of history in theSo lets start with Downtown. What I want to walk area, all of it scattered about, which could be centeredthrough with you tonight are not the details of every here in Beaufort as the hub for those also looking tobuilding type and all of the principles and techniques do day trips out into the historically rich countryside.used to design the plans presented here on the walls, Because our community is also less busy and hectic thanbecause that is all kind of academic and even I get bored our neighbors to the north and south, as the belt buckle,with it. I’m going to walk you through the plans and Beaufort could take the lead in the environmental,how they would impact you if you were a tourist or wellness, and tourist industry if it so desired, supportedvisitor coming to Beaufort 25 years from now, let’s say Sector 1 Civic Master Plan City of Beaufort, SC |
  6. 6. Sector 1 | Appendix D | Closing Presentation by a top-notch environmental and fine arts institution of things to do just as the people who came by boat. higher learning like a USCB. Beaufort needs to provide a compelling reason for at least a one- to two-day stop, What is available cannot be just “one thing.” A common because if you can see yourself stopping for more than mistake is to think of a community as needing only one an afternoon you can probably see yourself living here. amenity. That’s a suburban mentality. Real places are complex. The fabric of real places must be complex So, if you were to come by boat, what you would come and varied to meet the needs of a broad range of people to, in our vision of this future, would be a new marina- and, just as important, the broad range of moods each of side development, basically an extension of Bay Street. these people experience over the course of a day, week, Because right now, it’s a parking lot, and while that’s or month. Sometimes you want to sit alone in a park, an important asset to have at the moment because it sometimes you want to be in the center of all the action. provides people with parking, it does happen to be Sometimes you want to view a scenic vista, sometimes located on some really prime real estate, real estate that you want to be walking the crowded sidewalks shopping would be much better used by people, rather than cars. and socializing. If I’m a cyclist, sometimes I want to As I said in the beginning: It’s not a fair trade. You ride fast through the countryside, and sometimes I want can always put the cars someplace else, like a parking to be on the street riding through town. Every pastime, garage. They normally don’t care about the view as every facility, and every motivation takes a different much, don’t like sitting in the sun, and they don’t shop. tone depending on mood. This gets to the point about the need to develop some of our waterfront. Sometimes If you come by car or bus what do you experience? I want to sit on a swing or in the grass and watch people Part of this downtown plan shows this large box here, or the water, sometimes I want to sit on a dock or at a which we’ve very cleverly hidden from the street. This restaurant on the water and eat, dance, work, live, or buy is a parking garage. Looking at this from a developer’s things. eye, our waterfront experience is tied to our infill opportunities. To get the Marina to work, the package As you’ve heard me say before, Americans have been that you would sell to an investor or developer would be trained to shop as if we’re in a mall. The American a combination roll-out of this idea, redevelopment of the retail industry has created shopping snobs out of us: Marina, and the replacement of that parking and more we’re very easily bored, very quick to lose our patience here. The connections back and forth are what layout if things aren’t perfect, fickle with our attention and the “experience” from the commercial tourist market and money. That’s because the mall environment and the employment perspectives. This is not a very long walk. shopping center environment in the US is perfection at The average Walmart for example, the one on Boundary every level. Mall planners influence – almost brainwash Street, parking at the very back of the Walmart to the – you to do everything that they want you to do when front door of the Walmart is equivalent to the distance you enter a mall, so really we are a bunch of snobby from Charles and Bay to Carteret and Bay. zombies. When you’re someplace where things don’t happen to click just right – a store might be closed too A visitor could park at the deck, be dropped off by bus early, or the merchandising in the window isn’t quite up here along Bay, or even outside of Sector 1 at a transit to snuff, or you didn’t get asked if you needed help right facility here and take a shuttle bus in (more on that away, or it doesn’t smell as you think it should – this later). Each location would have a Welcome Center is the bar that’s been set by the retail industry in this with brochures, video, and magazines about Beaufort country, and most of the older retailers on traditional and the local area, transportation, dining, and shopping main streets are the ones who can’t compete. I like to info as well as people who would serve as community tell people that it wasn’t Walmart that killed Main Street ambassadors, directing folks to whatever they were America, it was the Mall. It replicated the idealized looking for. They would then avail themselves of all the Main Street experience and out-competed it. Walmart, and what it represents, is a passing phenomenon in the6 Civic Master Plan | Sector 1
  7. 7. 7retail history timeline. It’s only a factor when you have but providing a coordinated image and experiencetwo goals in mind: cheap prices and free parking. If is. The retail assessment and the detailed componentsthat’s your town’s goal, you’re probably already standing of how a positioning strategy will work are not beingin the ruins of your Main Street. explained tonight. That study is underway now and willSo you arrive at the new day dock from Hilton Head, result in a report and retail plan that will further refinewhere you’ve been golfing for a couple of days, because the plans you are seeing wanted to visit a beautiful, real town. You dock,walk out, and you see the pavilion with signs or banners With appropriately scaled and located buildings, weadvertising music acts, symphonies or concerts in the were able to provide for a missing element on Baypark. You see this wonderful open space that frames Street, a central Main Street intersection. In this earlya beautiful view of the waterfront and all these great plat of the City, you see a square at Carteret Street, anrestaurants and shops and people walking about in the urban design technique used down in Savannah. Ourplaza and laying about on the lawn. Across the plaza square was never built, and we don’t necessarily needand park are arts and crafts stores, offices, and other to introduce one by purchasing real estate, as shown inboutique shops. Some of the buildings are “Live/ the old plat, to provide the same sense of arrival andWorks,” allowing an owner of a business to live above focus. We can create a square with different techniques,the shop. Other buildings have condos or apartments using pavement patterns and building placement andon upper floors. We’ve located a pavilion for a proper architecture as shown here. Over time, this would allowfull-time, permanent Farmers Market. We’ve moved the for a public plaza to form where the City’s Christmashorse carriages to this location at the Welcome Center, tree could be placed, for example, or the winner of theacross from the new Beaufort Museum. As described cycle race could receive their trophy. The City doesearlier, the buses will drop off people here. The boat not have a centrally located civic space that allowsdock and boat servicing areas would be here. Wrapping these events to happen in a dignified manner. Thismost of the waterfront bulkhead would be an esplanade new Charles Square would be bookended to the east atsimilar to what was built along Waterfront Park. This is Carteret Street and Bay Street, with another civic spacea grand vision. It would complete and complement the created from some clever road realignment and pavinghistoric downtown by providing the focus for arrivals by material – Carteret Square – at the foot of the bridge.water and land. Together they would serve as the gateways to the historic core of Beaufort.This is a detail of the marina and a rendering of whatit might look like. We’ve kept most of the fabric at the To activate Port Republic, which you see here, whatsame scale as the existing city. Here is the Elliott House. we’ve proposed is using a different paving pattern andThe day dock would be here. You see, the buildings are a flush curb so the right-of-way between the buildingsbasically the same scale as the Elliott House. For the becomes a shared space. Sidewalk and street becomenew buildings we looked at the old photographs to get one and can be closed off to traffic for special events.the appropriate size and scale to recapture a bit of the The deck itself is an important component of the vision,old Beaufort dock vibe. While ambitious, this vision utilitarian and necessary, but requiring great care tois not crazy. It can be accomplished in the mid to long avoid harming the adjacent urban fabric. Great townsterm. It is all very doable. We’ve already got the square – Charleston is an example, Savannah too – hide andfootages worked out, the parking worked out, and a draft embed their parking decks within blocks by sleevingdevelopment program established. buildings around them. The best parking deck is only visible at its entrance/exit by signage.Some easy things that can be done right away are simplemoves to begin to draw people back to Port Republic What you’ll see in a moment is the treatment alongStreet, for example. Beaufort basically is a three-block Craven. Today it looks like this – Nippy’s is back heretown on one street, so wayfinding is not really an issue, – but when the deck is built, it looks like this. These Sector 1 Civic Master Plan City of Beaufort, SC |
  8. 8. Sector 1 | Appendix D | Closing Presentation could be condos, apartments, or single family homes. the other side. The development that you previously These have already been built, too. This is not pie saw in the rendering would sit right there. Coming back in the sky. There’s a project called Baldwin Park in down Bay Street – the termination – the place for the Orlando, FL, that is an infill development, a high-density Christmas tree, bus, horse carriages, leading off into neighborhood development. It has its own Main Street what I’ll tell you about in a moment, which is the Bluff, and has a series of parking garages in it, one of which and the provision of a different experience to downtown, is masked by this exact type of housing. We’ve done but a continuation nonetheless. a design more reminiscent of the Lowcountry, but this blocks the blank garage parking wall, while providing So you can see, in terms of the ability to actually pull much-needed housing. In the plan, it would look like this off, this really isn’t that much. We’ve packaged it this. The parking garage wall is here. So basically it’s a from a development point of view, as a standard Urban Charleston side yard house type, with a shared entryway, Land Institute “Entertainment/Lifestyle Shopping that could be developed as an apartment or broken up Center.” But its real “package” is that of community. into individual units for sale. It’s a real place. Within the fly-through zone one can be born at Beaufort Memorial down the road a bit, The other side of the parking garage on Port Republic grow up, go to school, hopefully go to University, get Street would be masked by other buildings: Commercial married, find employment, raise a family, retire and be (this is the old grocery store building, directly behind buried. You can’t do that at a shopping center or piece the studio we were working at), some additional infill of suburbia of similar scale. buildings, and at the main pedestrian entrance to the garage would be a welcome center. So people that Other underutilized sites include the Post Office. It come in by car would be guided to this parking garage. used to provide central distribution, but that has been They would park in the deck; they would walk out into moved out of downtown. So there’s no need for it to a building that would be the Visitors Welcome Center. be the sort of suburban post office that it is now. It’s a From there you would get all kinds of information as wonderful opportunity for infill mixed-use development. to where you want to go, get maps, find out all that is What you’ll learn after my talk, when you speak with happening, and from that point you’d be able to walk the designers, are the principles and techniques which out, up, and shop, experience Beaufort by foot. Further we use, called “Transect Planning.” This is a method down the road from the parking garage, which would of design that relies on building types to create places. be just past these trees, we’d be able to get rid of some Because we use building types, we can increase or of the surface parking lots, and build more commercial decrease density with ease and without the problems that space and residential space. doing the same thing in a typical suburban setting create. I’ll take you through a fly-through. We did this today. Remember I mentioned the “different experience” It’s not finished yet, but it does give you an idea of what beyond Bay Street and Charles Street? As you leave we’re talking about. Coming into the new Marina and the new Marina area and head west, you pass along the development around it, the Arcade, the Farmers’ the Bluff. The Bluff, and the viewshed that the Open Market, the Live/Work units, the shops that would be Land Trust has been able to preserve along it, is pretty on the ground floor with the possibility of residential up extraordinary. Connecting the visitor to the beauty of above, ties right back into the existing Waterfront Park. Beaufort beyond Bay Street is an important objective. You see the square that would be Charles Square, and the The Bluff allows us to leverage a unique experience in location in proximity to the parking deck. We’ve even the low country, which is a connected walk from the gone green here: solar panels on the top for gathering heart of a city to a quite natural preserve within a short energy and shading cars. These are the residential walking distance. The vision here is to tie the Waterfront units we were discussing, the Visitors’ Welcome Center Park, the formal front door of the community, and its wrapping around this end, and other development lining new active dock and marina development, to the more8 Civic Master Plan | Sector 1
  9. 9. 9passive open space of the marsh front along the Beaufort eliminate tree cover. There is a lot of empty space inRiver. At Waterfront Park the walking experience is Sector 1. In fact, just in work we did the past week,along an esplanade, which continues as a plaza and pier we were able to increase the population of downtowncondition at the Marina. As the walk continues to the by about 2,500 people and you couldn’t even tell.Bluff, a boardwalk would be built along the waterline at You could easily multiply that by 5 and still have athe foot of the Bluff following the curve of the river all wonderfully livable, vibrant, and pedestrian scaled citythe way to Ribaut initially, and hopefully. I’ll get to that center.idea in a moment. Back to the Marina. You’ve arrived and taken theNow, I lived here for three years before I even knew you walk down the Bluff. You also can walk downcould walk down to the water. I had no idea what was Waterfront Park. Today’s experience currently endsdown there. It’s pretty fascinating. I don’t know if any unceremoniously at a playground and utilities building.of you have been down there – probably all of you – but However, imagine if you were led to the Bridge at BayI’m a little bit slow that way. It’s a beautiful place. It’s Street where we envision Carteret Square shown earlier.hard to get down there, and it’s not completely well- There, you would be led to either a continuation of thekept. It’s obvious that you’re not supposed to really be riverfront walk into the Old Point Neighborhood, or ontodown there because you don’t see many people. What a the bridge where a reconfigured sidewalk would takegreat asset. It’s maintained but shows signs of erosion. you across the river to Whitehall. Right now WhitehallWouldn’t it be wonderful if – and this is just in here to is undeveloped; a restaurant called Bateau used to beshow a notion of what we’re talking about – you could located there. Whitehall presents a great opportunity towalk from the marina and downtown, and arrive here. I preserve nature and enhance the human habitat. Theredon’t know if you all know the history of the Bluff, but are those that would scream that it be left undeveloped –there was once a low road in addition to the existing high and I would be one of them, tied to a tree – if a shoppingroad. The low road is what was used to carry the freight center or a Big Box store, or a series of gas stations andfrom the port down to the depot. There used to be a fast food outparcels were being proposed. That wouldroad that went all the way, from downtown, along the not be a fair trade, would it? No. You can’t removewaterfront, all the way down, I think close to where the nature and replace it with development that not onlyhospital is today. That’s a long way. And some people degrades the natural environment, but also negativelyhave told me, the old-timers, that you can actually still impacts the human environment. But if you propose asee the pins and the markings where that road used to neighborhood, I would argue that those against it werebe. I mentioned something about hope just a moment short-sighted and selfish because a neighborhood, aago. Well, I would hope that within the next 20 years, proper human habitat, is a fair trade. Let me explain.we could reintroduce a boardwalk all the way to theHospital. That requires some giving. Those who live If you look at where development should go, in analong this stretch know what I’m talking about. Kind of already developed place, the obvious decision is closestharkens back to Chicago’s once industrial lake front, and to the most infrastructured and populated area. That’sBurnham’s vision of turning it over to the public. where the cumulative investments of generations have been made. To insinuate that this property, leftIn the neighborhoods along the Bluff there are undeveloped, will somehow revitalize the ecosystem ofopportunities for development. You’ll see a few of these the region or provide a wildlife sanctuary is misguidedthat I’ll briefly show here. But a lot of the detail can be and ignores the greater context in which the propertyseen when you visit with the individual team groups. sits. Of the few places capable of handling developmentUsing building types, we looked to insert homes and at high density within the sensitive ecosystem in whichbusinesses to repair and grow the neighborhoods. Doing Beaufort sits, this is one. The volume of water thatso here, and in other places in Sector 1, we found that flows along the Beaufort River at this point providesthere are a number of opportunities to develop in a way for the greatest amount of natural flushing. It’s at thewhich does not disturb the existing neighborhoods or Sector 1 Civic Master Plan City of Beaufort, SC |
  10. 10. Sector 1 | Appendix D | Closing Presentation foot of the bridge that connects to downtown Beaufort Square. Carteret Street abuts the Old Point along its a quarter mile away and it has been developed on in eastern edge. Retail and urban development along the past. Instead of sprawling on Lady’s Island in the Carteret Street and the existing Old Point neighborhood form of shopping centers and car-dependent commercial are not mutually exclusive. In fact most thriving uses, a town center located at Whitehall would serve business corridors have healthy neighborhoods on either the community more efficiently and provide more side – a condition not currently present along Bladen and opportunities for residents seeking lifestyle opportunities Boundary and parts of Charles for example – which of not dependent on car use and long commutes. course form the perimeter of the Northwest Quadrant. More about that in a moment. So how do commercial So what we looked at is a program – and we’ve been and residential sit in close proximity or even side-by- working with the owner’s representatives – to revise the side and not negatively impact one another. The answer old plan, and introduce appropriate building types. We is building type. The discipline of building type is what were able to save a tremendous amount of trees, and permits cities to work. I’ve used that phrase before, so we were able to provide a marketable and successful let me explain. building program that allowed us to leave open about 25 percent of the property. That is important because the Almost all buildings can sit on a piece of property in Open Land Trust is in the process of buying and clearing four ways – and only four ways – and I’ll list them from some of the older buildings along this stretch of road the most urban to the most rural: courtyard, rear yard, to open up the view out to the river. The Main Street side yard, and perimeter yard. Each of these building of Whitehall and the buildings that front Sea Island types can engage the public realm. That is to say the Parkway will have riverfront and park views. And streets and walks which enfront them in eight ways, through proper design the new town center would allow again from most urban to most rural: arcade, gallery, the waterfront walk to continue forming an important shopfront/awning, stoop, forecourt, dooryard/terrace, anchor for pedestrians and cyclists enjoying the now porch/fence, and front lawn. These four building types extensive and unique waterfront experience we have and the eight possible ways they can engage the public begun to envision, stretching from maybe the Hospital realm combine to create all the traditional street scenes all the way to Whitehall. Imagine landing in a boat at you have ever visited in real life or seen in pictures. the marina and being able to walk three miles, a little They permit urban designers and architects to place over a mile and a half in either direction, through plazas within walking distance most of the uses required for with cafes and shops, into parks, along boardwalks that daily living because their combinations are governed lead to points where you can access the water by Marina by a tool called the “Transect.” The Transect is the or boat launch, by kayak and boat, and cross the river foundation for all Form-Based Codes. I’ll show you by foot on the bridge. That’s a pretty compelling reason how as we wrap up the presentation and discuss the to spend at least a day here, if you were someone from Form-Based Code that is being written in partnership Hilton Head golfing, or someone visiting the low country with the County, Town of Port Royal and the City of who came here via Savannah or Charleston. You could Beaufort. be convinced to come here for a full day or more for that. But wait, there could be even more. We’ll get to Application of a Form-Based Code has already happened that in a moment. along Bladen Street. Once we write a full code, we can then apply it to all of Sector 1 and eventually the Let’s cross back over the bridge. At the foot of the entire City. Along Carteret, the Code would permit the bridge you reach Carteret Street again. There’s a cannon insertion of several building types that would mask their there now that sits on the green spot, on the side of the use through their designs and maintain a coherent and bridge along with a historic marker that’s there. We mutually-reinforcing pedestrian experience. That is the would be enhancing that with a plaza or square, different key to successful high-density mixed use. The other paving, and some road re-striping to create Carteret key is a balance of parking and residential use. This is10 Civic Master Plan | Sector 1
  11. 11. 11accomplished through the use of rear lanes. Buildings a Walgreens or a Kinko’s and still be the place that hascloser to the residential fabric would be residential in unique furniture shops and art galleries. The residentsduplex and attached form. The rear lanes would free and City have decided that the historic structures alongthese structures to face onto the Old Point neighborhood Bay Street are important enough to keep. And we’rewith complimentary frontages. The commercial and here to help the city fulfill its goals and aspirations, somixed-use buildings would line only Carteret, turn we agree: That’s a fabric that is important to keep. Inin only half the block at the corners, and then feed order to keep it like it is, you have to provide otherback into the rear lane/passage system. This photo is places for certain things to go that don’t fit into theof one such place. It’s in Destin, Florida. There are buildings there.hundreds of these places. We have them all modeled; weunderstand how they work. One of the architects really If you didn’t know that Beaufort was a water port, ifloved the façade of the Von Harten building and decided you looked at just a road map of the city, you would sayto go ahead and give it some love, so that’s what that that Boundary Street, at Bellamy Curve, is where Maincould look like. It could be incorporated in with such a Street should have been: it’s where all the traffic is, it’scampus. the direct connection between the main land and Lady’s Island. That’s just where Main Street should be. TheThere, on the other side of the street, is the old City Hall. fitful beginnings of one are present today. We’re lookingWe’ve had interest in the City Hall since we started this to revive what’s there and grow it into a proper Mainprocess. And you will have probably read in the paper Street for the residents of Beaufort. We have USCBthe very poor response to the City’s request for proposal. campus as the anchor and Carteret Street, Bladen StreetIt wasn’t because it’s a bad site or it’s a bad building. – and to a lesser extent Charles Street – as the ties backThe only reason there have been no takers is that there to Bay Street and the waterfront. Let me use an examplereally isn’t a vision for what is going on there for that’s nearby to explain.someone to respond, “What are you going to do with it?So what? It’s a beautiful building. It’s going to require Savannah has its waterfront, where all the touristssome work on the inside. But then, what do you do shop and dine at the touristy establishments. It haswith it?” Once you provide a creative vision, once you Broughton, which is the shopping street where youstart getting people interested in and excited about the can get just about everything one would need day toopportunities of a place, they start to think outside the day, and it’s got Bull and Abercorn Streets, which offerbox, at the possibilities. We have one such group now neighborhood scaled boutique shops and cafes. Thesewho sees the space with a different set of eyes and are represent three distinct markets, all of which a singlelooking to bring an exciting and sorely-needed business person who wants to spend a day or two in Savannah canto downtown. experience as their mood strikes them. The important fact is that these distinct attractions and mood-pleasingLet’s talk about USCB. USCB anchors the northeast shopping experiences do not happen on the same street.side of downtown. In terms of the commercial And no one complains and gripes about walking theimprovement downtown, the four streets that are distances required to reach them. Walking BroughtonCarteret, Boundary, Bay and Bladen are the commercial Street, that’s a long street. The waterfront, same thing.corridors. Three of these corridors allow Beaufort And Abercorn and Bull Streets, these are long be able to expand its retail and commercial menu, But they’re compelling, they’re inviting, and peoplewithout destroying the existing fabric or character of are drawn to explore them, just like a person is drawnBay Street. Because, as we said from the beginning, Bay by a mall layout to walk from one end to the other andStreet is just three blocks. It can’t be the active Main back – the distance of one-half a mile or more. BeaufortStreet for all the citizens of Beaufort, while also being doesn’t have the population or the tourist draw thatthe historic Main Street for all the tourists. It can’t be Savannah does, but we can do a smaller version of thatthe place where you go to get whatever you need from very easily. Sector 1 Civic Master Plan City of Beaufort, SC |
  12. 12. Sector 1 | Appendix D | Closing Presentation With the campus of USCB as an anchor, the plan aims to We envision USCB expanding from their existing kick-start what should have been the Main Street along campus along Carteret Street to Boundary Street, helping Boundary Street. The physical design of Boundary has fill some of the new buildings along the Boundary Main to change from a high speed four-lane through-road to Street with campus-related uses and users. These could a main street to be successful. It’s got to become two be built through public-private partnerships and provide lanes in either direction. It has to have parking on both offices and future classroom space above dorms and sides. That way, you can slow down the cars and create residences. The campus would then be able to provide the parking that’s required to allow the buildings to a range of housing styles for its students and faculty, press up to the sidewalks. Right now, businesses along similar to what SCAD does now in downtown Savannah. Boundary suffer from the fact that cars go too fast and sidewalks aren’t wide enough. The exercise from this point is phasing backwards. If you know what you want to look like in 50 years or 40 The quick fix is a “road diet,” which shrink the number years or 20 years, you step back and say, “When this of lanes. We’ve already talked to SCDOT about this, piece comes in, this has to come in.” Or, “When this and they’re very open to it. Imagine that. We were piece comes in, that has to phase out.” It’s a study of going in prepared to do battle with the DOT, and they relationships based on the final goal. And one other threw us off balance by agreeing with us. So we’re thing: Bellamy Curve – what a spectacular curve. We going to be talking to them over the next several months, actually want to celebrate that even more than it is now. to get that worked out. Initially it can be done with a can You’ll see a plan in just a moment, but we would change of paint as a pilot project. Once in place and working, the pavement type, pavers along the street there, so as and as money becomes available, more design-oriented you arrive, to form the gateway into USCB and/or the solutions can be implemented to widen sidewalks and gateway into the Boundary Main Street. We would provide landscaping and coordinated signage. link the USCB main campus via the Open Land Trust’s current land holdings, down low by the marsh front and It’s wonderful to have a campus in your community. then back up onto Boundary Street. Students could then The influx of students, the vitality that that age group walk without crossing Carteret Street, although we’ve brings, the businesses and the shops that they frequent made Carteret Street crossable as well. If you wanted – it’s marvelous. You’ve got to have a balance of age to not have that urban experience for a few hundred groups and income groups in a town for it to be vibrant. yards, you’d be able to walk down, along the marsh, In order to convince USCB that they can grow, we in the quiet solitude of the beautiful waterfront. Or, if have completed a parking study. Their initial plans you wanted to shop, you could walk along Carteret and call for upwards of 250 additional students. Some of Boundary Streets. Remember, good urbanism is all these, and the teachers and professors needed to teach about choices. them, will require parking spaces. Right now, they only have parking here, and they’re looking in their The design of Bellamy Curve would include terraced Phase 1 to develop classroom space and dormitories, so steps of grass, from the road down to the water. From where is that parking to go? We did a study, and found the road, you would see exactly what you see today. that as things are now, we have 697 parking spaces, Only the paving material would be different. But for using diagonal parking along Carteret Street, and along those walking along the water you would experience Boundary Street, and new parking in consolidated a lawn sloping upward to the road. The space created parking lots in and around Washington Street, for could be used for outdoor concerts or a place to eat a example, which would also benefit the churches there. lunch. These street widths are wide enough to re-stripe to provide diagonal parking. The parking in Aiken, SC, for This is an image of some of the infill housing example, its Main Street, is diagonal parking. opportunities along Carteret for the campus. This is the12 Civic Master Plan | Sector 1
  13. 13. 13old Beaufort College building. We propose taking down at the western marsh. Decommissioned City propertythe old building that wraps it and adding some more along the corridor would be used as pilot projects tosquare footage that would allow for housing as well provide infill housing. As a building type, bungalowsas office space. As you travel up Carteret to Bellamy and small cottages allow you to manage a good bit ofCurve, the buildings would become larger and closer to growth. And they allow you to do it at price pointsthe street leading up to Boundary Street. On the north that are easily available to workforce housing and withside of Bellamy Curve, the existing condo development footprints that permit you to save tree canopy whenwould eventually be redeveloped – remember what I said necessary. One attribute we can leverage is the veryearlier about time, right? Twenty years from now, when deep lot condition that many of the small homes in thesethis plan has succeeded, the existing condos will be neighborhoods have. We propose to allow owners toout of place – too valuable to be suburban-style garden build an addition/accessory unit to their house that eitherapartments. It’s a great location for a wonderful inn, spa, comes up to the street if the house is set back deep, orand/or restaurant facility, with housing opportunites as build in the back if the house currently sits close to thewell that can be tied in with the campus. street. So they’ll have more opportunity for accessory unit and/or expansion of their house.Some examples of possible student housing, called“mansion house buildings,” that could be built along Moving south and west to Ribaut Road and the PigglyBoundary. This represents a building type that could Wiggly, we wanted to promote the build-out of thebe integrated with the existing building stock of the “government complex,” comprising the City of Beaufortneighborhood. It resembles a large house but would and Beaufort County, which currently take up theactually be a six- to twelve-unit apartment building and north and southwest quadrants of the new roundaboutalso provide commercial ground floor space. contemplated for the Boundary Street revitalization. To do so we used the Piggly Wiggly as the anchor for aWe did a tremendous amount of work up in the Pigeon series of new buildings that would anchor the southeastPoint and Higginsville neighborhoods, or as they may side of the roundabout and provide space for ancillarystart to be called, “NoBo,” or North of Boundary, to businesses that need proximity to the offices of theseaccomplish two things: first, to provide an ordering two government centers. The Piggly Wiggly is themechanism to identify the centers and edges of the only grocery store in Sector 1, and we hope, with thetwo neighborhoods, and second, to determine the infill increased activity and population we anticipate, that itsopportunities that would allow for growth without current owners would look to expand and retrofit thedisrupting the existing fabric. These two efforts had to existing facility. One of many possible plans wouldrespond to and leverage the plans being proposed for involve a staged redevelopment, with a short termSoBo, or South of Boundary. retrofit, followed by an extensive redevelopment at some point in the future. The redevelopment opportunity mayFor goal number one we looked at Park Street as the look like this, which shows the existing store demolishedeast-west spine, to orient residents and visitors. The to make way for parking and new construction alongcorridor connects all the open space, from marsh to Ribaut Road and Boundary Street, in keeping with themarsh, and runs midway between the river to the north Boundary Street Master Plan, after construction of a newand Boundary Street to the south. Let me take you on a store to the east is completed. In addition to the newride down Park Street. Here on the eastern shore, we are construction, the plan calls for reducing Ribaut Roadlooking to combine a future Open Land Trust purchase from four lanes to two lanes with parking and widenedwith Pigeon Point Park. Heading west from the park, sidewalks down to the intersection with Bay Street. Theyou would arrive at Basil Green Park, where we envision intersection with Bay Street would be designed to servea redesign to more formally arrange the facilities for as one of the three gateways into downtown Beaufort,convenience and parking. As you travel west along the along with Ribaut Road and Boundary Street, andnorthern side of the National Cemetery you would arrive Carteret Street and Bay Street. We’ll get into what the Sector 1 Civic Master Plan City of Beaufort, SC |
  14. 14. Sector 1 | Appendix D | Closing Presentation gateway design would look like and what happens to the of towns and the County. Let’s talk about the regional banners in the coming months. By narrowing Ribaut system. How do you get someone to be here for more Road for this section, we can tie downtown Beaufort to than a day? How do you inspire them to move here? the Hermitage neighborhood in terms of pedestrian and You link up with your neighbors so that together you can bike access and make the entire area walkable for those offer more than just what you have. Here’s Port Royal, doing business at the City or County buildings. and the old port at Port Royal. It will be redeveloped eventually and it will be their downtown addition and Bladen Street and the two blocks off either side have a waterfront opportunity, an opportunity similar to what number of infill opportunities. The jail, Department of Beaufort has now, and what we are looking to complete. Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) building, But Port Royal also has a beach called the Sands, and the old School Board building are examples, and surrounded by a State park. Wouldn’t it be great to be we’ve proposed how these sites can be added to and able to walk or bike all the way up – from downtown redeveloped over time. This is an existing project Port Royal, by the Beach, through the park, to the happening now called “Midtown.” It provides for some Hospital TCL campus, to Beaufort’s new boardwalk, to interesting opportunities as they relate to community the Marina and downtown Beaufort, across the bridge gardening. With the relocation of the existing garden to Whitehall, down all the way to the Beaufort Yacht run by the Open Land Trust, we can incorporate it with and Sailing Club, continuing down and across the new the new housing and start to promote urban agriculture. bridge, and back to Port Royal? The redevelopment and infill along Boundary and As you can see by these plans and images, we have Bladen Streets will do more than enhance the two created a vision for a community that is walkable and corridors and provide jobs and needed housing – it mixed use; that reinforces its urban character, but will reinvigorate the NWQ. As discussed earlier, also celebrates the natural context in which it sits. healthy neighborhoods require active, vital commercial We leverage nature and the work of the OLT to raise corridors. One leads to the other. If either is in distress, awarness of its importance in order to celebrate the both become distressed. The NWQ will not succeed history and aspirations of the people of Beaufort and unless these streets redevelop. It’s not a matter of how Beaufort County. As we plan the remaining Sectors of much attention or money is lavished there. It will not the City we will be weaving together the visions we’ve nurture a revival unless these corridors are redeveloped. established in Sector 1 to support and promote the planning of all the new projects that will be identified All the work that has been completed over the last in the remaining Sectors. A quick snapshot of what’s to three months has generated a long list of projects. We come: The water taxi, Rails-to-Trail – look at the rail line compiled them all onto the Sector 1 Map to see what and how it passes through the Old Depot area here, and the vision would be in 20 or 30 years. This illustration the proximity to downtown. Depot Road, which goes up shows all the infill and redevelopment we are proposing. to the old depot, was the connection – the commercial This series of images shows the staging of development connection – of the city back to the rest of the world. along the lines of a realistic build-out for Sector 1. As I The rail line came down to Beaufort at the depot and mentioned earlier, just this quick effort would grow the then down to Port. The boats came in and unloaded their population by about 2,500 without changing anything supplies. There was actually a low road along the marsh about what Beaufort is. To fulfill what Beaufort needs to front, down at the bottom of the Bluff that followed the become, to be a prosperous and resilient community, it curve of the bluff. They would carry heavy goods, and can support many times this number. so forth, that they couldn’t get up the Bluff. But Sector 1 is but one of four Sectors comprising the We haven’t shown this yet, but the tie from downtown City of Beaufort, which itself sits in a regional system to the Old Depot area and the Rail-to-Trail opens up all the amenities and development we have shown you14 Civic Master Plan | Sector 1
  15. 15. 15tonight to a significant portion of the biking and walkingpopulation of the County, too. Master planning the Here is a draft zoning map showing the existing zoningThe TCL/hospital area – again, right off the Rail-to and the proposed Form-Based zoning. As we receive theTrail – would permit many to commute to work if they new code from the County, we will be calibrating it toso choose and when the weather cooperates. Such an Beaufort and the Civic Master Plan we have envisioned.integrated and extensive system provides options and In addition, there are numerous policy issues that we’reopportunities, for residents and visitors alike. You can addressing in terms of zoning and permitting, along withsee we’ve done many studies showing shared bike lanes incentives to help encourage development in the mostand sign-only bike lanes. We want the whole city to needed areas. These technical documents, the mostbe bike-able. Dedicated bike lanes and trails, sidewalk boring but the most necessary, are what we at OCI willexpansions and additions will be identified. be working on in the coming months.But you can’t tie all this together effectively without a All in all, I hope that’s a pretty compelling vision,good transit system. This could be implemented next and worth the time of a few champions, and powerfulyear; it could be implemented ten years from now. The enough to make visitors think that Beaufort has its actopportunity to do it sooner rather than later exists, and it together – and would be a good place to move to. That’sshould be taken. We’re looking at how this is unfolding, the end of tonight’s presentation. Feel free to stay andbut one proposal is to get people to park in certain ask questions of the teams and the work pinned on thestrategic locations – the existing Town Center area off walls. We’ll be notifying you of the dates for the nextBoundary Street is one – and use that with a reliable Sector workshop and presentation in the next couple ofand predictable bus service to get to important areas months. Thank you for coming.around town. To be attractive, the transit would need tobe quick, reliable, and frequent. Coordinated with boatdocks/marinas, and water taxi services, the transit systembecomes regional and robust.Now that you’ve seen all the work I hope some of arethinking of volunteering as champions for a few of theseprojects. We’ll be preparing a booklet of the entireCivic Master Plan and a separate booklet that prioritizesthe action items and objectives. Some of you mayask, “How will any of this be implemented even if themoney and champions come forward? We still have todeal with the existing Ordinances.” You are correct tothink that. After all, the upcoming adoption of a CountyForm-Based Code which the City is participating in,is the reason for OCI and all the work you see tonight.We needed to prepare the City to use the Code for greatthings, but we also need to prepare the City to implementthe Code. I briefly went over the problems with existingzoning and its negative impacts on traditional andhistoric places. We want the new Code to encouragenew development while preserving the old. As alreadydiscussed, the Form-Based Codes use the Transect,which is based on building types and how their designschange from rural to urban settings. Sector 1 Civic Master Plan City of Beaufort, SC |