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Longmont City Council to Review Main Street Corridor Plan’s Goals

January 29, 2019
Traffic is seen on Main Street on Monday. The team working on the Main Street Corridor Plan is seeking direction from city council on whether the project's draft goals should be modified "to better support council's vision" for the 5-mile stretch of Main between Colo. 66 on the north and Plateau Road.

If you go

What: Longmont City Council meeting

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Civic Center council chambers, 350 Kimbark St.

Agenda: tinyurl.com/y7yzgpm8

Main Street Corridor Plan website: tinyurl.com/y9cgcuqz

City Council work plan: tinyurl.com/y8wll2gt

Longmont City Council members might weigh in on Tuesday about whether they want changes in a study that’s already under way to examine and guide development and redevelopment possibilities alongside Main Street.

City staff in a memo said the Main Street Corridor Plan team would like direction on whether the project’s draft goals should be modified “to better support council’s vision” for the 5-mile stretch of Main between Colo. 66 on the north and Plateau Road on the south — “or if there are any additional goals that should be added.”

The project has divided the corridor into four distinct “character areas.” The northernmost area runs from Colo. 66 to 17th Avenue; the middle northern section lies between 17th and 11th avenues; an historic downtown section area is between 11th Avenue and the St. Vrain River, and the southernmost area is between the river and Plateau Road.

Several council members have questioned how and whether the Main Street corridor planning aligns with the work plan council adopted last fall to detail its own visions, goals and objectives for priority city attention.

Staff in its memo for Tuesday’s meeting said that — in addition to getting council’s assurances about whether it is carrying out council’s direction — it “would like to determine how council would like to be involved in the project going forward.”

“The goal of this project is not necessarily to reinvent Main Street as it is today, but rather to build upon existing assets and evaluate opportunities for higher and better use,” the memo states of the corridor “over the next 10 to 20 years.”

The project is intended “to identify opportunities for additional businesses, housing, open space and amenities that improve quality of life. It is about embracing small business and other assets that are present within the corridor while providing strategies for enhancing the overall corridor,” staff stated.

Work on the corridor planning project began in late summer and is expected to conclude late this summer.

Among the draft goals Longmont planners developed for the project:

• “Embrace historic significance”to “recognize the corridor’s place in history, automobile culture, significance as a gathering place and as Longmont’s ‘historic main street.’”

• “Strategic infill” to “revitalize the corridor through infill development, new housing, community facilities/amenities and urban open space.”

• “Integrate Main”to “create connections between Main Street and surrounding neighborhoods; connect streets, and transition building heights and massing.”

• “Create a sense of place” to “create a cohesive identity and sense of place; improve livability for all residents; enhance aesthetics and incorporate green spaces.”

• “Strengthen economic base” to “promote economic growth by attracting and retaining a diverse range of businesses and housing to strengthen the corridor while preventing displacement of existing businesses and homes.”

• “Improve safety and mobility” to “improve safety for all modes; preserve corridor mobility while enhancing the multimodal network, incorporate technology to support safety and mobility.”

• “Transit as catalyst” to “leverage transit investments, orient stops around activity centers and form new mobility hubs.”

Part of the council’s separate work plan “Vision for Longmont’s Places” states that in 20 years’ time, Longmont will have a developed Main Street from Pike Road to Colo. 66, and a river corridor that stretches from the sugar mill to the fairgrounds, as a “vibrant economic, cultural and entertainment epicenter that is sustainable and respects the natural environment.”

City staff in its memo for Tuesday’s council meeting said the Main Street Corridor project team “sees good alignment with the corridor-wide goals and the council’s work plan.”

Nearly 700 people responded to an initial survey conduced last year to get impressions and feedback about the corridor, staff reported. Additional surveys are expected before the project is completed.

During a Nov. 7 community meeting attended by about 90 people, the project team presented an overview of the Main Street Corridor Plan’s status at that point. As many as two more community meetings are expected to be scheduled to coincide with future phases of the project.

Initial city presentations to the public have sparked some debates among residents and businesses over such issues as whether there should be fewer automotive-based property uses in the corridor, such as used car dealerships and repair shops.

Contact Staff Writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc

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