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Author Topic: Meeting on Siler City Downtown Masterplan  (Read 5890 times)
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dan in silk hope
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2013, 09:15:34 AM »

Wed. 8:00 am.
Hope you can make it. Thanks
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Silk_Hope
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2013, 10:11:39 AM »

Nice how the schedule meetings when those with jobs are working.
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"This year (1935) will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"  - Adolf Hitler
snowcamper
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Let there be light!


« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2013, 03:47:57 PM »

Don't worry, there will probably be lots of non-profit "stakeholders", local busy bodies, politicians, etc. in attendance... all who know better than any crazy conservatives, loony libertarians, or greedy businesspersons what the town needs.

If we're really fortunate, maybe we'll get another arts-related solution to a business problem. 
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Snowball
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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2013, 08:04:11 PM »

Certainly makes me want to attend.
 Grin
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Silk_Hope
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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2013, 08:18:09 PM »


Certainly makes me want to attend.
 Grin

Go for it, those of us that work pay your way anyway.
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"This year (1935) will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"  - Adolf Hitler
dan in silk hope
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« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2013, 12:30:05 AM »

Gotta love when the paper quotes you and misses the major point you made. That being, the masterplan being done for Siler City should show where to spend money where it will best benefit the town economically, (attracting restaurants, entertainment venues and businesses). A walking trial along the railroad tracks was not priority one. Oh well.
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dan in silk hope
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« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2013, 06:05:08 PM »

I cannot claim the paper incorrectly recorded what I said, but I am dissapointed my major point was missed. I also regret that I was portrayed as so adversarial to the town. I have written this letter to the editor to clarify. I hope they will print it.

Dear Mr. Gates, Thank you for covering the Siler City NC STEP program.

I would like to clarify the reason I objected to the Downtown Masterplan being voted on for approval on February 14th. I was concerned that if the plan was approved as it was presented, the prioritized improvements would  not benefit the Town and the merchants.  The number one priority was a walking trail with scenic overlooks along the railroad tracks.   I estimate this improvement would cost in excess of $200,000.00. I believed that the limited resources of Siler City should be spent on items which would fulfill the desires within the masterplan's survey of attracting restaurants, businesses and entertainment venues. This priority was not shown in the top 4 illustrated priorities and was not even listed within the masterplan. I believed the plan should not be approved until this need and desire was addressed.

I believe the STEP program  is a very beneficial program for the Town of Siler City. As you know, the members, including myself, are active and concerned community members who want what is best for Siler City. The town planner, Mr. Meadows, and myself share a common vision for the Town and we both are passionate about seeing the STEP teams efforts result in the revitalization of Siler City. I regret that Mr. Meadows and I were not in our usual positions of mutual agreement. I have a great deal of respect for Jack Meadows and all he does for Siler City and I regret that our exchange did not portray that. On that particular night the masterplan was scheduled to be voted upon and if approved go to the Siler City commissioners for adoption. As a resident who considers Siler City home I felt it necessary to object for the benefit of the Town of Siler City. Thank you, Dan Sundberg

.
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poman
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« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2013, 10:28:43 PM »

Dan,
You seem to be confusing the NC STEP Strategic Master Plan with the Downtown Master Plan presented by Coaley which is a "streetscape" plan. Take a look at the RFP Coaley responded to. There was no mention of attracting restaurants, businesses, or entertainment venues. They were just asked to make suggestions on improving the look and feel of downtown.

Maybe your criticisms would be better received if you had some alternative suggestions. Or is it your opinion that Streetscape improvements are not needed?

 
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snowcamper
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Let there be light!


« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2013, 10:28:53 PM »

Wow.  I guess that no one could have seen this coming....

A walking trail?  Seriously?  The "Art Center of the East Coast" was a better economic driver than that...

The master plans of tiny minds.
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dan in silk hope
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« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2013, 09:52:44 AM »

Poeman, Respectfully I disagree. I offer these points:

1. Yes, the project I am talking about is only the downtown masterplan and not the STEP program strategic plan. The quote is from the downtown masterplan sub-committee proposal for the project and the RFP sent out did include all the listed elements.

2. Although the RFP did not specifically say to design to attract restaurants, businesses and entertainment venues the required survey overwhelmingly did list those items.
FYI: This is the goal of the STEP downtown masterplan committee which the RFP was based on. The RFP is too long to post but it contained these elements:

Town of Siler City Siler City STEP Leadership Team

 NC STEP Economic Development Strategic Plan and Implementation Strategy, (this below is from the downtown masterplan sub-committee proposal portion of the above plan.) Sorry for the confusion.

"A master plan is a strategy for redevelopment. Done correctly, the team solicits input, goals, objective and dreams from the community, tempers them with urban design experience and market realities, and instills a vision for the future of a downtown, neighborhood, or other large project. .... It should include market analysis to ensure the feasibility of the projects defined. It should also have an implementation strategy that includes tasks to be accomplished, timelines, incentives, potential funding sources, and responsibilities."

3. I did offer suggestions. I wrote this to all the downtown masterplan members, including Coaley design, before the last meeting: "The plan does not give an identity to Siler City. Siler City offers many fun and unique opportunities to showcase its history and future. I appreciate that the elements and history of the downtown were elaborated on because they are critical. Now have fun with it and give a reason for the explanation. Agriculture, art, cultural diversity. Show it off and make the town unique. Tables using tractor seats and a disc as a table? Giant rabbit footprints in the crosswalks? Playing it safe will not get us what we need in my opinion.
2. The priorities previously shown are now eliminated. They are described to be determined in the future. However, the needs in the survey: Restaurants, shops and entertainment venues give the priorities and should drive the order of the improvements. Give a concept that could be easily adapted to make an outside dining area on the street perhaps, (perhaps lose a parking space adjacent to a restaurant for seating as an incentive. Maybe show a bumpout for seating.  Priorities are needed so the Town  can budget the downtown improvements that will lead to the desired restaurants, shops and entertainment venues coming downtown. We need businesses that stay open past 5:00 more than we need at least 2 of the detailed concept ideas. Please add a concept(s) that addresses the most critical needs.

5. It may be only my opinion that the plan still will not fulfill the NC STEP economic development strategic plan and implementation plan's objectives as stated below. I hope you will address this concern for the sake of our town.            
          Town of Siler City Siler City STEP Leadership Team

 NC STEP Economic Development Strategic Plan and Implementation Strategy

"A master plan is a strategy for redevelopment. Done correctly, the team solicits input, goals, objective and dreams from the community, tempers them with urban design experience and market realities, and instills a vision for the future of a downtown, neighborhood, or other large project. .... It should include market analysis to ensure the feasibility of the projects defined. It should also have an implementation strategy that includes tasks to be accomplished, timelines, incentives, potential funding sources, and responsibilities."

Snowcamper, Thank you. A one block 200K walking trail, (to be expanded to 3 blocks as funds allow, 600K), seemed a poor way to prioritize expenditures. This is what got me going to try to stop it.






 
 

« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 10:34:28 AM by dan in silk hope » Logged
poman
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« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2013, 12:55:30 PM »

Thanks Dan. You still keep saying that the plan "does not fulfill" the NCSTEP Strategic Plan. See your point 5 above. Again, the Downtown Master Plan is only a portion of the Strategic plan. I think the NCSTEP team got exactly what they asked for from Coaley and the proposed plan addresses the survey they conducted precisely. It's possible you are referring to some other survey but the #1 priority from the Downtown MP survey was signage, trees, and benches. #2 was more businesses. #3 restaurants. The proposed plan includes a mixed-use building with space for a new restaurant with outdoor seating as the #4 priority.

You seem to be saying that the Town should make some minor more "affordable" changes and the ideas you suggest are good ones. However, I think the town needs to make major investments to save and invigorate downtown. You balk at $200K but it will take much more than that to make any significant upgrades. Just look at the proposed changes on 2nd Ave. I doubt the town can spend anything near what is needed without coming up with lots of new dollars.

I'm not a Town taxpayer, so it's really none of my business, but if I were I would be asking my Town commissioner to consider some of the plans and come up with the costs and options to pay for them. The two most obvious would be a tax increase or a bond offerring. Then let the town voters decide. I don't want to hear any of this "We'll look for grant money" baloney. This is a Town problem and should be solved by the Town, not the State or Federal taxpayer. The first Downtown Master Plan was presented in 1980 and it was never acted on. I think it's time for the Town taxpayers to decide whether to spend a bunch of money or not.
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dan in silk hope
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« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2013, 02:19:09 PM »

Poman, You have the survey bar graph item order confused with the response desires. The order of the questions of the survey were 1. signage, trees, benches 2.more businesses 3.more restaurants, cafes 4.more living options 5. entertainmnet venues 6.parks, open space 7. other 8. no additional services needed in downtown.

The desired responses were: More restaurants, cafes, (Tallest bar on the graph by far) 2. more businesses 3.More entertainment venues. 4. parks and open space.
The other noted items barely registered.
I tried to cut and paste but it did not work. It would have been a better idea for the bar graph to list the order in desires, but they did not. Heri s a link to the masterplan, (see page 5, 3rd graph down): http://www.silercity.org/vertical/sites/%7B3856B9B8-1C42-483B-A4CB-C0D6B1FE7142%7D/uploads/SC-Downtown_Master_Plan_report-_no_maps.pdf

Since you seem to be involved, your confusion of the bar graph concerns me greatly.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 02:38:54 PM by dan in silk hope » Logged
dan in silk hope
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« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2013, 03:05:13 PM »

Thanks Dan. You still keep saying that the plan "does not fulfill" the NCSTEP Strategic Plan. See your point 5 above. Again, the Downtown Master Plan is only a portion of the Strategic plan. I think the NCSTEP team got exactly what they asked for from Coaley and the proposed plan addresses the survey they conducted precisely. It's possible you are referring to some other survey but the #1 priority from the Downtown MP survey was signage, trees, and benches. #2 was more businesses. #3 restaurants. The proposed plan includes a mixed-use building with space for a new restaurant with outdoor seating as the #4 priority.

I believe I answered this sufficiently above. Please get back to me about your reading of the graph when you have looked at again. It is very worrisome that you read it the way you did, and I am concerned others may also have read it incorrectly!

You seem to be saying that the Town should make some minor more "affordable" changes and the ideas you suggest are good ones. However, I think the town needs to make major investments to save and invigorate downtown. You balk at $200K but it will take much more than that to make any significant upgrades. Just look at the proposed changes on 2nd Ave. I doubt the town can spend anything near what is needed without coming up with lots of new dollars.
I am less concerned with the amount spent than I am about the return on investment for the downtown retailers. ie. they make more money and pay more back in taxes from sales. The town is more vibrant with more shoppers and the ball starts rolling. The walkway against the railway is a dead end investment. It won't draw people dowmtown and will simply be a money drain. The sidewalk improvements I mention to attract a restaurant will bring a tax paying business that will have a ROI. The identity of the Siler City rabbit is only one example and may be silly,but it could also draw people curious to see whats new downtown.

I'm not a Town taxpayer, so it's really none of my business, but if I were I would be asking my Town commissioner to consider some of the plans and come up with the costs and options to pay for them. The two most obvious would be a tax increase or a bond offerring. Then let the town voters decide. I don't want to hear any of this "We'll look for grant money" baloney. This is a Town problem and should be solved by the Town, not the State or Federal taxpayer. The first Downtown Master Plan was presented in 1980 and it was never acted on. I think it's time for the Town taxpayers to decide whether to spend a bunch of money or not.
The sidewalks will be eligable for local NCDOT and possibly TEA 21 grants. A walking trail along the rairlroad tracks would not. It could possibly be eligable for a PARTF grant, but a downtown park, which is being worked on by a seperate sub committee is more likely to be awarded funding since the need is greater. The 1980 plan has had many elements "acted on". It is a much better plan than the one that was just presented in my opinion.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 04:52:53 PM by dan in silk hope » Logged
poman
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« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2013, 05:52:31 PM »

Yep, I read the graph wrong. I haven't been involved with the Downtown Master Plan at all other than reading Jack's emails and seeing your posts here so need need to worry about my lack of reading comprehension.
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dan in silk hope
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« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2013, 07:25:26 PM »

Yep, I read the graph wrong. I haven't been involved with the Downtown Master Plan at all other than reading Jack's emails and seeing your posts here so need need to worry about my lack of reading comprehension.
Poman, Thanks for the reply. I can see how you mis-read the graph. I was, and still am concerned that others could have mis-read it as well. As you can see, the overwhelming desire is for restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. I am hopeful that will be addressed in the revised plan. Thanks, Dan
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