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Project Journal

This page collects the history of creating a new Comprehensive Plan for Huntington. This includes a record of public meetings and a collection of documents as they are created. Please visit this site often for updates!

Huntington Arts Summit

Plan 2025 staff was a small part in the great success of the Huntington Arts Summit on October 25, 2012. Below is a beginning summary of some of the great ideas that came out of this gathering, especially in reference to Plan2025. This is by no means a comprehensive view of the ideas that were discussed. Keep checking back for a more detailed summary and next steps.

Highlights:

Collaborate with all arts/artists

  • Collaborate more on arts activities, currently happening and expanding (big support for at least an annual Arts Summit event)

  • Long term, coordinated plan for integrating the arts

  • Piggyback on biggest culture events; add art (Chili-fest, Rib-fest, Huntington music fest, etc.)

Locations to promote public art and venues

  • River front (skate park, murals on floodwall /Ritter park art (capitalize on successes and build on transitions between locations)/rotary park

  • Downtown (fill vacant lots with art, vacant store fronts for artist space)

  • Artists’ space/artist district: place where international artists can relocate (West end arts district?)

  • Potential arts district from Heritage Station to City Hall 5th to river

Corridors to promote public art

  • 4th Avenue (8th to 16th) as already a supported corridor add arts

  • PATH route, potential to add art, to make it a tour of public art venues

  • Corridors ingress/egress of city

Art culture/functional art

  • Art having function and adding to Huntington culture (fire hydrants painted, “adopted” by local artists, bike racks, benches, sponsored statues (trains, buffalos))

  • Skate-able art, make the skate park public art, so everyone can enjoy

  • Art in landscaping and signage to designate different parts of the city

Potential Outcomes:

  • Motivation for an arts district either in the Downtown, West end and/or in the corridors between key arts landmarks

  • Map arts to see what we have and where, to better understand where there are areas of growth

  • Collaborate on projects that develop from Arts Summit

Fairfield West Improvement Council

Plan2025 staff are grateful to the Fairfield West neighborhood for making time during their monthly neighborhood meeting to discuss the update to our City’s Comprehensive Plan, Plan2025. It is clear that Fairfield is a neighborhood that is engaged and busy with activities and updates every month. During the Plan2025 discussion, we broke the large group into four smaller groups and discussed: residential land use, commercial land use, transportation, assets of the neighborhood, and flooding concerns. At the end of the discussion period each group summarized a few of the items that they discussed and shared with the whole group. Below are some of the themes from the discussion:

Fairfield is a unique part of our city and should remain a distinctive neighborhood:

  • Residents described their neighborhood as a “City within a City”

  • Distinctive signage that can welcome to neighborhood, provide directional signage, and showcase historical resources

  • Lighting and improvements in sidewalks, especially along main corridors (Hal Greer and 9th Avenue)will add to the character and safety for all residents

  • Fairfield Neighborhood is the gateway into the City and Marshall University

Community resources are strengths of the neighborhood, but there are commercial needs that could be beneficial to the neighborhood:

  • Strengths: Cabell Huntington Hospital, Community centers (AD Lewis Center, Marie Redd Center, Barnett Center), Ebenezer Medical Outreach, forensic lab, churches, historical resources

  • Needs: affordable grocery store, bookstore (or library branch), clothing store, restaurants, bowling alley or skate rink

  • Encourage commercial uses that can create employment opportunities for neighbors in the area

  • Potential to expanding the already beneficial AD Lewis Center to include all ages or to use this location as an emergency relief location

  • Potential for a community resource center that could house high tech resources (high speed internet, technology), community resources, library books,

  • Need a fire station in the neighborhood

Alternative transportation is an important resource to this neighborhood and there could be targeted improvements:

  • Improve bus transportation: more access to resources outside of Fairfield neighborhood, 24 hour bus transit, increased access to Dial-A-Ride, more bus shelters.

  • Pedestrian access: safe access across key areas of Hal Greer (especially to AD Lewis Center), sidewalk improvements everywhere but especially along corridors (Hal Greer and 9th Avenue)

  • More traffic lights and pedestrian crossings on Hal Greer to slow down car traffic.

Housing needs are diverse, need quality, affordable housing opportunities:

  • Strengths: Have an abundance of vacant, ready to be developed land, investment from the Housing Authority to maintain affordable housing opportunities in the Fairfield Neighborhood

  • Want a balance of residential and commercial properties to stabilize land values

  • Want a diversity of compact affordable housing that is energy efficient

Flooding is a concern in Fairfield, but efforts are being encouraged to counter infrastructure limitations:

  • Viaducts flooding is a concern for safety and access to other parts of the city

  • Several areas were highlighted as concerns for increased flooding issues, especially on these streets infrastructure needs to be invested in and maintained

  • Fairfield neighborhood is a strong proponent of community garden spaces and tools to reduce the strain on the current combined storm water/sanitary system

Marshall University – Open Forum at Memorial Student Center

It was great to be a part of this meeting and listen to student and faculty perspectives related to Huntington’s Plan 2025 and its need for input from all sectors in the community.

James Baldwin was the meeting facilitator and opened the meeting with some background information and rationale for why we need to plan. He illustrated how we plan our lives and careers individually and compared this with a community’s need to decide where it wants to go and plan for how it will get there.

To begin the discussion, James asked why attendees chose to live where they did and what factors were important in that decision. Answers included price, location, being near campus, safety. One person mentioned choosing a neighborhood with sidewalks where their 12 year old could safely ride a bicycle. Downtown was discussed as a living choice. Problems noted were lack of parking and no grocery store. One student noted that he was surprised at the (lack of) value for apartments here vs. his previous Arizona location. Old or new preferred? Older can be better due to quality of construction – walls more soundproof, character, etc. Apartments near Ritter Park preferred, still popular choice.

James turned the discussion toward the Fourth Avenue Corridor (700 – 1600 blocks of Fourth Avenue that connect downtown with Marshall’s campus), using photos of each block to solicit thoughts and reactions from the group. Most attendees had heard of the Corridor’s designation and knew of the streetscape work going on there. Most visits to businesses on the Corridor were to restaurants. Comments included:

-        some blocks had little in the way of businesses to attract people
-        800 block identified as scary due to violent incidents at a bar a few years ago. “Nobody wants to be near there after 10pm”, with the running joke each fall being what its name has changed to this year.
-        Some blocks had more positive reactions where restaurants and student friendly businesses exist.
-        Corridor is walkable and some students use it to walk from Marshall to Pullman Square.
 
Ideas for improvement, what people would like to see included:

-        Uses for empty lots need to be identified. Other towns cited with similar situations have creative uses such as food carts and other temporary vendors encouraged to set up.
-        One participant encouraged a signage ordinance to help unify the Corridor’s identity.
-        One participant strongly encouraged the city to put all resources available toward making the Corridor a “model street” with clear signage for vehicles, bikes, pedestrians, good lighting, benches, bike racks, trash receptacles, landscaping, free wi-fi, walking or biking police patrols, etc. All should create a real and percieved sense of safety! In this way the Corridor could/should be a highly touted asset to prospective MU students, faculty, businesses looking to relocate, etc.
-        Creative businesses are needed where students can spend time doing things together and socializing that do not cost a lot of money. Need creative date opportunities such as what Pottery Place offers. Special events or recurring things such as a ghost tour of the Keith Albee or Hotel Frederick also mentioned.
-        Fence around pool at The Flats that fronts Fourth Avenue is a wasted opportunity for public art – some better interface with the street is needed.
-        Prefer locally owned business and will pay more if available. Several Pullman Square businesses mentioned as examples.
- Would like to have opportunity to buy locally grown food, food co-op. Mention was made of Huntington Local Food Market group that is currently working toward this goal.

Another session was encouraged that should be held on the main level of the Student Center where students could drop by and give input vs. coming to a meeting on the lower level and sitting in a classroom arrangement, i.e. something more conducive to discussion and less formal preferred.

Edward W. Tucker, AIA

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South Side Neighborhood Meeting

On Thursday, January 5, 2012, Plan2025 staff presented the residents attending the South Side Neighborhood meeting with a set of four maps covering transportation, community assets, floodplain, and land use/zoning. Below are some of the outcomes that were discussed.

People residing within the South Side Neighborhood were generally very pleased with the character of their neighborhood and what living there has to offer them. They felt very positive about the schools, festivals, places of worship, parks, and museums among other assets. Residents did, however, express some concerns and pointed out some areas of improvement. Residents would like to see a partnership forged with Marshall University to develop vacant lots into space for the medical buildings or have those lots turned into green space or water retention ponds. Residents would like to see 10th street turned into a “no park corridor.” An idea for improvement of the neighborhood was to add more fresh markets.

On the topic of land use and zoning, the residents expressed a desire for no more industrial development in the neighborhood. They also want existing industrial businesses to be a better neighbor with regard to property maintenance and contributions to keeping the neighborhood clean. Residents that attended the meeting also want stricter code enforcement, especially concerning multi-family properties.

Transportation was a hot topic. Residents cited poor road conditions as a top drawback to the neighborhood. They did offer some solutions to common transportation problems such as the addition of bike lanes and building pedestrian bridges over Hal Greer Boulevard. Residents were pleased with public transportation services but stated that the timing of the bus routes was not convenient for most to ride.

South Side residents had many questions concerning flooding and how to improve the condition of Four Pole Creek. They were very helpful in providing information about where areas are flooding frequently. Suggestions were made to add additional corner drains to alleviate some problems. Also, it was noted that there was a problem with residents dumping leaves and grass clippings into storm sewer drains which can aggravate the city’s flooding problems.

Westmoreland Neighborhood Meeting

Plan2025 staff performed the first neighborhood outreach event at the November 21, 2011 meeting of the Westmoreland Neighborhood Association. Staff presented the residents with a set of four maps covering floodplain, community assets, land use/zoning, and transportation.

The overall feeling of Westmoreland residents that attended the meeting was positive. The residents like their neighborhood. When asked about the assets of the neighborhood, residents cited great people, parks, and schools among others. But, they would also like to see a remodeled fire station, expanded community center, advance notice of a city wide clean up, and possibly a casual dining restaurant.

When the residents discussed the area of land use and zoning within their neighborhood the overwhelming theme was a desire to keep future developments in line with the character of the neighborhood. They would like to maintain single family residential homes but were open to the possibility of renovating existing structures into apartments. Residents had concerns about poorly managed rental properties and negligent property owners. They also expressed a desire to protect historical structures within the neighborhood such as the Vinson Family Plantation House and Vinson Memorial Church

With regard to commercial industry, residents of Westmoreland wanted to keep future developments to a minimum and, if possible, keep future developments in areas already designated for commercial and industrial business. They would like to see an increase in “mom and pop” stores.

There were many concerns and ideas for improvement in the area of transportation. Residents would like to see the many potholes throughout the neighborhood repaired and would like to see parking regulations modified on Chase Street. Residents would also like to see the addition of sidewalks in some areas and repairs to existing sidewalks. They also thought the neighborhood could be improved with the addition of a bike lane.

Citywide flooding and floodplain management has been an issue for some time. The residents would like to see better enforcement regarding residents dumping leaves into the storm sewer, which clogs the sewer and causes increased flooding. Krouts Creek needs to be widened and dredged; bridges crossing the creek also need to be kept free of debris. The residents believe the storm drains are not large enough and that streets like Carson and Waverly could benefit from additional drains.

Phase One: City Vision and Neighborhood Outreach

August 25, 2011: Kick off Information Booth

Phase Two: Neighborhood Plan Compilation and Draft Review

Phase Three: Plan Implementation and Zoning Ordinance Revision

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Kick-off information booth:
August 25th 2011
7-10 pm @ Pullman Square Dutch Miller Concert Series

The Kick-off for Plan2025 was a huge success! Pullman Square was bustling with people for the concert and the evening was pleasantly warm and not wet at all! Our booth was visited by over 50 people, who learned more about the Comprehensive Plan, and talked about their neighborhood. Thanks to all who came out and talked with us! We had 33 people mark where they lived in the city and most neighborhoods were represented. The largest numbers of people came from the downtown/Marshall area and Southside. We also added lots of people to our email and volunteer list. If you would also like to join our email list to get more information about events that are coming up please email: plan2025@cityofhuntington.com.

Check out some photos from the event!

 

 

 

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