The Lane Avenue corridor is arguably the City’s most rapidly evolving commercial district and it continues to experience unprecedented levels of reinvestment. This transformation has enhanced the area’s vibrancy and appeal, providing new dining, retail, housing and service options, along with the community’s first hotel, with a second under construction.
As the area has changed, the City has implemented measures to address parking and traffic concerns, provide transitional buffers from the commercial district into the adjoining residential neighborhood, and to enhance pedestrian and bicycle access where possible.
To make sure the City is addressing the district’s evolution in a comprehensive way, in the fall of 2019 City Council initiated the Lane Avenue Planning Study to consider how the City can support the district’s evolution in a way that sets parameters for thoughtful, quality development. This includes facilitating the creation of gathering spaces, enhancing the pedestrian experience, and improving safety and the look and feel of the district, while also paying close attention to an appropriate blending between commercial activity and the surrounding residential neighborhoods.
To date, the study process has involved two phases of community engagement.
A first round of activities—conducted in the fall—looked for general preferences and concerns from residents. This included an Open House and two community pop up meetings at locations along the corridor, as well as meeting with area business representatives. In early October, residents were invited to complete a quick, online survey based on the idea boards shared at these meetings, available for anyone who is interested in participating in this process. We received an impressive 1,887 responses.
In the second round, possible solutions were shared at a public meeting in December, followed by another online survey. These solutions included options for enhancing the main gateways into the district along Lane Avenue, and elements that help define the transition into surrounding neighborhoods. A series of streetscape improvements and suggested amendments to the Lane Avenue Planned Mixed-Use District zoning requirements were also presented.
The Round 2 Engagement Summary shows that, of the 1,200 touchpoints of feedback obtained through this second phase, responses were generally favorable since the proposed concepts clearly reflect the input initially received. This includes a desire to have the fronts of buildings provide space for public gathering, access to the businesses and to include pedestrian oriented signage. There was also consensus for requiring some variation in building heights and setback, enhancing building designs, the use of quality construction materials, and providing a transition of uses from commercial to residential adjacent to the surrounding neighborhoods.
In February, the community will be invited back a third and final time to learn about the recommendations for enhancing gateways into the district, streetscape improvements and proposed amendments to the Lane Avenue Planned Mixed-Use District zoning requirements. Thereafter, consultant OHM Advisors will present its report and recommendations to City Council for their review.
The City encourages residents to be involved in this important review process to help develop a roadmap that will further the corridor’s appeal as a major hub for community activity, while preserving the peaceful nature of surrounding neighborhoods. Full details and project updates can be found by clicking here .