Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
The current plan is from 2001, well before a recent increase in the number of people living downtown.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Roanoke’s planners are quietly working on an update to the city’s downtown plan, aiming at ways to better connect it to the neighborhoods on its fringes.
The current plan dates from 2001, well before the recent growth in the number of people living downtown, the city’s planning, building and development director, Chris Chittum, said Friday.
He said he’d like the update to tackle the challenge of encouraging more stores downtown, as well as public perceptions that parking can be difficult.
“We really want to look at how downtown transitions into neighborhoods,” Chittum said. “The idea is to have continuity and an urban feel.”
He said planners hope Roanoke can avoid what happens in many downtowns, where a small core is surrounded by parking lots and vacant property.
And while renovation of historic buildings has transformed downtown Roanoke, Chittum said sooner or later downtown will run out of buildings to rehabilitate. He hopes the new plan will address how new construction should fit with the rest of downtown.
City planner Katharine Gray, who is leading the effort, said other key issues will include Jefferson Street and the way the current downtown core will link to the medical and research complex around Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute.
Figuring out how rail passenger facilities will fit with the rest of downtown is also a key concern, she said.
While Gray and other planners have been seeking input about the future of downtown, they plan a more public effort this summer.
Weather JournalRain is here; no snow