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City requests Olde Town Fountain input

 

Last updated 9/23/2020 at 11:46am | View PDF

Karin Hill

The Olde Town placemaking storyboards are in front of City Hall all week.

This week, the city of Fountain launched a community brainstorming session to develop ideas to improve the stretch of Ohio Avenue from City Hall to Santa Fe Avenue.

As part of Fountain's Olde Town district, this corridor has been identified as needing a facelift, including better pedestrian friendliness. With the help of grant-funded consultants, the city and now residents can help shape the vision for this stretch of road with specific suggestions for beautification, access improvements and more. This vision process is called "placemaking."

The city received a Placemaking Grant from the state "to aid in cultivating a pedestrian friendliness corridor of Ohio Avenue with the Olde Town district," Fountain Economic Development Director Kimberly Bailey said. "The grant put forth the resources of Community Builders consultants to run the campaign and formulate corridor planning elements, which will aid the city departments to pursue future funding of element design incorporation."

With the help of consultants from Community Builders, the city has placed five storyboards in the courtyard at City Hall, at the corner of Main Street and Ohio Avenue. These boards have visual and written information and examples of the types of improvements that could be made, and participation is strictly virtual via use of QR codes for survey submission. If residents are unable to view the storyboards in person, they can access them online. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/izm9ilo87magzin/AADrdSW7_hmMDn4kXh4dXx-Ra?dl=0

The city also requests residents to complete a survey where they can like or dislike specific ideas relating to landscaping, outdoor seating, traffic patterns, pedestrian crossings, art and much more. Hard copies of the survey are available at several area businesses, including Last Drop Coffee Shop, American Family Insurance, United Business Bank, Books Automotive, Sue's Floral, Peaks N Pines Brewery, WT's Military Cuts, Western Omelette 2 and the Fountain Valley News.

"At this time, we'd also like to introduce a district Ambassador who has stepped forth for the Olde Town district, which is Teresa Vieira of Peaks N Pines Brewing Company," Bailey said. "As an ambassador, she will work alongside district businesses and property owners to advocate on behalf of district vitality measures and capital improvements with the city."

Several individuals and businesses will be promoting the campaign via their social media channels, due to offices having minimal foot traffic with COVID-19 restrictions. Also, the city is working with the Fountain Valley Senior Center and schools to gain a broad diversity of participant feedback in the campaign outreach, Bailey said.

The link to the online survey is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FountainPlacemaking

At the end of this week, the city will move the storyboards to Metcalfe Park for the weekly community farmers' market. Upon completion, the Economic Development team will go through the data collected and work with the consultant to review.

After revisions, another round of public input will follow in mid-October, with a similar schedule. The final display will be at the last Farmers Market of the year. The October events will coincide with "Arts Month," in which Fountain will be participating for the first time. Specific arts activities lined up Oct. 19-23 include:

Strings/acoustic music will be provided in the City Hall courtyard in the fountain round designation area for the dusk hours of 6-8 p.m. The public will be encouraged to bring lawn chairs and social distance in the "green space" courtyard.

Public "Sidewalk Chalk" Walk: During the hours of dusk the public will be encouraged to "BYOC" (bring you own chalk) and mural-scape sidewalk squares along Ohio Avenue between the blocks of Main to Race Street. Designs and concepts relevant to the placemaking effort will be encouraged, and staff will monitor to ensure content is appropriate.

What is placemaking?

A representative from Community Builders described it as creating ideas for "more vibrant, livable places." Some criteria to consider may include comfort, opportunity for social interaction, and having a strong identity.

Previous, current efforts

As a joint initiative in 2018, between the Olde Town Steering Committee and Fountain Urban Renewal Authority (FURA), an Olde Town Design Aesthetic Project was completed by THK Associates to assist with recommendations and adaptations of design aesthetic guidelines within both the Olde Town and Interstate Gateway districts.

This resulted in the recent adoption of a Town Design and Aesthetic Guidelines as a progressive measure on behalf of new development/dwelling renovations as the area(s) provide a "first impression" of Fountain as one exits the highway and reflects upon the historical heritage of the community.

In 2020, the city partnered with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and Community Builders as a spinoff of the THK study to help develop some ideas for placemaking along Ohio Avenue.

"Share with us your ideas for how we might improve the experience along Ohio through placemaking," Bailey said.

Various community members and city officials are part of the placemaking leadership team.

"The collective bodies of participants are excited of the possibilities this planning endeavor may spur on behalf of the Olde Town district," Bailey said.

Olde Town placemaking links:

Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FountainPlacemaking

Storyboards: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/izm9ilo87magzin/AADrdSW7_hmMDn4kXh4dXx-Ra?dl=0

 

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