Taylor Park Master Plan Project

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A committee of stakeholders, City staff, and consultants have been working over the course of 2017 to develop a Master Plan for Taylor Park.

Since February, more than a dozen representatives of park stakeholders have been meeting with consultants to develop a conceptual plan to support the park's current uses and expand upon its role in local culture and economic development.

On December 11, 2017, the City Council voted to accept the current draft of the master plan map and complete the planning project with conceptual estimates and phasing suggestions.

Public Comment Opportunity:  The City Council took public comments on the Nov. 13, 2017, draft map via this webpage.  You are welcome to provide your comments on the accepted Dec. 11 map as well.

Step 1:  Review the map accepted by the City Council.

Step 2:  Email us at info@stalbansvt.com to let us know what you think.

Step 3:  All responses will be shared with the Parks Commission and City Council, and will be posted below.  If you do not wish for your response to be posted on this page, please let us know in your email.

If you would like to provide input in person, please call 802-524-1500 *259 and/or attend the next Parks Commission or City Council meeting.

This project is funded in part by a Municipal Planning Grant from the VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

Public Comments on the Nov. 13, 2017 Draft:

Ryan Doyle:
Lots of great improvements in this plan.  Here are a few more things I'd like to point out.  - Making paths based on how they look from above has no merit.  Paths should always be considered for the impact they have on viewsheds and mobility to the persons walking on them.  An oval probably has no specific value. - adding a sidewalk along the east end so vehicle passengers can exit onto a flat, solid surface is a good call!  It would be a good idea to do the same on the North side.  Or even, add diagonal parking to the north side, to make up for losses on the west side. And then maybe no sidewalk would need to be added. - the park ties into the west side well, but it doesn't tie in across Bank Street or Church Street. There should probably be some consideration as to how to do that, and incorporate that into the Master plan.  

- The sidewalk along Main street between Lake and Fairfield has no purpose.  There is no parking there, vehicles can travel fast and it is unattractive to pedestrians, especially with another sidewalk 6 feet away.  Grass-in that whole section, garden it, use it for storm water, or really any use besides concrete. 

- ***Super Unpopular Opinion*** (sic)  Don't add costly infrastructure, like a band shell, to the southernmost end of the park.  Policies and political-will might change in the future, resulting in the possibility of bringing Fairfield street into alignment with Lake Street.  Adding infrastructure there would just inhibit such a change even if the policies and political will to address that intersection that way come to fruition. 

- The overlook (x on the plan), doesn't have a good elevation bonus where it is.  But if it is off of upper side walk along Church Street, more gain is had (basically, between both sidewalks, where the staircase is located on the map).

- "Clipping the corners" where sidewalks meet (adding material for people to cut across) and adding gentle curves to paths is a big plus and lends itself to the way people want to walk. - splash pads/fountains are costly and not much value.  I've seen many in urban areas, and yeah, some kids and drunk people will play in them, but not many for the effort or cost. Something less fancy/expensive, and more directly focused toward children could fit anywhere else besides a focal area.  - bridge seems cool

- more tables to sit at, for 2 and 4 people.  And they don't need to be big, people aren't going to have 2 course meals here, just a small things like sandwiches and bagged lunches. Sitting close, and not having a high table are more important for sharing time together.

 

Erin Ward:
I appreciate the plans to improve Taylor Park and wanted to share my support and thoughts!  The beautification of our downtown area has done wonders and St. Albans has become a safe, enjoyable place for my young family.

I agree that the sidewalks must be addressed, so this is naturally a good time to make other improvements.

I see the need for a dedicated performance space, and as I said, I have a young family and would not be opposed to kid-friendly additions, either.

My only hope is that we keep aside plenty of green space with lawn and trees.  To me, being able to enjoy a peaceful, shady patch of lawn amid our beautified surroundings is what truly draws us to the park each weekend.  It’s nice to be able to decide for ourselves what we’d like to do with our little space while we visit.

Thank you for listening and for your work to improve our home!

 

Andrew Gratton:
My only concern is with how this is going to be payed for and or funded? 

 

Rev. Megan Stowe:
I was concerned about moving the bandstand across the park would be very loud with ambulances going by and the awesome musical instruments that are on that side of the park. But it would be nice to have a performance space that makes sense acoustically and logistically for the musicians. 

 

Nicole Saur:
Thank you for putting in so much hard work and intention into he Taylor Park draft plan!! I’m excited for what looks like a small amphitheater, the splash pad, and a rational flow into the overall plan. My one suggestion is to switch U and V. Keeping the splash pad next to the fountain will allow parents to keep eyes on kids using both. Having a splash pad won’t make the fountain any less desirable for kids (my little boy loves running in circles around it for as long as I can stand it, on summer days, as I’m sure many do), and I imagine many of us will have kids going back and forth between the two. Easy enough for those with only one kid, but for those with more than one kid, or families going in groups, we’ll need to be able to watch kids at both the fountain and the splash pad at the same time.

Thank you for considering everyone’s thoughts! 

 

Mary Harbaugh:
I like the Master Plan, especially the oval promenade, fountain/garden area, alignments of entrances and walkways, and movable chairs. Please choose shade trees and shrubs with great fall color and winter interest, with consideration given to bird habitat. Also, I'm hoping thought has been given to where snow is to be piled and how the walks will be cleared of ice. Be careful with the design details of the performance bandshell and sound-screening plantings, so neighbors aren't annoyed by too-loud events. Thanks for all the work on this!

 

Jennifer Savage:

Thanks for the thoughtful work that has been put into this design. I have some questions/concerns, as well as some things I love in the plans.

 

I do agree that an improved performance place needs to be included in the park. However, I’m concerned in the location of the proposed bandshell for 2 reasons: 1) the amount of traffic on Fairfield and Main Street will add additional noise right behind the performers. That seems to be very distracting for performers and audience alike. 2) the location also beings the performance area closer to Twiggs, one of the downtown businesses who has done a great job of bringing regular music downtown with the window - doesn’t this location compete with Twiggs offerings?

 

I am a huge fan of the addition of the splash feature for young families. I think this is a great way to keep kids out of the Fountain, while also drawing more families to Taylor Park. Bringing families downtown will encourage them to use shops and restaurants- even if not on the same visit.

 

I would hope that the local Veterans have been consulted on the relocation on the memorials. It is so important to honor our veterans, and I only ask that their voices be consulted in the planning process- it is not my place to say the best place for those to sit, but I do ask that their voices be heard and honored.

 

Personally, I do love Taylor Park today and aside from minor upgrades don’t see that we need to reroute all of the pathways of the park in a major redesign. Sometimes it feels as if the City is making change for the sake of change, and I don’t feel that is always necessary. I’d ask that changes to the park be weighed carefully with taxpayer pockets in mind, as well as true benefit to the greater St. Albans community.

 

Thank you for listening.

 

 

Links to Documents:

Attached Document or FileMaster Plan Map - Dec. 11 Draft Accepted by City Council Dec. 11, 2017 [8 mb pdf file]
Attached Document or FileDraft Master Plan Map Nov. 13, 2017 version [pdf file]
Attached Document or FileMaster Plan Presentation Nov. 13, 2017 [2 mb pdf file]
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