New Market Council reviews downtown plan

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Market City Council reviewed a proposed plan for the development of the community’s downtown during a workshop at its Wednesday, Nov. 9, meeting.

Tom Whitlock of Damon Farber Associates said the proposed plan is still a work in progress. A task force has been working on the plan since June, using input from the public, business owners and landowners to help shape it. The plan will provide guidelines for the development of the community’s downtown district and covers a number of issues.

Among those issues are:

• Public infrastructure.

• Provide guidance to potential developers on the scale, architectural quality and potential uses for the downtown.

• Provide guidance to current business owners regarding the future renovation of their businesses and compliance to the guidelines for the downtown.

The plan would also provide guidance in other areas including transportation, parking, land use, trees and green space.

Whitlock said that over the last few months, four alternative concepts have been created. Based on those four concepts, one preferred concept plan was made for the downtown area.

The concept included an expanded storm water pond located north of Main Street/Scott County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 2, new commercial buildings, public parking areas that would be located on both sides of Main Street and multi-family housing complexes near the downtown.

The plan also covered other changes that the city will have to address as the downtown develops, including its sidewalk system, the development of neighborhoods either located in the downtown area or next to it, and future north/south streets that would cross CSAH 2, providing better access to those neighborhoods.

Councilmember Tom Michaud said the plan was a possibility of what the downtown could look like 30 years down the road.

Whitlock said the intent of the plan was how the city wanted the downtown to develop over the next 30 years, with the city having to figure out how it would reach that point.

Whitlock said the city needs to decide how aggressive it wants to be in its approach to the plan. Further discussion would be required as to what would be the best way for the city to reach that point.

New Market City Administrator Tom Terry said the city was showing good foresight by beginning to put the plan in place now, so it would be able to take advantage of opportunities for developing the downtown as those opportunities presented themselves.

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