Court House ‘Vision Forum’ drew about 50 people on May 8

by Bill Nachman - Posted on May 16, 2012 - 03:19 PM

A "Vision Forum" drew about 50 people on May 8 as consultants, members of a steering committee, and residents talked about ways to enhance Gloucester’s Court House area. Suggested improvements ranged from a parallel route through the village, to more pedestrian and bike paths, and more businesses.

The meeting was held at the Main Street Center Preservation Trust office in Main Street Center so the public could tell officials what they value in the Court House area and would like to see preserved.

"We’re really excited," planning director Anne Ducey-Ortiz said of this unusual opportunity to accomplish some planning with the assistance of the MSPT.

Consultant Michael Herd, AICP, of Herd Planning & Design of Leesburg, said that organizers are working on a fast-track schedule to come up with a "vision" for the village area—looking out 20 years or so—by late 2012 or early next year.

The meeting included table-top exercises, which let participants draw boundaries around what they consider a good village area and to rank different types of construction that might be amenable there.

At the end of the program, Herd wrapped up some of the initial comments, indicating a number of persons favored mixed-use development at the gateways to the village and improved transportation through the area including a parallel road and a better pathway system.

Tourism was also an important consideration, according to many of the responses, suggesting the village continue to promote its attractions and look to find other ways to bring in visitors to the region.