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Restaurants, breweries and small- scale retail shops are what more than 700 Parker residents have said they would like to see be developed on four empty lots along the Mainstreet area.
Residents weighed in on the My Mainstreet project via an online questionnaire on the Let's Talk Parker website, during phase one of the development project. Mixed-use developments such as office, retail and residential space, and hotels, were voted least desirable.
Partnering for Parker's Progress, or P3, asked for input in March as the first phase of the development process. The land includes a lot in front of the PACE Center, one just west of the Parker Library and Discovery Park, and two starting from the east end of Victorian Drive on Mainstreet to where Mainstreet ends on the eastern side. Prior plans presented to the town had not been viable, according to Weldy Feazell, redevelopment manager for P3.
“The land was purchased to develop by the town,” said Feazell “We have gone through several iterations with developers, and those just didn't go through for varying reasons. Some of that was because of public input in opposition of the project, and the feeling they weren't involved in the process.”
The online questionnaire, public outreach and presentations through town hall meetings have given P3 an idea of what Parker residents want, and the project is moving into phase two, which is to refine the community vision and values.
“We've heard a lot about people liking downtown Castle Rock, Littleton or Fort Collins,” said Feazell. “Our next process is to get a better idea of what residents' visual preferences are. Parks and open spaces were also a request, and we realize that outdoor spaces mean something different to all of us. We've posted some pictures on the website to see if that can help frame the conversation.”
Feazell said the photos are not renderings of what the spaces will look like, but merely a visual to get people thinking about how they want the spaces to look. Part of the survey included a fill-in-the-blank question titled Big Ideas. Nearly 1,400 residents expressed their thoughts and concerns about the project.
“We're pretty proud of the response we got,” said Feazell. “Some of the respondents told us what kind of restaurants they would like, concerns about traffic. A handful of people didn't want the sites developed at all, and quite a few wanted to make sure there are open spaces within whatever is developed. There were a lot of requests for outdoor seating, benches, greenery, and maintaining the existing downtown feel where people are hanging out.”
Parker resident Tom Rodit, said he doesn't like all the development in Parker, but appreciates that P3 is asking for community input.
“Parker has grown so much, and I can't say I like everything that has been built,” said Rodit. “But at least they're asking what we want to see. We might be able to get something better than another storage facility or more apartments.”
Parker Mayor Mike Waid said he encourages residents to take part in the survey and help shape the future landscape of Parker.
“The Town of Parker knows that simply meeting the minimum requirements of public notification and engagement is not sufficient for making informed decisions in the public interest,” said Waid. “Parker is committed to engaging the community in a meaningful and effective way. Through robust public engagement, we encourage Parker residents to become more involved and take an active role in shaping the future of their community.”
Comments on phase two of the My Mainstreet project can be submitted through June at www.letstalkparker.org/my-mainstreet.
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