A visioning workshop will be June 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Lebanon High School in the cafeteria at 500 Blue Devil Blvd. in Lebanon. An open house will be June 29 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. also at Lebanon High School in the cafeteria. The information and focus will be different; the two meetings “bookend” a week of focused work by the consulting team and provide a way to present work and receive ongoing input during a four-day period.
The two scheduled public input meetings are part of ongoing work on the South Hartmann Gateway Plan that began in February by consultants Ragan–Smith Associates to strengthen and enhance South Hartmann Drive. The corridor study area includes the portion of South Hartmann Drive that connects Highway 231 to the West Main Street gateway through the Interstate 40 interchange. The nine-month planning study includes mapping potential land uses, exploring a potential development scenario, identifying cultural and environmental resources along the corridor, identifying possible infrastructure improvements and making market recommendations based on demand for potential uses.
“A key part of this important study for Lebanon is involving as many members of the public as possible to help create the vision for this key thoroughfare for our city,” said Mayor Bernie Ash. “We know South Hartmann Drive is a major front door for Lebanon and has tremendous potential. We installed some infrastructure years ago in expectation of growth along the roadway, and we have seen some growth. However, we believe there is much more to come, and we want to be sure we plan correctly with a close eye on what our citizens want and need, looking to the future.”
The purpose of the visioning workshop is to hear and document what citizens and stakeholders want to see in the study area. Workshop participants will work together around large maps in small groups at tables on exercises to help identify ideas, opportunities and challenges in the study area. Each table will have a facilitator. At the end of the workshop, each table will share ideas with the entire room of participants. Work from the visioning workshop will be included and used to help formulate the study’s results and deliverables, which include a future land use plan, a development scenario, potential industrial, civic and cultural uses, possible infrastructure improvements and market recommendations based on retail and residential uses.
The purpose of the public open house is to present preliminary information to the public and receive feedback. The format of the open house is a come-and-go format with a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m. Attendees will move around the room to view and comment at a series of information stations that will be staffed with a planner and a note-taker. All comments will be logged and shared with the consulting team to be used to further define and refine the plan.
Multiple opportunities for the public and key stakeholders to provide input and feedback throughout the process are part of the study’s work plan. After the kickoff meeting with the Lebanon City Council to identify a steering committee in February, the first phase of work began.
On March 23, the consulting team met with groups of Lebanon citizens, including property owners in the corridor, in daylong small-group meetings to hear their ideas and thoughts.
The first steering committee meeting was March 30. The second phase of work, the opportunities and constraints analysis, remains ongoing since that time. The opportunities and constraints analysis includes reviewing and analyzing the ideas and feedback from the group interviews and the first steering committee meeting; reviewing existing planning documents and background studies for the study corridor; field reconnaissance of existing conditions along the study corridor; a business inventory and inventory of existing economic uses of buildings and land in the study corridor; and developing an economic market analysis of existing commercial and residential conditions, market trends and performance in the study corridor and surrounding area
A Facebook page about the study was created to provide information and collect feedback. Visit @southhartmanndriveplan to like the page and for ongoing information.
Ragan-Smith has worked on multiple development and planning projects and studies in the mid-state region. For information about the South Hartmann Gateway Plan, contact Lebanon planning director Paul Corder at 615-444-3647or firstname.lastname@example.org.