Downtown Master Plan
WHY ARE WE UPDATING THE PLAN?
No longer is growth primarily contained to major metropolitan areas and their fringes. Recently evolved perceptions regarding where businesses should locate to be best positioned in the marketplace, have resulted in greater demand for small communities within a reasonable drive to major metropolitan areas to revitalize and prepare for growth. The Town of Clayton, with its strong core character and its small-town feel and affordability, is now a prime candidate for such growth and redevelopment. Revisiting the 2010 Downtown Master Plan, and refining the vision and implementation strategy, will propel the Town into a successful future that does not compromise the Town’s character, nor those values that make downtown Clayton a truly special place. Many of the questions asked in the 2010 Downtown Master Plan are still extremely relevant. Where progress has been made in addressing them, those efforts need to be recognized and the methods that achieved those successes repeated, where feasible. Strengths need to be reinforced and weaknesses need to be resolved.
The Town has a framework for success in place and, with the adopted Clayton 2045 Comprehensive Growth Plan, is well-positioned to take advantage of several trends that favor more urban living and a vibrant Downtown core. Simply enhancing what already exists in a meaningful way will prime Clayton to be a highly desired place to be, and with more careful consideration, Clayton can become the most desirable landing spot in the area in the future. It is time to establish the vitality of Downtown, making certain that each measure reflects the values and visions of the Town and its residents.
A vision for the Town rooted in reality and in an understanding of dynamic factors moves from the realm of possibility into the realm of probability. A successful plan must be filled with confidence that the recommended elements of a new action plan can and will be implemented. Through understanding of existing conditions, cultural resources, market analysis and current and future policy measures, opportunities and constraints can be identified. Paired with a comprehensive public engagement, priorities will emerge and those will inform the direction of the Master Plan and the action items that will bring the vision to fruition.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR UPDATING THE PLAN?
PROJECT INITIATION, INVENTORY + ANALYSIS
Town staff worked with consultants to create an inventory and assessment of the existing conditions of downtown, including, review of existing policy and regulatory documents, including the 2010 Downtown Master Plan, the 2045 Comprehensive Plan, and assessment of the Town of Clayton’s proposed Unified Development Code with the intent of finding what has and hasn’t been successful and what visions for Clayton have already taken shape or have been previously established for Downtown. Early studies were performed by the team looking at not only these plans and existing development ordinances, but also looking at transportation, traffic, parking, land use, zoning, real estate and other market factors, and historic and cultural resources. Results of these early studies have helped us to develop a detailed outline for a new Downtown Master Plan that integrates these items.
COMMUNITY + STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT (WE ARE HERE CURRENTLY)
This phase will be on-going throughout the project. The feedback garnered from both the community at large, and from stakeholders, will create a shared vision for downtown Clayton and provide a foundation for the revised Downtown Master Plan. This phase includes several community engagement opportunities. Town Staff and downtown stakeholders were interviewed to unearth issues and opportunities for Downtown Clayton. Members of the public were invited to give us their vision and preferences for aspects of Downtown Clayton at our pop-up booth at the 2022 Harvest Festival, and an online survey was made available thereafter which saw excellent participation. We are now preparing for a larger public meeting and workshop at the end of February. At the workshop, we’ll discuss the results thus far and we’ll look at possible ideas for sites downtown that show potential for redevelopment or enhancement. It’s time to start putting form to the ideas.
THE DOWNTOWN MASTER PLAN + ADOPTION
After receiving public input and integrating feedback and insight gained from earlier phases the consultants and the Town will produce a new Downtown Master Plan document that is comprehensive; addresses land development and land use; transportation and mobility; urban design; public infrastructure; and provides workable recommendations for new regulatory requirements. During this phase, the team will work closely with staff to review and revise the plan to ensure the resulting document is thorough and provides the Town with policy and regulatory resources for success. Town staff will present the plan to the Planning Board and Town Council for formal adoption.
HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?
PUBLIC EDUCATION SESSION + WORKSHOP
The next Public Input Session will be held on October 10, 2023 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm in the Rotary Room at Town Hall. This is a chance to review the initial draft of the document and suggest changes, make comments, etc.
Were you unable to attend the public education session and workshop on February 28th? If so, here is the presentation that was given during the session and a few pictures from the evening.