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‘Charrette’ set: City seeks input on islands plan

By Staff | Oct 30, 2015

Residents who have ideas on how the city’s northwest quadrant should develop will have an opportunity to share their views next week.

From Wednesday through Friday, City Council chambers will host city staff, consultants and stakeholders for a design workshop, or “charrette” for the Northwest Cape and Seven Islands vision plan project.

Vince Cautero, community development director, said this is the prime opportunity for the public to interact with the consultant team from the CPH firm on their design and preliminary drawings for the proposed development plan for the islands and Northwest Cape.

“We want feedback on what the public wants to see and doesn’t want to see. There will be three mini public hearings, you might say,” Cautero said. “People will have ample opportunity to interact with the team.”

The public also will get to participate in exercises that will help get the ball rolling on ideas, similar to what they did during the charrette regarding Bimini Basin earlier this year.

“They’ll be given a series of dots to put on different drawings set up around the room,” Cautero said. “With Bimini Basin, the stakeholders submitted its input to students, who created the charrettes. Here, the consultants are getting the input.”

The three-day event, which is open to the public, begins Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. with an introduction and stakeholder input.

On Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the breakout design sessions will begin, with more stakeholder input. Friday at 3:30 p.m. will bring the design presentation, along with a Q&A session and where the project goes from here.

“The consultants will give us a document for us to review and we’ll meet with the city council at some point,” Cautero said. “This will be a community driven program with input from the public, with the city ultimately deciding.”

The visioning sessions provide an opportunity for people to share their thoughts on how the area should develop in the future.

On Oct. 8, residents, city officials and staff met at Christa McAuliffe Charter School for a town hall meeting to begin the discussion on a vision plan for the Northwest Cape and the Seven Islands.

Councilmember Rick Williams, whose district includes the northwest Cape, said that while the city council will have little to do with the actual process, he still expects some interesting input.

“I’m hoping we get a good turnout and that we get great ideas from the people of the city,” Williams said. “I’ve been hammering on the city to do this for years. Now, that we own the Seven Islands, it’s more important to the city.”

The northwest quadrant of the city is the Cape’s least developed area.

The so-called Seven Islands, acquired as part of a $13 million land buy, consists of “seven waterfront parcels and 46 adjoining waterfront properties along Old Burnt Store Road,” according to city documents.

City officials have said they believe the area is prime for “destination” type development and are seeking input as to what residents would like to see.