By Charis Anderson
Standard-Times Staff Writer
NEW BEDFORD — A master plan for the redevelopment of the Hicks-Logan neighborhood is a step closer to being adopted after it was presented at a public meeting Tuesday night.
It was the last of three public meetings held both to inform the community on the progress of the plan and to solicit input.
The plan, which has been in the works since April, now needs to go to the Planning Board for approval. It will then move on to the City Council before winding up at the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development, which will have the final say.
The goal of the master plan is two-fold: to develop a set of frameworks and principals for how development could move forward in the neighborhood; and to define a strategy that will help new development integrate successfully with existing uses, according to Jen Gonsalves, chairman of the Citizen Participation Committee.
“We’re setting the rules,” she said. “It’s the city creating its own destiny.”
The plan was developed along three main principles: developing open space, creating a roadway network and focusing on flexible land use.
Additionally, future development will be guided by nine design principles, including making the area pedestrian-friendly, improving the connection to the waterfront and preserving the neighborhood’s historical character.
“We need to think about this area in a new, modern way,” Ms. Gonsalves said.
The master plan is focused on a mixed-use development of the neighborhood and incorporates a number of open spaces, like an urban open space around Logan Pond that will include boardwalks and trails.
The plan also emphasizes the need to improve public access to the waterfront along the Acushnet River.
Some local residents and property owners raised concerns that they would be forced out of the neighborhood by the potential redevelopment.
But the plan’s architects said that it is merely a strategy, and that no one is being displaced.
“The long-term vision is this,” said Fred Pulitzer, one of the consultants who has worked with the city on the master plan.
“There’s a process the city has to go through with all the individual property owners.”
Contact Charis Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org
December 05, 2007
By Charis Anderson