2007-10-11 / Editorial

Village vision takes shape next week

•EDITORIAL•

A group of planners, designers and architects have been busy these past few weeks asking Jamestowners what we think about the island's village. Our opinions about what we love and hate about the downtown will become the foundation for the design charrette scheduled to take place next week.

Most of us live in Jamestown because of its location and character. We cherish the rural bayside. Our village is eclectic - some might even call it funky. And that is part of its charm.

Yes, the village does have its problems. There is a perception that parking is our worst headache, yet vehicular congestion is usually only found on weekends in July and August. The rest of the year there is plenty of parking.

Our principal challenge in the village is its ability to foster business. The downtown is Jamestown's only commercial district and should act as an incubator for businesses that not only serve islanders, but also employ those who live here. A business-positive environment is the most critical aspect of a healthy downtown.

Determining what works and what doesn't in the village is necessary as we plan for the future. This ongoing collaborative will hopefully yield a vision for the village that will guide the island's planning and zoning in the years ahead. The week-long charrette starts on Monday. Those who participate can watch as the village vision evolves. The final product will be unveiled on Friday evening.

It is important that islanders take the time to share their views on the future of our village. The character and functionality of our village some 10- to 20- years from now could well be determined by the design process next week.

Details about the design charrette can be found in this issue of the Jamestown Press. You can also find more information online at JamestownVision.org.

- Jeff McDonough

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