Duany report “very close”

Oct. 12, 2013 @ 03:00 PM

The highly-anticipated final report from Andres Duany should be delivered soon but probably won’t contain any big surprises.
That’s the prediction of Wendy Fuscoe, executive director of The City Project, which hired Miami-based Duany Plater-Zyberk, or DPZ, to put together a master plan for revitalizing three key areas of the city: Uptowne, the High Point University area and the furniture market district.
Fuscoe said she thinks the plan will be finished and ready for presentation after the fall High Point Market ends Oct. 24.
“It’s very close,” she said. “I would think by the end of October, after market, we ought to have something in hand. We’ve given them our comments and they’re integrating that.”
Duany’s major ideas and proposals for revitalization were presented to the public in May after a week’s worth of brainstorming sessions known as charrettes.
Most of them — taking steps to make the center city more attractive for young entrepreneurs and reducing regulations on inner-city development, for example — have already been discussed at length.
“We just want to clearly let people know that if you attended the closing session, there won’t be any surprises in his final report. It’s not going to be new projects,” said Fuscoe.
The master plan will suggest ways to streamline development rules in the three areas.
It incorporates “smart code” zoning principles, such as having buildings close to the street, without large parking lots in the front, to encourage pedestrian activity.
“Going back to what we’re trying to do — creating an urban style of living — smart code encourages buildings to have that urban look and feel,” she said. “The other part is what he termed the ‘pink code,’ and he did include some suggestions on ways to lighten the red tape. Some of those are going to mean going to Raleigh.”
The City Project has a $410,000 contract with DPZ and budgeted $40,000 for expenses. Most of the contract has been paid out, and final payment will be made once the master plan is delivered.
The money was raised from more than 100 private donors. The city contributed $50,000.
The city has moved forward with some of the suggestions from DPZ, including the just-opened roundabout at Lindsay and Elm streets that was redesigned to make it more pedestrian friendly.