July 15

Vision for Wedgwood is unveiled at celebration



Wedgwood has a vision statement:

A woodsy, small town within the city where single-family homes, park areas and gardens surround a vibrant and human-scale commercial/multifamily district, serving residents’ day-to-day needs and including open space for community gatherings, and a safe and pedestrian-friendly community that welcomes diversity and where a commitment to sustainability is everywhere apparent.

Those 56 words form the core result of the Wedgwood Vision Project (WVP), a 10-month community-wide endeavor that culminated last night at the park space across from Wedgwood Presbyterian Church with a celebration and town-hall style chat about the project and, most importantly, what’s next.

About 45 residents turned out on a cool summer evening to enjoy free ice cream, get a copy of the newly published 32-page “Wedgwood Vision Plan” and give a few thoughts on the future of Wedgwood.

Highlights of the plan, which also is available online at the Wedgwood Community Council site:

–Wedgwood residents show a willingness to embrace commercial-mixed use development along two nodes on 35th Avenue NE (at NE 75th Street and at NE 85th Street).
–Any commercial development should incorporate large trees, pedestrian lighting, building setbacks and other features that blend well with the current look and feel of the Wedgwood neighborhood
–Confirmation of support for the current Wedgwood effort to obtain city funds to create a new park
–Wedgwood will remain primarily single-family but with some new multifamily developments to allow for some increased density, which likely will help attract new businesses to commercial areas
–Wedgwood residents are highly engaged in their community. More than 840 people completed a survey about their neighborhood, a high rate according to community organizers who have been involved in such surveys in other neighborhoods. Survey results are still available online.

Possible next steps:

–Work with the city to develop neighborhood-specific design guidelines
–Possible pursuit of a city-sanctioned neighborhood plan
–Leveraging the plan to get involved in existing programs that could lead to improvements in sidewalks, traffic signals, crosswalks, traffic calming measures and pedestrian and bicycle safety routes

The plan also will be submitted various city agencies so that’s it’s widely available to any developer or commercial business thinking about a project in Wedgwood.

Public input will continue to be sought about what steps to take next. As the head of the WVP Randy Barnett said in closing last night’s meeting, “The best way to determine your future is to plan for it. And I’m pretty sure nothing will be handed to us on a silver platter. In order to achieve the vision we want, we’ll need to get involved.”

About the author 

Sara W

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