EPA has selected the City of Burlington as a Brownfield Area Wide Planning (AWP) Grant recipient. The EPA created the Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (BF AWP) Program to assist communities in responding to local Brownfields challenges, particularly where multiple brownfield sites are in close proximity, connected by infrastructure, and overall limit the economic, environmental and social prosperity of their surroundings. Through the BF AWP Program, EPA provides assistance to advance community brownfield revitalization efforts.
As an initial step to creating an Area Wide Plan for Downtown Burlington, the City's AWP consultant team completed an inventory documenting the existing condition of the Downtown Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) properties. The intent of the existing conditions documentation is to help identify blight (such as non-conforming land uses, physical conditions of a building, junk stored on site, boarded up windows, etc.) and designate brownfields. Field data was collected by a mobile Geographic Information System (GIS) application and downloaded into a geo-referenced database. Collecting data in the field using GIS simplifies the analysis of data. The condition, type, and form of infrastructure for the area was evaluated including roadway, street lighting, sidewalks, and street trees, for the purpose of evaluating transportation corridors and creating strategies to build a livable and sustainable downtown area. This baseline property data will allow City staff to make better informed decisions on where to focus ongoing planning and revitalization efforts. Click on the "SSMID Existing Condition Analysis" button below to be taken to an interactive display of some of the data collected.
A second step to effective planning and revitalization of the Downtown includes a market analysis for the area. Downtown Partners, Inc. completed a market study in 2013, however, there is additional research that needs to be done as identified through EPA Technical Assistance provided in July of 2014. This assistance recommended additional market analysis to support redevelopment visioning including:
- A detailed history of recent development;
- Description of opportunities for properties beyond downtown that can complement downtown development efforts (adjacent industrial area including Dresser Rand site, harbor, others);
- Identify competitive and complementary businesses in neighboring areas;
- Conducting a retail leakage study; and
- Expanding the qualitative analysis in the initial market assessment to include quantitative analysis of potential uses.
From the October 25, 2017 public input meeting at the City Library: Fast Forward to the year 2037 and see what future Burlington residents are communicating to their family and friends about this great place to live, work and play!
The redevelopment planning process is complete. After several Brownfield Sponsor Group Meetings, consultation with the Planning Commission and City Council, and three well-attended public meetings, the Final Area Wide Plan is available at the link below.