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Common connections : public realm as resource in a Vermont village Tebbs, Claire Louise 2005

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COMMON CONNECTIONS: Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village by CLAIRE LOUISE TEBBS B . S c , Natural Resources, University of Vermont, 1998  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L M E N T OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E DEGREE OF MASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE in THE F A C U L T Y OF GRADUATE STUDIES Landscape Architecture  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 2005 © Claire Louise Tebbs, 2005  Abstract  In rural Vermont, public, outdoor spaces are an increasingly precious commodity to local communities and v i s i t o r s alike.  A s the threat of urbanization spreads into Vermont, municipalities and residents must make careful land use  and development decisions in order to preserve and/or incorporate such spaces into the local and regional setting. Throughout time, the social and political idea of public access for the greater good, has been defined as the Commons. T h e physical manifestation of this concept has also been called the Commons and has been reflected in the landscape in a variety of forms in both rural and urban environments.  B y melding V e r m o n t ' s traditional form and value of the V i l l a g e  Common as civic center to the contemporary translation of the Commons as our shared access to cultural and natural heritage, V e r m o n t village character and local community resources can be m a x i m i z e d and celebrated.  ii  Table of Contents Abstract::  -.  Figure List.......... Ack now l e d g m e n t s „ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . „ Dedication .?.  :  ii ...v vi vii  Chapter I The Big Picture  1  Context of P r o j e c t - Commons as Idea and Place  I  S c o p e of Project..,.-  7  Concept Goal Objectives Process, A u t h o r s Definition of Commons Site O v e r v i e w Site Context Characteristic- OverView Site Selection S c a l e s of Design Chapter 2 Precedent Studies  13  Open Space at the-Community Planning Scale  13  Amherst. M A V e r m o n t C o m m o n s - Old and New  15  Intervale, Burlington V T Public P r o c e s s in Village Design  17  Westport. C A Guiding Principles of Project  19  Chapter 3 Understanding the Site  20  Analysis -. Social A s s e s s m e n t  :  .-  -.  .-  .Community Profile Community's Response to Site  20 20  Policy Assessment Zoning and Ownership Environmental Assessment Physical Assessment Biological Assessment Opportunities and Constraints Site Goals, Objectives and Design Criteria Program  30 32 33  Chapter 4 Planning and Designing the Site  34  Conceptual Design - Site Concept Conceptual Design - Village Center Bringing Concepts to Life -Design Decisions and Ideas Future Development Outdoor Places Getting Around - Connections and Linkages Trail Types Street Details Village Center Understanding Where You Are - Materials, Site Unity and Being Unique Project Conclusions  27  35 38 39 39 43 46  54 61  63 Bibliography Appendix I Commons Through Time Appendix II Site Goals, Design Criteria and Design Strategies Appendix III Detailed Program Appendix IV  Site Sections Appendix V  Act 250 Criteria  66-68  69 70-73 74-76 77 78  iv  Figure List Fig.l. Fig. 2 Fig.3 Fig-1 Fig. 5. Fig..6  Fig. 7 Fig.8a Fig.Sb Fig.9  Fig. 10 f i g . 11 Fig, 12 Fig. 13 Fig. .14 F i g . 15  Fig. 16 Fig.l7 Fig. 18 Fig. 19 Fig.2Q Fig.2I Fig.22 Fig. 2 3 Ffg.24  Fig. 25 Fig.26 Fig.27 Fig. 28 Pig.29 Fig.30 Fig. 31 Fig.32 Table 1 Fig. 3 3 Fig.34 Fig.35 Pig.36  Whitburn Bends Pond Common Field Fanning Modern UK Commons Amherst Common Fair Haven Common Or.igianl Shorem Common T i mho u'th Co mm o n Loss of The Go rrimbns Incorporating the Commons Vermont's Greater Common Mountain Top Placing.. Charlotte Site Map Street Scapes Burns. Parcel Town Field Amherst Open Space New Shorem Common Intervale Project We.stport Village Historical Charlotte Vision Map 'Charlotte News I Charlotte News 11 Charlotte News III Ownership Diagram Current Zoning Physical Features Biological Features Wetlands Agricultural Land Site Bubble Diagram Village Bubble Diagram Park!ng Stanciards .Regional Public Land Proposed Zoning Concept in Context Site Concept  p.l P.2 p.2  p. 3 p. 3 p.4 p. 4 p. 5 p. 5 p. 7 p.? p. 9 p. 10 p.l I p. 12 p. 13 p. 14 p. 16  p. 17 p. 18 p. 20 p.2.1.  p. 22 p. 23 p. 24 p.25 p. 26 p. 27 p. 28 p.29 p.30 P 31 p. 3 2 p.33 p.35 p. 3 6 p. 3 7 p.38  Pig Fig Fig Pig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig Fig  37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55a 55b 56 58 59  Village Concept Site Master Plan Proposed New Lots Trail Map Green Infrast.ruclure Trail Treatments Woodland' Trails Village Trails Boardwalk Trails Swales Ferry Road Library Road Village. Center Village Center Master Plan Master Plan Detail Market Street Market Place Co mm u n i ty Ga r d e n s Village Master Plan Meadow BoardwaIk Enjoying Meadows Entering a Place Aesthetics of Place  p.39  P.4:l p.4-2  P. 4 4: p.45 p. 4 6 p.47 p;48 p. 19 p. 51. p.52 p. 53' p. 5 4 p. 5 5 p. 56 p. 57 p. 5 7 p:58 p.59 p.59  p.60 !>.<)] p. 6.2  Acknowledgments A big thanks to my committee, Cynthia Girling and Patrick Condon of the Landscape A r c h i t e c t u r e Program at the U n i v e r sity of British Columbia and Diane Elliott Gayer of the Vermont Design Institute, Burlington Vermont. In particular, 1 thank Cynthia, my committee chair, for her steady dedication throughout this project, P a t r i c k for his humor and understanding of the aesthetics of the N e w England Landscape, and Diane for being an invaluable resource, even from;many miles away. I w o u l d also like to thank B r a d Rawson at the Chittenden C o u n t y Planning C o m m i s s i o n and the good folks at. the U n i v e r s i t y of Vermont M a p L i b r a r y for GIS and ortho resources, and to all the helpful people 1 spoke with in many corners of Vermont - at the Vemont Nature C o n s e r v a n c y , the Vermont Land Trust, and.residents and employees of Charlotte, Vermont. Last, but not least, thank you to all the kind souls in my l i f e - family:, f r i e n d s - n e w and old, near and far, for your dedication to-keeping these, three years grounded and for being constant inspirations - particularly, thanks to: Dave for following me, your' never ending support, and your bright bright, spirit.  vi  o  e QK3  Chapter 1 The Big Picture - Commons as Idea and Place Context of Project It is clear to me that exclusive private  ownership of land and extraction of  commodities in a market economy is a better-paved road to a bigger ruin.  We need a  mix of private and common interest in land that is appropriate to the world today, one that balances personal freedom and community responsibility, economic efficiency and ecological restraint.  -  B r i a n Donahue,  Reclaiming  the Commons  With the rapid expansion of urbanization, outdoor public land is an increasingly precious community commodity throughout N o r t h A m e r i c a . Its form and function within rural and urban places has constantly changed due to the natural evolution of h o w we live, work, and play. N o matter these changes, public land consistently remains a shared social and cultural resource, potentially providing neighborhoods and villages with outdoor spaces in which to recreate, steward, socialize and celebrate. When this aspect of community design and planning is neglected, a m u l t i faceted r e s o u r c e is lost, not only for the present, but for generations to come ( E r i c k s o n , 2003). In rural V e r m o n t , due to how large tracts of land have  been  divided, bought and sold, public land is currently found in all shapes, sizes and locations. While V e r m o n t is famous for its rural villages that sit snug i n the folds of the landscape, public a c c e s s to this landscape is often h a r d to find within or adjacent to the village center. Historically,  F i g . l Whitburn Bends village pond, U K in 1900 and 2000. Over the past 100 years, this village common, like others has seen many changes. (website.lineone.net/-d.org/whitburn.htm )  the village center, consisting of important civic and c o m m e r c i a l buildings and perhaps two streets of residential, w a s immediately surrounded by privately o w n e d farms (Albers, 2000). T h i s is often still the case. A t Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  I  the same time, n e w g r o w t h (subdivision of this adjacent farmland) and build out can contribute to this situation, and also increase fragmentation of  the  surrounding  forests  and fields  as  aesthetic,  recreational,  agricultural and e c o l o g i c a l entities. In this way, new neighbors are not only disconnected from a civic heart, but the community at large loses an increased e v e r y d a y intimacy, with the greater landscape of their home (Donahue, 2001). Stemming from E n g l i s h roots, the social and political idea of public access for the greater good, has been defined as the Commons. T h e following is one definition found in the L a b o r L a w Encyclopedia-'  Commons  are a subset of public goods; specifically meaning a public good which is not infinite. Commons can therefore be land, rivers and, arguably, money. "The Commons " is most often a finite but replenishable remain available  resource, which requires responsible use in order to  (LaborLaw.Talk.com)  Fig.2 Common-field farming is still an essential method of accessing a greater good, for many people around the world (www.gettyimages. com).  Throughout history, the p h y s i c a l  manifestation of this concept has also been called the commons and has been reflected in the landscape in a variety of forms in both rural and urban environments, from medieval farm fields to urban parks.  This  project e x p l o r e s the idea of the commons in both form and function within a Vermont village today and h o w the two together form an expanded civic environment.  In order to better understand how the Commons -  both as a societal value and a place, found its w a y to Vermont, below is a brief synopsis of this journey: The World Ancient agrarian societies all o v e r the world depended on shared resources for g r o w i n g crops and grazing sheep and cattle. In many rural areas of A f r i c a n , South A m e r i c a n and European countries, different forms of ' c o m m o n - f i e l d ' farming continues today (Bromley,  Fig.3 The commons in England, once left over grazing land turned to civic or private uses. Now National Parks and National Trust lands are known as 'the commons', as seen in this picture, (www.countrysideaccess.uk.gov)  1992). A s y s t e m that peaked during the 13th-14th century in Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  2  England and continued into the early 19th century, the Commons was a way of s e c u r i n g r e s o u r c e s , such as crops, l i v e s t o c k and timber for a greater number of v i l l a g e r s than was possible by singular energy on private land. T h e most w e l l known commons s y s t e m used throughout England was one in w h i c h land was divided among individuals, but the boundaries of w h i c h w e r e open to adjoining properties, creating a larger ' c o m m o n ' , w h e r e labor, earth, g r a v e l and timber could be shared. Both public ownership of the land and private ownership, but common access of the land, w e r e used as mechanisms to secure community equity and economic s u r v i v a l (Kerridge, 1992). N e w England When Europeans settled into what is now known as N e w England, they brought the idea of the commons with them. While the land used for the commons was typically l e f t - o v e r , unwanted land, it was maintained for shared agricultural needs, such as grazing cattle.  Fig.4 By the late 1800's the commons in New England, like this on in Amherst Massachusetts, were primarily used for social events, (curtesy of Jones Public Library, Amherst, MA)  H o w e v e r , as  individualism was at the v e r y root of the new colonies, this land management  technique was quick to fade. T h e original commons  were divided and sold to private owners, and a new common e v o l v e d into an auxiliary village space geared towards the communities civic desires (Akagi, 1924).  T h e s e new 'town commons' or 'greens' were  incorporated into original town plans and adjoined important civic buildings such as the church, s c h o o l and cemetery. Occasionally, the town commons would continue to endure as an area where residents could freely acquire firewood, timber, and other building materials (Akagi, 1924). Vermont During the m i d - 1 7 0 0 ' s , V e r m o n t was the England. Initial E u r o p e a n settlement  w i l d west of N e w  in V e r m o n t was focused on  individual gain and survival and not yet on community life. P i o n e e r Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  Fig.5 The traditional town commons seen in a current aerial view of Fair Haven Vermont, pop. 3,000. Built in the early 1800's. While conceivibly pleasing in form, sits empty much of the year. (www.viewsfromabove.com) University of British Columbia 2005  3  families claimed sections of land, clearing it of trees and farming it until topsoil was deplete. It was a hard life where social activity happened in the kitchen or a couple miles down at the  neighbors  woodlot (Albers,  2002). Eventually, in the late 1700's and into the mid 1800's, compact village settlements were built in the v a l l e y s , designed by w e l l - t o - d o merchants and infused with a sense of civic pride and puritan goodness. T h e public 'town c o m m o n ' or 'green' that accompanied many of these village plans w e r e primarily used for social gatherings after  church  and special community events, reflecting civic ideals that e v o l v e d as a pioneer life gave w a y to structured  T  _Q._ r^_JTTllTI r  settlement.  While the common is still amongst the iconic images of a Vermont village, their p h y s i c a l form often does not reflect the complete, contemporary  Fig.6 The land dedicated for outdoor civic activity was at the center of the village, as can be seen in this original plan for Shorem, V e r mont, (image from Around the Mountain, 1992)  translation of the idea of the commons in the landscape. While it is important to recognize the traditional V e r m o n t commons as a valuable aesthetic and •r • i i  historical form, it is also important to place it into the context of V e r m o n t ' s contemporary land use patterns and contemporary community needs. In a paper  regarding today's  commons in the  landscape,  Alice  Ingerson, of the L i n c o l n P o l i c y Institute lists five new types of commons. T h e s e are: land trusts, incidental open spaces, cooperative housing, the use of urban public property by the homeless, and converted military bases (Ingerson 1997). trusts,  In Vermont, the three most l i k e l y to be found are, land  incidental open space and town commons.  M o s t often these are  found in the form of parks, shorelines, lakes, community gardens and trail networks. E v e n in Britain, the term 'commons' is now used to refer to National T r u s t Lands, National P a r k s and smaller municipal public open spaces (countrysideaccess.gov.uk, 2005). Commons such as these have both social, e c o l o g i c a l and potentially h i s t o r i c a l value, and reflect a desire, today more than ever, to maintain public access to natural resources such (., inniK >n ( ' iniu-ciii in-.  Public Realm as Rcsi mix x- in a Vermont Village-  < 'lain: Tcbbs  M l .A Tin-sis  Fig. 5 While the village commons can be found in the smallest Vermont towns, such as this one in Tinmouth, Vermont, population 230, they are oftened disconnected from a greater network of community trails and/pathways, (photo by author)  I i i i vers it v o f Bniisli Ct ilumhia JiKlri  as clean water, woods, soil, and fresh air. T h e A p p e n d i x I table compares the past and present function of the Commons, in a V e r m o n t context, as it relates to the concept of the commons as greater public open space. F r o m the A p p e n d i x I table, it is apparent that many of the original values of 'the commons' and even some of the programs still apply to today. H o w e v e r , there are o b v i o u s l y greater total demands on the public commons as contemporary open space. N o w , more than ever, the w o r l d is looking to rural communities to satisfy these demands. In order to do this, the commons  must be multi-functional in c h a r a c t e r - catering to  the e c o l o g i c a l , social/cultural and economical needs of modern life.  In  Vermont, this means w e a v i n g , growing, and connecting valuable sections of public green space into our daily existence (i.e. our town and village centers).  Not only is this economically beneficial (attracting  tourists  and sustaining l o c a l resources), but e c o l o g i c a l l y vital to the local region, maintaining and restoring e c o s y s t e m connections and wildlife c o r r i d o r s (Erickson, 2003). While it is not a brand new idea to consider our natural r e s o u r c e s and open space as entities of the Common, the application of this idea into design and development of modern communities seems harder to actualize.  H o w e v e r , there are now thousands of people dedicated to  such a cause.  In V e r m o n t alone, organizations and programs such as  V e r m o n t Smart G r o w t h , C o n s e r v a t i o n L a w Foundation, V e r m o n t L a n d Trust, V e r m o n t N a t u r a l R e s o u r c e  Council, Champlain V a l l e y  Belt A l l i a n c e , V e r m o n t H o u s i n g and  Conservation  Green  Board, Vermont  Fig. 8a and 8b Ecological and cultural resources can be incorporated into community planning, for greater public access, or divided, privatized and lost to the community as a whole . (curtesy of Burlington South Village)  Community F o r e s t s , V e r m o n t D e s i g n Institute as w e l l as local land trusts and passionate individuals are reaching for this end. A suburban farmer and author, B r i a n Donahue is one such individual living in Weston,  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  U  itv of British Columbia 2005  5  Massachusetts. In his book, Reclaiming the Commons, he questions whether the lack of the commons (defined as publicly assessable and publicly managed land) within a village, town or neighborhood has, in part, contributed to the lack of community identity. In order to reverse the potentially ever creeping, anonymous suburban landscape, Donahue suggests the following: "What happens "We must recover the traditions that once shaped places  in distinctive ways,  traditions reaching back in our peasant memory to dreams of both secure private ownership and  access to commons, before the shopping malls and tract houses obliterate them.  We must both honor and excel our rural forebears, who did not see clearly enough that excessive individualism  in a market economy was the outstretched neck of  unwary of the ax. We must rebuildfunctioning  agrarianism,  communities with closer ties to the land not  just in nostalgic fantasy, not just in token preservation, but in substantial daily practice. "  and  when  the  farmers  loggers are replaced by people  who make their livings in more nontraditional ways?  The idea that rural  means agricultural  and urban means  industrial is etched in every American brain.  What could it mean to be  rural and yet not reliant on the land... can Vermont find a way of managing  While this project ultimately results in illustrated design solutions for a c c e s s i n g the greater commons in one particular village, it is important to note that public involvement has been and is vital in actualizing the concepts proposed. A s detailed in the following chapters, the study village,  development that retains the physical beauty and strong sense of community that has distinguished it in the past. "  - Jan Albers, Hands on the Land  Charlotte, Vermont, promises great potential for exemplifying contemporary commons in part because public involvement is already high. T h i s includes a recent participatory planning process regarding the study site. A s Donahue suggests, the people are a crucial element in maximizing the commons, shaping them to the specific needs and desires of their unique community, and stewarding them into the future.  It is also important to note that the  concept of the commons, in this project, refers to shared access of land, and not shared ownership of property, as in the famous 'Tragedy of the C o m m o n s ' (Hardin and Baden, 1977). H o w e v e r , as part of the study site has been held in land trusts, the concept of joint ownership for a greater good, is not foreign to this Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  6  particular village. Scope of Project Project Concept B y melding V e r m o n t ' s traditional form and value of the village commons (green) as civic center to the contemporary translation of the commons as our shared a c c e s s to cultural and natural heritage, V e r m o n t village character and local community r e s o u r c e s can be m a x i m i z e d . T h i s project proposes civic and environmental functions for a centrally located p a r c e l of publicly o w n e d land in Charlotte, linking it to e x i s t i n g public space within and surrounding the village. Project Goal To  explore  viable planning and  design  ideas  for  incorporating  accessible public outdoor space into the future development of Charlotte's  Fig. 9 T h e idea of a g r e a t e r c o m mons found in our w o o d l a n d s , meadows, clean water and fresh air is a l i v e a n d w e l l i n V e r m o n t .  village center in a w a y that responds to the contemporary needs, desires and concerns of the residents. Project Objectives 1. P r o v i d e an example of how V e r m o n t villages can plan for future growth in a w a y that m a x i m i z e s the integrity of the village center, its community and the greater V e r m o n t landscape while respecting the rural past. 2. P r o v i d e design solutions, in both written and graphic form (in a broad range of scales), that are understandable to the public at large. F i g . 10 U r b a n a n d r u r a l r e s i d e n t s a l i k e s e e k o u t o p e n - s p a c e for r e c r e a t i o n , r e l a x a t i o n a n d e v e n production purposes, (photo by author)  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  7  Author's Definition of The Commons F o r the purpose of this project, the Commons are defined as: That land which is accessible to the public and ensures a specific community with any Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  8  or all of the  following  • natural r e s o u r c e heritage for now and future generations • safe outdoor places to gather, socialize, recreate, or travel from point a to point b • the p r e s e r v a t i o n of a unique, agrarian place, c o l l e c t i v e l y r e c o g n i z e d by its community • the opportunity to better understand, foster and participate in the surrounding natural and cultural landscape M u c h of the guidance for creating the site goals, objective and design criteria came from p o l i c i e s already set in place by the Charlotte community. Outcomes from Charlotte's 2004 public planning process, regarding the Burns P a r c e l where d i r e c t l y incorporated into the formulation of all design proposals. Site Overview Site Context T h i s project w i l l look at a site located in Charlotte, Vermont, a town located 10 miles south of V e r m o n t ' s biggest city, Burlington (pop.49,000). N e s t l e d in the Champlain V a l l e y , Charlotte houses two small village centers, locally k n o w n as East and W e s t Charlotte, and having a total population of 3,500. T h e study area includes a 55 acre parcel of woodland and wet meadow (Burns P a r c e l ) owned by the town and also the adjoining private property (LeBeouf M e a d o w ) that sits between B u r n s P a r c e l and the west village center.  T h e entire study site is approximately 75 acres. F o r the  purpose of this project, the west village w i l l be referred to as Charlotte, as this is c o n s i d e r e d the civic and c o m m e r c i a l center for the entire town. T h e Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  (www.hort.purdue.edu) Fig. 11 Looking west over Charlotte in the Champlain Valley of Vermont, the Adirondack Mountains in the distance. This valley was the floor to the ancient Champlain Sea.  University of British Columbia 2005  9  town hall, town green, library, post office, fire station and general store are located adjacent to the properties in question and w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d part of the study site. While Charlotte is rural in character, k n o w n for its rolling farm fields and close v i c i n i t y to the shoreline of L a k e Champlain, it sits d i r e c t l y off of Route 7, a major through road for the west side of the State, and as such is easily a c c e s s e d by a lot of people.  It is a beautiful  place with stunning v i e w s at each new twist and turn in the road. Residents of Charlotte either t r a v e l to w o r k in Burlington, w o r k out of their homes, or are farmers in the area. Characteristic Overview B u r n s P a r c e l overflows with amenities: mountain and pastoral v i e w s (the A d i r o n d a c k Mountains and L a k e Champlain to the west, Pease Mountain to the east), e x i s t i n g trails through the woods, and significant wildlife habitat. It is home to a large tract of C l a y Plain Forest, a rare, and important native ecotype of the Champlain V a l l e y and T h o r p e B r o o k w a t e r s h e d (Poleman, 2004). T h e wetlands associated with T h o r p e B r o o k are classified as C l a s s I (Sweeney, W i l l i a m 2000) and therefore can not be developed (according to V e r m o n t ' s A c t 250).  Route 7 is located to the east of the study site,  F e r r y Road to the north (Charlotte's main street) and G r e e n b u s h Road to the west. A t the southeast c o r n e r is an outdoor flea market that currently has no structures on it. T h e town rents this property out for $200 a year. T h e south end of the property abuts M a c k Dairy Farm, a c o n s e r v e d land. Both F e r r y Road and G r e e n b u s h Road are paved, local roads, G r e e n b u s h also being home to a section of V e r m o n t ' s Champlain V a l l e y B i k e Route. T h e southwest c o r n e r of B u r n s P a c e l and areas of the L e B e o u f M e a d o w s are w e l l drained and appropriate soils for septic s y s t e m needs, and are already for municipal waste treatment. Other areas of the L e B e o u f M e a d o w are also home to critical wetland sites. F o r the sake of this Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  U  Fig. 12 The study area includes 55 acres of town owned forest, meadow and wetland and 25 acres of privately owned land, both adjacent to the village center. of British Columbia 2005  10  project, both properties and their relationship to the village center, will be considered for future village planning and design scenarios. Site S e l e c t i o n W h y V e r m o n t ? Last year the National H i s t o r i c T r u s t named V e r m o n t as o n e - i n - e l e v e n most endangered  historic places in the United States  (National Historic T r u s t , 2004). Due to topographical disadvantages for strip development, stringent l a n d - u s e and environmental policy since the 1970's, and continued dependence on the natural landscape for survival (farming and tourism), comparatively, V e r m o n t stands at the beginning of an uphill battle to save its historical heritage. In N o r t h A m e r i c a today, this is an exciting place to be.  In many regards, V e r m o n t ' s landscape has become healthier  over the last 100 years. V e r m o n t is far from perfect, but in comparison, many other states have already become inundated with suburbia, losing or jeopardizing most e c o l o g i c a l , historical and cultural identities. Since the age of nine I have thoroughly enjoyed living, playing and w o r k i n g in V e r m o n t . A lot of hard w o r k and passion has been put into the making of the landscape of Vermont, w h i c h makes it an e x t r e m e l y identifiable place (Albers, 2000). T h i s project is a small contribution to a state that has taught me a lot about quality of life, stewarding place, ecological wonders, and the beauty of h u m a n - s c a l e design. Why Charlotte?  In October of 2004 the Vermont D e s i g n Institute,  of Burlington Vermont, was asked to facilitate a public planning process with residents of Charlotte.  T h e town wanted to consider w i s e land use  decisions within the town as it related to the Burns P a r c e l and future village build-out. A s I wanted to e x p l o r e the topic of public realm within a Vermont village context,  this site seemed to be a good fit. Not only was Charlotte  considering what to do with a currently, publicly accessible piece of land, Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  Fig. 13 Ferry Road and Greenbush Road border the north and west of the study site, (photos by author)  University of British Columbia 2005  1 1  the town was incorporating a democratic p r o c e s s in the planning stage and residents were  interested in being involved.  In this way, any design  implementation to the village property would incorporate a layer of individual input, infusing the land with a sense that the community, as a whole, cared about it (Donahue 2001) (Hester 2003).  Not to say that this is, by any  means, an easy and automatically successful process, it does r e v e a l genuine concerns and interests related to the users at hand - a crucial component to any good design. Once I embarked on r e s e a r c h for this project it became obvious that Charlotte has a history of active participation in land use decisions and regulation, as w e l l as a strong commitment to building a sense of community. M y interest in the B u r n s P a r c e l also relates to its central location within a community and its advantageous adjacencies, potentially bringing greater open space n e t w o r k s into the village itself and expanding the civic amenities.  Scales of Design T h i s project w o r k s within two primary scales. Initially the study site of Burns P a r c e l and the adjoining private property (referred to as L e B e o u f Meadow), was c o n s i d e r e d at a site planning scale. T h i s scale considered regional land use patterns, e c o l o g i c a l systems, greater circulation networks, zoning, development scenarios, and i n t e r - s i t e relationships.  Within this  analysis, three major civic activity and destination areas were identified and studied at a  more detailed, site design scale. T h e s e areas included  the village center - site of the town hall and village green, a site entrance at the flea market off of Route 7, and a third entrance to the site located on Greenbush road.  Recreation trails, pedestrian pathways, streets and  entrances w e r e also c o n s i d e r e d at a this larger scale. T h e majority of detailed design focused on the village center. Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  Fig. 14 Burns Parcel and the adjacent property is home to beautiful woods and meadows, all in the vicinity of the village center, (photos curtesy of Diane Gayer)  University of British Columbia 2005  12  Chapter 2 Precedent Studies T h e r e are a m y r i a d of r e s o u r c e s out there related to public space in rural places, most c o m m o n l y referred to as 'open space planning'. H o w e v e r , as this project relates specifically to public open space within a village center, the following precedents set great examples. When picking precedents I looked for municipalities and/or organizations that had managed to create public, outdoor places immediately adjacent or at town centers that s e r v e d the community in a d i v e r s i t y of w a y s . A l l the precedents provide a greater indoor/outdoor civic center for a town/village while connecting these spaces to a greater regional context.  T h e following are brief descriptions of  each precedent and how ideas from each w e r e incorporated into the design solutions in this project. Open Space at the Community Planning Scale Amherst, M A Amherst,  Massachusetts  has  a long history of innovative town  planning and land use regulation. M u c h of the town's public and private open space has been p r e s e r v e d within and around its village center. A m h e r s t has a v e r y active conservation committee and there are a number of helpful documents available as well as a plentitude of GIS maps regarding open space, interconnected r e c r e a t i o n trails, and parks.  Although this is not  a V e r m o n t town, A m h e r s t sits in the context of the rural N e w E n g l a n d  Fig. 15 A woman grows flowers for farmers market in a field, walking distance from the center of town, (photo by author)  landscape, visually r e c o g n i z e d for its agrarian and civic aesthetic for over 200 years. In this way, decisions made with respect to small village centers within their regional context, throughout N e w England  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  13  can be e a s i l y c o m p a r e d to decisions and p r o c e s s e s  that A m h e r s t has  adopted. A m h e r s t sets precedents for village center design not only within its regional context, but also at the site design scale.  Town of Amherst, MA Open Space Land  A s an example, A t k i n  C o r n e r s , is an area just south of A m h e r s t C o m m o n s and home to A t k i n s M a r k e t - a family owned and operated g r o c e r y store. A popular area, along a busy two lane road, residents w e r e c o n c e r n e d that unplanned development around A t k i n s M a r k e t would ruin the rural charm of the area. Together, residents, planners and designers developed a plan that sets a  better  course for v i l l a g e - f r i e n d l y development to occur around the market that incorporates the surrounding green landscape, vital to an appropriate scale and regional character. T h e following are design guidelines and strategies used in the planning and design of the future A t k i n s C o r n e r Village, that are relevant to this project: Relevant Design Principles: 1. Recognition of context 2. Treatment of L a n d s c a p e s as interdependent and interconnected 3. Integration of the native landscape with development 4. r e - u s e of already disturbed areas (Andropogon A s s o c i a t e s , Ltd.) Relevant Design Strategies: 1. maintain v i e w s to surrounding hills 2. wetlands protected or created 3. v i e w s to landscape a c c e s s i b l e through buildings  F i g . 16 C o n s e r v e d o p e n - s p a c e , much of it publically accessible, s u r r o u n d s m u c h of the center of Amherst, M A . (www.amherst.gov)  4. open space m a x i m i z e d - buildings c l u s t e r e d Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  14  5. h y d r o l o g y e x p o s e d and e x p r e s s e d throughout site 6. bioswales and buffer strips incorporated into circulation routes 7. parking divided up into smaller areas - easily shaded, pedestrian  friendly  8. permeable pavers for parking areas 9. parking available on M a i n Street 10. streets are curb less for better water infiltration into bioswales 11. buildings are no more than 2.5 floors high 12. new buildings fit the N e w England vernacular 13. buildings have p o r c h e s / d e c k s that connect with landscape (A W o r k b o o k of D e s i g n Options for Sustainable D e s i g n : A t k i n s C o r n e r Village Dodson A s s o c i a t e s , L t d . Landscape A r c h i t e c t s and Planners, 2002) Relevant Program: Pedestrian friendly, e c o l o g i c a l l y and geographically sensitive N e w England village center Vermont Commons - Old and New Shoreham, V T In 2002 Shoreham, Vermont, a village 25 miles south of Charlotte, went through a planning initiative for the rejuvenation of its town commons. T h e S h o r e h a m Commons, as it is known, consists of eighteen  acres of  municipal land, twelve of w h i c h are the village green and the buildings located on this land: the fire department, town garage, library, town offices, congregational church, elementary school and also N e w t o n A c a d e m y . A l l Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  Fig.17 The Vermont Design Institute provided a master plan for the village of Shoreham, Vermont in order to re-evaluate the role of the commons, (curtesy of The Vermont D e sign Institute)  University of British Columbia 2005  15  of these community buildings were built at different times, spanning 150 years.  T h e goal of the planning project was to provide a framework for  improving and expanding community services and municipal functions to best serve the citizens of Shoreham (Gayer, 2002). Although the amount of open space considered in this project is not as expansive as that potentially available in Charlotte center, this project sets a precedent for maintaining, yet embellishing upon historical character (however incrementally developed) of villages in the Champlain V a l l e y region. Relevant Program: Multi-functional Community Green with scenic, historic and recreational function Relevant Design Guidelines: 1. consider public open space design concurrently with future development scenarios, providing distinct delineation and natural buffers between residential areas and green space 2. provide easy access to village green space from all directions and from community buildings, so that it is utilized and active throughout the week by a diversity of users 3. create/restore community buildings to be flexible and adaptive spaces for a variety of community needs 4. recreational space  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  16  Intervale, Burlington V e r m o n t T h e Intervale Project, in Burlington, V T is a collaborative effort of Burlington citizens who wanted to see the reclamation of a large open space property that sits in the north end of town. It is a great example of a productive open space that also functions as a recreation area, and is currently shaping new, innovative civic and retail development within the city boundary. T h e property consists of 700 acres, much of which is leased as farmland by a number of s m a l l - h o l d operations and community gardens. Surrounding the farmland are woodland trails that run along the Winooski River - all of w h i c h is in walking or biking distance to the greater city of Burlington. T h e Intervale is a kind of common, such as identified by A l i c e Ingerson, in that it was a fragmented piece of open space that has been reclaimed. It relates to this project as it is a public, outdoor space, m u l t i functional in nature, which integrates and reconnects natural and social systems, maximizing both, within a town context. T h e Intervale is a superb example of what a 21st century common can be. B e c a u s e this common is such a productive, participatory landscape, its programming harkens back to the commons of old, where public agriculture was the main function of such a space. Relevant Program: community gardens, recreation trails, abutting farm fields, o n - g o i n g community gatherings and events, wildlife habitat, wetlands  Fig. 18 The Intervale in Burlington, V e r mont has re-defined the term 'commons', where joint access to property and joint ownership flourish on 700 acres, within the city of Burlington, (www.intervalefoundation.com)  (http://www.intervale.org/index.html)  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  17  The Public Process in Village Design Westport, C A Westport, C A is a v e r y small town (approx. 240 residents) in N o r t h e r n California that took part in a community planning p r o c e s s v e r y similar to Charlotte.  A l t h o u g h on the other side of the country, the scenario is also  v e r y similar. Randy Hester, a landscape architect and community planner from B e r k l e y , C A led the residents of Westport through a design charrette in order to decide what to do with a centrally located parcel of undeveloped land. T h i s precedent study gives c l a r i t y to the public p r o c e s s piece of this project and also gives design solutions to the challenge at hand. Relevant Design Principles: 1. community development must be inspired by ecology, integrated with traditional forms of the village 2. consider the community the best community resource 3. design must be a harmonious integration of all scales, from watersheds to building  alignment  4. village center must be grounded in e v e r y d a y life 5. use local r e s o u r c e s - natural, human and manufactured w i s e l y and inventively  F i g . 19 A community in California used the traditional N e w E n g l a n d t o w n c o m m o n as their centralizing form for new village and local trail development, (curtesy of Westport Community D e s i g n T e a m , U n i v e r s i t y of California, B e r k e l e y )  (Westport Community D e s i g n T e a m - U n i v e r s i t y of California, B e r k e l e y , Crafting Westport, T e c h n i c a l Report F i v e from the P e a Patch, 2003) Relevant Program: flexible outdoor space in village center, trail network connected to village center, flexible community building/space  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  I8  Guiding Principles of Project While each of the precedents Charlotte's scenario, the focus of  this  listed is not an exact replica of project, relevant information has  been gleaned from each of them and applied to the design challenges for Charlotte. Specific design guidelines have been used from these precedents, but most importantly the precedents helped in the formulation of six guiding principles. T h e s e are as follows: 1. M a x i m i z e community resources - intellectual, experiential, cultural, and natural 2. A l l o w ecological systems to run their natural course 3. Create flexible, multifunctional spaces 4. M a k e interconnections at all scales 5. T r e a t outdoor spaces like rooms within the village 6.  Support visible activity at, from, and to, the village center  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University' of British Columbia 2005  19  Chapter 3 Understanding the Site Analysis Social Assessment Community Profile "Charlotte shoulders its way between the glitzy refinement of Shelburne to the north and the blue-collar panache of Ferris burgh to the south, trying tofinda happy medium between the two extremes, and forging its own peculiar character in the process. This is a town dominated by rural landscapes, by farmland, hills, and orchards; it is also - quietly, to be sure - part and parcel of Vermont s Gold Coast. Small farms and modest homes are here, as they have always been; but they often sit cheek and jowl with more  stately mansions. " V e r m o n t Magazine  A s can be seen in the above quote, Charlotte is not suffering a rural decay.  C h a r t e r e d in 1762, Charlotte is situated in the idyllic and  adored Chainplain V a l l e y .  Originally, it's four corners, now the junction  of F e r r y Road and G r e e n b u s h Road was home to the local tavern, a w a r m hold up for those shipping goods across L a k e Champlain. While Charlotte has seen a lot of change since then, the tavern still stands (now a family home) and much of the land around it is still productive farmland, as it  Fig.20 Charlotte residents have a long standing history with the land they call home, as a place to enjoy and recreate and also as a place to make a living, (curtesy of Charlotte Library Collection)  was in days gone b y . T o better understand Charlotte, below are some vital community statistics:  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  20  Average Age: 36 Race: 97% white Place of Birth: 48% out of state 49% in state 3% out of country Education: 18.5% high school diploma 22% college or associates degree 32.4% bachelors degree  (18% V T )  23.5% masters degree (11% V T ) Median Household Income: age 3 5 - 4 5 $67,000 ($47,000 V T , $50,600 U S ) age 4 5 - 5 4 $88,000 ($52,00 V T , $56,000 U S ) age 75+  $19,000 ($21,000 V T , $22,000 U S )  Housing: average cost of house $500,000 ($183,000 V T ) summer home $775,000 ($275,000) Transportation: 1,563 out of 1,859 w o r k i n g population drive to  F i g . 2 1 T h i s 'vision map', created by a m e m b e r of C h a r l o t t e ' s T r a i l s C o m m i t t e e reflects the d e d i c a t i o n a l r e a d y in p l a c e in C h a r l o t t e to maximize their regional and local recreational and ecological public r e s o u r c e s (image by B r o o k e Scatchard)  work Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  21  ,urns Property Hearing Draws a *un House  234 w o r k from home 51 walk to w o r k  nwhtfcMniIf pi *•«. M | nfi)«K <W*'ri*. » (JML lit; i. iii. i.. i/. .11, j 'limit Utn w i >ml MVt > i i,'i.. I. 1 i. -tXtllW IMld. Illi.lt. If » , • * • —Mil ullnHt I D l UU ..•!'.. '|.| I *»ilnp>i ifnutjiti -MtiluiKili.nl • J i t ( I ; * t I j| i.' ni i • -i. *y .i.[ ni-(ii«>^. Aiinnvuniilami|Ai7 tK.h.|»I.ll.JIW.Ui.,«M(lH, •i(lttlitMnJ'Mtliqpi(*ltli>i«».'i it* urt n»l,Ml^»wt)U»». »!,*•: ' • II • I- Ml . illl.il . : t W : .•; l nlutuHlmli 1 irtil* j« lit,1i«tp::i. ui;i IWi -uttrmWiriMi-t i « f l > / f c > l ( l > lAli /nlfcUlvu.tt. tit 'ifJon Hfl-iliii b.-n: ' ' i r. -I'.. I n I . i• . j; I I. HI.;. j. i.-li . , »j< v fatutil'iiiraJMlJii n [uia< .iMiiftUim tii'liii.i lolir:«lrtrtw- n4idu>4;irt^trJm.t-lrHtin1 lib bill) tMil«htbi»|iral|iti<¥iTf4NM i|l Nwn(ntM* 'i;< lR liUl Tit; lit^utiiij^li; MMtHWUturi.tl . fJnlt:Mnm*ffffiti.rt«I rVf<kl. Kn i Itartfitp* tf'nnnri m>- 41)> iiitfM m l .i •> vi tin i ix* »mt <IUI« >un iMtwri i*^n« I «ir«i4it rmkii:nK*iiturnttr. BIJ Mi tm Ukt«u> -MU UMJt ani ...... 1.,:,,.,, ,1 M M . . . . . . . . li«t .( I,-CU\UtLMl TIM. Ifrfitb I, MI, ppMN> i.l.lW-  0 use public transportation ( none currently available)  ; I.  I  „ :  i  Work:  11  44% professional specialty occupations 16.3% sales 8 - 1 0 % agriculture (16 dairy farms and numerous  ' •!"  J  If»t i-.|1,v*.1H. linn.., lv> tilt h intuh 1.1-41.1 -...111. It,. Ivl .1 H ••|..|..^.ili... nr*n| iitm if** mnti a,,,.] w  other agricultural enterprises such as orchards and  1  V  organic vegetable and flower farms)  ll  KIIV  7.7% craft and repair  ii.^.ilMtai'tmriiitii.ja.MlrAbM.  • f«, MlriMi,Mil^r^j,|liiriw I .Kt.Miwt.nl ...tl.tr.il.lt* irar*. .1 .-. I .! • . I .. (I'll .1, • .J f|(IM»l Mtx'"t.rft.1*.m Athniiu 'I  '  I, I  ••,'. .1- 1  Jobs available in Charlotte:  • • . •':  .  approximately 500 jobs, 102 businesses in operation, mostly I a w l I K Iu1ji1i.1i  out of the home  nm  rNur»Ju>. I>trtmhfr 16  (Charlotte T o w n Plan, 2002) (US Census, 2000)  7  p.m  Timn Kill  F r o m the above statistics it is easy to see that Charlotte does not n e c e s s a r i l y represent the typical V e r m o n t living.  II.  ii.Mi M  Comparatively,  Charlotte has a c o l l e c t i v e income far above the V e r m o n t median. T h i s is largely due to its close p r o x i m i t y to Burlington, where the availability  Fig.22 Charlotte residents took part in an i n tensive design workshop and a number of public hearings between October and December of 2004 to understand how best to manage their villageland. (The Charlotte News, 2004)  of a d i v e r s i t y of jobs is most probably the largest in the state, but also due to wealthier families moving into the area from wealthier states. A l s o notable is the large d i s c r e p a n c y in median income for those 4 5 - 5 5 ($88,000) and those over 75 ($19,000). While this does imply that many Charlotte residents are living comfortably, it also means that the price of living in Charlotte could easily be unobtainable for others, e s p e c i a l l y for  seniors and young families in the area.  B e c a u s e of this, providing  affordable housing is an essential element to Charlotte's town planning if they are to create a livable community for a diversity of residents. Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  22  Luckily,  Charlotte  has an e x t r e m e l y  active  town  planning  commission and residents alike. T h e town also boasts of a recreation,  »  conservation, a trails committee and recently, a B u r n ' s P a r c e l committee.  Notes on the Charlotte Burns Parcel and Village Planning Project  F r o m the most recent town plan and u p - t o - d a t e land use regulations  /rniWrny HH Hxplamium of the Composite DMWI? (mm Cmmmm Design form  it's also easy to see that, as a municipality, Charlotte  has gone to  e x t e n s i v e lengths, not only to identify itself, but to put policies into effect that go a long w a y in stewarding a much l o v e d rural environment. T h e planning c o m m i s s i o n recognizes that any future development must be carefully considered in order to fulfill the needs and desires of the Charlotte citizens, while also protecting the natural p r o c e s s e s occurring on and off site (Hamilton, Linda 2004). T h e V i s i o n Map, shown in F i g 21, is a great example of just h o w dedicated residents are to making Charlotte a great place to live.  T h e V i s i o n Map was created by the  mm i. m  SmmJ qi« n n „ i mt  currently seeking r i g h t - o f - w a y permission from private landowners in order to make this V i s i o n M a p a reality.  tabham  •feio.itmiita&alroafc** « ^ » n « « . » ^ « a ^ M « < « o -  rin » i i >•»  »tiiL„  •ramaaaarfinantlHtalatf ik>ftai«»(u«N»ml*** mt ^riaoipMKfc^  i | i II.»  |W>>iali'B>hHl'<l«U  ml U » » » I » I I I . I I I I I I I I H » I I I p«B •<••»>>••> a, ./k«f tmmmmmm "  imtmUmMtUi^atmlt^ml ^ M a m . i,4,r,i|*M|A. H a « « i n > ammmmt. fa.««H«»,Wi..>)l.i>«*»h >.ly<«.  ^••fm . * c m t m m i|» * I—.,mimi « « n j n *fcbaajoisafeteafca0b .kcMaAmlrila«a»nv) • ^ « a - u « . , . i < « i « \ . f e a i m n i - 11 mia«av.»rawtf»i <  .|«^.d.wi<.Miil' ItlWkkaiMl 'lotaal|hid|kdkia faai atiialtliianaa «»l 'IMiMatanltwd  u  ¥  A.... »**awi la>MKtf»ia»jmna4itrea> naniWauilnuuit, «,««iWa.Wi>j«»«f»n iHMaaMnaamln i , « . I W M i BI tot 1 M B mmma^mummmtknn .mt  M  extends a c r o s s the entire t o w n - b o t h the east and west village, and the T h e T r a i l s and Conservation committee are  *0talWr*daot4fci«4Lldfcb  taMltpha^MM  Charlotte T r a i l s Committee and shows a potential trail network that surrounding countryside.  THE CHARLOTTE NEWS  OMfBJlMatoMiai IHoiMaUau : LxttntKaWoi* Malaa  ajlaaa»u.»a.««l*«h* »»B«a^,AaMaaaaa aata«a» «*»»la»fcialaa|aala|i«al  • ii n ^  ( M | t W M M * ^ l i i d a«Qb«bnfc««n alliallmaWmk n l hfaualwun. l  tDtWilta.iB^Mk,  t I«^«r4.-.uudk* he, «mlmpm?mM**m»mmml Nad* niM« anta» «r ltl«»»»«« >Wa^Ktim*liiiu. raatbteaairadri kjtanacaaluaa>  DM'I ••» >•( h*tic Fonra  Burns Property  ,  Hul  u h > M « « » ««*aa .»«,> r.-.»( fcaS.te  Community's Response to S i t e Public Planning for Public L a n d A s mentioned in Chapter 1, in the Site Selection section, the town of Charlotte held a public planning p r o c e s s to better understand  Fig.23 Municipalities can glean a lot of information and even find direction for land-use planning if residents are involved in a directed planning and design process. (The Charlotte News, 2004)  the potential future of the Burns P a r c e l property. T h e planning p r o c e s s was made up of town meetings, a design discussions.  workshop  and f o l l o w - u p  F o u r D e s i g n T e a m s were formed to look at several village  scenarios, looking at the B u r n ' s P a r c e l and L e B o e u f M e a d o w in tandem, due to their p r o x i m i t y to the village center. A composite drawing was then created by the Vermont Design Institute that reflected the sitv of British Columbia 2005  23  collective thoughts from the w o r k s h o p . T h e intension of the w o r k s h o p was for the town to better understand the needs and desires of the  THl  community, before land use decisions took place behind c l o s e d doors. T h e following outlines the  m a j o r outcome of design day discussions, as it  Burns Property  &gU.-tfSff  relates to the B u r n s P r o p e r t y :  - c o n s e r v e , protect and respect wetlands of both L e B o e u f and B u r n s Property - provide g r e e n buffer along Route 7 - consider L e B o e u f property crucial in bigger picture of village build out - include trail network to a c c e s s property - link e x i s t i n g c o n s e r v e d land (Mt. Philo, Demeter Park, B a r b e r Hill) - incorporate Restaurant, Pub or Cafe into new village plans ^i* »h«li *«rv bulk m Ik* UM nm* >«ar> m *n nw nl C o m m e n t s on housing:  - affordable housing noted as much needed addition to village - housing options needed for downsizing, young couples and single from ChMhww.'raralcft»i*rtr» T.i <Lt thit, wc MM) Ihe Burn* i".iri iv .i.iM , . i k>«4dn>n .tcicUftan.nl l*to«n and thaibaty*t»—invol** tkr « much o. pUfcSJMc. Climcr IWUMIII tu •cdav« i- • t tne Viligf ATM.tltluM KKV U*r*T i r*fMtl> rttithinf l.a market (wtt«* Uk« their mww In I. h» tin, Mf * rt— l -  persons  t  - community gardens available for the above mentioned residents C o m m e n t s on C o m m e r c i a l :  - retail mentioned as w e l c o m e d (by most, but not all) w e r e : A T M / Bank, copy center, computer store, artisan and farmers market C o m m e n t s of E d u c a t i o n :  - School B o a r d does not see need for a new school for at least another 10 y e a r s  Fig.24 Letters to the Editor in the Charlotte News reflect how passionate residents are about future development decisions and the potential loss of a 'rural character'. (The Charlotte News, 2004)  - future school, with strong agricultural/ecological focus would be a Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  f of British Columbia 2005  24  good fit for property - nature center for public education also a possibility Comments on Trails: - network of trail wanted throughout town and connecting to e x i s t i n g trail n e t w o r k s Comments of Traffic Patterns: - c o n g e s t i o n on F e r r y R d . and G r e e n b u s h Road noted - ' g a t e w a y s ' needed to better define village center atmosphere in order to slow traffic and make for a more pedestrian friendly environment (Charlotte N e w s , D e c . 2004) T h e outcomes of the design day as well as town meeting d i s c u s s i o n topics and letters to the editor in the local newspaper, suggest residents are passionate about what goes on around town. It goes without saying, that this passion w i l l , of course, support opposing opinions when it comes to land use change... such are the g r o w i n g pains of V e r m o n t and the rest of the w o r l d .  Private Owner - W i l d Flower Farm Private Owner - long time resident Town Owned Land  Policy Assessment In its v i s i o n for the T o w n ' s future, the Charlotte T o w n Plan builds on its most valuable characteristics - rural landscape and environment, diversity of its population, small town character, history, and active participation by citizen volunteers. E s s e n t i a l components of this vision are:  Fig.25 The study site for this project, as in Charlottes' public process, looks at both private and public land to develop a greater understanding of how each plays a part in determining the future face of the village. It also allows for best-case scenario planning.  1. T o reinforce historic settlement patterns by focusing Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  25  growth in village centers and promoting a town center 2. T o maintain and enhance the scenic beauty and open land of the T o w n through protection of w o r k i n g farmland and the creation of conservation areas'. 3. T o recognize and p r e s e r v e the T o w n ' s unique environmental and cultural r e s o u r c e s through both regulatory and n o n - r e g u l a t o r y actions 4. T o promote social, economic, cultural and racial diversity and sense of community through actions that encourage affordable housing, enhance the agricultural economy, provide essential c o m m e r c i a l s e r v i c e s , and enable environmentally sensitive rural enterprises 5. T o enable a c c e s s and appropriate use of open land and recreational resources, both public and  private;  6. T o plan for capital improvements consistent with the fiscal ability of the T o w n ! and 7. T o promote community interaction and spirit. (Charlotte T o w n Plan, 2002) E x i s t i n g Zoning A s can be seen in F i g . 26, much of the study site is currently zoned as c o m m e r c i a l , including the entire edge running along Route 7. T h i s in itself does not c o r r e s p o n d with the town's vision of having a green buffer running along the Route 7 corridor.  It is obvious that  the current zoning was adopted from previous state zoning regulations that ran all retail along the busiest road. T h i s is the root cause of 'strip development', and if put into play, would contradict much of the town's vision for the future (as can be seen in the previous section).  British Columbia 2005  26  Comparing F i g . 26 and Fig.29, it can also be seen that the c o m m e r c i a l zoning c o v e r s wetland areas that are currently in private ownership and therefore would not be able to be developed anyway. While the c o m m e r c i a l zoning is not v e r y helpful in predicting future land use, the  village zoning can help gauge  where  village settlement patterns can still be r e c o g n i z e d .  the h i s t o r i c a l  T h i s is helpful in  knowing where, if possible, to density the village center - a goal of the town plan. If any of the study site is to be p r e s e r v e d from future development, a c c o r d i n g to Charlotte's L a n d use policies, it must be zoned ' c o n s e r v a t i o n ' . C u r r e n t l y P e a s e Mountain, on the far right of the zoning map, is the closest c o n s e r v a t i o n land to the village center. Environmental Assessment Physical Factors Charlotte, V e r m o n t sits in the fertile Champlain V a l l e y and was originally the floor to the glacial L a k e V e r m o n t , and later Champlain Sea.  the  Due to this g e o l o g i c a l history, deep, clay soils are  predominant. B a r b e r H i l l , southwest of the study site is a rare volcanic rock  outcropping. P e a s e Mountain, to the east of the site is M o n k t o n  quartzite (Poleman, 2004).  T y p i c a l l y this region offers the mildest  climate in the state, with the longest frost free seasons and narrowest range of temperature e x t r e m e s (Lapin, 1998). H o w e v e r , typical V e r m o n t seasons w i l l put Charlotte under snow for at least three months of the year, with winter temperatures dipping into the negative numbers. T h e study site, in particular, is l o w - l y i n g depressions within the valley, with a slope no greater than 5%, accept in some areas along the banks of T h o r p e B r o o k and other drainage ditches. B o t h drainage Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  Fig.27a. This slope diagram shows the relative flatness of the low-lying study area (the lighest shade having a slope no greater than 5% and the darkest shade haveing a slope of 15-25% slope. Fig.27b shows the corresponding hydrology of the site. niversity of British Columbia 2005  27  i  ditches and one of the ponds on site are remnants of an agricultural past, but still used today to drain water from surrounding roads and  III  6  I H  fields. Biological Factors Burns  P a r c e l consists  of s e c o n d  growth  forest,  wetlands,  streams and meadow land. It is surrounded by a d i v e r s i t y of natural areas, including P e a s e Mountain, Mount Philo State P a r k further to the east, and L a k e Champlain. T h e entire area is r i c h with a d i v e r s i t y of Sf  habitat types, most l i k e l y supporting populations of water fowl, raptures  &,  including bald eagles, amphibians, m a c r o - i n v e r t e b r a t e s , and mammals,  tilt  large and small. In many w a y s the study site sits at the junction of forest and lake, and this location p r o v i d e s a critical connection for wildlife and humans alike. T h i s characteristic must be c o n s i d e r e d carefully during the design p r o c e s s , in order to connect this property to its regional, e c o l o g i c a l setting as thoroughly as possible. T h e C l a y Plain Forest, making up most of B u r n s P a r c e l (see F i g 28) is now a rare forest e c o - t y p e that once c o v e r e d much of the Champlain V a l l e y . Due to e x t e n s i v e agricultural practices in this area for the past 200 years, this r i c h e c o s y s t e m is now only found in fragmented parcels (Champlain V a l l e y C l a y plain F o r e s t project, 2003). T h e Champlain  • Clay Plain Forest Hedgerow  V a l l e y C l a y Plain F o r e s t Project is a r e s e a r c h and a d v o c a c y group that w o r k s with volunteers on behave of this forest type in order to restore, steward and connect this e c o s y s t e m a c r o s s the V a l l e y . Plants associated with this forest type and found on the B u r n s P r o p e r t y include: b a s s w o o d (Tilia americana), sugar maple ( A c e r saccharum), red maple (Quercus rubra), A m e r i c a n elm (Ulmus americana), shagbark h i c k o r y ( C a r y a ovata), and swamp white oak  ( A c e r bicolor) (Lapin, 1998) (Poleman,  2004). T h e oldest trees found on this property are two  Fig.28 The Clay soils known to this area are home to the native Clay Plain forest and also well known for extremely fertile agricultural land (photos c u r tesy of Champlain Valley Clay Plain Forest Project). ..Ity of British Columbia 2005  28  red oaks estimated to be 200 years old, and sit at the corner of southwest p r o p e r t y lines.  S m a l l e r trees on site include M u s c l e w o o d  (Carpinus caroliniana), Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) and w i t c h hazel 60  (Hamamelis v i r g i n i a n a X L a p i n  1998,  Poleman, 2004).  Over  herbaceous species g r o w within this forested site, including two  uncommon sedge; the M i n n e s o t a sedge ( C a r e x albursina) and G r a y ' s sedge ( C a r e x grayi) (Lapin, 1998).  T h i s forest type provides wildlife  with a large supply of nut crops, close p r o x i m i t y to water, a moderate climate, and a d i v e r s e landscape for foraging and refuge. T h e wetlands associated with the study site, both on the B u r n s parcel and private p a r c e l are c o n s i d e r e d C l a s s I  (significant wildlife  habitat) and sit within a major wildlife c o o r i d o r that runs diagonally, southwest to northeast and v i c e - v e r s a (Charlotte T o w n Plan, 2002), (Lapin, 1998).  Plant species associated with the wettest parts of the  site include sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis), lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), w o o d - n e t t l e (Laportea canadensis) and fowl  mannagrass  (Glyceria striata) and common cattail (Lapin, 1998). Other important e c o - t y p e s found on the study site are the open meadow - both d r y and wet, and hedgerows. B o t h of these are essential habitat for song birds, such as the cardinal, tufted titmouse, and hermit thrush, raptures - o w l s and hawks, and also to w i l d turkeys and small mammals such as v o l e s and mice.  T h e wet meadows are home to a  diversity of wetland g r a s s e s , such as mentioned above, and also to amphibians such as frogs and salamanders.  Specifically, the Jefferson ,  b l u e - s p o t t e d , and r e d back salamander, the gray tree frog, w o o d frog, spring peeper, northern leopard frog, green frog and bullfrog (Lapin, 1998). H e d g e r o w s act as movement c o r r i d o r s for wildlife as w e l l as perching and nesting sites for birds of p r e y (Smith, 1998).  Fig.29 While wetlands can be seen as a limiting factor to future development, they can also guide well-sited development and are in themselves vital to a high quality water source, (photos by author) I o f British Columbia 2005  29  Summary of Opportunities and Constraints Site Planning Scale Major  land-use  restrictions that must  be  considered  when  proposing uses for B u r n s P a r c e l and L e B e o u f M e a d o w s include; sensitive wetland and stream habitat, rare forest type and limited septic soils for future development. Opportunities for future development are c l e a r l y defined  by  those areas that are neither critical wetland. C l a y Plain forest nor prime agricultural soil. T h e remaining land available for building, that would also support a historically dense village center, sits to the east and south of residential properties at the c o r n e r of G r e e n b u s h and F e r r y road.  T h e h e d g e r o w that runs parallel to G r e e n b u s h would act as a  natural buffer and public r i g h t - o f - w a y between e x i s t i n g residential and any new residential that may occur.  While Charlotte's l a n d - u s e  regulations, as w e l l as the 10 c r i t e r i a of V e r m o n t ' s A c t 250, are a good foundation for any l a n d - u s e proposals, the current zoning, as mentioned previously, does not correlate with either of the aforementioned c r i t e r i a . T h e 10 C r i t e r i a of A c t 250 are listed in the appendix V . B i o l o g i c a l l y and physically, the study area offers a plentitude of natural wonders and aids in the overall rural aesthetic that Charlotte w i s h e s to maintain.  Important vistas to note are those v i e w s from  Barber H i l l , looking both northwest and northeast, and v i e w s across the meadow south from the town hall area.  A l l surrounding roads should  also be c o n s i d e r e d for their high visual quality as rural g r e e n w a y s and gateways into and out of the village center.  Fig.30 Wet meadows and old farm fields sit adjacent to the village center (photo curtesy of Diane Gayer)  L a s t l y , it is n e c e s s a r y to consider V e r m o n t ' s four seasons, each bringing certain challenges and opportunities when designing for Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  of British Columbia 2005  30  peoples enjoyment of a place. F o r example, spaces designed for people also need to accommodate large amounts of snow in the winter, mud and rain in the spring and places to enjoy the fall c o l o r s come October. Village Center T h e beauty and essence of this project lies in the fact that the site in question lies at the heart of Charlotte. P e o p l e naturally bump into each other going to the post office, the library, or running in for a carton of milk at the general store along F e r r y road, not to mention events already in motion at the senior center, fire station and the daily activity at the Charlotte C h i l d C a r e C e n t e r and T h e F l y i n g P i g bookstore. T h e r e is able opportunity to capitalize on this high level of community activity. Currently, h o w e v e r the formal outdoor public spaces tied into F e r r y road are not connected to a greater pedestrian network or to larger public green space, even though the p r o x i m i t y of the latter is e x t r e m e l y close by. T h e village green, created in the late 1990's when  o p e n - w e t meadow/ag. soil  both the library and town hall were built, does not currently  community woods  have a designated pedestrian path to or from it, apart from the s i d e w a l k s running from the library to the town hall, at the  developable land high/potentially high civic a c t i v i t y  side and rear of these buildings. T o the west are a wide drive and two asphalt parking areas, one behind the town hall and one behind the post office. Having such a wide paved area immediately west of the green gives the green little definition,  and/or  defined entry w a y from  separates the post  office  from  the  west,  and  its two neighboring civic  buildings. T h i s also g i v e s p r i o r i t y to cars in the town center, Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  Fig.31 T h i s simple bubble diagram s h o w s the g e n e r a l d e l i n ation of types of spaces within the study area b a s e d on p h y s i cal, biological and social character.  rather than a balance of both cars and also and/or bikes.  pedestrians  It should be noted that small foot bridges  are currently in place for pedestrians to c r o s s o v e r a grass swale that also runs along the w e s t e r n edge of the town green.  C u r r e n t l y there are no sidewalks along F e r r y  Road. F e r r y Road is currently 20 feet wide. B e t w e e n this width and the open north edge of the green, there would be ample room for sidewalks/paths in this central area if the town so desired. Both social and e c o l o g i c a l connections to the south (Demeter park) and west (Burns P a r c e l ) of the town green could also be made.  post office  Site Goals, Objectives and Design Criteria  town hall  library  II  T h e final piece to this r e s e a r c h project is to propose design solutions that are both appropriate to the regional and site biological, p h y s i c a l and social make up, and also accommodate the p r o p o s e d site program.  The Appendix  II chart outlines a systematic approach to reaching the ultimate goal of sound design decision.  Here, design  criteria (the h o w - t o - d e s i g n ) is reached by understanding the goals, objectives and policies that bound the  site  (Condon, 2005). T h e chart also includes design strategies - the specific design d e c i s i o n s that w e r e made within this project, to meet the design criteria. F i g . 3 2 A closer look at C h a r l o t t e ' s v i l l a g e center s h o w s existing outdoor s p a c e s that c o u l d benefit from increased definition and i n t e r c o n n e c t i o n .  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  32  Program PARKING SPACE REQUIREMENTS  Charlotte's Greater Village Commons - a series of dynamic, connected civic and conservation spaces in the heart of  WHAT  STANDARD RATIO  Requirement in Charlotte  Charlotte  Community identified needs, site opportunities, and precedent  Town Hall  1.5 space/ea.employee  15 spaces  Library  1 space/300sq.foot  15 spaces  Post Office  1 space/2 employees  4 spaces  Market Place  6 spaces/lOOOsq ft  generated program all play a role in informing the program for the site in question. While members of the community differ in opinion on h o w to go about developing or protecting land, most agree that the natural systems and open space currently in place within or adjacent to the village, both private or public, are of utmost importance to the character of the town. This, along with town and state policy that does not permit development on wetland or natural heritage sites (clay plain forest), which make up much of the study  Senior Housing  1 space/Ju nits  Con se rvati o n Area  1 space/2 acres  24 spaces  7 spaces  27 spaces  area, supports a program with a high ecological/conservation bent. T h i s being said, Charlotte does have a need for affordable housing, and according to their 2002 T o w n Plan, a desire to density their village center in order to preserve historic settlement  patterns  (Charlotte T o w n Plan, 2002). T o satisfy community need and respond to the character of the land, a series of public, outdoor  TOTAL SPACES NEEDED =  92 spaces*  (Landscape Architecture Time Saver Standards) Table 1. Parking has been divided up into small areas throughout the site. 136 parking spaces have been proposed throughout the study site, including on Ferry Street, in front of the village green.  spaces are proposed linking village spaces to the landscape that immediately surrounds it - a greater  village common.  These  public places require a network of trails that connect to existing trails, r i g h t - o f - w a y s , village residences (existing and proposed), and to village services and amenities. See Appendix I for detailed programming information. A s in all programmed public areas, special consideration needs to be made for parking demands, as it relates to proposed program.  T a b l e 2 shows the specific parking requirements for  each site program, according to T i m e Saver Standards. Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thes'  University of British Columbia 2005  33  Chapter 4 Planning and Designing the Site  R e v i e w of Guiding P r i n c i p l e s  T h e B i g Idea - C h a r l o t t e ' s G r e a t e r C o m m o n  1. Maximize community r e s o u r c e s intellectual,  Conceptual Design F r o m the research and analysis collected, it is evident that the village of Charlotte has the best of both worlds: land that can't be developed, but offers a beautiful community resource close to town, and land that can be developed that will enhance and support a vibrant, active village center. Together, these two findings support the concept of Charlottes' Greater Commons, where private land consumption is minimized and public outdoor space is maximized for social and ecological function.  T h e Greater Commons house  all connected, public, outdoor places from the village center and beyond.  T h e s e include  Post Office Plaza, Village M a r k e t Place  (proposed), Village Green, T o w n Hall M e a d o w (proposed), Open M e a d o w s , Wetlands and Burns P a r c e l Woods (Burns Forest), and also trails to Demeter Park, Pease B a r b e r Hill Lookout (proposed).  Mountain, Mount Philo and  experiential, cultural and natural  2. A l l o w ecological systems to run their natural course 3. Create flexible, multifunctional spaces 4. M a k e i n t e r - c o n n e c t i o n s at all scale 5. T r e a t outdoor spaces like rooms within the village 6.  Support visible activity at, from and to the  village center  Supporting community buildings  that complete the Greater Commons as civic space include the post office, town hall, library, Charlotte Child Care Center, Senior Center, F i r e Station, T h e Old B r i c k Store, F l y i n g P i g bookstore, Charlotte Cafe (proposed), Charlotte Senior Home (proposed), and the M a r k e t Buildings (proposed). Before delving into detailed design, a conceptual diagram of Charlottes' Greater Commons was done at various scales. F i g . 33  shows how the concept w o r k s within a larger context of public  outdoor space within the entire town of Charlotte, Figure 34 and 35 Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  34  zooms in further to the study site itself. Finally, figure 36 shows how the concept of the G r e a t e r C o m m o n s transfers to the smaller scale of village center, where the village center houses i n c r e a s e d social and e c o l o g i c a l function within itself, as well as being a vital part of a larger social and ecological s y s t e m - the G r e a t e r C o m m o n s . A t this conceptual stage of design, the written and diagrammatic explanations hope to capture site goals and objectives from afar, using the s i x guiding principles as an a l l - e n c o m p a s s i n g measuring stick for s u c c e s s . in  T o r e v i e w the guiding principles formulated  C h a p t e r 2, they  are: 1. Maximize community resources -  intellectual, experiential, cultural and natural  2. Allow ecological  systems to run their natural course where ever possible 3. Create flexible, multifunctional spaces 4. Make social and ecological interconnections at all scales 5. Treat outdoor spaces like rooms within the village 6. Support visible activity at, from and to the village center.  While some of these principles relate more to the public p r o c e s s piece of designing a unique place, for example: "maximizing the communities intellectual r e s o u r c e s " , most  Public land in the greater town of Charlotte  can be r e c o g n i z e d at this conceptual stage. T h e following  Potential trails from West Charlotte's village center  describes the concept of the G r e a t e r C o m m o n s in detail, first at the site scale and then at the village center scale. Site Concept T h e study site is seen as a series of outdoor spaces,  Potential Public Easements Charlotte's trail committee  identified by  Fig.33 Based on the community Vision Map, the village center of Charlotte can potentially connect trail users to a regional network of public lands.  with both e c o l o g i c a l and social function - where certain places have higher e c o l o g i c a l character than social character and others w o r k in the r e v e r s e . Thesis  University o f British Columbia 2005  35  T h e r e are three major hubs of human activity (social character), where entering the study site and prolonged gathering would naturally occur, based on specific site adjacencies.  While each hub is civic in  character, there is a uniqueness to each, again, depending on its place and relationship to the site in its entirety. T h e most prominent civic hub ( 1 . ) identified is that at the heart of the village center, connecting the village green to a larger network of public open space, for both social and ecological purposes.  T h i s w i l l be a celebrated entrance space for  both locals and v i s i t o r s alike, and the largest gathering zone within the study site.  Hub 2. is directly off of Route 7, where the Charlotte F l e a  Market is c u r r e n t l y located. B e c a u s e of the p r o x i m i t y to Route 7, a major state t h r o u g h - w a y , this is an e x t r e m e l y public entrance to the woods of Burns P a r c e l .  T h i s area acts as a draw and w e l c o m e to the village  of Charlotte and any trail n e t w o r k s (and any other program) that begin here. Hub 3. is the only entrance d i r e c t l y off of Greenbush Road. It is a smaller, more subtle e n t r y w a y to B u r n s P a r c e l to the east and B a r b e r H i l l to the west, and is intended for local use and those biking through on the Champlain V a l l e y B i k e Route. T h e design of these three areas  Greater Commons  will be d i s c u s s e d in greater detail throughout this chapter.  Civic Activity Hubs  L a n d allocated for either conservation or development, is done so in correspondence adjacencies.  with e x i s t i n g site character  and again,  site  Green Cooridors/ Highway Buffer  study area  O  focus o f village center study area  Future Development  Future building sites w e r e based on the fact that they  would not c o m p r o m i s e sensitive natural systems and would  support  Charlottes' desire to density the village center. Similarly, land allocated  Fig.34 The concept of the Greater Commons at the site scale  for conservation and recreation land was done so in correspondence to ecological systems already in place.  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  36  F i g 35. D e s i g n concept as it relates to a larger context o f o p e n space, civic hub connectivity, and b o t h wildlife and h u m a n m o v e m e n t t h r o u g h site.  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  37  Linear  connections  respond  to  existing  desire  lines  (of  humans,wildlife and abiotic movement) found in the landscape, and also in response to the need to balance the protection of ecosystems with human enjoyment of these systems. A new road is proposed to intensify activity in the village center, and to enable future development at this heart.  In this proposal the new road also acts as a visible boundary  between development and conservation land. Village Center Concept T h e village center w o r k s as an integral piece within the conceptual design of the entire study site as the most significant human activity hub. H o w e v e r , when studied at a greater depth, this area also reveals its function as a base location for connecting people and nature to a larger s y s t e m of trails and green infrastructure, respectively. A s the  existing village green sits adjacent  to the  proposed  conservation area, and already is intended to bring an outdoor civic character to the village environment, it is important to make a significant connection - visually, socially and ecologically, to these two elements of  I market place  the study site. Doing this satisfies the main project objective to maximize Charlotte's accessible, public space and resources within and from the Fig.36 The Greater Commons concept maximizes civic and outdoor spaces at the heart of a village and beyond.  village center. It also intends to expand the significance and function of this h i s t o r i c a l outdoor space. While it is necessary to acknowledge daily activities already in place within this town hall/village green area, the concept  proposes  w a y s in which to bolster successful function, activity and aesthetics in this area now and into the future.  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource i n a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  L  rersitv of British Columbia 2005  38  Bringing Concepts to Life - Design Decisions and Ideas Revisiting Project Goals, and Objectives Building from the conceptual design, the following section explains the design decisions in detail. T h i s section expands on the design strategies listed in the A p p e n d i x II table. A s shown in this table, all of the design decisions (strategies) are direct outcomes of the goals and objectives for the study site, supporting town or state policy, and the design criteria (guided by precedent studies and literature review).  Working  with a large study site, such as this, it quickly becomes evident that each design move is interwoven into the next one, together fulfilling the o v e r a r c h i n g site goals to: protect the Clay Plain forest ecosystem, protect Thorpe Brook and associated wetlands, clarify land allocatedfor future development, design economical solutions and enhance the sense of local identity and heritage. H o w e v e r , each design move is aimed at specific goals and objectives. In order to bring clarity to this, corresponding goals and objectives will be listed after each design decision described below. Site Scale Future Development - A c r e a g e , Frontage and Housing T y p e s Currently, Charlotte's zoning for residential property is at a 5 acre minimum (Charlotte T o w n Plan, 2002).  H o w e v e r , to be able to  ensure Charlotte's ability to conserve greater amounts of open space (i.e. ecological and cultural resources), and to density the village center, rather than expand it in all directions, this project proposes a r e - z o n i n g for residential property, in the village center, to no greater than two acre lots, with a minimum of 100 feet frontage width (Condon, 2005). Creating narrower, longer lots provides the opportunity to put the far end sections of all adjoining properties in a conservation or r i g h t - o f Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  39  way  easement, even though privately owned (Arendt, 1999). T h i s  would support  secured e c o l o g i c a l and pedestrian connections  even  within residential areas. Overall, the residential development proposed minimizes land consumption and supports greater activity of residents at the village center, encouraging residents to walk to the library or the general store instead of drive. It also offers a wonderful opportunity to access recreation trails right in your back yard. A l l of this provides individual residents with a sense that they are connected to a greater social and p h y s i c a l whole (the commons). T h e level of participation or connection within this whole, will obviously v a r y with each individual (Donahue, 2001). Of course, densifying development will also bring a greater return to the developer, making a smaller buildable area monetarily worthwhile (Arendt, 1999). In order to make strides ahead of sprawl, not only must future zoning be r e - a n a l y z e d within Vermont villages, but how and what we build must also support a more sustainable growth. T h i s is to say that housing design must respond to the local e n v i r o n m e n t - p h y s i c a l and  village  biological, and to the real needs and desires of the people at hand.  conservation land  It  | commercial rural  must c o r r e s p o n d to the fact that family size, make up and occupations have changed over time (Albers, 2000). In Charlottes case, the public planning p r o c e s s revealed a need for single occupancy homes, l i v e - w o r k spaces and affordable housing for families and seniors. A discrepancy in Charlotte's median income, by age, also supports this. A l l of these  Fig.3 In order to apply new ideas to future village development, a re-zoning process most often needs to occur. The concepts proposed in this project would increase both village center and conservation zoning.  residents do not need large, four bedroom homes, but instead smaller, flexible living units close to village services and amenities, and outdoor places to recreate. It is argued that conservation land in the heart of a village will, for better or w o r s e (depending if y o u own or trying to buy), raise Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  U  v of British Columbia 2005  40  Fig. 3 8  Proposed Master Plan of West Charlotte Village Center  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  41  property  values  (Arendt, 1999). P r o p e r t y values  in Charlotte  already above the V e r m o n t and e v e n National average.  are  In this project,  more, smaller, affordable homes and/or living units within duplexes or housing cooperative are p r o p o s e d to ensure satisfactory monetary gain for the developer, but also to support a greater d i v e r s i t y of r e s i d e n t s young, old, single and married.  S u c h a move supports the  greater  commons concept and would, no doubt, attract buyers and visitors with a w e l c o m i n g demeanor. It is important to note that affordable housing does not mean forgoing an appropriate vernacular design. N e w homes, be they large or small, duplex, cottage or cooperative, can be designed to marry traditional and contemporary styles, fit in with the existing buildings, or bring a w e l c o m e freshness or creativity to a place. Eventually such development can support a sustained economical and social security into the future of a village, town or city (Vermont H o u s i n g and C o n s e r v a t i o n B o a r d ,  2004) ( U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 2002)  (Alexandar, 1977). C o a l s a n d Objectives achieved: Preserve Clay Plain Forest ecosystem  Support efforts to protect interlinking natural systems at a regional level Clarify Land Allocated for Future Development  provide physical framework for future development Conserve maximum amount of open space as is appropriate to current/future growth trends enhance the village center as recognized social/cultural hub Enhance the sense of local identity and heritage  To provide spaces that encourage social exchange and participation Design Economical Solutions  To provide solutions that are assessable to a broad range of Vermont communities and individuals Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  Fig.39 Well planned residential development can enliven a village center and preserve large amounts of open space. University of British Columbia 2005  42  To provide solutions that are sustainable  Outdoor Places When public outdoor places are considered as rooms within the village, as one of the guiding principles suggests, it is less likely that details such as how you enter or leave, what you do in that space, and its relationship to adjacent spaces, are forgotten (Alexander, 1977). T h e proposed design in this project looks at a series of outdoor spaces that, starting at the village green, transition from formal to cultivated (community gardens) to wild (streams, woods and wetlands). T h e w i l d e r the spaces, the more they transform into places dedicated more to e c o s y s t e m s and wildlife and less to people.  Due to the  nature of ecological function and wildlife needs, the edges of these spaces or 'rooms' become increasingly less abrupt the further away from intense human activity. E a c h space has been considered in its ability to make the user feel like they are somewhere special, and could, for one identifiable reason or another, only be in Charlotte, V e r m o n t . W a y s this has been accomplished are by creating distinct edges to spaces, using structures and materials to distinguish spaces and uses of space, and/or creating unique gateways into each space. Natural site characteristics will also bring obvious distinction from one place to the next. A s mentioned before, the C l a y Plain Forest (Burns Forest) are protected for their significance as a rare natural space, and house a limited trail network. It is open to the broader public, from an entrance at Route 7, but is most likely be used frequently by local residents. T h e s e woods are home to t w o - h u n d r e d year old oak Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  43  trees that  members  protective of.  of the  community are  already  very  B u r n s F o r e s t is intended to be a sanctuary  that honors the natural history of the area, and gives the local community the opportunity to celebrate  and take pride in  'their' C l a y Plain F o r e s t . T h i s sets a precedent for other local communities to support regional efforts to protect and restore other fragmented C l a y Plain F o r e s t s in the valley. A n outdoor c l a s s r o o m space has been proposed for the public entry w a y into B u r n s F o r e s t from Route 7 (Flink, 2002).  While  the  details of this particular proposal have not been calculated, it is thought that a simple, sheltered structure, or even small c l a s s r o o m building /nature center would be an ideal public gate house into this Charlotte conservation area. T h i s allows users to understand  the significance of this small tract of  woods, the greater natural history of Charlotte in general, and get a sense for the dedication Charlotte residents have for caring for the local landscape. A l l wetlands and meadows protected as conservation land are done so in direct association with B u r n s Forest. A s explained in the connection and linkages section below, each ecotype, from hedgerow to meadow, wetland to woods, w o r k together for optimal function (Smith and Flellmund, 1996). On a social and cultural level, trails meandering through woods, past 200 y e a r old oaks, through meadows and along side a babbling T h o r p e B r o o k will offer users an interesting and varied journey - full of changing sights, smells, textures and sounds  all of w h i c h will v a r y from season to season. A g a i n ,  Fig40. A carefully considered trail network can c o n nect a village to its local and regional landscape. See pages 48-50 for detail trail illustrations of trail types.  details for public facilities have not been w o r k e d out within this project.  H o w e v e r , to demonstrate Charlotte's dedication  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  44  to  stewarding  would  seem  their  surroundings,  an appropriate  fit where  composting  toilets  such facilities  are  needed. Composting toilets can be clean, economically and environmentally efficient, and introduce visitors to a vast array of alternative technologies that fit with the town's ultimate goals and objectives of conservation and clean water. G o a l s a n d Objectives achieved: Preserve Clay Plain Forest ecosystem  Continue to provide an important resource for wildlife and support for adjacent ecosystem health Provide forest as a cultural heritage to the town of Charlotte now and for future generations Support efforts to protect interlinking natural systems at a regional level Protect Thorpe Brook and associated wetlands  Secure Thorp brook watershed and encompassing watershed health and function Provide critical wetland habitat for associated wildlife Ensure healthy streams and wetlands as a cultural heritage to the town of Charlotte now and for future generations Enhance the sense of local identity and heritage  To build on physical, cultural and ecological character already in place To provide spaces that encourage social exchange and participation Fig.41 A conservation area in the heart of a rural v i l lage creates green conduits for people, wildlife and natural systems alike, as shown in green in the above diagram. Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  45  Getting Around - connections and linkages M a n y of the e c o l o g i c a l and social connections made within the p r o p o s e d design could w e l l be c o n s i d e r e d part of a village greenway, in that the trail n e t w o r k s and e c o s y s t e m s protected act as conduits for the movement of water, plants, animals and people (Smith and Hellmund, 1993).  In Daniel  Smith and Paul Hellmunds book, E c o l o g y of G r e e n w a y s , they suggest that g r e e n w a y s perform s i x basic functions:  habitat,  conduit (people and nature), barrier (inhibit wildlife flow), filter (vegetation as water filter, soil and sediment buffer for streams etc), a source (of water, wildlife populations for areas,  food  and habitat,  adjacent  native and invasive vegetation),  and/or sink (capturing water o n - s i t e , or a mortality sink for wildlife if not designed to support biodiversity). T h e y also suggest that the most important aspects  of balancing the  dual function of g r e e n w a y s - as recreational and ecological systems is maintaining habitat that functions p r o p e r l y for native species.  T h i s demands the protection or restoration  of certain dimensions and arrangement of natural areas, for example: trails running along the edge of a riparian zone should allow for the landscapes natural ability to filter contaminants  (photo by Diane Gayer)  before runoff reaches the r i v e r . T h i s would call for a gradual  Fig. 42 Diversifying trail character allows for appropriate response to a varied landscape, and offers a more intriging journey to the trail user.  vegetated buffer between a trail and a r i v e r (Smith, Hellmund, 1993). T h e most important o v e r a l l ecological structure of any greenway is that its total width be wide enough to support interior species as w e l l as edge species (typically edge species are more l i k e l y to be invasive, hardy species) - this goes for both plants and animals (Smith, et al., 1993) (Forman, 1994). Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  46  While considerations such as these have been made throughout this project, the specific course of trails, apart from the proposed t r a i l heads, demands detailed ground truthing, and was not a component of this project at this time. F o r the sake of this project a trail network was given an approximate placement at a scale of 1:2500, based on major land forms and characteristics known (see Fig.40 p.44). Trail Types While there are several existing trails through the woods of  2-2.5m/6-8ft  Burns P a r c e l , four typical types of trails are proposed for the whole study site. T h e s e trails respond to both the physical  and biological  nature of the specific area on site, the aesthetic and social nature of the specific site (from formal village green to nature trail), and also to specific user groups, i.e.  seniors and small children, dog walkers or  c r o s s country skiers etc.(Flink, 2001) (Rutledge, 1971). A 2004 t r a i l user survey, created by the Charlotte T r a i l s Committee, was also used  wife  as a trail design guide. T h e trail types are as follows: T y p e A - M a i n Woodland T r a i l / P a r k Entrances: T h i s mown trail, partially in existence, runs from the Flea Market  1.5m/5ft  entrance to Greenbush road, and also from the center of this trail north to the  village lookout tower (proposed).  Measuring approximately  2m/6-7ft wide, and perhaps a little wider at entrance points, this trail forms the main route of the Greater Commons trail network . Its width allows for ease of passing of two trail users, coming from opposite d i r e c t i o n s - e i t h e r on foot, bike, horse or skis. Clearing height for such user groups should be maintained at 2.7m/8 1/2 feet high (Fink, 2001).  Fig.43a shows the widest trail width, appropriate only for a the major entrances and trail routes through Burn Forest and meadows if it is to be maintained as a wildlife refuge. 43b shows a narrower trail for loops away from the main trail.  Where mowing is not appropriate, due to leaf litter or wet soil, the  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  47  trail can be left as is, or simple plank bridges can be placed, so as to maintain health of wet vegetation and decrease the likelihood that the trail will be widened by diverted traffic (Smith and Hellmund, 1993).  A s pioneering, non-native species are  more l i k e l y to g r o w in disturbed, cleared areas of any woodland, care should be taken in maintaining trails in a w a y that does not e a s i l y support invasives.  E d g e s of the trail would never  be hacked back, but s e l e c t i v e l y trimmed, to ensure a healthy vertical stratification of species from ground c o v e r to hard w o o d trees (Smith et al., 1993). T y p e B - N a r r o w W o o d l a n d or M e a d o w T r a i l : T h i s is not a m u l t i - u s e trail, but a narrower side trail for foot or single track c r o s s - c o u n t r y s k i e r s who want to take an e x t r a loop before returning to the main trail home, or take a quiet walk by T h o r p B r o o k .  It could also be maintained by  cafe porch L 5m/16ft  4 1.5m/J5ft  4m/12.8ft  Fig.43 A crushed stone path is set in from the road and wraps around the village green.  mowing or bark mulch, where appropriate or just by trimming back vegetation and branches w h e n necessary. proposed  as an education loop near the  T h i s trail is  proposed  outdoor  c l a s s r o o m at the Route 7 entrance, and several other loops throughout  the B u r n s P a r c e l Woods, L e B e o u f  wetland areas.  M e a d o w and  0  T h e s e trails run through and along a variety  of e c o l o g i c a l zones that make up the Greater Commons. T h e y give trail users the chance to e x p e r i e n c e the varied character of the property within a guided, l o w - i m p a c t scenario (Flink,  1.5m/5fr  2000), (Smith et al.. 1993). T y p e C - V i l l a g e Pathway: T h i s trail type is proposed for the walking loop within the village green and also c i r c l i n g the edge of the town hall meadow. T h e path material is crushed stone for smooth, level  Fig.44 A crushed stone walking loop is also proposed to c o n nect from the senior center to a meadow behind the town hall, (photo by author)  iesis  University of British Columbia 2005  48  walking with a 1.5m/5ft  width.  T h i s is a suggested  minimal  width for two people w a l k i n g side by side, or one w h e e l c h a i r or stroller (Flink, 2000). C r u s h e d stone is found easily in V e r m o n t , looks clean, and is permeable. Its permeability allows water to filter into the ground at a much s l o w e r rate than if hitting a hard surface, such as concrete. Type D - Village Boardwalk: T h i s special boardwalk trail flanks the w e s t e r n edge of the village green, sitting in close p r o x i m i t y to the market buildings. T h e boardwalk is flush with the ground plane to the west and lies along the upper edge of the e x i s t i n g vegetated swale to the east.  It is 2m/61/2ft wide, acting as an important  through town and into the adjacent open spaces.  promenade  T h e material  used has a d e c k - l i k e effect that is fitting for the overflow of visitors on market day from the market buildings and village green. A boardwalk running right through town also brings the prominent c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Charlotte's wetland landscape to a visual forefront, e s p e c i a l l y highlighting the cattails and sedges that w i l l line this important axis. In order for the boardwalk to maintain a level plane for a clean formal appearance,  pin  2m/6.2ft  foundations are p r o p o s e d at 12 foot intervals. T h i s way the trail will remain l e v e l , even through winter frost heaving (www. pinfoundations.com). Type E - Meadow Boardwalk:  Fig.45 Board walk trails bring definition to a space, are fun to walk on and when raised from the ground, can protect delicate vegetation from being trampled.  T h i s 1.5m/5ft boardwalk trail continues from the village green boardwalk to the south, on the other side of L i b r a r y Road and into the T o w n H a l l M e a d o w . A t this point the trail is not flush with the meadow plane, but r a i s e d slightly. T h i s is done  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  49  not only to create the effect that the path is floating through swaying meadow grass, but elevates the trail above any m o i s t u r e - protecting the vegetation underneath. T h i s trail runs along the eastern edge of a line of trees that currently exists in this area, and defines the T o w n Hall meadow as a recognizable place. T h i s boardwalk terminates at the proposed lookout tower at the south edge of the meadow. N o matter how brilliant their design, village streets and pathways can in no w a y mirror whole ecosystems or function as the most ideal wildlife habitat.  H o w e v e r , using a green infrastructure approach to  roadway and pathway design, increased e c o s y s t e m performance/function can be supported, rather than degraded (Metro, 2000). Examples of such design decisions include curb less streets, permeable surfaces or minimal paved surfaces, vegetated swales,  varying heights of canopy  coverage, and a connected pedestrian network (Center for Landscape and Livable Environments, 2002)(Erickson, 2002)(Livable Oregon Inc, 1996). B y linking natural systems to a continuation of green fabric within village centers, the village becomes connected to its surrounding landscape both visually and functionally. Examples of such are discussed within the following section and used throughout the proposed design. A l l streets and pathways have also considered aesthetics, scales and circulation appropriate to this rural Vermont village. Goals a n d Objectives achieved: Preserve Clay Plain Forest ecosystem  Support efforts to protect interlinking natural systems at a regional level Provide forest as a cultural heritage to the town of Charlotte now and for future generations Protect Thorpe Brook and associated wetlands  Secure Thorp brook watershed and encompassing watershed  health and  function Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  50  Ensure healthy streams and wetlands as a cultural heritage to the town of Charlotte now and for future generations Enhance the sense of local identity and heritage  To provide spaces that encourage social exchange and participation To build on physical, cultural and ecological character already in place Design Economical Solutions  To provide solutions that are assessable to a broad range of Vermont communities and individuals To provide solutions that are sustainable Street Details On the larger scale of Charlotte as village, Route 7, F e r r y Road, and G r e e n b u s h R o a d play a vital role in bringing life to the center. T w o new roads have also been proposed, one an extension of the library and  Fig.46 Using vegetated swales along roadways and in parking lots allows for ground water to be replenished incrementally and connects the built environment to the softer surrounding landscape, (photo by author)  town hall d r i v e w a y , to connect with Greenbush road (Library Road), and a short road (Market Street) to bring life to the w e s t e r n edge of the village green, as w e l l as to access the proposed market buildings, cafe and senior home.  T h i s street c a n be easily c l o s e d off to traffic  on market days (besides vendors) or for special events.  In doing this,  the street both extends and connects the village center common as a c a r - f r e e block from post office to library...with lots of fun i n - b e t w e e n , such as a grand farmers market or even an indoor dance. F e r r y Road, currently approximately 12m/40 feet wide, has been cut down in travel width to 9m/30 feet, to allow for parallel street parking in the village green area. While it could maintain a greater width at either junction, narrowing the road in the center of the village a l l o w s for p a r k e d cars to s l o w traffic down and announce to travelers that pedestrians might be around and about (Metro, 2002). Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University ot British Columbia 2005  51  T h i s additional parking also accommodates people traveling to Charlotte for F a r m e r s M a r k e t and other functions held at the new market buildings. T h e 3m/7ft width allocated to parking is gravel with a cedar tie placed as a flush edger to the village green swale running parallel to the parking spaces. P r o p o s e d M a r k e t Street  is a narrow, 6m/20ft wide  street with no curbs (Metro, 2002) (Livable Oregon Inc, 1996). It is intended to be an a l l e y - l i k e local connection between proposed residential on L i b r a r y Road and F e r r y Road, as w e l l as a through road for pedestrians and bikers within the village. It also allows a quick, easy alternative access to the proposed senior housing for emergency v e h i c l e s . P a r k i n g on this street would happen front e n d - i n , on grass pavers that lie flush with the road in front of and opposite to the market buildings. On market days M a r k e t Street could accommodate vendor parking only and be c l o s e d off to village traffic, with little or no disturbance to village traffic circulation. P r o p o s e d L i b r a r y Road runs from the library e n t r a n c e w a y to G r e e n b u s h Road, taking its queue from an old farm track still seen today. Placing a road here allows for increased development to take place at the heart of the village without compromising  critical  e c o l o g i c a l features  in the  area.  It  too, is a narrow, residential street, 8m/25ft wide ,and could incorporate traffic calming bumps to further ensure s l o w traffic speeds for the safety of pedestrian usage (Livable Oregon Inc, 1996) (Metro, 2002).  Fig.47 On-street parking is proposed on Ferry Road from the post office to the eastern edge of the village green. This hopes to encourage social activity at the center and to slow moving traffic through a pedestrian friendly environment, (photo by author)  F r o n t - e n d - i n parking also occurs  on this street outside of the town hall and conservation area entrance and also near the library. T h i s kind of parking is yet another method to s l o w traffic down and signal to drivers Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  Thesis  University- of British Columbia 2005  52  that this is a highly active zone for parking, trail users and other pedestrians in the area (Livable Oregon Inc, 1996). G o a l s and Objectives achieved: Preserve Clay Plain forest ecosystem  Support efforts to protect interlinking natural systems at a regional level Protect Thorp Brook and associated wetlands  Secure Thorp brook watershed and encompassing  watershed  health and function Ensure healthy streams and wetlands as a cultural heritage to the town of Charlotte now and for future generations Enhance the sense of local identity and heritage  To  provide  spaces  that  encourage  social  exchange  and  participation Design Economical Solutions  To provide solutions that are assessable to a broad range of Vermont communities and individuals Fig.48 Proposed Library Road is a continuation of the drive and parking for the Library and Townhall, and would wrap around meadows and woods to Greenbush Road, (photo by author)  To provide solutions that are sustainable  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  53  Village Center A s mentioned in the 'village center concept' section of this chapter, the village center is intended to function as a base location for connecting people and nature to a larger s y s t e m of trails and green infrastructure. A s the base location, the design d e c i s i o n s made hope to exude an active civic character - supporting indoor and outdoor festivals, markets, community classes, and casual daily use of outdoor spaces by the public. T h e village g r e e n acts as the formal, front door, outdoor space - a traditional role for a 'green' throughout V e r m o n t ' s history. While the green rolls out before the town hall, it currently has little definition or special features use this space.  drawing residents  to  Planting large deciduous trees around this  space with an interior pathway s y s t e m brings definition and an instantaneous purpose and dimensionality to the space. With a defined outer edge (large trees and shaded path) and civic buildings on three sides, it now has outer and interior spaces. In this there is seemingly more sheltered and protected space for outdoor community events or e v e n a nice summer reading spot for one (Alexandar, 1977). F o r m a l i z e d plantings of smaller fruit trees such as c h e r r i e s and apple trees are proposed to pick up a pattern already begun in front of the library. Similar p o c k e t orchards are proposed in front of the north end of the market buildings and again in front of the post office. Not only do these plantings further bring a formalized shape to this civic center, but reflect an agricultural practice that has been synonymous within the Champlain V a l l e y A r e a for many years. T h e p r o p o s e d ' M a r k e t P l a c e ' is that space that extends Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  MLA  Fig.49 The buildings around the current village green are significant components of a lively civic center. 1. post office 2 . library 3 . town hall, all of which were built in the 1990's. University of British Columbia 2005  54  10  Charlotte Childcare Center ^  F l y i n g Pig Bookstore  On-street parking in front o f village green  Trails to Demeter Park Market Street  Library  Post Office Market/Community Buildings Village Boardwalk Trail  Historic Quinlin School House  Community  Town Hall  Gardens Senior Home  walking loop  lookout tower to Lake Champlain and beyond trails to local and regional conservation land Fig.50 Village Center Master Plan  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  55  from the village board walk to the trees lining the west side of M a r k e t Street.  A s mentioned p r e v i o u s l y , this space has  the dual ability of tightening the village green space, and also expanding it, w h e n n e c e s s a r y , into a dynamic, bustling v i l l a g e - w i d e affair. T h e market buildings are proposed to sit along the w e s t e r n edge of the village green, the eastern edge of the proposed M a r k e t Street.  In this placement these community  buildings have the ability to have an important face and connection with both the green  itself and also the  office, cafe and street to the east.  post  While these buildings  could be e x t r e m e l y permeable on market days - through open garage doors and porches - they also provide both east and w e s t spaces w i t h a w e l l defined edge, making them more understandable, satisfying spaces in and of themselves (Dodson and A s s o c i a t e s , 2003)(Alexander, 1977). T h e final (photos curtesy of www.gettyimages.com)  role the market buildings have, in connection with the greater commons, is that they sit, like gate houses to the village boardwalk trail that extends beyond the village green to wilder outdoor spaces to the north and to the south. A small cafe is proposed to sit kitty corner to the entrance to the post office.  While the Old B r i c k Store offers  a plentitude of goods and acts as an important social hub at the c o r n e r of F e r r y and G r e e n b u s h road, there are currently no small cafe's in Charlotte.  only build on the market theme of Charlotte's civic center this is a place to g r o w local food, buy local food - w h y not eat local breakfast here too?  9ft  A cafe in this location would  T h e location also picks up on the  existing daily activity that already o c c u r s at the local post  6ft  23ft  building  Fig.52 Proposed Market Street can be closed off with little interruption to village circulation Fig.53 Proposed market buildings would open out onto the v i l lage green to the east and Market Street to the west Thesis  University' o f British Columbia 2005  57  office. T h e cafe is p r o p o s e d to slow and celebrate this daily energy within the village and could greatly enhance the current post  office  plaza c u r r e n t l y in place at the post office entrance. T h e proposed senior housing to the south of the post  office,  and west of the town hall acts as a cornerstone to the entire village center precinct, infusing it with a sense that this is a place for people to stay and enjoy. Community gardens proposed within this property and immediately opposite, on the east side of M a r k e t Street, connect this residential space with a more communal space just a c r o s s the street. Community gardens are p r o p o s e d at the southern end of the market place. While g i v e n a c l e a n - c u t , geometric f r a m e - w o r k in which to be i m p r o v i s e d , the community gardens represent  the  productive  landscape of this region, and visually and emotionally connect to the greater agricultural landscape support a civic nature  of the region.  P l a c e s such as these  within the village center and provides increased  opportunity for intergenerational interaction, community stewardship and an intimate connection and pride in ones place , not to mention a shared common resource (Donahue, 2001) (Alexandar, 1977) (Albers, 2002). V i s u a l l y , the community gardens act as a punctuation to the southern end of the market place and a transitional space between formal front to informal b a c k y a r d of village, looking out toward the w i l d e r meadows and w o o d s beyond. T h e y are intentionally placed between new village housing, including senior housing and the other civic s e r v i c e s of the village. F o l l o w i n g the Village B o a r d w a l k T r a i l south, over L i b r a r y Road, a mowed meadow falls away to the east of the trail.  Halfway along  the boardwalk the trail widens into a 5m x 5m (16 ft square) deck with steps to sit on or enter the meadow, further inviting v i s i t o r s for blanket picnics, casual evening performances or a quiet lunch break. A s  mentioned before, a c r u s h e d stone walking trail also loops this meadow to allow a d i v e r s i t y of users to e x p e r i e n c e this quiet clearing close to the village.  Its purpose varies from  the village green, in that it is a much wilder, larger space, where people could find quiet, private spaces within, and yet still be close to the village. A look out tower is p r o p o s e d at the terminus of the Meadow Boardwalk Trail.  Not only does this draw people  from the village center into the surrounding landscape, but brings the v i e w e r into immediate contact with Charlottes' greater, regional surroundings.  T h i s plays on the idea that  our surrounding landscape is a common heritage to anyone with the e y e s to see it, noise to smell it and nerves to feel the breezes that roll down the mountains and a c r o s s the lake. P r o v i d i n g a lookout tower a c k n o w l e d g e s the relative flatness of the site, and celebrates the astounding topographic change just o v e r the  hill, including beautiful v i e w s a c r o s s  Lake  Champlain, the A d i r o n d a c k s to the west and G r e e n Mountains to the north and east. West of the T o w n Hall M e a d o w lies another meadow. T h i s meadow has been left for potential agricultural purposes, more community gardens in the future, or just to simply be a beautiful meadow in the midst of everything. It is often the lack of structure and domestication that allows V e r m o n t ' s landscape to enter the hearts of its residents  and users  (Albers, 2002). D e s i g n decisions such as this one, attempts to a c k n o w l e d g i n g this fact. Seasonal trails could be mowed through this meadow, if it was not too wet, or ski trails could be formed during the snowy months. Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  55a. and b. A denned trail extending from the village center out into the landscape beyond offers residents and visitors alike the opportunity to experience the greater landscape of their home. M L A Tl'hesis  University of British Columbia 2UU5  59  Goals and Objectives achieved: Enhance the sense of local identity and heritage  To provide spaces that encourage social exchange and participation T o build on physical, cultural and ecological character already in place  Design Economical Solutions  To provide solutions that are assessable to a broad range of Vermont communities and individuals To provide solutions that are sustainable Clarify Land Allocated for Future Development  enhance the village center as recognized social/cultural hub  Fig.56 A public meadow adjacent to a rural village center offers a green oasis to stop, have lunch with friends or access a greater trail network, (photos curtesy of David Hohenschau)  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  60  Understanding Where You Are Materials, Site Unity and Being Unique A s this study site is quite large it is important to unify the site in w a y s that bring clear visual connections from one end of the site to the other. One w a y to ensure this is by being consistent with materials c h o s e n and what they are chosen for. F o r example, if black, metal bike r a c k s are used at the M a r k e t Place, they should also be used at all other entrances to the Burns P a r c e l woods.  A family of such  elements should be  chosen that include bench style, trash bins and composters, bike r a c k s and signage. It is also important to remember that Charlotte prides itself on its rural character, elements  should perhaps  and as such,  elevate these features already in  place, rather than distract from them. With that said, in order to ensure that Charlotte's village center and Greater C o m m o n s is, without doubt, a unique place, a l a y e r of design must come into play that is entirely made up of 'the people' of Charlotte. A s there is an active community of artisans in this area, putting forth a proposal for the design of beautiful, hand crafted trail markers and signage is not out of the question.  G i v e n certain c r i t e r i a , artists and designers  could propose w o r k that would lend a unique l a y e r within the landscape.  Fig.57 A subtle, well crafted entrance-way can make a place intriging and identifible, and incorporate the talents of the local population with the history of the site, (photo by author)  Other w a y s for the people to be integrated into the Greater C o m m o n s , other than using the space, is for the building and maintenance of spaces to be celebrated community events, where residents are g i v e n the opportunity to contribute. In this way, an immediate c o l l e c t i v e ownership and pride is bestowed Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  61  upon the site (Donahue, 2001) . In Charlotte, volunteering to invest in your community is not a new idea, and people are willing and ready to become i n v o l v e d . A s long as structures and materials are kept simple this is an entirely possible scenario. Goals and Objectives achieved: Enhance the sense of local identity and heritage  To provide spaces that encourage social exchange and participation To build on physical, cultural and ecological character already in place Design Economical Solutions  To provide solutions that are assessable to a broad range of Vermont communities and individuals  Fig.58 Materials already chosen by the village for one public place may guide material choice for a new project.  To provide solutions that are sustainable  Fig. 59 Local landscape character, such as texture and topography can be celebrated and highlighted in any local conservation area, making it unique, (www.gettyimages.com) C o m m o n Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a V e r m o n t Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University ot British Columbia 2005  62  Project Conclusions T h e challenge of this project is in its multi-faceted nature. While the concept is quite simple - to maximize public outdoor places and civic space within the community, the application of this concept, over multiple types of spaces, takes a lot of exploration and understanding.  Such an  understanding must span from current zoning policies, to ownership history, to e c o l o g y of the landscape and community needs.  In order to  cope with such an expanse of concerns it was necessary to chose one area for detailed design. T h e village green is a great place to start for many Vermont villages when exploring ways to bolster residents' connection to public outdoor space that supports a vibrant community environment.  Creative  greenway connections, in the form of pedestrian pathways, bikeways and r e - d e s i g n e d streets, to and from this space, (such as explored in this project), can still respect the historical nature of the village green, while expanding its function as a 21st century epicenter for social and ecological connection. If a village has no village green, then simple connections can be made through roadways, lanes and public r i g h t - o f - w a y s , making all these places more pedestrian, bike and wildlife friendly. T h i s project also looks at Vermont public open space from another angle: any outdoor public space, even if not adjoining a village center, must be seen in an openspace/natural resource planning context, connecting small parts of a greater green network across an entire bioregion - for greater social/cultural and ecological benefits (Smith et al, 1997) (Erickson, 2004). A l l protected open space forms a link in a chain that provides substantial wildlife habitat, watershed protection, recreation outlets and a visual r e s o u r c e (University of Oregon, 2001) (Erickson, 2004).  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  63  Whether looking at space within a village or not, the fact remains that our l a n d - u s e decisions need to be carefully guided to maximize our natural and cultural resources in both the public and private sector, in order to benefit a greater number of individuals now and many years to come.  T h i s kind of thinking is most critical when allocating land for  development and when deciding the details of how development and building is done, i.e. how lots are divided, what types of families will be supported, and what materials will be used. A l l of these decisions affect land and r e s o u r c e consumption (locally and globally), public access to open space, and our ability to feel part of an invested community. F o r such shifts to occur requires that the public realm and resources  (the  commons), be elevated in importance in the minds of individuals and municipalities as a whole (Donahue, 2001). Due to Charlottes' available resources, the program for this project is able to go beyond the village green into a series of connected outdoor spaces - C h a r l o t t e ' s Greater Commons, that includes civic, conservation and residential spaces that are all physically connected to the village heart, including the traditional village green.  T h e planning and design  incorporated into this project is also able to capitalize on a wealth of already established civic resources, making the entire study area a dynamic and convenient space for public use. If a community decided to apply the ideas formulated within this project they would most likely need to do so incrementally, starting with the basic l a n d - u s e framework of r e - z o n i n g and other policy oriented changes. Once this step is taken, the other necessary moves can fall into place, as long as there are enough community members supporting the plan and funding is available. V e r m o n t ' s small villages and open spaces, be they woods,  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  64  wetlands, meadows or farm field, are gifts not to squander. While over the years V e r m o n t ' s landscape has been victim to degradation and depletion, the landscape that currently exists is part of an historical, cultural and ecological heritage that is rare and beautiful (Albers, 2000) (National P r e s e r v a t i o n Trust, 2004). H o w e v e r , change is inevitable and V e r m o n t e r s , n e w and old alike, must push their comfort and energy l e v e l s in cultivating and/or supporting creative development and zoning policies and techniques in order to preserve land, support local agri-business and be able to offer an affordable existence to young and old alike. E v e r since Native Indian families lived along the land's many w a t e r w a y s , the people of this geographic area have found inventive w a y s in w h i c h to survive and thrive. While our challenges have changed, our need to be inventive has not, if we are collectively able to enjoy the landscape and support the neighbors that make this state what it is. A s Jan A l b e r s states in her book, Hands on the Land: "The decisions  that will determine how much of our landscape heritage is  retained will be made by everyone in the state, according  to what they build, where  they build it, where they shop, how much they drive, and the ways they chose to play in nature. We many not all have dirt under out fingernails, but every one of us has our hands on the land. "  Common Connections - Public Realm as Resource in a Vermont Village  Claire Tebbs  M L A Thesis  University of British Columbia 2005  65  Bibliography A l b e r s , Jan. Hands on the Land: A H i s t o r y of the Vermont Landscape. 332.  Cambridge, M A : M I T P r e s s . 2000. p . 9 - 1 3 0 , 3 1 4 -  A l e x a n d e r , Christopher. A Pattern Language. N e w York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . A m h e r s t , Massachusetts spec_projects.asp  Planning Department website. Available at:  Arendt, Randall. Growing Greener: 1999. p. 3 5 - 5 1  1977. p 188, 348, 548 and 752  http://www.amherstma.gov/departments/Planning/  Putting Conservation into L o c a l Plans and Ordinances. Island P r e s s , Washington D C .  A r n o l d , H e n r y . T r e e s in Urban Design. N e w Y o r k : V a n Nostrand Reinhold. 1993 p . 2 0 - 3 1 Campoli, Julie and Elizabeth Humstone. A b o v e and B e y o n d : Visualizing Change in Small T o w n s and Rural A r e a s . Chicago: Planners P r e s s A m e r i c a n Planning A s s o c i a t i o n . 2004. Center for Rural Studies. U n i v e r s i t y of Vermont, www.crs.uvm.edu Champlain V a l l e y Greenbelt Alliance website. Available at: w w w . c v g a . o r g Charlotte Planning Commission. Charlotte T o w n Plan. 2002.  2002.  Available at  www.vermont.town.org/charlotte/townplan.  Conservation L a w Foundation. 2002. "Community Rules: A N e w England Guide to Smart G r o w t h Strategies". Available at www.clf.org Donahue, B r i a n and Wes Jackson. Reclaiming the Commons: Community F a r m s and F o r e s t s in N e w England. N e w Haven: Yale U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . 2001. p. 1-35, 2 7 9 - 3 1 6 E r i c k s o n , Donna L . "The relationship of historic city form and contemporary greenway implementation: M i l w a u k e e , W i s c o n s i n and Ottawa, Ontario". Landscape and Urban Planning. V o l . 6 8 .  a comparison of  Flink, Charles A . T r a i l s for the 21st Century: Planning and Design and Management for M u l t i - u s e T r a i l s . Washington D C . 2001. p. 1 0 - 4 6  Island P r e s s . 66  Hardin, Garrett and John Baden. Managing the Commons. San F r a n c i s c o : W . H Freeman and Company. Hester, Randy. 2003. "Crafting Westport:  1977.  H o w One Small T o w n Shaped It's Future". B e r k e l e y : U C B e r k l e y P r e s s .  Intervale Project, Burlington Vermont website. Available at: http://www.intervale.org/History.htm Karnatz, A l l e n . "Route 7 C o r r i d o r in Charlotte is Conserved". org/072804newsrel.html.  Vermont Land T r u s t .  2004. A v a i l a b l e at: <http://www.vlt.  L a G r o , James Jr. Site A n a l y s i s : Linking Program and Concept in Land Planning and Design. T o r o n t o : John W i l e y and Sons Inc. 2001. p. 6 - 2 2 M E T R O . G r e e n Streets: Innovative Solutions for Storm water and Stream C r o s s i n g s . Portland: People Places, Open Spaces. 2002. p . 6 - 1 1 and 3 0 - 3 1 Rutledge, A l b e r t J. Anatomy of a Park. N e w York: M c G r a w - H i l l B o o k Company.. 1971. p . 2 0 - 2 6 Smith, Daniel and Paul C. Hellmund. E c o l o g y of Greenwavs. Minneapolis: U n i v e r s i t y of Minnesota P r e s s . 42-47,111-115  1993. p. 3 0 - 3 2 ,  Smith, Robert. E c o l o g y and F i e l d Biology. N e w York: HarperCollins Publishers. 1990. p. 158 T h e Landscape Change Program. Available online at:  http://www.uvm.edu/perkins/landscape/mission/mission_main.htm  U n i v e r s i t y of Oregon, Department of Landscape Architecture. "Designing an Open Space N e t w o r k : Habitat P r e s e r v a t i o n " . Eugene, Oregon: U n i v e r s i t y of Oregon. 2002. U V M Spatial A n a l y s i s Laboratory. 2002. Charlotte Wetlands Database Development: Charlotte, Vermont. Available at: w w w . u v m . e d u / - envnr/sal/leslie/charlotte.html  A F r a m e w o r k for  A report prepared for the T o w n of  V e r m o n t D e s i g n Institute. 2003. "Shoreham Commons Planning Project: A report prepared for the T o w n of Shoreham, Vermont". A v a i l a b l e at http://www.uvm.edu/%7Evdi/Shoreham_Commons_webupdate.htm V e r m o n t H o u s i n g and Conservation Board. Available online at: w w w . v h c b . o r g V e r m o n t Indicators Online. Available online at:  http://maps.vcgi.org/indicators/  67  V e r m o n t Land T r u s t website. Available online at: White, E d w a r d T . 1983. p. 1 5 - 3 0  http://www.vlt.org  Site A n a l y s i s : Diagramming Information for Architectural Design.  Winterbottom, Daniel. "Residual Space Reevaluated: the Readapting of Lost Space."  Tucson:  Architectural Media Ltd.  Opportunities for Improved P h y s i c a l and Social Environment T h r o u g h  Places. Vol.92  68  Appendix I  C o m m o n s Through Time  THE COMMONS in the LANDSCAPE PROGRAM  VALUE  PAST  PRESENT  PAST  PRESENT  Shared agricultural fields  public recreation 'enjoying nature'  Social Values  Social Values  equitable - all had access supported civic pride and activity provided a place to enjoy the outdoors  equitable - all should have access supports civic pride and activity (Donahue, 1999) provides a place to enjoy the outdoors provides visual enjoyment and aesthetic Economic Values  shared natural resource suppliestimber, stone, soil) community gatherings(school events, picnics, harvest festivals)  protecting wildlife habitat community gatherings (school events, picnics, local farmers markets) tourist attraction  Economic Values Safety net for local food supply and demand Supplied local resources to all timber, stone, rocks  safety net for local food supply/demand sustains local resources - water, timber, recreation outlet 'rural character' attracts tourists and home buyers keeps residents in town (Arendt, 1999)  Ecological Values  Ecological Values  n/a - concept slow to occur (Albers, 2001)  maintains wildlife habitat preserves storm water infiltration provides continuum of regional green networks (Erickson, 2004.)  69  Appendix II Site Goals, Design Criteria and Design Strategies Site Goal - what do you want to do?  Objectives - why do you want to do this?  Supporting Policy and/or Town Objectives (as found in Town Plan 2002)  DESIGN CRITERIA  DESIGN STRATEGIES What was done.  Preserve Clay Plain forest ecosystem  Continue to provide an important resource for wildlife and support for adjacent ecosystem health  5.5.1 - 5. Development shall be limited in those areas of Town in which there are areas of high natural resource value  Minimize infrastructure within the forest area  Planning Scale -conservation areas include the most sensitive property resources - proposed development allows conservation land to be one large block, connected to a greater open s pace system (Arendt, 1999) -provided space for outdoor education programming for local schools and community members -considered trail networks as wildlife corridors and recreation trails simultaneously (Flink, 2001) Village Scale -use of low-impact boardwalk foundation pins (www.pinfoundation.com, 2005) - minimized amount of built trail within forest, except boards over wet areas to decrease vegetation trampling - provided a choice of trails, to decrease over trampling on any one trail way and to minimize wondering off trails into wildlife areas -high activity areas are designed outside of forest area (Flink, 2001)  Provide forest as a cultural heritage to the town of Charlotte now and for future generations Support efforts to protect interlinking natural systems at a regional level  5.5.2 - 10. Work to implement, in conjunction with the Conservation Commission and the Recreation Committee, the Trails Plan which connects cultural and recreational areas while protecting natural resources in the Town.  Provide low-impact opportunities to enjoy the forest while providing natural buffers to the most sensitive habitat  Protect Thorp Brook and associated wetlands  secure Thorp brook and the greater Lewis Creek watershed health and function provide critical wetland habitat for associated wildlife  5.5.1 - 5. The Town will work with town, county, state and federal agencies and citizen organizations to monitor and restore water quality in the town 2. Buffer zones will be required around key natural resource areas to limit potentially damaging encroachment [Section 5.12 of Zoning By-Laws].  reveal functions of wetlands ecosystem to park users while respecting space needed for healthy ecosystem function provide places to observe wildlife associated with wetlands incorporate ecological function into design use low-tech, permeable trail materials  Planning Scale (see above - forest protection often = wetland protection) - proposed development away from wetlands, according to Act 250 -limited land clearing on entire site -denser development proposed (Metro, 2002) (Arendt, 1999) -Provided trails that gave access to wildlife watching and Brook exploration at limited access points - native, existing vegetation maintained and augmented at different areas across the site (Flink, 2002)  71  Village Scale - use of boardwalks over wet meadows - use of porous materials (gravel or gravel pavers for parking, grass, crushed stone, boardwalks) to allow water seepage and filtration (Flink, 2002) -(3-4m/12ft, 2-6% slope) vegetated swales incorporated into road ways and pathways (Metro, 2002) - use of low-impact boardwalk foundation pins (www.pinfoundation.com, 2005) -streets designed without curbs to increase storm water flow into bio-swales -trees planted for shade and precipitation interception (Metro, 2002) Design Economical Solutions  To provide ideas that are assessable to a broad range of Vermont communities and individuals To provide solutions that are sustainable  Obj. 3.2 Where possible reduce fiscal burdens on the Town and associated burdens on residents and encourage fiscal responsibility.  use materials that are easily accessible, easily transported and support a local/regional economy use durable, local materials build lo-tech structures and details suitable for community members to construct if desired design to welcome people into  Planning Scale -design and programming support activity/exchange within village center -conservation land within the village center attracts home buyers (Arendt, 1999 p. 5) -more, smaller lots on developable land could allow developer to provide needed affordable housing at village center (Arendt, 1999, p.51)  the village  Clarify Land Allocated for Future Development  provide physical framework for future development Conserve maximum amount of open space as is appropriate to current/future growth trends enhance the village center as recognized social/cultural hub  5.2.1 - 3.Strict limitations on residential development outside the village areas will be placed on land containing prime or state wide agricultural soils or with significant environmental or natural resource value 5.2.3 - 2.Sites for elderly and affordable family housing shall be consistent with the Town land use plan. Such sites should be primarily in village areas where moderate density housing is envisioned that is convenient to municipal, commercial, and transportation services. Affordable and elderly housing may also be enabled in rural settings in PRDs or PUDs; such designs will be required for major subdivisions. 7. Higher densities in village areas, village design guidelines, and expanded and effective techniques and regulations to preserve farms and open space will be established as a "package." These three pieces of the package must  intensify development at the village center connect new infrastructure and trail networks to each other and to existing village center incorporate gateway markers at points of entry into village center  Village Scale  -Elements- benches, trail markers, bike racks designed with locally assessable material or recycled material -Elements, including boardwalk easily constructed, potentially incorporating community members -Boardwalk foundation pins can be walked on to site and hammered into ground (www.pinfoundations.com)  Planning Scale  -Used new farm road as visual delineation between areas proposed for development and village conservation land (Gayer, 2004) -conservation areas include the most sensitive property resources - proposed development allows conservation land to be one large block, connected to a greater open s pace system (Arendt, 1999, p. 120) existing community services (Arendt, 1999 p.44)  Village Scale -Conservation edge clearly marked by celebratory entrances and public amenities  function jointly to support the overall pattern and scale of development desired by residents and be reflective of the natural environmental conditions. Enhance the sense of local identity and heritage  To build on physical, cultural and ecological character already in place To provide spaces that encourage social exchange and participation  5.2.1 -4. Subdivisions, which through cluster housing designs economize on roads, utilities, and services, and protect scenic beauty, agricultural lands, and natural resource areas, will be strongly encouraged during the development review process, and in most instances, required in a form and character suitable to the rural character of the Town Obj: 2.9 - Encourage citizen participation in the development, adoption, and implementation of the plan and its implementing bylaws and programs. Obj: 3.3 Enable and support continued strong and vital voluntary participation in local government  maintain view-sheds maximize existing natural features incorporate local historical, cultural character and local knowledge within design concept, materials and elements  Planning Scale  -Designated highest elevations for viewing distinct landscapes - such as Lake Champlain and Pease Mountain, surrounding meadows, village center and local farms -Kept critical wildlife habitat in tact -provided local network of trails and pathways that connect to regional networks -design to the historic settlement pattern of dense village center (Flink, 2002 p) (Arendt 1999 p. 108)  Village Scale  -Maintained and enhanced view-sheds to LeBeof and Burns Parcel meadows from village green and market buildings (Dodson and Associates, 2003) -enhanced historical aesthetic and function of the village green (Gayer 2003) - incorporated buildings into the civic center that support community activity (cafe and flexible market/classroom buildings) -proposed buildings maintain a consistent scale and vernacular of existing buildings  -provided a series of places for people to be out and about within their village (sidewalks, parks, trails, meadows, woods, market, cafe porches, post office plaza) (Dodson and Associates, 2003)  75  Appendix III Site Program Details  TOWN HALL/VILLAGE CENTER  ELEMENTS  WHAT  WHERE  Market Place  Community Gardens  QUANTITY  Market Building  2  Outdoor Vending Space  20-25spaces  Benches  6  Bathroom Facilities  4 stalls  Bike Racks  3 (5 bike ea.)  Trash/Compost Receptacles  4  Compost Receptacle  2  Delineated Plots  1, potentially 2 80'x65' spaces(25 12'x16'plots in each area)  Low Fence Lunch area for town employees  Picnic Tables  3  Mini-Orchards  Trash/Compost Receptacles Hardy Fruit Trees  1 2 areas - 6-9 trees each area  Post Office Plaza  benches  2-3  QUALITY  Buildings will line market street and west side of village green, post and beam style- barn like in feel, but with winterized flexible indoor/outdoor spaces for farmers market, craft fairs, art exhibits, community classes, workshops etc.  Community Gardens act as an active edge and punctuation to the south end of market street, and also a transition from formalized village green to wilder village commons/conservation area, while investing in the agricultural legacy of the area in an alternative manor for nearby residents. This area may be of particular interest to adjacent senior residents/senior center members and future school. A nearby, pleasant area to relax, have lunch and perhaps meet with a colleague through out the work day. These formal gardens pick up a pattern that begins with the existing fruit trees currently planted in front of the library, and of course the orchards famous to the entire region. They also provide mini edible alles appropriate surrounding the farmers market area. This is a small place to sit and wait for a friend or bump into someone while picking up your mail, or if you are visiting, to sit and look at a map after you have had lunch at the cafe. It extends the entrance to the post and acknowledges that this is a very active hub for the village 76  TOWN HALL MEADOW (s)  Central Trail  Boardwalk, (existing) mini bridges over swale  Entry way  Sign  1 for 2 or 3  Seating Boardwalk Trail Sitting/Performance Space  ROUTE 7 ENTRANCE/FLEA MARKET  Deck  length of meadow 5x5 wood decking See info, on signage listed above.  Senior trail  Trail markers  Flea Market Space - Existing Potential Office Building rental space- with environmental theme/demo building/appropriate small business rent  Vendor spaces  Existing  Office Building (future)  To scale with other town buildings  Public Gateway  Signage  Throughout site  Parking  20 spaces  Bike Racks  2 (5 per rack)  Covered Structure  20'x20' approx For 15 or less  Public facilities (composting toilet)  1  Outdoor classroom  This trail brings definition to the east side of the market place, where it meets the existing 3 meter wide swale running through the village green. It plays a significant role in bringing a clear connection between the village center and its connection to a greater network of trails. The entry way to the meadows is intended to be subtle, yet celebratory with a welcoming kiosk designed by a local artist and in keeping with the materials and signage style used throughout the conservation site.  Signage in-keeping with that of entire site, however, this entry way is considered the most public entry from Route 7 to Charlotte Commons, and there for signage should be larger and prominently placed  This can be a simple structure built on the edge of the forest for use by local school, volunteer, environmental research groups or rainy day picnics etc.  2  Trash Bin/composter  77  GREENBUSH ROAD ENTRANCE/CONNECTION w/ BARBERHILL  CLAY PLAIN FOREST  PicnicA/iewing Space to Lake Champlain  Sitting circle Multi-use trail (bikes, horses, ped.) and smaller foot trails  Bench  1  Composting toilet  1  Signage  2  Bike rack  1  Parking spaces Seats/benches  5 Enough for 12  Trail markers  This entrance is the smallest of the three entrances to the Charlotte Commons and is programmed for infrequent use by cyclists and residents strolling to see the sunset.  For the most part, the forest is purposely left alone to be the wonderful woods that it is. S sitting circle will provide the community with a destination place within the forest, giving the sense that the forest is a great place to go to and enjoy.  78  Appendix IV Street Sections  Section B, Bb - Ferry Road, looking west  Section D. Dd- Village Green Boardwalk and Market Building, looking south Not to scale - scales vary  79  Appendix V Criteria of Act 250 Development... 1. w i l l not result in undue water or air pollution 2. has sufficient water available for the needs o f the subdivision or development 3. w i l l not unreasonably burden any existing water supply 4. w i l l not cause unreasonable soil erosion or affect the capacity of the land to hold water 5. w i l l not cause unreasonably dangerous or congested conditions with respect to highways or other means o f transportation 6. w i l l not create an unreasonable burden on the educational facilities of the municipality 7. w i l l not create an unreasonable burden on the municipality in providing governmental services 8. w i l l not have an undue adverse effect on aesthetics, scenic beauty, historic sites or natural area, and 8(A) w i l l not imperial necessary wildlife habitat or endangered species in the immediate area 9. Conforms with the Capability and Development Plan which included the following considerations: A ) The impact the project w i l l have on the growth o f the town or region; B) Primary agricultural soils; C) Forest and secondary agricultural soils; D) Earth resources; E) Extraction o f earth resources F) Energy Conservation G ) Private utility services; H) Costs of scattered developments; J) Public Utility Services; K ) Development affecting public investments; and L ) Rural growth areas.  

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