What is the Town doing in the Heritage District?
The Town is currently working on updating the Redevelopment for the Heritage District which is now 10 years old. This process includes studies, community outreach, consultants and a lot of discussion as the Town and community come together to build a vision for a safe, vibrant and thriving Heritage District – today and for the long term. Special focus for this update will include looking at improvements to parking and traffic circulation, wayfinding, waste management, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity, land use, arts and special events.
In 2015, Gilbert began community outreach and engagement efforts in preparation for the 2018 Redevelopment Plan Update. Through an extensive public outreach effort, the Town anticipates delivering a comprehensive Redevelopment Plan for the Heritage District in the fall of 2018.
What is a Redevelopment Plan?
A redevelopment plan outlines key issues, challenges, and opportunities, and serves as the guiding document for prioritizing budgets and key activities to support growth and redevelopment. The first Heritage District Redevelopment Plan was adopted in September 1991. Since that time it has been updated twice – in 2001 and 2008. This update reflects the fourth update in 27 years. Included in this update will be a land use master plan to help guide growth and development of Town-owned land as well as identify necessary future public infrastructure improvements.
Why is this work being completed?
The 2008 Redevelopment Plan goals and objectives have not undergone substantial changes in the last 25 years. The Heritage District is now experiencing tremendous growth, which highlights the need to have a plan that meets the current and future needs of the Heritage District. The updated Plan will identify and prioritize short, middle, and long-term goals for the next 10 years. In addition, as the current owner of 57 percent of the non-residential land in the Heritage District, the Plan will help guide the Town in making informed decisions regarding access, improvements, infrastructure, and development for each town owned parcel.
What will be completed at the end of the process?
Outcomes of the Redevelopment Plan update will include:
- A review of Heritage District boundaries with recommendations for maintaining or modifying the area
- A review of past capital improvement projects, and identification of current and future public infrastructure needs
- Recommended funding solutions for projects that encourage redevelopment (such as grants & partnerships)
- A Heritage District management strategy for the maintenance of common areas, parks, parking garages, etc.
- Recommendations on the creation of a Business Improvement District to help fund future projects
- An examination of how Gilbert’s Tourism and Economic Development Strategic Plans support the Heritage District
- Recommendations for unique Heritage District branding, and place-making strategy for the Heritage District
- A Review of redevelopment commission powers and duties with recommendations for best practices
- A visioning document to guide development and management of the District over time, including:
- Locations for commercial, housing, mixed-use development, open space, recreational areas & parks
- Notations of any environmental, historic and cultural resources
- A thorough review of the current Heritage District Design Guidelines to maintain the character and feel of downtown while supporting the growth of the District
- An implementation strategy for all action items, including timing and budgetary impacts
What is the process and timeline for updating the redevelopment plan?
Preparations for the project started in January 2015 with community outreach and engagement efforts. These included community meetings, community stakeholder groups, one-on-one meetings with business and property owners, Town Council study sessions, consultant studies, and a Heritage District survey that received over 4,000 responses. The project started in November 2017. The draft Redevelopment Plan is expected to be completed in June 2018, reviewed by Council at its fall retreat in September 2018, and formally approved shortly thereafter.
How can I get involved?
We want your input! Whether you’re a resident, business owner, or property owner, your feedback is what drives a successful planning process. The project is currently in the conceptual phase, so no decisions or direction has been made to date, making this an ideal time to get involved! As of January 2018, two public workshops have been held to share conceptual ideas for the Heritage District. At these meetings, attendees were engaged in active dialogue and asked to fill out feedback forms. The meetings summaries, along with the feedback forms, are available online. We encourage you to fill out a feedback form so that your ideas can be heard. The Town will also be holding at least two additional public workshops. You can sign up to receive electronic notices by clicking here.
Where can I find more information?
We encourage you to visit www.gilbertaz.gov/HDUpdate for more information regarding announcements, public meetings, FAQs, background, and contact information.