by Andrew Martin
Officials and community members in Hyde Park are continuing efforts to revitalize and improve Hyde Park Village. Various groups and organizations have been working with town officials to make the goal a reality, and the project recently received a major boost in the form of a grant that will help provide technical assistance for the project from the Place for Public Spaces (PPS) Livability Solutions program, which is funded by the United States EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities under the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.
The Hyde Park Village Trustees and Hyde Park Planning Commission were the two bodies that initiated the concept of looking for ways to improve Hyde Park Village. The goal of revitalizing the village was adopted by both the Hyde Park Selectboard and the Hyde Park Village Trustees in the newly rewritten 2012 Town and Village Comprehensive Plan. In an effort to help accomplish that goal, technical assistance was applied for through the PPS Livability Solutions program in the fall and winter of 2012. The town’s application was approved in early January of this year.
“This project with the Place for Public Spaces and the re-write of the local zoning and subdivision regulation are the first steps in implementing the goals of the (2012 Town and Village Comprehensive) Plan,” explained Hyde Park Town Administrator Ron Rodjenski, “The Lamoille County Planning Commission’s (LCPC) Senior Planner Seth Jensen was instrumental in assisting town staff in the preparation of the grant…”
According to the application submitted by Hyde Park for the technical assistance, one of the main goals of the project is to improve the parking situation and standards in the village. Concerns over increased traffic using the village as a shortcut and how economic change can be implemented and how that could affect the village were also mentioned, as was the need to improve and affordable housing. One of the major goals of the technical assistance would be to “provide the community with successful examples used by rural communities in other parts of the country to address similar challenges.” Helping the various involved town boards and groups coordinate their efforts to accomplish the various plans would be another goal of the technical assistance.
Over the next few months the work to revitalize Hyde Park Village will center on a number of different meetings. On Wednesday, March 6, the Hyde Park Planning Commission will be introduced to the PPS Livability Solutions – Technical Assistance Grant project. On Wednesday, March 20, PPS representative Gary Toth will give a presentation on the project to the Planning Commission, and according to Town Administrator Rodjenski at least one public workshop on the village revitalization aimed at garnering ideas and involving the community more will be held on either March 25 or March 26. Further technical assistance and information sharing will take place throughout the rest of 2013 into 2014.
Along with the public workshops any interested community members are invited to attend any of the meetings dealing with the PPS technical assistance and the revitalization of Hyde Park Village.