DOWNTOWN NOW! Progress Update
|Date:||February 13, 2017|
Though the posters are long gone from the Ballroom window and DPZ's team members have returned to their home offices, the work to revitalize our city center is continuing at a steady pace. My staff and I have been diligently pressing forward to implement the vision our residents have for a vibrant mixed-use development that capitalizes on Derby’s unique assets.
Here are a few examples of the progress we are making.
1.) Derby’s Planning and Zoning Commission recently endorsed the ‘U' Street Master Plan. Why is this significant? Doing so will lend force to our efforts seeking investment in the infrastructure required for development including a street grid and utilities. In addition, this will enable the City to segment the parcels of land it owns consistent with the desired development scenario. This is a prerequisite to issuing Requests for Proposals to solicit bids from interested developers. This method will allow for incremental development on varying scales consistent with the Master Plan.
2.) We are in active discussions with Connecticut’s Department of Transportation and local officials about Route 34. Our goal is to negotiate a design for our Main Street (Route 34) that is consistent with what the community has asked for: a pedestrian-friendly, commercially vibrant Main Street that is reflective of its historic roots and establishes a strong connection between the north side, the south side and the river. The challenge lies in balancing the need to move motor vehicles with the desire for a safe, comfortable environment for pedestrians and cyclists and an infrastructure arrangement that supports sustainable economic development.
3.) Derby’s zoning regulations for the redevelopment area are in midst of being refined to ensure they support and encourage development consistent with the Master Plan and Derby’s Plan of Conservation and Development. They will include design guidelines to further ensure a cohesive development pattern.
4.) We are continuing to lay the foundation for private investment. The scope of our high profile planning initiative Downtown Now! has caught the attention of private investors. We are diligently working to set the table for them. In addition to those mentioned above, our efforts include improving the administrative functioning of Derby's building department, modifying City Hall hours to be more business-friendly, advocating for improvements to the Waterbury rail line, and bolstering our relationship with Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development. We are keenly aware that Derby is competing for investment dollars with communities from New York to Boston and beyond. We need to position our unique assets in a way that sets us apart from other opportunities.
I appreciate your continued support as we work together to make Derby the best it can be.
Anita Dugatto, Mayor
City of Derby