(Click to enlarge image.) The Burlington Town Center Public Process was initiated by Council Resolution in 2014. Over nearly 2 years, there have been dozens of public meetings dedicated to a discussion of design, public and private commitments, zoning, and TIF.
The portion of downtown where the Burlington Town Center sits was transformed dramatically in the 1960’s and 1970’s by Urban Renewal. In 2013, planBTV Downtown & Waterfront was unanimously adopted- a plan which articulated a bold community vision for reinvesting in this part of downtown. Shortly after the adoption of planBTV, the Burlington Town Center was sold to a new owner. The City saw this as an historic opportunity to engage the new owner in a process to create a plan for the site that would contribute to a healthier, more walkable and prosperous downtown aligned with the vision from planBTV.
A robust public process to create, review and approve a development agreement between the City and the owner was approved by the City Council in December 2014. This process included two phases. The first was a community design process to identify detailed community goals and objectives for the redevelopment of the site. These goals were blended with the owner’s vision and market conditions to result in current plans for the site. The second phase established a development agreement for a public-private partnership, which outlined the clear responsibilities on the part of the City and the owner to bring the concept to fruition.
The nearly two year public process has been transparent and open to the public, with approximately 55 public meetings to ensure that both decision-makers and the public fully understand the relevant issues, opportunities, solutions and compromises associated with making these plans come to life. The process was led by a team of City Staff, supported by a Technical Team of consultants in areas of professional expertise including urban design, economics, real estate development, traffic and parking, stormwater, legal, financial, etc. Staff also worked closely with the Development Agreement Public Advisory Committee (DAPAC), who oversaw community engagement in this process.
The community had another opportunity to engage with the proposed project in November 2016, when Burlington voters weighed in on two ballot items related to the Burlington Town Center redevelopment. Both items passed with a simple majority. The first item was the adoption of the Downtown Mixed Use Core (DMUC) Overlay zoning amendment (ZA 16-14). You can find more information about the amendment here. The second was approval of the use of up to $21.8M in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to fund public improvements to Bank and Cherry streets and the acquisition, construction, and streetscape improvements on Pine and St. Paul Streets. More info on how TIF will work in relation to the BTC redevelopment here.
In March 2017, the Development Review Board unanimously approved the plans for the redevelopment of the Burlington Town Center. To view these plans, please click here.
For more detailed information about how community was included in this process, and what impact it had on plans for the Burlington Town Center site, you won’t want to miss these documents:
- Summary of Public Process & Key Recommendations
- Revised Plans for Redevelopment presented by Devonwood in January 2016
- Predevelopment Agreement outlining key milestones and responsibilities of public and private partners