Design – Future West Memphis

The Grow West Memphis Focus Group met on October 9th to begin mapping out the ideal future for West Memphis. The group divided into 6 subgroups. Two scenarios, one of which is very likely to occur in West Memphis in the future, were presented to the groups for discussion, strategy formulation and high level mapping. The two scenarios covered are in the table below. Three groups discussed planning related to rapid job growth and three groups discussed incremental revitalization.

Scenarios

Topic Areas To Be Addressed

Œ Rapid Job Growth. The City’s economic development goals have been met. There are many potential new residents. How will the City enhance quality of life to capture new employees as residents?
  1. New neighborhoods
  2. Older neighborhoods
  3.  New shopping
  4. Shopping retrofits
  5. ity Appearance, Design, Amenities
  6. Clean up areas
  7. Mobility – Bike/Ped connections
  8. Recreation/environment
  9. Public art
  10. Other
 Incremental Revitalization. Economic development goals have been slower to materialize. The City must increase competitive advantage. What should occur? Where and how should resources be concentrated to improve the attractiveness of the City as a residential or business investment?
Develop at least three critical values statements that guided your response.

The results of the exercise are represented in the map below and the following planning principles:

FG #2 map synthesis2 - bb
Focus Group Meeting #2 Synthesis Map (Click to Enlarge)

 Key Grow West Memphis Planning Principles

  1. Continue to migrate overall planning approach to appropriately mixed land uses
    • Implication – Newly planned areas on the east side, as well as downtown, will demonstrate a strongly mixed-use character.
  2. Advance more compact site and building design
    • Implication – Suburban characteristics of deep setbacks, large barren parking lots in front of buildings would be scaled back. Buildings would front closer to streets, parking minimums right-sized, and well-designed landscaping established.
    • Implication – Commercial sites would be planned in a connected fashion with shared access, cross-access, connectivity to pedestrian facilities, and related to nearby neighborhoods when feasible.
  3. Ensure a range of housing choice in good condition
    • Implication – Redevelopment planning may include multiple housing types.
    • Implication – The appropriateness of alternative will be explored housing
  4. Plan for a full range of mobility (vehicle, pedestrian, cycling) throughout West Memphis
    • Implication – Oversized streets will be proposed for right-sizing by re-visioning as complete streets and the application of calming techniques such as boulevard retrofits, roundabouts, bulb outs and other standard means
  5. Establish and reinforce a West Memphis Sense of place
    • Implication – Key iconic features (buildings, landscapes and landmarks) of West Memphis will be clearly identified, respected and protected. New features will be created where appropriate.
    • Implication – A key goal would be to connect key iconic features to a unique West Memphis experience
    • Implication – Good design, respective of West Memphis heritage, will be required of certain new development.
    • Implication – Apply a place type palette for future development that expresses the uniqueness of West Memphis from the river to the interstate
    • Implication – embrace “America’s crossroads” as a unique and important place type for West Memphis and the whole midsouth
  6. Preserve Open Space, Farmland, Natural Beauty and Critical Environmental Areas
    • Implication – Development will be directed adjacent to the existing City.
    • Implication – Critical environmental areas will be identified, respected and protected