City of South Burlington Earns Two 2014 Vermont Public Places Awards: Open Space Report and Market St. Project Win Recognition

Representatives from the city, SE Group, VHB, and Shole Systems Design receive a Public Places Award for South Burlington’s City Center-Market Street Design .

The City of South Burlington dedicates enormous time and energy toward careful planning of public spaces, and now it has two awards to show for it.

Last month, the City of South Burlington earned two 2014 Vermont Public Spaces Awards, which are designed to “recognize special public spaces, the corridors that connect them, or networks of public spaces which have been defined or enriched by planning or design, as well as regulations that promote positive, public uses and benefits.”

The awards were announced jointly by the Vermont Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Vermont Planning Associations, the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Vermont Section and the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Council.

The South Burlington Open Space Report received a Vermont Public Places Honor Award. This award honors the City of South Burlington, the committee itself, and the committee’s consultants: T. J. Boyle Associates and Front Porch Planning & Design.

South Burlington’s City Center-Market Street Design earned a Merit Award, which recognized the City of South Burlington, SE Group, VHB, and Shole Systems Design.

“We are honored and thrilled to receive these Public Space Awards,” said Paul Conner, South Burlington’s director of Planning and Zoning. “Both of these projects reflect the hard work of volunteer committees and of top-notch consulting teams that developed these plans. Both projects also received a great deal of public input which helped to guide and shape the plans. Congratulations to the Open Space Committee, Market Street Design Team, and all of the citizens, staff, and consultants who worked on both of these projects!”

The awards were presented at the Vermont Statehouse on March 19 by Gov. Peter Shumlin.

The Vermont Public Spaces Awards is a biannual program held on even years (2010, 2012, 2014, etc.). South Burlington won a Public Places award in 2002 for the Open Space strategy. The Healthy Living art project was also a co-winner in 2009 in a public art competition.

About the Recipients

Open Space Committee

Project Vision Statement: “The City of South Burlington will preserve, create and restore adequate public and private open spaces throughout the city that address the needs for recreation and leisure arts, agriculture, habitat, environmental stewardship and important public scenic views.”

The Open Space Committee was recognized as one of the four Interim Zoning committees formed in 2013. This committee is an extension of an existing city committee, the Natural Resources Committee. Laurel Williams chaired the committee before passing the torch to the current chair, Elizabeth Milizia. Other committee members include Patrick Clemins, Russell Agne, Jeffery Dickerson, and Larry Michaels. The committee also consisted of a handful of liaisons, including Planning Commissioner Barbara Benton, Recreation-Leisure Arts Committee liaison Jennifer Kochman, City Councilor Helen Riehle, and Sarah Dopp of the South Burlington Land Trust.

Market Street Design

The Market Street Reconstruction Design project was approved by city council in May 2012, and in February 2013, the city amended a contract with VHB to initiate design, preliminary engineering and permitting for the Market Street reconstruction project. The Vermont Economic Progress Council approved the City Center TIF District in July 2013. Market Street is eligible for 100 percent of TIF District financing and is slated to begin construction in 2016.

VHB, Inc. project design provides support services in traffic engineering, pedestrian and bicycle facility design, and stormwater management; VHB has worked on other notable projects such as downtown St. Albans and Barre.

SE Group is the lead landscape architecture firm for the Market Street Reconstruction Design project. The firm provides knowledge of local streetscape and urban design. SE Group has worked on other near-by projects such as Burlington (downtown Church and lower College streets) and St. Albans Main Street.

Whole Systems Design, LLC specializes in identifying, designing and developing human habitats. The team also includes subconsultants specializing in utility design, soils, and property acquisition.

Congratulations to all those involved with the Open Space Report and the Market Street Reconstruction Design project for contributing to South Burlington history.

SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent

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