Visioning Session with City Council

In January City Council met with a group called Civic Canopy for a “Visioning” Session.  The Civic group facilitated the meeting asking the council members about what was special about Littleton and what did they see the future Littleton looking like.  Civic Canopy would return with a mid project report to council.  The notes that follow are from that interactive session.

The presenter had a “worddle” (a summary of the words heard at the first session dumped into a computer and the computer spits them out based on number of times used etc).  Marty brought the handout home – here are some of the largest sized words to the smallest sizes words…..the larger the words the more it is valued.
  • Largest:  Littleton, Citizens, Broadway, Connected, Open, People, Trails
  • Then:   Housing, Environment, Great, Center, Feeling, Traffic, Open, Rail, Support, Walk, Vibrant, Corridors, Downtown, Development, Energy, Understand, Shopping, good, Create, Like, Grove City, Housing, Needs, Keep, Less, Services, Mix Options, River, Aspen, Refresh, Broadridge, Families, Support
  • Smallest:  Candellight, attention, delivery, hotels, excited, stroll, feeling, urban, desirable, ready college, appreciation, charm, love, infrastructure, retail/office, recycle, technology, unique, optimistic, gathering citizen, appreciation
Not sure what the exercise proves but we did notice that the words High Density do not make the list – big or small!
The map that was drawn at the first session was displayed with enhancements.  There are three areas depicted.  Think of them as concentric circles.
  • 1st circle- the center of Littleton – neighborhoods – what we want to keep intact
  • 2nd circle  – The corridors – what do we do with them and how do we do it
  • 3rd circle – What do we aspire?  – What is possible (examples are bridge over Santa Fe, Event Center by the river, High Density living, and retail and restaurants on the Broadway corridor.
  • Taylor – we can have the small town feeling in pockets in Littleton and we can annex and still have the small town feeling
  • Cernanec – we care about each other in Littleton.  Refurbishing and the turnover of housing stock will be a challenge – how does that happen?
  • Brinkman – she wants more retail and commercial and what about mixed use?
  • Taylor – we have none producing entities.  Shopping centers – we have one that is 75% vacant so very little sales tax revenue.  Need to revitalize the outdated shopping centers
  • Chris (consultant) asked the council members for more pithy words to use on the map – looking for futuristic words.
  • Beckman – there’s a difference between vision and guiding vision.  If we are talking about 10 to 15 years from now that is a guiding vision.

Consultant – what will help the council in making difficult decisions?

  • Beckman – keep; “what if” in mind
  • Stahlman – Planning Board’s work is good – we need balance – do no harm – scales of justice – where do the scales tip in regard to the guiding principles – what needs to be preserve and what are the needs of the future
  • Taylor – if we create a vision and complain how do we set up steps for the guiding vision?
  • Cole – rather focus on win/win – that’s different than do no harm
  • Cernanec – the community is an open family – rich in welcoming folks to feel like family.  A lot of businesses are here to give to the community.
  • Taylor – have to have econ development – need business and commercial uses to bring outsiders in.
Consultant – Are things vision driven?
  • Stahlman – we have a general sense of optimism and we don’t want to lose that – everyone is optimistic about our future.
  • Cole – we have a “can do” piece and a “will do” piece instead of optimism
  • Brinkman – one of the complaints – we have an awful lot of things you have to go out of Littleton to get – we fall pretty short on that .  If we are visioning we are able to provide a higher level of diversity in retail and commercial that we don’t have now
  • Cernanec – need open borders – easy to get in and out of
  • Taylor – we have to overcome two elements – NIMBY and CAVERS
  • Cole – everyone has underestimated the impact of the internet.  If we are developing retail we need to think about retail that is not easy to buy on the internet
  • Brinkman – thinks the center of the map is well defined.  the second circle is some of what we want but she was confused by the 5 to 6 story apartment building in the northern portion – don’t think we want that elsewhere.  The depiction of new retail and storefronts with ethnic ? – disconnect for her.  The 3rd circle – another disconnect – shows car dealers – it is what we have now – that is not what council is thinking
  • Cernanec – we could have more health care campus’ – more gathering spaces.  It is missing what Peggy talked about – WIFI and technology
  • Stahlman – have to pick something and go forward – what’s the next level of digestion
Consultant – Looking back 10 years from now, what is one word you would use to describe, “we did it because we had ______?
  • Missed the first one – think it was Peggy’s
  • Cernanec – Values
  • taylor  – Gumption
  • Brinkman – Courage
  • Beckman – Understanding
  • Stahlman – Uncomplex (you had to be there)
  • Integrity
The consultant will produce a final product – an Operational Manual and there will be something produced to hang in the council chambers.  (Be still my heart!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: