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Design workshop seeks vision for West Lebanon

Staff Report
Published: 10/15/2019 10:06:38 PM
Modified: 10/15/2019 10:06:32 PM

WEST LEBANON — Downtown West Lebanon will take center stage Friday as the city kicks off a two-day design workshop to craft a future vision for the neighborhood.

Residents, businesses and property owners will be asked to bring their thoughts on the area around Main and Bridge streets, including what improvements they’d like to see and how the neighborhood should look.

“People can drop by for five minutes or they can drop by for five hours,” City Planning Director David Brooks said Tuesday.

The workshop — known as a charrette — is meant to serve as the first stage of a planning process similar to the 2016 Downtown Visioning Study, a more than one-year effort to plot a future for the area surrounding Hanover Street and Colburn Park.

Like the visioning study, this week’s event will produce a list of actions and goals for West Lebanon, Brooks said.

“This would not be the end of the discussion. It would not be the end of the project just because the charrette was done,” he said. “We would continue to refine the plans, the concepts, the ideas as part of taking action.”

Brooks said the event will also evaluate the city’s 2012 Master Plan and attempt to find whether goals in that guiding document still ring true.

“If this isn’t the vision, then what is, and how do we get there?” he said.

West Lebanon residents have long asked for their own visioning study, but the City Council has been reluctant to fund such an endeavor until the state makes a commitment to clean up the historic Westboro Rail Yard.

The two-year state budget approved last month included money to tear down several dilapidated structures at the 22-acre site.

The event kicks off with a stakeholders meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at the Kilton Public Library. People can then take a walking tour of the neighborhood at noon, which will be followed by a visioning session starting at 6 p.m. at the former Seminary Hill School.

The former school building will host an open house beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, and a final presentation will be held at 3 p.m. in the same location.

People can find a full schedule at, as well as an online survey, which is intended to gauge interest in preliminary some ideas for West Lebanon.

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