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Salisbury Square Conceptual Master Plan Final Report

Prepared For: Randolph Area Community Development Corporation, Randolph, Vermont Prepared By:

T. J. BOYLE & ASSOCIATES landscape architects · planning consultants

August 14, 2006

Randolph Area Community Development Corporation

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Salisbury Square Master Plan Final Report

Table of Contents

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Acknowledgments...................................................................................................................4 A Brief History.......................................................................................................................5 The Parcel Today....................................................................................................................5 Introduction............................................................................................................................6 Soils & Surficial Geology........................................................................................................7 Public Outreach......................................................................................................................8 Preliminary Concept Plans.....................................................................................................12 Salisbury Square Master Plan................................................................................................16 Next Steps.............................................................................................................................19 Resources/References Appendix I - Community Forum Summary Appendix II - Interim Design Concepts

T. J. BOYLE & ASSOCIATES T. J. BOYLE & ASSOCIATES landscape architects · planning consultants

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Randolph Area Community Development Corporation

Acknowledgments

The Randolph Area Community Development Corporation and T. J. Boyle & Associates appreciates the efforts of town officials and residents who contributed to our understanding in this planning endeavor. The following persons and committees should be acknowledged for their efforts: RACDC Economic Development Committee RACDC Board of Directors RACDC Staff Amy Diller Rita Hull Jeremy Ingpen Laura Ranker Gifford Medical Center for use of space for community work session Community residents who participated in the work session Dean Grover, Consulting Engineer

Context plan of parcel with Orthographic photo. Many of the structures in the photo do not exist today.

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Salisbury Square Master Plan Final Report

A Brief History1,2

The Salisbury Square parcel, as it has been named, is a 4.4 acre parcel located at the west end of Salisbury Street in Randolph, Vermont. The site has primarily been used for industrial uses but has been idle since 1991. The site is bordered on three sides by a historic residential district and on one side by the C.V. Properties Railroad. The site became active in 1881 and was used for furniture manufacturing. Salisbury Bros. Furniture Co. was one of the first companies to use the site, beginnning in 1892. This became the Randolph Furniture Co., Inc. in 1938. Randolph Furniture Co, Inc. controlled the site until 1968 when it was purchased by Baumritter Corp., which became Ethan Allen, Inc. and operated the site until 1991. In 1991 Ethan Allen ended its use of the site and buildings. Over the years the site was used for drying, rough milling, planing, and sawing, as well as for furniture gluing and assembly. The historic neighborhood in which this parcel lies has a rich architectural history including Italianate, Greek Revival, and Queen Anne styles present. In addition there is the Carpenter Gothic Episcopal Church on Summer Street. The Salisbury Square parcel has several structures, the most interesting of which is the defunct Ethan Allen Office Building. Built c. 1930 this twostory building is unusual with a recessed arched corner entry and concrete construction. The interior is done in Mahogany.

Salisbury Square Today

Currently the parcel is zoned Industrial with a planning approval to convert the parcel to Apartment Residential in keeping with the zones surrounding it on three sides. The site is vacant with several buildings in various state of disrepair. The site is bordered on the south by the railroad which still is in use for both passenger and freight service. The train station is an easy walk from the site as is the center of downtown Randolph. The site is abutted by residents on School and Franklin Streets in the old historic district, with some direct access to School Street. A substantial slope breaks the grade of the parcel dramatically into two fairly distinct areas. An existing steep wooden stair in disrepair provides access from the lower to the upper part of the parcel. The stair had been used to connect the upper and lower levels of the furniture operation.

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\\Mawatr\ev\09027.00\reports\Ethan Allen\Ethan Allen Phase 1 ESA ­ v2.doc. pg 5-8 2 Merrill, Scott. "School St. Neighborhood Historic District." Historic Site and Structures Survey, State of Vermont, Division of Historic Preservation; Survey # 0909-131. Montpelier, Vermont 1980.

T. J. BOYLE & ASSOCIATES landscape architects · planning consultants

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Randolph Area Community Development Corporation

Introduction

RACDC recently acquired the Salisbury Square parcel from Ethan Allen. A main goal in developing a plan for the site was to create a new neighborhood that complements the surrounding homes and adds to the vitality of downtown Randolph. With this in mind RACDC sought the assistance of T.J. Boyle and Associates among others, to help give form to a multiuse development in this key downtown location. The current Town Plan supports new development with the following objectives and recommendations: · Encourage a compact, efficient pattern of settlement that allows for new growth, while preserving the essential rural character and livelihood that are central to Randolph's beauty, legacy and quality of life. · Provide for public services and ensure that the rate or pattern of growth does not stress Randolph's ability to provide reasonable facilities and services, now or in the future. · Maintain and foster a diverse community that offers good employment opportunities, and plenty of cultural, recreational, spiritual and artistic pursuits for residents and visitors. · Encourage the conservation of essential natural resources (agricultural soils, healthy forests, clean water, etc) and discourage uses that diminish or threaten their future viability. · Encourage public participation in Randolph's decision-making process so that all views are properly considered.

The objective of this planning endeavor is to assist RACDC in the process of developing a Master Plan for the Salisbury Square parcel. This is only one step in bringing the community's vision to reality. This project involved several steps of its own including: · Project Kick-Off Meeting with RACDC staff; · Site Assessment and Conceptual Plans; · Community Work Session/Outreach; · Progress Meeting with RACDC staff to review work session products. · Development of single Master Plan and Draft Report incorporating public input. · Meeting with RACDC staff to review Draft Report · Presenting Master Plan at Public Meeting Randolph is a rural community with a vibrant downtown core. The Salisbury Square Master Plan should strive to "fit" within the context of the entire community.

Aerial view looking northeast at the Salisbury Square parcel and downtown Randolph.

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Salisbury Square Master Plan Final Report

Soils and Surficial Geology

The two distinct north and south levels of the Salisbury Square site span between two stream terraces of the Third Branch of the White River. These relatively flat terraces (1-2% slopes) are separated by a steep (20% or steeper) north-facing slope that parallels School Street. The upper terrace, on which most of the original Ethan Allen plant was located, is about 20-feet higher than the lower terrace, at School Street. Soils on the site are mapped by the Natural Resource Conservation Service as Merrimac fine sandy loams. Underlying soils, as described on the Surficial Geology Map of Vermont are pebbly sands. These alluvial terraces characteristically consist of thick sequences of well-drained sands and gravels. The well-drained nature of these materials, coupled with their high bearing strength, make them well-suited for building foundations, construction of roads, and installation of underground utilities.

Upgrades to the water and sewer distribution and collection systems along School Street were completed about a year ago. A new ductile iron water main and a new 8-inch sewer were installed. These new mains, on the lower side of the Salisbury Square site, provide easy access to municipal water and sewer for the development. Joe Voci indicated that water flows for the Salisbury Square project would likely originate from the new School Street main. He would require that a new main serving this project also be connected to the existing 4-inch main at Franklin and Salisbury Street to provide a looped, municipal system of piping. Relatively high water pressures of 100 to 105 psi on this system also insure that adequate fire flows and domestic water flows will be available for a development project. Sewer Connection to the new sewer main on School Street may require installation of a dedicated manhole, but should otherwise be straightforward. Joe Voci indicated that a siphon on Prince Street might also require upgrading to accommodate increased flows from the Salisbury Square project. There is ample capacity at the wastewater treatment plant for this project, according to Joe Voci. Stormwater The sanitary and storm sewers were separated during utility upgrades along School Street, but no other improvements to the storm system were made. This system may not have any excess capacity, however the receiving water (Third Branch of the White River) is close to School Street, so storm system upgrades would not be laterally extensive. Changes to stormwater regulations by the State of Vermont in 2002 make it likely that a stormwater permit will be required for a project of this magnitude. An on-site stormwater collection and treatment system, including a detention pond, will likely be necessary to meet the requirements of these regulations. Stormwater credits are available for systems that promote infiltration of stormwater. The permeable soils at this site are well-suited to infiltration, which should substantially reduce the size and cost of the project's stormwater management system.

Existing Utilities

Information on existing utilities in the vicinity of the Salisbury Square site was obtained by reviewing a 1988 as-built plan prepared by Dubois and King, and a plan titled Randolph Divison of Ethan Allen, Inc. ­ Plant No. 1 with an approval date of July 19, 1978. Joe Voci, Town of Randolph Water and Sewer Department Supervisor, provided valuable up-todate information on available services (telecom 8-306). Water Four-inch and six-inch diameter water mains extend from the vicinity of Franklin and Salisbury Street, westward and parallel to the New England Central Railroad tracks. Construction materials of these pipes are not indicated on the drawings, but are presumed to be cast iron. A newer 8-inch water main extends from Weston Street (south of the tracks), northward to School Street and beyond. Joe Voci indicates that this pipe is of asbestos-cement construction, and is likely 40 to 50 years old. These mains provided process and domestic water to the original Ethan Allen buildings. The condition of these old water mains is unknown.

T. J. BOYLE & ASSOCIATES landscape architects · planning consultants

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Randolph Area Community Development Corporation

Program Elements for the design by percentage as a result of community participation. The community members were asked to place a sticky note in the columns they felt were important. The results were then tallied into a percentage based on the number of participants. This provided a guide for the program elements to be used in the designs.

The Community Forum

The Community Forum draws on time-honored Vermont traditions of public meetings, civil discourse and representative democracy. Through this process, ideas and recommendations are reconciled, allowing for an outcome that addresses the concerns and needs of the residents. RACDC felt community input to be invaluable in moving the project in the right direction. The Community Work Session held in April with 16 participants provided the building blocks for us to develop a thoughtful plan relating to community needs and desires. Jeremy Ingpen, RACDC's Executive Director, introduced the project. Jeremy provided general background information related to the project site and intent of RACDC. Michael Buscher, Liz Weir and Terry Boyle of T. J. Boyle & Associates then worked with the participants to develop building blocks, think about concerns and desires for use of the site ­ such as types of housing, commercial spaces and community spaces. After a briefing of prepared maps the participants explored the site to see first hand the constraints and opportunities that could direct their plan thinking. Upon return to the forum location groups of 4-6 people developed programs and diagrams for the site uses. T. J. Boyle and Associates provided their experience and guided the teams throughout the process. In the end three concepts were developed which each team presented to the overall group for discussion. Finally, an open question and answer forum generated comments and suggestions from town residents who were not able to attend the morning work sessions. Several items materialized as a general consensus including: · Single family housing was undesirable in this location compared with other forms of housing. · If Elderly Housing were to be a component of the design, cottages or townhouse units should be two bedroom and if possible also include an attached garage. · Covered parking was viewed as important to the residents as far as marketability of housing. · Sidewalks connecting to downtown along Salisbury Street were highly desirable. · Space for civic and cultural events. For a complete list of comments/suggestions see Appendix I : Community Forum Comments.

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Salisbury Square Master Plan Final Report

Community Work Session - Group 1

Main Points Developed by Group 1: *Multiple types housing *Treat upper and lower parcel differently *Connection to community *Alternative/Pedestrian connection *Maximize open spaces *Mixed use - residential & civic/office

One concept using more clustering of housing

An elevation showing basic townhouse styles

A second concept concerned more with connection to the larger community.

The team hard at work with Liz Weir's guidance.

T. J. BOYLE & ASSOCIATES landscape architects · planning consultants

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Randolph Area Community Development Corporation

Community Work Session - Group 2

Main Points Developed by Group 2: *Connect new development into larger community (using road & paths) *Multiple types housing - no single family *Maximize open spaces *Residential only - no mixed-use

Emphasizing the connectivity between upper and lower parcel using a pedestrian path

A step further - connecting Salisbury Street to School Street .

Group #2 sharing their ideas with Terry Boyle. 10

Salisbury Square Master Plan Final Report

Community Work Session - Group 3

Main Points Developed by Group 3: *Maximize housing & civic/office with larger structures. *Connect upper & lower parcel for pedestrians *Connection to community *Maximize open spaces

Group #3 initial design concept.

Maximizing open spaces and housing.

A detail of the plan at left - showing the community/ commercial space and courtyard adjacent to the historic Ethan Allen office building.

Group #3 wokring like a well oiled machine.

T. J. BOYLE & ASSOCIATES landscape architects · planning consultants

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Randolph Area Community Development Corporation

The three groups presenting their concepts.

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Salisbury Square Master Plan Final Report

Preliminary Concept Plans

Based upon the site assessment observations, the historic building on site and Community Work Session concepts, T.J. Boyle and Associates developed more specific designs of the three concepts created in the forum. Conceptual plans are kept simple and diagrammatic to explain as directly as possible the ideas emerging from the forum and the site condition. They are also used soley to explore alternative ideas and act as discussion tools; they do not represent final recommendations. These plans explored pedestrian circulation routes, vehicular circulation patterns, housing types, public parking opportunities and community spaces. The Boys neighborhood businesses but might also attract a broader base. This concept saw two distinct neighborhoods divided by the topography of the site. The lower level used larger residential buildings with an architectural style and scale to fit with the existing fabric of School Street. Each building would occupy 2-3 units of apartments. The upper level focused on a row of townhouses and cottages at the top of the bank with open space delineated by a loop road. Back yards are more private due to their location near the existing wooded bank, while front yards become part of the community space. Group #1 also chose to retain an existing concrete foundation pad from the Ethan Allen furniture factory to be used as a community plaza both for the community but also for town gatherings such as a farmers market. To this end a pedestrian railroad crossing was part of this group's concept. Community space/office space was added to the historic Ethan Allen Office Building for local small businesses and meeting spaces.

and Girls Club has expressed preliminary interest in a portion of the site. This idea was included in work session discussions and in conceptual plans as one potential community use on the site.

Forum Concept #1 looked at a program utilizing high density mixed use with community space. The office spaces indicated on the plan were intended for

Salisbury Square Concept Plan #1

T. J. BOYLE & ASSOCIATES landscape architects · planning consultants

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Randolph Area Community Development Corporation

Salisbury Square Concept Plan #2

Forum Concept #2 focused on connection to the wider community in their design. The program focused on housing exclusively on the site. This group has the widest variety of housing utilizing single family, townhouse, cottage and apartment units. The integration of the lower and upper parts of the parcel was accomplished by extending Salisbury Street through the parcel to School Street. This design choice solidifies the connection to the wider community by creating an intersection at the Randolph Recreation fields. Group #2 also chose to have a central green, but unlike Group #1 the back yards face into the green. Group #2 added sidewalks and paths to emphasize pedestrian connections both in the development and to the larger community. This group also thought a co-housing concept would be appealing for the development with a community meeting space on the second floor of the historic Office Building.

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Salisbury Square Master Plan Final Report

Salisbury Square Concept Plan #3

Forum Concept #3 takes a bold step by situating an apartment building with ground floor commercial up against the slope which separates the upper and lower parcel areas. This serves to provide connection and access as Group #2 proposed, but in a very different manner. An elevator and interior stairs provide access to a pedestrian bridge which leads from the building to the upper level of the site. The majority of the parking for the apartment building is on the lower level located under the building. The upper area of the parcel is a clustering of townhouses around a common green. This group chose to connect the green to the railroad right-of-way to maximize the open green space.This plan proposes the Boys and Girls Club to be in a facility along the School St. frontage with a small common green space. This group also focused on the interconnection of pedestrian access both within the development and to the larger community. On the upper level additional apartments are locatd above on-grade parking allowing for increased density. Group #3 utilized only two types of housing ­ apartment and townhouse. Some additional concepts from this group were the

optimization of passive solar energy, bicycle parking, as well as the possibility of an assisted living facility as part of one apartment complex.

T. J. BOYLE & ASSOCIATES landscape architects · planning consultants

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