The City of Ranson and Charles Town won the 2012 EPA Region 3 Phoenix Award for Excellence in Brownfield Redevelopment and the People’s Choice Award for the Commerce Corridor Project, one of the components of the charrette.
The City of Ranson, working in cooperation with Charles Town and other community partners, embarked on an unprecedented effort to plan for the next 100 years of growth. The Ranson-Charles Town community was selected by three federal agencies, HUD, DOT and EPA, to serve as a national model for how small rural cities on the fringe of a major metropolitan area can foster sustainable economic development, transit, and community livability through targeted and strategic planning and infrastructure investments. With additional resources from the City, Ranson began a multi-faceted effort to comprehensively address the community’s future.
The City of Ranson held a multi-day Charrette to help tackle the intense fact finding, site visits, community engagement, and visioning efforts needed for success. All three consulting teams working on the EPA, DOT, and HUD-funded projects, as well as the Comprehensive Plan, spent a week in September 2011 working in an onsite studio at City Hall and holding numerous public meetings and workshops to engage city officials, residents, and the business community in considering ideas and actions to help guide Ranson, Charles Town, and Jefferson County towards a future rich in opportunity for families and businesses.
On April 17, 2012, the Ranson City Council unanimously approved the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, the amendment to the city code to adopt the Ranson SmartCode, and the rezoning of approximately 1400 acres to SmartCode Districts. You can see a chronicle of this award winning project here.
As a sub consultant to Placemakers, HFA worked on several components of this remarkable project:
Developing a Form-Based “SmartCode” System, funded by HUD. The Form-Based Code will ensure that future development in this centralized area of Jefferson County is traditional-neighborhood, mixed-use, green-focused development. The new code links together revised downtown zoning to protect existing character with a new zoning approach for the undeveloped, outlying areas of the City to enable traditional neighborhood mixed use development and green infrastructure. HFA assisted with code calibration and worked with City staff to analyze their current development review process and design the new process. HFA developed a full administrative package, including application forms, a procedures and policy manual, and review checklists.
Creating a Comprehensive Plan, funded by the City of Ranson. The Comprehensive Plan ties together all of the efforts developed by the HUD, DOT, and EPA projects into a comprehensive guide addressing the community’s goals and objectives and an action plan for meeting them. HFA assisted with drafting the comprehensive plan and wrote the Community Vision section.
Charrette Facilitation and Coordination. HFA designed and facilitated several of the public meetings and workshops during the charrette. With three different project teams and 30 staff working together during one charrette, HFA coordinated charrette logistics, including travel itineraries and meal planning.