Downtown master plan update prioritizes bridge, parks and sense of community

Ormond Beach Observer – What should the city’s downtown district look like in the next 10 years?

That’s a question city officials mulled over during the downtown master plan update workshop on Wednesday, Aug. 7, where the commission discussed the ideas and findings of its Downtown Steering Committee. The committee was made up of residents, business and organization leaders, as well as city board members, whose end goal was to help the commission craft the next master plan that will serve to provide a framework for the future of the district. The last downtown master plan was created in 2006.

The Granada bridge, its four corner parks and cementing the city’s sense of place were three themes the commission centered around at the workshop. Beautification and increasing walkability were also discussed.

Pete Sechler, of GAI Consultants Inc., had a lot of ideas for how the city could accomplish all of this. From wider sidewalks to relocating city hall — an idea the commission did not support — to improving the bridge with color and clearly marked bike lanes, Sechler divided the master plan into several categories like environmental sustainability, arts and culture and residential neighborhoods. The city has “beautiful properties,” Sechler said, but that they’re not being used to their maximum potential.

“There’s still plenty left on the table for you to capitalize on there,” Sechler said.

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