La Plata residents and business owners will have the opportunity to speak out on how they want downtown La Plata to develop Wednesday when the La Plata Town Centre Development Corp. will hold a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the town hall.
Representatives from the National Trust Main Street Center and Main Street Maryland will present a four-point approach to revitalizing downtowns that the groups use and will take public input on what people would like to see in Plata. The meeting is expected to last an hour.
The four points Main Street emphasizes are design, organization, promotion and economic restructuring. The program also has added a fifth point called “clean, safe and green.”
Design refers to enhancing the physical appearance of a downtown’s commercial district. Organization refers to building consensus among residents, business owners and other stakeholders in the revitalization process. Promotion refers to marketing a town’s main street commercial district to interested parties. Economic restructuring refers to strengthening the existing economic base in a downtown area while finding opportunities to expand the downtown area.
Clean, safe and green refers to enhancing the image of downtown through environmental principles.
Main Street representatives also will conduct interviews of local business owners and other stakeholders Wednesday and Thursday.
The La Plata Town Centre Development Corp., formed to facilitate redevelopment in downtown La Plata, has targeted a portion of downtown for revitalization. It includes from Washington Avenue to Oak Avenue west to east and from Talbot Street to Charles Street north to south.
Although the town has developed a vision plan that focused on downtown La Plata, it has been more than 10 years since the plan was completed, which sparked interest in gathering more recent opinions.
“I think it’s important for anyone who can to come and voice their opinion about the downtown redevelopment project, which is an outflow of the La Plata Vision Plan, and how we intend to move forward with downtown redevelopment,” Mayor Roy Hale said.
Downtown redevelopment could entail more commercial development on the first floor of mixed-use buildings with apartments above the commercial establishments, extended parking, streetscaping and other major improvements in the overall downtown area, Hale said.
The meeting represents a good opportunity to get the general feeling about redevelopment in downtown La Plata, Hale said.
The corporation, which includes town government representatives and local business owners, is sponsoring the meeting. The total cost for the Main Street representatives’ work is $8,000, paid for by the corporation.