What is the purpose of this project?
The purpose of this project is to undertake a comprehensive, resident-driven, planning process that results in a neighborhood strategic plan for Mt. Airy.
How is this project being funded?
This project is made possible by a grant from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. The Foundation provides Neighborhood Planning Grants to 501(c)(3) organizations within communities to make these efforts possible. In the fall of 2014, Mt. Airy USA and partners East Mt. Airy Neighbors, West Mt. Airy Neighbors, Chew and Belfield Neighbors, the 6300 Alliance, and the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District submitted a collaborative proposal for a Neighborhood Planning Grant. The grant was awarded in spring 2015. The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation has specific guidelines for grantees to follow when developing their neighborhood plans. These guidelines are included in the responses to many of the questions below.
What aspects of Mt. Airy will this project focus on?
The neighborhood planning process and the resulting neighborhood strategic plan will focus on:
- children and families
- economic development
- affordable housing
- neighborhood building
What is the timeframe for the plan, and what will be in the plan itself?
The plan will include a 10-year vision for the future of the neighborhood and implementation goals for the first five years. The plan will identify and prioritize various neighborhood revitalization strategies within each of the categories listed above and also provide cost estimates and a timetable for implementation.
What are the boundaries of this Plan? How were the boundaries determined?
The map shows the boundaries of the planning area. The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation recommends that neighborhood planning areas are compact to facilitate tracking of progress and outcomes after the plan starts being implemented. The planning area for Mt. Airy was determined in consultation with the Foundation. While the planning area does not include all of Mt. Airy, all residents of the entire neighborhood are welcome to participate in the planning process. We fully expect that many of the discussions will focus on issues that affect the entire neighborhood.
Who will be devising the strategies and developing the actual plan document?
Urban Partners, a Philadelphia-based economic development consulting firm, is the lead consultant developing the plan, facilitating the community engagement process, and preparing the final report. Urban Partners’ team includes The RBA Group, Baker & Company, LLC, and Jeremiah White and Associates, who will support Urban Partners with physical planning, community engagement, and organizational management.
Furthermore, a Steering Committee has been formed to guide the consultants throughout the planning process and the development of the plan. The Steering Committee draws from a broad cross-section of the neighborhood, including representatives from local neighborhood/civic groups, institutions, social service agencies, and residents. The committee will meet at least five times during the project and also have ongoing communications electronically.
How will Mt. Airy residents and other neighborhood stakeholders be engaged in the planning process?
The Steering Committee aims for broad participation from neighborhood residents and other stakeholders in this process and will be assisting in promoting the planning process. Neighborhood residents and other neighborhood stakeholders are invited and encouraged to participate in this process in several ways:
- The website, http://www.mtairy2025.org, will be the main online source for information and updates about the project.
- The hashtag #mtairy2025 will be promoted for easy access to social media.
- A visioning workshop will be held on June 24, 2015 from 6 pm to 8 pm. Check the website for location information and more details.
- A community survey.
- An open house, which will take place in November 2015.
- A neighborhood-wide meeting to present and get input on the draft plan, which will take place in early December 2015.
More details on each of these are available on the project website, along with a list of Steering Committee members and contact information for comments, suggestions, and questions.
What is the timeline for completing the Plan? What happens when the Plan is complete
The Plan will be completed in 2016. Having this neighborhood plan complete is a prerequisite to be considered for Neighborhood Implementation Grants from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation that would fund many of the implementation of strategies within the plan.
How can I help?