In Topsham, the Town and the Lower Village Development Committee are leading the way to reclaim and transform their industrial back yard into desirable community amenities by re-connecting the river and the village center. The design team recently studied the feasibility of extending a riverfront trail providing open public access to approximately 635 linear feet of riverfront, improving approximately 900 linear feet of existing path along river edge and constructing approximately 850 linear feet of new path and/or extensions.
Many Maine communities were founded and flourished alongside rivers, as the source of transportation, fish and water power. When river-oriented industry declined, river edges were first abandoned, then often neglected. The Feasibility Study addressed Environmental constraints (impact on potential alignments, including wetlands, soils, flood plains, habitat, ice and other applicable environmental regulations), Property constraints (impact on potential alignments, privacy, access, ownership) and points of physical and visual Access to the river. Public Participation was critical and three types of stakeholders – Staff/Steering Committee, Abutters and the Citizens – were addressed by different meetings with distinctive goals and agendas.
The Downtown reVitalization Collaborative is founded on the four cornerstones of Downtown Revitalization – Economics, Streets, Buildings and Citizen Participation. The Team purposefully integrates the allied disciples of Planning, Design, Engineering, Funding, Financing and Implementation to provide comprehensive services-from Great Ideas to Ribbon Cutting! The Downtown reVitalization Collaborative includes:
Denis Lachman, Lachman Architects & Planners–Team Leader & Citizen Participation
Regina Leonard-Landscape Architecture & Design
Mike Sabatini, P.E, & Tom Fowler, Landmark Corporation Surveyors & Engineers
Rodney Lynch AICP–Community & Economic Development Planner