Public meeting on West Hill/West End revitalization plan

West End West Hill revitalization project study area

The study area.

The city of Albany has an event lined up for November 1 to get public input on a draft revitalization plan for the West Hill and West End neighborhoods.

There will be a presentation of the draft plan, and a question and answer session. From the city's press release: "Plan is part of initiative to create a vibrant, economically strong, and walkable neighborhood."

Here's a clip from a report pulling together input from a community summit this past summer -- it was produced by Kevin Dwarka Land Use & Economic Consulting, the consultancy handling the project for the city:

A few overall themes emerged from the public engagement process:
+ Addressing the issue of public safety, both real and perceived, is of paramount importance if other strategies produced through the revitalization effort are to be successful.
+ Improved education, workforce training, and career mentorship services are the preferred methods for indirectly addressing the prevalence of crime and illicit activities, while simultaneously improving employment and economic factors within the community.
+ Housing issues within the community are varied and nuanced, and as such will require a comprehensive and collaborative approach amongst the various housing agencies and stakeholders at play.
+ The pedestrian experience, including the existence of crosswalks, the quality of sidewalks, and the aesthetics of streetscape within the community are seen as achievable and high value improvements that can significantly enhance the mobility of residents and visitors within and around West Hill and West End, as well as, enrich overall community character.

This project isn't part of the ReZone Albany project -- but Rezone included a look at the future of Central Ave, which runs along the edge of both these neighborhoods. And as noted during a discussion of the Rezone Albany focus on Central Ave, that neighborhood is one of the area's most vibrantly multicultural places, with a strong immigrant presence.

The public meeting for the neighborhood revitalization plan is Tuesday, November 1 at West Hill Middle School (395 Elk Street) from 5:30-8:30 pm.

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