Williamsburg seeks residents’ input on future downtown design

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The Williamsburg Farmers Market, one of three regular markets throughout the Historic Triangle (Photo courtesy of the Williamsburg Farmers Market)
The Williamsburg Farmers Market, one of three regular markets throughout the Historic Triangle (Photo courtesy of the Williamsburg Farmers Market)

City officials seek residents’ views on the future design of downtown Williamsburg and have set up a new survey to gather input.

The Economic Development Authority has released a Downtown Perception Survey, which may be found at the city’s website.

The survey is a part of the city’s Downtown Vibrancy, Design & Marketing Plan, a long-term city planning strategy, and will be available until midnight, April 23.

Last September, the EDA launched the project and retained Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI) and Group Melvin Design as a consulting team to help with the vision and to create the survey for citizen input.

“The survey is just one tool in the arsenal of research the consulting team is using as part of the development of a sustainable downtown marketing and design strategy,” said EDA Chairman, Adam Steely.

The survey is part of Williamsburg’s continuing desire to engage the public and gain input from the local community about retail, entertainment and public space use to determine where to go from here, said city spokeswoman Lee Ann Hartmann. It will help city planners tease out what the public wants or needs in a downtown, she added.

The survey asks respondents general demographic questions, including how often they visit Colonial Williamsburg and the downtown area, where they shop, what their morning commutes are like, or how often they dine out. There are also a series of questions asking residents what types of businesses or events they would like to see downtown.

As of Tuesday, the survey had 76 respondents, thus far. According to recent census data, Williamsburg has a population of 15,214, which spent $22,993 per capita on retail in 2012. 

“We encourage everyone, especially city residents and business owners/operators, to complete the survey,” Assistant City Manager Trivette said. “The website is easy to navigate and you do not have to subscribe.”