In addition to comprehensive plans and implementing ordinances, Kendig Keast Collaborative (“KKC”) has experience in special purpose planning at all scales, from metropolitan and community-wide levels to downtowns, neighborhoods, corridors, other special areas, as well as individual development or redevelopment sites. KKC brings has the skills necessary to create special area plans that identify policies, projects and strategies that respond to local demographics and preferences, as well as district functionality and identity. KKC operates on a continuum of scales, from comprehensive plan to site design. It is at the master planning and urban design level that specific challenges and opportunities emerge, and unique planning and design solutions become necessary in order to spur the “3 R’s” – redevelopment, revitalization, and reinvestment.
At this scale of planning, we think it is imperative to visualize the impacts of development in three dimensions. For example, within a neighborhood planning area, residents identify with the way a street feels – how wide it is, how far back and how tall the homes are, how old the trees are, etc. They can describe what a local shopping area looks like and how it is different from one across town. Similarly, they can express pride in their downtown and a specific identity for which they are proud. Planning for these areas requires a keen understanding of land use, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, building and site design, market preferences, (re)development feasibility, strategic implementation, public policy, and financing. The following are cornerstones of KKC’s special area planning approach.
- Community Involvement that brings together residents, property owners, businesses, realtors and brokers, investors, developers, community organizations (i.e., Business Improvement Districts, neighborhood organizations and not-for-profits, etc.), elected officials and staff, municipal agencies, and all ages and social groups. Facilitating open and inclusive dialogue is absolutely essential for first, preparing a vision and secondly, creating a realistic, market-supported action plan that reflects local values and priorities and ensures broad-based support for long-term implementation.
- Master Planning that establishes a framework for general land use, transportation, and design character. The role of the master plan is to provide context within which catalytic projects or targeted areas of investment can be assessed. In this way, block or site-specific recommendations provide greater benefit to the overall land use balance, functionality, and identity of an area. Aspects of a master plan may include land use sub-districts, key redevelopment areas, streetscape enhancement corridors, civic open space elements, or unique character districts, among others.
- Urban Design and Visualization that transforms the vision into a three-dimensional environment. In the end, the community identifies most closely with how development will “look and feel.” Our staff of planners and urban designers can demonstrate the end result of investment in the public realm, private development area, and open space. However, urban design is not simply drawing the ideal. Rather, it is a collective manifestation of the desired outcomes, market realities, and achievable regulatory scheme. KKC uses various technologies for design visualization to help communities understand the impacts of plans and projects. SketchUp, AutoCAD, and other graphics packages, together with hand renderings, simulate the built environment to spur dialogue regarding development alternatives, phasing, and specific aspects of community character.
- Project, Policy, and Strategic Implementation that requires three factors: (1) identifying catalytic projects or preferred development scenarios that foster additional investment, (2) aligning development policies and regulations with the vision, and (3) creating strategies to strengthen synergy among financers, elected officials, public agencies, and the community at large. Any single action often involves all three factors. We consistently craft implementation programs that balance these three elements to maximize the likelihood of long-term implementation.
- Redevelopment Planning that advances a vision towards market-based implementation. A vision sets the compass, but careful redevelopment planning is responsive to market conditions and advances development concepts that are specific enough for direct implementation.
- Site Planning that lays out a specific site for development for a particular use. KKC”s founder Lane Kendig is an award-winning site designer who brings a context-sensitivity that tends to improve the environmental and the economic performance of site development.