A recently completed review of Lawrence's Comprehensive Downtown Plan won praise this morning from the Downtown Lawrence board of directors.
The review, conducted by a design subcommittee of Downtown Lawrence, recommends that the city reinforce its policy that downtown is Lawrence's major retail and cultural center, create additional parking areas, standardize existing parking meters and create a public plaza to accommodate special events.
The Downtown Lawrence board, meeting in Elizabeth M. Watkins Community Museum, 1047 Mass., praised the review and voted to send it to the city-county planning office and to the city commission, which may consider adding it to Plan 95, the city's comprehensive development plan.
"This plan, in my view, can ward off suburban developers who would take away from the downtown area," said George Paley, Downtown Lawrence president and owner of Natural Way, 820 Mass.
"I think this is important because it shows the city where Downntown Lawrence wants to go," said Charles Snedeger, owner of the Fitness Center, 807 Vt.
The review is the first update to the comprehensive downtown plan, which was adopted in 1982 as an amendment to Plan 95.
In other business, the board approved subleasing to downtown businesses spaces on a color-coded locator map, which will be installed Friday near the entrance to the Lawrence Riverfront Plaza.
The sign is owned by the city and will be leased by Downtown Lawrence.
Two opposing sides of the sign contain the locator map, which is similar in appearance to a mall directory.
The map has color-coded listings of historical buildings, public parking areas, and business properties. The other two sides of the sign will contain a directory with a numbered list that corresponds to businesses on the map.
The board voted to hold a study session to determine how much downtown business owners would be charged per year to be listed on the locator map. A date for the study session was not set.