Charrette preliminary report is shared

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

A preliminary report on the November 2012 Penn Yan Community Charrette has been prepared by Joni Monroe, Angela DiGiulio, Janet Shipman and staff at the Rochester Regional Community Design Center (RRCDC).

The report contains general background about the project, including a description of the Village of Penn Yan and environs, the charrette planning process and the charrette event that drew 150 participants. It also contains materials produced at the charrette, including complete, typed transcriptions of the charrette notes and samples of the charrette drawings.

The Charette was organized by the Vision 2020 Steering Committee, a local group of business and community leaders.

Work is underway now on a vision plan expected to take about five months. A public meeting will be held this spring to present the Charette report and progress on the vision plan.

Seven areas studied and the recommendations are:

Gateways and Wayfinding:

This focus area concentrates on signage including major gateways at the edges and into the village as well as within the village, wayfinding, historic and branding.


• Position signs and/or other elements (intersections, gardens, etc.) to identify gateways where appropriate;

• Aid navigation to get to and arrive at destinations in the community;

• Develop iconic images and/or architectural features to highlight gateways;

• Seek methods to fund installation of gateway and wayfinding signs;

• Seek ways to encourage businesses to modify signs to community standards;

• Transition from low density/rural development patterns to medium/high density mixed use areas;

• Reduce traffic speeds and transition from a vehicular focused transportation network to placing a priority on pedestrian/bicycle circulation;

Waterfront Development and Connections:

This area includes the area along Keuka Lake bordering the Village of Penn Yan including the municipal pier and a portion of the Keuka Outlet.


• Develop walkable access to the outlet and lake from residential streets;

• Incorporate light watercraft access at specific locations;

• Add amenities (picnic benches, outdoor grills, bathroom facilities, shelter);

• Create artwork along the lakefront buffer;

• Improve appearance (repaving, better lighting, landscaping);

• Develop and promote waterfront benefits and resources as a destination and community asset to be celebrated and utilized;

Downtown Core:

This area includes the Main Street and major connecting streets, parking areas, green spaces, and public realm in the dense center core of the village.


• Engage building/business owners to work together to enhance buildings;

• Encourage partnerships and collaboration between private and public sector to realize coordinated goals and outcomes;

• Program spaces in the downtown for events and promotions that attract people to the area;

• Acquire funding to make desired changes;

• Identify actual building owners to reach out to them to improve their properties;

• Transition commercial space to mixed-use and residential space – if market assessment warrants;

• Avoid demolition of historic properties;

Housing and Mixed Use Development:

This focus area consists of sites within the village that may be appropriate for infill, adaptive reuse and development of residential, and mixed use new construction.


• Provide a variety of housing choices for existing and new residents;

• Creating attractive and functional buildings that make best use of available land within the village;

• Respond to needs for walkable urban neighborhoods that address current residential and commercial market demands;

• Take advantage of existing walkable areas in the village that are in demand for housing and commercial use;

• Preserve historic buildings;

• Actively market the area for quality development;

• Create a plan that offers a predictable development approach to encourage investment;

• Ensure new housing reflects the character and quality of the area;

• Provide housing choices for seniors and others.

Newer Commercial and Community Development:

Areas of recent commercial development along Liberty Street and extending over the outlet and along Lake Street. This area has been developed on a project-by-project basis lacking an overall plan and is characterized by some as "sprawl" development.


• Improve signage;

• Create an overall plan;

• Standardize lighting;

• Adopt design standards – color, lighting, landscaping, architecture, building placement, etc.;

• Enhance the public realm;

• Control growth – grow vertically and denser rather than horizontally;

• Create nodes or centers of pedestrian activity within commercial areas;

• Improve pedestrian and bicycle circulation;

• Provide highway access controls and encourage cross easements/ shared parking agreements;

Preservation – Architectural and Environmental Design Guidelines:

Within Penn Yan and its environs including Keuka Lake and the surrounding agricultural lands.


• Need to maintain and preserve historic buildings;

• Preservation of vistas;

• Retaining the agrarian character of the area while allowing for new development opportunity where appropriate;

• Encourage prudent use of existing resources;

• Produce a plan for preservation of agricultural lands;

• Provide information for property owners;

• Adopt design standards for development that offer incentives for good preservation practices;

• Develop programmed themes and strategies to make Penn Yan an attraction.

• Use Penn Yan's inherent qualities and attributes to strengthen its sense of place;

• Market the village as an historic and recreational destination;

• Develop performance-based land use controls;

• Provide conservation/preservation tools such as conservation zoning, scenic overlay districts.

Transportation and Connections:

Within Penn Yan and its environs including Keuka Lake and surrounding land.


• Need to identify all transportation systems and maximize their value to the community;

• Safety of pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles;

• Expand routes for non motorized vehicles;

• Reduce speed in the Village;

• Need to identify use and provide for and expand marine traffic;

• Need to provide for horse traffic – modified roads;

• Inadequate parking;

• Hitching Post not visible.

• Identify, create and develop quality and connected transportation arteries for bicycles, pedestrians and horses;

• Market these arteries as a community resource and asset.

The complete report will be presented at a meeting yet to be scheduled this spring.