The development of the former Burlington College property in the Old North End, has garnered much local interest. While plans are still in the early stages, public discussion has been ongoing since mid-May. Events thus far have included public site tours, surveys, presentations, and forums. A conceptual proposal for the site’s redevelopment was shared by project partners at the recent August 11th public meeting.
Partners, including the Vermont Land Trust, City of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, the Champlain Housing Trust, and BC Community Housing (landowner) have identified the following project goals to guide the future development of the site:
- Provide a diversity of housing options and types, and to promote housing equity
- Provide public access to open space, especially along the lakefront
- Protect the bluffs from development
- Be sensitive to and protect natural and cultural features on-site
- Consider neighborhood commercial uses that support the local community
- Enhance revitalization of Old North End and commerce on North Avenue through property development
- Support alternative modes of transportation and minimize traffic impacts
- Incorporate sustainability components throughout the site design process
These guidelines, along with public input, have influenced the conceptual re-design of the development. The overall plan proposes 570 housing units while preserving 43% of the total acreage as open public space. This 12-acre park area will enhance and formalize the vital east-west connection between North Avenue and the waterfront, providing community gardens, playing fields, walking/hiking trails with beautiful lake views, and access to the bike path and swimming in the lake.
The park area will also incorporate the old stone house structure, which has potential use as a future community center. This concept design provides an uninterrupted continuum of waterfront parkland from the Urban Reserve all the way to North Beach. The purchase of the 12-acre open space by the City has an estimated cost of $2 million, with up to $1 million to potentially come from the Conservation Legacy Program. Additional funding sources will need to be identified.
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