A: In the model of Traditional Community Development Principles, which we adhere to, historic town centers should always be slated for both Preservation and Growth. This occurs in two ways — the first is by recognizing the intrinsic value of existing communities, particularly pre-war communities that also embody many of the features and characteristics that we are proposing for The HUB, and by the reapplication of those Principles to the downtown, clarify the basis by which its character will be protected and preserved as it continues to grow and evolve, like any other living community.
The second, and most important way to do that, is by keeping them economically viable. To do that, you have to adopt policies that continue to support investment in the downtown and, more importantly, to encourage people to actually live there, and that means allowing for ongoing infill development and gradual intensification of the downtown core.
Seth Harry, of Seth Harry and Associates, Inc., is the Master Planner and Architect for The HUB at La Plata. He expounds on these concepts some more.
“Having done a lot of work in historic, Main Street communities, we know that the same principles and regulatory structure that will enable The HUB to be built as planned, can be used to guide infill development and redevelopment in the historic downtown core,” he says. “Those same principles will help to define mutually beneficial policies with respect to local business retention and allocation of goods and services within the overall community, that will serve both The HUB and La Plata as a whole. This will serve to enhance the Town’s competitive positioning in both the greater Metropolitan area, and in particular, in the region of Southern Maryland along the U.S. 301 corridor.”