If you go
What: City Center public outreach meetings
When/Where: 4-5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7 at Sun Village Multipurpose Room, 17300 N. Sun Village Parkway, Surprise
When/Where: 10-11:30 p.m. Monday, March 11 in the Auga Fria Room at the Cimarron Center, 17100 W. Clearview Blvd., Surprise
By Matt Roy, Independent Newsmedia
While designers continue their efforts, Surprise residents can help create a vision for the city’s future.
Mayor Skip Hall announced last week officials will host the next in a series of public outreach meetings to discuss the City Center master plan 4-5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7 in the Multipurpose Room at Sun Village, 17300 N. Sun Village Parkway.
“I hope to see you there. Make sure to keep an eye out for future meetings throughout Surprise,” Mr. Hall stated in his weekly newsletter.
Scott Phillips is vice president of Scottsdale-based Carefree Partners, an affiliate of Surprise Center Development Company, the landowner group working to develop a comprehensive land use master plan for the more than 500 acres of undeveloped land remaining at the City Center.
He has conducted four outreach meetings so far and said he hopes to complete another six to eight sessions in the community before the master plan is completed in the summer.
Seating for this week’s meeting in Sun Village will be limited, Mr. Phillips said.
“Only the first 160 people will be able to participate, but don’t worry, there will be other sessions coming soon,” he said.
District 5 Councilman David Sanders also encouraged locals to attend this week’s meeting, urging participation in what he described as an important process.
“Public input is imperative to the success of our City Center,” Mr. Sanders stated. “As the councilman for District 5, I want to be the voice for what the public desires for this area. Understanding the residents’ wants and needs is crucial to the success and future of our downtown and public engagement is extremely important.”
As with the previous four meetings – which were held with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, as well as students and faculty at Ottawa University Arizona – the Thursday outreach will be delivered in a charrette format.
As such, attendees will be asked to speak up, ask questions and join in hands-on exercises and brainstorming activities, Mr. Phillips explained.
“The purpose of this is have a lively, interactive session drilling down into community wants and needs, the values of the residents, and the culture of our community,” he said. “The feedback is critical for design, marketing and overall planning of the downtown. Above all, it is a joy to interact with the community and hear the abundance of great ideas generated by these sessions.”
Following a brief presentation, attendees will share their ideas through a visual preference survey, using colored markers to sketch out plans on large, printed maps to illustrate the kinds of projects and amenities they hope to see developed in the area.
Mr. Phillips said those who attended the previous meetings seemed enthusiastic about the ongoing effort.
“A lot of ideas they’ve shared have focused on walkability, on having a place to hang out and a good quality of life, some of the things that make a city feel like a city,” Mr. Phillips said. “They want more entertainment, local shops, things that are unique to Surprise that will help it continue to define its identity.”
He said officials are considering a venue to host another public outreach event later this month, likely in Sun City Grand.
A date has not been selected for that meeting yet, Mr. Phillips said.