From the start, SPU has been committed to addressing community and customer concerns involving present and future operations at the North Transfer Station. In 2008, SPU convened a stakeholder advisory group whose members included neighbors, community representatives, transfer station users, waste and recycling haulers, environmental advocates, and design professionals. SPU worked with the advisory group throughout 2008 and 2009 to better understand community values and issues, and began developing responses to the many concerns about the existing and future station. See the archives for meeting summaries and other materials.
Stakeholder Group Workshops
In 2010, in response to the stakeholder advisory group’s request to be able to “see” how SPU might be able to address community concerns and develop a vision for the new station, SPU began a conceptual design process. Moving into a workshop format, SPU and the Stakeholder Group set out to discuss general specifications of the new facility, including the overall building height, layout of the site’s buildings and driveways and the design of the building exterior. Working with SPU and the consultant conceptual design team, the Stakeholder Group attended numerous workshops, reviewed 13 conceptual designs, and recommended preferred elements for the project team to integrate into the design. They contemplated multiple iterations of possible site concepts, while considering operational, maintenance, customer and community constraints and opportunities. Their work culminated in June 2011 with a consensus recommendation to SPU for the conceptual design known as Concept C (pdf). SPU Director Ray Hoffman subsequently accepted the recommendations and agreed to implement them into the facility design. See the archives for the Stakeholder Group Recommendation Report and other materials.
The Green Group
To ensure the design of the new facility reflected community values in the use of resulting open space, SPU invited community members – some from the Stakeholder Group, others from the design community, and additional near neighbors to make up the Green Group. The Green Group met with SPU and their landscape architect several times in the latter half of 2011, to provide their insight into potential amenities and uses of the open space included in Concept C (pdf). In November 2011, the group agreed on a hybrid open space concept called Twine with a Twist (pdf), which included the features identified in the figure (i.e., sports court, play lawn) and the following overarching principles for the new facility’s open space:
- Additional natural play elements to Carr Place North
- Preserving view corridors
- Retaining street trees throughout the site as much as possible
- Developing a site with crime prevention in mind
- Reaching environmental engineering and planning goals
- Adding pedestrian safety elements
- Creating a green roof that complements the design of the green space
Additional Community Involvement
Through the Conceptual Design process, in addition to working with the Stakeholder Group and the Green Group, SPU reached out to station users, neighboring communities and the broader community to seek additional input on the new station and to provide the work groups with insights and concerns to factor into their deliberations. SPU arranged project site visits, set up information booths at the Fremont Sunday Street Market, surveyed 400+ facility customers, held a public meeting, hosted a site tour and regularly briefed the Wallingford Community Council and the Fremont Neighborhood Council on the project’s progress. Community meetings were held at key points in the conceptual design process to provide opportunities for community members to provide input to the workgroups as they approached key recommendation points.
As the design phase of the project progresses, SPU remains committed to working closely with members of the community to keep them informed and discuss site features.