The Vibrant Communities process was initiated to engage the communities of Elkhart County in a discussion on quality-of-place. Over a six-month program, nearly a thousand participants shared close to 4,000 unique ideas and comments. To reach a final set of community quality-of-place actions the Vibrant Communities Steering Committee developed a six-month process to elicit thoughts and ideas from the public. This included several large and small in-person meetings, online feedback and physical surveys. Please review the Action Agenda below and let the Steering Committee know what you think!
THE GOSHEN ACTION AGENDA
G1 – Renovate the Goshen Theatre.
Renovation of the Goshen Theatre will provide a significant lift to the vibrancy and vitality of downtown Goshen. The theatre could expand the variety and prominence of its acts. The project, while complex and relatively expensive, will have a profound impact on the community’s downtown.
G2 – Eliminate blight around the community.
Blight should be addressed where it exists through a new program. This initiative will identify the worst affected areas and develop focused strategies to effect its removal.
G3 – Develop a safe and attractive sidewalk system.
The system of sidewalks and paths that connect Goshen residents to their homes, businesses, schools and lifestyles will be maintained and expanded strategically to improve the walkability and safety of the community. Priority investment corridors should be identified based on a study of existing walk patterns, the location of key attractors (schools, work places, downtown, etc.) and community needs.
G4 – Promote Goshen’s tourism assets.
Key tourism assets should be identified and marketed in coordination with other Elkhart County attractions. The community will think creatively about the marketing of attractions by understanding the demographics of existing visitors, the venues they frequent and additional audiences that aren’t currently visiting.
G5 – Maintain and expand downtown attractiveness.
The aesthetics of downtown will be enhanced through focused attention on masking parking lots, improving alleys and allowing for multiple entrances to existing buildings. Storefronts should line the sidewalk and encourage rear parking wherever possible. Street furniture, lighting and other elements within the right-of-way should have a consistent design, be well-maintained and reinforce a district wide identity.
G6 – Remove and redevelop the county jail.
The County Jail sits in a prime location in downtown and is greatly underutilized. The building has very little aesthetic value and would be prohibitively expensive to renovate and reuse. It should then be removed to make room for future redevelopment.
G7 – Improve public transportation.
Improving the regularity and service area of transit will provide residents with options and improve their mobility and access to jobs. More effective routes, improved drop off and pick up locations, and logical transfers will all be considered as improvement options.
G8 – Add more multicultural activities.
The city’s cultural diversity has increased greatly over the past several decades. Community activities, like festivals, should reflect the variety of cultures and backgrounds now present in Goshen and help to expose and educate old and new residents on the area’s cultural diversity.
G9 – Construct a recreational facility for year round activities.
A year-round recreational facility will allow residents to maintain a healthy lifestyle through the cold winter months, provide a center for youth activities, and add another amenity for current and future residents. The programming of the facility should include a variety of sports and recreational pursuits.
G10 – Provide adult language education courses.
Language courses – English to Spanish and Spanish to English – will help build better connections and better understanding across the increasingly multicultural community.
G11 – Launch improved marketing of low healthcare products and services in the community.
Goshen has a number of unique low-cost healthcare options which could be better utilized through improved marketing in English and Spanish.
G12 – Develop a Goshen Central Park and Dog Park.
A new Central Park will serve as a community gathering point and green amenity for current and future residents. Four-legged residents should not be forgotten. Dog parks are an increasingly popular amenity in modern communities and will be included in the programming for the new Central Park.
G13 – Provide more entertainment options in the community at affordable prices.
The variety and regularity of entertainment options should be expanded as an amenity for current and future residents. These events should be tailored to multiple audiences including young people, families and seniors.
March 9, 2016, 6-8pm
Goshen High School
During the Community Conversations participants were asked to think about the central assets and opportunities they see within their community. The Goshen conversations included:
What do you think?
Now that you’ve had a chance to review the Action Agenda, let us know what you think. What do you support? What are your concerns? Let us know below.
Want to get involved?
Is there a particular proposal where you feel like you could be helpful? Let us know and get involved in the implementation of the Action Agenda.