PURPOSE:   Enhance the City of Avon by defining and developing its central area, thus giving the area and the City as a whole an identity, sense of organization, and an inspiring environment for the residents and commerce.
GOAL:   Develop a visually recognizable District and create a distinct identity for the center of Avon.
MEANS:   Use of streetscape elements to define and unify the area.
Provide limited flexibility in zoning regulations to allow for an efficient use of the land, reinforcement of the streetscape elements by creating "building edge", and animating the area with architectural treatment respective of the existing historic character.
Provide Municipal parking areas and encourage pedestrian circulation by providing well-articulated walkways, outdoor seating areas, and a generally safe and friendly environment.
Provide for a review of new construction and exterior remodeling to accommodate unity of architectural style and visual compatibility.
Recognizing the historic center of the City at the intersection of Detroit Road and State Route 611, the significant existing public buildings, such as the City Hall and the post office, the proposed new public buildings, such as the library, the construction of antique shops as well as the impact of proposed new commercial development near Detroit Road and Garden Drive, along with the general circulation pattern as it relates to I-90 and the interchanges at State Routes 83 and 611, it is recommended that a District be defined with the following boundaries:
1.   Starting at State Route 83 and Detroit Road, a gateway receiving most of the inter-urban traffic coming from I-90. This area should recognize the vehicular traffic and shall serve as a transition/buffer between the high speed traffic on State Route 63 and the intended pedestrian-oriented area to the west.
2.   Extending west on Detroit Road to the bridge over the French Creek, a significant and visually interesting natural feature, and recognizing a number of important nodes (areas) along the way:
   a.   Existing City Hall, with the open land and recreational facilities located in the rear, along with commercial strip and potential parking areas across the street. This area provides an opportunity for centralized Municipal parking and recognizes a significant public structure - City Hall. As much of the land is owned by the City, an opportunity to enhance the City property and lead by example exists.
   b.   Similarly, the intersection of Detroit Road and State Route 611 symbolizes the traditional center of the town, with the original City Hall as a focal point, and open land available for a City square which would mark the town center.
   c.   From this intersection (Detroit Road and State Route 611) heading north on Route 611 to Harvest Lane, where the new public library is to be located. This segment would reinforce the importance of the intersection and recognize the significance of a major public institution such as the library.
All properties fronting on the roads described above should be considered a part of the District as a minimum.
TOOLS:   Streetscape:  An effort should be made to eliminate the overhead wiring in this area. The following elements should be incorporated into the streetscape, generally following the District Plan shown on the drawings following the text of this Appendix A.
Walkways:  A minimum of 6 feet wide, primarily of concrete construction per City specifications, with accent areas of brick pavers as illustrated on the District Plan and as recommended by the Planning Commission.
Light Fixtures:  Pedestrian light fixtures, spaced approximately 100 feet apart, shall be metal halide, single-pole fixtures as currently provided by the utility company for subdivisions, with banner brackets added for display purposes.
Trees:  For easy maintenance and durability in an urban environment, "Skyline Honeylocust" (Gleditsia Triacanthus Skyline), 1½-inch caliper, spaced at approximately 50 feet apart, is recommended.
Benches, Trash Receptacles, Etc:  Shall be of wrought iron construction, selected to reflect the character of the District.
Other Landscaping:  As the City is known for the numerous greenhouses and nurseries located in the area, a use of planting beds is strongly recommended to communicate the rural ambience of the vicinity and strengthen the identity of the entire community.
Modifications to Zoning Requirements:  As the proposed District encompasses an area with numerous existing structures and physical conditions, some historically significant, and since it is the intent to provide for a more pedestrian-friendly area, it is recommended that modifications to the current zoning may be made, allowing the reviewing agency to consider the following elements:
   1.   Changes to parking and building setback requirements which would respond to adjacent existing structures so that a 'building edge" can be developed, allowing the street to become more well-defined.
   2.   Changes to existing parking requirements, recognizing the possibilities and the intent to develop centralized Municipal parking areas, and introduction of the concept of curbside parking to buffer and separate the pedestrians from vehicular traffic. Reduction of individual parking areas will allow for more efficient use of the land in the District and will allow higher density, which is essential to the commercial success of the area, as well as to the desired enhancement of the community spirit.
   3.   Incorporation of streetscape and architectural improvements, which are currently not required, as a compensation for possible relief of current requirements as described in item numbers 1 and 2 above. It is important that a pleasant, interesting and architecturally coherent environment is developed to attract people to the area.
Architectural Review:  As noted above, the development of a clearly articulated and coherent architectural character, as well as building massing and scale, is important to the establishment of a sense of unity and identity within the District. Similarly, attention should be given to the materials, colors, and details utilized in an effort to animate the overall appearance of the area, creating a rich and vibrant setting for the community. To that end, the establishment of an architectural review board or some other mechanism for addressing the issue of architectural appropriateness should be adopted.
It should be understood that the implementation of this Plan will be a prolonged, multi-phased effort involving all aspects of the community.
Phasing:  It is recommended that the effort shall begin at the intersection of Detroit Road and State Route 611, with the available open land. The development of a City square and adjoining walkways and the improvements to the adjacent properties can establish the first link in a chain of improvements to follow. The area adjacent to the present City Hall is recommended as the second focal point, where the City can demonstrate its commitment to the District. Subsequently, the private parcels between these points and beyond can participate in the streetscape improvements.
Resources:  Joint effort between the residents and the businesses, the City Government and the area merchants, specialized groups and interested individuals, will be required to accomplish this task. It is recommended that an organizing or steering committee be formed to spearhead such an effort. A combination of approaches can then be utilized to realize this goal.
   1.   On any new construction or substantial exterior renovation, use the modified zoning requirements to achieve the desired appearance.
   2.   Apply for grants from the government and various foundations to implement specific tasks, such as sidewalk or tree procurement and installation.
   3.   Utilize community organizations and volunteers to complete selected projects. An existing example of such a joint effort is the Avon Community Center Project undertaken by the Lions Club.