Byram Charrette Meeting

Over the last eight years, Byram residents have casually discussed town
centers in the area below Siwell Road and west of Terry Road. One reason why
we do not have a town center is conventional zoning. A thriving town center
typically offers high quality public space suitable for many uses – commercial
and non commercial, private and public, active and lazy in a walkable, compact
environment that emphasizes proximity and face to face interactions. We think
that by creating a Form-Based Code District we can achieve an attractive town
center over the next few years.
But we need your help. This cannot be done without your active participation.
We have been asked if we are trying to put apartments there. The answer for all
similar questions is “No.” High quality public spaces often allow for many different
types of uses in the same area and uses often change over time. Instead of
preserving use, FBC encourages and preserves public character of the area;
instead of promoting interactions among cars, it enables and preserves human
interactions. Our streets and buildings should be designed to serve us and our
interests and not the other way round.
Your engagement is the most powerful tool in citizen participation. As citizens/
residents of Byram, you know your community needs; you drive the streets;
support retail businesses; and interact with your neighbors. You know what shape
and form you would like to see Byram to grow into, and what you will support. Our
goal is not to change Byram, but to help regulate and encourage a purposeful
pattern of growth that helps create and enhance the public space. The ideals for
form based codes are inclusionary. How can you help? The residents of Byram
must help us understand community dynamics and patterns. Please speak
to us; provide us with meaningful constructive criticism on how we can better
implement new ideas. Come to the design charrettes on May 12 – 13 and again on
June 9 – 10. This is your town, your city, your town center, Please help us envision
what should it look like and then help figure out how do we achieve it.
The project team led by Dr. Kumar will help with all the information and also
facilitate all the planning & design exercises. Please mark your calendar. We look
forward to seeing you all four days. Please do not forget to bring your family and