Putney Road Master Plan

“The project includes what everybody hoped for and solved any problem that was brought up. It was due to [the firm’s] superb ability to engage the public.” – Jim Mullen, Planning Director, Brattleboro Planning and Services Department

After leading a public participation process with the Putney Road Business Association and the Brattleboro Town Planning Office, Stevens & Associates developed a master plan to transform the Putney Road commercial strip north of town into a mixed-use, urban town center.

Today, the Putney Road corridor serves as a regional retail and service industry for Windham County, Vermont. It’s characterized by low density, automobile oriented commercial development with pockets of light industrial land use on the periphery. The corridor is a hostile environment for pedestrians and bicyclists, there is limited community space and very little architectural character.

The intention of the Putney Road Master Plan is to provide the framework that will guide development in this corridor over the next 25 to 50 years in a way that will increase real estate values for property owners while emphasizing the characteristics of development that supports a sense of place.

It is rooted in the principles of smart growth: providing an active streetscape with wide sidewalks, buildings close to the street and parking in the rear of buildings or on the street. With three story development, instead of the current single story buildings, offices and apartments would occupy the upper floors and help create a “walk to work” environment.

The plan includes high-density, residential development with community open spaces, as well as pedestrian and bicycle access, with an increase from 1.3 million square feet of commercial development to 3.5 million square feet, and an increase from less than 100 residential units to over 1,000.

Since its completion in August 2005 the Putney Road Master Plan has gained community wide approval and acceptance. It is currently being used to enact zoning changes and it is being used as a guideline for VTrans scoping study of the Route 5 corridor.