Take the MAC visual preference survey
Town undertakes visual preference survey
to help shape vision for Maple Avenue Commercial zone
Channeling the maxim that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” the Town of Vienna is inviting residents and business and property owners to take a visual preference survey that will help shape how the Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) corridor is developed. The online survey, which takes approximately 15 minutes to complete, is available through midnight November 12 at surveymonkey.com/r/MapleAveSurvey.
Using an assortment of photos of mixed-use buildings from around the country, up to four stories in height, the survey asks participants to rate their favorability of each image on a scale of 1-5. The images represent a range of placemaking, building design, and site design characteristics.
“We’ll be finding out from the community what the look and feel of the Maple Avenue corridor should be,” says Planning Director Cindy Petkac. “The guidelines to be developed are the community’s vision for Maple Avenue and will define Vienna’s vernacular, if you will, for the commercial corridor.”
Those who wish to take the survey, but don’t have access to a computer or need assistance, may take the survey at Town Hall from 4:30-7 p.m. Monday, October 15, 22, 29, and November 5, and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, October 17, 24, 31, and November 7. The survey may also be completed on a laptop provided at the Vienna Farmers Market from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, October 20 and 27.
Results of the survey will help inform MAC Zone visual design guidelines to be developed by the Town. The MAC Zone already includes design standards, which describe quantitative (i.e., numbers and dimensions) requirements that must be followed. Design guidelines are more descriptive, subjective, and flexible; easier for laypeople to understand; and provide for a broad range of outcomes.
“We’re providing guidance on what the community is looking for,” says Petkac, “not
prescribing exactly what a building must look like.”
The new visual guidelines, which will provide photos and renderings that define Vienna’s vision for Maple Avenue may result, she notes, in recommended amendments to the MAC ordinance, which has been temporarily suspended by Town Council while design guidelines are being developed.
Vienna’s MAC Zone is a voluntary district, applicable to an area along Maple Avenue from East Street to the Town’s western line, that encourages compact, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development and redevelopment that re-enforces Maple Avenue’s role as the Town’s main street.
Survey results will be shared at the November 15 Board of Architectural Review meeting, which begins at 8 p.m. at Town Hall. For additional information about the visual preference survey and MAC design guidelines, contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 703-255-6347 or firstname.lastname@example.org.