APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The City of Appleton held an open house Monday to get public input on design concepts related to the College North Neighborhood Plan.

According to the city’s website, the plan itself is like a guide to help improve the area over the next 10 to 20 years and incorporate community feedback so locals “can have a neighborhood by design, not by default.”

“Receiving feedback and input is critical as this plan will provide a framework for future development that facilitates greater connectivity between the City, adjacent neighborhoods, existing businesses, and nonprofits,” said Karen Harkness, Director of Community and Economic Development.

The open house was in the City Center Board Room on the 1st floor of City Center East (10 E. College Avenue, Appleton) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“It’s been overwhelming positive feedback. I think folks are really excited about the extra attention being paid to the neighborhood and certainly, downtown Appleton is already a great place but making it an even greater is the idea with the plan here,” said David Kriss, the City of Appleton Principal Planner.

City officials say they have been collecting data and feedback through focus groups, design studios, and an online interactive mapping tool since October of 2021, all as a way to guide private development, public investment, and improvements.

Some of the most recent developments are:

  • The Appleton Public Library building project.
  • A facility needs assessment for Valley Transit Center.

Interactive Mapping Tool

As a way to engage the community, anyone can drop a comment on the online interactive map – either a “My Idea” that gives tips or “My Concern” that gives insight on what might be a problem.

A few of the comments are highlighted in the table below.

My Idea commentsMy Concern comments
“I wonder if it’s possible to encourage any large brands to create a location in this mall [next to Building for Kids] for added foot traffic.”“I am very opposed to the idea General Manager Ron McDonald put forth about building a new multi-story transit center with either affordable housing or a daycare on the second floor.”
“If there could be some sort of map or mural promoting mental health awareness/Appleton diversity/non-profits in this area [E. Franklin St. & N. Morrison St.] instead of just murals that are mostly near college ave to promote the non-profits and businesses helping the community in the area to make resources more known to the community…”“There are too many surface lots in the district. On-street parking and SHARED surface parking (City-owned) would help minimize need for so many privately owned underutilized surface lots and free up space for infill.”
“I’d like to see one East/West street entirely converted in a non car road — for pedestrians and bicycles only. That way you could get rid of an east/west bike lane somewhere.”“This sidewalk [N. Appleton St. near W. Franklin St.] is narrow and slanted towards the road. Visibility into alleys is non-existent for pedestrians. Not pedestrian friendly.”
“Would LOVE to see a climbing gym, especially since REI was built, in addition to the various sports parks!”“Enforcement of sidewalk clearing requirements in Winter. 2+ weeks a year this sidewalk [N. Appleton St.] is impassable from drifting snow and ice.”
“Plant trees along the Railroad tracks from Prospect Street to Ballard Road, Poplars would be nice, or Fruit Trees, randomly placed.”“There are a lot of parking lots in this area [near W. Franklin St. and N. Superior St.], which leads to drop in foot traffic, lack of beautification efforts, and contribute to the look of a concrete jungle.”
As of April 11, 2022.

In May, officials say they will present the plan to the Common Council for approval. For more information on the College North Neighborhood Plan, click here.