Implementation Strategy

The following committee chairpersons help manage the implementation of the Dixon Riverfront.

Public Relations Committee

Chairperson: Jean Millar

The Riverfront Master Plan must be sold to the community in order for successful implementation to take place. This committee would be responsible for ensuring that the community is aware of the plan and for garnering further support for the plan. Some of the activities this committee should undertake are: coordinating and writing editorials for the newspapers; developing a newsletter for the Riverfront Plan to detail its progress; speaking on radio programs; speaking to service clubs throughout Dixon; developing a "sales kit" with sketches and a discussion of the community benefits of the project; and developing relationships with corporations and businesses with a vested interest in the plan and the downtown.

Natural Resources Committee

Chairperson: John Weitzel

This committee is responsible for coordinating the acquisition of land for bicycle and walking trails and coordinating the development of plans for these trails. They must also address issues regarding the islands and prioritize those projects.

Redevelopment/Economic Development Committee

Chairperson: Jack Coleman

This committee is responsible for those activities involving private redevelopment in the area. Activities of this group include land assembly, demolition, site analysis and preparation, developer recruitment and negotiations and business recruitment. This committee may be one that is developed over the long-term, as these redevelopment activities may come after the Riverfront Plaza is complete or near completion.

Design Committee

Chairperson: Bill Ost

This committee is responsible for design guidelines, marketing image, and creating an identity for the Dixon Riverfront. Private property owners must coordinate their new buildings, building improvements and site improvements with the new Riverfront character. Design guidelines are recommendations for the enhancement of visual quality. They are adopted to improve visual aspects, halt visual deterioration, and protect the identity of an area. The benefits of design guidelines include: improving the quality of the physical environment; protecting the investment value of the area; protecting the unique architecture of the area; increasing public awareness of architectural quality; and preventing incompatible new development.

The City of Dixon adopted Historic Preservation Guidelines for downtown Dixon in 2000. The guidelines encompass a 24-square block area of the downtown and Riverfront. The document includes guidelines for preserving and restoring existing storefronts; new construction in the downtown area; appropriate signage; and exterior materials and maintenance of buildings. They are applicable to the entire Dixon Riverfront and should be applied as part of this Master Plan.

The following design principles should be considered in developing new buildings and rehabilitating existing buildings along the Dixon Riverfront.

  • High quality architecture.
  • Compatibility with scale and character of surrounding buildings.
  • Landscaped open spaces around buildings to provide opportunities for social activities and views.
  • Building setbacks and landscaping to enhance pedestrian use of the street.
  • Building entrances related to the public street.
  • Use of landscaping to conceal parking.
  • Encourage historic preservation.
  • Minimize demolition of historic buildings.
  • Complement the scale and character of adjoining buildings and maintain the integrity of the block face.

Programming Committee

Chairperson: Bonnie Kime

This committee is responsible for the programming of the Riverfront, in terms of theatre and the arts, special events, living history and recreational activities The Riverfront on both sides of the River will include a variety of open spaces that should be programmed for special events, festivals, art fairs and craft fairs, farmers markets and recreational activities. These spaces include:

1. Page Park: Current and future community festivals.

2. ComEd Park (west of trestle): Additional festival space and recreational space (e.g. soccer fields connected to Page Park by the trestle walkway).

3. Historic Landing (south side between Peoria Avenue and Galena Avenue): Terraced market square for art fairs, farmers market, etc. Pedestrian and bicycle improvements for the trestle and Peoria Avenue bridge will interconnect these open spaces. A system of public parking lots exists on both sides of the River in close proximity to these open spaces to support visitor-parking needs.

Special Legislation and Funding Sources Committee

Chairperson Paul Miller

Special federal funding as part of the Federal Transportation Act should be sought to develop the Riverfront Plaza and special features along the River, which entail significant infrastructure investment. In addition to coordinating the grant writing to public agencies, the committee will develop creative approaches to finding private funding sources for the project. The committee will also develop marketing materials and encourage private sector decision-makers to commit resources of their companies in terms of financial resources and expertise.

Riverfront Foundation 501 C3 & Private Fundraising Committee

Chairperson Ray Neisewander

This group is charged with soliciting private donations from residents, businesses and other entities in and outside of Dixon and managing all funding efforts, including developing approaches for the funding of operations and maintenance. This group is also responsible for eliciting further public input.

Technical Resource Team

Chairperson: Larry Reed

This group, which will include city staff, agency representatives, utility and railroad representatives and the consultant teams, will be responsible for the day-to-day technical implementation and management of the Riverfront Projects.

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