Residents Re-Imagine West End and West Hill

Residents in Albany's West Hill and West End neighborhoods got their first look at the city's proposal to revitalize the area.

City leaders unveiled the first draft to the public Tuesday night at the West Hill Middle School after months of planning. They hope to provide more homeownership and business opportunities, improve parks, and increase walkability in the community.

Neighborhood service providers were on hand to answer residents' questions and also asked for their input on a variety of proposals.

Ivette Alfonso was one of many residents sharing thoughts on proposals posted along the wall.

"I think we need a mixed use neighborhood, where we have both businesses and residential areas," said Alfonso. "We had a little supermarket in the area on Quail Street, but it ended up closing. We need a lot of support for businesses to be able to continue."

Areas that consulting firm Kevin Dwarka and the city's planning department are also looking into include calming traffic, making housing more affordable, cleaning up dilapidated buildings and improving public transit.

"I think it's something that's been a long time coming," said planning director Chris Spencer. "And it's really about trying to find an actionable plan -- not just a set of goals and ideas, but really, action items for how to get there."

Spencer said he hopes to see the revitalization strategy implemented over a number of years.

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