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Geneva to begin planning process for former Mill Race Inn

Charrette to begin June 24 to brainstorm redevelopment

GENEVA – As a preview for the charrette planning process for the former Mill Race Inn property, Rick Hitchcock of Hitchcock Design Group presented a step-by-step idea at the Geneva City Council meeting June 17 of what to expect next week.

The charrette is an intense planning process originating in 19th century France where those in crash courses of planning would put their work in a cart – or charrette – that would be wheeled past their desks, Hitchcock said.

“The term represents this intense workshop of series of workshops focused in an intensive way,” Hitchcock said.

The charrette will determine how to redevelop the 1.8-acre site at the southwest corner of Routes 25 and 38.

Three sessions will be held at Riverside Receptions & Conference Center, 35 N. River Lane, Geneva:

• A public workshop will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. June 24

• An open house will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. June 26

• A wrap-up presentation will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. June 27

The Hitchcock Design Group and the Shodeen Family Foundation will be working together with a team of planning, architecture, engineering and marketing economics experts.

Hitchcock said the process includes everything from policy to infrastructure and whether what is proposed is financially feasible.

“Why a charrette? It compresses the time it takes to get from the beginning of the process to the end,” Hitchcock said. “It helps focus our experts.”

The goal will be to have a consensus on no more than three ideas, Hitchcock said.

He said the plan is to have a zoning and development agreement in place by October.

Results of each session will be posted on the city’s website,, he said.

First Ward Alderman Mike Bruno said he was glad to see “all parties putting skin in the game.”

“I think it’s a critical gateway property,” Bruno said. “I’m really excited about the progress we’ve made.”

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