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Forum to welcome ideas for development in Lancaster business district

A public forum to air ideas on the prospective upgrades for Central Avenue will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Lancaster Municipal Building at 5423 Broadway, said Village Mayor William Schroeder.

Discussion will focus on the village's Smart Growth campaign along Central and will include improvement such as bike lanes, bus stops and street lighting.

Smart growth is an alternative to urban sprawl, traffic congestion, disconnected neighborhoods and urban decay. It challenges old assumptions in urban planning, such as low-density development, automobile focus and separating land uses.

The forum comes during a period of change for Lancaster's business district that includes a $15 million mixed-use development. The development will feature a blend of boutiques, restaurants and up to 48 midrange to upscale apartments proposed for West Main Street by businessman Tommy R. Sweeney.

"As downtown Lancaster develops, it's critical that residents have a say in the future of our community," said Assemblywoman Monica Wallace, who is expected to attend.

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