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Mason Herrman

Regional and Community Planning


Planning Philosophy After taking a class on urban design in Clay Center, Kansas, I knew I wanted to be a planner. Interning with the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation, then the Urban Planning and Land Use Department in Kansas City, Kansas only reaffirmed my desire to be a planner. In my eyes, being a planner is being able to help people improve their communities and turn ideas into reality. In my work and in my schooling, I have had the opportunity to change communites and turn people’s ideas into reality.

Looking east from Lincoln, Kansas.


Table of Contents Clay Center, Kansas Surrey, Canada Lincoln, Kansas Kansas City, Kansas

Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri.


Clay Center, Kansas

Clay Center, Kansas

Urban Design and Development

Technical Writing Example “Background

In the Fall of 2016, I had the opportunity to take a class that worked with the City Commission ofClay Center, Kansas on revitalizing their downtown. Our class was split into teams of architects and planners. Then, we visited Clay Center and conducted an analysis of what we thought would be best suited as updates to the downtown. After completing the analysis, our teams presented to the Commissioners on campus. From there, they told us what they approved in our plans.

First site visit to Clay Center. During this site visit, we met with stakeholders and community leaders. After this site visit, our respective groups had a greater perspective on what struggles Clay Center was encountering in regards to their downtown.

Our final presentation was given in downtown Clay Center to the public. Although many members of the public disapproved of our plans, it was incredibly rewarding to work with and collaborate with the stakeholders. Conducting a real world project is invaluable experience.

Our proposal is addressing the lack of emphasis on the pedestrian in downtown Clay Center. In visiting Clay Center, we found that there is a considerable lack of pedestrian amenities in the downtown, particularly on the eastern edge of the courthouse square. There, we found that crossing the street to the library was particularly challenging. It was challenging not only due to the traffic issues caused by semi-truck traffic, but by the lack of crosswalks as well. As a team, we thus focused on mitigating traffic issues as well as the reemphasis on the pedestrian. By doing this, we would be completing Clay Center. The study area that our team focused on can be seen in the diagram to the right. We are focused on the eastern portion of the courthouse square, as well as the entrance to the downtown at the conjunction of Highway 15 and 6th street.

Intent

The work we conducted in Clay Center helped me obtain the LCEDF internship, once again proving that t was an invaluable experience.

Presentation to Clay Center Chamber of Commerce in the spring of 2017. Not all of our projects were well received by the Chamber of Commerece. However, it was an incredible experience to be able to get in front of a large crowd and present ideas.

As mentioned above, we would like to complete the downtown through the emphasis of the pedestrian. This completed downtown façade can be seen in the before and after diagram to the right. When we visited Clay Center, we felt disconnected from our environment as pedestrians. Our design strategies would seek to reconnect the pedestrian to downtown. Our vision is that of a walkable and pedestrian friendly environment in the downtown, one where someone could easily walk from the library, to the courthouse for an event, to a restaurant further down the street. Ease of mind is the most important goal that we seek to accomplish.

Urban Design Strategies

First and foremost, we would propose to delineate the edges of the courthouse square. To do this, we propose crosswalk accessibility across the street from the courthouse and redeveloping various parcels in a manner that mirrors the west side. Secondly, we propose a change in the structure of parking, which in itself would have a direct impact on the pedestrian’s walking experience. If we decrease parking around the courthouse square we could also improve sidewalk width and create room for benches. In addition, we propose raising all the crosswalks to the height of the sidewalk throughout the square. Raising the crosswalk to the “Rex” theater would also be of emphasis, with a proposed renovation of the “Rex” included. Thirdly, we would propose to place a roundabout on the conjunction of 6th street and Highway 24 (pictured to the right). A tree with signage indicating that you are at the gateway to the downtown would be placed on the perimeter of the roundabout. Lastly, we propose the long range plan of diverting truck traffic from the downtown. To do this, we would propose the construction of a bridge as a continuation of Meadowlark Lane, spanning the Republican River. This road would cost approximately $3.4 million per mile constructed.”

Downtown Focus Area for our class project.


Surrey, Canada

Surrey, Canada

ArcGIS Maps

Working as a team

In the Fall Semester of 2016, I took a second class on community engagement. This class had two components: extensive work with GIS, as well as extensive teamwork. The first half of the semester focused on ArcGIS. During this time, I was able to learn an incredible amount about ArcGIS; the professor who taught this class did a tremendous job making sure we understood the concepts. After taking this class, I can say that I feel more than comfortable in using and conducting research within ArcGIS. The second component of this class, teamwork, was emphasized in two projects. The first project was an exploratory lab where a team of landscape architects and planners collaborated on researching critical systems at risk due to sea level rise in Surrey, Canada. Following up from that project came the penultimate project of the semester, where teams of planners and landscape architects undertook creating plans for mitigating sea level rise. To do this, we had to use ArcGIS, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Microsoft Office to create physical plans. Secondly, we collaborated with engineers and planners in Surrey. The extensive research, data management, and ArcGIS usage in this project established a framework for workflow that I still use today.

Transportation Assets Environmental Assets

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Mud Bay

Mud Bay

Data.

The maps to the right were created in ArcGIS, and were used as part of our final project.

0

2

0

Kilometers NAD 1983 UTM ZONE 10N

Aerial view of Mud Bay Park. Mud Bay Park is a floodplain, and was the focus of our study.

Green Infrastructure Network Agricultural Land Reserve Flood Drainage Area

Source: Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AEX, Getmapping, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, swisstopo, and the GIS User Community

Kilometers NAD 1983 UTM ZONE 10N

This map highlights environmental assets that would be at risk should a flood occur in the Mud Bay Region. Source: data.surrey.ca

Road Centerlines Trails and Paths Buildings Skytrain

Protected Farmland Park Trees

Mason Herrman October 12, 2016

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!

Barriers Poles

Source: Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AEX, Getmapping, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, swisstopo, and the GIS User Community

This map highlights transportation assets that would be at risk should a flood occur in the Mud Bay Region. Source: data.surrey.ca Mason Herrman October 12, 2016


Lincoln, Kansas

Lincoln, Kansas

Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation

Lincoln City Park Improvements The Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation hired me for the summer of 2017 to design new improvements to their City Park. This project is twofold; a presentation board and written report on the design process. The design process included community meeting input, and information gathered from members of the public. The improvements were intended to be used by the LCEDF once funding was acquired – which they did as of July of 2018!

This internship with the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation provided a unique opportunity to take a leadership role in assisting three western Kansas communities. Working with the director of the LCEDF, Kelly Larson, and Landon Cook, an architecture student at Kansas State, physical capital improvement plans were created using Illustrator, Photoshop, and ArcGIS.To create the plans, I first reviewed survey data from 2016. Then, I held community engagement meetings in three communities in the County; Barnard, Sylvan Grove, and Lincoln.

The board to the right displays the long-term goals for the City Park. To create this board, I used PhotoShop, Illustrator, AutoCAD, and ArcGIS.

Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation // Mason Herrman // Kansas State University // Regional and Community Planning // August 3, 2017

Lincoln City Park Improvements Conceptual plans for the short-term and long-term future of City Park Long Term Issues Phase II

1. Create a focal point of the northwest corner bridge by facing it with limestone using a similar design aesthetic as in other park features; 2. Extend the sidewalk in the park to be a full loop around the park extending around the ballfield; 3. Update the picnic structure (adjacent to the Boy Scout Cabin) to be similar to the design aesthetic in the park; 4. Create an RC car course; 5. Repurpose the band stand's parking lot into a dual-purpose event space. Close the parking lot and add seating. Pave a portion of the gravel road and add parking; 6. Replace the walking bridge with a bridge that meets ADA code; 7. Expand the Boy Scout Cabin to allow broader community use. 8. Add bathrooms and open it to the public for events, 9. To further mitigate flooding, create a rain garden on the east side of the ballfield. Incorporate this into the nature trail; 10. Expand the pool and update the pool complex; 11. Create a focal point of the park creek. Add plantings, a walking path adjacent to the creek, and stepping stones across the creek for children to use.

Creek walking path.

Flooding. A new culvert would mitigate flooding. Limestone faced culvert bridge.

Rain Garden. To aid in mitigating the flooding issue in the park, a rain garden has been idenitified as a project for Phase II of the the park’s future plans.

RV Park. The current location deactivates the west side of the park. Bathroom expansion on Boy Scout Cabin.

PHASE II

The work I did in Lincoln has set me up for the future after learning Adobe products, how to lead a community meeting, and stepping outside of my comfort zone. The connections I had made within this job helped me to land two other internships - with the Manhattan

Legend

Water

Pavement

Trail Extension

Lighting

Frisbee Golf

Trees

NYA and WPA Projects

Existing Buildings

Expansions and Additions

Benches and Art

9

2

1 8

7 3

11

Boy Scout Cabin in Lincoln’s City Park. The cabin was a central piece in the revitalization efforts for their City Park. Aerial Image of the City Park in Lincoln, Kansas.

5 4

Context Legend Context

6


Walking Trail Plans

Barnard Trail Improvements As with Lincoln, this project is twofold; the outcomes are a presentation board and written report on the design process. The improvements were for the town of Barnard’s aging trail system. Information for the project was gathered from the Chamber of Commerce, stakeholders at a local café, and from my supervisor, Kelly Larson. The improvements are intended to be used once funding was acquired.

These conceptual plans utilize the levee and railroad right of way to create walking trails in Barnard.

Levee Trail Option

Barnard has had a long history of flooding from the Salt Creek, so much so that a levee was built to control the water. This levee creates a natural and unencumbered path ideal for a trail. From public input, this approach was the most popular idea as it also offers the nicest views of the creek and the surrounding farm land. As per the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s regulations, a trail on the levee is allowable as long as there is no excavation on the levee itself. Any new material must be on top of the existing levee.

Walking Trail - High School Loop

Sylvan Grove is a small city with a surprisingly progressive local leadership group. With progressive people at the helm, Sylvan Grove was receptive to the information gathering sessions at their local café, the Chamber of Commerce, and at the School Board. The boards displayed on this page, as with a sampling of the written report, display work done with Adobe Illustrator, ArcGIS, and with local stakeholders.

This conceptual plan displays one of the four walking trail loops concepts that emerged from public input.

These conceptual plans are intended to aid the City of Sylvan Grove in the process of improving public infrastructure to increase their citizen’s quality of life.

Engagement Process

To gather ideas for a walking trail in Barnard, residents of Barnard were able to provide input during a city council meeting on June 5th, 2017, and an open input session at Nancy’s Fancy’s Cafe on June 7th, 2017. During these discussions, two primary concepts emerged including a trail along the levee surrounding the community and a trail along the former rail-line. For both of those concepts, needs and challenges were identified including: sidewalk improvements along streets to improve connectivity points of interest within the community to the trail, parking at the trail’s access points, the kind of surface material desired for the trail, amenities along the trail such as benches, signage and lighting, regulations for trails by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, property lines and ownerships, and prohibiting motorized vehicle usage on the trail.

Width 6’ - 10’

A

Background

Engagement Process

The Live Healthy Lincoln County (LHLC) coalition formed in 2015 with the mission to proactively work towards improving the overall health of county residents. In 2016, the LHLC hired RDG Planning & Design of Omaha, Nebraska, to gather broad based public input, identify healthy living needs, and priorities, to develop an overall strategic plan for the county. Through this public input and planning process, the top priority was determined to be creating connectivity within each specific community, while also creating more opportunities for walking. With this goal in mind, the idea for a walking trail in Sylvan Grove began to take root. The concept of a splash pad surfaced thereafter.

Stakeholders were able to provide public input during the City Council’s meeting and the USD 299 School Board’s meeting on June 12th, 2017. Stakeholders were also able to provide public input during a public input session at the Hometown Cafe on June 15th, 2017. From these discussions, two primary concepts emerged: four walking trail loops and a splash pad. For both of these concepts, needs and challenges were identified: connectivity, materials used on the trail, amenities, accesibility, funding, property lines, and cost.

C

Gravel (recommended) Concrete

D

0.5

Parking

Miles

City Hall B C Nancy’s Fancy’s Cafe

Along streets at access points

E

A

City Park D

CO-OP

Lighting

B Levee Walking Trail Rails-to-Trail Walking Trail Points of Interest Access Points County Road

July 19, 2017 | Mason Herrman // Kansas State University // Regional and Community Planning | Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation

0.5 Miles

A B C D E

North Levee South Levee West Levee Trail on City Property Trail not on City Property Benches Lighting

Solar (recommended) Electrical Lampposts

Length

Levee: approximately 3.5 miles Rails-to-Trails: approximately 1 mile

Conceptual Plan

Materials

E C D

A

B

K

G

F

H Truss Bridge

I

J

High School Loop City Park + Downtown Loop Railroad Right of Way Trail Fairgrounds Loop Sidewalk Connection A. City Park B. Presbytarian Church C. Old High School D. Lutheran Church E. Cemetery F. Water Well G. Rail Depot H. Fairgrounds I. Original Town Site J. Old Mill K. Potential Splash Pad Location

High School Loop

Amenities

Length

The High School Loop is one of four walking trail loop concepts that emerged from public input. This was the most popular loop choice; if the walking trail were to be phased in, this would be the most logical choice to start. High School students, Cross Country runners, and Physical Education classes could use this trail daily.

Benches Signage Lighting Mile Markers

Approximately 1.5 miles

This loop encircles the High School within the windbreak’s treeline. Windbreaks were an important aspect that were discussed during public input sessions; thus the high school loop should be created within the already in place windbreak.

Sylvan Grove Public Health Improvements

Benches Lighting Signage Bollards

These conceptual plans are intended to aid the City of Barnard in the process of creating walking trails. The Live Healthy Lincoln County (LHLC) coalition formed in 2015 with the mission to proactively work towards improving the overall health of county residents. In 2016, the LHLC hired RDG Planning & Design out of Omaha, Nebraska, to gather broad based public input, identify healthy living needs and priorities and develop an overall strategic plan for the county. Through this public input and planning process, the top priority was determined to be creating connectivity within each specific community while also creating more opportunities for walking. With this goal in mind, the idea for a walking trail in Barnard began to take root.

Barnard has a rich history with the railroad; the town itself is named after a former railroad employee. The “rails-to-trails” concept is one that has been utilized all over the country and was the second most popular choice amongst stakeholders in Barnard. Should this be built along with the Levee Trail, a full loop around the community would be created. One challenge with this approach is gaining property easements along the proposed trail path. The property along Segment D does not cross property lines. Segment E is not owned by the city of Barnard, and would have to gain the proper easements.

Sylvan Grove Trail and Park Improvements

Amenities

Barnard Walking Trails Background

Rails-to-Trails Option

Lincoln, Kansas

Connections

Materials

City Park City’s Water Well

Gravel Concrete Highway Millings Quartzite

Solar (recommened) Electrical Lamp Posts

Lighting

Width

Parking

6’ - 10’

Existing Parking at High School At Access Points along Streets

N Signage

High School Loop

Lincoln, Kansas

Benches

Scale

Trees

0.1 Miles

Legend Trees Lighting Signage Benches

City Park Lighting

Improved Sidewalk

Water Well Connection

August 1, 2017 // Mason Herrman // Kansas State University // Regional and Community Planning // Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation

July 19, 2017 | Mason Herrman // Kansas State University // Regional and Community Planning | Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation

August 1, 2017 // Mason Herrman // Kansas State University // Regional and Community Planning | Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation


Kansas City, Kansas

Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas

Kansas City, Kansas

Georeferencing Zoning Maps into GIS The Urban Planning and Land Use department of Kansas City, Kansas moved to their current location in 1973. Their longest tenured employee began creating physical zoning maps once their move was completed. For 43 years, before he retired, he updated these maps after every change of zone was passed by the Board of Zoning Appeals or Planning Commission. After his retirement, my task was to digitize these maps and add them to the department’s GIS server. The first part of this project entailed taking photographs of the maps, then georeferencing them within GIS. After undertaking this project, I was able to learn a unique skill in GIS. I was also able to help my department move into the future with ease.

After working in a rural community in Lincoln, Kansas, I wanted to see how planning worked in a metro area. When I met with a planner from Kansas City, Kansas at the APA Conference in 2017, I knew that I wanted to try my hand at planning in a place like Kansas City, Kansas. The excitement came from the opportunities that I would have there; it is safe to say that the internship exceeded my expectations. During my time in Kansas City, I was able to attend community meetings, learn about new processes in GIS, become well versed in planning terminology, and step outside of my comfort zone. Before I moved to Kansas City, I knew nearly nothing about Kansas City, Kansas or Missouri. Upon completion of the internship, I was able to learn more than I could have ever thought about a community. I officially was hired on with the Urban Planning and Land Use Department of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas on January 9, 2018. My final day was July 21, 2018. I completed my internship as part of my degree program.

City Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.

Renderings of georeferenced zoning maps (waiting to hear back from the UG to see if I can use these maps).

Zoning Maps


Kansas City, Kansas

Kansas City, Kansas

The back storage room of the 4th floor became a second home for me. Within this room are all applications from 2015 back to 1973, random files, photographs, boards, presentations, books... anything and everything that was once used by the department. My job was to file papers in this back room, and also to sort through the gargantuan stacks of paper to find relevant files to case work. What seemed like busy work at first soon became a way to learn more about the planning of Kansas City from the 1970s onward.

The Northeast Area of Kansas City, Kansas was long neglected by developers. And since there were no developers, there had not been proper sidewalk development for some time. The Unified Government decided to pursue funding for new sidewalks. These sidewalks would service children walking to and from two schools in the Northeast Area, as well as residents seeking recreation opportunities. My part in this project was to complete a grant application for Safe Routes to Schools funding from the Mid-America Regional Council in Kansas City. I researched approximate costs, took site visits to the area to photograph poor conditions, and collaborated with multiple departments. This project was incredibly satisfying in that I was able to help provide funding for new sidewalks for the Northeast Area.

Grant Writing and Northeast Area Master Plan

Filing Room

The Northeast Area was undergoing a Master Planning process when I was hired at the Unified Government. During this process, I was able to attend and help lead four public meetings on what the Master Plan sought to accomplish. There was both animosity and excitement at these meetings; being able to navigate through both feelings gave me an opportunity to deal with the public on a level that I had not done since I worked in Lincoln.

Back storage room of the Urban Planning and Land Use Department.

Back storage room of the Urban Planning and Land Use Department.

Need to acquire text from these grants.

Northeast Area Master Plan community meeting.

Marketing design for the fourth Northeast Area Master Plan meetings.

Final Submission for Portfolio Design  
Final Submission for Portfolio Design  
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