In 2003 and 2004, SERA was on a team that assisted the citizens of Damascus in stating the community’s Core Values. With their common ground determined, this rural community voted to incorporate in 2004, and passed a city charter in 2005. In 2007, SERA was hired as part of a multi-disciplinary team to assist the City in the preparation of its Comprehensive Plan. Through a variety of city-wide and neighborhood planning exercises, SERA assisted with the design and planning of an entirely new, 10,000-acre city planned for a population of 60,000.
In Winter 2008, SERA performed an objective, city-wide Suitability Analysis that examined land hazards, slope, waterways, wetlands, habitat, developable area, and soils to determine relative suitability for either conservation or for one of four generic development types (employment, office, retail, and residential). SERA constructed a raster-based GIS model for this analysis, and worked closely with the City’s Community Coordination Committee (C3) to set and refine model parameters. The result of this analysis was a set of five Composite Suitability Maps, which formed the objective basis for an Opportunities & Constraints Map.
In 2009 and 2010, SERA worked with both the C3 and individual neighborhoods to transform the Opportunities & Constraints Map into a city-wide, community-supported Aspirational Framework Map that helped form the basis for the City’s Draft Comprehensive Plan Map, which was developed at an intensive, five-day design Charrette in the Fall of 2009.