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Board views design concept for park

September 22, 2011

PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth Redevelopment Commission got its first look at design concepts for the proposed downtown park. Appearing before the Commission this week was Michael Reese, landscape architect of the Troyer Group of Mishawaka.
Reese passed out five hand-sketched concept drawings and asked for feedback on what parts of each drawing they preferred. Reese said they would like to narrow down the choices prior to a public meeting on the matter.
The designs ranged from freezing over the concrete slabs occupied during the growing season by the Farmer’s Market to make an ice skating rink to planting a Christmas tree. Although they are only ideas at this point, some of the additional notations on the drawings included a small stage, gazebo, terrace gardens, a gathering space, picnic and playground areas, educational/ natural areas, and an ice skating trail.
Commission member Shawn Grobe questioned who will be making the final decision on the design.
Grobe asked, “Who ultimately approves the concept, is it Redevelopment or the Park Board?”
City Attorney Nelson Chipman replied saying, “It’s a consensus.”
However, Brent Martin interjected saying there has been a 14- person committee for the project.
Commenting on the drawings presented, Dan Tyree, commission member, said, “I see a lot of no-green space. What is the percentage of green space?”
Reese indicated that the drawings did not reflect the green areas well. He said, “Definitely predominately green space. A FEMA requirement is that we don’t increase impervious surfaces.”
Since the entire site is in a flood plain, it is possible that the whole proposed park area could be under water at some point.
Referring to the planning done by the committee that has been involved in the project, Tyree said, “In our talks we made a commitment to draw people downtown-not away from downtown.”
Reese said much of what was included in the preliminary drawings was included after hearing comments from the public during a meeting earlier this summer.

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