Archive for Thursday, August 11, 2005

Planning for park involves public

August 11, 2005

Turnout at last week's "charrette" staged by consultants designing a master plan for Lansing Community Park was not exactly overwhelming, yet the idea behind it was sound:

Take the best of what the public suggests, combine those ideas with professional planning, and continue to map out proposals until one sticks.

The charrette comes after an earlier two-day "needs assessment" in which members of the public were asked to share their ideas for the new park with designers from Jeffrey L. Bruce & Co., the firm charged with developing a master plan for the park.

Both exercises have brought about what consultants are calling a preliminary master plan for the park.

The plan is just what the consultants have dubbed it: preliminary. But plans for the 128-acre park west of the city on 4-H road are continuing to take shape.

As the plan now stands, the park will have a multifeature aquatic center, three baseball fields, two softball fields, four soccer fields, one football field, several ponds and a large shelter that will house a farmers market. It also may find itself as the home for future Lansing DAZE celebrations.

It remains to be seen whether the preliminary rendition becomes the final product or whether amenities will be added or subtracted from the plan. Those decisions will be made, in part, after a survey of Lansing residents gauges support for the plan. The Lansing City Council, too, will weigh in.

This much, we know, though: Since the council bought into the idea of hiring a master planner, opportunities for public input into the project have abounded. We can think of no better way to ensure support for the final plan than by engaging the public in the effort each step along the way.

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