Perrysburg eyes waterfront
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 10:04
PERRYSBURG - A controversial $26 million plan to develop the city's waterfront will get a public airing next month.
Some portions of the plan, including an ice rink and amphitheater, have taken criticism for being unrealistic.
"We're kind of in the final home stretch of a process that began back in 2011," said Planning and Zoning Administrator Brody Walters, "and arguably before that for the city's P3 plan."
The P3 Comprehensive Plan, which stands for People Planning Perrysburg, is a master plan for the city.
The plan is being developed by national architecture firm Harley Ellis Devereaux, which has offices in Southfield, Mich., as well as Illinois and California. It is to be presented to the public July 30 at 5:30 p.m., prior to a council meeting.
"People desired to have better access to the waterfront," said Walters. The area stretches from Fort Meigs eastward to the Perrysburg Boat Club at the end of Louisiana Avenue.
The plan's baseline is to determine how to connect the riverfront's assets for residents and visitors. Hood Park, Orleans Park, and Riverside Park are all situated in the area.
In that spirit, the major consideration is for a multiuse path that would connect the larger Wabash Cannonball Trail to the north with Fort Meigs and the downtown.
"So that's kind of the main feature," said Walters. "That's something that the city has been planning for at least a fair amount of time."
There are more ambitious portions of the plan - which, Walters stressed, is a tentative concept, "not a bid document" - with a number of additional features which he termed "fairly intense."
Among the features are bike trails, expanded areas to kayaking and canoeing, a non-permanent amphitheater, and an ice rink.
"With that, this is basically demonstrating what could be done in these different areas."
Walters explained that the ice rink, for example, was suggested because of concerns that there might not be activities to draw people to the waterfront during the winter months.
"The solution to that was provide ice skate opportunities," he said, adding that "Perrysburg used to have an ice rink down very near where the one being proposed is now, near Orleans Park."
Councilman Todd Grayson, in an interview Monday, noted that these larger additions have been presented before to City Council, and received criticism for being too grandiose.
"We've been back and forth now for what seems like a year," and what is being presented "seems essentially like the same project."
"My opinion is it's still too much," he continued. "I'm not in favor of something that's going to be, I think, impractical. If there was a giant pile of money laying around, sure, do it. What they designed is beautiful."
However, "having something near and being able to fund it are two different things."
"We cannot locally fund what is in that design," he said.
"It's not the concept itself, it's just the execution's going to be impossible."