8-18-03 Meeting with Friends of Lincoln Park/UPARR regarding Lincoln Park Revitalization
Parks, Recreation and Properties
Director Natalie Ronayne and Commissioner of Research, Planning and Development,
Mark Fallon introduce City staff and the proposed plan for Lincoln Park. The
option for a dog park in Tremont, located at Lincoln Park is detailed.
Colleen Gilson, Executive Director of Tremont West Development Corporation reminds the groups that the comfort station presently located in the park will be demolished. There is a question of whether a public restroom will be put in place of the comfort station as St. Augustines is used now as a public restroom. Representatives from the City say that maintenance and security staffing issues are far too significant to make a public restroom possible. It is noted that the department takes this position on public restrooms in parks throughout the City.
A question is raised as to the following park attributes and their location in the new plan: water fountains, trash containers and benches. Steve Long from Research Planning & Development commented that there would be a combination dog/human water fountain in the proposed dog park. However, the plan was quickly revised to place water fountains elsewhere to avoid potential conflicts between humans and dogs.
The question of additional parking was raised. Parking was noted as a big issue, according to one resident. Parking was represented as an attractive option as well as one that residents did not want at all. Research, Planning and Development will investigate the parking issue and the pros and cons of increased/additional parking in and around the park.
A resident asks if the new benches will have an intermediate divider to discourage sleeping
A resident asks about the maintenance of potential water fountains and notes that water fountains can be of nuisance if not carefully maintained. Research, Planning & Development will pay close attention to this issue.
A resident asks if a new playground structure, with bright colors and safety surface, would clash with the proposed historic lighting. In addition, this resident would like to know what the color options for the structure might be and if they could blend in to create a more subdued affect.
The question of which sidewalks will be repaired/replaced is raised. It is noted that the peripheral and the cut-through sidewalks will be included in the plan.
A resident asks if there is a designated group to lead the City through the process of the parks redesign. Colleen Gilson notes that this process has been documented and supported fully and has continuously involved residents.
A resident asks if recycled products might be used in the improvements planned for the park. The question is noted and the department will look into alternative products for use. Further, historically appropriate fixtures will be used in lighting the park.
The question of moving the dog park is raised. A resident states that the flow of Lincoln Park will be interrupted by a dog park and that 85% of dog walkers in the area have fenced in yards. Also, it is stated that some residents avoid Lincoln Park because of the presence of dogs and that said residents should be considered in this proposed dog park and its presence in this park.
It is noted that West 14th and Starkweather is a widely used area for dog owners and if the location of the proposed dog park was based on the utility access, then the access should be extended to this corner.
It is stated that dogs should be sequestered.
A resident asks if there will be new plantings in the park. Yes, new plantings are in the plan and will include a community gardens around the gazebo. Plantings will be chosen with maintenance in mind (with the exception of the community gardens as their content and therefore maintenance will be largely dictated by those that take part in the gardens). There are no new trees proposed.
A resident asks about adding a sound system to the gazebo. The planners note that there is no plan to do so at the time, but the gazebo will receive new posts, a new floor and roof and the community will paint the gazebo when construction is complete.
Tim Donovan, from the National Heritage Corridor project proposes using the sidewalks and the design of the park to tell the story of immigration throughout history in this region. He further suggests that residents consider using Lincoln Park as a loop for all of those who use West 14th to avoid the Innerbelt.
A resident asks representatives from Research, Planning and Development if there is a water source under or near the gazebo to feed the proposed community gardens. It is noted by both residents and City reps that there is a water line, but it is not currently active.
Colleen Gilson introduces the idea of moving the dog park to Clark Field as a catalyst for renovating that park.
A resident states that Lincoln Park is not an appropriate location for a dog park as its the focal point of the neighborhood and it is littered with dog droppings. This resident would support a dog park at Clark Field. He further states that he believed the objective of the UPARR plan was to restore the park to its original form and that a dog park is not in line with that vision.
Gail Long, Executive Director of Merrick House, states that she would not like the dog park across the street from Merrick House as it is too close to the children that participate in programming at that facility. She officially objected to the proposed dog park being sited in Lincoln Park.
Director Natalie Ronayne notes that the size of the dog park is approximately a quarter of an acre. Commissioner Fallon remarks that dog parks are typically larger than the proposed quarter acre. He reads from a dog park fact sheet, which outlines an ideal dog park as including the following attributes:
Location in a large community park
Ideal size should be no less than one acre or as large as two or more acres
Double gated entrance/exit
Shaded and have access to drinking water
Covered trash receptacles
A Pooper-Scooper station
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access
It is noted that Happy Tails, a local pet service provider, would supply the proposed dog park with bags for dog droppings. A resident asks how long the bags will be available for the foreseeable future, a City representative responds.
A resident notes that having the dog park at Clark Field would have peripheral affects, which could include: higher usage and repair of the walking bridge, a turn around for the blight in the area and an reinvestment in the housing around Clark Field.
Paige Akins, CO-Chair of the Friends of Clark Field notes that Clark Field is approximately 32 acres in size and is therefore suitable for a proposed dog park. She also states that access to the park is easy and that access would even improve if the dog park were to be located at Clark Field. Further, she points out that the Dog Kennel is located in close proximity to Clark Field and that the park itself is ADA accessible.
A representative from T.R.E.A.T.S (Tremont Residents Empowering Animals To Socialize) outlines her concerns for placing the proposed dog park at Clark Field. She mentioned that the area is unsafe and isolated and lacks the visibility that would bring residents down to the park. Ms. Akins responds that the area would have increased lighting and that much of the underbrush and trees that prevent good sight lines would be removed. She also noted that Cleveland Public Power would take part in the effort to increase lighting. She also mentions the use of Clark Field by a local baseball league.
A resident notes that Lincoln Park is already used as an informal dog park and there is worry that moving a dog park to Clark Field would do little to change the habits of dog owners that are used to taking their pets to Lincoln Park. This resident feels that a small dog park in Lincoln Park is a decent compromise.
A resident proposes two dog parks: one in Lincoln Park and one in Clark Field. This resident feels that interaction will increase and that the compromise will suit both sides of this discussion. This resident also states that dogs and people need socialization and that this is a good method for achieving that goal
A resident states that Lincoln Park is the right location as it is centrally located, used often and is an appropriate site for the proposed dog park. She also believes that there is a peer pressure to clean up after your pet, so dog droppings wont be an issue.
Colleen Gilson introduces resident Marc Dorsey to propose his idea for a Peace Pole in Lincoln Park. He notes that the Peace Pole is an obelisk that would be comprise of peace wishes in six languages, to be determined by the neighborhood. Ms. Gilson notes that block clubs in the neighborhood could each contribute a portion of the cost to cover the full amount.
A resident asks if this Peace Pole is similar to the one located across from Tremont Elementary School. It is determined that the two poles are not alike. A resident asks about the maintenance of the pole and who would care for it in the event it is vandalized. A resident asks if the Pole and the dog park could be put into a plan for public art in the neighborhood so that these elements might represent a larger plan for public art.
A resident asks if there could be an audio system of some sort installed in the park. The City representatives note that infrastructure for audio lines could be laid over time, in a phased fashion and that the City is open to exploring this option.
Colleen Gilson asks if there is a general resolution of the UPARR plan. It is determined that the group will assemble again in two weeks. Commissioner Fallon notes that the timeline of this project is sensitive and that a contractor will be on site shortly. He requests that the location of the dog park be settled soon.