City of Maitland

Decision Item

Approval of the Independence Square Park Conceptual Park Plan


Department:Parks & RecreationSponsors:

Financial Impact

Preliminary estimate of $2,310,000 from Fund 65 (Parks Trust Fund).

Meeting History

Aug 28, 2017 6:30 PM Media City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

Mr. Jay Conn, Parks and Recreation Director, provided background information for the Independence Square Park conceptual plan to date and stated Council’s review of the plan tonight is the sixth and final step of the approval process. He stated staff would like to establish a budget ceiling for the project, noting the preliminary cost estimates total approximately $2.31 million for project construction. The Parks Trust Fund is identified as the funding source for the project and the fund currently has an unreserved fund balance of $3.6 million. He stated the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) approved the project but voiced their hope that some cost savings could be realized as the project progressed through the design process. Mr. Conn stated that PRAB voted that there be a "no dog" policy at the park.

Mr. Ryan Seacrist, Senior Landscape Architect, Community Solutions Group at GAI Consultants, provided a Power Point Presentation (attached hereto and made part hereof) highlighting the development of the concepts for the park project.

Councilman Lowndes expressed his appreciation to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, complimented GAI Consultants for their work; and, made the following suggestions for the preservation of green space and for value engineering: reduce the amount of space that is paved (sidewalks) and leave more green space; eliminate the east-west 20’ wide sidewalk through the middle (utilize Horatio for off-loading staging equipment and, if necessary, move the stage closer to Horatio); narrow the long north-south sidewalk specifically on the western edge; eliminate the east-west sidewalk near the rest rooms and perhaps some of the interior ones; eliminate the rest rooms (utilize City Hall rest rooms for non-event days; provide portalets for events); and, reconsider the budget for bleachers and the shade structure. Councilman Thomas concurred with Councilman Lowndes’ suggestions and stated he thought there were ways that costs could be reduced. He questioned if the park space couldn't be greener and if the walkways couldn't be more natural looking with winding paths, versus sharp angles. Councilwoman Reponen stated she supports the idea of a fountain with seating on the side(s), artwork within the park, climbable artwork for children, the planting of large trees, the use of trees for shade versus the installation of a shade structure and table umbrellas; and, recommended a physical barrier between the railroad track and pedestrians. Additionally, she stated she agreed with some of Councilman Lowndes’ suggestions and commented that there are a lot of sidewalks in the sun and that the space needs to be walkable for mothers with babies. Councilwoman Goff-Marcil stated she agreed with most of what has been said to include the use of more trees for shade. She supports having rest rooms at the park and suggested the use of recycling storm water for irrigation. Mayor McDonald stated we need a tree canopy within the park and as much greenspace, as possible. Additionally, he stressed the importance of the park space functioning as it is intended and that it be capable of supporting events and event participants.

Mr. Todd Deery, 2514 Mohawk Trail, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) Chair, explained the PRAB’s viewpoint of the conceptual plan and answered questions posed by Council.

Mr. John Bauer, 107 Kyle Drive, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) Vice Chair, expressed PRAB's excitement about the project and acknowledged the PRAB's concern with cost.

Mr. Seacrist, and Mr. Pete Sechler, Director, Community Solutions Group at GAI Consultants answered questions posed by Council.

Mayor McDonald requested public comments. There being no one who wished to be heard, Mayor McDonald closed the public comment period.

After discussion, a motion was made to approve the conceptual plan taking into account all of Council's concerns regarding cost and green space.

MOVER:Mike Thomas, Councilman
SECONDER:John P. Lowndes, Councilman
AYES:Dale McDonald, Joy M. Goff-Marcil, John P. Lowndes, Bev Reponen, Mike Thomas