Park planning to put pen to the people
Andover Townsman (MA), 2014-02-20
Feb. 20--Residents equipped with magic markers will be able to craft their vision for The Park at a "design charrette" meeting slated for next month.
The meeting, part of the town's ongoing quest to review and update the town park and playstead at Bartlet and Chestnut streets, will be held Tuesday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Hall Library, 2 North Main St.
Lisa Schwarz, the town's senior planner, said the meeting will be interactive and offer a chance for people to put their ideas on paper and contribute to the future vision of the park.
"I'd like groups of people to be at tables in the upstairs room at the library and be able to mark up plans with ideas for what they have, whether it has to do with sidewalks and trees, parking circulation a playground or any other type of amenity," Schwarz said.
The master plan project grew out of past inquiries about The Park, which led Town Manager Buzz Stapczynski to decide the time was right to reevaluate the property and how it's being used, Schwarz said. Town officials will provide a history of The Park and share possibilities being considered for improving it.
"At the end, everybody can present their ideas," Schwarz said. "Maybe a new idea could come out and everyone says, 'Wow, that's great.'"
The charrette will help guide work on The Park, which could include the addition and relocation of new attractions, changes to the landscape and more. Then, "with the list of improvements, (town officials will) come up with some sort of funding plan long-term," Schwarz said.
The Planning Board's work on The Park's master plan has been on hold pending the charrette, originally scheduled for December but postponed due to poor weather, she said.
Schwarz is hopeful next month's community meeting will generate a lot of participation from the public.
"When you have the Planning Board meetings, you have the audience, and the Planning Board is taking information. But there isn't a continuous dialogue," she said. "I'd love to get people just talking -- talking to one another, not at a board."
(c)2014 the Andover Townsman (Andover, Mass.)
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