Public meetings Jan, Feb & March
Your feedback has significantly influenced and improved the features and design of Elgin Park, as detailed below, which has been the subject of three public meetings and dozens of calls and emails to my office.
The most recent meeting was Tues. March 27, where the architect presented two potential designs for the project. One design featured a diagonal layout; the other a square or linear layout. Residents at the meeting overwhelmingly preferred the square/linear layout, so the architect is proceeding on that basis.
Below are at least 9 changes to the original plans for the park presented in October, based on resident feedback:
At all three public meetings residents preferred the Roads and Parks Maintenance (RPM) facility to be located in the North East corner of the property, to provide greater separation and minimize the impact to adjacent St. Luke’s church.
Result: The RPM building is located in the North East corner of the park.
1. Residents were concerned about parking for RPM staff being located in the park, and taking valuable park space.
Result: The staff parking has been moved off site.
2. Residents asked for a clear separation between the driveway access and the playground feature, to keep vehicles away from children.
Result: The driveway access to the RPM building has been moved to the South East corner of the property, fenced off from the rest of the park.
3. Residents asked for the playground feature to remain, given that Spencer Smith Park is too large for young children and requires crossing a busy road.
Result: A junior playground feature is retained, in the North West portion of the park.
4. Residents asked for a swing to be installed on the playground.
Result: The new park layout will provide a play area large enough to accommodate a junior swing set.
5. Residents asked that the design and materials for the RPM building be compatible with the character of the surrounding residential area.
Result: The RPM facility will be made of brick, as are many of the homes in the surrounding area. There will be windows similar in look to a residential window. There was a suggestion from a resident to use “coach” doors for the garage. This is subject to budget, and will be considered.
6. Residents asked that the RPM facility be fully fenced off and screened with landscaping to hide the machinery and activity.
Result: The RPM facility will have a non-see-through wood fence on all sides (replacing the chain link presently there).
7. A hedge will screen the fence to the West. The existing wood fence along the entire width of the property to the North will remain.
At the first two public meetings, the majority of residents requested that the chain link fence on the West side separating the St. Luke’s Church lawn from the playspace be removed to open the area up. At the third public meeting, a church warden advised his preference to retain the fence, in order to separate play activities from funerals, weddings or other activities at the church.
Result: The warden will consult further with the church and report back to staff and the architect within a week.
8. At the most recent public meeting, a suggestion was made to increase the height of the maintenance facility roof by several feet to create a steeper pitch, similar to the steeper pitch of the historic homes in the area. Residents immediately backing on to the facility expressed their concern about the added height and impact on sun/shade/visibility from their yards.
Result: In order to meet the extremely tight schedule and budget (a steeper roof adds about 10% to the cost) the architect will be proceeding with the lower roof height.
9. At the most recent public meeting, a representative of the city’s Mundialization Committee requested additional space for the Apeldoorn feature.
Result: The playground feature is likely to be moved slightly to the north to allow the Apeldoorn feature to be expanded. The walkway from the sidewalk along the West side will be relocated to the East side, between the park and the RPM hedge/fence, to allow for clear and unobstructed access to the Apeldoorn and playground areas.
It is expected that the draft designs will undergo additional refinement as the architect and staff work to finalize the plans. We are working with the architect to post the draft designs online. When that is ready, I will send the link.
My Take: I think the project has come a long way from where it was in October, with many improvements thanks to your input. I would like to thank staff and the architect for hearing resident input and accommodating so many of your requests. I’d like to thank you for taking the time to attend meetings, call or email me with your valued feedback. This has been a truly collaborative process and the end product has been greatly improved because of it.
If you have further questions or comments, please leave a comment below or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org