10 Nov 2011

Local parks protected, answer residence pleas

Author: Zach Knapp | Filed under: Business, Local stories

By Zach Knapp

Local residents worried that an invasive structure or building may breakup the natural beauty  of Bowling Greens many public parks can now rest easy, as a public review process has been approved for any new structure proposed to be constructed in a public park has passed in the city council meeting on Monday.

The last board member approved the ordinance amending the Bowling Green District Map, and establishment of the review process, constituting a unanimous vote, resulting in an discreet declaration of satisfaction from Michelle Grigore, the Director of the Bowling Green Parks and Recreational Department; an understated celebration of “a very long and complicated process.”

According to Grigore, the initiative to legitimize this review process began in February of last year, but the public’s concern over the issue of local parks safety has an extensive history.

“There was dispute over a certain park in the area near Thurston Street 50 years ago, and whether not city council had the right to remove it.” Grigore said. When city council took the initiative and removed the park “some people felt that city council had gotten rid of the park unfairly, and were afraid that it would happen again, in times of an economic pinch.”

Any concerned residence worried about the direction of the public parks may now be involved in the process of approving upcoming structures in public park under the new public review process. Upon the proposition of a new structure in a city park, a 30-day review process will follow. A meeting will be given a seven day notice for any resident of the public that may wish to voice their opinion on the issue.

The public parks currently under jurisdiction of the public review process are Bellard Park, Carter Park, Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve, Simpson Garden Park, Raney Playground, City Park and Conneaut-Haskins Park.

Other organizations that had questions regarding whether or not the new public review process would affect their affairs, such as the Bowling Green Country Club and the Peewee Baseball Park, were satisfied when they were able to review the contents of the new process.

Tim Dunn, President of Peewee Baseball Park, said that the youth baseball league is a private entity, so the rules of the public review process would not affect the park.

However, in his official statement on the approval of the new public review process, Dunn said, “We get a lot of support from the Parks and Recreational Department. So whenever they win, we win.”

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