By Kevin Kelley
The 2012 master plan update, unveiled at a public meeting at City Hall Monday night, consists of both short-term and long-term projects designed to enhance the city’s attributes.
Alex Pesta, an architect with City Architecture, the consulting firm hired to write the report, said the goals of the year-long master plan effort are to better create an identity for the community, both for visitors and residents.
Fairview Park Economic Development Director Jim Kennedy said the plan will serve as a “blueprint for future activity.”
Pesta said he was impressed that Fairview Park, more than most communities his firm has worked with, has a record of building on previous master plans.
“It shows that you’re progressive and rolling up your sleeves and getting things done,” he said.
Pesta said the master plan builds on the community’s existing attributes, such as its parks and access to the Cleveland Metroparks.
“The whole idea is to rediscover what Fairview Park has,” he said.
Citywide initiatives prioritized by the study would:
- Establish a marketing campaign for the downtown area
- Create a citywide signage package
- Highlight key intersections with special crosswalks and paving
The report focused on five areas of the city – the four major directional entrances to the city and the downtown area.
“The five focus areas, together with the development of city-wide standards, combine to unify the City and provide opportunities to consider the parts as well as the whole,” the 81-page report states. “This method creates a tool that allows for lized and collective growth the districts and community.”
The intent, Pesta said, is to preserve, enhance and grow each focus area.
For example, the eastern gateway to the city, specifically the intersection of Lorain and Story roads, could be enhanced to make crossing the street safer there. The pedestrian trail to the Cleveland Metroparks should be better promoted through signage.
In the downtown area, the report suggests an amenities package, such as the addition of benches, to create a consistent pedestrian experience.
“There are a lot of things that we can do that are relatively inexpensive,” Kennedy said of the report’s recommendations. The city will likely seek grants to fund some of the projects, he added.
Signage and landscaping are among the less expensive recommendations. More ambitious, and expensive, is the suggestion that the city acquire property around the Gemini Center to create a civic campus environment there.
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