Port plan explores downtown possibilities

Feedback from workshop will help city refine proposal that includes everything from parks to parking

PORT WASHINGTON OFFICIALS are compiling a downtown master plan and the city’s marina is a part of that plan. One suggestion under consideration is moving some marina operations to Coal Dock Park, officials said. A public meeting on the plan will be held at City Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

What could the Jadair property in downtown Port Washington be if it were developed?

What should be developed on Coal Dock Park? Should some marina operations be moved there?

If the police and fire stations are moved outside of downtown, as Mayor Ted Neitzke has suggested studying, what could be developed on the property where they currently stand?

If parking structures were developed in downtown Port, where should they go? Should they be incorporated with housing? Retail uses?

All these possibilities will be explored at a community workshop on the city’s downtown master plan to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, at City Hall.
A presentation on the plan will be held at 6:30 p.m.

The workshop will follow an open house format, with those attending circulating between stations that represent various issues that will be included in the final plan.

  The workshop will focus on many of the topics addressed during a May public meeting, but in much more detail, Bob Harris, the city’s director of planning and development, said Tuesday.

But, he added, there isn’t a fully developed plan yet.

“It’s not ‘This is what we’re proposing.’ They (the city’s consultant Graef) will have preliminary ideas and recommendations to present, then turn to the public and say, ‘What do you think?’” Harris said.

“Have at it — tell us what you think. You can love it, you can hate it or anything in between.”

The master plan is expected to cover 10 years, he said.

“We want to have stuff you can implement right away and bigger stuff that will be down the line,” Harris said.

“They want to present a host of ideas. There’s nothing wrong with showing out-of-the-box stuff.”

That includes the idea of shifting some marina operations, perhaps the launch ramps, to Coal Dock Park in an attempt to shift traffic from the marina.

“Is is possible? Is it feasible? Is is something people want to think about,” Harris said.

Many of the concepts to be presented for the park have their roots in the Hitchcock plan created when Coal Dock Park was first developed more than a decade ago, he said. Those plans included  everything from walking trails to a multi-use community center, a themed interactive area, performance area, observation tower and deep-water docks.

The ideas presented will fall into two general areas — parking and circulation and future development and redevelopment, sites and places.

“Whether people like it or not, stuff is going to be developed; stuff is going to be redeveloped,” Harris said. “It’s not necessarily bad.”

In terms of parking, it includes ideas for some parking structures, mostly west of Franklin Street, that could be incorporated with housing or business development.

“If needed down the line, where could a parking structure go and how could you work it with a development,” Harris said.

One thing he said won’t be included — a parking structure at the marina.

The plan also looks at traffic calming measures, ways to make crossing Franklin Street easier and ideas for incorporating a bike path in downtown.

The ideas discussed next week won’t be final, although they will be more detailed than those presented earlier this year.

After the session Graef will take the feedback with them and create a draft downtown master plan with recommendations for implementation, Harris said.

Another public meeting will be held in late fall to obtain input and reaction to the draft plan.

“Hopefully, at that stage they’ll just have to tweak and refine it,” Harris said. “This process is a lot of back and forth.”

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