Lakefront plan heads to more concrete phase
WHO: Wilmette Park District
WHAT: Next step in lakefront master plan
WHERE: See ideas, take survey at www.wilmettepark.org
Updated: January 21, 2013 6:08AM
WILMETTE — Park commissioners took one more step Monday in what they acknowledged is the long and often frustrating process, especially for interested residents, of deciding Wilmette’s lakefront future.
At the last of three 2012 public input sessions on three separate visions for Gillson and Langdon Parks, commissioners listened to almost two dozen people protest over-development, ask for cost estimates or suggest specific park changes.
In turn, members of the board assured a full room of listeners that they have no intention right now of putting up dune-maintenance fences – a consultants’ suggestion to which several speakers objected.
Nor will they make decisions on what should eventually become the district’s official lakefront master plan without knowing what proposed lakefront renovations might cost the district, and sharing those estimates with the public, they said. That should happen by next spring, District Director Steve Wilson said.
“We do hear some frustration that this process hasn’t seemed to evolve fast enough,” Commissioner Gary Benz told the audience after the hearing, assuring it that “the next time there will be changes for you.”
Benz referred to the next phase of research for the master plan, which Wilson said would be to gather all public residents, from meetings, online surveys and elsewhere, and hand it to SmithGroupJJR. The consulting group, which has worked with the district for two years on creating conceptual lakefront development options must create plans, with cost estimates, to bring back to the board and back to park users.
Commissioners urged residents to continue giving their suggestions to district officials, and promised to make available more understandable information about SmithGroupJJR’s options.
To view the three master plan proposals, and to give input through an online survey, visit the Wilmette Park District web site at www.wilmettepark.org and click on the “Lakefront Plan” drop-down menu at the top of the page. To take the survey, click on www.wilmettepark.org/lakefront/masterplan/survey.