Escanaba council to consider new playground on south side

ESCANABA – The site plan for a proposed playground on the southwest side of Escanaba was recently approved by the city planning commission and will be forwarded to city council for consideration.

Through a private donation, the city is proposing to develop a public park on city-owned property on the corner of South 30th Street and 8th Avenue South.

A public hearing was conducted on the site plan at the planning commission meeting Feb. 14. Public comment included a neighbor requesting a fence be built between his property and the park.

Commissioners reviewed the park proposal and recommended to forward the request to council. Questions about the park, previously presented by the recreation advisory board, will be addressed during a special meeting at the civic center on Feb. 27.

The blueprint calls for playground equipment, a pavilion, a disc golf course, volleyball courts, and a paved parking lot. Plans also include picnic tables, benches, grills, and a water fountain.

A public hearing was also held Thursday on a zoning ordinance amendment to allow transitional housing as a principal use in multi-family-zoned districts. The amendment was forwarded to city council for consideration.

The first reading of this amended ordinance regarding shelter for the homeless will be held at council’s meeting on Thursday. The second reading and council adoption is scheduled for March 7.

In other business, City Manager Jim O’Toole presented a report on the activities and accomplishments of the commission in 2012. Among those was the site plan review approved last year for the potential conversion of the power plant to burn biomass.

Proposed expansion projects were approved in 2012 at Bishop Noa Home for Senior Citizens, Besse Wood Products, and the Delta County Historical Society Museum.

Proposed construction site plans were approved last year for an assisted living facility called Parkview Assisted Living and Memory Care, a truck service center called Fleet Maintenance Inc., and a disc golf course at Ludington Park.

Commissioners accepted the year-in-review and recommended to forward the report on to council.

O’Toole also presented commissioners with an overview of proposed capital improvement plans into 2017.

Commissioners were updated Thursday about an ongoing project to increase available habitat for migratory birds in the city. An update was also presented on EskyGrow, a community educational garden project located on 1st Avenue North.