Language approved for Marina District

SANDUSKY City Commission took a final vote on ballot language for the marina district project Monday
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



City Commission took a final vote on ballot language for the marina district project Monday and kept it simple, asking voters whether the redevelopment proposal should proceed.

Monday's vote came after the much-anticipated release of 3D images and an aerial view of the project concept by Meacham and Apel Architects.

The marina district project includes the development of the City Hall, Battery Park and former Surf's Up properties.

Battery Park Marina General Manager Carl Wolf, who is a candidate for a commission seat, said he was glad to see buildings have been moved back from the park boat slips in the revised design.

"I would like to see the city commissioners support this whole-heartedly," Wolf said.

John Eymann of Meacham and Apel Architects said the revisions enhance park space in the area.

"It's important to note how much green space has been preserved," Eymann said. "It's an asset to the community, an asset to the city and definitely something that needs to be preserved."

Many residents opposed to the redevelopment cite waterfront access and park space as reasons for their opposition.

Another major topic of the discussion Monday was the financial implications of the marina district development.

"Some people say that we're looking for a magic bullet with this marina district," Commissioner Dennis Murray Jr. said, adding that it will hopefully lead to other projects and attract more developers to the area.

"The way we handle this issue...will have a lot to do with how other developers view this city," Murray said.

Commissioners voted 5-1 to approve the ballot language for the November election for the marina district project; Commissioner Dannie Edmon voted against the measure.

Ex-officio Mayor Dan Kaman, who owns property near the site, abstained.

Residents and commissioners alike expressed interest in how much it will cost the city to put the marina district project on the ballot.

"I think it's a waste of time and a waste of taxpayer's money," said resident Bob Warner.

Fuqua also inquired about the cost of a vote.

"It may be less than $5,000 to add something like this," said Finance Director Ed Widman. He added that figure is still only a guess at this point.

Commissioner Edmon later inquired as to the price of the condominiums that will be built on the property.

"It's pure speculation at this point," Eymann answered. He said that each project will have an array of units, ranging in upwards of $200,000.

Eymann added that each building in the development plan will be a three-year project from start to finish.

The ballot wording approved by the Commission Monday night:

Should the City of Sandusky proceed with the public/private redevelopment project of portions of City Hall, Battery Park, and the Surf's Up properties for residential and commercial development while preserving and enhancing the city's parks and waterfront access for public purposes?