Keep the pavilion public

Register
Jul 23, 2013

 

My topic this week is the Sandusky Bay Pavilion meeting.

Quite a few people showed up for the pavilion meeting to put forth their suggestions and ideas, but they were mostly concerned with whether or not the park was going to stay a park. The foundations do not want to invest their money without having some guarantee that the master plan will not sit on the shelf gathering dust like all other plans that the city buys into. Above all, the foundations don’t want to sink money into the project and have the land sold out from under them or traded off at a later date. The foundations are considering a substantial investment and they feel a need to protect their investment for years down the line.

To see more ideas and conversation about the pavilion, click HERE

The pavilion is another example of keeping hope alive for development if nothing is done with the project. The situation of doing nothing and delaying things for years is a becoming a big problem for the city because they cannot bring themselves to move ahead and make a decision once and for all. They allow a little group of people to keep pounding away at involving the city with major development and having the taxpayer pick up the financial expense. In the meantime, the state is urging the city to get moving and stop dragging their feet on the state’s investment it made years ago. The state has an obligation to protect their grant investment as well.

There are a few business people who think the city can just sell or trade the land. The land has a grant connected to it. There needs to be comparable land to do a tradeoff, and it can’t be land that the city already owns. Certain people still don’t understand the situation and they still think they can push the idea of getting rid of the park at its present location.

There are people who would like to see a hotel built but a hotel cannot stand by itself without other development to promote it. Some people would like to see a convention center but that idea will close off the waterfront. This kind of development can be planned anywhere and doesn’t necessarily have to be on the waterfront. If waterfront property is needed, there is always the Apex site. It is always easier financially for the developers to buy or trade land from the city dirt cheap then to buy expensive property like the Apex property.

Until next week, there was a show of hands at the meeting to see who was in favor of saving the park. An overwhelming majority of hands went up to save it. Trying to take the land from the people for development will not be a popular stance. The group has attempted to take over the land twice before and both times they were unsuccessful.

Comments

The Bizness

Counterpoint:

There is already plenty of public access to the water front, from over by the VFW, to the boat launch, to the Paper District Marina, around the lofts, to Jackson St. Pier, and then the parks on the other side of the downtown area. If a new private developer did want to do something, maybe they would incorporate some public space on the water that could be used even better than it is now.
My question to you is did the Chesapeake Lofts ruin public access to the water or actually make it more accessible? Why, when the city already has its hands full with other things (as you have pointed out) would you want the city to keep this property?

T. A. Schwanger

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The Biz.

I'll take a stab at this one.

First I'll give you a link to St. Petersburg FL. to give you an idea what progressive communities to with their waterfront. http://www.florida-beach-lifesty.... Additional examples are The Banks in Cincinnati. Louisville Waterfront Park in Kentucky and Windsor Waterfront Parks our Canadian neighbors to the north.

The Bizness

I am well aware of all those places. However, all of them combine public and private together. The Cincinnati waterfront is not only public land but private development as well.

My point is that just like what was done with the Chesapeake Lofts, private investments can lead to something better than what was previously there.

T. A. Schwanger

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The Biz.

I'll take a stab at this one.

First I'll give you a link to St. Petersburg FL. to give you an idea what progressive communities do with their waterfront. http://www.florida-beach-lifesty....

Additional examples are The Banks in Cincinnati. Louisville Waterfront Park in Kentucky and Windsor Waterfront Parks---our Canadian neighbors to the north. The common denominator in each instance is private development happens on the "other side of the street" away from the waterfront preserving the waterfront for use by all.

Speaking for Save Our Shoreline Parks, our support behind BGSUs concept of a Learning Lab/Science Lab in the footprint of the pool stems from the continuous underground movement of a few, refered to by Ms. Johnson, to sell the property for Condos, Hotels or to the adjacent property owner to the west.

BGSUs publically stated agreement to invest dollars into the facility while insuring the foundations, event organizations and the public will continue free and unobstructed use of the remaining land is a win win and satisfies those who promote selling the property under the guise the City doesn't have the money for improvements or upgrades.

Another alternative, if the BGSU plan does not happen, would be an amphitheater as documented in the City's 2006 Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Prospective amphitheater operators could be Live Nation. www.livenation.com

The Bizness

Answer this...do you think the Chesapeake Lofts improved on what was previously there? Yes, or no?

Also we do not have the massive land for development those cities you mentioned have. We Have plenty of shoreline parks. If I could I would give away all of Battery park for someone to build a first class hotel/convention center there, and let the outer ring that actually touches the water be a walk way with public access. I see nothing wrong with that.

T. A. Schwanger

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Your reference to Chesapeake does not compare with the Sandusky Bay Pavilion in the Chesapeake property was private from the beginning.

If you are referring to public access, there is not a day that goes by where we don't hear about a complaint from some Chesapeake Loft owners about public access around the Chesapeake perimeter. I personally know some of the folks living at the Chesapeake. They are great people. But let's be clear. It was not Midstates' (Chesapeake developer) or the City's idea to provide a public walkway around the building. The forward thinking people at Coastal Management, following the submerged lands administrative code, are the ones to congratulate and thank--we have.

There are those who believe a ten foot walkway along the water's edge should be suffice for meeting public access needs. We tend not to believe in this concept, especially when speaking of property currently in the public domain such as the Sandusky Bay Pavilion.

Reiterating, community "smart growth" techniques suggests private development along the waterfront be "tiered" away from the waterfront.
The time has come for Commissioner Smith and his followers to step aside and let the Sandusky Bay Pavilion Master Plan process proceed.

T. A. Schwanger
Pres; Save Our Shoreline Parks

Nemesis

"From the beginning" - I bet if we trace back land records far enough, it was once privately owned. Again with your ratchet effect.

As for the example of "progressive" communities, Detroit is an excellent example of what to much progressive thinking can do to a community - they filed for Chapter 9 this week.

By the way, Tim, in a previous thread, you dismissed as preposterous the suggestion that Chesapeake owners might have issues with letting drunken tourists wander past their patios, and now you say the complaints come in weekly? You once suggested I join your group - an absolute minimum prerequisite would be getting your story straight.

T. A. Schwanger

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@Nemesis

Once again you twist my comments to fit your needs.

My reference to "progressive" thinking communities focused on how those communities have developed their waterfront---private vs public.

My reference to complaints from Chesapeake Lofts residents regarding perimeter public access actually comes from the previous thread you mentioned and is based on your claim of complaints. We have not personally heard the complaints.

Keep in mind, Chesapeake Lofts residents were made aware of public access requirements, via promotional literature, before purchase and residency.

Educational reading for you--www.chesapeakelofts.com/faqs.htm
Pay close attention to the development was advertised as a 195 unit owner occupied development (currently predominantly rentals--City income tax minimal--bed tax not being collected), a ground floor restaurant (did not happen) and public access requirements around the facility.

Also, be advised to study Centauri's post and links further down the comments.

T. A. Schwanger
Pres;SOSP

Nemesis

@T. A. Schwanger:My reference to "progressive" thinking communities focused on how those communities have developed their waterfront---private vs public.

The term has a generally understood meaning of statist and leftist thinking, with which your stated positions are fully compatible. Detroit is currently suffering the effects of decades of progressive city governance.

@T. A. Schwanger:My reference to complaints from Chesapeake Lofts residents regarding perimeter public access actually comes from the previous thread you mentioned and is based on your claim of complaints. We have not personally heard the complaints.

First of all, I mentioned potential buyers put off by it, not complaints from current residents, and second, what I said stands - you're now citing as a source something you dismissed as preposterous.

@T. A. Schwanger:Pay close attention to the development was advertised as a 195 unit owner occupied development (currently predominantly rentals--City income tax minimal--bed tax not being collected), a ground floor restaurant (did not happen) and public access requirements around the facility.

And your point is? I really don't care about the tax revenue - I don't share the "progressive" view of citizens and their property as so many dairy animals to be milked for the benefit of government

I also noticed you conveniently ignored the high probability that the property was originally private, and how it further illustrates your philosophy of ratcheting private property out of existence. You do that a lot in your responses.

T. A. Schwanger

Double post

T. A. Schwanger

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While you may not care about taxes generated by the Chesapeake, or any other Sandusky development for that matter, the point is very important. These type projects are hyped as the next best thing since sliced bread providing "hundreds of jobs and millions in tax revenue" but in the end provide nowhere near projected jobs or taxes.

Just so you do not continue down the path of word twisting, I, as well as my associates, believe the Chesapeake Lofts is an excellent use of the property.

A visit by you to the Chesapeake should show you the vast majority, if not all, ground floor Condominiums along the walkway are occupied or rented.

Here is another link for you look at showing how progressive thinking communities view the redevelopment of their waterfront..Right in our backyard. cityofhuron.org/files/2012-07-06-Huron%202020%20

Notice the park along the waterfront rather than condos, retail and commercial.

And I do hope you take time to read some of the other comments on the Blog. There are some good ideas as you scroll down--Trundle19 and Centauri

T. A. Schwanger

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Nemesis

If you are referring to the Pavilion being private at one time, you are correct.

Fortunately Sandusky's leaders saw the value of the property as a public asset. In fact, at the time discussions were taking place to develop the Battery Park Master Plan (1975), there were underground movements to develop this property for exclusive private use. Deja vu?

pavedparadise

The only drunks I see at the Chesapeake are Chesapeake partiers hanging there heads over the railing puking there guts out.

trafficman

Sell it all..from the Pavillion to city hall. Do not put a bunch of restrictions for public access on the developer. Take the money from the sell of the property and invest it. Pass legislation that the principle can not be used, but the interest can and use it for infrastructure improvments that are more desperately needed in this city. This Pavillion is a drain on city resources. Would you rather have better City infrastructure or another place to walk among the goose droppings.

Tribester

T.A. Schwanger, Sharon Johnson, and the rest of the Sandusky busy bodies continually hold back the economic progress of our city and region with their constant opposition to any project or plan that would actually raise the tax base of this town! They would seriously "preserve" public access to dumps like an abandoned wave pool instead of selling the property to a hotel/condo/business that would actually MAINTAIN the property and have something tax generating instead of tax sucking in Sandusky. The pool as bottomless money pit is a good analogy, sell it and move on!

gramafun

100+

Darkhorse

Trafficman and Tribester, let me guess, you are one of the Yacht Club members or a Mainstreet member? Both parties are after the land, yet they remain quiet and do not express their ideas publically I imagine they have plenty to say behind closed doors. We have yet to hear from them and how they think they are going to swing the deal of condos, convention center and hotel.

trafficman

I am not a member of either organization. Just someone who wants better things for this city as a whole, and not just for a few.

Centauri

"T.A. Schwanger, Sharon Johnson, and the rest of the Sandusky busy bodies"

Political activists have been called worst names. If it were not for Tim, Sharon and others, who would question their government? If the citizens of Sandusky, Ohio don't like Sandusky's political activists ideas, then become a political activist and offer some better ideas instead of attacking the political activists mentioned.

I am not very familiar with Sandusky Bay Pavilion but the link provided is here:
http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...
"We, as a city, have a six-acre waterfront property that is great for events, but has an old and broken wave pool on it."

http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Coast...
"Sandusky Bay Pavilion’s grounds are predominately mowed grass. Amenities at the pavilion include a picnic shelter and tables, playground equipment and restrooms. Fishing access is available along the rectangular shaped land parcel’s 8,500-foot waterline."

To the Sandusky political activists: Is that "8,500-foot waterline" correct for only six acres?

http://eriewire.wordpress.com/20...
"SANDUSKY, OH: SOSP | Sandusky Bay Pavilion is Public Property"

There is a map of the Sandusky Bay Pavilion in the above links.

http://www.pps.org/reference/tur...
"As more cities envision their waterfronts as lively public destinations that keep people coming back, PPS outlines the following principles to make that happen. They are not all hard and fast laws, but rules of thumb drawn from 32 years of experience working to improve urban waterfronts around the world. These ideas can serve as the framework for any waterfront project seeking to create vibrant public spaces, and, by extension, a vibrant city."

1. Make public goals the primary objective
2. Create a shared community vision for the waterfront
3. Create multiple destinations: The Power of Ten
4. Connect the destinations
5. Optimize public access
6. Ensure that new development fits within the community’s vision
7. Encourage 24-hour activity by limiting residential development
8. Use parks to connect destinations, not as destinations unto themselves
9. Design and program buildings to engage the public space
10. Support multiple modes of transportation and limit vehicular access
11. Integrate seasonal activities into each destination
12. Make stand-alone, iconic buildings serve multiple functions
13. Manage, manage, manage

There are a lot of examples about improving waterfront properties that bring in visitors and much needed money into a community on the internet.

A tower would have been a good fit for the property. It is too bad that Cedar Point demolished the Space Spiral. A private investor could have gotten the tower free by dismantling it and erecting it and charging a fee for the rides. The tower could be seen from miles around and the tourists would have came. There are three other Willy Buhler space towers that I am aware of in the country.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g...
A short film to celebrate Space Spiral at Cedar Point.

T. A. Schwanger

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@ Centauri

Well said and worthy link reading and video.

trundle19

I like the ideas presented by Centuari, we don't need to reinvent the wheel, just select what has been successful elsewhere and fit into our situation. I especially like #10 to limit vehicular traffic and alternate modes of transportation such as pedestrians,bicycling,pedicabs,electric vehicles/ bus(solar recharging stations) maybe a small ferry boat or water taxi service. We could display plus utilize alternative energy sources and partner with BGSU for water quality studies. The pavilion is just one key part of a master plan that should be developed and brought to fruition. My thoughts for utilizing this space would be as a multi use facility for the public, plus a generator of business and revenue. We could install seating similar to football stadiums in the pool,add tables and chairs around the deck, install a stage setup complete with lighting and sound system. Add in a retractable canopy awning over the stage for performers.Make these systems somewhat portable so they could be stored in the winter. We could lease this facility to businesses who would like to hold meetings/social gatherings. We could also lease to entertainment promotion businesses for concerts. A local restaurant or caterer could provide food and beverage plus many other local residents could be employed there. The facility could then be utilized for free when available, by our local schools and artists(concerts,plays, July 4th fireworks, Firelands Symphony, teenage battle of the bands) for their performances . We could add a splash pad and more picnic shelters for use during the day by the public for a small fee (reduced for Sandusky residents).There is plenty of parking in this area, but add more shade. This would be a perfect location for car shows and bike week, so downtown merchant's parking will not be blocked but still gain residual business from these events. Another possible use could be a winter festival,ice-boating,ice fishing and ice skating. This a beautiful location,it must be family friendly ,clean, well maintained, well managed and enjoyed by all. This is just one connection to Sandusky as a destination, but an important developmental asset.