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Decatur Diary | July 6, 2018

Survey Seeks Input on Children’s Home First Phase Priorities

Beyond demonstrating how the diverse ambitions of the Decatur community might be reconciled to serve the broadest number of people, last week’s presentation of the unified concept plan for the former United Methodist Children’s Home property also laid out some proposed phases moving forward based around ease of implementation, logistics, and expectations for available funding over time.

At the close of the presentation, attendees participated in a breakout activity focused on what’s next: the order in which a roster of initial projects should be pursued and what resources might be available to get them done.

For the benefit of those unable to attend the meeting, that activity is being repeated online. Click the link below and share your priorities.

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  1. angiehb8 says

    The survey requires users to rank the amenities but not all elements of the draft plan are included. I’m not convinced these actually reflect the community input–in fact, the earlier survey results don’t support this plan. With the exception of the track, all of these are “nice to have,” but they fail to address Decatur’s critical need: outdoor recreation facilities. Let’s be realistic–would anyone really drive to UMCH for a farmer’s market and artist village? Those are downtown amenities. I’m saddened to see our tax dollars spent on redundant facilities. This should be a Decatur Rec effort in a partnership with CSD.

    • Porcelainberry says

      Hi, I attended the June 27th meeting with the unveiling of the plans and have looked over the survey. Which elements of the draft plan are not included?

      • myoakhurst8 says

        sports fields and track

        • Angela F. Threadgill says

          The survey focuses on first phase projects that could be completed in the short term. With an estimated $6M price tag, the Track & Field and its associated parking, is considered a long-term project that requires significant funding partnerships.

          • myoakhurst8 says

            $6M is bonkers, first of all, but I thought playing fields were in Phase 1.

          • Porcelainberry says

            Considering COD just paid $40 Million to purchase the property, even a $500K project seems unrealistic to expect so abruptly. What I really don’t understand is the obsession with the track. We had many where I used to live, but they were funded with football revenue. They weren’t just tracks either, they were stadiums. They had parking to accommodate buses from all the visiting teams during competition, which could be 7-10 schoolbuses or more. Of course this doesn’t included parking for participants and spectators. Then you have restrooms, concession stands, locker rooms, equipment storage, etc. You don’t need an expensive track to go out and enjoy outdoor recreational activities. The property can be used for all those things NOW. You can run, walk, play soccer, walk your dog, throw a frisbee, kayak, canoe, play basketball now as the property is. If you really want to run, you’ll run. You won’t need a $6 Million track to do so. I can see a good portion of the property from my back window and plenty of people are already making use of this rare gem of a public park we now have in Decatur. Just go out there and enjoy it!

  2. Porcelainberry says

    I would like to personally say that I’m very pleased with what the COD has done. I have seen a lot of complaints about this whole process, but I feel the City of Decatur deserves a lot of credit for purchasing the property before the developer purchased it with the intention of building 600 homes. It feels like many people have forgotten about this. For this, I am so grateful. I have a more unique vantage point on the Children’s home as well. The property is directly behind my back fence. I regularly see how well the city is maintaining the property. I have also run the property (at a slow pace) and covered the entire distance of the property from one end to the other in far less than 30 minutes. I know 77 acres sounds like a massive amount of land, but I would encourage people who are disappointed about development there to actually walk the property for yourself. It’s not as big as you might imagine it is. I want the property to remain as primarily green space. I don’t think people understand how much space has to be devoted to parking for many of these recreational ideas that involve development. I also used to run cross country and track in high school, and I am not in favor of a track on the property. I also grew up in a football town where athletics is a top priority. Not to offend anyone, but Decatur is not exactly a city geared toward athletics. And also, the cross country team rarely runs on a track. We almost always ran on the street. A track does not simulate race conditions you would encounter in a cross country meet. There’s a lot of changes of terrain and elevation on a real cross country course. But anyways, I would love to see more people being appreciative of what the City of Decatur has done for us and be less critical. Thank you Decatur.

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