Group Rallies for Park

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) Tuesday, the Harrisonburg City Council decided to hand off designs and recommendations for a park in Downtown Harrisonburg to city staff to further review.

The group "Plan our Park" presented the plans of what they expect the park to look like in front of Council on Tuesday. That happened right after a rally in favor of the park.

"I think the commitment of a lot of the community is on display by how many people are here on a freezing night," said Andy Perrine, who is a member of the "Plan our Park" Committee.

"This is the existing farmer's market and we're proposing to double the farmer's market and create a larger Urban Plaza here," said Ken Smith, who is the landscape architect with the project.

Some council members are worried about parking availability for staff members in the Municipal Building if the park is built.

"We do have sometimes during the week, when there are a lot of people at the farmer's marker," said Richard Baugh, commenting on the limited parking spaces.

"When you look at an aerial photograph of New York, there is no surface parking. Yet there is millions of people that live in New York and can get to the places where they want to work and live," said Perrine, who thinks there is enough parking to go around.

At the end of their presentation, the group asked the city to consider essentially backing them financially. Factoring in all the phases, the estimated cost of the project is between nine and eleven million dollars.

Eddie Bumbaugh with Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance expects that council will most likely report back at a January meeting, after consulting with city staff. A public hearing is also in the works.

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