Source: Capital Gazette, Brooks DuBose
After a year of planning and consideration with extensive input from the community, the Annapolis City Dock consensus plan will be announced on Tuesday.
Some key features of the plan have trickled out since the City Dock Action Committee was formed last year, but the plan, which will be announced in its entirety for the first time at Tuesday’s action committee meeting, will include features such as a terraced park that would overlook the water, a continuous walkway around the area and a mixed-use area nearby that could accommodate parking, pedestrians or community events, said committee chair Eileen Fogarty.
The action committee comprises a host of city stakeholders including Mayor Gavin Buckley, Alderwoman Elly Tierney, Fogarty, Historic Annapolis board member Bill Kardash, Historic Annapolis president Robert Clark and nearly 100 members spread across nine subcommittees on issues such as resiliency, traffic and financing.
“Instead of hiring outside consultants we have had all of these 92 committed Annapolitans working to bring this effort together,” Fogarty said. “The design team, all of which has been pro bono, who have taken what they’ve heard from these eight teams and designed it to reflect the expectations.”
The committee was tasked with taking the findings of a study by the Urban Land Institute and creating short and long term goals for the city’s jewel of tourism and commerce. It first met this spring and has held several public hearing to ensure city residents have had a chance to weigh in on the plans.
The difference between this plan and others is the extensive outreach done by the committee to ensure the voices of residents and businesses were heard, as well as input from experts from fields such as traffic, sea-level rise and parking, Clark said.
The plan addresses two of the biggest issues confronting the city: flooding and parking, Clark said.
“Those two are negative impacts on our city, tourism, business and way of life,” he said. “This plan deals with those issues head-on.”
Including the community has made the difference, said Alderman Fred Paone, R-Ward 2, who was the lone “no” vote on the City Dock Master Plan in 2013.
“This one has been completely transparent from the beginning — public meetings and hearings. Lots of input from various shareholders,” Paone said. “I am anxiously awaiting the announcement and looking forward to the product.”
Six years ago Tuesday, the City Council and then-Mayor Josh Cohen approved the City Dock Master Plan meant to revitalize the downtown area.
The new consensus plan has also been aided by Buckley’s support, Clark said.
“He has been an active member in this conversation and that has given people room for optimism,” he said.