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Four Freedoms beach plan draws concerns

By Staff | Jun 14, 2011

To beach or not to beach?
That’s the question city council members asked themselves on Monday when faced with funding a beach at Four Freedoms Park, a decision that could cost the city nearly $42,000.
The beach was identified as part of the Community Redevelopment Agency’s newly designed vision plan, and is one of many potential changes the district could see if approved and eventually implemented.
But the idea of turning the park into a sandy riverfont oasis in the middle of the CRA gave some council members pause, as parking and noise concerns took center stage.
Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz worried that neighboring homeowners will find themselves facing “scantily clad” beach-goers and excessive noise.
“I understand the CRA’s need to create something, but I’m extremely concerned this is the wrong something,” he said.
Parks and Recreation Director Steve Pohlman told city council there are no additional funds available to purchase parking, but the new beach would afford citizens the chance to enjoy the park and their waterfront community.
Councilmember Marty McClain, whose district includes the CRA, said the beach project is one of the easier projects identified in the vision plan, one that could be installed now as the rest of the vision takes shape.
McClain said he had not heard of anyone opposing the beach.
“The overwhelming correspondence I have gotten on this has been positive,” he said.