By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — Setting a coherent plan for managing the utility of Rotary Park will be an ongoing process for the Village Planning Board, which began it’s considerations on the park Tuesday.
The planning board has been tasked by the village with creating guidelines for what can be added to the at-times cramped downtown park and what should not be added, policies that haven’t been adequately settled.
”There was a feeling expressed that it would be nice to have a management plan for the park,” Codes Enforcement Officer Marty Busch said. “There are situations where (requests to use the park) catch the board unaware. This would give them something that can be fair for everyone.”
A lot of additions have been made to the park in recent years, from new trees to a Victorian-style clock, and a lot will go into figuring out how to fit the priorities of the many groups who have an interest in the park in the board’s plan.
Representatives of not only the Rotary Club, which worked with the village to build the park 30 years ago; but also the Decorate Medina Committee, Time for Medina Clock Committee, Medina Business Association and Village Board weighed in on the board’s initial discussion.
Although the details of their board’s recommendation are not expected to be finalized for several months, there were some issues that are largely agreed upon.
First among them is that the addition of any new large-scale monuments or structures should be avoided. Busch said that projects like the 9/11 memorial stone, which was added to the back corner of the park this fall, would fit better in underused parks like the one on Pine Street.
The idea of moving the park’s original gazebo back up from canal basin or building a new one was also received with no enthusiasm, as board members’ stated priority is to retaining the existing green space in the park.
However, the board said the guidelines would likely permit the addition of more seating capacity — Time for Medina member Kathy Blackburn said they are looking into procuring a bench for the park — and more markers of village history in the form of dedicated pavers in the park’s walkways.
One piece that could grow is the Santa House in the park’s southeast corner. Decorate Medina member Lisa Trippensee said the group is considering expanding the size of the house, which is was too cramped when Mr. and Mrs. Claus welcomed families in during Olde Tyme Christmas.
The board also discussed the guidelines for signage on the park’s railings. Busch said the current policy is to only permit advertisement of not-for-profit events based in Medina. He noted that he’s had to remove markers for everything from “pancake breakfasts to yard sales” due to the unclear rules in place.
Medina Rotary Club Past President Gary Lawton Sr. suggested the sign policy could honor the goals of the park’s namesake.
”Service above self,” Lawton said, quoting Rotary’s motto. “It should have to be something to help somebody, not your pocket.”
Planning Board Vice Chairman John Dieter, who along with the board’s other officers were re-elected for 2013 at the start of the meeting, said the board will take the community group’s suggestions into account as they formulate the guidelines over the next few months.
”Our next step is to address their recommendations,” Dieter said.Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.