Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dredging Contract and the Future of McIntire Park topics for Political Monday on TV-19

The August 31 edition of Political Mondays video with Peter Kleeman and Joe Thomas on WCAV TV-19 is now available online on the Charlottesville Newsplex web channel. Below are links to all of the Political Mondays videos you can view online. A typical show is about 5 minutes so check some out.

Previous Political Mondays videos:

August 31, 2009 Topics: Why is the dredging contract cost twice expectations? (Joe Thomas); the Future of McIntire Park - is the proposed Botanical Garden at McIntire Park a good idea? (Peter Kleeman).

August 24, 2009 Topics: Desirability of the Commonwealth of Virginia contracting out major government responsibilities (Peter Kleeman); Never count on government - private enterprise is always the answer. (Joe Thomas)

August 17, 2009: Topics: Places 29 Report (Joe Thomas); Need for Civil Discourse among elected officials and the public (Peter Kleeman); Will a health care bill be passed this year? (Dan Schutte).

August 10, 2009: Topics: "Photo Red" Approval by Albemarle County Board of Supervisors (Peter Kleeman); Tom In Your Town meetings (Joe Thomas).

August 3, 2009: Topics: Fraudulent letters sent to Rep. Tom Perriello (Joe Thomas); Federal Cash for Clunkers program (Dan Schutte).

July 27, 2009: Topics: Fifty-year water supply plan (Peter Kleeman); Virgil Goode, Jr. not seeking US Congressional seat in 2010 (Joe Thomas).

July 20, 2009: Topics: Charlottesville rally against healthcare proposals (Joe Thomas); US Army Corps of Engineers letter denying permit to construct McIntire Road Extended (Peter Kleeman).


Tree hugging said...

Peter, I've got respect for you and generally respect your detailed analysis of planning issues; however, I'm a bit disappointed in your coverage of the botanical garden issue.

Surely you know that the Penn Park course was built as a replacement for the one at McIntire. That means that for almost 20 years that course was scheduled to be retired. Furthermore, the last master planning process also called for the course to be retired and suggested that it be public open space and possibly some kind of educational gardens.

So, the whole issue is a red herring. As a planner, don't you want the public to follow an open master planning process, or not? If so, a botanical garden would meet the goals of the current master plan, and the golf course should be retired (as has been "on the books" for many years).

Also, if the parkway is built, you can't keep both the pool and the golf course. Where exactly is your access going to be? Are the wading pool folks going to walk across the golf course to get to it? Please apply the same kind of detailed thought from a planning perspective that you usually apply to other issues. How would you redesign the eastern side if the parkway is built?

Sure, I'm against the parkway too, but it it is built then let's not settle for a bad design to be used by only a small minority of people.

Peter Kleeman said...

Thanks "Tree Hugging" for your comment on the parkway issue and if a botanical garden would be an appropriate replacement for the current McIntire Golf Course. In both the parkway issue and the botanical garden, a historic property (including the McIntire Golf Course) that is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places is to be damaged or eliminated. We need to protect our historic resources where possible. I believe that neither a parkway nor a botanical garden should impact this property. Both the parkway and a botanical garden can be located in other locations and I believe both should be seeking other locations.

And, if the parkway is built, perhaps the botanical garden can be proposed on the 49.1 acres of replacement parkland that has been designated to replace that land on which the parkway will sit. Although I have not explored its suitability for a botanical garden, it is land that is to be accessible to the public just north of Melbourne Road along the part of the parkway project under construction in Albemarle County. An then again, as I suggested on Political Mondays, the Botanical Gardens organization could seek out and acquire land independent of City Parkland.

Tree hugging said...

You still didn't answer the questions. If the parkway is built (and like yourself, I hope that it isn't) then how do you resolve the planning issues on the east side?

Take off your activist hat for just a moment and consider this as a planner. Regardless of whether the botanical garden goes there or not, you still have a planning problem. You cannot have both the golf course and the wading pool, because there will be NO WAY TO ACCESS IT without crossing the golf course.

Secondly, a democratic bipartisan master plan based on a park needs assessment was created calling for the removal of the golf course. In fact, it's been scheduled for removal for over 20 years (and in fact one other golf course supporter recently acknowledged that it's been slated for removal since the 1970's). So, are you saying we shouldn't follow a master plan for the park? As a planner, it'd be ironic indeed for you to say we should ignore our planning process in favor of a special interest group intent uopn exlusinve access to public space.

Failure to plan is not a plan. Frankly it feels your adopting an all or nothing approach, whereby you are in complete denial that if the parkway is built that we'll need to redesign that side of the park. It really has nothing to do with the botanical garden. That's just a diversion technique to distract people from the real issues.

Peter Kleeman said...

Dear Tree hugging: Remember that Political Mondays is an opportunity for me to state an opinion, not necessarily a place to present planning options that are fully developed. And, I believe that master planning is a good idea, but reject the idea that by simply assuming that a parkway will be built makes it a good idea or inevitable. I believe that the master planning in McIntire Park should at least consider with and without a parkway to avoid implying (falsely) that the parkway is a fully committed project. Currently the issue of non-compliance with federal environmental and historic preservation laws are being addressed. I am optimistic that the parkway will not be built, and thus I have no interest in planning the park's future assuming a parkway will be built. Building Pen Park as an alternative to McIntire Golf Course doesn't reduce the historical significance of the McIntire Course. There is a big difference between recreation value and historic value in my mind and both need to be considered in any planning in our parks.

Tree hugging said...

The problem is this... once you start advocating to save specific elements, like the golf course and the wading pool, then you're already getting into the planning process for if/when the parkway is built. Advocating for those elements without consideration of the larger plan is just being obstructionist. That's fine if you are, and thanks for at least being honest on that. I wish Fenwick would also be as clear about his own motives.

One point that I will call you out on is your claim that Pen Park was created as an "alternative" to McIntire. That's wrong, and I defy you to prove otherwise. It was clearly created to *replace* the McIntire course. I was there when that course was created, and I remember quite clearly. I just think that the delay of 20 or so years has just created an entitlement where golfers have gotten used to having two courses, and like any sport, they don't want to cede ground to another use (even if it's clearly indicated by park needs assessments and master plans that other uses are in greater demand). So, let's call that bluff... I say if the parkway isn't built, then let's build the botanical garden at Pen Park since by golfers own words it's clearly unsustainable, overpriced, and too exclusive of average people...

Think Save McIntire will support that?