Rebuild of Windemere Tennis Court Advances

Plans to relocate and rebuild two tennis courts at Ann Arbor’s Windemere Park took a step forward, following action at the city’s park advisory commission on Oct. 16, 2012. PAC members passed a resolution recommending a new location for the tennis courts within the park. PAC had already authorized the project at its May 15, 2012 meeting. The Oct. 16 vote was 6-1, with Tim Berla dissenting. John Lawter was absent and Missy Stults abstained. She was attending her first PAC meeting since having her nomination confirmed by the city council earlier this month.

Windemere Park is a nearly four-acre parcel on the city’s northeast side, north of Glazier Way between Green and Earhart roads. The tennis courts there have deteriorated, and the city has been looking at options for replacing them. Neighbors had originally advocated keeping the courts in the same location, but the soil there is unstable. Before the area was developed, the current location of the courts was a pond.

Over the past few months, city staff has held two public meetings to seek input on options for locating the new courts. The option recommended by PAC – which locates the courts to the east of the current location – was one that a majority of participants at the most recent public meeting had favored, according to staff and commissioners who attended. That meeting took place on Oct. 8. [.jpg of drawing showing proposed location for the new courts]

Several residents of the neighborhood surrounding Windemere Park attended PAC’s Oct. 16 meeting and advocated for a postponement on the decision. They noted that the fourth option – the one being recommended by staff – had not been presented at the Oct. 8 meeting. Colin Smith, the city’s parks and recreation manager, later explained that the fourth option had emerged from a consensus of ideas at the meeting.

Berla, who voted against the PAC resolution, felt there was nothing to lose in giving residents another month to review the proposal. But other commissioners believed that moving ahead was the best approach, and that no option would satisfy all residents – especially people with property facing the park. The resolution also recommended incorporating input from residents regarding landscaping around the courts, which was a concern raised by some of the homeowners.

The cost of the project is estimated at around $100,000. Amy Kuras, the city’s park planner, expects to solicit bids this winter, with construction to take place in the summer of 2013.

This brief was filed from the second-floor council chambers at city hall, 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]