Stories indexed with the term ‘Windemere tennis courts’

Next Steps for Windemere Tennis Courts

Moving ahead on a project that’s been in the works for about two years, Ann Arbor park advisory commissioners recommended approval of a $134,297 contract with Nagle Paving Co. to relocate and rebuild the tennis courts at Windemere Park. The action took place at PAC’s Feb. 25, 2014 meeting.

The action follows PAC’s approval on Jan. 28, 2014 of a revised new location for tennis courts at Windemere Park, on the city’s northeast side. The final location approved by PAC was one put forward at a public meeting earlier this year.

The new location for the tennis courts has been disputed among neighbors who live near Windemere Park, a nearly four-acre parcel north of Glazier Way between Green and Earhart roads. The tennis courts … [Full Story]

Rotary to Fund Universal Access Playground

Ann Arbor park advisory commission meeting (Jan. 28, 2014): Park commissioners got news at their most recent meeting that the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor is making a $250,000 contribution to the city of Ann Arbor for a major new “universal access” playground at Gallup Park, to celebrate the club’s centennial anniversary in 2016.

Bob Buckler, Bernie Lugauer, Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor park advisory commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

From left: Bernie Lugauer and Bob Buckler of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor talk with Christopher Taylor, an ex officio member of the Ann Arbor park advisory commission. (Photos by the writer.)

After a presentation on Jan. 28, commissioners recommended that the city apply for a state Dept. of Natural Resources grant to help fund the remainder of the work, which is estimated to cost $500,000.

Colin Smith, the city’s parks and recreation manager, told commissioners that although there are about 80 playgrounds in Ann Arbor, none are universally accessible. It’s a “huge shortcoming” for the parks system, he said. The exact location within Gallup Park hasn’t been determined, but the playground would be about 5,000 square feet and exceed the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The design and equipment is intended to create environments that can be used by all people, with features like ramps, color-contrasting structures, wider bridges and walkways, and playground equipment that makes it easier for people using wheelchairs.

Two Rotary representatives attended the Jan. 28 meeting to help describe the club’s role in the project. Bob Buckler, a Rotary director and co-chair of the group’s centennial committee, told commissioners that in general the Rotary’s primary focus is on supporting children, by funding scholarships, Washtenaw Success By Six and other programs. That’s why the universal access playground is so appealing as a way to celebrate Rotary’s centennial, he said. Buckler indicated that fundraising for this project has already begun. The grand opening is expected to be on Labor Day in 2016.

In other action on Jan. 28, commissioners approved the location for new tennis courts at Windemere Park – a project that’s been in the works for about two years. The location has been somewhat controversial among neighbors, and prompted a review of the previously selected site. The current courts have deteriorated and are in a location where it’s unsuitable to rebuild.

Also on Jan. 28, PAC recommended the purchase of two vans to keep up with the increasing shuttle transportation demands for Huron River trips in 2013, following the opening of Argo Cascades.

The meeting marked a transition of members on PAC. It was the first meeting for David Santacroce, who was appointed by the city council last year to replace Julie Grand. And it was the final meeting for Jen Geer, who has resigned after less than a year on the commission. Paige Morrison was appointed by the council on Feb. 3 to fill the remainder of Geer’s term – through May 19, 2016. [Full Story]

Location Selected for Windemere Tennis Courts

Taking action on a project that’s been in the works for about two years, the Ann Arbor park advisory commission has unanimously voted to approve a revised new location for tennis courts at Windemere Park, on the city’s northeast side. The final location approved by PAC was one put forward at a public meeting earlier this month.

Windemere Park, tennis courts, Ann Arbor park advisory commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Recommended new location for new Windemere Park tennis courts. (Image included in Jan. 28, 2014 meeting packet for the Ann Arbor park advisory commission.)

Action by park commissioners came at their Jan. 28, 2014 meeting.

The new location for the tennis courts … [Full Story]

Windemere Tennis Court Project Revisited

Ann Arbor park advisory commission meeting (Nov. 19, 2013): The main agenda item this month was a project that PAC had acted on over a year ago: The relocation of tennis courts at Windemere Park.

Diane Massell, Xavier Iniguez, Ann Arbor park advisory commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Diane Massell and Xavier Iniguez spoke to the Ann Arbor park advisory commission on Nov. 19 about the location of tennis courts in Windemere Park. (Photos by the writer.)

As part of an effort to replace the deteriorated courts, commissioners had recommended relocating them to a different spot within the park. That action took place at their meeting on Oct. 16, 2012, with the expectation that parks staff would solicit bids and seek city council approval for a construction contract to rebuild the courts in the spring of 2013.

But pushback from residents – and advocacy from city councilmember Jane Lumm, who represents Ward 2 where Windemere Park is located – led to further discussions, an online poll conducted by residents, and ultimately a return to PAC. On Nov. 19, several residents attended the meeting, including Lumm, and asked PAC to reconsider its recommendation.

Rather than relocating the courts toward the center of the park, they hoped to shift the location to the north so that more open space in the park would be preserved. PAC’s Nov. 19 meeting included a presentation in support of this option by Ed Weiss of the Earhart Knolls Homeowners Association and Jeff Alson, a resident and member of the Glacier Highlands Homeowners Association. However, one homeowner attended the meeting to disagree – her home would be closer to the courts if the location is changed.

Some commissioners expressed concern about setting precedent for a reversal of their decision, but after discussing the issue they voted unanimously to schedule another public meeting with residents. Options to consider will include the one that was originally recommended by PAC and the one that’s now being proposed by some residents as an alternative. The city might also conduct its own online poll to get additional feedback. It’s possible that the new public process will push back the project until the 2015 construction season.

Also on Nov. 19, commissioners got an update on the first four months of the fiscal year from Bob Galardi, chair of PAC’s budget and finance committee. For all parks and recreation facilities, the current projections of $3.943 million in revenues are about $52,000 over the originally budgeted amounts. In particular, revenues related to the Argo Cascades are $100,000 better than expected. On the expense side, overall costs are projected to be $5.211 million – or $50,000 less than budgeted. The fiscal year runs from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, and Galardi cautioned that these projections represent an early interim report.

The meeting included several updates and reports, including news that long-time PAC member Tim Berla – who served as the representative from Ann Arbor Rec & Ed’s recreation advisory commission – will no longer be serving on PAC. He attended his last meeting in September. PAC chair Ingrid Ault expects a new RAC appointment by early 2014.

In an update from the city council, Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) – one of two council representatives who serve on PAC – noted that a park fee waiver recommended by PAC had been approved by the council on Nov. 18. The waiver is for groups who want to distribute goods for basic human needs at a city park. He also noted that on Nov. 7, the council had accepted PAC’s report on downtown parks and open space “with speed and a lack of unhappiness.” He did not mention that the other council representative on PAC, Mike Anglin (Ward 5), had dissented on that vote to accept the report. [Full Story]

West Park Possible Location for New Dog Park

Ann Arbor park advisory commission meeting (Oct. 16, 2012): Creation of a new, more centrally located Ann Arbor dog park moved forward this month, as park commissioners reached an informal consensus to explore West Park for that purpose.

Ann Arbor parks millage renewal, Ann Arbor park advisory commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Signs for Ann Arbor parks millage renewal. PAC member Ingrid Ault has formed a campaign committee – called Friends of the Parks – to support the renewal. (Photos by the writer.)

A committee that has focused on identifying possible locations for a new dog park recommended the West Park site – specifically, a parcel in the park’s northeast corner, where the city recently bought and demolished a house near the entrance off of Chapin Street. No formal vote was taken, but PAC’s support means that staff will bring back a proposal for PAC’s consideration, and hold a public meeting for community input.

PAC members did formally vote on a recommendation to relocate tennis courts within Windemere Park, to the east of the current location. Several residents of the neighborhood surrounding Windemere Park attended the meeting and advocated for a postponement on the decision. They noted that the option being recommended by staff had not been presented at an Oct. 8 neighborhood 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.

In an unusual move, PAC member Ingrid Ault spoke to her fellow commissioners during public commentary. Telling them that she was speaking as a citizen, not a commissioner, Ault said she had formed a campaign committee – called Friends of the Parks – to support the park maintenance & capital improvements millage renewal, which is on the Nov. 6 ballot. The current 1.1 mill tax expires this year. A renewal would run from 2013-2018 and raise about $4.9 million next year. Ault brought yard signs to distribute, and encouraged commissioners and the public to support the renewal. PAC had passed a resolution in support of the millage at their June 2012 meeting.

As part of his manager’s report, Colin Smith noted that city staff will be meeting with representatives from the state on Nov. 2 to get a better understanding of concerns that have been raised regarding a planned whitewater section of the Huron River, near Argo Cascades. He said he’d have an update on that situation at PAC’s November meeting. [See Chronicle coverage: “EPA, Others Object to Whitewater Project.”]

Commissioners held their annual officer elections, re-electing Julie Grand as chair. Ingrid Ault was elected vice chair and Tim Doyle was tapped as chair of PAC’s budget and finance committee. All nominations were uncontested, and the votes were unanimous. PAC also welcomed Missy Stults to her first meeting as commissioner. Her nomination had been confirmed by the city council earlier this month. [Full Story]

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 … [Full Story]

Parks Group Acts on S. University, Windemere

Ann Arbor park advisory commission meeting (May 15, 2012): At this month’s PAC meeting, commissioners gave positive recommendations for renovations to two city parks.

Argo Cascades

Argo Cascades on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012. (Photos by the writer.)

For Windemere Park, located in the Glacier neighborhood on the city’s east side, the commission passed a resolution supporting the reconstruction of two tennis courts there, allowing for costs as much as 15-20% greater than a site with better soil conditions. The exact location where the courts will be reconstructed within the park will be based on the outcome of a public meeting with neighbors.

The commission also recommended approval of a contract to undertake $39,575 of improvements to South University Park, using part of a $50,000 gift from Leslie and Michael Morris – donated to the city for the express purpose of renovations to that park.

Commissioners heard a number of updates, including a report on the city’s canoe liveries – the largest in Michigan, with nearly 500 boats. A highlight of the livery report was a status update on the Argo Cascades, a bypass that’s been constructed around the Argo Dam. The nine pools and drops have proven to be somewhat sportier than is suitable for complete novice paddlers, but city staff are working on a range of strategies to ensure safety and enjoyment.

The commission heard a briefing on the public art commission’s annual plan, which includes artwork in some local parks. They also got an update from the Cobblestone Farm Association, and were introduced to the new market manager, Sarah Benoit.

Among the highlights of parks and recreation manager Colin Smith’s report to the commission was the announcement that the city’s natural area preservation program (NAP) would change city departments. In the next month or so, NAP will begin reporting to the community services area instead of the public services area, as part of the city’s move to consolidate volunteer efforts.

The commission also said farewell to Sam Offen, who was term-limited for his service on PAC. [Full Story]