What's up with the Open Space Plan?
Updated: May 16, 2019
Report on the May 14, 2019 meeting with Councilperson Peter Williamson
40 people from all sections of town came out on May 14, 2019 to listen to Peter Williamson, Media Borough Councilperson, give a presentation on the vision, process, and projected timeline for developing an Open Space & Recreation Plan for Media. After the presentation, there was a spirited Q&A session, with many thoughtful and salient questions and observations made by folks attending the meeting.
Some key points from Councilperson Williamson’s presentation include:
--> The plan envisioned by Council will address recreational facilities, programs, and parks in Media, as well as identification and preservation of open space.
--> At first, Peter announced that the title of the plan would be “Parks, Recreation, Sidewalks, and Bikeways.” The model from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources that is being used as a template for Media is titled, “Comprehensive Recreation, Park, and Open Space Plan.” We emphasized that is was essential for “OPEN SPACE” to be in the title of the plan and Peter replied, “I can make that change.”
--> The RFP (Request for Proposals) seeking responses from consultants who will be hired to lead the planning process has not been completed yet. However, it is on target to be released in June 2019. There will not be a chance for public review of the RFP itself.
--> The goal is to hire the consultant and start the actual planning process by September 2019.
--> A steering committee of “8 to 10” individuals will be established to guide the planning process. Representatives of Borough Council, the Media Planning Commission, other Borough committees and commissions, and a few members of the general public will sit on the steering committee. The Borough will publish an open call for volunteers interested in serving on the steering committee. The selection process has not been finalized.
--> Peter speculated that the entire process, from beginning to end, could take 12-18 months.
A few key points articulated by Keep Media Green supporters after the presentation include:
--> Keeping OPEN SPACE in the title of plan is a FUNDAMENTAL starting point for Keep Media Green!
--> It is important that the plan does not favor construction of more recreational facilities (ball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, etc.) over preservation of natural environments.
--> The global impact of climate change needs to be factored in to any local plan; each community needs to take responsibility for its own patch of the planet if the human race is going to survive. While this may be dismissed as idealistic, it is actually practical.
--> Overdevelopment at the Borough's eastern and western gateways makes careful open space and recreational planning for the anticipated gateway at Third Street even more important.
--> The open space located on the 300 block of State Street, a tract of land that comprises an entire city block, and is home to some beautiful, mature trees, needs to be considered for preservation.
We want to thank Councilperson Williamson for taking time from his busy schedule to present at last night’s Keep Media Green meeting.
Thanks, too, to Burlap and Bean for making their beautiful space available to us after hours.
And finally, thanks to the dozens of Media residents who came out to learn about and contribute to the exciting process of creating an open space plan for Media.