Mayor launches ‘reboot’ of Lincoln Park planning process

On September 26, 2012, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

City to Designate Design Consultant to Work with Park Users and Neighbors on New Set of Proposals to Upgrade Park Facilities

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone announced today that he has directed the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD) to appoint a design consultant to manage a new and more comprehensive planning process for proposed upgrades to recreational facilities at Lincoln Park.

“We’ve had repeated requests from community members for expanded input on the selection of design alternatives for this valuable citywide recreational facility,” said Mayor Curtatone.  “A lot of work has gone into analyzing the best ways to upgrade the park so that it can support a wide variety of uses, and three public meetings were held based on a set of preliminary design proposals. But it’s clear that some residents have not been aware of past opportunities to participate in public discussions, or would like more opportunity to comment on each step of the process.  I think it’s also clear that there are strong differences of opinion about how best to proceed in fulfilling Lincoln Park’s potential as a community resource.  Rebooting the process and adding additional outside expertise should address these concerns.”

“Somerville residents in every neighborhood of the city understand that we need to provide improved year-round access to athletic fields and recreational facilities wherever we can,” said Curtatone. “More and more sports organizations are seeking more and more practice and playing time.  Restarting the Lincoln Park process, and creating an approach that involves all stakeholders at every step will actually save time in the long run and keep us moving toward a facilities upgrade plan that represents the fullest possible range of public input and review.”

The City had originally sought public comment on a plan to renovate Lincoln Park based on community requests for, among other improvements, a synthetic turf sports field, a grass field for passive recreation, renovation of the existing basketball courts and the creation of a seasonal ice rink. The plan also necessitated the construction of a new structure to house ice rink infrastructure as well as bathrooms, concessions and a skate rental area.

“The original design consultant did an outstanding job with the specific parameters we initially established, but we never asked for a truly comprehensive approach to reimagining Lincoln Park from the ground up.  That will be the new mission – and since we plan to restart the process, we’re suspending public meetings until we can start fresh.” Curtatone said.  “We expect the selection process to take several weeks.”



7 Responses to “Mayor launches ‘reboot’ of Lincoln Park planning process”

  1. j. connelly says:

    So additional co$t$ & delay$…more $$$ for de$igner$ etc. Somebody at City Hall failed the citizen$…thus more NEEDLESS co$ts to the taxpayers. If it isn’t delay$…it’s running into the BOA meetings saying….”This must be approved immediately , tonight!”
    Yet he also says “These are tight fiscal times!”

  2. Wig Zamore says:

    Good Morning,

    This is an excellent response to the need for a coordinated planning process, with skilled design assistance, at Lincoln the Mayor and city staff. Lincoln Park is unique in Somerville. It is the largest city owned green space but also a neighhood facility that originated with a unique development promise – that the building lots and housing surrounding and co-marketed with Lincoln Park would forever be compatibly tied to the adjoining green space. Over the years the abutters have generously agreed with the need for an elementary school on what was originally park land, but one placed to allow the continued synergy of neighborhood and park.

    Clearly the best situation going forward will be a design that is acceptable to the nearest neighbors, to the daytime needs of the Argenziano School itself and to the larger community’s need for a reasonable use of green space city-wide. Shared spaces in Somerville need to have solutions that work reasonably well for all legitimate stakeholders, rather than great for one power group and horribly for everyone else. It is a little more difficult in the short run to get particpatory democracy right than it is to simply dictate outcomes. But it is a key way that Somerville has been and csn continue to evolve into a great inclusive place to live, work and play.

    Cheers, Wig

  3. j. connelly says:

    Reality-fact ! Notice how city buildings over the years that were ruled by the elected officials as beyond repair and HAD TO BE TORN DOWN…..
    Lowe School on Morrison Ave. (now apartments), The original Union Square firehouse (now the SCAT bldg), etc. are all still proudly standing.

    Yet NEWER created bldgs; Lincoln Park School, Powderhouse Comm. School, etc., all had to be replaced??? Whats wrong with this picture???? Taxpayers scammed?? Some will say “asbestos”! Well they raided the employees pension funds to remove the “asbestos” from the Cutler School. Then it was later torn down to build a “NEW” school.

    The Brown School still stands strong all these years. Makes you really wonder?

  4. A Moore says:

    You forget the East Somerville school which took my house away. The old buildings were made to last. No money to be made if you make it too good. Guess we should call them disposable buildings. Just wait for Union Square fiasco.

  5. Meme says:

    Reboot just means that all money spent up to this point is being put in the trash, so they can hand out money to favorite contractors again. Take the blindfolds off

  6. Resident7 says:

    As someone who lives with my house bordering Lincoln Park, I feel the decision to hault the process is a good one. If you attended the last meeting, you know it didnt go over well. The only ones ok with the changes was the coaches of the highschool soccer team and the players. Later in the meeting the decision was that highschool players would not be playing at Lincoln Park, leaving no one benefiting that attended the meeting. The residents around Lincoln Park were not properally informed of these meetings, and were told many times through the meetings that the process was going to happen. I imagion the mayor got lots of phone calls and letters of disagreement with the city and their decisions.

  7. The Wizard says:

    “Asbestos” I can see, this is another of Honest Joe Curtatone’s schemes.
    Only time will tell, but methinks something is rotten in Denmark(and Somerville)!!!

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