First Public Meeting on Downtown Riverfront Study


Published 03/14 2014 01:56PM

Updated 03/14 2014 02:07PM

An auditorium full of people showed up at the Fort Wayne Public Library to give their input at the first public meeting on the Downtown Riverfront Study.

The event lasted for 2 hours, SWA Group giving a comprehensive look at over 700 acres being studied.

WFFT's Brooke Welch was at the meeting and has more on the potential developments that could be coming to the riverfront here in Fort Wayne.

"Land use, what are people doing with land already.  What's working and what isn't."

Kinder Baumgardner of the SWA Group showed slides that focused on adding to what is already taking place.  Ecology, commerce, parks and gardens, and mized use areas.  When talking to people at the meeting, it seemed that many were pleased with the ideas ranging from commercialism to conservationism are represented in preliminary drawings. 

Michael Galbraith has lived in Fort Wayne for decades and gave us his thought on the meeting.

"Pretty excited about the diversity of things we've been talking about.  I'm also excited about the idea of changing some of the experiences on the river, so it's not the one experience along the river."

The report takes into consideration a lot of different factors in the study.  One of them is situations like these where you have big trees and shrubs blocking scenic views of the river.  Other things like flooding and water contamination are being addressed as well.

Betsy Yankowiak came to the meeting to make sure that the nature and ecology of the rivers were being addressed, and after listening to the presentation, is happy about where the plan is headed.

"The speakers were discussing how important those biological resources are and how we can protect them and how we want to move our community to go in and enjoy the rivers."

Baumgardner says the plan will try to identify all the key projects.

"Lots of different opportunities.  The heart of it is a river and we need to be thinking about what that river is.  Very dynamic, people are attracted to water, and they love all the vegetation around it but also all the catalytic projects that come out of it." 

WFFT will keep you updated as the next public hearing will be in July and the entire study is expected to be completed in January.

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