Date: September 3, 2013 

Location: Park District Administration Office

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Commissioners: Chair Benz, Abbott, Olvany;  President CrowleyStaff:  Wilson, Bingham, Bowen, Donoghue, Lambrecht, Specht
Visitors:  Chad Giese (resident); Tim Dorn (Gewalt Hamilton); Kathy Routliffe (Wilmette Life)
Topics for Discussion:

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes
3) Communication and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Manager Report
6) Capital Improvement Projects Review
7) Old Business
8) New Business
9) Adjournment

Discussions/Decisions Made:

1) The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm.

2) Commissioner Olvany questioned the minutes relative to Commissioner Benz’ mission statement comments. Chair Benz stated he was comfortable with the minutes as written.

Commissioner Olvany added that on page 8 and 9, second paragraph, it indicates that he stated “it is our job as a committee and as President Crowley noted, we want to create a revenue-generated facility so that is something we will be recommending at this point.” However, he would like the minutes to reflect a change from the word “recommending” to “considering”. The Committee then approved the minutes of the August 5, 2013 Lakefront Committee meeting as amended by general consent.
3) Under Communications and Correspondence, Kathy Bingham reviewed two letters. The first letter from sailor Gary Dayan was in regard to the sailing beach and thanked Holly for the improvements made as well as the increased supervision at the lakefront which he felt made for a much better and more positive sailing season.
 Director Wilson stated he received an email from Peter Baugher with an attached link to an article about the boathouses being built in Chicago and he thought the Committee might be interested in seeing them. Mr. Baugher also made some comments about the clean-up efforts that were done at Langdon Park and how much he appreciated their efforts.

 Commissioner Olvany asked if anyone had any further conversations with Mr. Baugher since he had not. Director Wilson stated included in Mr. Baugher’s letter was a suggestion that we add a canoe or kayak launch at the harbor across from the park which Mr. Baugher thinks would be a wonderful addition. Chair Benz stated that Mr. Baugher’s point is that even with a master plan would it make sense to have a better designated area that would also have a procedure for where to park cars. Commissioner Olvany asked how that differs from what we currently do. Superintendent Bingham clarified that Mr. Baugher was talking about the trail-ins which can be purchased and launched just north of the pier. The procedure is that the boaters must drop their boats off on that overlook area and then someone brings the boat to the beach and park their car where they can find a spot.

 Holly stated staff provides our patrons with a map of the launch location when they sign the contract. They also must have a season pass but we don’t do any daily launch permits. As people come to the park, the gate guard asks them if they have a season permit which is the same procedure that is followed at the sailing beach. Director Wilson stated that Evanston and Winnetka both have boat launches but allow motorized vehicles and daily launch opportunities. Chair Benz stated he asked Mr. Baugher if he saw this evolving into a boat launch in Wilmette and Mr. Baugher’s response was “wouldn’t that be nice”.

 Commissioner Olvany suggested the Committee go back to the issue of access to the harbor. He also thinks there should be a dialogue between staff and the community and the operators of the harbor at least for the 2014 season and then hopefully we can work together more closely. Commissioner Abbott stated he was in agreement with Commissioner Olvany’s statements.

4) Under Recognition of Visitors, Tim Dorn of Gewalt Hamilton introduced himself and stated he would be speaking later on during the Traffic Study.

Also under Recognition of Visitors, Chad Giese stated he has lived in Wilmette for a few years and recently moved to the Bunker Lane area. He is also a former national champion cross country skier and is interested in encouraging cross country skiing in our community in a more formal setting.

 Mr. Giese stated that for the last three years he has skied at Gillson on the open field. However, he thinks that since the golf course is a natural setting it might be a better location for having a more formal structure there with even a facility of some kind. Commissioner Olvany asked if cross country skiers and people who snow shoe could co-exist and Mr. Giese said yes since they would be on different trails. He added that the equipment for making trails is inexpensive and it wouldn’t take much to maintain. Commissioner Olvany asked if the Minnesota skiing community had a social aspect to it and Mr. Geise responded yes. He added that accessing Gillson Park would be potentially more interesting since it’s close to the city center but the golf course would be a better location. The Committee then thanked Mr. Giese for his comments and stated his suggestion will be taken into consideration.

5) Under Manager Report, Lakefront Manager Holly Specht reported the beach was closed yesterday although the water remained open until 3 pm when it was determined the water was too rough. All of the lifeguard stands have now been removed and the beach mat was picked up at the swimming beach. Most of the buoys have been pulled out. The “No Boating” buoys will be out for the rest of the sailing season. Winter storage begins on October 13. 

 Commissioner Olvany asked if staff had any recommended changes for south beach next season. Holly replied that staff just needs to keep doing what we had done this season. Holly stated that on busy days, the swimming beach is busier than the south beach which is a good thing. She added that more information will be provided when she completes her annual Lakefront Report. However, there have been some concerned parents on the sailing beach who are worried about their children using the SUPs and the distance they need to go out before they can go parallel along the shore. She added that there have also been a lot of people who have asked if we were going to increase the number of SUPs in the park. Director Wilson stated that we did increase the number and we maxed out at 80. However, he thinks there is still room for more. Holly stated that in general rentals have been excellent. Chair Benz stated that the Committee will look forward to your evaluation of this past season which will be discussed at the November meeting.

6) Under Capital Improvement Projects Review, Director Wilson stated that included in the packet was a memo from Superintendent Eppelheimer as well as a document which the Financial Planning Committee has been reviewing over the last several months. The purpose of these changes was to group the projects by Committee in order to make it easier to focus on their projects. As can be seen, we have some completed projects related to the lakefront which are the top two items. That then left only a few items deferred because of project overruns so the lakefront in general had one major deferral due to the fact that we’re not ready to start drawing up of the bid documents and designs for the Lakefront Master Plan.

 Chair Benz stated that this is a good document to have and the Committee members are obviously aware that we are making a major contribution to our budget this year to deal with the realities of our finances and that we clearly know we will see a portion of that come back in the budget for next year. However, we feel that by the end of this year is when we will see a lakefront plan which is conceptual in nature and that we in fact have sufficient funds to do so.

 Commissioner Olvany then questioned the costs for the Lakefront Master Plan. Director Wilson stated that although it appears the traffic study will cost $49,000, we will still essentially have $260,000 that was budgeted for the master plan. Commissioner Abbott asked about the water testing and Superintendent Bingham replied that the funds for that are related to the QPCR water testing lab work which was actually largely expended in 2012. However, the cost this year will be exceptionally less and it is anticipated we will pay $25,000 this year which is a cumulative number and includes the building of the lab and the hauling of equipment which was mostly reimbursed via federal funding. But it is still a project we want to track exclusively especially in light of the grant money.

 Chair Benz stated the only feedback he received was the comfort level of the testing and that it was much more “state of the art.” Superintendent Bingham added the new testing system helps staff to make decisions and since we are still doing both testing methods it also helps us to make a decision based on the results. The goal now is to get to the point of relying solely on the QPCR tests. Chair Benz added that we did have fewer water closings this year than in the past.

7)  Old Business: None

8) New Business: Lakefront Master Plan

 Traffic Study: Tim Dorn of Gewalt Hamilton stated his firm had collected as much data as possible so hopefully this report was helpful and enlightening for the future planning of the lakefront. They performed 24-hour counts over a 24-hour period. However, Gillson Park closes at 10 pm so those numbers are really a 16-hour count and the volume turned out to be significantly higher than anticipated. He stated that they counted cars, bikes and foot traffic on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, July 13, 14 and 16. They also counted traffic on the south drive, the middle drive of Washington, and the north drive which is the primary access to the swimming beach. The Michigan Avenue south drive, once it splits, is one-way inbound and at Lake Street it’s a two-way intersection.

 Mr. Dorn reported that Lake Street has a traffic signal and the range of traffic in a 24-hour period ranged from 600 cars per day to 1,600 cars per day. However, more importantly there are plus or minus 500 vehicles per hour, and he would like to take that down to 8 cars per minute at that point of Lake and Michigan.

 Sunday appeared to be the busiest day for traffic and Saturday was the busiest for bicycles and pedestrians. This is a fairly large number of pedestrians. The District also has a decent system of pedestrian paths. There are 200 pedestrians per hour which is significant.

 On Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm parking spaces were 85% occupied overall and on Sunday about the same percentage. Also included in their report is a summary of their results. The report also shows the parking areas monitored and counts.

 After further review and discussion of the information provided in the report, Commissioner Olvany asked if anyone had a significant conclusion on the traffic study. Director Wilson replied that one of the things which had just been confirmed for him was what has been said in the past about our neighboring areas. When reviewing the chart on Saturday and Sunday and then at Michigan Avenue south of Washington, it is the first area to fill and it’s busy starting early in the day. It’s also as close as you can get to a harbor without paying for decals or fees. In addition, Harbor users park there and their cars sit for the entire day.

 Commissioner Olvany asked if this information was something we should share with the Village and Director Wilson replied that staff was fully planning on sharing it with the Village. Holly added that both of those days experienced wonderful weather so staff stopped selling daily passes in order to accommodate our season passholders. 

 Director Wilson stated that our first goal is to be more efficient. Commissioner Olvany stated he didn’t realize you can’t get into the parking lot from that south entrance and that you have to leave and then come back in on Lake Street. Director Wilson added that the total number of 1,600 cars shocked everyone. Staff knew it was busy but that was a big number even for us. Holly stated that a lot of people on the weekends drive through, drop off their picnic baskets, and then park on the street. Chair Benz stated that the park over the years has developed a workable system which is fairly adequate but not “super efficient”. Mr. Dorn stated that on weekdays there is plenty of parking available and added that for a park area this situation is unique since it’s not a typical park and the pedestrian and bike traffic is very heavy.

 Commissioner Abbott stated he agreed with putting numbers together because in some ways it’s confirming the idea that pedestrian and bike traffic should be separated, especially pedestrian traffic along the south entrance. He also doesn’t think there needs to be radical changes. We could also direct the bike path in a different direction. Superintendent Bingham stated it would be great if people would pay attention and obey our posted signs regarding the Lake Street entrance for pedestrians so as a result we may need to consider separate areas for bikes and pedestrians.

 Superintendent Bingham stated that there is plenty of room at the Lake Street entrance to put in adequate car, bike, and pedestrian traffic and it should be considered.

Commissioner Abbott stated he thought it would be a negative political move to dig up more land and put in more asphalt. However, if more cars were able to get into the park without taking out buffers in the street and/or landscaping he would be okay with that. He added he was surprised with the numbers and hadn’t known they were going to be that high.

Commissioner Abbott also stated that it’s the separation of bike and pedestrian traffic in some areas that needs to be fixed as does the underground piping which is also worn out. Those issues should drive this project.

 Chair Benz stated that what the traffic study is showing him is a need for better efficiency. As a result, he sees a separate bike and car area making the existing parking lot as efficient as possible. He also feels that the existing roadways are working out fairly well for cars.

 Chair Benz suggested that there are five programming areas that we have discussed at our various meetings and he feels that Gillson as a resource could be extended for multi-seasonal use.

 The first point is winter programs including sledding to complement the ice skating pond, cross country skiing and show shoeing. There could also be a warming fire option outdoors in addition to the indoor fireplace at the Lakeview Center with concessions available for warm beverages.  

 The second point is creation of a nature and naturalist program. The Elmwood Dunes area is a natural environmental educational area and Gillson has a wildflower garden.

 A water habitat observation is another feature which could include part of a breakwater/pier renovation and if possible we could work with the MWRD and developing a hiking area along the water.

The third point consists of a fishing and observation area which would be built around a pier rehabilitation.

The fourth point he suggested is an expanded watercraft program which talks about potential future boat launches not only for what we current do at the sailing beach but also at the harbor and the canal area. It would be a kayak and canoe-friendly area with rentals.

At the Sailing Beach we are currently in the process of working our way through the SUP-friendly area in order to figure out where the best location would be for them. That would be followed by expanded sailing lessons and watercraft safety classes with an opportunity for the Harbor and the Park District to work together with other entities.

There also used to be a Halloween event at the lakefront but that was moved because of the weather at that time of year. Director Wilson added that we still hold a fall event there but it’s now a smaller indoor program.

Chair Benz then indicated that the fifth point includes events such as leaf collections, bird migration walks, marshmallow roasts, in the fire pit areas, and the possible expansion of the wonderful summer family camping experience on the beach.

 Chair Benz also stated that the purpose of discussion in bringing these options to the Committee is to see if it’s appropriate to include them with our direction to the consultants for the master plan and then consolidate everything.

Line-by-Line Review:
Commissioner Olvany stated that when looking at the agenda, he thought it would be helpful to go through the current layout and review the ideas and then go over everything line-by-line stating what we think of these items. Some of them we already have, some that been already been incorporated into the document, or some that do not exist but are worthy of discussion. To him that is the whole point of tonight which is to have an open discussion about everything that is on our minds and to have it all on the table. As a result his recommendation would be to review everything.

 Director Wilson stated that in regard to programming that is what we as staff can do easily so suggested focusing on whether there is something as part of the infrastructure component of the master plan that is needed to facilitate some of this work that doesn’t already exist. Commissioner Olvany stated he would prefer using one of the formats and check each item off and after that is completed, we can then move to the aspects of this additional document that aren’t necessarily being discussed.

 Road Reconstruction

 Commissioner Olvany stated we absolutely need to improve the roads. He added that in regard to road reconstruction and looking at the different options, the one he likes is in Alternative #2 which includes the two-on-way loops with no connection. We would also eliminate a lot of vehicular flow that goes through the center of the park and then this entire area could be opened up for walking areas. Superintendent Bingham stated then there would be no parking for people who only had resident stickers. Director Wilson added that we would also have to install a checkpoint there for parking.

 Commissioner Olvany stated his expectation is that we are talking conceptually. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the Committee is now talking about over 3,000 cars in the park, and the Alternative #2 option would force all traffic through the north exit.

 Commissioner Abbott stated that all of the cars that come out that way would overload the exit. In general, the roads definitely need to be restructured.

 Commissioner Abbott stated his first choice is pretty much the status quo. Commissioner Olvany stated that we are talking about ideas and what we like and not costs right now since we don’t have any data that one item is more expensive than the other.

 Commissioner Abbott stated he is in favor of rebuilding the roads and he likes Alternative #1. Chair Benz stated that the existing roadway structure of the cars is functioning and that to reconfigure the way cars are going through there would be unnecessary.

Director Wilson stated the Committee does not seem to like Alternative #3 so should we cross out that traffic pattern and the Committee unanimously agreed.

 After much discussion, Commissioner Olvany stated he feels very strongly that we need to add a lot more walking paths in the park and we need ways to separate the vehicular traffic from the cyclists and it seems that a stripe is the direction this Committee is taking. However, he also thinks we need to consider ways of improving the walk-ability of the park. The Committee then decided to recommend we maintain the existing vehicular circulation which is similar to Alternative #1.

 Road Re-construction: Chair Benz stated that the Committee is in agreement that the roads need to be reconstructed.

 Chair Benz asked about the road-adjustment near Wallace Bowl. Director Wilson stated the concept behind that is if you’re replacing it you’re already spending the money on the construction and if you could pull it somewhat away from the top of the Wallace Bowl it would separate the vehicles so it wouldn’t interfere with ongoing performances.

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Overlook Upper Drive: one-way loops, no connection:

 Voting Yes – 1; Voting No – 2

 Commissioner Benz stated the next item is a more efficient layout with permeable pavers. Director Wilson added that permeable pavers are probably not a feasible solution for us because of low water tables but that was the recommendation from the consultants. Commissioner Olvany agreed with having a more efficient parking lot but disagreed with the permeable pavers. The Committee agreed to a more efficient layout.

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3

 Alternative #3: Separate beach and park circulation

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No - 3

 Parking Deck:

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No - 3

 Park Roadway Storm Sewers: Director Wilson stated that their consultants had this item as one of their basic tenants of the project which has to be done.

  Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Replace Portions of Water Service to the Lakeview Center:

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 New Walkways in the Park:

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

Director Wilson stated he would put the striping in the roadways for bike traffic akin to what is on Sheridan Road.

 Chair Benz stated he was okay with this but felt that when choosing between striping and separating for bikers, he would go with striping. Additional discussion followed on what the options were for the different materials for the walkways.

 After discussion the Committee agreed that the middle drive should be incorporated into the plan as a walkway. Chair Benz identified a third concept which would be a wider roadway with a raised part for pedestrians and then a drop-down for the bicycle lanes since we want to get the pedestrians away from the roadway.

 Commissioner Abbott stated that he likes the idea of a separate pedestrian path and the bikes separated from the roadway but he could be swayed in either direction as long as they each have their own space.

 The Committee discussed adding a walking areas in the “boot” area of the park and decided against it.

 Commissioner Olvany stated one of the things on our list which is relevant to this new walkway is the concept of the harbor walk. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the east half of the Harbor parking lot is the Park District’s but the rest is MWRD property. Commissioner Olvany asked if this was a good time to meet with the MWRD to talk about enhancing the parkways in the park and that we’re thinking of creating a harbor walk. Chair Benz stated that the solution could be having one of the walks run through the park and then follow the road. It was discussed that the Coast Guard station would have to be avoided.

Chair Benz stated the goal would be to see what the consultants would recommend in order to enhance the walk. 

 After discussion, it was decided to recommend that JJR design a harbor walk and for staff to begin discussions with the Harbor Association and the MWRD in regard to new walkways in the park, striping bike paths on the roads, narrowing the center drive as a walkway and designing new walkways for pedestrians. 

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Director Wilson stated he felt comfortable saying that we like this idea of a harbor walk. They will be seeing this design and if they had any ideas, we would like to know before we turn it over to the consultants. Director Wilson stated he and Superintendent Lambrecht could talk to Jim Dominick and Commissioner Olvany agreed. 

 Beach Parking Lot: All agreed the parking lots need to be replaced as well as the Beach Lighting.

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Replace Beach Lighting: Holly stated the lighting is being replaced because they currently have a very strong glare and new lights will be more efficient. Superintendent Lambrecht added that the new lighting will be much more efficient and that we wanted to get away from the “Chicago” orange light fixtures.

 Tot Lot in the Park:

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

Replace Sanitary Lift Station:

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Wallace Bowl Repairs: Chair Benz stated that his viewpoint was that this should be a part of our maintenance plan, not the master plan. Director Wilson replied that it is not necessarily a part of the plan yet but it does go to the list of must-do projects and it also involves more maintenance.

 Restore or Renovate Entrance at Washington: Superintendent Lambrecht stated this area is a vehicular exit and pedestrian entrance/exit and added it would involve taking down the two columns at Washington Street. Chair Benz asked if these were historical and if this would be a sensitive issue. Superintendent Lambrecht replied that they don’t match anything in the park.

 Director Wilson added that between the columns and the Wallace Bowl he thought it could be a Ouilmette Foundation project and Commissioner Olvany agreed. Superintendent Bingham stated that this would include rebuilding them to match the stone in the rest of the park. Chair Benz stated he thinks this could be a sensitive issue but the entrance should be renovated and restoration doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of it. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the columns are falling apart and even tuck pointing wouldn’t help. Commissioner Olvany stated he was thinking it would be more of a renovation as opposed to restoration. The Committee agreed to recommend removal or renovation of the columns as part of the master plan. 

 Commissioner Olvany stated that to him this is part of the master plan and Commissioner Abbott stated we should put that in with the Wallace Bowl work.

 Rebuild the Harbor Garden Walk. Superintendent Lambrecht explained that this represents the walkway which we talked about earlier. The walkway is currently a mix of stone, wood chips, and asphalt, it is not accessible and it also floods.

 Commissioner Abbott stated that Director Wilson will be talking to the WHA about connecting the garden walk with a harbor walkway. Director Wilson added that there could be a mutual benefit if we changed something about the configuration.

 Replace Beach House: Commissioner Olvany recommended that we should indicate we need to replace the building and that a new plan is needed since none of the other plans are adequate.

 Director Wilson stated from a staff perspective it is very important that we control beach access similar to what the Evanston structure has. People can still use the concessions area and the restrooms from the park side but if they‘re passing through that building they’re on the beach. Beyond that, having a shower tower outside also frees up some footprint. Adding more toilets, better concessions and possibly an indoor multi-purpose room are all further decisions to be made.
 Commissioner Abbott stated he was surprised by comments from people who really like the concession picnic area and go down there a lot to be outside. He is also one of those people who would say that in regard to shade we should get more shade at the beach such as Lake Forest has at their outdoor pavilion. Commissioner Olvany stated he would be in favor of getting rid of the picnic area and then having a clearly delineated space for people on one side or the other so if you want to picnic there would be options.

 Director Wilson stated we could try to accommodate the people at both areas. If we do not provide a place for people to sit without being on the beach, we will then hear from them because it’s their way of life right now. Commissioner Olvany added that some of our patrons also enjoy seeing the water without having to pay to get on the beach so he thinks we need to conquer both issues.

 We have moved the actual southern boundary of the sailing beach to the south and it is now coming into what has been historically the swimming beach. The exact location of the structure can still be discussed due to the shifting of the beaches.

 Replace Beach House:

Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Sailing Beach Facility: Chair Benz stated that this part of the master plan is appropriate because we have accessibility issues. He also thinks it’s a unique situation but we will need a new sailing structure which should be part of the plan. In his opinion, a lot of people love that structure although there are accessibility issues that need to be addressed. 

 Director Wilson stated he agrees with the Committee. It is not an accessible building but we could make it accessible. Commissioner Olvany stated we should remove the porta-potties and put a toilet there at the north end of the sailing beach and then leave the current structure as it is. It does have great character and tremendous ambiance. Director Wilson added that it was built by Superintendent Lambrecht. Commissioner Olvany summarized that if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it. The bathroom situation is not great and they are quite ugly so we could move those to the other end and then we build a real bathroom facility along with some porta-potties.

 Commissioner Abbott stated that he would say no to a sailing classroom and yes to a restroom. Superintendent Lambrecht suggested placing it near Forest Avenue since it would diversify the bathroom locations. Commissioner Olvany added that then the SUP people could use the facilities at the beach house or use the toilet at the north end of the beach.

 Holly stated that the sailing shack does have a lot of character but it is not functional for employees. Director Wilson stated we could also build it ourselves and conquer some of the issues of programming. It could be a discussion somewhere down the road but not necessarily the master plan. It is also a very harsh environment and Superintendent Lambrecht added that we would not use wood in that kind of environment again as we did in the past. Chair Benz asked if this location was the most appropriate and Holly replied yes because it has controlled access.

 Commissioner Olvany stated that from a Board member’s perspective, his answer is that we run our rental program out of the sailing shack and we are trying to attract people to come to the beach and the location is very visible.

 New Sailing Beach Facility:

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3

The Committee voted no in regards to a new Sailing Beach Facility.

Additional Remote Bathroom Facility on Sailing Beach: This would involve adding a remote bathroom facility on the north part of the sailing beach.

Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Update Picnic Areas:

 Commissioner Olvany suggested that we should add them in different areas similar to the concepts we saw in the photos of Lake Forest where they’re built into the bluff. Superintendent Bingham asked if the Committee preferred picnic shelters or picnic tables and Commissioner Olvany stated we should stay with the same concept we have now which is a shelter. Discussion took place on installing green concrete paths. Chair Benz then asked if this was the place for permeable stone/pavers and Superintendent Lambrecht replied that we could do pavers and then use an anchor table with a concrete foundation and put pavers around it. After that is done, then we could put the pavers around it. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that he is supportive of pavers of any kind underneath the tables.

 Holly recommended Picnic Area #3 for a new shelter and Director Wilson agreed and stated that if we were to put a shelter anywhere in the park she thinks that would be a good place for it and Director Wilson agreed. Holly added that there have been weddings and church services held there as well and you could walk to the beach from there. Director Wilson stated that although he knows it’s aesthetically less pleasing, we would have to install a metal roof on the shelter at that location since that is where we shoot the fireworks on the 3rd of July.

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Update Roadway Light Fixtures: Chair Benz asked if we were going to use the historic cast iron for the light fixtures. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that he would switch them to LED fixed lights so we could convert what we have to LED which would conserve electricity. Although the cost is higher, we could apply for some grant money. These are the same lights that were also installed in Wheeler Park.

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Master Landscaping Plan: The Committee discussed the need for a comprehensive landscaping plan for Gillson and Langdon. 

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

Vegetative Edge at Wallace Bowl:

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3

 Restore Wildflower Garden:

 Superintendent Lambrecht stated we would make this item a comment on the master plan to encourage restoration of the garden.
 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Create a Memorial Tree Program:

 Director Wilson stated that in regard to this item, he thinks what they’re talking about is a revised program since it certainly received a lot of comments. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the Harbor and the Rotary Club have been planting trees for their presidents over the years at the south end of the upper section. He added that there are people who have been on the waiting list for six years. Superintendent Lambrecht explained that we have been replacing trees as they die and the agreement we have with individuals is to replace the trees as well as the plaques in perpetuity.

 Chair Benz stated we will see what the landscapers say but he thinks the program should cease at Gillson Park. Superintendent Lambrecht added that we already have many park benches in the park that were donations. Chair Benz stated that we need to find places to donate but Director Wilson then stated that we are running out of real estate in the park. It is also a District-wide consideration because a lot of our parks have memorials. However, he doesn’t know if it should be part of the master plan.

 Superintendent Lambrecht suggested that if the Committee makes a decision to cancel the memorial program perhaps it should be across all parks. Commissioner Olvany agreed with discontinuing the memorial tree program at Gillson.

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3

 Relocate Wildflower Gardens at the Harbor Garden Walk: Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the Harbor Garden Walk is a perennial garden more than a wildflower garden that enhances the walk near the harbor.
 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3

 Fencing to Protect and Restore Dunes:

 Director Wilson stated that part of the landscaping plan was to make sure we are paying attention to the dune grasses as well as maintaining and replacing them when damaged and that this process should continue. It takes three years to become established.

 Director Wilson added that this item is from Alternative #3, item #2. The concept was to reduce blowing sand into the parking lot to reduce maintenance costs.

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3

 Chair Benz stated the next item was not in the memo but it involves the expansion of the Lakeview Center multi-purpose room and move it up to accommodate 150 people. Chair Benz added that he doesn’t want to make this item something that the District funds if the new revenue generated could cover the construction cost.

 Commissioner Olvany asked if Chair Benz was asking if the Committee was in favor of or against expanding this overall item and how long would it take to get a cost estimate. Director Wilson replied that in order to go back to Williams they would have to do some additional designs.

 Commissioner Olvany stated that he thinks we’re in the stage right now of not saying how we’re going to pay for this but we are in the stage of whether this Committee wants to do this project before hearing input from the full Board. He also thinks Commissioner Benz was asking staff to take this to the next level but we first need to hear if this Committee thinks it’s a reasonable part of the master plan to expand the Lakeview Center in order to enhance its revenue-producing potential. If that is the case, then that is what should be incorporated into the plan and brought to the full Board. This is what he personally thinks should be in our discussion and our recommendation at this meeting.

 Commissioner Abbott stated that he agreed with Commissioner Olvany and if it turns out that an expanded Lakeview Center is unable to support itself, then his support for that item evaporates. However, he is in favor of putting this issue into a study.
The Committee then agreed to reject all expanded Lakeview Center designs to expand the use of the Center.

 Satellite Restroom: Director Wilson stated this is the restroom that would be in the boot area.

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3

 Accessible Fishing Platform on Restored Jetty:

 The Committee discussed requesting options for an accessible fishing platform and restoration of the existing jetty.

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Commissioner Abbott stated that he may be supportive of a fishing jetty and he is in favor of having the discussion. This jetty would be costly. 

 Superintendent Lambrecht stated that from staff’s perspective, there are two ways to look at this. We could either negotiate with the WHA to control the pier or at the very least If we can’t afford to build a new fishing pier, remove what’s there now and put in a jetty on the north side of it. A structure of any type is important to preserve the property between the pier and the harbor mouth. The jetty could be a straight sheet pile but it would not be a walkable structure. Director Wilson stated that we would need to suggest to the WHA and/or MWRD do the necessary repairs due to its deteriorating state. 

 In regard to the restoration of the current stone jetty, the Committee agreed it should be restored.

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Maintenance Building Relocated with Parking Deck:

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3
 New Stone Jetty with Fishing: Director Wilson stated the difference between the previously discussed jetty and this one is that people could walk the entire jetty as opposed to a platform off the side. They could also fish from and be able to walk the entire length.  This work would be in addition to the existing jetty.

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3

 Non-Motorized Boat Beach:  Chair Benz stated this item was related to the kayaks and canoes.

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3

 Improved Dog Beach Amenities: Superintendent Bingham explained that our dog beach patrons have been asking for a place to hose off their dogs after they have been playing in the sand. Director Wilson stated this item could also include some human drinking fountains.

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Langdon Park:

 Build Modest Washroom Structure with Storage: The Committee discussed the options for a structure at Langdon. Alternative #1 provides a safe route to the beach and restores the bluff. We have already enhanced the views and planted some dune grass to provide a safe route down the bluff. A new playground at Gillson must also be done since it is way past its useful life. Our need is a washroom facility which was in Superintendent Lambrecht’s memo although it doesn’t have to be ADA accessible.

 Commissioner Olvany stated that he thought this was a question of what is this washroom structure, where is it, etc. If it’s built into the bluff then he would be okay with it and Superintendent Lambrecht replied that was the intent and that it would be very similar to what we saw at Lighthouse Beach in Evanston. Chair Benz then clarified that what you would see from the street level would be what we see now unless we made it into a lookout with a viewing platform. He is against having any porta-potties on the beach and Superintendent Lambrecht replied those would be gone. The Committee agreed to recommend a new structure at Langdon Park with bathrooms only.

 Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Safe Route to the Beach: Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Replace Playground Equipment:  Voting Yes – 3; Voting No – 0

 Restore the Natural Bluff: (already done).

 Enhance the Views: (already done).

 Simplify Plantings:  Superintendent Lambrecht stated this item ties into a master landscaping plan.

 Minimal Drop-Offs vs. Maximal Drop-Offs: Commissioner Olvany stated he is for saying no to a drop-off area. Director Wilson stated he agreed with that unless the Board decided to move the SUP beach to Langdon. We would also need to provide the ability to drop off their equipment at the beginning of the season and pick everything up at the end of the season.  Commissioner Olvany stated he understood what Director Wilson was saying. Director Wilson added that he just wanted to make sure we had the discussion while creating a master plan. We understand the two items have to work together.

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3

 Relocate Gillson Park Flower Garden to Langdon:

 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3


 Voting Yes – 0; Voting No – 3

 Chair Benz stated that one of the problems he has with Langdon Park is its access location. When walking down there as you look north, there are rusted metal pylons and high rises and when looking to the south it’s a glorious view. If access to the park was at the north end of the Langdon, someone’s inclination would be to look south again and suddenly Langdon increases its size and scope. Also, our bathroom structure could be placed on the north end rather than the south end.

 Commissioner Olvany stated he thought the path looked pretty steep and Superintendent Lambrecht replied that it would cost a lot of money to move a lot of dirt in order to do that. Commissioner Olvany stated he didn’t foresee changing a whole lot of things. Chair Benz replied that the issue is that there are constraints here and basically it’s over anyway because we would place the bathroom access right in front of the road. Superintendent Lambrecht indicated that he would put the access to the north of the walkway so we could control access to the beach. Commissioner Olvany also mentioned that when we go back to JJR to discuss ideas about building a sledding hill that could be incorporated into Gillson Park or Langdon.

 Chair Benz then asked Director Wilson to put together the list of recommendations for both Gillson and Langdon Parks.

 It was then recommended that a list of recommendations be presented and distributed to the full Board for next Monday night’s Board meeting.

 Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to recommend to the Board of Park Commissioners a list of Lakefront Master Plan items for review.

  By a voice vote, voting Yes – 3; voting No – 0; Motion carried.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:24 pm