Readers React to Park Board's Approval of Rosewood
Here's what readers are saying about the Park Board of Highland Park's unanimous vote in favor of the entire Rosewood Beach redesign, including the controversial interpretive center.
After over a year of intense planning, beach tours and sometimes heated public debate, the Park District of Highland Park Board of Commissioners voted last Thursday to approve the Rosewood Beach redesign proposal.
The unanimous vote means that the entire project will go forward, including the controversial interpretive center that has frequently been the sole component of the plan to provoke opposition from residents. The plan also involves a guard house, restrooms, concessions and a boardwalk. Construction is planned to take place in the spring of 2013 and the total estimated cost for the project is $4,661,372.
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In the few days the article about the vote has been posted, readers have already left over 40 comments about the plan's approval.
"Finally," Patch reader Laurie Weiss wrote. "Hooray for a decision!"
Some who did not favor the plan before it was voted on are ready to move ahead now that it has been approved.
"While I was not in favor of the interpretive center, I respect the process and vote," writes Forest Barbieri. "Let's start building."
Others, however, are not ready to stop fighting against it.
"The vote is complete but the process is not," writes Ravinia Neighbors Association Publicity Director Doug Purington. "The solely up or down vote cast has cost the residents what they really wanted...just a few necessary amenities to highten their lakefront experience!"
Another member of RNA expressed her disappointment in the Park Board's decision, and what she saw as a failure on their part to listen to the community.
"I am of course more than anything disappointed in our park district leadership," writes Amy Lohmolder. "We have become so accustomed to their selective listening (only to those who say what they want to hear) that it is hardly worth noting. Nobody was surprised at the pre-written statements that served to justify the vote that they knew would go against what a vast majority stated that they wanted at this last meeting. Nobody was surprised that all five board members voted yes."
In her blog post on Patch, Debra Rade said she felt the Park Board has disenfranchised residents with ther decision to maintain the interpretive center as part of the approved plan.
"I give the commissioners credit for trying to do a good job but perceive them as faiilng in the Rosewood Beach Project," Rade writes. "I give the RNA credit for trying to help the commissioners do a better job, even if, ultimately, they are not successful in the face of the bureacracy."
In a response to Rade's blog post, Mel Cohen wondered if the suggestion that the board was not looking out for the community's best interests was a fair statement.
"I use Rosewood Beach and have for over 35 years. As a user of the Beach I support the project as designed (which included compromise)," writes Mel Cohen. "I further support the HPPD Board and am offended by the suggestion and implication (if not accusation) that they are not acting in the best interest of the communitiy that they represent which last time I checked included over 30,000 people."
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