Petitioners Pushing for Plaza Redesign

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ASHLAND, Ore. — Construction changes to a southern Oregon city center is causing outcry from community members. Hundreds of people have signed a  petition to redesign the Ashland Plaza.

One of the lead petitioners, David Sherr, believes the plaza doesn’t reflect the city he’s proud to live in.

“A lot of people really have broken hearts  about it. I’ve been here 18 years, and  seeing what’s been done to our town for us, we have to live with a strip mall plaza,” said Sherr.

Sherr says he doesn’t like the gray pavers and wishes there was more greenery in the plaza area.  But Sherr says it’s not just the aesthetics he and over 400 people are most upset about.

“The concept plan that was created for the  plaza had no public input, very little public  input at the very beginning. If there had  been more public opinion solicited right in  the beginning, I don’t think you’d have this  many people this dissatisfied with it,” said Sherr.

But city councilman Greg Lemhouse says the plaza design was a public process.

“This process took over a year, to my account there were 13 public meetings. It was covered by the news media and it was  done during election time. So, it could have  been an issue then. It certainly wasn’t  secretive,” said Lemhouse.

City officials say they’ve identified the costs for a possible redesign.

“But anything that we do will cost money. It’ll be a factor we’ll have to decide…is it worth the cost, are we able to do that. I think there’s something that every one of us would like to change with any project and I’m not any different. But overall, I would hope the community would say number one, it’s an improvement of what was there and it’s a starting point for us to continue to work on,” said Lemhouse.

Council members plan to have a work session to further talk about the Ashland Plaza next month.

For more information on the Ashland City council agenda, click here.

For more information on the group petitioning for the redesign, click here.

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  1. POD says:

    I usually don’t agree with much Lemhouse has to say, but here I must agree he is speaking the truth as to the process in accepting a design plan for the plaza. If anyone bothers to watch the Ashland City Council televised meetings, there was much opportunity for public input as to this project. Personally, I feel it was pushed through too fast, but there ya go. It is better than dead grass/mud and dying trees, but is still sorely in need of some character and life. Anyone who is so appalled as Sherr to the finished product is offered a challenge to come up with a better plan.

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