PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

Final Blueprint is in

Posted by ppna on March 11, 2008

Last night the folks from HyettPalma gave a presentation about their blueprint for Ypsilanti. I thought the presentation went well and their vision was a good vision. They certainly didn’t perform $50,000 worth of work or anywhere close to that but I got the impression that hiring them was part of becoming a ‘Blueprint’ town which gives us well over our $25,000 in state benefits so it was money well spent (by Ypsilanti not the State).

What they seemed to do was rewrite the communities words from the previous vision session. The meeting was a bit of a Rah-Rah session telling the community of our vast improvement over the past 16years when they last surveyed the town. I was also happy to see they made it a point to convince the DDA to strongly encourage businesses to stay open later, get rid of part-time businesses in the district, get shop owners to create nice window displays and leave them lit until at least midnight and they wanted to get more activities going at the Riverside Arts Center. They also advised redoing the road/break planters on Michigan Ave to allow left turns. All of the suggestions were comments stated by the citizens during HyettPalma’s information gathering sessions. I said it before we didn’t need them to tell us what we need and that $50,000 was a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a service like theirs.

What HyettPalma was able to do which many members of the community can’t is put the things we want in writing and under the BluePrint plan which is run by the state their suggestions need to be considered seriously. What we really need to do is get rid of the clicks in this city and encourage everyone to work together. There seems to be an organization or a board for every block in this city and it seems they never work together nor does it seem that they openly accept people from outside their organization to join or make suggestions.

One thing HyettPalma made it a point not to consider were possible solutions offered by the community. I think once their recommendations have been digested we need to have another public meeting where we discuss solutions. Break people up into groups like they did at the park planning session and see what you get. A lot of the suggestions are easy to fix but some businesses and building owners don’t have the knowhow or money. For example facade clean-up and Window Displays are easy problems to cure. We have talented people in this community that could help with window displays and we have volunteers that could help with clean-up and painting. In a public forum the community would get to know the plight of some of the business and building owners and the owners would get to know and understand the community. Isn’t the personal relationship with business owners and their ability to respond quickly to the needs and desires of the community a major reason to have local businesses over chain stores?

I think the Vision sessions held by HyettPalma and about Riverside and Frog Island parks were great ideas and I would like to encourage all of the organization to host annual vision sessions with the community. Opening up these sessions would help bring in volunteers, donations, and most importantly good ideas.

Find the Blueprint here.
Find the Powerpoint Here Of course a Powerpoint without a presentation doesn’t do much good.

I know Steve Pierce videotaped the session but I didn’t see it posted yet. In fact he did more than videotape the session Wireless Ypsi streamed the entire session live.


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