May 19, 2024

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Updated: September 7, 2022 @ 8:06 am
Kathy Lozano, the West Lafayette Parks and Recreation superintendent, presented a resolution to adopt the 2022-2027 West Lafayette Parks And Recreation master plan to the city council.
 

Kathy Lozano, the West Lafayette Parks and Recreation superintendent, presented a resolution to adopt the 2022-2027 West Lafayette Parks And Recreation master plan to the city council.
 
The West Lafayette City Council discussed Indiana Senate Bill 1 and approved rezoning ordinances for the expansion of Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex and plans for two new apartment high-rises in Tuesday’s meeting.
Cherry Street rezoning
City council unanimously approved the ordinance vacating a portion of Cherry Lane for the expansion of the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex.
The purpose of the construction is to reline a portion of the road near the Spurgeon Golf Training Center to expand the golf course that Cherry Lane runs through.
The construction plan involves curving a small part of the road north and installing an elevated roundabout which will sit over a tunnel for golf carts. The roundabout is intended to regulate the historical issue of speeding along that road, Ellen said.
“The hope is to start the curve this fall and have it finished by next fall, but times do often change,” said Maryanne Ellen, a Purdue board of trustees and Purdue Research Foundation representative. “The new portion of Cherry Lane is going to have a real benefit for the safety of the users and the surrounding properties.”
West Lafayette City Attorney Eric Burns, proposed a two-sentence amendment to the construction plan delaying the road closure until it was absolutely necessary, which was passed unanimously.
“Until such approval, the city shall be responsible for the maintenance, control, oversight and liabilities of the street,” Burns said.
The construction plans with Burns’s amendment were approved with a 6-0 vote.
Waldron Apartments rezoning
City council unanimously passed Ordinance No. 26-22 rezoning the Weida Apartments near the intersection of Waldron Street and Third Street. Under the new rezoning plan, the apartments will be studios and have 82 beds. There will also be a parking lot behind the building.
Demolition for the apartments was originally planned for January 2023, but Kevin Riley, legal counsel representing Weida, said the new date is May 2023 after commencement. The change came after tenants expressed concern about leases that pass the timeline.
Tenants whose leases end after the commencement may end their lease or Weida will relocate them, Riley said.
Hardesty, who said he was previously hesitant to vote in favor of the ordinance, said he changed his mind after Riley said the demolition timeline was pushed back.
“The initial language made me feel that they were willing to kick people out without negotiation,” said Hardesty.
Vine-Fowler Intersection Rezoning
City Council passed the ordinance rezoning the area by the intersection of Vine and Fowler Street, for the construction of a high-rise apartment complex.
Ordinance No. 27-22 passed 5–0 with Councilman David Sanders abstaining.
The apartment complex had the option for commercial property, but it was not guaranteed. Instead, the high rise will have 191 residential units with 334 bedrooms and a 107-space underground parking garage, according to the proposal.
Sanders said he abstained because he wanted more commercial spaces in the complex.
“It seems to me that we should have had a commitment that (commercial spaces) would be included in this before going forward.”
Sanders also expressed concerns of overbuilding high rises and apartment complexes in West Lafayette.
“One of the worst things that can happen to a community is to overbuild, and when you all of a sudden have vacant spaces,” Sanders said.
City council addresses Indiana abortion ban
Councilman David Sanders said during the meeting that he is against the abortion ban and will
use his West Lafayette city council member salary to help city employees get access to abortions.
“If there are city employees who need to travel out of state to obtain pregnancy-related health care they can no longer receive in the state of Indiana,” Sanders said. “I will be covering transportation.”
Purdue student representative on the city council Ted Hardesty called upon Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington to address whether he would be enforcing SB 1.
“The state will undoubtedly try to override the County Prosecutor,” Hardesty said, “but that does not mean that we do not deserve to hear from Pat Harrington on that position.”
West Lafayette Parks and Recreation Master Plan
Kathy Lozano, the West Lafayette Parks and Recreation superintendent, presented a resolution to adopt the 2022-2027 West Lafayette Parks And Recreation master plan to the city council.
The master plan is a year-long effort of West Lafayette community members bringing input to the West Lafayette Parks and Rec Department about what they’d like to see in their community and parks.
The five-year master plan was created at the beginning of this year, and Lozano prepared an update for the plan as a whole. She mainly spoke about the significance of Cason Family Park, which is item No. 1 on the parks and rec master plan.
Cason family park is located on the corner of Cumberland Ave and US 231. The park is still in the design phase and is expected to start building in 2023.
“The Cason family donated 13.8 acres to the city of West Lafayette,” Lozano said. “The schoolhouse that was on the land has been completely renovated and renewed for the park’s purposes. We were able to acquire an additional 14 acres of land. This is going to be a very very nice park.”
The 20 acre park will include trails, playgrounds, existing woodlands, and a large pond equipped for kayaking, canoeing, fishing and many other aquatic activities.
“We’ve heard a lot from our community, and the one thing we’ve really been hearing community members ask for is more access to water, and this is a way we can achieve that,” Lazano said. “We have a lot of different projects on our list for the master plan, and this Cason family park is our top priority.”
Three councilmen and women praised Kathy Lazano for her thorough report on the master plan and how her efforts make a difference in West Lafayette. Council member Gerald Thomas praised the community impact of parks from his perspective.
“I’d say parks are a very important component of our community,” Thomas said. “When I ask community members what prompted them to move here, one of the top answers is always the parks or trails. So continue at making this community well off.”
Another opportunity for public hearings opened up after Lazano’s presentation. Two advocates of the lost community art center came up to the stand.
Angela Peterson moved to West Lafayette in 1998. She discovered the West Lafayette Morton community center in 2000.
“It was my salvation,” Angela said. “The arts, the Tai Chi classes, the Yoga classes, exercise classes and the sense of community really made me feel a part of something.”
West Lafayette city council moved into the building that was once known as the Morton community center last year in January . Peterson feels that the sense of community the community center provided is lost.
Where the Morton community center moved to after the original building became the city hall building is unclear.
More than one city council member took note about this issue, and Kathy Lozano even sat down with the two women to discuss the issue on a more personal matter after the meeting.
One council member, Ted Hardesty, even tried to postpone the Parks master plan issue in an attempt to focus on the community center. The motion did not pass but the parks master plan passed 6-0 shortly after.
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