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On September 26, the Town Council hosted a forum to present and discuss two projects under consideration for Zimmerman Park: a pathway to East West Highway and a dog exercise area. Over 60 people attended the forum, and a similar number sent written comments to the Town. Everyone who attended the forum had the opportunity to express their opinion.Pedestrian Path to East-West HighwayResidents favored constructing a formal path for use by B-CC students and other residents who cut across Zimmerman Park to East-West Highway now that the Lynn Drive path no longer exists. The general sense of those attending was that the path should follow either the dirt trail the students have created or an alternative route a few feet to the north, where the ground is somewhat more open and less steep. Some residents expressed a desire for the new path to be made of permeable material, connect to the garden at the south end of the park, and include some low-level lighting.Dog Exercise AreaA majority of the comments expressed at the forum and sent to the Town were in favor of a dog exercise area in Zimmerman Park, but there also were a significant number of comments in opposition to it, especially from residents who live near the park. Proponents of a dog exercise area cited the need for a legal place in Town to exercise their dogs off-leash and noted the community-building benefits of such areas. However, the presentation prepared by the Land Use Committee also noted a number of concerns, many of which were commented on by residents. Those concerns include potential noise, parking problems, odors, stormwater run-off, enforcement of rules, potential liability, installation and maintenance costs, loss of open green play space, and impacts on property values. Several residents asked if the dog exercise area could be placed elsewhere in the Town. The Town’s Land Use Committee has already explored many of these issues and will follow-up with more in-depth study to consider alternate sites, determine likely impacts, and identify potential mitigation measures. The Town Council will not decide whether or not to move forward on the dog exercise area until the concerns have been thoroughly explored and the findings shared with Town residents.You can learn more and provide feedback about these two proposed Zimmerman Park improvements by visiting the following links:
If you have not yet sent in written comments and suggestions, there is still plenty of time to do so. Updates on the Zimmerman Park projects will be posted on the Town website and announced in Town Crier messages. As we work through this challenging project, please be considerate and respectful of all of our neighbors, whether you agree with their position or not.