The city of Fairhope will reopen public engagement on its controversial working waterfront plan, according to an announcement from Mayor Sherry Sullivan at her first City Council meeting Monday night. The proposed $6.2 million project, fully funded with money provided through the RESTORE Act available after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, was unveiled by former Mayor Karin Wilson earlier this year to mixed reviews.
The plan, created by engineering firm Goodwyn Mills Cawood, envisions improving the municipal pier and surrounding parkland, realigning the rose garden and fountain, relocating parking and grading the bluff above South Beach Park to improve pedestrian accessibility and provide handicap accessibility, among other things.
The design was the result of a charrette in which 164 participants provided input, while at least 570 others responded to a survey about the project. But when it was revealed, there were complaints about the lack of public participation, altering the bluffs, relocating the parking, and its failure to address problems with the existing seawall.
Tonight, Sullivan said the city will accept new comments for a three-week period until the close of business on Monday, Nov. 30. Comments will be accepted via email, mail and in envelopes dropped off at City Hall, while comments on social media or in social media groups will not be considered.
Emails can be sent to email@example.com; mail-in comments can be sent to Working Waterfront, c/o City of Fairhope, P.O. Box 429, Fairhope, Alabama 36533.
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