Activist Says McIntire Park Plans Violate Agreements
A Charlottesville activist says proposed plans for McIntire Park may go against previous agreements the city of Charlottesville has made.
Activist Peter Kleeman spoke out to city council members about that issue Thursday. He wrote a letter to city council asking them not to go ahead with the master plans for McIntire Park.
The city of Charlottesville entered into a "memorandum of agreement" with organizations like the Federal Highway Administration, Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia Historic Preservation Society.
It says that historic features of McIntire Park will be highlighted in the new plans for the park, but Kleeman says that agreement has now been violated.
He says that the proposed plans violate parts of the memorandum of agreement regarding preservation of some historic aspects of the park.
Kleeman said, "The agreement that the city signed in May of 2010 with the Federal Highway Administration and VDOT about constructing the interchange required that these protections be explicitly stated, and I feel that the proposals are inconsistent with that agreement."
Plans to possibly get rid of the golf course and wading pool are of particular concern for Kleeman.
"There is an over-reaching of removal of those historic elements." Kleeman said.
City council members passed the letter along to city attorney Craig Brown who says Kleeman is not exactly correct.
"I think the planning process the city has engaged in for McIntire Park is not inconsistent with the memorandum of agreement. I think they're two separate processes and the city is following both of them," Brown said.
The city attorney says the agreement identifies the historic resources that might be affected by the new plans for the park and points out ways the city can minimize impact to those resources.
He says the agreement does not require the city to retain those resources forever, in particular the golf course.
But Kleeman says, regardless, it is still important to preserve the par. "Our whole society needs to have these historical links to the past. Where we come from determines where we go in our society and these properties are extremely important," he said.
In addition, Brown says that the memorandum of agreement expires by 2015 and the proposal to take away the golf course would not go into effect until 2020.
Activist Says McIntire Park Plans Violate AgreementsMore>>