Plan to outline improvements to Havens Garden

Published 4:18 pm Thursday, August 14, 2008

By Staff
City will spend up to $10,000 for design work
Contributing Editor
Washington is hiring a company to develop a master-plan design for Havens Garden.
During its meeting Monday, the City Council gave its approval for Mayor Judy Meier Jennette to sign a contract with Coastal Planning &Design to produce the plan for a cost not to exceed $10,000. Susan Suggs is a principal in the company. Suggs has done some design work for the city’s new skatepark (landscaping) and Veterans Park on East Third Street.
Mobley said the replacement of the N.C. Highway 32 bridge over Runyon Creek at Havens Garden provides the city an opportunity to improve the waterfront park. Those proposed improvements include improving the boat ramp and parking area north of the existing bridge.
The bridge-replacement project will result in physical changes at Havens Garden. Because the new bridge — it’s going to have sidewalks and bicycle lanes — will be wider and taller than the existing bridge, the N.C. Department of Transportation is acquiring some of the existing Havens Garden land to accommodate the new bridge. The city expects to be compensated for the loss of that land, city officials have said.
Generally, the city wants to rework the Haven Garden’s layout to make the best use of the space available at the park.
In other action, the council renewed — for 90 days — a moratorium on development located in highway interchange overlay districts.
One of the two interchange overlay districts for the bypass corridor will be located where the bypass intersects U.S. Highway 264 near the southern end of Whispering Pines Road. The other overlay district will be located where the bypass intersects U.S. Highway 17 adjacent to the northern end of Whispering Pines Road.
In January, the council imposed a 121-day moratorium on development located in the districts. That moratorium expired May 14. In early 2006, the council began discussing the need to protect the bypass corridor from unwanted development. Existing land-use control ordinances are not adequate to respond to expected increased development adjacent to the bypass, according to the city. Land uses along the bypass corridor are expected to include, but not be limited to, residential, commercial, industrial and institutional.
The Planning Board continues to finalize guidelines for development in those districts. The board has been working on them regularly for several months, said Steve Moler, a member of the board’s subcommittee charged with developing the guidelines, when he addressed the council Monday.
In other business, the council appointed Mayor Pro Tempore Doug Mercer, Councilman Archie Jennings, Bill Sykes, David Norwood, David Emmerling, John Tate and Austin Smithwick to the advisory review group charged with providing the council recommendations for implementing the harbor-management plan accepted by the council last month.
In endorsing the plan, Jennette and the council made it clear they will analyze it and determine which of its components the city may want to implement. They expect the advisory panel to help them with those tasks.