“Master Plan” Approved at Special Council Meeting

Part of the vision for downtown West Liberty.

On Monday November 5, the West Liberty City Council met in a special session to review and vote on approval of the “Master Plan” for West Liberty.  You may have heard of the plan without even knowing that you have.  If you saw the architectural drawing that was posted in the Licking Valley Courier some months back, you have seen the basic core of the plan.

Murphy Graves Principal Chuck Trimble was on hand to present the firm’s vision for downtown West Liberty.  The series of drawings featured a widened Main Street, a 2-level, 132-space parking structure behind the new judicial center (roughly taking up the space where Maloney’s and the Williams’ Karate Studio were), a memorial park and other green space on vacant lots along the street, a covered pavilion area and walkway leading from a parking area behind City Hall up to Main Street, a walking trail, a roundabout on Trimble Street, and rebuilt buildings on most of the lots along Main.

Trimble answered questions from the Council and citizens in attendance about the plan.  Several in attendance wanted to know what it meant for the town should the Council vote to approve the plan.  Some business owners were concerned that by adopting the plan, they would have to construct and design their buildings to match what is depicted in the drawings.  The main consensus given was that by adopting the plan, it would allow the city and other organizations to pursue funding for projects aimed at helping to rebuild and develop downtown, and it was in no way binding for the city or businesses to craft and construct their projects precisely as the drawings depict. In effect, the plan is there to serve as a vision of what downtown COULD be, not what WILL be.

After reviewing the plan, the Council voted unanimously to approve it as-is.

So what are your thoughts on the plan, given what you know about it?  Are there things you’d change?  Things you’d like to see come to downtown that you feel will be beneficial?  Sound off below!