Updated, relatively easy upgrades and improvements were suggested for the former Main Street water tower site during public “design studios” held before the Fourth of July holiday.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, July 2 and 3, the City of Clear Lake and RDG Design held an on-site strategic planning process designed to gain input and opinions from the community’s residents and visitors about future use of the former Main Avenue water tower site and adjacent streetscape improvements to North Lakeview Drive (Main Avenue to 1st Avenue North). A team of planners, landscape architects and artists worked to convert the public’s ideas into tangible drawings for all to review.
A public presentation of the design team’s initial designs followed meetings with persons stopping in with ideas and comments. According to RDG designers, the idea of leaving the water tower site, which has now been sodded, as open space was favored. However, tying the area in with its surroundings to improve traffic flow and appearance was suggested.
Other ideas brought to the city included moving the restrooms which are currently located close to the Splash Pad adjacent to City Beach to the water tower area where they would be more visible. Expansion of the Splash Pad was also suggested.
The idea of constructing a boardwalk to tie together the entire Sea Wall area was also mentioned. Variations of that theme included enlarging the sidewalks in the area to better accommodate foot and bike traffic, or adding a bike path along the Sea Wall to reduce traffic hazards in the area.
Other smaller suggestions involved the replacement of tables near the Sea Wall with more functional seating, possibly incorporating more design or color into unique new fixtures.
RDG, which has worked with the city on a number of design projects-- most recently the Three Stars Plaza, Surf Ballroom and Buddy Holly Place areas, will now take the ideas from the workshops, along with those received through on on-line survey, and prepare to make a more formal presentation to the Clear Lake City Council. City Administrator Scott Flory said he expects the presentation to take place in August.
City leaders are anxious to move ahead with plans for the area because a $360,000 federal grant has been received for work on North Lakeview and North Shore Drive. Complete reconstruction of those roads will take place from Main Avenue to 1st Avenue North, 1st Avenue North to North Shore Drive and North Shore Drive to the Surf Ballroom.