The Downtown Beautification Improvement Committee's proposals to the City Council may not appease all critics of the Plaza renovation, but they indicate that complaints have been heard, and the recommended changes should allow everyone to move on.
The major complaints about the Plaza work centered on the use of gray pavers, the loss of greenery and the removal of shade trees. Most recently, one large tree died, likely the result of root cutting during the construction.
At Tuesday's City Council meeting, the committee recommended replacing some of the pavers and adding three free-standing planters to the south edge of the Plaza. Initially, the committee had considered replacing random individual pavers with lighter-colored ones throughout the paved portion, but that turned out to pose the risk of compromising the seating of existing pavers. So the committed is recommending replacing the section of pavers in the half-circle portion of the Plaza to visually break up the gray expanse.
The committee's report noted that the new planters, "when filled with flowers will provide color to the Plaza and a visual separation from the Plaza to the street at the south end (across from City Hall)." Additional plants eventually will add greenery, the report said.
Councilors praised the recommendations, which also included other projects to enhance the downtown core. Final approval will come later.
Whether the Plaza changes will satisfy critics remains to be seen, but it's clear the city is listening and responding to public concerns. Those who objected to the new design should accept the changes in the spirit of compromise.