Redeveloping Bayside Park has been an ongoing saga with a few twists and turns along the way. Initially DRMP (the engineering company for all three town projects-bayside, Time Square and Bay Oaks) presented a simple plan with an open area including a stage, splash pad and rain garden at an early March town council meeting. At that meeting, however, a building for upland services was deemed necessary and so DRMP returned to the drawing board.
A few weeks later they returned and presented a revised plan with the addition of a 2 story building. This was described as an elevated first floor with a rooftop gathering area. It continued to have the stage, splash pad, and a war tribute and many shade trees. That building and ground design was well received by the town council with then Mayor Anita Cereceda stating “it’s lovely”.
In April with a new town council empanelled, the Bayside Park design was again discussed. Input was given via email from area business owners/stakeholders who were opposed to the design. At that meeting, Mayor Murphy amended a motion to include $ 197,700 allocated for the design with the addition of a 30% design review phase which was adopted 4:1. Manager Herndstadt mentioned “we have the right to truncate the project at any time”
However, within a few weeks of DRMP moving forward, the project ran into difficulties. At the May 15th Anchorage Advisory meeting DRMP was again presenting a plan, however it had changed a great deal. It was discovered that the entire water supply the town receives and the sewer it sends out was right in the middle of the Bayside park area forcing the building over into a very small, narrow piece of land. The building now being presented had an additional story added and was vastly different. It was then shared on Facebook and met with quite a bit of community opposition. A Save The Bayside Park Facebook page was also created.
The plan is now on hold pending additional planning and community input.