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Proposed Master Plan and Water Street Rec Center Clash

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Council may face some tough decisions on developing Water Street, as the process of updating the city's Master Plan clashes with plans for a county recreation center on the northwest corner of the property. 

The design team that's taking public input and converting it into recommendations for council recommends locating the proposed recreation center further south on the parcel, mostly due to the building's large size and parking requirements.

Some at Wednesday night's joint meeting of City Council and the Planning Commission spoke out against moving the recreation center, saying it needs to be at a more visible spot on Michigan Avenue.  Others said the city owns the land, and should tell the county to move it, or find another location.

Other facets of the Master Plan update call for extending River Street all the way down through the Water Street property.  Keeping streets in the re-development area highly walkable is also recommended, along with leaving the riverfront available for public use. 

On a city-wide scale, the plan would see many of Ypsilanti's one-way streets converted to two-way, with ample on-street parking.  A roundabout is also recommended to bring Huron and Hamilton Streets together just north of I-94. 

Focus groups will discuss the recommendations next, with a draft Master Plan update ready for public review by early July.