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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Manito Park Plan Awaits Public Review After Months Of Meetings And Revisions, A Landscape Architect Has Finished A Manito Park Plan.

The Spokane Park Board got a look at the final draft Thursday, and copies of the plan are on their way to city libraries for public review.

Residents have 30 days to study the draft before the board plans to vote on it at its February meeting.

The proposal calls for:

Separating pedestrian and vehicular traffic and reducing throughtraffic.

Making restrooms and attractions more accessible to people with disabilities.

Upgrading the irrigation system and developing a tree replacement program.

Adding lights and increasing park security.

Incorporating gates and a oneway road system into existing roads.

Elizabeth Payne, who works for landscape architect Robert Perron, drafted the plan after meeting with hundreds of residents concerned about the park’s future.

An earlier plan to trade Manito’s elegant simplicity for trams, shuttle buses, a maze and a restaurant hit a wall of opposition in 1993. Critics said the plan would turn the park into a regional tourist attraction.

Last spring, the Park Board hired Perron’s firm to redo the plan after the East Coast drafters of the original $100,000 study refused to iron out the disagreements.

Donna Duncan, representing the Manito Park Association, commended the Park Board and the landscape architects for the open process that resulted in the plan.

Duncan added that this is only the beginning step in a long process. The proposed master plan outlined 30 years of changes, while Payne’s plan guides improvements for only the next five years.

“I urge you to take on the commitment and come up with an excellent master plan,” Duncan said.

Also Thursday, the Park Board reviewed the proposed lease between the city and Pacific Science Center.

The contract, which won’t be voted on by the board until next month, leases the Riverfront Park pavilion, IMAX Theatre and ice rink to the science center for 20 years with two 10-year options for renewal.

Before the contract is signed, the city must inspect the pavilion for structural problems.

Copies of the lease will be available at city libraries.

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