Call it a friendly reminder.
That is what members of the Hannibal Tree Board gave Andy Dorian, director of the Parks & Recreation Department, during a Wednesday morning meeting at city hall.
The purpose of the reminder was to ensure that the parking lot the Parks Department intends to build just east of the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center will be constructed in accordance with city regulations regarding the inclusion of trees.
“We’re not trying to micro-manage,” stressed Kristy Trevathan, chairwoman for the Tree Board. “We were just wondering if the ordinance would be remembered.”
It was just over two years ago that the Hannibal City Council passed the community’s first “tree ordinance.” Among its many facets are standards for the inclusion of trees when parking lots of a certain size are created within the city. Because the lot the Parks Department plans to build will likely feature at least 75 parking spots, it more than meets the ordinance’s 20-space criteria.
According to the statute, a minimum of 5 percent of the total square footage of the total parking lot stalls will have to be landscape.
While Dorian acknowledged that the project does “need to honor” the guidelines, he added that the concrete “islands” in which the trees will be placed are a “headache,” especially when the area must be cleared of snow in the winter.
“We knew it (meeting the guidelines) had to be done, it’s just a matter of how we do it,” said Dorian, who was given permission in July to buy the property from Jack Greathouse.
To help hold down costs on the new parking area, which will utilize a roughly 135-foot by 235-foot lot plus Ringer Park, it will be designed in-house with the help of City Engineer Mark Rees and Projects Manager Brian Chaplin.
“I have no idea what it will look like or how many spaces it will have,” said Dorian, noting that work on the parking project won’t begin until July 2013.
Because the parking lot is adjacent to Bear Creek, Dorian told the Tree Board he is concerned about the types of trees that will be included.
“I don’t want to have to be replanting trees,” he said, adding he will likely seek the Tree Board’s guidance regarding the types of trees that are best suited for such a flood-prone area.
City Manager Jeff LaGarce, who said it was a “good call” on the advisory board’s part to deliver the reminder, believes the parking lot with trees will be a nice addition to the area.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s a sea of concrete down there,” he said. “This will break it up nicely.”