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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeUncategorizedSilver Bay Residents Discuss Economic Development for the City

Silver Bay Residents Discuss Economic Development for the City

On July 25, approximately 100 Silver Bay residents gathered at the Reunion Hall to discuss the next steps for the city in terms of economic development. Build­ing on the work of a survey and previous meeting, the July 25th meeting sought to lay out plans for Silver Bay’s future.

Designs have been proposed to develop Silver Bay’s Business Park into an area with vacation housing and small shops. A more direct road to Black Beach was also proposed.

$5 million in grants has already been raised to build a trailhead site. The location for the pro­posed trailhead will be behind the Silver Bay Recreation Build­ing and Faith Lutheran Church, where baseball fields are cur­rently located. The conceptual design for the trailhead features expansive parking, a trailhead building, and trails connecting to the Gitchi-Gami Trail.

Concern was raised over the elimination of these baseball fields, with some attendees claiming that a parking lot for tourists is not worth losing a play area for children. A sugges­tion by another attendee was that perhaps Lynch Field could be redesignated as a multi-use field. Concern was also raised over the prospect of drawing more tour­ists to the city. An attendee ques­tioned the safety of having such a large trailhead just across the street from the school and near the Frank Rukavina Arena, areas occupied by many children.

The economic development of Silver Bay’s downtown has been divided into phases.

Phase 1, a street is proposed to be constructed behind the Shopping Center, replacing the current alley. The drainage sys­tem under the alley needs to be maintained, and turning the alley into a road will improve safety. This project is under study by engineers.

The Silver Bay Public Library will be undergoing a renovation and expansion in the near future, and community members were told to stay tuned for further de­tails, as bids on the work are fin­ishing.

Lake County has mentioned supporting a project seeing the renovation of Banks Boulevard from William Kelley School to the corner of Davis Drive.

Davis Drive was also brought up for discussion, as plans pro­pose the section of the street from Outer Drive to Banks be eliminated. Elimination of this portion of Davis Drive would allow for a city park to be built to serve as both a natural green space and as an event venue. A study showed that this portion of Davis sees only light traffic – 200 cars a day, a very small number in comparison to other streets.

A major concern raised by this proposed development of Davis was that of accessibility for emergency vehicles. When emergency vehicles exit the garage and need to get to Out­er Drive, they tend to turn right onto Banks and then right onto Davis. With the elimination of Davis, emergency vehicles would be required to take a left coming out of the garage, and some attendees asserted that this would waste valuable time in crossing traffic.

Phase 2 of proposed devel­opment features, among other things, city parking lots, main­tained by the city, and the cre­ation of a central park. The topic of growth versus stagnancy was raised, with the opinion that Sil­ver Bay must grow and attract new families in order to become a more vibrant community.

Phase 3 features the develop­ment of additional senior hous­ing and the expansion of Silver Bay’s retail footprint. The topic of expenditure versus invest­ment was raised, with the opin­ion that economic development in Silver Bay is an investment in the city’s future and devel­opment could attract new fami­lies, thus widening the city’s tax base. A concern was brought up that new development could cre­ate an additional workload for law enforcement.

Phases 4 and 5 feature more development of housing and the downtown, as well as a reno­vation of the now 70-year-old Shopping Center.

After the conceptual designs were presented, the meeting was opened up to general discus­sion. Some discussion included the question of whether or not the Mary MacDonald Center could be developed. An attend­ee questioned whether housing downtown would be attractive to new residents, and encour­aged against “cluttering” the lake view with intensive devel­opment. The issue of healthcare was also raised.

Attendees were encouraged to submit the comment cards they received. All residents are en­couraged to contact the city with questions and suggestions “Not complaints, suggestions” and to attend city meetings.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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