By: Diane Emeott Korzen Contributing Writer
The next step for conceptual design of Silver Palm and Wildflower waterfront parks is to present a detailed design “bottled together” at a November Boca City Council meeting.
“Some of you may remember us from presenting the Master Plan for the Waterfront Parks, EDSA Principal Designer Kona Gray told a roomful of residents at a Sept. 26 public input meeting on Silver Palm Park held at the Downtown Library. “We did a full workshop and design process with Wildflower Park last year. This year, we’re looking at Silver Palm Park. Once we agree on what the concept is for Silver Palm Park, we will overlay the Silver Palm ideas onto the overall design for the two parks. The connector under the Palmetto Park Bridge is key,” Gray continued, describing it as a cool space, with public art potential.
Coastal Project Administrator for the City of Boca Raton Jennifer Bistyga said the city has put the funds into its 5-year Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Years 2020-2021 — the target date for shovels in the ground on both parks.
The city has allocated: Silver Palm Boat Dock — $50,000 in FY 18-19 and $1,500,000 in FY 19-20. Wildflower Park –$1,000,000 in FY 18-19 and $2,000,000 in FY 19-20.
The Waterfront Master Plan has monies budgeted for all five years. $1,200,000 FY 18-19; $650,000 FY 19-20; $1,100,000 FY 20-21; $1,000,000 FY 21-22; $1,000,000 FY 22-23; $1,000,000 FY 23-24.
During a 45-minute presentation, residents were first presented with Concept 1 and Concept 2 for Silver Palm Park; then asked to speak publicly and/or write in their comments on a Silver Palm Park Concepts questionnaire, which was then collected.
Residents were asked to check off design concepts they liked for each option, and to check off whether they preferred Concept 1, Concept 2, or a blended concept. By a show of hands, Concept 1 gained close to unanimous support in the room.
“This park [Silver Palm] has a function that we really need in the city,” resident Bill Tinke said. “We need more truck and trailer parking. I’m not for a promenade. We can go to other parks for that.”
One of the main reasons why the majority of the public liked Concept 1 is it has more parking – 53 total trailer spaces compared to Concept 2 with 39 total trailer spaces. Both concepts showed 24 trailer spaces plus varying amounts of grass overflow parking; 29 grass overflow spaces with Concept 1 vs. 15 grass overflow spaces with Concept 2.
Concept 1 has a picnic area to watch the boats; as well as shade sails overhead on the waterfront to provide relief from the sun compared to Concept 2 which has a shade structure.
Concept 1shows parking in a single loop while Concept 2 has multiple drive isles.
Concept 1 has a boat washing station near the center planting area compared to Concept 2 with boat washing near a south planting area.
Concept 1 shows a large green park space in the middle while Concept 2 has three separated green spaces in the middle.
Concept 1 has one pedestrian path across the center green space compared to Concept 2 with two pedestrian paths – one along the north green space; the other connecting middle green spaces.
Currently there are two boat ramps. There is discussion about adding one to two more boat ramps and more docking space – as there is not enough parking.