"The wheels were really turning that night," City Manager Donna Landeros said of last Thursday's meeting. "There were some very valid concerns."
About 50 members of the public turned out to review a trio of potential plans for the area in and around City Park. The area will eventually include a new city hall and city council chambers, a community building, an enlarged and relocated library and an overhauled City Park.
None of the plans included a stand-alone arts and cultural center, something many of those in attendance felt should be included. Instead, preliminary plans call for artwork to be displayed in several dedicated locations throughout the Civic Center buildings.
Former councilwoman Barbara Guise, however, thinks the current library could be moved to another site and serve as the arts center. The library would otherwise be demolished when the new, 18,000-square-foot library is completed across the street from the park.
"We could hang pictures on the wall (in the community center), but that doesn't make it an arts center," Guise said. "I would like to see something a lot more dedicated that would draw people."
All three of the plans presented featured city hall running north-south along Second Street. Several people commented that the plans cut City Park off from the rest of the downtown, limiting its usefulness and making it appear as though the park would mostly benefit the city staff inside the building.
Landeros said new drawings, with city hall running east-west along Maple Street, could be part of the re-configured plans that will undergo public scrutiny at the next meeting. The cost of moving the library to another site for either the arts center or other community uses will also be examined.
The next workshop will be held July 31 in the Community Center on Third Street, next to City Hall. It will begin at 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, the public is invited to review and comment on the current plans on the city Web site, www.ci.brentwood.ca.us.