This evening, Decatur Presbyterian Pastor Todd Speed presented the church’s proposed streetscape improvement plans at the corner of Sycamore and Church Street.
Among the proposed changes were eliminating four public parking spaces on Sycamore in front of the church to widen the narthex terrace and to add a pedestrian crosswalk. The sidewalk along Sycamore will also be widened to “coincide with the new street alignment in front of the Recreation Center” according to a letter from the church’s pastor to City Manager Peggy Merriss. The church also asked the city to jointly repave and improve the Church Street sidewalk by “allowing the city to pave two additional feet on our property”.
Asst. City Manager Hugh Saxon was generally supportive of the church’s plan from a “good neighbor” standpoint, but wasn’t supportive of the city paying into the repaving of Church Street sidewalks or the mid-block Sycamore crosswalk being requested by the church. Mr Saxon also was concerned about the close proximity to the signalized crosswalk at Sycamore and Church intersection.
The church also was originally planning to take down the Black Walnut tree at that intersection, but according to Pastor Speed’s initial remarks, after conversations with the City Arborist, the church has decided to wait and see if the tree will “leaf out” this year before making any final determinations about it.
After discussion, the Decatur City Commission decided to approve the entire plan – with the exception of the Sycamore mid-block crosswalk – and committed up to $5,000 to pay for the redevelopment of the city’s portion of the Church Street sidewalk.
Photo courtesy of Google Maps