April 22, 2013 07:25

Lafayette nonprofit organization charged with turning the Horse Farm property into a public park announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement with the Urban Land Institute to develop an independent and transparent process for soliciting and enlisting broad community input.

Lafayette Central Park Inc., a local nonprofit charged with turning the Horse Farm property into a public park, announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement with the Urban Land Institute to develop an independent and transparent process for soliciting and enlisting broad community input in the programming of the park.

ULI, an independent global nonprofit, is a well recognized source for providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities.

"ULI is simply the platinum standard for excellence in land use and development," Lafayette Central Park Chairman Lenny Lemoine said in a press release announcing the agreement. "It is essential to have both significant and broad input from the community regarding what they would like to see incorporated in the park. We could not have found anyone better than the Institute to formulate a process for obtaining this critical input."

The scope of the ULI agreement does not include nor is it meant to include the implementation of the programming process, according to the release. It is meant to focus all attention at this stage on the development and articulation of the best process for obtaining the Lafayette community's desires with respect to the programming of the property. This first step is to determine what the community wants to see on the property. After this programming phase is completed, an extensive master planning process will ensue to determine how and where the programming will be implemented on the property, the release notes.

ULI has committed a seven-person advisory service team to develop the recommendation for the programming process.

The team will include:

Tom Murphy who will serve as the chairman of the team.
Murphy served three terms as the mayor of Pittsburgh.  Since January 2006, Murphy had served as ULI's Gulf Coast liaison, helping to coordinate with the leadership of New Orleans and the public to advance the implementation of rebuilding recommendations made by ULI's advisory services panel last fall. In addition, he worked with the Louisiana state leadership, as well as with leadership in hurricane-impacted areas in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to identify areas appropriate for ULI involvement.  Murphy serves as one of seven ULI Senior Resident Fellows.

  • Richard Galehouse, AICP. Galehouse, principal with Sasaki Associates, is a planner and architect with more than 40 years of experience directing complex urban, new community, resort, institutional, and environmental planning and design projects. Galehouse received a bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a master's degree in city and regional planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
  • Eriks Janelsins. Janelsins is president of the Oglebay Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation devoted to the raising of private funds for the welfare, maintenance, and future development of Oglebay and Wheeling Park. The private funds raised by the Foundation have gone a long way in creating one of the only self-sustaining public parks system in the United States.  Prior to his current position, Janelsins was director of the Green School at the National Recreation and Park Association. The Green School conducts a two-year professional development program for park leaders to development sustainability and green infrastructure knowledge and skills to implement change in their communities.
  • Thomas Eitler, AICP. Eitler is responsible for all of ULI's Advisory Service teams  He is an urban planner and land use professional with more than 20 years of experience in comprehensive planning, revitalization, historical preservation, transportation systems, infrastructure planning, and sustainable design. He is an expert on US zoning law, municipal codes, and urban design and government operations. He has prepared and conducted dozens of community engagement plans, charettes, advisory groups, workshops and panels. Eitler has authored numerous plans, studies, strategies, articles and reports on urban planning, design, land economics, public administration and real estate development.  He has participated more than 40 ULI Advisory Service Panels and has managed more than 100 panel assignments since 2006. He has directed urban planning projects in both the public and private sector in a variety of locations throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  

Three additional team members will be identified by ULI shortly.

Prior to making its final recommendation for the programming process, the ULI team will conduct interviews with a broad cross section of the community from June 10 through June 13. The details for such interviews are being worked through at this time.