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July 03, 2008


Scott Thinnes

"But, once again, I'm reminded that the Franklin Library's barren and broad front lawn could sure use a coffee shop and/or public courtyard."

John - A good portion of the northwest yard of the library (along Loomis Road) is taken up by State Highway Right Of Way (50' from the asphalt edge) and building set-back (another 50' from the edge of the ROW). The northwest corner of the library building is then located about 35' off of that set-back line. Maybe there would be area for a "courtyard" but certainly not for a building; especially with the Veteran's Memorial located in that area.

The north yard of the library (along Drexel Avenue) is also taken up by Drexel Avenue Right Of Way. This ROW is even more drastic since it accounts for the land area of the roadway before the curve was added to make the 90 degree intersection with Loomis Road. The approximate extent of that ROW is evidenced by the overhead power lines that still run diagonally across that area of the library property. There is a 25' building set-back line along that side of the library and the actual building is set-back about 35' or so. Originally there were concrete planters planned for the north side of the building that would have taken the construction right up to the set-back. The planters were scraped for cost reasons. The ROW was not abondoned and the overhead utilities were not buried when the library was built, again, for cost saving reasons. The plan was, and I believe still is, that this land would be reserved for possible library expansion at a later date. When that time comes the ROW would be abandoned and the power lines relocated to allow for a building addition off of the north end of the existing structure.

John Michlig

Scott, your cogent description of conditions around the library underline the need Franklin has for REAL PLANNING. I will not accept "possible library expansion," for instance, as an "explanation" for such poor use of de facto public space.

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