What's notable about the area within walking distance of the Downtowner Motel's location is a complete lack of open space. Not one open grassy bit of neighborhood park. This is not the case in most other residential/commercial mix neighborhoods.

A neighborhood park in the motel's site would be right next to a bunch of popular cultural attractions and the Eureka Inn and a couple of blocks from the heart of the Eureka Downtown area. There is no park space conveniently located for the area's many residents. Think about the possibilities for a multi-use park on that land: It would be a great farmer's market location, a community garden site within walking distance of the surrounding residential area, its flower beds and attractive landscaping would be a draw for folks who work in the area and want to eat outside, it has the size to be another great venue for events like the Jazz Festival. I'm sure there are many other opportunities that an open, transparent, innovative and creative planning process would provide.

This neighborhood and commercial area is incomplete without a friendly, inviting open space. I suspect constructing a thoughtfully designed and imaginatively landscaped park where the motel lies decaying could truly be called transformative.

Let's think imaginatively about how this diamond-in-the-rough space might be used and how the city government's active involvement in the fate of this site could make a huge, longterm beneficial difference in the character of the surrounding area. Wouldn't acquiring the land from a willing seller and building a park we Eureka residents could all enjoy and take pride in qualify as a worthy redevelopment project? I and others would like our City Council to consider the merits of this concept.

Jud Ellinwood, Eureka


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