Hobart Plan Commission approves Hobart Marsh Plan

2013-01-03T23:30:00Z 2013-02-12T15:43:03Z Hobart Plan Commission approves Hobart Marsh PlanDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | The Plan Commission received a round of applause Thursday after approving the Hobart Marsh Plan.

The applause came from Friends of Robinson Lake who packed the meeting room and last month spoke in favor of the plan that includes Robinson Lake.

"It's a beginning format for future growth in that area," said Plan Commission chairman John Brezik, who also serves as City Councilman in the 5th District.

The Hobart Marsh Plan, which will encompass 1,000 acres of park and wetlands on the city's west side, will include Robinson Lake Park as its hub, City Planner A.J. Bytnar said.

"It's ready to be approved," Bytnar told the Plan Commission.

Bytnar said he incorporated in the compiled plan comments that were made at the public hearing last month as well as comments offered from environmental agencies involved.

The plan goes to the Hobart City Council for consideration, Bytnar said.

Loy Roberson, the chairman of the Friends of Robinson Lake, called the Hobart Marsh area an "oasis of nature," at the public hearing held last month.

Friends of Robinson Lake spokeswoman Sandy O'Brien on Thursday thanked Bytnar, whose last day as city planner is today.

"Thank you, A.J., for getting the plan together," O'Brien said.

The Hobart Marsh Plan also was discussed last spring during a three-day planning session led by Kenneth Peregon, a landscape architect with OCBA of Kalamazoo, Mich.

The Michigan consulting company was paid through a $25,000 grant the city received, Bytnar said.

Bytnar said the Hobart Marsh Plan calls for corridors for activity, including biking and hiking trails, trailheads and markers, and a connection between the marsh property and nearby residential areas.

Other input, some of which was introduced at planning meetings last spring, includes branding or using signs to help the public find the Hobart Marsh and having interpretive or educational signs tell its environmental story.

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