The village of Riverside is about to embark on a project that will change the look of its downtown business district and set the template for future redevelopment of the downtown streetscape beyond East Burlington Street.
To say this will be a change is an understatement. It’s going to be a very dramatic change, one that will resonate for a couple of generations.
So Riverside has to make sure it’s done right.
It’s been a little perplexing why there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of interest in all this one way or another.
The big changes have been telegraphed for months now, and the plans have been rolled out informally at various public meetings since August. The Landmark has reported on the changes in print and online — you can get a look at more than a dozen computer-generated perspective drawings of the plan on our website (www.rblandmark.com).
The contrast between what is downtown now and what is planned for downtown — construction should be largely complete by this time next year — is so dramatic, we were surprised just 50 or so people showed up last week for the “big reveal.” A good dozen of those in attendance were from village advisory commissions, so there were really only about 40 ordinary citizens checking things out.
So far, just a handful of people have expressed any specific concerns about the plans, which we find darn odd, given that this is Riverside, where changes to the village are often accompanied by high drama.
Maybe this signals a general acceptance of the plan concept and the materials. In general, the plan does look to be fairly well set.
But officials have not closed the door yet on input from the public. In addition to the drawings on our website, the village has placed the actual drawings outside the village hall offices in Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road.
Amble over, give them a look and let village officials know what you think.
You can do that formally at the village board meeting scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. or you can drop them a note or email.