Changes in the Works for Boyne City’s Waterfront

“We need to listen to the community and what they want to have happen here — that's what needs to be done."

Some big changes in the works for the waterfront parks in Boyne City.

The city is looking at ways to connect, beautify and better use all of its downtown waterfront spaces. 

Tonight a community open house in Boyne City's Sunset Park welcomed public input on the plans.

Michigan State University designers presented two draft redevelopment plans that better connect the parks and downtown Boyne City.

Nothing is final — it's up to the people to decide.

“Mother Nature's given us some pretty great view corridors already and how you strike that balance about putting something man made in with what Mother Nature’s given us?" said Boyne City manager Michael Cain.

The plans involve the Peninsula Beach Park, Sunset Park, Veteran's Memorial Park, the new open space and downtown.

One version has a more urban-look, while the other tries to keep things more natural.

“We've gotten very passionate feedback,” said Warren Rauhe, who led the designs for MSU. “People are very enthusiastic about their water and very protective about the waterfront and I don't blame them.  Comments have been along those lines"

In May, people expressed their ideas for the project.

Warren says many visualized beautified open areas to see the water, walk around and connect with downtown.

Those ideas are incorporated in these plans, both of which include boardwalks along the water front, more recreational areas, pavilions and an improved beach at the open space.

“Certain parks could use some dressing up, like this one right here in the middle of town, Sunset Park,” said Cindy Janssens, a community member. “We could use some more dockage and these plans offer more dockage here, so things like that I think are very positive for the community."

Although there is no time line or cost estimate yet — if all goes well, it’s likely parts will be implemented within the next three to five years.

“I think there's a lot of great, inventive ideas and I think that there's a lot of things that people have never thought about doing that maybe will be off-putting to some,” said community member Dana Lorian. It's still gonna take time to think about things differently."

The designers will meet with the community again in August where they will present their final draft.