A decision for a community library on the former Paraclete property in Sunset Hills was delayed last month.
In early August resident Al Moore proposed converting the former estate of "Papa" Joe Griesedieck into a cultural center, with activities ranging from children's theater to artist's retreat. The plan included four small libraries with spaces for rotating art and history exhibits. The plan was met with pushback from residents living near the Tapawingo National Golf Course, who had concerns about the safety of their neighborhood, increased traffic on private streets, and the details lacking from its business plan.
The concept was scaled back to a library. Suggested uses for the buildings under the revised plan include:
- Historic tower (formerly a carriage house): historic artifacts, event space
- Chapel: library space, reading area
- Summer Kitchen: children's library
- McNamara Building: storage
Attorney John King said the library will be open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays and noon – 5 p.m. on weekends. Special event hours run from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. The library estimates around 35 cars to visit each day. Moore and his associates are trying to get the four buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, King added.
However, the proposal changes did little to sway concerned neighbors in the three surrounding subdivisions. During the Board of Aldermen's Feb. 26 meeting resident Tim Strege said 21 out of 31 properties within 185 feet signed a notarized petition against the project; 101 of 166 in the surrounding subdivisions were also against the library, he said.
Many of the concerns Strege voiced on behalf of his neighbors were those that had been stated at previous meetings: the character of the neighborhood, the potential 'transient' population coming in, the safety of their children, additional traffic on private streets, and the lack of specific details in the business plan (particularly hours of operation during special events and the gamut of events that can take place on the property).
Residents can expect the Board of Aldermen to vote on a second reading for Moore's conditional use request this month.
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- Moore Cultural Center Proposal Narrowed to Library, Exhibit Space
- Five Frequently Asked Questions About the Proposed Moore Library in Tapawingo
- Moore Cultural Center Proposal: What Did Tapawingo Residents Have to Say?
- Fr. Griesedieck Tells All About His Hard-Drinking, Privileged Life at the Sunset Hills Family 'Farm'