It looks like a park, but it’s really not

If you thought Breeze Point Landing at the foot of Liberty Street was a city park, and governed by standard park regulations, you aren’t alone.

But it isn’t.

City Administrator Mary Ann Nau said that city properties that sit in a preservation district, which Breeze Point does, are not regulated as parks in part because the funding stream that covered the costs of those improvements does not permit its designation as a park.

City Planner David Hildebrand said the improvements came from Department of Community and Economic Development, not the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “That’s why it always stays out of the park status,” he said.

She then recommended that the ordinance that addresses preservation areas, no. 1803, be repealed and regulations be established via ordinance.

Councilman Sam Harvey asked whether any other city-owned properties would be affected by this change.

Hildebrand said there is some land along Conewango Creek from the Fifth Ave. bridge going north as well as a parcel out by Glade Run that fall in this designation.

“They’re not parks,” he explained. “Originally, the borough thought about buying more land (and) used the preservation zone in case that never materialized. A lot of those are on the flood plain.”

Harvey then asked what problems prompted this proposal.

Nau said she “was not aware Breeze Point was not a park. (I) got an email (inquiring) about whether it could be used for a non-alcoholic party to last until midnight. (That) prompted me to look at what the regulations were.”

She determined that no regulations existed.

Nau also said that the city “had vandalism at the restroom. We have officers that are under the impression 1803 would regulate that. This will allow for that regulation to take place like all other park areas.”

While there are other preservation areas in the city, Breeze Point is the only city-owned preservation area that isn’t already a park.

The regulation change passed 6-1 with Harvey voting in opposition.