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Here’s what Hamilton residents want, don’t want along riverfront

Jet skiing, river tubing and paddle-boarding on the Great Miami River in Hamilton? No thanks.

But kayaking, team rowing and fishing? You bet.

Those were some of the opinions offered by people who attended an open-house style meeting to help create a River District Master Plan that will guide how the city develops along its riverfront in coming years and decades.

Officials see this as an optimum time for such a plan, with the proposed Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill being worked on at the former Champion Paper mill along North B Street.

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The most popular option was “local restaurants and bars, capturing 19 positive “votes,” and no negatives.

As part of the process, about 60 participants placed small green and pink stickers next to images of possibilities that consultants for the plan placed on several large poster boards. Each participant received five green stickers and five pink ones, with green meaning they liked the idea, and pink expressing dislike.

Here are some of the unofficial results of the “sticker voting”:

  • Local restaurants and bars — 19 positive
  • Kayaking — 11 positive, 1 negative
  • Riverfront community center — nine positive, two negative
  • Pop-up beer garden — eight positive
  • Multi-use buildings (retail and restaurants) — eight positive, one negative
  • Bike trail and pedestrian path with seating — seven positive
  • Team rowing — six positive
  • Fishing — six positive
  • Bigger park, green infrastructure — six positive, five negative
  • Townhouses — six positive; four negative
  • Apartments/affordable housing — six positive, four negative
  • Seating areas that extend down into the river — four positive
  • Market/food trucks — four positive
  • Picnic pavilion — four positive
  • Street fair — four positive
  • Educational signage — three positive
  • Bike parking — three positive
  • Playground — three positive
  • “Summerfest” — two positive
  • Movie night/events — two positive
  • Weekly yoga — two positive, one negative
  • Educational programs — one positive
  • Bicycle and pedestrian “shared streets” — one positive
  • Tech park/outdoor classroom — one positive
  • Dog run/dog park — one negative
  • Street art/sculptures — four negative
  • River tubing — six negative, two positive
  • “Pop-up pool” (that can be easily removed) — six negative, one positive
  • Paddle boarding — seven negative
  • Murals (such as on floodwalls) — seven negative
  • Sculptures or art — seven negative
  • Multi-use structures (commercial and apartments) — nine negative
  • Jet skiing — 13 negative, one positive

MORE: The future of Hamilton’s riverfront? Residents offer suggestions

In another form of input, people also looked at large maps of the Great Miami shoreline and placed notes containing their own suggestions, including this one: “Restrooms and other facilities along bike path.”

Someone also suggested modifying the dams on the river for safety.

Two of the approximately 60 people who attended were relatively new Hamilton residents Charles and Jane Shoenberger.

He said they attended the meeting, “because we’re interested in this city of Hamilton, its growth, and everything about it, because we moved here after living in the South for 20 years, came back and moved into a place that’s on the move.”

“From what we know of it, we’re impressed by the effort that the city is going to, to make sure that some things happen,” said Charles Shoenberger, a retired architect. “We wish that it was more, including bars and restaurants, shopping.”

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“But the shopping is really coming along,” added Jane Shoenberger. “A friend of ours came in from out of town and we were walking up and down the street, and I said, ‘I want to shop local, I want to go to the local shops, to see what’s going on in there,’ and we went through six shops that I had not even been in.’ I was amazed, and very impressed.”

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