The headline of a bulletin of Local Plan Division under the City Planning Department was promising: The local plan of Pornaistenniemi and a draft of changes to the local plan are now complete.
For our Design Dog Park, it’s of vital importance that the local plan becomes operative because nothing seems to proceed until the necessary stamps are on it.
The Gammel Dogs pondered yet again how far we still are from the actual construction phase, and whether the train was moving at all despite the flamboyant headline.
Said and done
I called the contacts at the Street and Park Division (under the Local Plan Division) whom I’ve come to know. As it’s good to start off with praise, let it be said that my first impression is that contacting the city is easy. The matters relating to the dog park can usually be settled with just one phone call.
Next, the actual problem: what the phone call revealed.
- A draft for the local plan is ready, but it’s not the same as a suggestion for the local plan.
- A suggestion for the local plan will be presented to the city board / city council in autumn, more precisely in October 2012.
- The final decision-making process that the suggestion initiates is likely to last into the year 2013.
The most crucial information was that because the town planning process is still unfinished, the dog park drafts that we had to put hastily together with the consultant office Vireo oy (selected by the city), within the time limit dictated by the city, will gather dust for more than six months. One somehow gets the feeling that six months for the city is like a week for a listed company.
When I enquired in a round-about way when our Design Dog Park, initiated in the spirit of WDC2012, might be ready, I was told that “the decision to begin the construction depends heavily on the budget of the Public Works Department and how the project is prioritised … I believe that it would be ill-advised to expect the dog park to be ready before the summer of 2014.”
One can only listen in awe and wait diligently as the train huffs and puffs on without moving at all. Pushing it or pulling with a pump trolley wouldn’t probably do any good. Well, we’ve only been waiting for five years.
GAMMEL DOGS ASSOCIATION / TERO PAJUNEN
Translation by Pigasus Translations.