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No this is not a stock broker tip, or insurance policy update. This is about our village of Put-in-Bay and what we hope it will resemble years from now as development continues to reshape our community. Over the past years as prosperity revisited the island a repeated concern has been voiced about the look and feel of the Village of Put-in-Bay. Not just the buildings, but also the green spaces, parking lots, signage and color palettes.

We know that visitors come here because of a certain, sometimes hard to describe, charm the island has, but recent development has added many unfamiliar elements to our landscape. We have introduced various styles of modern and “foreign” architectural patterns to the mix. So what is the “look” of Put-in-Bay? Is it Victorian or nautical? Do we like Italianate or Queen Anne styling? Is Gothic board and batten or Cape Cod clapboard more of what we think of when we describe our town? Is the essence of our charm the Victorian era homes and winemaking traditions or Key West style tiki bars and Western motifs or all of the above?

Quite often people ask, “What can we do” to help shape our towns future development. We looked into this and quite by accident found the Kent State University Urban Design Collaborative. This group provides a process to help find some of the answers to the questions we ask about what makes us feel good about where we live. Sometimes the simplest things like green space and business signage can help bring together the “signals” of a place we enjoy visiting.

So we are very lucky to have professors Terry Schwartz and David Jurca leading a team of 28 students in a design charrette. They will come to the island with the express goal of reflecting our desires and hopes for a future definition of what the “Put-in-Bay” palette is. This is not a set of rules and regulations, but a systematic cataloging of materials, paints, siding choices and patterns we like. Its defining the green space and building designs, patios and public spaces we find appealing and putting it into a comprehensive design resource.

Do you want to get involved, share your likes or dislikes? Now, finally you have the opportunity. Over the weekend of October 19th-22nd the Kent State students will produce a comprehensive report on the patterns and future growth initiatives we want to adopt. Your input is essential to this process. Be involved in the future of the town YOU want to live in. The opening session will be Friday October 19th from 10:30am-noon and subsequent feedback sessions will be held Saturday and Sunday with a final report be presented Monday morning at the village council meeting. It’s time to get involved.


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