The proposal to abandon the Eaton Plaza Master Plan and construct basketball courts at the site of the iconic Fresno Water Tower is a bad plan.
It decreases the plaza’s minimal greenscape and adds asphalt and chain-link fences as the tower’s backdrop. The Eaton Plaza Master Plan proposes turning what is essentially a parking lot into an aesthetically inviting green space at a signature location. It’s a good plan.
More appropriate sites exist for basketball courts. Einstein Playground and other city parks have unused tennis courts. Convert some to basketball courts. Construct basketball courts next to Boys and Girls Clubs. Build courts, but build them in people’s neighborhoods.
There is also the process issue. The Eaton Plaza Master Plan and the recent Parks Master Plan update, both approved by the Fresno City Council, are products of careful planning, involving consulting firms, extensive community in-put, and city staff recommendations.
The basketball court proposal, so at odds with the Eaton Plaza Master Plan, and the city manager’s assertion that the plan “is not going to happen” are discouraging indications that a few people’s priorities might push aside city staff’s planning and the community’s wishes. That shouldn’t happen.
Clare Statham, Fresno