Landscaping Redesign Seeks to Showcase Ephraim Village Hall

The Village of Ephraim is moving forward with a redesign of village-hall parking and landscaping now that its board of trustees has engaged engineering firm Stantec to update preliminary designs to add green space to the front of the hall and reconfigure surrounding parking. 

The village chose a plan that would eliminate the parking spaces in front of the hall in favor of green space to better showcase one of the village’s most recognizable structures. The new design would likely result in a net loss of four or five parking spaces. 

A new landscaping and parking plan is in the works to enhance the grounds in front of the Ephraim Village Hall. Photo by Myles Dannhausen Jr.

Before finalizing plans, Stantec will present the proposal to the board. Village administrator Brent Bristol said he expects that to happen in late May or June. 

North-End Path Design

In April, the board voted to move forward with design and engineering for the north-end off-road path from Orchard Lane to Townline Road. It also approved a contract with AECOM not to exceed $57,500 using funds remaining from the streetscape bond from 2019, which must be used on projects within the highway right-of-way. 

The board suggested that the path incorporate gentle curves, be created with material appropriate for year-round use and include solar bollard lighting. It also recommended a tree-planting program to replace trees removed for the project. 

A proposed multimodal path would weave through the trees along the west side of Highway 42 in north Ephraim. Many of the trees along the road are dying. Photo by Myles Dannhausen Jr.

“A lot of the survey work was done as part of the 2019 streetscape project,” Bristol said, but the north end was ultimately left out of that project to contain costs. “Now we’re going through path design.”

The village will be contacting the 10 property owners who are affected to discuss potential impacts and which trees would need to be cut. 

“We want to try to keep a natural look, too,” Bristol said. “We want to try to avoid larger trees and other impacts. Property owners will be a part of that conversation.”

A design is expected to be ready for review in July or August. 

Townline Road Development Update

Chris Schmeltz is finalizing plans for a 15-unit residential development on Townline Road behind the Spa at Sacred Grounds – plans that have been scaled back from the original proposal of 22 units on the 15 acres at the northern edge of the village. 

The preliminary landscaping plan for the Ephraim Village Hall would eliminate parking directly in front of the hall and replace it with green space.

The plans – which include five homes on two-acre parcels, and 10 homes on 6.5 acres zoned Commercial North – received approval from the village earlier this year. The plans also include conditions to protect dark skies and a landscaping buffer of trees along the northern lot line. 

The board expects to review the final plat for the development this summer.

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