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Peoria Park District trustees unanimously reject any further consideration of Donovan Park arts pavilion

Pavilion in the Park

The Peoria Park District Board ended the long discussion about a Donovan Park performing arts pavilion Wednesday night with a unanimous rejection of any further consideration of the proposal.

Trustee Joyce Harant said strong citizen participation in the dialogue over the 18-acre proposal made a difference.

"I think the potential for the event place or the type of event is a possibility, but it's just the wrong place," she said.

The nonprofit Pavilion in the Park group said the new arts venue would bring economic, cultural, and educational assets to the city of Peoria. But opponents lobbied hard in favor of preserving the section of the former golf course in its current undeveloped state.

Friends of Open Space member David Pittman said the outcome was enough to inspire him to sing.

"There was an obvious lack of significant community support. Hundreds of people signed a petition in opposition," Pittman said after the vote. "And the outcome shows that a majority of taxpayers believe the land value at Donovan Park is greater as natural area than commercial development."

The park board's motion shut the door to further discussions of the proposal specifically at Donovan Park, but not other locations. Opponents of the plans have long stated they are not against the pavilion concept, but the desired location.

Pavilion in the Park organizers say they plan to hold a press conference, perhaps later in the week.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.