Bristol Village plan looking from ballfields.jpg

This artist’s rendering shows plans for new ballfields and tennis courts in the foreground and the Bristol Village Center in the background.

When Bristol kicked off its planning process for a village center last year, the community was invited to get involved to guide the work of a Milwaukee engineering firm hired for the job.

“It is very exciting to think about what Bristol will look like 20 to 50 years from now,” village president Mike Farrell said at the time. "This is almost a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get it right. This will be a long-term legacy decision that will benefit residents for decades to come.”

GRAEF, hired by the village board to a contract for $10,500, would incorporate ideas with a goal to define "the heart of the community."

Fast forward to last week and the Bristol Village Center Master Plan was presented to the Plan Commission. What came to mind, looking at the sketches for the ambitious plan, is "Welcome to Bristol." An impressive village center is in the works.

The land is bordered on the north by 87th Street and has a section that parallels Highway 45. It includes wetlands that could connect the property to the Westosha Senior Community Center with walking paths.

As reported by Jill Tatge-Rozell, the plan provides a vision for roughly 70 acres of village-owned land adjacent to Hansen Park, featuring:

A 23.4-acre recreational area with room for four baseball diamonds and eight tennis courts.

Roughly 27 acres of passive open space with gardens, walking trails and pavilions.

A civic center area where a village hall, community center, library and outdoor amphitheater could be located.

A mixed-used residential/commercial area.

Roughly 20.6 acres for an office or light industrial park.

The plan will be presented again publicly at the March 11 Village Board meeting

Farrell said the plan, based on input from the public on how they envision the heart of the village, "has been extremely well-received." It should spark Bristol pride and serve to encourage other municipalities as they plan ahead with community input from the start.