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      Support grows for a smaller Charlevoix fireplace design

      T he outdoor public fireplace that stirred up controversy in downtown Charlevoix now has a new look.

      T he new plan calls for a three foot tall structure with an oval shape, which is a big change from the initial plan to build a 20-foot tall community fireplace.

      " What we've done is brought it down to a something that is maybe knee height and people can gather around it and see over it and be an interactive space," Landscape designer Richard Hitz said.

      T he city initially went back to the drawing board after a huge public backlash when it began building the 20 - foot structure in a East Park.

      M any worried that it would block the harbor view the town is known for , but after months of discussion some believe this is a compromised design that will work.

      " I think it will be a big draw , e specially because we always need room for seat s. F ire and water are draws and it would just be an attraction," Planning Commission member Becky Doan explained.

      B oth the Downtown Development Authority and the City Planning Commission recommended City Council move forward with this project. But there are some that still believe there is no need for a downtown fireplace.

      " This community two months , three months really it's fine , but when everything clears out and there's just not that much activity to support the fireplace ," Charlevoix resident Vic Stilson explained.

      C ity Council will hold one more public hearing on March 18th to decide the projects fate.