Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Parks and Recreation Master Plan Is Taking Shape (Part 1)

Parks and Recreation Master Plan Discussed
The Parks and Recreation Department discussed the progress of the Master Plan last evening with the Parks and Recreation Commission. The plan is the result of multiple months effort by the department, residents, and outside consultant, Mike Svetz, of Pros Consulting. It continues to be a work in progress, with a target completion and adoption date in April, 2021.

Current Assessment: Strong positioning in many areas
LOVE has previously reported the results of input to date on what the community wants. Last night, Svetz moved beyond this, focussing on his assessment of the current "inventory" of facilities. 
  • Oro Valley has mini parks that comprise 39 acres. These are small parks that afford little opportunity for recreation.
  • Oro Valley has high proportion of swimming pools in relation to population. This does not include the many private pools in the community.
  • There are no existing standards to measure and plan recreational and greenbelt trails against the current level of 56 acres.
  • The town has "...good distribution..." of the town's four conservation trail paths
  • The community center is in need of updating and better use of space
Future Needs: Mostly upgrading and improving... not replacing
Svetz emphasized that Oro Valley has sufficient parks and recreation space through 2035. Rather than building new space, the town should focus on improving and rehabilitating existing space. As he sees it:
  • Oro Valley needs to add 21 acres of neighborhood parks by 2035. This would bring the total to about 60 acres. A typical neighborhood park is from 3-15 acres. This would mean from 5-7 new parks.
  • The town should add amenities within the existing park system:
    • 2 baseball and/or softball diamonds
    • 3 ramadas
    • 1 basketball court
    • 1 dog park located north of Tangerine
    • 2 added multipurpose fields
    • 8 pickleball courts, since the only courts available are at the community center
    • 4,000 added square feet of indoor recreation space,
    • 1 splash
  • The town's three playgrounds need to be "dynamic", meant to draw the community as whole. They should be differentiated from HOA "static" playgrounds
Concept Plans are being developed
Svetz presented an initial cut at concept plans for the five Oro Valley parks: The community center, Naranja Park, Riverfront Park, James D. Kreigh Park, and Steam Pump Ranch. He emphasized the the final concepts mush be plans that are financially feasible.  

Tomorrow: We will highlight these concept plans in our post tomorrow, together with next steps and commissioner comments. 

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