Master plan calls for play areas, pathways for development

The development of 311 single-family homes in the North Bethany area will bring with it three acres of parks and trails with a suitably picturesque name.

The Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District’s Board of Directors on Monday night approved a master plan for Bethany Creek Falls, a neighborhood park and trail system planned in collaboration with Polygon Northwest Company.

The developer plans to construct 311 homes northeast of the intersection of Springville and Kaiser roads, with system development charge fees of around $1.6 million going toward the project.

To facilitate the SDC arrangement, the district would waive new development fees in exchange for Polygon providing amenities, which the district will take over and manage as a park upon completion. The annual maintenance cost is expected to run around $12,775.

Boardwalks, hard-surfaced trails and sidewalks, children’s play areas and equipment, landscaping, sports courts and signage are among the required amenities.

Initial construction is scheduled to start later this summer on the approximately 3-acre project, which includes 1-and-a-half acres for a neighborhood park and the remainder for a trail corridor and related amenities. A large plaza and picnic pavilion, play areas with equipment for both younger children aged 2-5 and school-age children from 5 to 12 years old, furnishings, landscaping and irrigation are specific features of the plan.

The trail system will follow along the property’s east side, providing a linear park along Northwest Shackelford Road, noted Stacy Connery of Pacific Community Design, who presented the project details alongside Steve Gulgren, the park district’s project manager. Gulgren lauded the benefits of the collaboration with Polygon on the project.

“The developer gets to build the project quicker and cheaper,” he said. “Much more so than we could do for ourselves.”

The park and trails will take full advantage of the landscape around Beaverton Creek, including extensive wetlands and a scenic waterfall.

“It’s a great opportunity for viewing the wetlands area,” said Doug Menke, the district’s general manager.

Board members, who unanimously approved the project, expressed enthusiasm for the natural amenities the project promises.

“That’s really cool,” said board member Larry Pelatt.

Out-of-district fee discussion

In other district business, Superintendent of Sports Scott Brucker, laid out options for reviewing fees for those who live outside the park district. One option is a flat-rate assessment that provides households with in-district pricing for all programs and activities. Another involves charging a 20 to 30 percent premium for each program and activity, with no flat-rate assessment. A third option would allow non-residents to choose one of those options depending on their interests and activity level.

A survey posted on the district’s website allows patrons to provide feedback, while mailers are being distributed to district patrons, Brucker noted.

The district is considering discount options for active military families, veterans, senior citizens and disabled residents while creating frequent-user discounts for district services, and price adjustments for activities held in non-peak hours.

Menke noted the goal is to encourage use of district facilities without negatively affecting the revenue stream that out-of-district resident fees provide.

“The challenge is can we find a window, a gap to sufficiently motivate out-of-district residents to engage,” he said. “We’re trying to be as scientific as possible.”

The board on Monday night also approved $300,000 for the Ben Graf Greenway trail project located near the Portland Community College Rock Creek campus recreation facility.

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