City plans ahead for new village-minded parks
Its on the map at least. A little green patch of potential, labeled future park.
Its the four-acre stand of forest, wedged between Mount Hood Highway and Meadow Avenue, on the east end of town, scheduled to become a park, but only after a few pieces fall into place. Not the least of which is development; the city of Sandy cant commit to creating a park there until someone builds on the land east of the property.
When that happens, the city can go ahead with the plan, having then a large enough population in the immediate area to justify a park, and the funds as well through developer fees.
When a developer comes in, we have the prerogative over whether they will give us a park fee or a fee in lieu of land, said Nancy Enabnit, community services director with the city.
The reason the code is written that way is to ensure the city develops along the vision of not just the planners, but the residents as well. Otherwise, developers may or may not plan for park development.
Its the best park code in the state, in my humble opinion, Enabnit said.
Of course, things are changing in Sandy.
When the parks master plan was published in 1997, there were five parks. Today, there are 33.
To meet the changes, planners are overhauling the master plan, and public input is solicited and applied to turn future parks into tangible components of the community. The most recent example is Bornstedt Park, the 4.5 acre project that broke ground last month.
That one is an example of a community designed park, Enabnit said. As that park develops, it will be the center of Bornstedt Village.
Offering community gardens, a community center, a splash pad for hot days, and large play spaces, as well as baseball and basketball facilities, the park is a good indicator of the look and feel of Sandy neighborhoods in the near future.
What our goal is and what people want are parks that people can walk to, rather than getting in the car and driving out to them, Enabnit said. So with Bornstedt Park, it was the anticipation that things are growing and so the city tried to include the landowners in the planning.
Such inclusion is informing park design citywide.
On Thursday, planners received the results of a resident survey to learn what elements people want in their parks. The top three amenities are public restrooms, hiking and biking trails, and picnic areas and shelters.
A community of neighborhoods
Just like Portland is a quiltwork of neighborhoods, each with its own personality, so too will be Sandy as it grows, if planners have anything to do with it.
Designing these parks considers two types: the neighborhood park and the community park.
An example is Meinig Park, which at 10 acres qualifies as a neighborhood park, but the community as a whole uses the park year round.
Parks like Bornstedt and the future park on the map will be examples of neighborhood parks that serve a specific place, lending to the flavor of the surrounding neighborhood.
Of course, to build parks, the city needs developers to develop. And of course nice parks attract more developers. Its a symbiosis.
With a modest increase in building permits reported this year, signs are good the parks will happen.
We have to scrape under rocks to get the funding for these parks, Enabnit said. But new construction is always a welcome sign.Add a comment