New park being developed in Queen Creek

0720qc IMAGE West Park Flier

 

The town of Queen Creek has announced the development of a new park at 196th Street and Appleby Road, near Ocotillo and Sossaman roads.

West Park is a 30-acre park that is intended to help meet the need for additional parks in the community, according to a press release. Now in the design phase, it will address the town’s immediate recreation needs first, including lighted youth baseball/softball fields, lighted multi-purpose field (soccer, football, etc.), playground, splash pad, walking trail and restrooms/concessions, according to the release.

Depending on budget and available space, there may be an opportunity to include additional amenities. To help determine how to use the additional space, if available, residents are invited to take an online poll.

“As a town, we are excited to initiate the process of building a new park,” Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney said in the release. “Recreational opportunities are so important to the success of a community. We are fortunate to be in a position where we can enhance the quality of life for our residents while maintaining our philosophy of being fiscally responsible with our taxpayer dollars.”

West Park, which will be named as the park is developed, will be funded through impact fees designated specifically for parks, according to the release. As developers build homes, they pay a one-time development impact fee to pay for infrastructure, like transportation, parks and public safety.

State statute dictates how development impact fees can be used, including timelines for use. SB1525, signed in 2011, significantly changed the use of development fees, restricting the use for new parks to 30 acres and eliminating the use of impact fees to fund recreational centers larger than 3,000 square feet.

Originally 78 acres with a 50,000 square foot multi-generational center, the updated West Park will be limited to 30 acres without the multi-generational facility that was originally part of the plan. As a result, the town can use $14 million in park-designated impact fees to fund the project.

The amenities included in the 30-acres are based on the approved, award-winning, Parks, Trails and Open Space Master Plan, ongoing resident feedback and use of current facilities.

“We know we have a need for more youth sports fields and playgrounds, they are constantly at capacity at our current parks. The West Park online poll will help shape the remaining acreage of the new park,” stated Recreation Superintendent Adam Robinson. “Parks and recreation programs not only result in a healthier community, they produce a happier community. West Park will provide more green space, more opportunities for youth sports, trail connectivity and new amenities.”

Feedback on the 2016 Queen Creek Citizen Survey supports the development of a new park. While satisfaction with recreation opportunities increased to 68 percent in 2016 from 60 percent in 2014 (ratings of “good” and “excellent”), and overall satisfaction with parks and recreation programs and facilities remains high (86 percent good or excellent), residents want more. Seven percent of residents want more recreation opportunities and 5 percent want more parks, both in the top 10 most desired benefits, according to the release.

The development of West Park also supports two goals identified in the town’s Corporate Strategic Plan, superior infrastructure and quality lifestyle.

In addition to seeking resident feedback on potential additional amenities at West Park, the town is also seeking input on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update.

The town has contracted Plan*et Communications to conduct the update, which will build upon the original Parks and Recreation Master Plan, approved in 2007. To gather resident input, a 10-minute phone survey is currently being conducted. Survey participants are being selected randomly; the phone survey will go through July.

In addition to the phone survey, residents are encouraged to attend a planning workshop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Queen Creek Branch Library, 21802 S. Ellsworth Road.

Residents will have the opportunity to learn more about West Park, the progress of the update and provide feedback on both items.

For more information about West Park or the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, visit the Queen Creek parks webpage.

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