Blaine Park Board commissioners received interesting comments about Legacy Creek Park’s proposed layout during a March 27 neighborhood meeting.
The Legacy Creek development is located north of 125th Avenue and east of Harpers Street, adjacent to the Savanna Grove second addition.
Majestic Financial, the new owners of the Legacy Creek, received city approval for a new single family plat. A 1.68-acre outlot has been deeded for a city park.
According to Jim Kappelhoff, park and recreation director, the approved plat has 25 single-family lots.
Legacy Creek has been in the city’s park capital improvement plan (CIP) since 2004 and was proposed for development in 2007.
Kappelhoff said the Legacy Creek concept plan includes a half basketball court, shelter, playground and landscaping.
Residents living near the proposed park as well as Savanna Grove have told city staff that they want the new park built as soon as possible.
Savanna Grove currently serves as a passive park and Legacy Creek is planned as an active park with different types of equipment.
The two parks will be connected by a trail currently running through Savanna Grove.
According to Kappelhoff, the Legacy Creek Park is considered a priority project for 2012 and is budgeted at $175,000.
In February, commissioners opted to move quickly in developing this park. Since a concept plan had already been developed it was recommended to conduct a neighborhood meeting and invite residents to ask questions and comment on the proposed park plan.
Meeting notices were mailed to 338 residents north of 125th Avenue and within a half-mile radius of the park.
Kappelhoff presented updated park plans and drawings March 27.
“This is typical of what neighborhood parks have in them,” Kappelhoff said when describing the park’s amenities. “This is what we’ve come up with. We hope it will serve the needs of the younger families who are moving into Legacy Creek Park.”
The park has an August completion date scheduled.
Jerry Walthour, Blaine Park Board chairman at large, asked about off-site parking near the park.
Kappelhoff said most users will walk or bike to the new park.
“We would have to cut into the park to include any off-street designated parking,” Kappelhoff said.
Commissioner Ron Leathers asked there was enough space available to include a baseball diamond in the park. “It may be something we can ask residents,” Leathers said. “We could have room in the southwest corner.”
Commissioner Rex Markle was concerned about parking. “The primary users of this park in the first year or two will come primarily from the south,” he said.
“The infrastructure [for parking] really doesn’t exist at this point. We might need to consider having a gravel area or something so people can have access.”
Commissioner Jeffery Bird was concerned a good portion of the park would be lost if a parking lot was added. He also asked about Legacy Creek Parkway.
Kappelhoff said the developer would be responsible for the parkway.
“We haven’t seen a plat for the remainder of the north half of the development,” he said.
Commissioner Tom Newland agreed with Bird about parking. “Taking away the green space for a big parking lot doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Newland said.
Greg Schraufnaghel, 3512 127th Ave. N.E., addressed commissioners during the Legacy Creek Park discussion, commenting on current development.
“Currently the road extends as far as 127th Avenue,” he said. “There is no further blacktopping past 127th, but there is a cutout.”
“There’s 126th Avenue that’s been built up and there is a parking cutout next to some townhomes about a block and a half south of the proposed park. None of the lots in the 126th Avenue [area] have been developed.”
Schraufnaghel said the 127th Avenue neighborhood had 11 occupied homes with 17 children under age five.
Paul Jarda, 12708 Leyte St. N.E., lives in the Savannah Grove neighborhood.
“We are really excited about this park,” he said. “This park will be highly used in the next several years just in our neighborhood.”
Jarda was concerned about park space being consumed by a parking lot. He asked about an ice rink.
Kappelhoff replied, “We could put a small, general-use skating rink in there that would be flooded and maintained by the city. We’ve done that with several other parks in the city. If that’s something residents would like to do, they should petition the city. With all the young families out there, it’s certainly a possibility.”
Omar Marjorie, 12624 Leyte St. N.E., wanted to know if it was possible for the city to add tennis courts or make the basketball court a full court.
“Can we make some modifications?” he asked. “We have a lot of active neighbors and kids.”
Kappelhoff suggested that Marjorie check out the Jim Peterson Athletic Complex at nearby Northpoint Elementary School.
“We have a nice tennis facility there,” he said. “We can look at it for Legacy Creek, but there may not be enough in the budget.”
Mike Byard, 12512 Leyte St. N.E., who lives in Savanna Grove, asked if the city could add a few picnic tables without fire pits to the park’s equipment list.
“Thanks for the comments,” Walthour said. “We’ll take them under advisement, and make sure the park and rec staff come up with several different plans we can look at.”
Bird then moved and Newland seconded that city staff bring a final Legacy Creek Park development plan forward for review at an April meeting.
“We’ll bring this basic concept back with the minor changes that have been suggested this evening and put up two or three different looks,” Kappelhoff said.
Tim Hennagir is at firstname.lastname@example.org