Meeting on Sand Creek Park plan

A neighborhood meeting on the concept plan to redevelop Sand Creek Park will take place Wednesday, April 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Coon Rapids City Center council chambers.

The meeting will have an open house format with no formal presentation, according to Tim Himmer, city public works director.

There will be board displays set up to show residents what the proposed renovation of the city’s largest park will look like and city staff members will be present to answer residents’ questions and take their comments, Himmer said.

Notices of the neighborhood meeting have been sent to properties within 1,000 feet of the park, including 350 residential parcels north, east and south of the park as well as parcels in the Coon Rapids Industrial Park, east of Xeon Street and west of the park and railroad tracks.

Tweaks will be made to the concept plan following the neighborhood meeting and unless substantial changes are made that will require another work session with the Coon Rapids City Council, the plan will go to the council at a regular meeting for formal action so that final design and engineering work can begin, Himmer said.

Plans are for construction to begin in 2015 and be completed in 2016.

The council signed off on the concept plan in a work session March 25 attended by members of the Coon Rapids Parks and Recreation Commission and stakeholders or users of the park.

Meetings had previously taken place involving city staff, WSB & Associates (the consultant working on the plan), the commission and stakeholders to come up with the concept plan for the park’s renovation.

The complete redevelopment of Sand Creek Park is the most expensive – an estimated $5.7 million – of the parks proposed for improvements in the $17.2 million park bond referendum approved by Coon Rapids voters in November 2013.

The concept plan for the 50-acre park has six lighted softball fields; two lighted football and lacrosse fields; two lighted hockey rinks; an open skating area; a skate park; a multi-purpose building with concessions; two mini-shelters for concessions, one adjacent to two of the softball fields and football or lacrosse fields and the other adjacent to the other four softball fields; a centrally located play area; two tennis courts; a half-basketball court; an enclosed shelter and play area at the southern end of the park; and trails throughout the park connecting to the adjacent residential area.

The current main entrance from Northdale Boulevard as well as the existing access to 113th Avenue will remain, but the entrance from Northdale adjacent to the railroad tracks will be limited to maintenance and emergency vehicles through gates that will only be opened to regular traffic in times of high park usage.

Also proposed are four parking lots totaling 525 spaces.

The Coon Rapids American Little League complex in the park won’t be part of the redevelopment project. The Little League organization owns the part of the park property where its fields are located.

For more information on the neighborhood meeting or the concept plan, contact Ryan Gunderson, city recreation coordinator, at 763-767-6513 or Gregg Engle, city parks supervisor, at 763-767-6552.

The Coon Rapids City Center is located at 11155 Robinson Dr. NW.