Community input sought for Park Master Plan updates

Community input sought for Park Master Plan updates
The Master Plans for the three community parks in Carlsbad, including Poinsettia Park, pictured, are in the process of being updated. File photo

CARLSBAD — The city is in the process of updating the Master Plans for three parks, Pine Avenue, Poinsettia and Aviara Community Parks.

The Master Plan dictates what facilities can be built at the park, when funding becomes available.

The city plans to spend $80.4 million during the 2014-15 fiscal year on capital improvement projects.

The funds will be used for the parks, library improvements and possibly for a community center.

The Parks and Recreation department asked for community input on what they’d like to see at the parks. Residents could attend meetings or reach out through social media or the department’s website.

“All of the means of communication are similar so that no matter what the situation, or your interest or your availability, you have an opportunity to provide us with feedback,” said Mick Calarco, special projects manager for the city.

PROS Consulting was contracted, along with RHA Landscape Architects, to guide and develop the Master Plan update process.

In the Needs Assessment and Comprehensive Action Plan published in December last year, officials from the department said the addition of more sports fields and gym space are some of the most important things that need to be considered.

After administering a survey to more than 1,600 households, 386 surveys were completed which is how officials determined the strengths and weaknesses of current park facilities.

Some of the strengths were the variety of programs available to residents and the number of parks and facilities.

The weaknesses found were the lack of revenue generating and operationally sustainable facilities and the need to engage more of the community.

Residents ranked the type of facilities they would most like to see at the parks. More family picnic spaces and gardens ranked the highest.

Residents said they wanted more swimming pools but the survey was administered before Alga Norte was completed, said Calarco.

Now that the aquatic center is done, he assumed residents wouldn’t rank the need for a pool as high.

Another goal of the department is to create more partnerships with local schools, the healthcare industry, corporations and nonprofit organizations to increase use at the parks.

While the PROS Consulting team deemed the city’s parks clean and safe, consultants felt more trashcans, benches, drinking fountains, tables and parking could be used.

An update on the Senior Commission’s progress will be given Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. at the Council Chambers and 5:30 p.m. for the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Those who can’t make the meeting will be able to take an online survey beginning Friday that will be available until the end of September, said Calarco.

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