A second Parks and Recreation Planning Workshop was held March 27 and included a look at parks facilities and accessibility and community feedback.
A sizable crowd attended the open house forum at the Country Club Senior Center, where city staff and consultants were stationed at information stations to answer questions and collect input that will be used to create a Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
Previously gathered feedback from the first workshop found residents want parks to have additional pools, accessibility improvements, enhanced safety, additional lighting, more hiking and running paths and additional dog parks.
Residents’ comments on parks in south Oceanside elicited the most concerns. Suggestions for improvements included safe street crossings, better city/resident communication and access to public school recreational facilities.
Parks and Recreation Division Manager Eileen Turk said the city is looking for opportunities in south Oceanside, which presently does not have a recreation center.
Comments added to the above list of suggestions on March 27 were to improve access for seniors, add new pickleball courts and prioritize the promised swimming pool complex at El Corazon Park, among others.
Residents also weighed in on city staff’s findings on park accessibility.
Megan Crooks, city Parks and Recreation management analyst, said the majority of people use nearby facilities the most. Mance Buchanon Park, Buddy Todd Park and Martin Luther King, Jr. Park draw citywide users because of the parks’ sports facilities and proximity to schools.
Maps showed parks, community centers and schools, and access to them measured in walking and driving distances. Color-coded areas highlighted 15-minute walksheds, and five- and 10-minute drivesheds to facilities.
The northeast and southeast borders of the city had the least access to parks, community centers and school facilities. Michael Singleton, senior principal of KTUA consulting, said the maps help identify areas where people need greater access to facilities and existing opportunities to provide that access.
Residents at the open house shared their feedback on park access on butcher paper brainstorming sheets. The majority of written comments addressed how accessibility was being measured.
Comments included, “walksheds listed are for healthy young folks not elderly seniors,” and that drivesheds fail to reflect accessibility by public transportation.
Crooks said the purpose of the open house was to gather public input on existing facilities and ensure the city gets it right.
In addition to small group discussions at the prior February workshop and written comments collected at the March open house, the city is also conducting two surveys.
A voluntary survey posted on the city website was available in print for open house participants to fill out. Many did so on the spot.
A statistically valid email survey of a random selection of city residents will be done in April, as a comparison.
There will also be popup outreach on Parks and Recreation planning at the Sunset Market in April.
The next public workshop will be held May 15, following staff analysis of residents input on facility needs and wants.
A Parks and Recreation Master Plan will be brought to City Council in October or November.