Work on the first new park in South Jordan since 1969 should be under way by the end of summer following Tuesday night's City Council approval of a park master plan for land at 22nd West and 96th South.
And, the new construction will not affect city property taxes, said City Administrator Richard N. Warne. Warne said the park will be completely paid for from park and flood control impact fees charged to new development within the city. The money has been accumulating for several years, and now the city is prepared to begin work on its first project.Councilman Bob Mascaro said the effort will put to rest opposition raised in past years to the impact fees. He noted the city was sued seven years ago by developers opposing the fees.
Flood control fees are being used for the facility because it will double as a flood control detention basin. The park will aid storm drainage of the area between 22nd and 36th West and from 94th to 104th South. The project, when complete, will allow the city to eliminate a number of small detention basins that have been required in many new subdivisions in the area. Those lots will be freed for new development, eliminating a number of local eyesores.
Although a master plan for the new park was approved, the details of the development are far from resolved. Actual construction of the park is expected to take from five to 10 years and will largely be affected by development of surrounding open land. The 9.83-acre site is the first of what the city has identified as neighborhood parks. These smaller parks will cater to local residents of abutting subdivisions and will not have facilities that could accommodate intensive recreational uses such as league softball, little league baseball or soccer.
The city parks and recreation master plan calls for three types of parks. Regional parks will be about 100-acres in size and serve the entire city, district parks will range from 30-50 acres in size and serve specific areas of the city, neighborhood parks will range up to 20-acres and will cater to abutting residential development.
The plan approved Tuesday calls for three picnic boweries, two basketball and two volleyball courts, two tennis courts and open areas for soccer and softball.
Warne said these fields would be designed for local use, perhaps for practice by teams from the local neighborhoods, but not necessarily for league play.
Area residents attending a public hearing on the plan were not opposed to the park but did want assurances that the park would not become an intrusive and unwanted addition. They asked for the city to consider fencing the area, setting time limits on night use and forbidding lighting of the play areas and tennis courts. They also asked the council to consider amenities that would allow year-round use such as a sleigh riding hill.
In adopting the plan, the council instructed Warne to have the city's parks and recreation committee study the recommendations and to make suggestions as the development proceeds.
Warne said the city hopes to have the area graded, a sprinkling system installed and grass planted before winter. He said the first use of the park would likely occur late next spring or in early summer. Three parking areas are eventually planned but only that served from the Georgetown subdivision will be constructed in the first phase. The other parking areas will be constructed as adjacent land is developed for residential uses.