Queen Creek Moves Forward with New Park
The Queen Creek Town Council recently approved the conceptual design for a new park, located on the West Park site a 196th Street and Appleby Road, near Ocotillo and Sossaman roads. The 30-acre park will help meet the need for additional parks and recreational space in the community. The conceptual design includes lighted baseball/softball fields, lighted multi-purpose field (soccer, football, etc.), play and picnic areas, splash pad, wheel park, walking trail, lake, restrooms and concessions.
“Approving the conceptual design takes us one step closer to having a new park in Queen Creek,” stated Mayor Gail Barney. “The conceptual design provides a framework for the park as it is developed. As a Town Council, we are very excited about the quality of the new park. Over the past several years we’ve seen a number of new homes being built in our community, and every new home results in impact fees that ensure that growth pays for the impacts of growth. We’re using our bank of impact fees that have been accrued over the years to pay for this much-needed new facility in our community. As a Town, we have to balance the needs for recreation opportunities with making sound financial decisions with taxpayer dollars.”
West Park, which will be named as the park is developed, will be funded through a variety of sources. The park improvements will be completely funded through impact fees designated specifically for parks. The parking and streets associated with West Park will be funded through street impact fees and the two percent dedicated construction sales tax, and the lake will be funded with water and wastewater capacity fees and savings. Changes at the state legislature in 2011 dramatically impacted the use of development fees, restricting the use for new parks to 30 acres, and eliminating the use of impact fees to fund recreational centers larger than 3,000 square feet.
The next phase in the development of West Park includes selecting a landscape architect/engineering firm, which is currently being advertised on the Town’s website, followed by selection of a general contractor. The construction of West Park is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2017 with the grand opening in the fall of 2018.
The development of a new park is supported by feedback on the 2016 Queen Creek Citizen Survey and the 2016 Parks and Recreation Survey, completed for the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update. In the 2016 Queen Creek Citizen Survey, more recreation opportunities and more parks were both in the top 10 most desired benefits. The 2016 Parks and Recreation Survey had similar results, with 53% of respondents indicating they felt Queen Creek needs more parks and 24 to 29% reporting they felt Queen Creek needs more fields (softball, soccer, baseball, and football). The development of West Park also supports two goals identified in the Town’s Corporate Strategic Plan, superior infrastructure and quality lifestyle.
In addition to developing a new park, the Town is also in the process of updating the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The Town contracted Plan*et Communications to conduct the update, which will build upon the original Parks and Recreation Master Plan, approved in 2007. Plan*et Communications has conducted a series of public outreach activities, and will be presenting the first draft of the update to the public at an open house. The open house will be held on Thursday, Jan. 19 from 6-8 p.m. at the Queen Creek Library in the Zane Grey Room, 21802 S. Ellsworth Road. The community will have the opportunity to review the first draft and provide input.
The Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update, and public input received through the process, will be integrated into the Town’s General Plan update. The General Plan serves as a guiding document for the Town’s future, outlining how the Town will manage growth. To learn more about the General Plan update, visit QueenCreek.org/PlanQC.
For more information about West Park, or the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update, visit QueenCreek.org/PlanQCParks. For more information about activities and events, follow the Town on Facebook.com/qcrecreation or Twitter.com/TOQC_official.
Constance Halonen-Wilson, Public Information Officer