Open House: Site planning of Carrie Blake Park & Water Reuse Demonstration Site
When: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 2
Where: Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St.
More info: Contact Joe Irvin, parks manager and assistant to the city manager, at 582-2457.
As the first areas to have a Master Site Plan designed specifically for them, the layout of Carrie Blake Park and the abutting Water Reuse Demonstration Site are up for discussion.
While developing a Master Site Plan for the park and nearby water reuse site the key elements under evaluation include access, parking, connectivity and future uses, said Joe Irvin, City of Sequim parks manager and assistant to the city manager.
“This is the first realistic attempt at preparing a Master Site Plan for flagship community parks,” he said. “It gives me pride knowing that we’ve gotten to the point where we can decide how the park will operate for the years to come with a definitive plan.”
In hopes of sparking community interaction, city officials are hosting an open house Monday, Nov. 2.
Accompanied by station leaders aimed at gathering suggestions, general input and answering questions about the Master Site planning process, three alternatives with corresponding visuals will be on hand throughout the open house.
“What’s so cool about this type of planning is you jointly put together a vision and then turn that into reality,” Irvin said. “This open house is an opportunity for public engagement.”
To best incorporate citizens’ thoughts in response to the draft alternatives, city officials are working with staff from Hough Beck & Baird (HBB) Inc., a Seattle-based landscape architecture firm. HBB officials are locally active and were involved in both the Port Angeles waterfront project, as well as creating a master plan for the city’s Lincoln Park.
Together city and HBB officials will use the public input gained at the open house to shape the Master Site Plan alternatives, Irvin said. The revised alternatives will then be presented to the Sequim City Council and the city’s Park and Recreation Board during a joint work session at 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14.
A second open house on Tuesday, Dec. 15, will follow to showcase the final proposed Master Site Plan to the community.
The final plan will include all costs associated with it and thus allow for grant submittals to begin and allocation of budget funds in subsequence years. Also, Irvin anticipates pursuing community partnerships, such as the city’s collaboration with a local group of pickleball players, the Sequim Picklers.
Already the Sequim Picklers have raised $2,295 of its $10,000 goal via a GoFundMe account (www.gofundme.com/sequimpicklers) and have supplied Master Site Plan project manager Dean Koontz of HBB with the pickleball court designs proposed for Carrie Blake Park.
Under the proposed City of Sequim 2016 budget, the anticipated pickleball courts are listed with a price tag of $51,000. However, the funds aren’t secured and depend on alternative funding sources, like grants, explained David Garlington, City of Sequim public works director.
“The pickleball people are well on their way to finding those funding sources,” he said.
Albert Haller Playfields
Like the ongoing public and now collaborative effort toward establishing pickleball courts, “the task to solve the parking and access needs in collaboration with the Sequim Family Advocates is tracking side-by-side with the Master Site Plan,” Irvin said.
The Master Site planning process under way is a product of the City of Sequim Parks and Recreation Master Plan adopted late February and is separate from the proposed parking plan for the Albert Haller Playfields, but given the proximity and interaction between the projects, “they’ll be designed in tandem,” Irvin said.
On Oct. 26, Irvin provided city councilors with an update on the parking options created to address the additional parking, access and increased safety precautions needed to accommodate the activity at the Albert Haller Playfields on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Four locations with corresponding parking lot designs were discussed, as well as the construction of an access road from the Water Reuse Interpretative Center to one of the proposed parking lots located between the James Center and Albert Haller Playfields.
City officials have earmarked $75,000 in the proposed 2016 budget for parking and access improvements within the area of concern, but the total costs to pursue the full buildout of possible parking options is between $765,000 and $932,000. Given the costs involved, both city and Sequim Family Advocate officials are hopeful they’ll be able to re-secure grants and community contributions given to the
Sequim Family Advocates for the parking project, but given back when it seemingly lost momentum.
Moving forward, Irvin expects to present a parking recommendation to the Sequim Park and Recreation Board on Monday, Nov. 2, and return to the city councilors with a recommendation on Monday, Nov. 9.