By Rick Palsgrove
Residents’ requests for a neighborhood park in Groveport’s Founders Bend subdivision has lead city officials to begin prioritizing items in the city’s Master Park Plan.
According to Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall, Founders Bend is the only city-owned neighborhood park included in the Master Park Plan that still remains to be constructed.
“There are also several other improvements to already-developed city-owned parks that remain to be completed in the plan,” said Hall.
Hall said city officials plan to prioritize the recommended park improvements in the Master Park Plan prior to 2016 so projects can begin to be included in the city’s capital improvement plan.
Hall recommended that Groveport City Council include $75,000 annually for a park development program within the park fund. The park fund is financed through development fees and would be supplemented by the city’s general fund.
“We would also recommend that city-owned neighborhood park development be a combined effort of the city and the subdivision, from planning to construction,” said Hall. “By making this a joint effort, the development will have more of a buy-in and the cost of development can be reduced. This way we can make sure people who will enjoy the parks will have a voice in their park projects.”
Council appeared receptive to Hall’s suggestions and will consider them during the upcoming budget process.
“This is a benefit for everybody,” said Councilman Shawn Cleary.
Proposed Founders Bend park
According to the Master Park Plan, which was prepared in 2010, the proposed Founders Bend park would be located on 5.3 acres located west of the subdivision. The land is accessible through a narrow gap of land between 4329 and 4348 Landmark Road.
Under the Master Park Plan, the proposed long term plan for this 5.3 acre site calls for the installation of a playground, shelter house, and the maintaining of undeveloped open space for unorganized play of field sports. Also, according to the plan, a concrete drainage swale bisects part of this property cutting off nearly two-thirds of the western portion of the open space. According to the Master Parks Plan, the potential cost for the development of the proposed Founders Bend park, according to 2008 figures, could be up to $238,000.
Hall noted, after talking with James Chilton of the Founders Bend Homeowners Association, that, “Mr. Chilton is very receptive to having the homeowners association assist in both the planning and the construction of the park. We will work with them to see what they want.”
Main Street pocket park
Meanwhile, another smaller park waiting to be developed – the planned pocket park proposed for the northeast corner of Main and Front streets – has been put on hold. Hall said, “We had intended to include costs to develop the pocket park for 2016 then proceed with additional projects included in the Master Park Plan. We have backed off of the pocket park until construction on the second building next to Ace Hardware is completed.”
A town of parks
Groveport is green with parks as, according to the Master Park Plan, there are 484.7 acres of park land in the city with community parks, neighborhood parks, and mini-parks combined totaling 341.9 acres with another 142.8 acres at the Links at Groveport golf course. Additionally, the city neighbors Three Creeks Metro Park and Walnut Woods Metro Park.