Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Groups like Park Some Worry It's Too Much

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Groups like Park Some Worry It's Too Much

Article excerpt

The District 2 Regional Park, which the city purchased for $3.2 million more than six years ago, is such a beautiful piece of land that everybody wants a piece of it, said a consulting planner hired to develop a master plan.

That thought was evident at a town meeting held by City Councilwoman Lynette Self at the Regency Square branch library Monday night.

While there were numerous representatives of organized youth sports such as soccer, Pop Warner football, baseball and softball present, others said they thought the 144-acre park, formerly The Dunes Golf Course, was to be a passive park.

"You've made this into a sports complex," said Lad Hawkins, who said he was chairman of an advisory committee to assist in developing a master plan for the park at 11751 McCormick Road.

Hawkins referred to a survey done five years ago when 180 people ranked activities they wanted included in the park.

"The top activities the people wanted were walking trails, bike trails, nature trails, a children's play area and picnic areas," Hawkins said. "Football was down at the bottom, along with lacrosse and cricket, yet you now have half the park devoted to football."

Carol Worsham of Landers-Atkins Planners Inc. presented a rough draft of a preliminary master plan. Key ingredients she considered, she said, were road access, parking and the safety of children who use the park.

There currently is an entrance through a residential area off McCormick Road and another entrance road around the corner on Monument Road. Worsham showed a plan that would close the McCormick access and turn the Monument entrance road into a loop road that would lead to several parking areas within the park before exiting onto Monument Road at a point south of the entry road. That exit road would be at an existing traffic signal on Monument, she said.

The park is owned and maintained by the city but is leased to the Police Athletic League, which manages it and schedules all events by other sports groups at the park. …

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