Commissioner Fritz pitches Parks Master Plan vote

If you didn’t get to this meeting, find out how you can still vote on which undeveloped outer East Portland park will get a “Master Plan” …

The East Portland Neighborhood Office meeting room is filled to capacity, as the East Portland Parks Coalition meeting gets underway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Thanks in part to heavy e-mail promotion, and personal advocacy by outer East Portland community organizers, the East Portland Parks Coalition meeting was well attended the evening of April 2, as about 60 people crowded into the room.

The “guest of honor” of this meeting, which got underway at 7:00 p.m. at the East Portland Neighborhood Office, was Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, the commissioner overseeing Portland Parks & Recreation (PF&R).

Portland Parks Board Member Mary Anne Cassin explains the importance of the East Portland Parks Planning Priorities Survey.

The topic for the evening was a presentation that promoted the East Portland Parks Planning Priorities Survey, announced Portland Parks Board Member Mary Anne Cassin.

Those at the meeting learned that getting a new park established in Portland is a four-step process:

  1. Acquiring of land,
  2. Creating a Park Master Plan,
  3. Park Design (according to the Master Plan), and,
  4. Construction and finishing.

 

Several sites that have been acquired by PP&R do not yet have master plans, Cassin told the group. She explained that the “master planning process” is the step in which PP&R engages community members on what type of park and park amenities they desire.

East Portland Parks Coalition Chair Alicia Reese points out the list of park areas lacking a Master Plan.

The following list of projects was identified by PP&R staff, based on the current inventory of properties owned by the Bureau, that are under consideration for having a master plan developed:

  • SE Division & SE 150th Avenue Property
  • Lynchwood Park
  • Mill Park
  • Wilkes Headwaters
  • Midland Park
  • North Powelhurst Park
  • Lynchview Park
  • Gilbert Primary Park
  • Floyd Light Parcel – just east of East Portland Community Center
  • Gates Property
  • Thompson Park
  • Buttes Natural Area
  • Mitchell Creek Natural Area

 

At the meeting, for example, a group of neighbors near Lynch View Elementary School, located in the Centennial neighborhood, were asked if they preferred that the school’s property be improved. Or instead, that a master plan be created for the undeveloped Lynchview Park, located immediately to the west of the school.

The group of parents “straw-voted” in favor of developing the park, instead of the school property.

Chair Reese notes the “straw votes” cast for developing Lynchview Park.

The Parks Bureau wants input from all community members regarding developing new parks, says Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

During the remainder of the meeting, many of the potential sites were discussed, and the participants explored possibilities of each of the properties.

“I was impressed with the turnout and participation, both of longtime parks advocates, and new enthusiasts,” Commissioner Fritz told East Portland News after the meeting.

“The take-away is that we need to continue to do more to provide parks in East Portland, and I will continue to direct resources to do so.”

Mill Park Neighborhood Association Chair Trevor Hopper looks at the map showing the locations that could become outer East Portland’s next developed parks.

Pick a new park, before April 30
Beyond the meeting, PP&R staff is continuing to engage the community to create Parks Master Plans for two or three sites in outer East Portland, Community Relations Manager Jennifer Yocom said.

First, take a look at the East Portland Park Planning packet; CLICK HERE to download the bureau’s PDF file to examine, Yocom advised.

“Then, take our survey,” added Yocom. CLICK HERE to open the “Survey Monkey” survey page. This survey closes at 5:00 p.m. on April 30.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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