A Park Plan Is Emerging Next to Lots D and C

By Mike Phillips

The Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board (CRAAB) made some progress at last night’s meeting, which was devoted primarily to improvements of parking lots C and D and the green space between them and the new seawall portion.

First the parking: That design has been tinkered with for a couple of months, and now CRAAB is ready to recommend it to the city commission. It includes 74 spaces, which it had before design work began. Many of the spaces are angled for easier parking access, the double spaces for vehicles and their boat trailers are as before, and better turnaround space at the south end will help larger vehicles. The parking spaces are to code, and they are well-sized for use in the annual petanque tournament that draws visitors from around the world.

The inward side of the parking area will have low curbs, with walk-throughs into the park.

A very active discussion followed over two conceptual plans for the green space beyond the parking. Both those plans were highly detailed, but the board ultimately voted to avoid submitting a lot of detail and to focus on key elements that should be included:

  • Some space for year-round use by resident petanque enthusiasts.
  • A lot of shade. The current swath of open space can be brutal in the summer.
  • The current walkway is around the outside of the area, and one or two more walkways should wind through the space.
  • The largest grassy area should have a small pavilion on one side where intimate musical and other events could be staged.
  • There should be bathrooms — likely in a central location near the parking lot.
  • Visitors should be easily able to view the water and the marina boats from most locations.
  • Perhaps a small play area for children – but no equipment.
  • The new city manager, Ty Ross, dropped by with an interesting challenge: Come up with a cool name for the park. Something to stir up enthusiasm.

All in all, what’s emerging is a relaxing, restful place whose resident spirit is Mother Nature.

The next step will be a consultation with the parks and recreation people and then, the board hopes, a submission of the plan in December or January at the latest.

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Alan Hopkins
Noble Member
Alan Hopkins(@dawaves)
1 month ago

CRAAB committee puts in a lot of time and effort ultimately to usually be dismissed by the council.

Taking one of the most valuable assets in the city for the use of less than 1 percent of the citizens doesn’t seem reasonable. Probably better used for an amphitheater.

The parking issue isn’t going away no matter how much the city ignores it.

People are coming and development will only make the demand greater no matter how much certain people try to stop both. They will be as successful as those trying to stop the tide from coming in.

Don’t be tricky and overthink the name.

Sunset park Speaks for itself.

Active Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan Hopkins

well thank you for participating sunshine, you must be a blast a parties.

Bill Fold
Noble Member
Bill Fold(@bill-fold)
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan Hopkins

I agree Alan. Wasting prime space on a silly thing like petanque is insane. That can be done anywhere and the further away from the beauty of the park setting would be pleasing to 99% of the people I’m betting. Who came up with that stupid idea to put it there in the first place? Obviously somebody with no clue what’s best for the town.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bill Fold
[email protected](@bev-lawrence23gmail-com)
1 month ago

I attended a portion of the meeting and believe Ty Ross sat next to me. He wrote a couple of names for the park, one is Sunset Park. It gets my vote. Thank you, new City Manager, you are off to a great start!  

Also, I think the elements of the park should be simple and easy to maintain. Backless benches and bike racks – a destination park for citizen to ride or walk to enjoy – less cars the better.

No pavilion (don’t we want less traffic downtown) or restroom (city restrooms is yards away at the Comfort Station why maintain another). 

Dave L
Trusted Member
Dave L(@dave-l)
1 month ago

Good to see there is once again movement on a park that will enhance the downtown business district for residents and visitors alike.