San Diego is asking the public for input on a draft document outlining the future of the city’s parks and recreation system as it expands its “Play Everywhere” initiative.
The draft of the parks master plan is the first since 1956. At the time, the city owned 5,700 acres of parkland and 13 recreation centers across 38 communities. Friday, the city owns and maintains more than 42,000 acres of park assets across 52 communities. This includes 57 recreation centers, 13 aquatic complexes, three municipal golf courses, seven skate parks and 17 off- leash dog areas.
“As we continue to navigate a global health pandemic, we have seen just how valuable our neighborhood parks really are,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “This push to improve our parks for the next generation will create an interconnected, equitable and sustainable park system for all San Diegans to enjoy. And we want every San Diegan to have a say in what it will look like so we’re asking everyone to share their thoughts about the future of our parks.”
The new parks master plan is “focused on increasing access to all parks for everyone, regardless of their income, age, race, ability or geographic location,” a city statement said. The plan also seeks to improve and upgrade existing parks and give the city the ability to deliver new parks faster.
During a nearly three-year planning effort, the city’s planning department held regional workshops, stakeholder interviews and conducted resident surveys in each city council district. It found that while residents were generally happy with their existing parks, they would like to see more upgrades and amenities in those parks.
The parks master plan accounts for new growth patterns driven by the city’s Climate Action Plan, the city statement said.
Currently, the city bases parks’ standards solely off the number of acres provided. According to the city, the new plan proposes a system that considers the “value a park delivers to residents, taking into account proposed amenities and recreational activities.”
The parks plan is part of the Complete Communities Initiative, which focuses on housing, mobility choices, infrastructure and public open spaces such as parks, to attempt to deliver on the city’s vision of quality neighborhoods that are diverse, walkable, connected, safe and sustainable.
To view the draft plan and submit comments, go to Sandiego.gov/parks- master-plan. Comments must be submitted by May 25, 2020.
The plan is expected to go before the city council for approval later this year.
–City News Service