Park District looking for input on master plan
By David Sharos For The Sun November 14, 2012 10:30AM
Updated: December 19, 2012 11:46AM
Developing Southwest Community Park, updating the district’s trail system and perhaps building an indoor aquatic center are among the proposals set out in the Naperville Park District’s proposed new master plan.
The plan is based on public surveys conducted in 2009 and again in 2012, meetings with residents, interest and opinion surveys and talks with various community groups. Officials reviewed the draft once again last week at a board meeting and have now put the plan out for public review through Dec. 13.
Park District Director of Planning Eric Shutes said the impetus for the latest plan was based on a policy passed last year by the board to update the big picture plan every five years.
“Our last master plan was done in 2007, so we’ve reached the five-year point and our goal is to try and stay ahead,” Shutes said. “We all know that the economy fell off in 2008 and a lot has happened in the country, the state, and here in Naperville since that time. We have guidelines that cover a 10-year period and things we look at during years one to five of the plan and also from years six to 10.”
Shutes said the latest version is based on a 2012 community interest survey in addition to “meetings with residents, key stakeholders and key affiliates.”
“We’ve had focus groups and many discussions, along with a lot of feedback and in addition to a 2012 interest and opinion survey, we also used data from the 2010 census,” he said. “The highlights of the plan are based on those things and the core values of our organization.”
Planner Aileen McEldowney said future plans reflect the Park District “being conscious of taxpayer dollars and trying to maintain what we have as well as provide for the future.”
“We tried to present an overview of our present amenities as well as those we are looking at in the future,” McEldowney said. “One of our challenges will be the development of Southwest Community Park, which is the last undeveloped parcel. There is going to be a lot of competing interests, and the challenge of meeting the needs of all the various groups.”
Southwest Community Park is a 33-acre park located at 3252 Wolf’s Crossing Road in southwest Naperville. Possible amenities being considered for Southwest Community Park include lighted ball fields, a cricket pitch, tennis courts, basketball courts, a playground, practice fields, a loop trail, and a restroom/shelter.
From a strategic standpoint, Shutes said future plans for the district include reviewing and updating the district’s trail system as well as conducting an aquatic survey that would be used “to develop an indoor facility that could service the entire Park District” as well as look at outdoor aquatic use.
“We also want to look at maximizing our alternative revenue sources including grants and investigate other methods to scheduling sporting events,” Shutes said.
In terms of capital projects, synthetic turf fields are planned for Commissioners Park in 2013, as well as new playgrounds at Ashwood Park.
The public can review the plans by visiting the Park District web site at http://www.napervilleparks.org/master-plans where the master plan will be posted through Dec. 13. Comments can be sent to Shutes at email@example.com.
McEldowney said input by the public is encouraged.