Print Clarkdale residents share ideas in creating new park
Written by Staff Reporter   
Thursday, 19 January 2012 00:00

About 50 people turned out at Clark Memorial Clubhouse on Thursday, Jan. 5, to share ideas about roughly two acres of land within the long-dormant The Highlands subdivision, now know as Crossroads at Mingus.

If the land is to become a park, will it be an active park or a passive park, or perhaps both? Those were the questions organizers wanted answered at the forum conducted by Community Development Director Jodi Filardo.

The Crossroads at Mingus is located near the intersection of Scenic Drive and Old Jerome Highway. The subdivision is platted with two parks to be dedicated to the town as community parks, Filardo said.

Crossroads at Mingus project manager Steve Biasini describes preliminary plans for a public park within the Clarkdale residential development to an audience of interested residents Thursday, Jan. 5. The plans call for the park to be open to the entire community and the public was invited to comment on the early designs.The meeting was the first of several to gather public comment from Clarkdale residents about the type of park these plots will become. Since Clarkdale residents will be the most likely users of the park, developers want to hear from them first before anything goes up.

“Nothing is set in stone,” Project Manager Steve Biasini told the gathering. “We’re not in a position to build anything right now.”

The developer is willing to create whatever design the town desires, so long as it is within budget, Biasini said.

Filardo presented a preliminary design for the park and asked for comments. The preliminary drawing shows renovations to a large disturbed area formerly occupied by a wastewater plant. It includes seven parking spaces and divides the park into passive and active sections.

Parks may be considered passive on several levels. The most passive use is viewing, including views of nature, seasonal interest and human activities, Filardo said.

Passive recreation includes hiking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, biking and other non-motorized activities, she said.

“In other words, no organized sports that require athletic fields such as soccer, baseball or other types of active recreational uses,” Filardo said.

Passive parks are for small groups and individuals. They do not depend on a delineated area designed for specific activities.

In contrast, well-designed active parks include flexible spaces that accommodate a range of occasional activities. It should allow separate activities that can be enjoyed in relative privacy without disturbing adjacent areas, Filardo said.

Active parks usually include an open, gently-sloping lawn for spontaneous activities and an area for unstructured softball, soccer, Frisbee and pick-up games. They also include formal fields, outdoor courts, picnic shelters, restrooms and event areas.

Charles Seiverd and Sarah Irani attended the meeting with their children. They would like to see specific amenities at the park.

Irani would like to see an open area for locals to grow fruit and other kinds of produce. Seiverd wants park facilities in need of water to use gray water, which is recycled drinking water.

David Stiller of Sedona, who purchased a lot in the subdivision as an investment, said he would like to see more focus on roads and utilities, infrastructure the subdivision lacks that is preventing Stiller from building on his land.

Without the infrastructure, Stiller cannot obtain a certificate of occupancy from the town, Town Manager Gayle Mabery said.

Residents will have additional opportunities to discuss the parks at the Wednesday, Jan. 18, Parks and Recreation Commission meeting and at a future Design Review Board meeting to be scheduled Tuesday, Feb. 14, Mabery said.