City Park Master Plan Summer Workshops

Hello Del Cerro: The following information is from Steve Haupt, a friend of mine, and a District Manager for the Park and Recreation Department. This is important information that will impact future generations in San Diego. Please take the time to read through this information and get involved; either through a workshop or on-line. Thank you, Jay Wilson – DCAC Secretary
The City of San Diego is in the process of developing their Park Master Plan. Part of the process is public outreach. One way this is being accomplished is through a number of workshops throughout the city during the summer.

The City of San Diego is embarking upon a citywide Parks Master Plan which is a three-year planning effort to shape our future parks, recreation facilities and programs for the next 20 to 30 years.
The Work Plan for the Parks Master Plan outlines the goals, what we will study, the project schedule and our public outreach. This Work Plan is available on the project website and has been provided to you as a handout. The Parks Master Plan will be the City’s road map for creating a world class parks and recreation system. It will be relevant to changing needs, make parks accessible to all community members, and celebrate the unique qualities of San Diego.

Park System Today
Our park system today is managed by the Parks and Recreation Department and it includes approximately 42,000 acres.
• This acreage includes 27,000 acres of city owned open space parks,
• 6,000 water acres in the La Jolla underwater park,
• 6,000 acres of regional parks, shoreline parks and beaches, and
• 3,000 acres of community and neighborhood parks
• It also includes 57 recreation centers
• 13 aquatic complexes
• 17 off leash dog parks
• 3 golf complexes, Torrey Pines, Mission Bay and Balboa golf course
• And 7 skate parks including the newly built Linda Vista Skate Park

Why is the Parks Master Plan needed?
The City’s last Parks Master Plan was competed in the late 50’s. In the past 60 years, changes in recreational trends and demographics have reshaped our City’s parks and recreational needs.
There are 52 community planning areas and many of these communities are built out with little land left for traditional parks. Many of these communities were built prior to the current park service levels the city requires today and therefore we do not have an equitable balance of recreational resources across the city.
Not only is it difficult to find park land, but land is very expensive to acquire. And yet the Parks and Recreation Department manages over 42, 000 acres of parkland and only a small percentage of this land is used for population-based community and neighborhood park needs. Therefore; we need to study how all city owned land is used for our recreation needs. This effort would provide the criteria and use of park equivalencies.
Our funding sources for parks and programs relies on funding such as Grants, Impact Fees and Regional Park funds and we know from experience that this funding does not fully provide what is needed to maintain our existing park system and build new park facilities. New funding sources need to be identified along with an implementation plan.

General Plan Project Goals
The 2008 General Plan states in the Recreation Element that a Parks Master Plan is needed and should:
• Build on the existing parks system
• Achieve an equitable balance of recreational resources
• Adapt to future needs
• Keep pace with population growth
Parks Master Plan Goals
The Parks Master Plan will provide the city with a policy document that will:
1. Guide future acquisition, design and construction of recreational facilities
2. Address park deficits to create equity in all communities
3. Identify new definitions for what a park is
4. Promote connectivity to parks and recreation facilities
5. Identify implementation strategies and funding options
The Parks Master Plan is a three year planning effort. It will have four planning phases:
• Phase 1 will be the research of existing conditions,
• Phase 2 will be to obtain needs and priorities,
• Phase 3 will be to create a Parks Master Plan vision and goals
• Phase 4 will be to develop funding opportunities, an implementation plan and the preparation and approval of the Parks Master Plan

Public Outreach
One of the most important steps in this planning effort is understanding the public’s recreational needs and priorities. Over the next three years we will reach out to the public through surveys, regional workshops, stakeholder meetings, and online activities on the project website.

Special Considerations
Because our city is so big and diverse, our public outreach will incorporate special considerations to assure all residents have an opportunity to participate. These considerations include:
• Using clear language that is understandable.
• Workshop facilities will be accessible to all and located in different regions of the city.
• In communities with minority populations and/or low-income populations, the project team will partner with community-based organizations for assistance with communication to these community members and to encourage participation in the planning effort.
• Spanish speaking facilitators will be present for workshops
Website and Surveys
The project website, was launched at the beginning of the year. You can use the website to view project documents and presentations, dates for upcoming events including the Regional Workshops this summer and participate in online engagement activities.

Regional Workshops
Regional workshops will be held in each of the nine Council Districts and Downtown San Diego, these workshops will be scheduled this summer. Dates and locations to be determined. (Here is a link to the flyer listing all the summer workshops)Parks_Master_Plan_Meeting_Flyer_V4

Workshops will be open house 2-hour sessions where members of the public will be presented an overview of the PMP process, a summary of the existing conditions and interactive topic stations designed to gain input from the community on needs and priorities.
Tables with laptops or tablets will also be available enabling participants to complete an online engagement activity in a variety of languages.

How you can be involved
As park advisory bodies for the City, your involvement in the Parks Master Plan is critical to our success. Please stay involved in this project. The first step is for all of you to go to the website and go to the tab “Get Connected” to join the PMP mailing list. You will then be notified of upcoming workshops, milestones and online engagement activities. Please also spread the word to your constituents and members of the public about the upcoming workshops and activities.

Thank you for your time, this is a very important project for the City and we value your participation.

Steve Haupt
District Manager
City of San Diego
Parks and Recreation Department

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