HORIZON WEST Seven residents attended an Oct. 29 meeting at Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve, the second public meeting about the neighborhood park for Lakeside Village, hosted by Orange County staff.
This park will be about nine usable acres just east of the relief school for Sunset Park Elementary. It will extend north from near Silverlake Park Drive to Lake Spar between Iron Mountain Trail and Village Lake Road.
Results from the county survey of options for the park included input from 229 respondents. The most popular option was a paved walking path with 162 votes (70.74%). A picnic pavilion got 133 votes (58.08%); open field space and an area for a shaded tot lot and a playground each received 128 votes (55.90%); and 108 voted for exercise stations (47.16%). Orange County Parks and Recreation Program Development Supervisor John Connell said the plan would be to incorporate all of these in the park, as well as benches and stations with bags to pick up pet waste.
More than half of respondents also selected "Other" and offered an idea of what else they would like to see. One of the other ideas was for a means of adults to be able to share in the play of their children, so a swing set with an adult swing and a baby swing side-by-side facing opposite directions is part of the plans, Connell said.The most common suggestion not listed was a boat ramp, dock or fishing pier, but only the last of those would be plausible, Connell said. Tennis courts were the second-greatest suggestion, he said.
Connell polled residents at the meeting for specifics among the selections, such as their choice to have a more informal than formal paved path area. Attendees were in favor of a hexagonal pavilion area instead of octagonal or traditional rectangular. They sought a mix of traditional and new-age playground equipment.
Layout is not yet set in stone, because it is too early in the process.
"I won't be blocking the view of the lake -- that's for sure," Connell said. "It all depends on where the topography is. We haven't done a topographical survey yet."
Connell said another public meeting could happen before the Board of County Commissioners approves the park, once he and his team have finished the full conceptual plan. The current timetable for the project is 12 to 18 months with commissioners' approval likely at least nine months away, meaning a hopeful opening date of late fall next year, Connell said.