Seaside Seeks Qualified Firm for Parks Master Plan – Monterey Herald

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SEASIDE – The City of Seaside is seeking a qualified consultant to develop a parks master plan that would cover parks, trails, and recreational activities throughout the city, among other objectives.

“Over the past few years, the city has focused on improving our parks, and a lot has changed since 2005, when the city last developed a Parks and Recreation Master Plan,” said said Seaside Director of Recreation Dan Meewis. “These include the requirements of (the Americans with Disability Act). Having an updated master plan will provide the city with the framework and direction needed to continue improving parks throughout the city, while ensuring that we fully understand the ADA compliance requirements for each improvement.

A parks master plan would guide city council, the parks and recreation commission, city staff, and other advisory committees, as well as the community, on the actions needed to carry out the overall plan for the city. The process includes input from staff, board, committees and the community. The outcome is intended to be a plan encompassing operations, programming strategies and maintenance standards, facility and park improvements, and sources of revenue.

Given that the most recent parks and recreation master plan was completed 17 years ago, the implementation of an independent parks master plan should help the city achieve specific goals including – supporting or recommending municipal policies regarding parks, recreation, open space and trails, evaluating and prioritizing the expenditure of public funds for possible acquisition, among others. The plan would serve as the primary planning document for Seaside, assessing and verifying the status of existing park facilities and identifying future sources of funding.

The request for qualifications was published on Monday with a submission deadline of 4 p.m., November 4.

The city will ask a selection committee to compare applications against mandatory criteria, which will include experience, qualifications and understanding of the business, as well as other requirements.

Following the review and selection process, the City Recreation Department intends to negotiate a contract with the most qualified consultant.

Seaside has a population of approximately 34,000 and includes 86 acres of urban parkland within the more than 9 square miles the city occupies as part of the Monterey Peninsula. The city is also home to two baseball diamonds, a multipurpose field, a skate park, 16 neighborhood parks, four tennis courts and an indoor pool, two community centers, a regional park, and an outdoor classroom.

These 86 acres of urban parkland only represent current existing parks in the city and not future parks planned for new developments such as the Campus Town project, Meewis said.

The city recently sent out a request for proposals for its Manzanita-Stuart, Lincoln-Cunningham, and Havana-Soliz Parks Trail Restoration Project, a three-phase investigation and design effort for an existing corridor of connecting trails in through three neighborhood parks and will be linked to the parks master plan.

“There has been an ongoing need to fix these trails as soon as possible, which is why we started this process first,” Meewis said. “However, the master plan will address other needs for the rest of the space in each of these parks.”

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