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Parks planning – Pickleball courts, lake trails to come before city soon

By James Day

The City of Silverton’s work on a master plan for its parks is yielding immediate fruit. Two of its major pieces, a trail system at Pettit Lake and new pickleball courts near the skate park, could see design and construction contracts come before the city as early as next month.

The funds for both facilities have been secured. They will largely be paid for out of the city parks systems development charges (SDCs) fund. SDCs are fees paid by developers to support infrastructure such as streets, sewers, sidewalks and parks. Urban renewal funds and community fundraising might also be part
of the financing mix, Silverton City Manager Cory Misley told Our Town.

The 12.78-acre, city-owned property at the corner of Main Street and Westfield Street near The Oregon Garden likely will be able to accommodate up to six new pickleball courts, city officials said, although the ultimate configuration is subject to the final master plan being fine-tuned by city officials with input from an advisory committee.

The property for the envisioned pickleball courts, already includes the Silverton Senior Center, and may also feature an affordable housing component, with details still being developed for a 3.25-acre piece of the property at its northern edge along Davenport Lane, which likely will be extended, said Jason Gottgetreu, community development director. 

The site, which slopes downhill from the elevated corner of Westfield and Main, and includes marshy areas, but Gottgetreu said that a preliminary wetland report indicated that the ditch and drainage area did not meet the threshold to be defined as wetlands. The report is being reviewed by the Department of State Lands.

The Pettit Lake trails will circle the reservoir, which is on the east side of Main, just south of The Oregon Garden and likely will extend west onto the dog park/skate park property.

Misley noted that the trail will have to connect to city property because of state land use rules, “so it’s reasonable to think it could be there near the dog park.”

The parks master plan itself, meanwhile, which will be a collaboration between city officials and the 15-person parks and recreation master plan advisory committee, is due to be finished sometime this spring. 

The plan must go before state land use officials and the city’s Planning Commission and City Council before it becomes official.

Key pieces of the park master plan that must be addressed include:

• What sort of park will sit south of the new Civic Center building? Options include space for a farmers market, a stage and picnic shelter, an interactive water feature and a nature playground.

• The mix of possible uses for a 40-acre park at the south end of town off of Ike Mooney Road. Disc golf and mountain biking are possible options. The property still must be annexed into the city, and Marion County approval is required.

• Finding ways to enhance and increase the city’s stock of sports fields. This likely will feature cooperative efforts with the Silver Falls School District and local clubs and might involve property at Robert Frost School and Silverton Middle School as well as a 20-acre parcel on Oak Street just northeast of town. That parcel is not yet owned by the city.

• The old dog park along A street near Subway might wind up as parking to ease general parking pressure on downtown, as well as offer space for city employee vehicles and park users.

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