Five-year parks and rec plan ready for final review

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published January 18, 2017

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ROYAL OAK — Residents have less than a month to provide final input on the city’s parks and recreation master plan.

City officials said that over the last several months, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Recreation Department, the Public Services Department and the City Manager’s Office have worked to complete a five-year parks and recreation master plan with an increased focus on public input.

City officials said that resident interest and input in the plan has been strong, surpassing that of previous plans.

Alannah Doak, graduate city management intern, said residents’ thoughts, suggestions and ideas have guided the new document via feedback from the parks and recreation master plan survey and two community workshops. The survey has generated more than 600 responses. The 30-day display cycle for the master plan will end Feb. 8.

Doak said that residents are now invited to view the 2017-22 city of Royal Oak Parks and Recreation Master Plan draft on the city’s website at www.romi.gov, at the Recreation Department inside City Hall at 211 S. Williams St., at the Mahany/Meininger Senior Center at 3500 Marais Ave. and at the Royal Oak Public Library at 222 E. 11 Mile Road.

There is a link on the website that residents can use to submit their comments. They also can send written comments through the mail to the City Manager’s Office, Doak said.

Acceptance of the master plan in 2017 will renew the document one year early.

“The reason why — that we’re doing a new master plan one year early — is because we wanted to include Eagle Plaza and Normandy Oaks and be able to apply for grants for those specific parks that are not included in the current master plan,” Doak said.

Doak said that the final plan is scheduled to be submitted to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Feb. 9.

If the plan is approved at that meeting, it will be submitted to the City Commission on Feb. 13 for final approval.

Once approved by the City Commission, Doak said, the document will be submitted to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to qualify the city for grant funding. She said that the deadline to submit the plan to qualify for grants for this year is March 1.

DNR guidelines require that a public hearing, with notice, be held at the time of final approval to give residents the chance to comment on the plan before it is finalized.

Residents are invited to attend that public hearing, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13 during the regularly scheduled City Commission meeting inside City Hall.

“We do need to update it. We have a couple of new parks in the works here and certainly want to be eligible for amazing grant opportunities that come down the pike,” said Mayor Michael Fournier.

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