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 City Engineer Bill Huotari, Public Works Director Kurt Bovensiep, City Manager Mark Miller and project manager Ashely Levin take a look in August 2018 at the walking path that starts at the Daisy Knight Dog Park and goes to 17 Mile Road, just east of the Troy Historic Village.

City Engineer Bill Huotari, Public Works Director Kurt Bovensiep, City Manager Mark Miller and project manager Ashely Levin take a look in August 2018 at the walking path that starts at the Daisy Knight Dog Park and goes to 17 Mile Road, just east of the Troy Historic Village.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Splash pad, multiuse trails round out new parks and rec plan

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published February 5, 2020

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TROY — Splash pads, trails, concerts, shows, exercise and family activities topped the list of what those surveyed want for parks and recreation activities in Troy.

After a public hearing, the Troy City Council unanimously approved the city’s 2020-2024 parks and recreation master plan Jan. 27.

Carlisle/Wortman Associates, the city’s planning consultant, compiled and analyzed the responses from resident surveys and compiled a list of goals and objectives.

Ashely Levin, the project manager for the Troy Department of Public Works, presented the goals to the council:

• Maintaining and upgrading existing parks facilities at all parks.

• Developing a comprehensive trails and pathways system throughout Troy.

• Pursuing alternative revenue opportunities to maintain and improve parks and recreation facilities and programs.

• Reviewing and refining recreation program offerings.

• Supplementing and increasing the existing urban forest.

• Increasing awareness of Troy recreation properties and programming.

Levin said that in updating the plan, they incorporated suggestions from the Green Space Sub-Committee to protect and invest in the city’s parks, as well as 735 responses to an online survey and 231 community pop-up surveys at venues including outdoor concerts and the Troy Farmers Market.

“Adopting a plan and submitting it to the (Michigan) Department of Natural Resources does open up opportunities for us to apply for different types of grants and different sources of funding,” Levin said.

She noted that the Troy Historic Village was included in the plan. “It provides a level of protection for the Troy Historic Village moving forward and would be included in future plans because it’s being added.”

Kurt Bovensiep, the director of public works, explained that once the historic village goes into the parks and recreation master plan, it has to be used as parkland. “It can’t be sold. It can’t be leased. It’s there forever.”

“It can be disposed of with a vote of the people,” Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm told the council.

“Putting it in the plan does protect that and protects more green space in the city,” said Mayor Ethan Baker.

The survey was available online July 8-Sept. 9.

 

What residents want
When asked what was important, respondents said maintenance, programming, developing a communitywide trail system, preserving natural resources, maintaining sports fields and adding handball/pickleball courts. Residents’ wish lists included:

• Multiuse walking paths.

• Rustic walking paths.

• A splash pad.

• Playground structures.

• Fitness and exercise trails.

Bovensiep explained to the council that while 71% of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay for upgrades to parks and programs, the survey question did not specify if that would be through user fees or a millage.

“We have really engaged residents,” Bovensiep said, referring to those who responded to the survey.

Also, 75% of the respondents said they want a trail network to be developed.

“Recreational opportunity doesn’t necessarily mean someone has to visit one of our city of Troy parks,” Bovensiep told the council. “Green space, open space recreation opportunities can mean something on private land, on something that is privately maintained. So we’ll continue to work hard on that through the cluster ordinance, where it preserves that open and green space through development.”

In October 2016, the City Council adopted a cluster zoning designation that offers density bonuses for restricting housing unit sizes to 1,500 square feet and for sustainable designs — including green infrastructure and naturalized stormwater management — and it requires the developer to preserve 20% open space.

Bovensiep said that First United Methodist Church, on Livernois Road, north of Square Lake Road, approached the city requesting a way to connect its property with a neighborhood to the west through city-owned property — North Glen Park — via a rustic trail.

Bovensiep said that the city is exploring constructing a more permanent paved trail through the city property and the church property to provide connectivity and expand the pathway system.

He told the council that the city will continue to develop partnerships with places of worship, colleges and other entities in the community, looking for those partnership opportunities.

“They may be looking for opportunities; we may be looking for space to put those,” he said.“Those partnerships do exist out there, and we will continue to cultivate those.”

“The Troy Historical Society commends the city of Troy for including the Troy Historic Village in its 2020-2024 parks and recreation plan,” Loraine Campbell, the executive director of the Troy Historic Village, said via email. “The approved plan provides additional legal protection for this cultural resource.”

The new parks and recreation master plan is available at troymi.gov.

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