County re­duces sports fields for David­son Park

Record Observer - - Sports -

STEVENSVILLE — The num­ber of sports fields planned for David­son Park in Stevensville has been cut in half after cit­i­zens ex­pressed con­cerns about traf­fic at a March 14 pub­lic meet­ing.

Staff from Queen Anne’s County depart­ments of Parks and Pub­lic Land­ings, Pub­lic Works, Plan­ning and Zon­ing and Com­mu­nity Af­fairs met April 14 to dis­cuss cit­i­zen co­ments and ad­dress con­cerns raised.

The 94.52-acre park is at the end of Ben­ton Road, in Stevensville near Old Love Point Park. The pre­lim­i­nary de­sign of the park called for 10 multi-pur­pose fields, walk­ing trails and re­strooms. The prop­erty was pur­chased in 2007 with Pro­gram Open Space Funds. De­vel­op­ment of the park was put on hold in 2011 due to bud­get con­straints.

While the de­vel­op­ment of David­son Park is ex­pected to pro­vide many re­cre­ation ben­e­fits, there will be ad­di­tional traf­fic as­so­ci­ated with park users. Due to the na­ture of the park use, new ve­hic­u­lar trips will oc­cur al­most en­tirely dur­ing the week­day evening hours and on Satur­day.

The re­duc­tion in the num­ber of ac­tive fields pro­posed in the first phase will re­duce the traf­fic im­pacts an­tic­i­pated in the orig­i­nal de­sign as the park will func­tion more of as com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the county.

Should the prop­erty be fully de­vel­oped in the fu­ture, the county is pre­pared to ad­dress traf­fic con­trols, bus ser­vices and man­age the tim­ing of events with tour­na­ment spon­sors to min­i­mize im­pacts to neigh­bors and the com­mu­nity, the county said.

Staff is com­mit­ted to in­ves­ti­gat­ing pedes­trian route op­tions from Old Love Point Park to David­son Park that min­i­mize use of Ben­ton Road, the state­ment said. Staff has re­ceived in­put on side­walks and con­nec­tiv­ity is­sues as a re­sult of the Ch­ester­wye project on State Street and will re­view and pri­or­i­tize con­nec­tiv­ity on a larger ge­o­graphic scale. The parks de­part­ment is look­ing at op­tions for trail con­nec­tions and al­ter­na­tive cross­walk in­di­ca­tors.

In com­plet­ing the re­design of David­son Park and lim­it­ing Phase 1 to five fields, parks staff will ad­dress nec­es­sary park­ing stan­dards, op­por­tu­ni­ties to limit im­per­vi­ous sur­faces and the po­ten­tial to in­clude a grass area for over­flow park­ing.

Pub­lic Works is plan­ning road im­prove­ments to widen and pave Ben­ton Road. This will be com­pleted in con­junc­tion with the ex­ten­sion of new pub­lic wa­ter and sewer lines to park re­strooms and the con­ces­sion stand.

The Parks De­part­ment is co­or­di­nat­ing with the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice to en­hance security. Gates and security light­ing will be in­stalled where ap­pro­pri­ate.

There are no plans to light the pro­posed fields at this time. If, in the fu­ture, lights were pro­posed it is com­mon prac­tice to in­stall dark-sky or sim­i­larly light­ing fix­tures that fo­cus light only on the play­ing fields with very lit­tle spill-over onto ad­ja­cent prop­er­ties, the state­ment said.

Parks staff is work­ing on the re­design of Phase 1 and tak­ing the new pro­posal through the Crit­i­cal Area process. It is an­tic­i­pated the sub­mit­tal for nec­es­sary ap­provals will be com­pleted by June 2016.

To be ADA com­pli­ant, and pro­vide the nec­es­sary park­ing fa­cil­i­ties, the prop­erty had to be re­designed and will need to go through the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Crit­i­cal Area process again. Ini­tially, a phased ap­proach is an­tic­i­pated with only five fields pro­posed as shown on the Con­cept Plan at­tach­ment. The re­main­ing lands would be con­sid­ered fu­ture de­vel­op­ment.

There are no plans to light the pro­posed fields at this time. If, in the fu­ture, lights were pro­posed it is com­mon prac­tice to in­stall dark-sky or sim­i­larly light­ing fix­tures that fo­cus light only on the play­ing fields with very lit­tle spill-over onto ad­ja­cent prop­er­ties, the state­ment said.

Parks staff is work­ing on the re­design of Phase 1 and tak­ing the new pro­posal through the Crit­i­cal Area process. It is an­tic­i­pated the sub­mit­tal for nec­es­sary ap­provals will be com­pleted by June 2016.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Chip Price, direc­tor of the Queen Anne’s County Parks direc­tor, shows a pro­posed de­sign of the 10-field park in Stevensville dur­ing the March 14 David­son Park Town Hall meet­ing at the Percy Thomas Se­nior Cen­ter.

CON­TRIBUTED GRAPHIC

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