City asks public for ideas about parks

Input will inform new parks master plan

FUTURE PARKS The park facility master plan provides an overview of the city's 15 parks. The community was asked for their ideas over a series of public meetings held over the summer.
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As the summer heat continues, discussion over the future of city parks in Hollister has warmed up.

“One of the products of the plan will be the development of a capital improvement program and budget,” said City Engineer David Rubcic about the park facility master plan that has been the subject of multiple community meetings over the summer. “This program will provide guidance to city staff for implementation of park improvements. The plan will identify the areas where new parks will be located and of what size the park will be when completed.”

The park master plan acts as a guiding document for city policymakers, staff and developers when it comes to Hollister’s 15 parks.

The last plan was adopted in 2002, the same year a massive sewer spill in the city triggered a six-year building moratorium that was quickly followed by another growth killer – the great recession.

Councilman Jim Gillio said parks are an integral part of the community.

“I want people to be involved in the process,” Gillio said by phone Tuesday. “Not just only elected officials, but everyday business owners and community members.”

City staff held a string of summer meetings to discuss potential park plan updates. Eight people attended the final community discussion August 3 at the Veterans Memorial Building.

“There was discussion about the baseball diamonds being used just one to two times per week,” Rubcic said. “There was a short discussion on parks maintenance and greater participation between the schools and the recreation department.”

Community concerns raised at the meetings include: controlling transients in the park, installing more walking and biking trails, encouraging programmed activities at the parks and ensuring maintenance needs are met, according to O’Dell Engineering Principal Landscape Architect Chad Kennedy.

“We are still evaluating the data obtained from surveys and public meetings to determine what the greatest needs are in the community,” Kennedy said in an email. “This information will be included in the draft master plans.”

Now that the community meetings are over, a draft master plan will be submitted to city staff for review and then presented to city council for adoption.

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