Master plan addresses ‘diverse needs’

In News by Reporter News

Friendswood continues to work through snags in improvements to its parks system, part of a master plan that includes both water and canine recreation.

Access to what will be known as Lake Friendswood will be through the West Ranch Subdivision, according to a recent agreement. Friendswood Development Co. has agreed to allow access through the subdivision, according to city documents, and design services for a walking trail, fishing pier and other amenities are under way.

Friendswood City Council received a report of current projects being undertaken by the city at its Monday meeting.

In Stevenson Park, a splash pad expansion and renovation of a pool manager’s office into a restroom are nearing completion. In addition, a pedestrian bridge expected to link Stevenson and Old City parks is entering “final design plans,” and nearby property that would optimize the trail system’s alignment with the planned bridge is under contract.

Final drawings detailing the Sports Park improvements will be received in May, a year after the design contract was awarded. Once the plans are received, bid packages will be put together to advertise for construction, staff reported.

At 1776 Park, where a disk golf course was completed last year, city staff is now working with FEMA on fencing requirements needed for a dog park. Only certain types of fences are allowed along the floodway that will not impede flow during extreme storm events, – and that type of fencing is “substantially more expensive than previously anticipated,” according to the city.

At this time, city staff is seeking guidance to determine if alternative sites should be considered.
Canoe portage, too, has been discussed, but the city again ran into difficulties regarding the need for a Corps of Engineering permit.

Parks and Recreation board chairman Thomas Goodwin reports the board is continuing to look at and make revisions to the city’s Master Plan to address changes to the city’s green spaces.

“As a board, we feel the plan continues to show the most pressing item on the table is to address the diverse needs of our community,” he said in an update to city council.

“At first thought, you may think our work on the Master Plan is only geared to meet the needs of a few, but as you discover youth sports fields benefit the community as a whole. While youth sports are extremely important, our findings have shown as we develop the Master Plan that we would love to see this development of recreation areas for eco-tourism, hike and bike trails, dog parks and a place to enjoy water recreation, just to name a few.”

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