The Ashler Hills Neighborhood Park project has been a hot topic in Scottsdale North for years. We recently talked to Nick Molinari, Scottsdale Parks & Recreation’s director, to see where the project is at and how the public can get involved.
SNN: What is the Ashler Hills Neighborhood Park project?
Molinari: The Ashler Hills Neighborhood Park project was included in Scottsdale’s 2019 Bond Election, which was approved by voters in November of 2019. The project was titled “Build a 17-Acre Neighborhood Park at Ashler Hills and 74th Way (Whisper Rock).” The description for the project, as published in the election material, was, “Build a 17-acre neighborhood park to include turf area for unscheduled recreation activities, multi-use lighted sport courts, a playground for ages 2-5, a restroom building and lighted parking area at Ashler Hills Drive and 74th Way.” The approved project budget is $6.1 million. Initial conceptual designs, based on the budget and voter approved project description, include lighted pickeball courts and a basketball court along the commercial border to the west of the project, two turf areas, a shaded playground, a restroom, and a lighted parking lot on the southwest end of the park.
SNN: How can residents get involved and have their voices heard on this project?
Molinari: We invite residents in the area to provide public input on the initial conceptual plans through a virtual public meeting. This online process includes a video presentation that provides a project overview, history, and location, initial concept images, FAQs, and a comment form that provides citizens and stakeholders an opportunity to provide input on the presented material.
Locals can participate in the virtual public meeting by visiting ScottsdaleAZ.gov and search “Ashler Hills.” The virtual open house will be available through mid-October.
SNN: Once feedback is collected, what are the next steps?
Molinari: Once the virtual public meeting is complete, the project team will gather the input that was provided by the public and evaluate how suggestions and input can be incorporated into the project design. Keep in mind that the overall project scope and budget of the future Ashler Hills Park was approved by Scottsdale voters, so the input we receive will impact the design of the park and not the size, scope, budget, or elements that were included in the narrative for the project in the 2019 bond election. After the project team has considered public input and the incorporation of feedback into the project design, the project will be presented for approval to the Parks & Recreation Commission, the Development Review Board, the Planning Commission, and ultimately, Scottsdale City Council.