You may remember that in the October edition of the Scottsdale North News, we discussed the possibility of Scottsdale North’s first city park. In 2002, the City of Scottsdale purchased 15 acres of land and since that time, nothing has happened to the property beyond a couple of signs sitting at the site stating that a park is planned. In late October, the City of Scottsdale was finally prompted by public interest to hold its first open meeting to discuss the Sevano Village Park project.

The city reps said that they anticipated 20 or 30 people attending the meeting, but more than 250 interested citizens showed up. Hopefully, this gave the city a sense of the public demand for a park in the area. Reed Pryor, the Manager of Parks and Grounds for the City of Scottsdale, presented a preliminary concept drawing and overview of the project, but made it very clear that there is currently no funding for the development of the park. The current conceptual plans include a playground, basketball court, Pickleball courts, a grassy area, lighting, walkways, parking and restrooms.

Attendees of the meeting seemed to fall into three main groups – dog park supporters, pickleball supporters, and homeowners who are concerned about increased noise and traffic in the neighborhood. The citizens in attendance participated in the discussion and the city listened to comments and suggestions.

Mr. Pryor acknowledged the high demand for pickleball courts and said the city is working to address that demand. He also explained that, while the city would take the citizens’ input into consideration, there would be a high, additional ongoing maintenance cost for a dog park and that plans were currently in progress for a dog park in the Grayhawk area. To address concerns about lighting, noise, and traffic, the city will work on planning the park so that pickleball courts and other areas are in the west part of the park, nearest the existing shopping center.

All in all, the meeting went well and the citizens of Scottsdale North were allowed to voice their concerns and support for a project long overdue. Clearly, funding is the issue and it is likely that some kind of public/private partnership will be the answer. But the city does need to be reminded that Scottsdale North has zero municipal parks in spite of paying some highest property taxes in the city, and the fact that many of the homes are in gated communities where Scottsdale doesn’t even have to maintain the roads.

Some additional updates:
• David Smith, the lone Scottsdale City Council person in attendance that night was not re-elected. Solange Whitehead was elected in his place and we need to educate her.
• The community of Winfield has started construction of two pickleball courts.
• Chris Cummings the head of Sparcaz.com, says he has been contacted by three other possible pickleball opportunities, but the locations were not as ideal as this one.

If you would like to see cell phone videos of the meeting and an interview with Reed Pryor, go to www.ScottsdaleNorthPark.com. Stay tuned for further updates!

Scott Gaertner is an Associate Broker with Keller Williams Northeast, who for the past 25+ years has helped more people to find their lifestyle niche in the Scottsdale North area than anyone else. He also contributes his thoughts on lifestyle interests in the area. If you have something of interest in your community, please contact us at Lifestyles@ScottsdaleNorthNews.com