ashland.news
July 21, 2024

Ashland Parks & Recreation commissioners to discuss finances and future plans

The Ashland Parks and Recreation office in Lithia Park. Bob Palermini photo
December 3, 2023

Revised parks map reflects shifted focus, removes prospective land acquisitions

By Morgan Rothborne, Ashland.news

Revisions to the Parks and Open Space Map and the first quarter financial update are on the agenda for the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission business meeting Wednesday.

The Parks and Open Space Map has been revised for the first time since 2002, and if commissioners approve the final draft, it will move through the process for final approval. The map dictates land acquisition planning and property usage for APRC and was originally created as part of the city of Ashland’s comprehensive plan in 1991.  The 2002 “light update” was never formally approved by City Council or implemented, according to meeting materials. 

The original map largely focused on the-then goal of APRC: a park within a quarter mile of every Ashland residence. With the singular exception of the Croman Mill district, that goal has been achieved. The map has been updated with a new focus — less on need for land acquisition and new priorities such as trail connectivity or protecting riparian land. Around 200 acres previously identified for future purchase will be removed from the map, according to a previous presentation of the map to the Ashland Planning Commission. 

If approved by commissioners, the map will be presented to the Planning Commision and Ashland City Council for final approval.

There will be opportunities for further public input on the map update. A public hearing to consider the proposed update is scheduled for the Planning Commission’s Dec. 12 meeting. A public hearing and first reading before City Council is scheduled for Jan. 16. 

Commissioners will also review a quarterly financial report of fiscal year 2024 Wednesday. The report will cover the period from July 1, 2023, to Sept. 30, 2023. The report will describe the fiscal year adopted budget, expenses year to date and  some changes to the APRC budget — including the commission’s operational budget becoming a part of the city’s general fund, according to meeting materials. 

The Ashland Parks Foundation board of directors will also present an annual report to commissioners. The report will detail projects the foundation is currently working on, such as raising funds for the public art piece “Crystalizing Our Call: Ancestor’s Future,” by Michah BlackLight, the Japanese Gardens and the restoration of the Butler-Perozzi Fountain. 

The meeting is set to start at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the Ashland City Council chamber, 1175 East Main St. Proceedings are cablecast live on Channel 9 (or 180), streamed online at rvtv.sou.edu (RVTV Prime), and posted online at bit.ly/coavideos the day after the meeting.

Email Ashland.news reporter Morgan Rothborne at morganr@ashland.news.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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