County Acquires Land for Moorland Neighborhood Park

January 5, 2015 in News

Community and County will partner to design a park that reflects the Moorland neighborhood

On December 22, 2014, Sonoma County completed the purchase of land in the Moorland neighborhood for use as a new park. The County will partner with residents and community groups in a collaborative planning process to design a park that reflects the character of the children and families that reside in the neighborhood.

“After over a year of intense effort from Moorland residents, community organizations, county departments, and the Board of Supervisors, the County has successfully acquired two lots which will be the home of a new park in the Moorland neighborhood,” said Supervisor Efren Carrillo, whose district includes the project site. “I am thrilled that we are now able to take the next steps to work with the community to plan for a park in Moorland, fulfilling a critical need for the neighborhood.”

Building a park is one of the key goals of the Moorland Healthy Neighborhood Plan, which was developed by the Moorland Neighborhood Advisory Team (NAT) in collaboration with Community Action Partnership, Regional Parks, and Health Services. The NAT is comprised of approximately 20 members of the Moorland community, and was formed to identify and build upon the neighborhood’s assets, and develop strategies to improve the physical conditions of the neighborhood and facilitate health behaviors. To continue the community dialogue and guide the implementation of the Plan, including park planning and design, the Neighborhood Advisory Team transformed into the Neighborhood Action Team, and will work with neighbors, County and City Agencies, and local non-profits to advance the Plan’s goals.

“The Board recognizes the need for a park in this neighborhood, and is dedicated to seeing it built,” said Board Chairman David Rabbitt. “The acquisition of these properties is a major milestone, and we are looking forward to seeing the next steps of the park development process unfold.”

A celebration will be held at 1pm on Saturday, January 31, at the site, to mark the milestone of purchasing the property and kick off the planning process. Next steps will include opportunities for residents to share their thoughts about what the future park could look like, and what features it could include. “We’re excited to work with the neighborhood to develop a vision for the park and the best process for gathering ideas,” said Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart. Planning, design, and environmental studies will take place throughout 2015.

The property was in tax default and was purchased by the County from the Auditor Controller Treasurer Tax Collector for $57,400 owed in back taxes. The property was slated to be auctioned on October 18, 2014, but the County filed a written objection to the public auction sale in accordance with state law, and filed an application to purchase the property for use as a public park. On October 21 the board approved the sale. In accordance with state law, approval was received from the State Controller, and notice of sale was given to interested parties and published, and the owner was given an additional 21 days to pay back taxes.  When these were not paid, the County was able to complete purchase the property and begin plans for the upcoming park.

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The County of Sonoma is comprised of 25 departments and agencies that provide a full range of services to the community. It encompasses over 1600 square miles and is home to almost 500,000 residents. Sonoma County government has a history of providing excellent and responsive public service while operating under sound fiscal principles.

Located less than one hour north of San Francisco, Sonoma County combines in one location the beautiful Pacific coastline, award-winning wineries, majestic redwoods, historic towns, fine dining, and a wide variety of entertainment and cultural activities.

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