Moorland Neighborhood Park

Master Planning

A draft Master Plan has been created for this new proposed 4 acre neighborhood park on the corner of Moorland Ave and W. Robles in unincorporated Southwest Santa Rosa. Regional Parks contracted with Royston, Hanamoto, Alley and Abey (RHAA) along with Shared Spaces to lead a participatory, community-based design process. After meeting with various stakeholders and neighborhood residents the team organized a steering committee who met regularly and participated in the leadership of the project along with Regional Parks and the design consultants. The steering committee helped to plan and de-brief a series of four public workshops outlined below that took place during the fall of 2015.

Each workshop was designed around the particular phase in the process to maximize the community’s participation in the key decisions that will define their park.  In the beginning the process was clearly outlined, and important project parameters, such as budget and site constraints, described.  When limitations exist information was shared up front and participants engaged in considering the trade-offs.  Whenever possible and appropriate the team started with a blank page, rather than a proposal, and throughout the process the project team utilized a variety of communication techniques to be sure everyone’s voice is equally heard.

Naming the Park

In addition to all the work that went into determining what elements would be included in the plan, and how best to lay them out on the site, a significant amount of discussion time in the meetings was also devoted to the question of how the park should be named. While the working title for the Master Planning project continues to be ‘Moorland Neighborhood Park’, it became clear that the community desired a name for the park that reflects the neighborhood and importantly pays tribute to the life of Andy Lopez who was shot and killed on the site. Various name proposals were forwarded during the process, and at their last meeting on Dec. 3rd, the steering committee earnestly attempted to reach consensus on a name to propose for the park plan.  After three rounds of voting and much discussion the two names with the most support from the group were “Andy’s Unity Park” (receiving 71% support) and “Andy Lopez Memorial Park” (receiving 43% support).  Both names were considered along with the Master Plan at the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC) Meeting on Jan. 25th.

County Review Meetings

County Environmental Review Committee Meeting (ERC): The meeting was held on January 5th and the committee unanimously agreed that the Mitigated Negative Declaration was the correct environmental document and recommended to proceed pursuant to CEQA.

Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission meeting (PRAC): The project was presented at the January 25th meeting of the Commission.  The meeting was well attended by members of the public.  After a number of public comments and some discussion, the Commission unanimously voted to recommend the Draft Master Plan with the preferred park name of “Andy’s Unity Park” to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

Public Workshop Outline

Date & Time Workshop Topic

September 3
6:30 p.m.

Workshop #1   Project Introduction, Site Analysis and Park Programming

September 17
6:30 p.m.

Workshop #2 Creating Conceptual Park Designs

October 8
6:30 p.m.

Workshop #3 Evaluating Alternatives & Choosing a Preferred Conceptual Plan

November 12
6:30 p.m.

Workshop #4 Refining the Draft Master Plan**

All workshops were located in an event tent set up on the park site at the corner of W. Robles.  The agendas, presentation materials, and notes for each meeting are provided in chronological order.

Notes and Materials from Steering Committee Meetings and Public Workshops (In chronological order)

Steering Committee #1: Introductions, Roles, Parameters of Project
August 20, 2015 – 6:30 PM, Carrillo Place Apts. Community Room, 25+/- people

Community Workshop #1: Introduction, Site Analysis & Programming
September 3rd, 2015 – 6:30 PM, Event tent on the park site, 100+/- people

Community Workshop #2: Creating Conceptual Designs
September 17th, 2015 – 6:30 PM, Event tent on the park site, 60+/- people

Steering Committee #2: Distilling Concepts into Alternatives
September 24th, 2015 – 6:30 PM, Carrillo Place Apts. Community Room, +/- 28 people

Community Workshop #3: Evaluating Conceptual Alternatives
October 8th, 2015 – 6:30 PM, Event tent on the park site, 60+/- people

Steering Committee #3: Evaluating the Preferred Alternative
October 29th, 2015 – 6:30 PM, Carrillo Place Community Room, +/- 22 Steering committee members               

Community Workshop #4: Refining the Draft Master Plan
November 12th, 2015 – 6:30 PM, Tent on park site, +/- 34 community members (not including kids and staff)

Steering Committee #4: Final Refinements to the Master Plan
December 3rd, 2015 – 6:30 PM, Carrillo Place Community Room, +/- 25 Steering committee members      

Background

A park has been envisioned for this area for many years.  There are no parks within a half mile of the Moorland site, which is the typical neighborhood park service area. In fact, the closest park is Southwest Community Park, more than 2 miles away.  During the 1990s the developer of the Parkview subdivision to the north had proposed a second phase of construction which was to include a small neighborhood park.  The streets and utilities were built, but the project was never developed as proposed.  The property was declared in tax default for non-payment of delinquent taxes and was acquired through tax liens by Sonoma County and Purchased by the Sonoma County Parks Department in 2014.

Based on historical topographic maps, previous to the development of Horizon Way and the Parkview subdivision, the park site contained a working orchard and farmstead including bungalow, barn and associated out buildings dating back to 1916.  At some point between 1972 and 1982 the farm house and barn were removed, but the orchard remained.  The Northwestern Pacific Railroad tracks have existed along the western boundary through the entire period documented by the historical maps (78 years).  A cultural resource report and environmental assessment report are available below and provide more detail about the history of the park site.

The topography of the park site is generally flat with elevations ranging from 108 to 112 feet above sea level.  The vacant lots are dominated by disturbed, non-native grassland and is interspersed with small stands of apple trees, which appear to be the remnants of the former orchard.  A seasonal wetland is identified in the southern area of larger parcel which and encompasses .45 acres.  A complete Biological Resource Assessment is available below.

Resources:

Funding

Available funds for the project are provided by a combination of grant funds including the California Department of Housing and Community Development, Housing Related Parks Program, and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Matching Grant Program, with the addition of County general funds.

Additional fundraising efforts are ongoing and The Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation has established an account for accepting park donations.  Please visit the foundation website for more details at http://SonomaCountyParksFoundation.org

Resources:

Next Steps

A draft Master Plan was reviewed and confirmed by the steering committee at their last meeting on December 3rd meeting.  The updated draft Master Plan reflects suggestions made at that meeting, and is currently available on this website for public review and comment through the end of February 2016 as a part of the approval process that will culminate with the submittal of the Master Plan (and proposed park name of “Andy’s Unity Park”) and CEQA document (IS/MND) on March 15th to the Board of Supervisors for their approval.

Having been heard by the County’s Environmental Review Committee and recommended for approval by the County Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC), the public review period of the draft IS/MND document was completed with the State Clearinghouse on March 1, 2016.

Shortly after the approval of the Master Plan, Regional Parks will begin the Design Development phase which will involve additional steering committee meetings and a public workshop to review more detailed plans for the various park elements.  This phase will roll directly into the creation of construction drawings and bid documents with construction anticipated to start in June 2016.

Anticipated Overall Project Timeline

Timeframe Project Process
Aug. 2015 –
Feb. 2016
Master Planning and Environmental Review (CEQA)
March 15, 2016 Board of Supervisors to approve Master Plan & adopt CEQA document
Spring/Summer 2016 Design Development, Engineering and Bidding
Summer/Fall 2016 Construction

Become Involved

Upcoming review meetings:

  • Board of Supervisors meeting to approve the Master Plan, March 15
  • Public workshop - Design Development #1, date TBD
  • Public workshop - Design Development #2, date TBD

Public meeting dates for the Design Development phase and other planning information will be posted on this website. To get the latest news, please sign up for “Planning Updates” in the upper right of this page.

Written comments on the draft Master Plan and/or the park planning process in general should be sent via email or US Mail to:

  • Email: scott.wilkinson@sonoma-county.org
  • Written comments:
    • Attn: Moorland Neighborhood Park Master Plan Project, Scott Wilkinson
      Sonoma County Regional Parks Department
      2300 County Center Drive, #120A
      Santa Rosa, Ca 95403

For more information, please contact Scott Wilkinson, Project Manager, by phone at (707) 565-2734 or by email at scott.wilkinson@sonoma-county.org or Steve Rasmussen Cancian, Community Organizer, by phone at (213) 400-5426 or by email at canciansteve@gmail.com (bilingue).

Questions or Comments?

Contact Project Manager:

Scott Wilkinson
Call:  (707) 565-2734
Email:  Scott Wilkinson

Project Update

See below for current rendering of the Draft Master Plan graphic and Draft Master Plan Report including supporting graphic renderings and project information.  Also available below is the Draft Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration that has been prepared and submitted to the State Clearinghouse pursuant to CEQA.

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