Plan is set for future of Sequim’s flagship park

SEQUIM — A plan is in place for the city’s flagship park, Carrie Blake Park, but with it comes a lot of variables.

City Council members approved the Carrie Blake Community Park Master Plan on Monday 6-0 with Councilman John Miller absent.

It includes development plans for Carrie Blake Park’s 22.42-acre parcel and the Water Reuse Demonstration Site’s 28.85-acre parcel.

Projects range from restructuring the entrance to Carrie Blake Park and constructing new roads to installing a playground by the holding pond in the Water Reuse site.

Sequim Parks Manager Joe Irvin said the plan doesn’t propose allocating funds or set a specific timeline but recommends a hierarchy for projects and what should be constructed together to save costs.

Among the top priorities are widening and laying down new asphalt for the Olympic Discovery Trail, continuing maintenance on the Albert Haller Playfields, installing new vegetation buffers and improving intersections with striped sidewalks and curbed ramps.

Councilman Bob Lake said the plan provides a structure for the city and doesn’t say it will agree to pay for everything.

“Everything integrates now,” he said. “Also, if you have a plan, you can get grants.”

Traditionally, the city spends about $100,000 annually on parks, so city leaders say they’ll look for more partnerships.

Costs of proposals

The new master plan lists all of the existing and proposed projects in the park that would cost an estimated $32.4 million today, but Irvin said proposed projects come to about $19.8 million.

“Historically, the city of Sequim has partnered with various groups,” City Manager Charlie Bush said.

Councilman Ted Miller said a majority of users of city parks come from Clallam County.

“We need to work hard to get some county funding for some of this effort,” he said.

Possibly the biggest change to users that is outlined in the Carrie Blake Master Plan is shifting the entrance to the parks.

A south entrance between the skate park and Trinity United Methodist Church would connect to North Rhodefer Road with a roundabout in the middle to prevent speeding.

Roundabout

The roundabout also would direct traffic toward the Guy Cole Center.

The existing main entrance would be closed.

Consultants wrote that relocating the entrance would allow for unrestricted flow in Bell Creek, eliminate flooding and reduce traffic issues west of the park.

The plan incorporates proposed master plans from such stakeholders as the Olympic Peninsula Demonstration Garden, Sequim City Band and Sequim Picklers.

It also continues efforts by the city and Sequim Family Advocates to create 60-plus parking spots.

Other items listed in the Carrie Blake Community Park Master Plan include:

■   Striping parking spots around Guy Cole Mini-Convention center.

■   Creating four tennis courts north of the skate park.

■   Redesigning the skate park for better use while limiting the park’s footprint and creating a vegetation buffer between it and the pickleball courts to its east.

■   Creating tiered seating around the James Center for the Performing Arts.

Space wasn’t found in the parks to include a BMX track, basketball courts, bocce ball and a climbing wall.

Consultants urged city officials to work with Clallam County on a BMX park and Sequim school officials about basketball courts.

They suggested installing bocce ball courts in smaller neighborhood parks and smaller climbing wall panels at the Guy Cole Center or skate park with safety surfacing.

The Carrie Blake Community Park Master Plan is at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-Carrieblakepark.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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