LR park policy | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, April 23, 2009

LR park policy

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Little Rock Parks Commission member Jordan Johnson reports that the group went line-by-line today through a document on park property and made several changes, but took no vote.

The issue here is what type of policy to recommend for the city on disposition of parkland. Ever? (Yes) Conditions? The discussion is spurred by the prospect of selling the city's portion of the former baseball field in War Memorial Park to UAMS. UAMS  first said it wanted the land for parking but now is more ambiguous about its use. This policy now being developed won't be applied to that pending deal, however.

The commission will vote on a final document in May. Seems like it will mostly be symbolic. The city attorney has said the commission is essentially powerless. The City Board will be the final authority. The city manager can make his own changes to any document the commission produces before it goes to the City Board.

Debate today centered first on where money of sales would go. The parks commission wants the money to go back to the parks department. The commission did not adopt a "no net loss" policy on parkland. The sense was that there might be unavoidable situations in which it would be in the best interest of the city, and even parks, to sell more parkland than proceeds might be able to purchase in a more desirable place.

Here's the document from which the commission started work today. But it doesn't reflect changes made in the meeting.

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