Archive for Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shawnee park up for expansion with land trade

August 13, 2014

— The city will consider a land trade in the coming month that would double the length of the Bichelmeyer-Pflumm Park trail and increase the park's acreage by one-third of an acre.

The somewhat hidden park near Johnson Drive and Pflumm Road would increase from 4.02 acres to 4.33 acres if a parcel of land on the north end of the is traded for a larger parcel in the northeast corner of the park where a developer is hoping to build a senior living center. The developer would be responsible for costs to develop the park, estimated at more than $465,000. That cost would be eligible for reimbursement through Tax Increment Financing, or a TIF.

TIF applications are made in areas where development would be considered extraordinarily difficult without a public-private partnership, and if approved, taxes generated from the increase in the property's value would be used to help pay for the development.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on Sept. 8 and scheduled the final vote for the approval of the plan for Sept. 22.

Parks and Recreation Director Neil Holman told the council that the city, by exchanging the land, would not bear any financial responsibility in building several new elements in the park.

"We will receive the money from the developer and it will go into the Cobblestone Project fund to build the park," Holman said. "No money will come out of the city, it will all be brought in by the developer and paid by the developer."

Proposed additions to the park through the exchange include an extended trail, the construction of a larger playground, five exercise stations along the trail, a small plaza area with seating and new trailheads. Also, the shelter currently at the park would be moved to Jaycee Park and a new, larger shelter would be built in its place. The developments, Holman said, would benefit the developer by adding attractive elements to the park for the proposed senior living center's population.

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