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Recommendations include no new road, expanded dog park, interpretive trail

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Members of the Grabhorn park ad-hoc committee attend their final meeting on Aug. 19.The Grabhorn Park ad-hoc committee has finalized recommendations to send to Scappoose city council.

The committee voted at final meeting on Aug. 19 to recommend eliminating plans for a new road above the Grabhorn property, which would have connected E.J. Smith Road to Captain Roger Kucera Way.

Jim Lykins, a member of the ad-hoc committee representing dog park users, motioned to "suggest to the council that the road has no place in the park, is damaging to every and any other plans and should be eliminated from consideration."

Lykins concluded, "There are other, better options."

The committee agreed the dog park should remain at Veterans Park and should be considered for expansion in the future.

The committee also recommended that the Grabhorn parcel include a softball field and soccer field.

In addition, committee members said the fields should include turf and lights if feasible, after a closer look at environmental and budget impacts.

Paul Fidrych, a parks and recreation committee member, said he supported turf and lights but didn't want to make that a strong recommendation without noting that more study is needed.PMG FILE PHOTO - The Grabhorn property neighbors the existing Veterans Park in Scappoose., South County Spotlight - News Survey finds little support for proposal to build pool on city's new Grabhorn property Scappoose scraps pool plans

"I'm all for it, but I don't think we can say we're going to do it without a little more work," Fidrych said.

The committee also recommended making a combination basketball/pickleball court a secondary priority, if there is enough parking and space.

A trail with interpretive signage should be included in the park, the committee agreed. In a survey following a public forum hosted by the committee, residents said they wanted signage to show them the plants and animals that they could see nearby, committee chair Cara Heinze said.

Members approved a motion to recommend including "amenities for all ages and abilities" within the park. In discussion, members noted benches and picnic tables as basic amenities, as well as the option of putting exercise equipment in the parcel.

The committee also recommended that the city be cautious in balancing the need for parking and the need to maintain park space and not harm the cedar trees along the western edge of the property.

"While we recognize the need for additional parking, we encourage them to see that it doesn't affect the usable space of the park itself as much as possible," Lykins said.

The committee, which was made up of the city's parks and recreation committee members and representatives of the dog park, soccer club, softball, Scappoose Bay Watershed Council, and close neighbors, plus an at-large member, made the set of motions unanimously after meeting twice every month since April.

The city presented initial conceptual plans last year, but moved to form an ad-hoc committee after the {obj:56341:plans proved controversial

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The city had initially instructed the committee to come up with two recommendations: one for a park with a pool and one without. But after survey results showed little support for funding a pool through taxes, city council decided to scrap those plans and have the committee focus on a pool-free future for the property.


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