The proposed updates to the master plan lay out suggested new amenities to be added to parks across the city based on community input gathered through committee meetings dating back to September 2019.
Each park and its proposed list of amenities were grouped and ranked based on the level of importance to the community. Upgrades to the Southlake Sports Complex ranked first, followed by Bob Jones Park, Liberty Park at Sheltonwood, North Park and Koalaty Park.
Most popular requested amenities included pickleball courts, dog parks, wheel-friendly parks for skating and rollerblading as well as sand volleyball courts.
“[City Council] is aware of the community’s desires,” said Frances Scharli, chair of the Parks and Recreation Board.
According to Chris Tribble, director of Parks and Recreation, these master plan projects, once adopted by the council, are funded through the Parks Development Corporation's half-cent sales tax. Every time someone spends money in Southlake, a portion of the sales tax goes toward the development of city parks.
The estimated costs for upgrades to the Southlake Sports Complex is close to $27 million, Tribble said.
“We typically pay cash for all of our capital projects,” he said. “We typically have about $4 million a year that we could put towards implementing this master plan. So, if you have $4 million, and it's a $27 million project, you just build it up.”
Tribble said there is no set timeline regarding the completion of each project, but that construction is not expected to begin before 2023.
“There's just too many things that are in the works that have to happen, starting with the City Council adopting the plan,” he said.
The last comprehensive update to the Parks, Recreation & Open Space Master Plan was in 2013. This is part of the city’s 2035 Comprehensive Master Plan.
Southlake currently has 1,139 acres of public parks.
Planning and Zoning recommended the plan for adoption during its May 10 meeting. City Council will discuss the first reading of the proposed master plan at its June 1 meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall.