Gearhart is poised to develop a parks and recreation master plan after the state awarded the city $15,000 grant funds for the project. The award is part of the 2019 Local Government Grant Program from the Oregon Parks Department. The state’s contribution will be met with an additional $4,000 from the city toward project cost.
Along with the city of John Day, Linn County and the county of Umatilla, Gearhart was one of four local governments to receive a local government grant.
“Hopefully we are able to follow the same strategy as our transportation plan a while back,” Mayor Matt Brown said in announcing the grant at the Oct. 2 City Council meeting. “We’ve got a lot of great ideas — we’ve talked about pickleball, improving our parks, ways to connect them, and to have recreational options for our citizens.”
In September, Gearhart planner Carole Connell drafted a summary of the plan, which aims to develop a parks and recreation master plan for land within the Gearhart urban growth boundary.
The plan, which will ultimately become incorporated in the city’s comprehensive plan, will study the use of existing facilities and assess park needs as well as identify future sources of funding to meet plan goals.
The plan is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2021, according to Mark Cowan of the Parks and Recreation Department. “This will ensure continued credibility and success of the local government grant program by demonstrating effective results to citizens and policy makers,” he wrote in announcing the grant.
The plan is a top goal of the Gearhart Planning Commission, which has “the skills, interest, continuity and time to do the work,” Connell said in her plan summary.
The project will be coordinated with state and local agencies and nonprofits including the Oregon Department of Transportation, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Environmental Quality, the city of Seaside, the Seaside School District, Clatsop County, and the North Coast Land Conservancy.
Gearhart planning officials will schedule public informational meetings, provide city blog updates, public notices, correspondence and regular updates to the City Council during the plan development, concluding with adoption of the plan and policy implementation.