Carbondale residents give `passive’ response to Delaney Property
Carbondale residents are feeling passive about the Delaney Property, so to speak.A townwide survey released this week shows natural passive areas and open space for the future park site are the most popular options for the property.The survey, returned by about 300 people, allowed residents to rate each category on a point scale of zero to four.Carbondale will use the survey and other input to determine how to develop the 33-acre Delaney parcel, located about a quarter-mile northeast of Town Hall.Passive parkland and open space received 965 points, the highest score.Other high-end scorers were trails, rest rooms, a small pond, playground, interpretive/educational displays and an environmental center.Leading the rest of the options was an outdoor ice rink with 467 points, followed by a community garden, softball field, soccer field, exercise fitness course, sculpture garden, sand volleyball court, basketball court, baseball field, horseshoe court, recycling center, Frisbee disk golf course, swinging bridge, affordable housing and shuffle board court.Residents apparently feel that kids, crowds, and bows and arrows don’t mix, because an archery range was dead last with 153 points.When asked about the level of development that should occur, 69 percent said there should be low to medium development, ranging from 25 to 50 percent recreation, and 50 to 75 percent natural open space. Approximately half the site is wetlands.The question of whether affordable housing should be a component was rejected in a 345-52 split.Sports fields were not a high priority for two out of three respondents, as 202 said they shouldn’t be incorporated in a park master plan and 96 said they should.When asked about the wetlands, 250 said they should be enhanced to benefit wildlife and create a more aesthetic park, while 45 said no.Residents also provided their own comments for possible uses, and other observations, which included:-Zen gardens with benches and views like a Japanese garden.-A labyrinth “and have the energy to help manifest it.”-Please, haven’t you spent enough?Proposed names for the park included Delaney Park, Dandelion Park and Deer Fly Park, apparently in honor of the gigantic flies that sometimes infest the area.The town hired OTAK Rock Creek Studio to draft a master plan for the property, based on public input. Stakeholders meetings have been held all week.An open house will be held at Town Hall to discuss and explain the survey and recent input from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, followed by further discussion at OTAK Rock Creek Studio at 36 N. Fourth St.Recreation director Jeff Jackel has said he hopes to present a final park plan to the Board of Trustees on July 9.Jackel said no dollar amount has been set for developing the property, but he has said the project will probably be phased over a number of years.Carbondale has a dedicated 0.5 sales tax that goes toward recreational facilities. It raises about $450,000 per year.
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