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Chinook Neighborhood Park (North Salmon Creek)
Answers to Common Questions

How is this project being paid for?
Funding to design and construct this park may come from:

  • Park impact fees, which are paid by new housing developers
  • Real estate excise taxes, which are paid whenever homes are sold
  • Greater Clark Parks District property taxes

Maintenance will also be paid for with property taxes collected by the Greater Clark Parks District (www.clarkparks.org), which is a junior taxing district approved by voters in the unincorporated urban area of Clark County in 2005. These three funding sources are dedicated to parks and cannot be used for other purposes, like fire or police.

Will there be a parking lot and restrooms?
No.  Neighborhood parks are designed for people living in adjacent neighborhoods to walk or ride their bike to, not drive. They are not meant to be “destination” parks that attract visitors from outside the immediate neighborhood. As a result, the budget for this park does not include money for a parking lot or restrooms.

Won't the park development create parking and traffic problems?
A traffic study indicates that, on average, two cars may be parked on one or both of the adjacent roads (NW 7th Court and NW 142nd Street) at any given time during the park’s operating hours. These are both public roads and cars are legally allowed to park on them unless they create a safety hazard or are completely blocking residents’ driveways, in which case the Clark County Sheriff’s Office may be contacted.

Parking and increased traffic has not been a problem at most of the 20 other neighborhood parks the county has built since 2005. The only exceptions have been parks with very large open lawn areas that attract organized sports groups, and parks with skateboarding/BMX “spots” that attract users from outside the neighborhood. Neither of these features is proposed at this park.

Why is a hammerhead cul-de-sac being added to the end of NW 142nd Street?
The county Fire Marshall and Development Engineering offices are requiring that a hammerhead turnaround area be installed at the end of NW 142nd Street as part of the park development project to better accommodate emergency vehicles.

Will there be lighting in the park?
This park is currently used as a shortcut by youth walking to and from nearby schools and by other residents walking to and from businesses on 139th Street/Tenney Road. To better accommodate this use, some low-level pedestrian path lighting may be included in the park, if funding allows. This lighting would be designed to minimize impacts to adjacent neighbors.

What will the hours of operation be for this park?
Before construction starts, staff will request that the Board of Clark County Commissioners approve extending the hours of operation for this particular park beyond what is currently allowed in the Clark County Code. This is being done to try and better accommodate neighbors and their children who reguarly use the park as a shortcut to the nearby schools and businesses. More information about this request will be provided to neighbors on this Web page and through the email distribution list.

Will the existing walking trail be moved away from homes?
Yes. The new trail will be moved approximately 30-100 feet away from adjacent homes on the west side of the park. The existing trail will be covered up and replanted to discourage continued use. The trail cannot be moved any further east because it would impact an area recognized by the state as culturally significant, archaeologically.

Will adjacent properties be screened from the park?
The existing dirt trail next to homes will be covered up and replanted. The county can add more shrubs or small trees along the park’s fence line to help screen adjacent properties. Interested property owners should contact the project manager to request these plantings no later than April 2011 (The project manager's contact information is at the bottom of the main project Web page).

Will there be a skateboarding/BMX bicycling feature in this park?
No. Staff has decided not to include a skateboarding/BMX bicycling space in this park for the following reasons:

  • The majority (59%) of neighbors living within walking distance of the park said a small skateboarding spot was not important to them during the last public comment period. The desire of many neighbors not to include this feature in the park design was also expressed at the public meeting on Jan. 25, 2011.
  • This park is not an ideal location for a skateboarding/BMX feature because it is somewhat secluded and cannot be viewed easily from nearby homes or roadways.
  • The county does not have enough money in the budget to pay for a parking lot at this park. Previous experience at other parks has proven that a skateboarding/BMX bicycling feature of any size will attract visitors from outside the neighborhood who will drive to the park and park on adjacent residential streets. This is something many neighbors specifically asked be discouraged.
  • The cost to maintain parks with a skateboarding/BMX feature is significantly higher than the cost to maintain parks without these features due to increased litter and graffiti. Keeping maintenance costs low is important.

Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation is working with the North Salmon Creek Neighborhood Association to identify a more suitable location for a skate park in the area.

Will the Sheriff’s Office patrol this park on a regular basis?
Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies usually visit public parks only when someone calls 9-1-1 to report a problem or crime in progress. If they are able to drive by the park on the way to or from another assignment, they will scan the park from their vehicles. They will not get out and walk through the park unless they suspect an illegal activity is occurring.

It is important for neighbors and park visitors to keep an eye on the park and report any illegal activities immediately by calling 9-1-1 or by calling the West Precinct directly at (360) 397-6079. The Sheriff’s Office cannot respond to emerging or recurring problems if no one reports them.

What will happen to the adjacent greenway?
The greenway on both sides of the park will remain undeveloped open space and wildlife habitat. It will still be open to the public, but no improvements will be made to it. The county will not separate the greenway from the park with fencing because that would prevent wildlife from traveling through the area.

What will happen to the trees and plants in the park?
Some trees will be removed to make room for new improvements to the park, like the walking trail and playground. Staff will make an effort to locate and design these improvements to minimize impacts to the natural features in the park. Any dead or diseased trees will be removed to protect public safety. Underbrush will also be removed and the lower limbs will be removed from the trees to help improve visibility through the park.

Will the park receive regular maintenance?
Yes. After construction is complete, Clark County Public Works will visit the park at least once a week in the winter and potentially up to seven days a week in the summer, when park use increases, to perform regular maintenance.  Park maintenance includes mowing, weed removal, graffiti removal tree and plant care, trash removal, and equipment repairs.

Can I install a gate from my yard into the park?
Neighbors who share a property line with the park may pay to have a gate installed in the park’s chain link fence after construction is completed. Interested neighbors must contact Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation in advance to request a gate agreement. For more information, call Brian Potter at (360) 487-8323.

 

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