Gaps in the current park and recreation system were listed by small roundtable discussion groups at Brainerd's comprehensive planning public meeting Thursday. Items discussed included:
* Elderly or disabled access to parks.
* Developers being required to give 7 percent of land to the city in some cases instead of the option of land or an equivalent in money.
* Potential park and recreation area by Franklin Junior High School as the school use changes.
* Green space valued on its own without park equipment.
Better dog control.
* Underused Crow Wing County Fairgrounds.
* Additional river front spaces and growth along river front.
* Youth center, specifically designed for teens, with the idea that a youth summit could help address what is needed.
* Convention center with banquet facilities.
* Unified connection of trail system.
* Nontraditional parks for skateboard, BMX, outdoor pool, amphitheater -- possibly by the river.
* Walk/bike trail from Potlatch near water level out to Boom Lake.
* Lack of a safe walking method to get across several busy streets in the city such as from Quince Street to Kiwanis Park.
* Needs for bike walking trails throughout the city.
* Lack of playground spaces in southwest Brainerd residential areas and far southeast new development areas.
* Connections across both Brainerd and Baxter to get to the new Forestview Middle School.
The groups also identified sites of significance, existing park amenities and they looked at future land use with a goal of what Brainerd should look like in the future at least 20 years hence.
Two more meetings, Feb. 20 and March 20, will give the public additional comment times as the comprehensive plan is developed.
Written comments are accepted via e-mail to consultant Phil Carlson, senior planner with Dahlgren Shardlow and Uban, at email@example.com.
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