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Share Your Thoughts on the Future of Point Defiance
Metro Parks is asking for public feedback in the ongoing master planning process for Point Defiance Park. Destination Point Defiance sets a vision for the future of the crown jewel of Tacoma's parks system.
Metro Parks invites the public to join the process to complete the master plan in several ways in the coming months
They want you to start by reviewing the one-page 2008 Concept Plan for Point Defiance Park, which will serve as the foundation for the formal master plan. It lays out a vision that will shape the park's future. The work in the coming months will be to affirm and refine this vision.
Beginning next week the public will have opportunities to provide feedback on the concept plan, including four open house style public meetings where planners will discuss progress on the Master Plan so far. This series of open houses will give the public opportunities to view graphics, maps, and diagrams related to the plan; ask questions; and give face-to-face feedback.
Each open house will begin at 6 pm at the Pagoda in Point Defiance Park:
- January 29: Review of the 2008 Concept Plan for Point Defiance Park.
- February 26: This will build on the January 29 open house.
- March 26: This will build on the February 26 open house.
- April 23: A review of the semifinal master plan that will be submitted to the Board for approval in late spring.
Work Already Underway
The Capital Bond adopted by voters in 2014 will allow Metro Parks to advance additional improvements, including the creation of a formal Master Plan for parks in Tacoma, and a few other projects that are ready to go. You should be seeing work on the 11-acre peninsula park at Point Defiance - that finger of land that wraps around the outside of the Tacoma Yacht Club will be transformed into a public park with amazing views, bike and pedestrian trails, and an open space for festivals and other events. Also underway is planning for a new Pacific Rim aquarium to replace the current 50+ year-old aquarium at the zoo.
Concepts in the Plan
Looking at the concept plan, we see upgrades planned for both entrances to the park at Pearl and Mildred streets (finally!). We also see big plans for the marina and ferry terminal area, including the creation of a "maritime village" with retail and restaurant opportunities, additional parking, and increased boating and water access facilities.
The plan also includes major changes for the Gig Harbor viewpoint. The plan moves Five Mile drive away from the eroding bluff, replacing it with an outer loop of pedestrian trail, and making upgrades to the picnic area, possibly including a playground.
The "Triangle" area, just to the right as you enter the park from Pearl Street, could potentially see the biggest set of changes. Besides a pedestrian and bike bridge connecting this area to the rest of the park over the Ferry approach road, the plan lists among the improvements to this area the addition of below grade parking for 1,000+ cars with new park space on top, and that new retail/lodge/conference center we heard about back in ...
Also of interest are plans for the often-neglected southwestern "Baker Tract" section of the park, which could include a potential off-leash dog park, "less invasive activities" like ropes courses, and an expansion of the "historic zone" around Fort Nisqually. There will also be some less sexy, but no less necessary, work going on to clean up unremediated soil contamination in sections of the park, to build a regional stormwater facility, and to restore shoreline habitat.
Among other things, we like the notes in a couple categories to "minimize number of vehicular and pedestrian conflicts." What do you see that you like? What would you like to see?
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