GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Officials with the City of Grants Pass say they are ready to move forward with the development of a new park toward the north side of the city, a project now dubbed Beacon Hill Park.
Grants Pass bought the land originally known as Hillcrest Park Reserve in 2001. The roughly triangular 9.13-acre piece of land is bordered by NE Hillcrest Drive on the north side, NE Beacon Drive on the east, and Interstate 5 on the south and west.
Officials changed the name to Beacon Hill Park more recently after the nearby Hillcrest Memorial Park asked for it, saying "Hillcrest Park" could cause confusion, according to Director of Parks and Community Development Lora Glover.
Glover's department took a survey of nearby residents to gauge what kind of park features and design elements should go into the Beacon Hill Park project, with more than 50 people responding.
“Most of the folks were pretty excited about it,” said Glover.
The most popular features included pathways, trees, a nature playground area, open space, and picnic areas, according to a City statement. Other suggestions included a potential dog park area, bicycle pump tracks, and an arboretum. Those ideas may still be on the table for future additions.
“We could develop this park in phases,” Glover said. According to Glover, the City will be looking at estimates for installing a bike pump track that could show up later.
According to the City, Beacon Hill Park is a part of Grants Pass' Parks Master Plan, but it will still need to go through the Urban Area Planning Commission's approval process That will begin within the next few months.
Glover reported that some neighbors brought of the park's closeness to I-5 as a potential magnet for "attractive nuisances," but Glover said that the park would be "fairly open" for nearby residents to keep an eye out.
“I think neighbors will be able to see and report any issues,” she said. “You can’t prevent everything, but we’ll certainly have our eyes and ears open.”
The latest estimate for Beacon Hill Park's cost is about $495,000, which is outlined in the city's budget. However, Glover said, those costs could go up — particularly if more elements are added to the park.