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Rendering Shows Design for Large Southwest Lakeland Park

A rendering shown to city commissioners on Friday gives the public a glimpse of the design being considered for a large new park planned for Southwest Lakeland at Pipkin and Medulla roads near Lakeland Linder International Airport.

“We’re talking well over almost 101.5 acres in an area that is extremely active right now in terms of residential development,” Chuck Barmby, the city’s planning and transportation manager, told commissioners at their agenda study meeting on Friday.

It “goes to great strides of satisfying one more big level of service needs for a park facility in this area. And so this is a result of probably 10 or 15 years of investigation between Parks and Recreation, Community Development (and) others to find a suitable sight,” he said.

View a larger version

Barmby said it will be comparable in size to the combined Lake Parker and Lake Crago parks on the city’s north side.

Amenities shown in the rendering include:

  • A library/recreation building
  • Multipurpose fields
  • Small- and large-dog parks
  • The playground
  • The pedestrian trail
  • Pickleball courts
  • Bathroom facilities
  • Shelters
  • Existing wetlands with ponds

The city is taking the first steps in the process of developing the site by seeking to amend the future land use map of the Comprehensive Plan from “Suburban Special Purpose” to “Preservation, Conservation, Recreation.”

The Planning and Zoning Board on June 21 already approved the land-use change. The City Commission is scheduled to take it up at its Sept. 6 meetings.

Parks and Recreation Director Bob Donahay said earlier this month that residents in neighboring subdivisions are already excited, stopping his maintenance crews to ask when the park might open.

The property sits adjacent to the Riverstone community and there are plans to have an entrance for neighborhood residents.

Barmby said the timetable is to open the park by 2030 – within eight years. But some commissioners are hoping to move that date up.

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