Park Board Minutes

March 20, 2006

A regular meeting of the Hopkins Park Board was held on March 20, 2006.

  1. Call To Order
    Chairperson Joshua Montgomery called the meeting to order at 6:40 pm.
  2. Roll Call
    Present were Park Board members: Kari Kyllo*, Robert Edmonds, Ron Helgeson, Joshua Montgomery and Richard Niemann. Also present was Hopkins staff liaison Steve Stadler. *Kari Kyllo had informed the Board that she would arrive late for this meeting – she arrived at 7:15 pm.
  3. Approval of Minutes for January 23, 2006
    R. Edmonds moved and Ron Helgeson seconded a motion to approve the minutes for the January 23, 2006 meeting. On the vote, the minutes were approved 4-0..
  4. Business
    1. Report on privately owned natural, green spaces within the city – continued from January 23, 2006 meeting
      The Board members briefly discussed this item and decided to carry it over to one more meeting before acting on the various natural, green spaces.
        R. Niemann moved and R. Helgeson seconded a motion to continue this item to the May 15, 2006 meeting. On the vote, the motion carried 4-0.
    2. Park Board Mission Statement – continued from the January 23, 2006 meeting
      Steve Stadler provided Board members with a copy of the City of Minnetonka Park & Recreation Board 2006 Strategic Plan including vision and mission statements, goals, objectives and action steps.
        The Board had a broad-ranging discussion on the objectives stated in the Bylaws, the Park Board role regarding city parks spaces, natural spaces, city facilities and their role through the Hopkins-Minnetonka Joint Recreation Board. Kari Kyllo then moved and R. Niemann seconded a motion to adopt the Minnetonka Park and Recreation Board mission statement with only the changes necessary to identify it as the Hopkins Park Board mission statement. There was further discussion on the mission statement, Park Board roles, modifying the language slightly and incorporating city goals, i.e., improving the quality of life in Hopkins, etc. The Board would like Steve Stadler to look over the bylaws and determine if the language in the objectives should be changed to better-match the Park Board’s focus and mission.Following the discussion, a vote was taken and the motion passed on a 3-2 vote, with Board members Montgomery and Edmonds voting nay.
        Chairman Montgomery stated he will bring in an alternate mission statement at the next meeting for Board consideration.
    3. Hopkins Dog Park
      This item originally came to the Park Board at the November 21, 2005 meeting as a citizen request from two residents in the Westbrook Patio Homes/Meadow Creek Condominium area. Several Board members were interested in looking into establishing a city dog park. The item was further discussed at the January 23, 2006 meeting. The Board consensus was to proceed with developing a dog park. The Board requested to meet with the City Council to discuss a proposal to develop a dog park in Valley Park. The dog park proposal was subsequently discussed at the March 14, 2006 City Council work session - Park Board Chair Montgomery and members Edmonds and Kyllo attended.
        The Board discussed the City Council feedback, which was to consider the overall demand or need for the maintained open spaces at Valley Park before committing an area for a dog park. Additionally, the City Council wanted the Park Board to consider the possibility of construction the dog park and/or archery range within the 17.8 acre natural area just east of the archery range. This is the parcel of property that was donated to the City for park purposes only in 2001.
        The Park Board discussed the natural area as a possible site and unanimously agreed that this area is valuable as-is and were opposed to degrading its natural environment by constructing a gravel parking area, an access drive from Smetana Road or a fenced dog park. It was mentioned that the area is entirely within the flood plain which would prevent building up any areas above the current elevations.
        Regarding the request by City Council that the Park Board consider demand or need for park maintained open spaces, Steve Stadler handed out a March 3, 2004 Athletic Field Needs Study. This study was prepared by the City of Minnetonka and addresses current athletic facilities, demand and opportunities within the Hopkins School District area. Staff had just received the copy of the report and hadn’t had a chance to discuss it with Minnetonka recreation staff yet.
        Regarding the current uses of the Valley Park open, maintained areas, Steve Stadler reported to the Board that they are currently used as follows: Rugby 3:30 - 6:00 pm, May - July; HALL practice 6:00 pm - dusk, May - July; Adult Football, August - October; Wiffleball league uses the hockey rink area, May - September.
        The Board discussed and considered the extent of the current uses of the open areas. The Board members believe that the greatest benefit to the Hopkins community would be achieved by constructing the dog park, as proposed, vs. dedicating this particular park space for an athletic field.
        K. Kyllo moved and R. Edmonds seconded a motion to proceed with the dog park as originally proposed. On the vote, the motion was passed 4-0. (Ron Helgeson excused himself from the meeting at approximately 8:15, prior to this vote).
        Following the vote the Board discussed various aspects of the dog park including: Lay-out of the existing archery range and whether it could be changed such that the target bales are along the east edge of the maintained area with the archers shooting to the east (currently the bales are placed such that the archers shoot toward the south); Revisions to wording on rules and etiquette signs, as used by Eden Prairie at their Flying Cloud Drive dog park; Adding a small additional charge to the City’s dog license fee to offset dog park expenses; The next steps in moving forward with their proposal.
        It was decided that the Board could meet with City Council again at the work session on April 11 and, if approved to continue, a public information/input meeting could be held during the May 15, 2006 regular Park Board meeting. (The following day it was determined that the April 11 work session would not work so the meeting date was changed to the March 28 City Council work session.)
    4. Central Business District Trail Connection
      The Board briefly discussed this item. Chairperson Josh Montgomery stated that the City Council was not comfortable at this time with approving a new trail segment on the unimproved downtown HCRRA right-of-way from 6th Ave – 8th Ave. There are two large redevelopment projects that will be done in the next 2-3 years in this same area. Specifically, City Council wants to wait until the impacts of the large residential project between 5th and 6th Avenues is more fully known before considering a downtown trail extension. The Park Board decided to drop this initiative for now and concentrate on improving the existing trail connections in the Central Business District.
  5. Next Scheduled Meeting
    May 15 , 2006, 6:30 pm
    City Council Chambers
  6. Adjournment
    R. Niemann moved and K. Kyllo seconded a motion to adjourn. The motion carried on a 3-0 vote. The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.