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A Plan for Public Facilities: Sustaining the Rural ... - Fauquier County

A Plan for Public Facilities: Sustaining the Rural ... - Fauquier County

C. Service Areas

C. Service Areas Fauquier County is fortunate to still have much of its scenic mountains, rivers, valleys and many historic villages, towns and archeological sites. The Parks and Recreation Board and constituents feel that there is a responsibility to protect and enjoy these rich resources. Four service areas have been defined and currently manage the following: Central (260 acres), Eastern (69 acres), Southern (385 acres) and Northern (130 acres). The County’s nine service districts all have park locations identified, usually near schools. As land is developed or up for sale, the County should site recreational facilities at these locations. D. Site Location and Suitability Standards The Parks and Recreation Board has worked with the School Board to share sports facilities on elementary and middle school property where possible. Several school sites have been evaluated for and subsequently developed for sports facilities. The Fauquier County Youth Sports Council, a local non-profit with impressive volunteer support, along with the Parks and Recreation Board both advocate for centralized sports complexes to meet the demand for team-oriented sports. This option is preferable in a County as large as Fauquier where travel distances/times can be extensive, especially for families with more than one child participating in team sports. An updated Parks and Recreation Plan would help to identify the hierarchical need of sports fields, both neighborhood-size and complexes. Another Parks and Recreation Department policy is to maintain existing facilities throughout the County in preference to building new ones. This means that building maintenance and upgrades will be necessary in certain locations to maximize the functionality and visitors. However, the community pool to be built in the Marshall Service District is a condition of the Mellon grant (unless the grant conditions are renegotiated) to develop the Northern Fauquier Community Park. While a number of sites have been evaluated for the location of this community pool, none have been found feasible to date. A desired location would be one that is in proximity to other recreational facilities and/or within walking distance of other community facilities. Field: Population Ratio Table 6: Sports Fields Needs Assessment 68,000 Population (2009 Estimate) 90,000 Population (± 15 Years) Field Needed Existing Gap A Plan for Public Facilities December 2009 Fields Needed Existing Fields + Future Central Complex Football 1:8,000 8 9 -1 11 11 0 Soccer 1:2,000 34 25 9 45 28 17 Baseball 1:2,000 34 19 15 45 22 23 Softball 1:4,000 16 18 -2 22 20 2 Lacrosse 1:17,000 4 0 4 5 0 5 Total 96 71 25 128 81 47 Note: 2009 estimate includes shared school fields Gap Page 16

E. Priority Needs As outlined in the Plan for Parks, Recreation and Open Space (1993), the general guidelines for establishing the priority of projects are: (1) mandates (district and community parks and greenways), (2) parks (existing more than future needs), and (3) adequate maintenance and support of existing facilities more than acquisition. The Department of Parks and Recreation has utilized public-private partnerships to achieve its goals. A good example is the relationship between the County and the Fauquier Youth Sports Council for the Central Sports Complex, discussed below. This partnered solution will help to address the County’s current constraints in resources. Sports facilities in the County are overused and far under the standard for the County with its 66,800 population. In order to meet the standard today, 28 new fields would need to be supplied. Land owned by the County near the Fauquier County Fair Grounds has been identified as the location for the Central Sports Complex. The site’s central location in the County is advantageous. Approximately eleven fields could be placed there. With the County to construct the road and basic infrastructure, the Youth Sports Council has raised some of the funds necessary to build the fields. In addition, they have offered in-kind services from parents who have construction equipment and the experience necessary to complete the job. The Facilities Planning Committee recommends that the Board of Supervisors make this project one of its top recreational priorities, not only to finalize a plan that will allow sports teams more opportunity to operate, but also to galvanize much-appreciated volunteer support over the years. The completion of the Central Sports Complex will add needed fields to the inventory, but not enough to reach the field-to-population standard. A sports complex in the southern part of the County has been contemplated for many years, complete with other amenities such as a community center. It is recommended that sites be investigated next for this purpose and placed in the Comprehensive Plan. With the Capital Improvement Program focused toward larger projects ($300,000+), the Parks and Recreation Department has expressed the need to have a small project fund for the construction of new projects that do not meet the cost threshold, including playgrounds, short trail/path connections, fencing, docks, restrooms, shelters and the like. A Plan for Public Facilities December 2009 Page 17

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