Once the City acquires land for a park, the next step concerns the planning and development of the park. All parks are planned using various methods of public input. The following steps indicate the process that is typically used by the Parks and Recreation Department when preparing a master plan for a specific park.
1. Needs Analysis conducted. Includes a survey of existing parks and facilities, including other public and private parks. This may include a community-wide survey. What needs in City are not currently being met? How can this property help meet those needs?
2. Meetings with Special Interest Groups. Meetings will be scheduled with SIG’s that may have an interest in the property. Examples include Audubon Society, Columbia Soccer Club, government and Public Institutions, and local neighborhood associations.
3. Public Meetings – Information Collecting. Several public meetings will be held in an effort to gather ideas for the park. Depending on the park, this could consist of one to three meetings.
4. Public Meetings – Options Presented. Upon completion of the above three steps, park planners will develop multiple options for the proposed development of the park. Preliminary development costs will be calculated and if needed, a business plan developed. Participants at this meeting will be asked to prioritize various plans.
5. Public Hearing–Parks and Recreation Commission. Upon the selection of one or two plans, the Columbia Parks and Recreation Commission will conduct a public hearing to solicit comments. The commission will then make a recommendation to the City Council.
6. Public Hearing – City Council. The Columbia City Council will conduct the final public hearing. Following public comment, they will then select the final plan. After a plan has been selected, park staff will be able to begin development.