VIRGINIA BEACH — The Parks and Recreation Department here is hosting an open house Thursday to provide residents a platform to voice their opinions regarding the sale of a portion of Amhurst Park.
Parks and Recreation Director Michael Kirschman said it’s important to get the community’s input on this relatively uncommon scenario where, if approved, the city will accept a developer’s offer and then use the funds to build amenities on the rest of the park.
“There are pros and cons, so we want to know what the public’s thoughts are,” he said.
The land, bought by the city in 2001, sits undeveloped next to the construction site where a development company is building townhome condominiums, Kirschman said.
Typically, a city will buy or receive land intended for recreational use then have to wait for funds to come down to develop the park.
In this case, a company has proposed buying 0.4 acres of Amhurst at its appraised rate of around $200,000 leaving 2.2 acres for the city to develop using those funds, Kirschman said.
“The question is whether we use the funds to develop the park a lot sooner or leave it in its natural state while it goes through the process,” he said.
Kirschman noted residents within walking distance of the park’s location will be most affected by the decision and the department has made it convenient for them to get their opinions heard.
After receiving input from the public, the City Council will make the ultimate decision before early fall, Kirschman said.
“The more public that provides their opinion, the more informed decision City Council can make,” he said.
For more information about the Amhurst Park Project, Thursday’s open house, or to submit your opinion in the online survey, click here.