THE PLANNING PROCESS
During 2010 Island County engaged in a three-phased planning process.
Phase 1: Where Are We Now?
The Master Planning process was initiated through meetings with the County Board of Commissioners and Key County Staff to determine the best direction for outreach and analysis. In Phase 1, County parks and habitat areas will be inventoried, mapped, and evaluated to assess future opportunities. In addition, demographics, land use, and park operations will be evaluated to provide a foundation for the planning effort. Key findings will be documented in the Planning Context and Existing Resources Summary Memos.
Phase 2: Where Do We Want to Be?
Phase 2 will included several forums for public outreach to assess the preferences and priorities of residents and key stakeholders in Island County. An online questionnaire, focus group meetings, stakeholder interviews, and community events on both Whidbey and Camano Islands will help identify a vision for the County park and habitat system, as well as the County’s role in providing these assets. Combined with the technical analysis conducted in Phase 1, this community feedback will be used to develop a Needs Assessment Report of current and future needs for parks, recreation facilities, trails, and habitat areas.
Phase 3: How Do We Get There?
In Phase 3, goals, strategies and actions will be identified to create a firm plan to achieve the community’s vision identified in Phase 2. These recommendations for the site maintenance, management, and development will be based on a solid understanding of available funding opportunities and constraints. From the list of recommendations, priority projects will be identified in a capital and operations costs model, which will be included in the Draft Parks and Habitat Conservation Plan. This Plan will be presented to Key County Staff, the Board of Commissioners, and the public to collect comments for a revised plan. After refinement, the Final Plan will be presented for adoption. The Final Plan will continue to be used for many years as a tool for achieving the desired park and habitat system.
For more information about how you can be involved, please contact Joantha Guthrie at JoanthaG@co.island.wa.us . Thank you for supporting Island County Parks.