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Future of Placer’s parks, trails, pickle ball courts under microscope

Updated master plan could be in place by end of 2018
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Analysis has started on information and opinions collected over the past year — the raw materials for a plan to move Placer County parks and trails a future that could mean more pathways but also more pickle-ball courts, dog parks and lacrosse fields.

That plan — with an apparent key emphasis on trails and potential out-of-county trail connections — could be completed and ready for Board of Supervisors consideration by next winter.

Andy Fisher, county parks administrator, provided a status report Tuesday to the board, noting that Placer County already maintains 106 miles of trails on its own.

Adding in other agencies with a parks component, Placer County has 35,000 of open space, more than 600 acres of active parks and 69 acres of beach.

Surveys, meetings and workshops over the past several months have helped provide the background to tailor what is being called the park, trail and open space master plan to public demands, Fisher said.

“One of the main general takeaways is that trails are important for every type of user,” Fisher said. “They showed up prominently everywhere.”

Demand for those trails is high, leading to overcrowding. The master plan update will incorporate those considerations into its modeling, as well as a revised fee structure.

“People agreed that there are good quality parks but room there from improvements,” Fisher said.

Fisher said that crowding at Hidden Falls Regional Park between Lincoln and Auburn was an area of concern and the update — with contractor Design Workshop Inc. assisting the parks division — will be examining that issue and others that the public and organizations have brought to the county’s attention. Better mapping of parks and communication with users were other areas that people thought could be improved, he said.

The update is also looking at newer options for recreation including pickle-ball courts, lacrosse fields, rugby pitches and dog parks, Fisher said.