Following is a list of ongoing planning projects that are either coordinated or supported by Haywood County Recreation and Parks:
Haywood County Comprehensive System-wide Parks and Recreation Master Plan
The County and the municipalities of Waynesville, Canton, Clyde and Maggie Valley joined together to fund and develop a joint Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan for Haywood County. The creation of this master plan was indeed a bold and forward thinking step that most communities do not take. Too many times municipalities within a county and the county itself plan separately for the provision of recreation facilities in an entire county. The approach taken by this study will result in the streamlined provision of recreation facilities and services to residents across the county by avoiding duplication and reducing costs. The Plan was completed and adopted by the Board of Commissioners in 2007.
Jonathan Creek Park Master Plan
The comprehensive plan identified a significant deficit in park land and a particular need for a facility that includes multiple softball/baseball fields and a multi-purpose field. In August 2007 Haywood County purchased a 22-acre parcel on Hwy. 276 in Jonathan Valley for a multi-use recreational facility. In 2010 the Jonathan Creek Park Master Plan was completed and adopted by the Board of Commissioners. While no funds are currently available to proceed with developing the park, approval of the Master Plan is a necessary step toward applying for grant funds.
The final conceptual design for a proposed County Sports Complex attains the goal of providing for a baseball/softball complex that can accommodate local league play, as well as serve as a tournament destination. It also provides passive uses that would serve the community and tournament users. The plan also provides a large multi-purpose field that could accommodate a variety of uses. The plan provides for much needed facilities in Haywood County that would serve recreational needs and the potential for revenue generating tournaments for years to come.
Hazard Mitigation Property Acquisition
As a result of the 2004 floods, Haywood County acquired 61 properties totaling approximately 41 acres located within the Town of Clyde as well as in the unincorporated areas of Clyde, Canton, and Bethel. Since the property can be used only for recreational purposes, the department continues to explore community enhancement ideas and grant options for these areas, such as Glance Street in Clyde.
The 2-acre parcel on Glance Street is an ideal location for a passive community green space. The County’s request to retain the four concrete building pads and portions of the pavement onsite following demolition was approved. The result was an instant 8-foot wide walking path around the perimeter, parking area and pads for future picnic shelters. Additional ideas for the building pads include pickleball and basketball courts. Site improvements include shade tree installation in 2008 and dahlia bed development in 2010 sponsored by the Clyde Senior Resource Team. We welcome other partnerships and donations. Call 452-6789 for more information.
Beginning 2007, flood properties were made available for individuals to lease for gardening purposes. Approximately 75% of the parcels are currently leased which greatly reduces maintenance expense for the County.
Haywood County Comprehensive Bicycle Plan
BicycleHaywoodNC, a local cycling advocacy group, spearheaded fundraising to hire a consultant to create a bicycle master plan and continues to coordinate the effort. Group leaders secured $8,000 from the WNC Community Foundation, $40,000 in regional transportation funds as well as $3,485 in support from local businesses and individuals to help finance the planning effort.
Once again, a collaborative approach from a unified, county-wide community vision, rather than attempting four or five fragmented plans was successful. This has especially proven a positive decision in light of the French Broad Metropolitan Planning Organization regional bicycle plan now underway. The Haywood County plan is well ahead of the regional plan and has helped to develop an infrastructure that will assist in the regional plan. Additionally, by taking a whole community approach, consensus was built across multi-political boundaries. The Plan was completed and adopted by the Board of Commissioners in November 2011. The Town of Waynesville Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to endorse the plan as well as letters of full support received from the Town of Clyde, Healthy Haywood, and the Haywood County Economic Development Commission.
The Haywood County Bicycle Plan recently recived an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration. For information on the award, click here.