Oak Harbor sets virtual open house on Harbor Heights

Public comment sought on future 75-acre regional park

The city of Oak Harbor wants to know what residents think of two proposed designs for a future, 75-acre sports park at the end of Gun Club Road.

The public has until 5 p.m. on March 15 to submit comments on designs for the first phase of development, which includes two soccer fields near the park’s future entrance on Gun Club Road or Northwest Elwha Road, depending on which design concept is chosen. Other access points will be added later.

Both design concepts include six soccer fields, two multi-purpose fields, four little league fields, four softball fields, one baseball field, a restrooms and/or concessions building and multiple parking lots. Also included is a wetland area, trails and a play or bike area; the park will be surrounded by a fence.

The biggest difference between the designs is how the fields are oriented and the amount of parking. “Concept one” has 825 parking spots while “concept two” has 940.

The virtual open house on the city’s website includes drawings of each concept and what the park may eventually look like.

A survey of 289 respondents showed that soccer fields were the most desirable feature for the future park, with walking trails a close second.

The park will likely not be named Harbor Heights, which is simply the name the previous owner used to refer to the property. The city’s park board will lead the process for naming the park.

The city bought the property for just over $1.1 million in January 2020. A state Recreation and Conservation Office grant will fund two soccer fields and a 50-space parking lot.

The city plans to spend $1 million more in the next two years to develop the property, although the park likely won’t be completed for another five or six years, according to the city’s capital plan. The total budget is almost $2.4 million.

Public comments will be shared with city council members during their March 24 meeting.

To learn more, visit https://www.oakharbor.org/publicworks/page/harbor-heights-virtual-open-house

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