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Dickinson development stuck until creation of park is settled with rec board

Further discussions between the Dickinson Park Board and developer Meyer Real Estate Group will hopefully yield a consensus on the creation of a park, which stands in the way of the developer moving forward with a 221-lot housing development in east Dickinson.

James Kramer, director of park and recreation, at the monthly Dickinson Park and Recreation Board roundtable Friday at the West River Community Center suggested that there may be a way to work with the developer to take an acre or two of property and get cash in lieu to develop Hillside Park and a park in the development area.

"There are two unique things about this (development)," Kramer said. "We do have a park connecting to this property, although it is a small park that we have done the first phase of but it needs some work. Then, we have an undeveloped piece of property that we have targeted for development."

A 221-lot potential development in east Dickinson, Creekside Development, is approximately 109 acres and is adjacent to Hillside Park to the north of the development. It was recommended for rezoning by the Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday, contingent upon approval by the park district, said Brian Bochman, vice president of Meyer Real Estate Group.

Kramer said the park district has had its eye on the area for the development for a park for some time.

"If you recall back when Painted Canyon (Estates) developed their area, it was at same time the new ordinance was being done and kind of went through the process without us having an opportunity to talk it through with them. That is an area we really would have liked to have some park land," he said.

Creekside development would include meandering roads, sidewalks, open space and a trail system with connection to the community and a loop around the creek, the main feature of the development, located at about 500 feet east of the intersection of 10thStreet and 10th Avenue East, which is south of Interstate 94 and west of 25th Avenue East.

With Painted Canyon Estates also nearby, Kramer said the park district would be interested in a small tract of land in the southeast corner of the development for a neighborhood park.

"They have some area that is undevelopable land to them, in the watershed area," he said.

Scott Kovash, a city park board member who is also on the city planning and zoning commission, said he had a resident in the area of Creekside development who visited with him about putting a park in the location because Hillside park is inadequate for the area.

"We need something on this side of the road," Kovash said.

Kramer said there would be potential to enhance Hillside Park.

"Hillside Park is of the right size, where we could add a basketball court, a picnic shelter, enhance the playground, but it's still not going to take care of the people in Painted Canyon or anything near it, which we did not prepare for," he said. "To me it would not do much good to put a park up in the north end with limited access if we're trying to handle this area and all of the apartments going up around it."