CRESTVIEW — Residents on wheels and residents on four legs might soon have facilities just for themselves if skate and dog parks proposed for Twin Hills Park become a reality.
The Crestview City Council, meeting as the Community Redevelopment Agency Board, was receptive to a concept presented by Councilwoman Robyn Helt and Public Services Director Wayne Steele.
Helt had previously proposed a dog park for a wooded area in Twin Hills Park's southwest corner. Last fall, after a Florida League of Cities meeting, several firms approached Steele with offers to develop a skate park. The same location under consideration for the dog park also looked feasible for a skate park.
However, at Monday evening's CRA meeting, Steele and Helt presented a new concept that would move both parks to Twin Hills Park's north side near U.S. Highway 90.
Crestview Police officer Sam Kimmons recommended the area, as the original southwest corner site was close to the woods and railroad tracks, Steele said.
"Sam's concern as a police officer was he thought it would be problematic because it would give teenagers and youth a place to hide and do different things," Steele said. "It (the skate park) needs to be a high visibility area. You don't want it to be hidden where people can't see it. It makes sense. You want people to be able to monitor it."
By placing the skate park alongside the dog park, "it almost acts as a watchdog for the skate park as well," Helt said. "It really opens up the park for every member of the family. It makes Twin Hills a place where every member of the family can be entertained."
The new suggested location also allows both parks to be bigger than planned, Steele said.
"We can have an area designated for beginners," Steele said, referring to skaters. "We would have (the dog park) subdivided for smaller dogs and larger dogs."
Steele said his department would consult with area kids to see what they would like to see in a skate park.
One young skater already offered some advice, he said.
"I met with one youth," he said. "One thing we eliminated is the bowl. Kids today don't like it. They say you have to be so good you can't use it." A bowl is a skating formation similar to an empty swimming pool.
Funding for the Twin Hills Park improvements would come from CRA funds and parks improvement budget money, Councilman Charles Baugh Jr. said.
Council and board President Ben Iannucci III raised several considerations, including the noise factor of the skate park, and whether there is adequate parking. In addition, he said, there was an aesthetic consideration.
"That part of the park is the entrance view of the park, and we're taking away a lot of greenery" with the proposed skate and dog parks, he said.
Steele said he would resume discussions with Kimmons, local skaters and park designers and bring a proposal with a budget to the CRA's next meeting.