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 NEIGHBOR RAISING ISSUES AT ALIMAGNET PARK View next topic
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Bill Ashton



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 101
Location: Burnsville, Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm currently undergoing neighborhood issues primarily from one
resident who lives on the park in the community of Apple Valley.
This particular couple has been complaining about problems and
issues with the park even before disc golf was installed (Summer
2005).

From what I've been told about the park, it's had severe problems
with juveniles hanging out, drug deals, fights and vandalism over
the past 10 years or so. The park had gotten so out of hand, people
we're afraid to utilize the park itself. A gate was built to keep
traffic out of it's parking lot. The neighbors felt by closing the
entrance to the park by vehicles, it would limit the bad clientele
within the park.

When I presented the idea of disc golf to the community of Apple
Valley, I had and still do have strong positive support from the
park and recreation department. The neighbors that have had issues
in regards to the park were present at all park board meetings
dealing with the discussions and approval of the course. So they've
been aware of the program from the beginning.

The night the course was approved, the only concerns the neighbors
had were to keep the gate to the park entrance closed. I really
didn't have a problem with that at the time, but just thought it was
weird to have a park opened, but closed to parking?

The park board decided to have a review meeting to discuss the first
year of the course this past January. At the review meeting, the
only issues the neighbors brought up were the concerns of players
actually playing their discs from peoples yards on a hole along the
sliding hill. Here we compromised with posting signage that
mentioned for players to retrieve their discs from yards and replay
discs from where it went out of bounds. We also agreed to take down
two holes which were in close proximity to the sliding hill during
winter usage.

Today, I'm still dealing with this same negative neighbor. This
couple just never seems to be happy? I know the park department is
tired of dealing with their constant issues, but we need to find a
compromise. The neighbors have continued to raise negative issues
with the park department. They have in my opinion, really sort of
nitpicked the course, since the park department has chosen to open
the gate to the public. The park department is now forced to react
to their constant complaints, since they have taken their platform
to a member of the city council.

It appears the park department wants to satisfy the neighbor at this
point to quiet them down and to also have them agree to stop
complaining about the course. However, they'll be no guarantee of
that happening? I've worked especially hard to bring disc golf to
the Apple Valley Community and I believe we have a great community
course. It's being utilized. What was once a very passive park has
now turned into a unique haven to play disc golf. It has developed
into one of the fastest community courses that I've helped
establish. The disc golf course has certainly improved the park,
which is why the park department felt it was time to open the gate.
Since park usage is up, it has helped to have active people around
to be open eyes to trouble. It has also caused the kids hanging out
to either move on elsewhere or they've now begun to play disc golf.
I feel that's a 100 percent improvement!

Within the first year of course operation, I had five different
media publications pick up the story about the new course. I've ran
a successful tournament and am currently running a disc golf league
at the course which has gotten a total of 73 total players over the
past ten weeks. It's totally open the door to new Amateur players
from within the community. I've also got Suzette Simon of Innova
Discs to supply some discs to help promote women to play. So far we
done that as well. I've raised an awareness to women's play with
the league by attracting seven women thus far.

I'm not sure how things are going to pan out, but I'm certain there
will be some changes happening. It's amazing how one bad egg can
continue to raise havoc on such a good recreation for the park. It
has been quoted by the park director that disc golf has really
helped to improve the park.

Why can't the neighbor just see that? It's because in my opinion,
they'll never be happy until they have a passive park once again.
They're just used to nobody utilizing the park and thinking the park
is their backyard.

Show your support by contacting the Apple Valley Park Department to voice your comments by calling 952-953-2300.

Local Apple Valley Residents can also contact city council members to express their opinions and positive experiences with the disc golf course.

City Councilman John Bergman can be reached at: 952-891-2508.

City Councilman Bob Erickson can be reached at: 952-431-2352.

Email the City Council at: www.cityofapplevalley.org


Thanks for showing your support in favor of the Alimagnet Park Course in Apple Valley.


Bill Ashton
Roc Solid Design
Apple Valley Course Pro
952-215-7046
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Bill Ashton



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 101
Location: Burnsville, Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 12:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

As I mentioned in a previous post, since the park department has
decided to open the park gate entrance on a daily basis, the park
department has been getting a great deal of complaints from the
neighbor that had campaigned to get the gate closed in the first
place. I've suggested to close the gate at 10 PM to discourage late
night problems.

Alimagnet Park over the years has gotten a bad rap due to it's past
history, but since the disc golf course has been installed, the park
department has been upgrading the park and making improvements to
the disc golf course. The course has become very popular with the
locals and it has helped to make the park active again.

The neighbor that has been complaining, has been a thorn in the park
departments side for many years. What's happening with the course
complaints litterly sucks, but it's a political year in terms of
positions on the city council as well, so there are plans to
compromise on certain parts of the course with the neighbor. The
park department also wants this to be the last and final attempt for
the neighbor to stop complaining. Hopefully they will stop and
everything will work out? I'm doing my best to stay focused on the
positive and not make this a personal issue. Which is why I created
this Pros and Cons list below.

Bill Ashton



PROS & CONS OF DISC GOLF


WRITTEN BY: Bill Ashton


PROS:

1. Inexpensive Recreation - Most Courses are Free to Public

2. Age-less Game - Can also be "Family Orientated".

3. Healthy Recreation - low impact, aerobic workout, walk through
nature

4. Cost effective: 9-holes can be installed for under $5000

5. From a parks' perspective, disc golf is unbelievably cheap. A decent, medium-sized playground will cost around $35,000 and can only accommodate 20-30 kids (at an absolute maximum).

6. Usage: 72 People an hour can play on an 18-hole course

7. Low Maintenance

8. Reduces Vandalism

9. Attracts people from community and outside community to park

10. Businesses in close proximity benefit from course usage

11. Area schools can potentially utilize course for physical education and field trips.

12. A course can be designed and installed easily within the frameworks of many different types of parcels of land such as nature preserve, flood plain, wooded areas and utilized areas.

13. Lifetime Recreation

14. Courses can be designed to be handicap accessible.

15. Disc golf can be a source of revenue for a park department or a pay-to-play facility.

16. Disc golf tends to decrease undesirable activity in under utilized areas of a park.

17. Disc golf provides a recreational facility for local churches and scout groups.

18. Disc golf is easy to learn, but challenging to master.

19. Hosting a disc golf tournament for charity can bring community together to help raise money for certain causes while enjoying the fun of playing and socializing.


20. Disc golf is now also being introduced and sharing space with golf courses across the country. As duel sports, essentially adaptable to each others terrain and topography. Another way to provide an additional source of business growth and income.

21. High Schools and Colleges are now installing permanent courses right on campus.

22. Ski Resort facilities have begun to install disc golf for extra spring through fall season business.

23. Campground facilities have the ability to offer disc golf.





CONS:



(Solutions to Cons - Ways to help)



1. Litter (Garbage cans at each tee would help to reduce litter)

2. Erosion (Adding cement tee pads minimize erosion)

3. Course Conflicts with Neighborhood Yards (Design away from homes)

4. Extra Foot Traffic Past Homes (Design away from homes)-(however, foot traffic near homes are extra sets of eyes helping reducing daytime theft and burglaries).

5. Basket Theft (Reinforce Baskets by tack welding material to post and ground sleeves).

6. Heavy Course Traffic/Flow - (For heavy course usage; there will be waiting/backups at peak times, and parking area will be full. Potential solutions: Install 9 more holes or build another course within the city).

7. Limited or no restroom facilities: (If restroom facilities are not present or open year round, portable units will need to be provided and properly maintained).




* SPECIAL NOTE:

(Provided by: Squipple @ www.playdg.com)

* The problem with CON #6 is if you build more courses, it increases interest because the sport becomes more visible to the which, in turn creates more traffic. This is definitely a good thing for the sport, but doesn't help with traffic flow.



CONTRIBUTORS:

Special Thanks to Suzette Simons for adding additional comments and solutions for Con issues #6 - #7, Tom Monroe for contributing PRO #17, Squipple for adding an additional solution to Con #6, Harold Duvall for providing Pro #18 and an extra solution for Con #4, Lyle McCoon, Jr. for providing Pro #5, Reese Swinea for providing Pro #20 and Tim Gill for providing Pro #21.




APPLE VALLEY COURSE UPDATE:

Currently cement tee pads are being installed (7 x 12). The first
three holes have been completed so far. Hole #4 will have a set of
small cement block stairs off the tee to minimize erosion as well.
The tee on hole #5 will be moved over to the left, at the top of the
stairs. This was the park directors decision to also help to
minimize erosion down the hill. The new tee pad for hole #5 and the
tee pad for hole #6 have forms set and ready to be poured.

There was some additional talk about pulling or moving some of the
holes in the woods due to holes being on some of the trails. Not
sure where we are with things on that issue, but there was also talk
of downsizing the course to 9-holes. This all to satisfy the
negative neighbor. Funny how one couple has so much power over the
park? It's certainly not right! However, these are some of the
issues courses are going to be up against in terms of implenting
them in new areas. With the steady growth and popularity of the
sport also comes the downside of the NIMBY types (NOT IN MY BACK
YARD) opposing neighbors. These types of people usually win and can
certainly kill course projects in the making. So my thoughts are to
find ways to better educate the public about the sport of disc
golf. Which is why I created the PROS & CONS list. Feel free to
email me any suggestions you'd like to add to that list.

I'd also like to thank Dave Bogenhagen and Tom Hammes
and any others who may have taken the time to email the
Apple Valley city council for showing their support in favor
of the course. I appreciate it a great deal. If you haven't
had a chance to play Apple Valley yet, I'd take the time to
play it now before any major changes occur. It's definitely
a little diamond in the rough. I'm hoping we don't loose any
part of the 12-hole layout. It's such a great course and the
locals love it!

Bill Ashton
Apple Valley Course Pro
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