- Departments & Services
- Parks & Recreation
- Parks Referendum
Reinvesting in Parks and Recreation
The growth of Apple Valley has increased demands on the parks and recreation system. Reinvesting in our City’s parks and recreation facilities will help continue to attract new residents, protect property values, provide for existing residents, and draw visitors to local businesses, which in turn helps support the local economy. During the pandemic, the City saw extraordinary use of our parks and trails. The high demand during this period reinforces the fact that parks are essential and the need for reinvestment and improvements across the entire system are important to residents. Currently, City staff are trying to determine if there is resident interest in and support for a Parks Referendum.
Engaging Residents to Identify Needs
Apple Valley residents continue to play a key role in helping identify the needs of the community by providing input on how to reinvest in our parks, trails, recreational facilities, and how to protect our natural resources. Residents have provided feedback through social media, email, social pinpoint comments, informational meetings, and a phone survey.
Parks Referendum Process Timeline
|Fall 2021||Held joint meeting with City Council and the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee to explore community interest in a potential Parks Referendum|
|Winter 2021/2022||Hired consultants to assist with concept development|
|Spring/Summer 2022||Engaged residents to gather ideas from the community|
|Summer 2022||Reviewed multiple concepts developed from the community engagement process|
|Fall 2022||Created a list of preferred concepts|
|Winter 2023||Shared expanded list of concepts, the investment needed, and tax impacts of those projects|
|March 2023||Conducted Survey #1 to learn answers to the following:
• Are Apple Valley residents supportive of a Parks Referendum currently?
• If yes, what projects are Apple Valley residents interested in supporting?
• If yes, how much of a tax increase is the typical Apple Valley resident willing to vote for to help support improvements to the park and recreation system?
|April 2023||Reviewed phone survey results and create a revised list of potential projects|
|May 2023||Share revised list of projects, the investment needed, and the tax impact of those projects based on the results of Survey #1|
|June 2023||Conduct Survey #2 to learn answers to the following:
• Is the revised list of projects a priority for residents?
• Is the proposed tax impact supported by residents?
• Are there projects not supported by residents?
|July 2023||Develop Parks Referendum package:
• Create final list of projects supported by results of Survey #2
• Calculate investment needed to construct projects
• Determine tax impact needed to support projects
|Aug.– Nov. 2023||Inform residents of the following as it pertains to a Parks Referendum:
• List of projects
• Necessary investments
• Tax impact
• Miscellaneous information
|November 7, 2023||Parks Referendum Election Day|
|Spring 2024||If the referendum passes, begin construction of projects|
|Winter 2026||Complete construction of projects|
Residents Identify Potential Improvements
We have used the results of the first community survey to develop a revised list of projects that are currently supported by residents. Please note, this list is not final. The following projects have been identified as priorities by the community:
- Protecting Natural Resources
- Maintaining and Adding Trails
- Preserving Existing Park Assets
- Apple Valley Family Aquatic Center
- Apple Valley Senior Center & Community Centers
- Redwood Park
- Kelley Park
- Hayes Park Youth Baseball/Softball Complex
- Hayes Arena Improvements
Protecting Natural Resources & Promoting Sustainability
Wooded and natural areas across Apple Valley need attention. Reforestation efforts should be increased to preserve these valuable resources and protect the natural environment.
With this investment, the City would create natural prairies, develop pollinator and bee-friendly areas, and, plant new trees.
Maintaining and Adding Trails
The City has nearly 19 miles of trails inside our parks. This investment would include resurfacing approximately 75% of our existing trails and creating new trails to fill in some of the gaps found in our trail system.
Preserving Existing Park Assets in Parks Across the City
With 51 parks covering 700+ acres, Apple Valley residents have excellent access to parks and trails. Many of the amenities such as existing playground equipment, tennis/basketball courts, etc. need to be replaced after decades of service to the community. Updating existing park amenities to ensure they are meeting current codes is important for the safety of all who use the park system. Residents of all ages and backgrounds use the park and trail system to stay active and healthy, participate in sports (youth and adult), and meet new friends and neighbors. A well-maintained, accessible park system is important to help provide a high quality of life within the community.
This investment includes replacing playground/skate park equipment, tennis/basketball courts, ballfield backstops/benches, lighting, and irrigation systems, and making other miscellaneous improvements across the entire park system.
Reinvest in Apple Valley Family Aquatic Center
Opened in 1999, the facility is now 24 years old. Mechanical systems need to be replaced to improve energy efficiency and water conservation. Slides and other features need refurbishment to ensure they can be enjoyed for the next 15–20 years. With approximately 70,000 visitors annually, the AVFAC is a popular amenity in the community.
View the facility master plan.
Apple Valley Community Center
Opened in 1989, the Community Center is now 34 years old. The facility’s four (4) gyms are in good shape and are used by the community for basketball, volleyball, badminton, pickleball, and other activities. The remainder of the building’s restrooms, meeting rooms, and locker rooms need updating. The building’s skylights, roof, and mechanical systems need to be replaced to bring the facility up to current standards and to save energy. More than 125,000 patrons visit the Community Center each year.
Apple Valley Senior Center
Constructed in 2009, the Senior Center & Event Center is just 14 years old. The facility is in good shape and provides a wonderful asset to the area’s senior population. Between 1990 and 2020, the Apple Valley 60+ population has grown by nearly 15,000 seniors. The growing senior population needs additional space for programs and activities so all seniors can continue to stay healthy and be active. The facility has over 40,000 visitors annually.
Proposed improvements to the Community Center and Senior Center include an expanded coffee lounge for seniors, additional program space, a wood working shop, fitness space, an indoor playground for families, and updates in the meeting rooms and lobby areas of the community center. In this proposal, the Community Center and Senior Center would be joined to create one building.
Proposed improvements to the Community Center and Senior Center include an expanded coffee lounge for seniors, additional program space, a woodworking shop, fitness space, an indoor playground for families, and updates in the meeting rooms and lobby areas of the community center. In this proposal, the Community Center and Senior Center would be joined to create one building. View the master plan.
The park is 12 acres and is divided by County Road 42. The park currently has a parking lot, outdoor pool, playground, sand volleyball, tennis, basketball, building, shelter, ballfields, and other amenities. The pool and building are both 58 years old and have far surpassed their useful life.
The park master plan for Redwood includes removing the existing building/pool and adding an inclusive playground, interactive splash pad, a new shelter building with restrooms, courts for tennis/pickleball, a hammock area, and on-site parking.
The master plan includes a pedestrian tunnel under County Road 42. The pedestrian tunnel is part of a County Road 42 improvement project being funded by Dakota County and is not a part of the referendum. The City and Dakota County are working cooperatively to ensure the pedestrian tunnel is incorporated in the Park Master Plan.
The park is 5.6 acres in size and has multi-family housing on three sides. The park currently has a parking lot, restroom building, shelter, splash pad, playground, small stage, and other miscellaneous amenities.
Enlarging the performing area at Kelley Park would provide a better experience for both performers and attendees. A larger restroom facility, new playground and interactive splash pad, basketball court, public art, and additional on-site parking are planned with this investment.
Hayes Park Youth Baseball/Softball Complex
A four-field youth baseball/softball complex is proposed. The fields would replace the existing four fields on the Westview Elementary School property, have covered dugouts, approximately 240-foot fences, lighting.
Built in 1995, Hayes Arena is 28 years old and has outdated refrigeration equipment. The arenas are mainly used for ice hockey and figure skating programs. The facilities support the hockey teams from Apple Valley High School and Eastview High School (boys’ and girls’) and Apple Valley’s two youth hockey associations (Apple Valley Hockey Association and Eastview Hockey Association). It is estimated that 150,000 people visit the arenas annually.
Improvements at the arena would include updating the refrigeration equipment, and replacing the floor and the dasher boards.
Investment and Tax Impact
In January, residents had the opportunity to learn about a long list of projects desired by the community, along with the investments needed to construct these projects and the associated tax impacts. It was the intention of the City to let residents review the projects and help prioritize what is most important to the community. This list of projects is not final.
The City has used the results of the March 2023 statistically accurate public opinion survey to prioritize what is important to residents. Based on the results of this survey, respondents said the projects listed below (and outlined in detail above) are the most important. The monthly tax impact is based on the 2023 median-valued home of $352,800.
|Maintaining and Adding Trails||
|Protection of Natural Resources||
|Preservation of Existing Park System Amenities||
Reinvest in the Apple Valley Family Aquatic Center
Update Apple Valley Community Center/Senior Center
Redwood Park Master Plan
|Kelley Park Master Plan||
|Hayes Park Youth Baseball/Softball Complex||
|Hayes Arena Improvements||
Next Steps in the Process
Public Informational Meeting Schedule
Attend a public meeting to discuss, learn more, and ask questions.
|Monday, May 15, 2023||9 a.m.||Virtual – https://meet.goto.com/211387869|
|Monday, May 15, 2023||6 p.m.||Apple Valley Community Center – 14603 Hayes Road|
|Wednesday, May 17, 2023||2:30 p.m.||Virtual – https://meet.goto.com/242544333|
|Wednesday, May 17, 2023||6 p.m.||Redwood Park Building – 311 150th Street W.|
|Saturday, May 20, 2023||9 a.m.||Apple Valley Community Center – 14603 Hayes Road|
|Saturday, May 20, 2023||10:30 a.m.||Virtual – https://meet.goto.com/698075733|
|Tuesday, May 23, 2023||3 p.m.||Virtual – https://meet.goto.com/393943901|
|Tuesday, May 23, 2023||6 p.m.||Apple Valley Community Center – 14603 Hayes Road|
|Wednesday, May 24, 2023||6 p.m.||Apple Valley Community Center – 14603 Hayes Road|
Community Phone Survey
The City will once again contract with a professional public opinion firm, The Morris Leatherman Company (MLC), to perform a second statistically accurate community survey to gauge resident interest in a potential parks referendum that will preserve and protect our parks and recreational facilities. MLC pollsters will be conducting phone surveys using technology that allows them to access Apple Valley residents via a traditional landline or a cell phone. Pollsters will complete 625 phone surveys to provide the Council with information regarding residents’ level of support in a parks referendum.
The Apple Valley City Council wants to use the survey results to answer the questions:
- Is the revised list of projects a priority for residents?
- Is the proposed tax impact supported by residents?
- Are there projects not supported by residents?
Once the results of the second survey are understood, and if the results suggest that residents are interested in a referendum, a referendum package will be developed. Residents will then be provided with information about what specific improvements are proposed, what the tax impacts would be if the referendum was successful, and other general information. If a referendum is to be held, the City Council is planning a referendum vote on Tuesday, November 7, 2023. If the referendum passes, improvement projects would begin in 2024 and should be completed by the end of 2026.
With voter approval, the City Council could consider selling park improvement bonds that would finance park projects allowing the proposed improvements to be made. Bonds would be repaid by residents through an increase in property taxes.
Stay Engaged and Informed
We encourage residents to talk to their neighbors and spread the word so everyone is aware of what is being considered.
If you have questions, please contact Eric Carlson, Parks and Recreation Director by email at email@example.com or by phone at (952) 953-2310.