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:

  1. Protecting Natural Resources
  2. Maintaining and Adding Trails
  3. Preserving Existing Park Assets
  4. Apple Valley Family Aquatic Center
  5. Apple Valley Senior Center & Community Centers
  6. Redwood Park
  7. Kelley Park
  8. Hayes Park Youth Baseball/Softball Complex
  9. 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.

Proposed Improvements

With this investment, the City would create natural prairies, develop pollinator and bee-friendly areas, and, plant new trees.


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, 20239 a.m.Virtual –
Monday, May 15, 20236 p.m.Apple Valley Community Center – 14603 Hayes Road
Wednesday, May 17, 20232:30 p.m.Virtual –
Wednesday, May 17, 20236 p.m.Redwood Park Building – 311 150th Street W.
Saturday, May 20, 20239 a.m.Apple Valley Community Center – 14603 Hayes Road
Saturday, May 20, 202310:30 a.m.Virtual –
Tuesday, May 23, 20233 p.m.Virtual –
Tuesday, May 23, 20236 p.m.Apple Valley Community Center – 14603 Hayes Road
Wednesday, May 24, 20236 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 or by phone at (952) 953-2310.