Roy Hardin Park swap gets first OK

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By Chris Sardelli

Councilman Jack Estridge raised several concerns about plans to relocate Indian Land’s Roy Hardin Park at Lancaster County Council’s meeting April 6.

The plan, requested by York Development Group, LLC, would move the park from near Collins Road to an area one street over, near Shelley Mullis Road.

There are only 2 acres of usable park space at the current park, out of a total 9.9 acres, and the company has requested moving the park in order to develop the land in another way. The new park would have 4.9 usable acres of space.

Estridge wants to make sure all costs for developing the land would be included.

He said past development projects have included hidden costs that were found out only after projects had been approved. He was also concerned about what kind of property the county would be using for the new park, if it accepted the exchange.

“My concern, and I’ve seen this in the past, is that the Recreation Department will accept property that is not good property,” he said.

Council Chairman Fred Thomas said he agreed with Estridge “1,000 percent,” but made it clear that the Parks and Recreation Department would only submit a recommendation. Council would have the final say.

Council voted unanimously to accept first reading. Council will discuss the plan further, and have second reading of the issue at its April 27 meeting.

Councilman Larry McCullough said he voted for the plan because York Development responded quickly to council’s request that it remove several stripped trailers from its property on U.S. 521.  

The abandoned trailers had been stripped by vandals, causing insulation and debris to spill out onto the property.

After complaints from residents and a discussion at County Council, York Development quickly found a contractor to destroy the trailers and remove the rubble.

“Once attention was brought to the issue, I was very pleased with the cooperation,” McCullough said.

He said the group’s response motivated him to support the park endeavor.

“I’ve walked the park and the usable portion is only 2 acres,” he said. “I feel very comfortable that what is going to transpire will make sense.”

McCullough said he would still like to see the master plan for the park before voting at the next meeting.

Councilwoman Kathy Sistare said she approved first reading of the plan, but wants more information before voting again.

She would also prefer making changes to existing details, such as switching a proposed gravel walking trail at the new park to a concrete trail. Her biggest concern, though, is making sure Indian Land residents always have a park available.

“We want to make sure we get usable space for the park and also we don’t want to be left without a park during the construction phase,” she said. “We want to make sure that it’s acceptable for citizens and residents in the Panhandle.”

County Administrator Steve Willis said that due to the topography of the area, York Development would like to turn the former park into a storm water retention area.

The current park has a small playground area, a picnic shelter, half-mile walking trail and a small pond.

The development company has proposed building an expanded picnic and playground area at the new park, as well as a larger walking trail and fields for playing soccer or tossing Frisbees.

If the park is relocated, its name will remain the same.

Willis said the Parks and Recreation Department will have to approve the request as well, and must submit its recommendation by the end of April.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 416-8416