The City of Redding is looking into the possibility of having a third party take over and revitalize South City Park.
As it stands, it’s not a place most people would want to take their family for a picnic on a nice day.
Mostly because of concerns over public safety.
The park is known to be a hotbed for illegal camping and criminal activity.
“We've had some element down there that is not acceptable for many folks,” Redding city manager Barry Tippin said. “And it also is detrimental for park use.”
One nearby business owner said the park has been on the decline for years.
But Tippin says that's why they're proposing bringing in a third party to help come up with a plan to revitalize the area.
The idea came after the city council challenged the Tippin and his team to come up with ways to improve the park and make it more attractive to community members.
“Our hope is that people will come forward with an idea that enhances the existing park, that will provide an amenity that will drive more people to use the park,” he said.
Something along the lines of a recreational facility that fills some kind of existing need.
“Then you'll have more people who are down there that are there to recreate and that will help with improving public safety as a whole,” Tippin said.
Earlier this year the city council voted to approve a lease to convert downtown's Carnegie Park into a food truck park.
That plan is still in the works, but many hoped it would help revitalize the area and drive illegal campers out.
Tippin says they're open to all kinds of ideas, but ideally they'd like to keep the space for recreational or municipal use.
“The California law requires that if you have a park, in order to do something else with it other than recreational or municipal purposes, it takes a vote,” Tippin said. “It takes four fifths of the council. And so the ideal solution would be something that is a municipal purpose, preferably one that is associated with recreation for sure.”
Tippin says once they draft up the request for proposals, the public will have 30 days to present their ideas.
And he hopes to present something to the city council for a vote by March or April.
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