Humboldt County General Framework Plan

Section 4400 - COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION

4410 Background

Opportunities for outdoor and community based recreation in Humboldt County are important ingredients to the quality of life enjoyed by County residents. Humboldt County park facilities, though used primarily by County residents, also provide valuable recreational opportunities for visitors from outside the County. (Refer to Map 2-1). In order to maximize the use of the County's recreational facilities, accessibility to a wide segment of the population must be ensured. In ensuring accessibility to recreational facilities and opportunities, a framework must be established through which the county can provide and maintain facilities that adequately meet the diverse needs of the public. This framework will in turn aid in realizing basic General Plan goals such as accommodating additional people in the county, and guiding physical development in an orderly fashion.

The parks and recreation section of this General Plan summarizes the basic goals, policies, standards, and implementation measures of the existing recreation element. The Recreation Element was prepared under the guidance of the County Parks and Recreation Commission and was adopted in 1976 and updated in 1981 to provide a central policy tool in deliberating on matters concerning parks and recreation facilities. Though the entire text of the Recreation Element is not included in this plan, it is contained in the General Plan data base. The goals, policies, standards, and implementation measures that will be used in the General Plan to encourage the maintenance and provision of parks and recreation facilities are provided in the following.

4420 GOALS

To provide and adequately maintain park and recreation opportunities which are highly accessible and reflective of public needs; to protect park resources from incompatible uses; and to plan park development in such a manner as to minimize environmental impacts.

4430 POLICIES

1. The County should continue to support efforts to acquire, develop, and maintain county parks and recreation areas that are highly accessible to the public, and serve the unstructured outdoor recreational needs of County residents and tourists.

2. The County shall give priority to the County residents' outdoor recreational needs.

3. Plans for the development of additional County recreational facilities and opportunities shall consider the County's long term capabilities for the maintenance of all facilities and opportunities.

4. The County shall encourage the private acquisition, development, and preservation of outdoor recreational resources and opportunities and facilities, and the County will coordinate recreation plans with all appropriate agencies.

5. The County shall pursue all feasible sources of funding for the maintenance, development or acquisition of recreational facilities and programs consistent with this plan.

6. The County Parks and Recreation Division staff shall continue to provide information regarding recreational opportunities within Humboldt County and input into land use planning decisions insofar as those decisions may effect recreational opportunities in the County.

7. Policies addressing community recreational needs shall be prepared as part of each community plan.

4440 STANDARDS
1. The planning process and design process, as delineated in the General Plan Technical Appendix shall be used as a guideline for the planning of recreational facilities and activities.

2. Public input shall be sought prior to undertaking any extensive development of a park or planning of new recreational facilities.

3. The provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act shall be adhered to in the planning and design processes.

4. Park facilities shall be designed and constructed in such a manner as to not discriminate against the physically handicapped. When a County policy or standard is adopted addressing handicapped accessibility, it shall be incorporated as a standard of this section of the General Plan.

5. The Parks and Recreation Commission shall develop a program to determine the physical barriers to recreational facilities and establish a schedule to eliminate them.

6. Coastal parks and accesses will be developed in accordance with the Local Coastal Plans.

7. The implementation section of the Recreation Element (1976, updated 1981) shall be used as a guide for project selection for County Park development, and is hereby incorporated into this document.

8. The Parks Division of the Department of Public Works shall assume the role of the lead agency for the purposes of administering the Recreation Element.

9. The County Parks and Recreation Commission shall act in an advisory capacity to the Board of Supervisors, and shall review and recommend policy regarding public recreation in Humboldt County, and shall conduct periodic reviews of the Recreation Element.