The staff of the City of Willoughby and Brandstetter Carroll Inc. thank the leadership and citizens of Willoughby for their sincere interest and passion toward the potential improvements to two very unique and special parks serving the Willoughby Community. The resulting Master Plans are a true reflection of the citizen participation.
Osborne and Sunset Parks are the only lakefront parks in Willoughby. Sunset Park serves as primarily a scenic overlook of the lake on a steep bank and is a very popular spot for Willoughby residents to walk or drive by to view the dramatic sunsets. Osborne Park is one of the larger parks in the community at 45 acres and serves the entire community with its family aquatic center, playgrounds, picnic shelters, game courts, benches, and athletic fields. The park has developed in a random manner over the years as facilities have been needed. Therefore, the City leaders determined it is time to take a step back and look at the long term vision of what the park should be and how it should serve the whole community.
Master Plan Purpose
The overall purpose of these master plans is to determine the needs of the community and how these needs can best be met within these two parks. The parks serve the immediate neighborhoods as well as the entire Willoughby Community.
The process began with a series of community input processes to identify the issues, concerns and needs of Willoughby residents. This was accomplished through four methods to allow for as much community involvement as possible. A Public Workshop started the process, followed by three Stakeholder Groups representing Council appointments, Ward 1 appointments, and the athletic leagues that use the park. This was followed by a web based survey which was completed by 202 residents.
This valuable insight was used by the Consultants and City Staff to formulate a Master Plan for each site. Preliminary plans were submitted to the City and minor edits were made to each park Master Plan. The Draft Master Plans were presented in a public forum on June 29, 2011.
Osborne Park Planning Goals
The forms of public input were used to identify the main goals that would lead the Consultants. These include:
- Walking path around the perimeter of the park.
- Improved parking.
- Improve the quality of the existing facilities.
- Provide improved restrooms and concession area at the football area.
- Provide parking and picnic venues overlooking Lake Erie.
- Provide a pier which would allow access out into the Lake for fishing and lake viewing.
- Improve the lakefront with a sand beach area through development of breakwaters.
Sunset Park Planning Goals
- The goals for Sunset Park include:
- Improve the park aesthetics.
- Improve parking.
- Provide terraces and ramps to provide access to various levels.
- Provide observation platforms.
- Add landscaping.
- Perimeter paved walking trail of 0.92 miles.
- Expanded parking at the south end near the major facilities.
- Roadway access through the park and parking near the lake, with two picnic shelters and a gazebo overlooking Lake Erie.
- Upgraded football complex with regraded game field, practice field, parking, and new restroom / concession / storage / press box building.
- Improved soccer fields.
- Paved trail connections to the adjacent neighborhoods.
- Development of breakwaters to create a sand beach area.
- Paved parking along Beachview Road.
- New wood guard rail.
- Walking path to provide access to the benches and to new observation platforms at varying levels throughout the park.
- Landscaping and Butterfly Gardens.