WHY PRESERVE THIS OPEN SPACE?

The Aptos Par 3 is unarguably the last sizeable space in Aptos that is zoned for recreational use. The Santa Cruz County General Plan 1994 sets the criteria for park acreage for its inhabitants. As the population grows and development threatens the availability of parkland, it will become more difficult to meet these standards. The prospects of finding a site as big and flat as the Par 3 site become non-existent.

While developers can help provide tot lots and neighborhood parks, it is important to remember that some recreational activities require more space. The Par-3 site provides more space. Housing can be put on smaller sites, but some recreational activities cannot. Golf is one.

The question really is what are we going to do for parks and recreation for our population? In the 21st century, Santa Cruz County businesses, homes, and apartments will be built according to specifications for higher density, which means tighter living spaces.

Tighter living spaces are more tolerable if there is room to play and to enjoy a grassy area nearby. Cities that have stayed livable, despite high-density housing, have made sure to keep parks and open spaces a priority for their residents. Par 3 can provide a rare recreational space.

The Santa Cruz County General Plan 1994 established the criteria for neighborhood park sites, assigning the highest priority to county parks where critical needs exist and development pressures threaten the availability of park sites. The Park Standards in the Santa Cruz County General Plan are the goals for the amount of parkland provided per number of residents.

A wise community thinks strategically, planning now for its future recreation sites. There are no large, flat lots that could replace the recreational use of the Par 3 property. It is the last available space in Aptos that is sizeable and zoned for recreational use.