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Commission to consider proposed tax assessment for neighborhood park

A proposed tax assessment for a park in the South Hill neighborhood will be considered and open for public comment at the Grand Rapids City Commission meeting on Tuesday, December 18, at 7 p.m.
Families gather at Pleasant Park: now an empty parking lot

Families gather at Pleasant Park: now an empty parking lot /courtesy of Jenn Gavin

Underwriting support from:
proposed plan for Pleasant Park

proposed plan for Pleasant Park /courtesy of Parents of Pleasant Park

a neighborhood youth plays ball in the proposed site for Pleasant Park

a neighborhood youth plays ball in the proposed site for Pleasant Park /courtesy of Jenn Gavin

The Grand Rapids City Commission will be hearing public comment about a proposed assessment for "Pleasant Park" in the South Hill neighborhood. The proposed park area is currently a no-longer-used and often overgrown parking lot.

Supporters of the park would like to see the neighborhood "eyesore" be turned into a gathering place for their neighborhood and a place for their children to play. Information on the Pleasant Park website says that the proposed changes would likely increase property values in the area from five to 20 percent.

In order for a special assessment to be considered by the city commission, the city must show that the proposed changes will have a positive effect on the value of the properties assessed. 

So far, voting numbers sent in to the city from the 392 voting parcels appear to be in favor of the assessment. Friday's vote tally, shared by City Draftsperson Specialist Mark Garvey, though it shows nearly 72% still unresponsive, included yes votes more than double those returning with a no vote.  

The commission meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. on the 9th floor of City Hall (300 Monroe Ave NW). The agenda includes a time for discussion about the proposed park and the suggested $50 tax addition per year for 10 years for property owners between Franklin and Logan and between Lafayette and Union (properties roughly within 750 feet of the proposed park).

Families in the neighborhood have been holding fundraisers and working to create awareness about the proposed plans, but say they need the assessment to help make the park a reality. Friends of GR Parks has joined family efforts, and the neighbors have already been approved for a State of Michigan DNR grant for about half of the cost of the park.

Those interested in voicing their thoughts and information about the proposed assessment are encouraged to attend the City Commission meeting Tuesday night at 7 p.m.


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