Creating improved non-motorized trails, greenbelts, neighborhood parks and pocket parks will result in more recreation opportunities and aesthetic enhancements that increase associated property values, help reduce vacancy rates and attract employers to the City. The Anaheim Outdoors Connectivity Plan (Plan) enhancements will provide a city-wide attraction for continued business and residential investment in the community.
The following topics describe opportunities for economic benefit in the City of Anaheim.
6.1 Increase property values and attract new businesses by enhancing access to recreation and open space opportunities
Laguna Coast Trail, Laguna Beach
Access to parks and open space is a strong factor in determining where people live and work. Residents and workers desire to be near parks and open space for passive and active recreational opportunities.
A recent study conducted by the Trust for Public Land entitled Measuring the Economic Value of a City Park System looked at the effects of parkland on homes and local business. “Using the conservative value of 5 percent as the amount that parkland added to the assessed value of all dwellings within 500 feet of parks,” the study concluded that in Washington, D.C. the total amount that parks increased property value was approximately $1.2 billion (Harnik and Welle, 2009). That calculated out to a total of almost $7 million in additional property tax revenue for the City in the year 2006.
The study also looked at parks as a potential draw for tourists and tourist spending. San Diego, home to Balboa Park and several other park attractions, received over 16 million visitors in the year 2007. A survey conducted by the report determined that 20% of those visitors “visited because of the parks”. After calculating the average daily spending of the tourists, the study was able to determine that total park derived tourist spending in San Diego in 2007 came to over $114 million. Tax revenue for the City was calculated at over $8 million for park tourist spending alone. The local economy also profited from the tourist’s spending, at an estimated $40 million.
These numbers confirm that increasing and enhancing parks and open space in the City of Anaheim can offer many benefits to residents, businesses and local government.
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6.2 Utilize the Plan to spur neighborhood and district improvements
The Plan identifies opportunities for improving access to parks and open space and can be a catalyst for change. Neighborhood groups and individual citizens on a street by street basis can use and leverage appropriate aspects of the Plan to spur transformation and change near their homes and places of work. This can come through focused discussions with neighborhood and civic leaders, volunteer and non-profit organizations and direct application for local state and federal grants to fund neighborhood improvements such as creating new parks, trails, enhanced sidewalks and open space.
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6.3 Provide parks and open space in park deficient areas
As with any city, there are certain areas of Anaheim that have fewer parks and open space resources. It is important to address these park-deficient areas by either creating more park space or enhancing connectivity to existing park space.
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6.4 Work with developers and business owners
Developers and business owners have already begun embracing the Plan due to its economic value. The team has met members of the development community to discuss opportunities, and review their individual plans for development. In addition, the team has met with businesses throughout Anaheim to encourage incorporation of key elements of the Plan.
Development proposals that slowed during the recent economic downtown could be revisited with an eye on opportunities for how individual plans can be modified and coordinated with the Plan. Examples of this coordination include orientating buildings and street frontages towards new open spaces and parks, improved access to bike routes and hiking trails and providing of on-site amenities such as bike racks and lockers.
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6.5 Identify opportunities to coordinate with tourism
The Plan is being coordinated with leaders in Anaheim tourism including the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Convention Center, Angels Stadium and Honda Center. While the Plan is geared towards residents and workers in Anaheim, the City has a significant tourism population that can share in the opportunities for new and improved parks and open space, and enhanced connectivity including bike routes and hiking trails. Hotels can provide improved access to parks and trails for visitors. Tourists staying in local hotels would also benefit from improved bike and pedestrian routes such as tree-lined promenades connecting them to events at Angels Stadium and Honda Center.
Tourists and residents alike can take advantage of the new bike sharing program in the City of Anaheim. This is a pilot program, at no cost to taxpayers, and operates in the City’s major activity centers including The Anaheim Resort and Platinum Triangle.
PNC Park along the Allegheny riverfront, Pittsburgh, PA
The Plan identifies several projects that would be a draw for tourists. With the Santa Ana River adjacent to major entertainment venues such as Angels Stadium of Anaheim, Honda Center, The City National Grove and major transportation hubs such as ARTIC (with Amtrak, Metrolink, bus service and future ARC) the Santa Ana riverfront has the potential to become a community treasure and national destination.
Near the Angel Stadium lies a large swath of land ideal for featuring a cultural plaza, meandering walking trails, viewing platforms, art displays, murals, and more. From farmer’s markets to eclectic festivals, this linear parkway of peaceful nature within the rich and vibrant urban environment could offer a multitude of events.
River walks are popular with tourists for their diverse offerings from picnicking to bird-watching to food festivals. They’ve become popular with cities across the nation as a way to increase revenue and utilize vacant land along riverfronts. The famous San Antonio River Walk attracts more than five million visitors annually to its four-mile path along the San Antonio River.
San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas
The proposed Five Coves North and the existing Anaheim Coves are also perfect for vacationers who desire outdoor recreation opportunities. These riverfront greenspaces offer a relaxing change from the high sensory experience of Disneyland and other attractions and could be used as venues for special events (i.e. benefit walks, marathon routes, competitive cycling circuits, etc.).
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