Priority Action 1.2. Utilize Level of Service as a planning tool to manage public space assets efficiently.
The 2005 Public Spaces Master Plan recommended that Arlington develop a “clustering philosophy” for providing amenities. Clustering was intended to move the County in the direction of thinking about groups of public space sites together providing the appropriate mix of amenities within a defined boundary. In this plan, the activity-based approach to providing amenities takes the clustering idea further by eliminating the idea of defined boundaries for analyzing groups of amenities. Instead, each amenity will be treated individually when defining what Level of Service is being provided. In addition, this plan recognizes that access to amenities will not necessarily be the same in high-density and low-density areas. High-density and low-density areas have different development patterns, different amounts and configurations of public space, and correspondingly different expectations for access to amenities. The County will be explicit about what Level of Service can be expected in these contexts (see Appendix II, Level of Service). The Level of Service and access analysis will be used together as a tool to understand how many amenities are needed in the County and at what locations.
1.2.1. Identify opportunities to add or change park and recreation amenities or enhance multi-modal access based on Level of Service analysis.
1.2.2. Based on Level of Service and other planning tools and policy, determine where to reduce duplication of services without reducing the overall quality of service provided to the community.
There are locations where there is a duplication or clustering of one type of amenity, resulting in low usage rates for each. At the same time, these areas may be lacking another type of amenity. This represents an opportunity to better balance the system. By replacing a duplicate with a different amenity, the County can offer a full array of recreation amenities (see Appendix II, Level of Service).
1.2.3. Consider siting new amenities in locations that are or can be made accessible by as many modes of transportation as possible.
The use of multi-modal transportation to access public amenities is an important goal of the County.
1.2.4. Conduct a public space needs assessment, including a statistically valid survey and Level of Service analysis, on a 5-year cycle.
As the County needs, trends and population projections may change, conducting a needs assessment and reviewing and updating Level of Service analysis and methodology on a regular basis would allow the County to keep pace with these changes and adjust its recommendations accordingly. In addition, the County will periodically evaluate existing and gather new data on public space amenities, such as casual use spaces, natural lands, dog parks/runs, trails, athletic fields, community gardens, etc., to refine the Level of Service standards and approaches in the future.
Priority Action 1.2.5. Analyze athletic field utilization to improve data on the current use and assess future athletic field needs.
The County will work with the community to determine a set of use assumptions that will enable consistent evaluation of field utilization and capacity. This will be used in conjunction with the Level of Service recommendations (see 1.2.4.).
1.2.6. Implement the revised standards for dog parks and new standards for dog runs identified in Appendix III, Dog Parks and Dog Runs.
In addition to the revised dog park standards and new dog run standards, the County should explore modifying zoning regulations to allow dog parks and dog runs on privately-owned property with or without public easements, due to the increase in dog-friendly residential developments in densely populated areas.