Plymouth Reviews Plans for New Playfield, City’s First Cricket Pitch
The Plymouth Planning Commission reviewed plans Wednesday night to turn a 20-acre site in the northwest part of the city into a new playfield.
The Meadows Playfield will feature a variety of amenities, including the city’s very first cricket pitch. Other plans include pickleball and tennis courts, an area for hockey and basketball and new trails. Modifications would be made to neighboring Meadows Park as part of the project.
“It’s a really exciting amenity to be able to bring to the city of Plymouth,” said Jennifer Tomlinson, the city’s parks and recreation director, on the new park features.
The site is next to Meadow Ridge Elementary School at the southwest corner of Chankahda Trail and Peony Lane. The city purchased the property in 2014. Previous plans for the site included a park-and-ride location and a baseball complex.
A Variety of Amenities
According to city plans, the cricket pitch would be built between two soccer fields. Cricket has a following in Plymouth with the city’s increasingly diverse population. A group of cricket enthusiasts came to the city last summer seeking a place to play cricket.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Plymouth Planning Commission members say they fielded comments from residents about the desire to make the cricket pitch bigger than what’s currently proposed.
Parks and recreation officials say they went through 15 different planning scenarios, but found it difficult to make that happen without eliminating other amenities.
“We had our consultant redraw it to make the cricket pitch more of an oval shape that would go the east,” said Tomlinson. “We cannot accommodate any other uses on the site if we do that. One of the things we strive to do as a community in developing our community parks is making sure that we have recreational access for multiple different users instead of focusing on a single user.”
The site is constrained by two wetlands, but is one of the last areas the city owns that could feasibly accommodate all the amenities proposed. A picnic shelter, restrooms, ice skating area and sledding hill are also part of the plans.
Trails would connect to existing paths through an underground tunnel beneath Chankahda Trail. Some residents to the east of the site on the other side of Peony Lane wondered what could be done to increase safety to avoid accidents with people likely to cross the busy road to access the park.
“I am concerned about the pedestrian crossing and would hope the city would continue to study that and address it. Maybe it takes a bridge or something,” remarked Plymouth Planning Commission member Marc Anderson.
Tomlinson said the need for tennis courts arose after the Wayzata School District ended a joint-powers agreement that allowed city-run courts on school property.
“We heard pretty significant input that the lack of tennis courts was a real need for area residents,” said Tomlinson.
An additional 137 trees will also be planted on the playfield site.
The city council is expected to vote on the project at its Jan. 23 meeting.
If approved, construction would start this summer with opening day planned for 2025.