PEA RIDGE — Santa Rosa County District 1 Commissioner Sam Parker is gauging public interest in constructing a park on county-owned land just under two acres at the 4600 block of Easter Street in the Metron Estates neighborhood.

He started Monday with an informal meeting of neighbors on location and heard concerns such as stormwater, drug dealing and extra traffic.

Parker said he intentionally went into this without specifics on the park although he roughly envisions some picnic tables, a gazebo, two half-basketball courts and a gravel parking lot.

Parker’s concern is with county-owned property that serves no purpose.

“We shouldn’t be in the property preservation business,” he said. “People feel the county is sitting on land doing nothing.”

Metron Estates resident Rick Dionisio, like many residents, was concerned a park could cause problems for stormwater damage. While Parker said a park would have to meet stormwater-related codes, Dionisio also expressed concern about added noise and activity.

“I’ll be across the street from this park,” he said.

By the end of the meeting, some of those present said they’d be willing to consider a park if Parker came back to them with a specific proposal. By June 15 at the latest, Parker will have a concept ready, he said.

Email samparker@santarosa.fl.gov to share your thoughts about the park proposal with Parker.

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