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Closing of Normandy Oaks, Park Utilization Survey on the Agenda

The Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Advisory Board meets Thursday at 7 p.m. in Royal Oak.

At the top of the list of priorities is a picnic pavilion at Memorial Park.
At the top of the list of priorities is a picnic pavilion at Memorial Park.
On the agenda when the Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Advisory Board meets Thursday is the closing of Normandy Oaks Golf Course, the park utilization survey and a list of park improvement priorities.

[Read: Wish List For Royal Oak Parks is a Long One]

City Manager Don Johnson told the Royal Oak City Commission at its strategic planning session in January that the financial viability of Normandy Oaks  – one of two nine-hole municipal golf courses in the city  – is simply unsustainable.

"If we open, we'll probably have to subsidize it," Johnson said. "The long-term decision we have to make is whether we sell it."

The city has a provision in its ordinances that states the land has to be maintained for recreation use, according to the city manager.

"The only way we could do anything else or sell it would be to put it on the ballot," Johnson said.

The board will also review the criteria used to determine why eight parks in the city were deemed underused parks. The list includes:

A city-wide survey conducted in 2013 showed 47 percent of residents were open to selling less-used parks to improve parks that are used more often, while 25 percent were opposed and another 28 percent were unsure or needed more information.

Public comment is welcome at the beginning of the meeting.

If you go


  • What:  Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Advisory Board
  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Mahany/Meininger Senior Center, 3500 Marais
Lisa February 05, 2014 at 09:23 AM
Franklin park is under used because it a sad park. Yes, it has a tennis court, but other then that it only has two swings which I believe are baby swings and then a dinosaur. We live in that neighborhood and my daughter has never once asked to go there. She and her friends will walk a few more blocks to go to Longfellow, which has more equipment.
Greg Elledge February 05, 2014 at 10:43 AM
When they say a city wide survey was sent, they don't mean a survey was sent to all residents. Not sure who it was sent too but I never received one.
Pbrzez February 05, 2014 at 11:11 AM
Our city manager has no concerns for the people of this city. His answer is to sell for today and neglects the future. Please do not sell Normandy Oaks and our other parks.
Pbrzez February 05, 2014 at 11:45 AM
Judy, thank you for your volunteer service to the Patch. You make the Patch what it is.
Mike Ripinski February 05, 2014 at 01:37 PM
Please come to the Parks & Rec meeting on Thursday at 7 PM if you want to be heard. There will be public comment.
Ron Arnold February 05, 2014 at 01:45 PM
Franklin would be more used if it was maintained, even at all. During the rains, the courts remain flooded for days afterwards.
l.c. February 05, 2014 at 05:52 PM
just where are the bean counters when residents + non residents enjoy the parts after 5pm & on weekends? this so called survey should not be used to put the parks up for sale.seems a rush to judgement & someone is being Greedy.leave the parks the way they were meant to be-green spaces.
Brian C February 06, 2014 at 05:42 AM
There will be neighbors in support of Fulton Park at tonight's meeting. I hope the board and ultimately city commission listen to those that actually use the park and make the correct decision to remove it from further consideration for closing.
Ciaran McWilliams February 06, 2014 at 08:14 AM
It's being sold to build more homes.
hae62 February 06, 2014 at 08:57 AM
Utilization can mean many things. Driving by a park that provides a sense of openness to an area can be equally as important to the quality of life in a neighbourhood. Having people physically be in a park in some cases defeats the point of having an open space in the first place. Maintenence is however important for all "urban parks".
kpn February 06, 2014 at 10:49 AM
Make a decision to have at least one 9 hole golf course worth playing! If you need plans for Normandy make it a RO Community Center and have ample parking, recreation fields, a gym, pool, meeting areas, etc.
Mike Ripinski February 06, 2014 at 11:40 AM
Great idea kpn. Where does the money come from for a community center, gym, pool and meeting area? You can sell the land but then where do you put those amenities? Can't have both ways.
Matt Turner February 06, 2014 at 12:51 PM
Sell Bassett to commercial or real estate developers with a solid plan. The park is barely used at all and is now located on a busy intersection.
The Duke of Royal Oak February 06, 2014 at 02:09 PM
Leave all parks and Normandy Oak's Golf course alone. This is a CHEAP attempt by the city. Ellison wanted to sell city hall at one time too. Perhaps we can sell the whole city to Clawson!
Brian C February 06, 2014 at 02:31 PM
What's the projection for how much the city will have to pay to subsidize Normandy Oaks this year?
Mike Ripinski February 06, 2014 at 03:54 PM
Brian - Come tonight and we will try to find out. City Manager will be there.
Joey K. February 06, 2014 at 04:29 PM
Close and sell Normandy Oaks. There will be enough money to fix up and make the Royal Oak course profitable, fix up the rest of our parks, and I bet some leftover for that downtown park and splash pad that has been talked about.

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