• BlairHill donation doubles size of park
BROOKINGS – The city’s parkland grew a bit the past week as Brookings Parks, Recreation and Forestry accepted a gift of property that will nearly double the size of a neighborhood park in the new Valley View Addition.
Formally accepted at this week’s city council meeting, the land has been donated by Valley View developer, BlairHill Properties, Inc.
Keith Rounds, president of BlairHill, said that the new parcel of land – Lot 17 – is about the size of nine of the standard lots at Valley View.
BlairHill, whose partners include Rounds and his wife, Cathy, and Scott and Nancy Hodges, made its original gift of land for a Valley View neighborhood park in 2009. This week’s gift adjoins that land.
Mayor Tim Reed thanked the developers for their generosity.
The deed requires that the land, which adjoins the park area now being designed and built by Parks & Rec, be used as a playground or as green space.
City Manager Jeff Weldon noted that since the properties are in an area still being developed, the city will share part of the cost for street and storm sewer projects in the park area. The city’s expenses will amount to about $43,000.
"It's exciting and very rewarding for us to again be able to make a gift such as this" said Nancy Hodges. "Over 70 families in less than four years have chosen to call Valley View home, and it's just part of our way of saying thank you to them."
Hodges noted that “it’s a beautiful site, with nice vistas and many mature trees.”
“We’re excited that it will be available to the public to enjoy for years to come," she said.
Her Realtor husband, Scott, pointed out that the housing development – started at a time when there was a shortage of affordable housing in the community – “has become a neighborhood of diverse residents, from young, single folks to young families with children to retired residents in search of energy-efficient, low-maintenance housing.”
Hodges said he’s pleased that many older couples have found the neighborhood attractive.
“Our empty-nester residents love the peace and quiet of Valley View, along with the care-free, stair-free plans we offer, and the flat, low-maintenance lots where they can enjoy their hobbies like gardening while still enjoying all of the benefits of a new home."
Valley View is located in southwest Brookings, near Indian Hills. The neighborhood is on the south side of West 20th Street, about a quarter-mile west of Western Avenue.
The new park will be located at the southern end of the addition, on Rapid Valley Street.
Valley View was the first residential tax increment financing district – or TIF – created by the City of Brookings. That made the homes there especially affordable, Hodges noted.
All the TIF properties are now sold, but there are 13 non-TIF sites remaining, six of which are either across from the park or directly adjacent to the newly expanded park.
Home prices in Valley View remain modest, with plans available ranging from less than $135,000 to just under $166,000
All homes in Valley View are built by Brookings contractor Clark Drew Construction, Inc.
Plans and sites can be viewed at the Valley View website, Vvhomes.com.