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Experience the Fraser : Land Acquisition Criteria Turnbull, Elliot 2016

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EXPERIENCE THE FRASERLand Acquisition CriteriaFraser Valley Regional DistrictElliot Turnbull, MA (Planning) CandidateSchool of Community and Regional PlanningThe University of British ColumbiaSummer 2016Page 2Page 3“Experience the Fraser (ETF) is a recreational, cultural, and heritage project that extends along the Lower Fraser River Corridor connecting Hope to the Salish Sea” (ETF, 2011). At its core rests 550 kilometres of trails and a recreational blueway with amenities to support both land and water-based use. Eventually, trails will link communities and Fraser River themes, features, amenities, and experiences.Land acquisition can sometimes be a challenge for planners and senior management, and a difficult decision for politicians. What happens when land appears on the market and staff need to quickly make a firm recommendation to acquire the land or not? What happens if staff are approached by a landowner with a deal before it goes on the market? How does staff weigh the benefits and costs of acquiring one piece of land against another? In order to streamline this process, land acquisition criteria are an optimal planning tool. Acquisition criteria EXECUTIVE SUMMARYPage 4rate a series of different aspects about a property and provide an input to the decision of whether or not to purchase a property.Achieving the goals of ETF will require the acquisition of land. This project involved designing of a set of criteria to evaluate potential parks based on the ETF’s goals. The project was completed over the summer of 2016 and was based on three aspects: the project parameters as set out by the client, recommended practices from the literature, and existing approaches to land acquisition criteria by local governments. Further, the ETF concept plan acted as an overall guiding framework for the ETF acquisition criteria.Because this project focuses on a planning tool, rather than a research question, the structure of this report will be a linear description of the process and inputs that went into designing the criteria. The criteria itself will be simply presented at the end of this report.The background section contains information about the client for this project, The Fraser Valley Regional District, details about Experience the Fraser, and a short primer on land acquisition criteria in general. The policy review examines recommended practices in theory and contains an environmental scan of how other local governments approach the design of acquisition criteria. Next, the methodology explains the rationale behind the design of the ETF criteria. Overall, land acquisition criteria were designed and tested and the results are presented in the findings section of this report.While this project was focused mostly on the design of land acquisition criteria for the Experience the Fraser project, it was discovered that despite the wide range of approaches to acquisition criteria, there is almost no academic review of these processes. Future research could conduct a more in depth analysis of available approaches to local government land acquisition and create a set of suggested practices.Client’s RequirementsRecommended PracticesReal World ExamplesETF Acquisition CriteriaProject Inputs ▲ Inputs to the ETF Acquisition Criteria▲ ETF Wayfinding SignsPage 5Table of ContentsExecutive Summary ..................................................... 31.0 Introduction ........................................................... 7 1.1 What’s this project about? ...................... 82.0 Background ............................................................ 9 2.1 The Fraser Valley Regional District ........ 9 2.2 Experience the Fraser .............................. 9 2.3 The Project .............................................. 10 2.4 About Acquisition Criteria ................... 113.0 Policy Review ....................................................... 13 3.1 Recommended Practices ....................... 13 3.2 Acquisition Criteria in Practice ............ 15  3.2.1 Lists .......................................... 15  3.2.2 Frameworks ............................. 164.0 Methodology ....................................................... 19 4.1 Categories ............................................... 19 4.2 Structure ................................................. 20 4.3 Scoring .................................................... 20 4.4 Weighting ................................................ 20 4.5 Rationale ................................................. 215.0 The Criteria ......................................................... 296.0 Conclusion ........................................................... 35 6.1 Limitations .............................................. 36 6.2 Further Study ......................................... 36References .................................................................. 37Appendix A ................................................................. 38Photos property of the FVRD.Icons property of the author.AcknowledgementsI would like to thank David Urban, an FVRD planner and the ETF Project Lead, for both initiating this project and providing valuable advice and feedback during its progression. I would also like to thank Dr. Tom Hutton, my project supervisor, for his helpful feedback and support.Page 6List of FiguresSumas Mountain Sunset ............................................. 3Fishing on the Fraser River in Laidlaw ...................... 3Camping on the Fraser River in Chilliwack .............. 3Fraser River in Mission ................................................ 3Inputs to ETF Criteria .................................................. 4ETF Essential Markers Signage ................................... 4Chehalis Mountain Range .......................................... 5Mt. Cheam Panorama .................................................. 7ETF Concept Plan Title Page ...................................... 8Abbotsford-Mission Bridge ........................................ 9FVRD Map ................................................................... 10Inputs to ETF Criteria ................................................ 10ETF Concept Plan Map .............................................. 10Fraser Pacific Enterprises Tugboat .......................... 13Mainland Sand and Gravel Tugboat ........................ 13Dewdney Regional Park ............................................ 13Matsqui Trail Regional Park ...................................... 13ETF Flag ....................................................................... 13The Conservation Handbook ................................... 14CRD Land Acquisition Strategy Cover .................... 15Auckland Acquisition Criteria Table ....................... 16Sammamish Acquisition Criteria Sample ............... 17Nanaimo Criteria Sample ......................................... 17Kilby Harisson River View ........................................ 18Mission Railway Bridge ............................................. 18Canadian Pacific Railway Train ................................ 18Mississauga Acquisition Criteria Sample ............... 18ETF Structure .............................................................. 19Mt. Cheam View ........................................................ 20Canoeing the Fraser River ........................................ 21Nicomen Slough Dike ................................................ 21Spirit Trail Mask Loop in East Sector Lands ........... 21Island 22 Regional Park Boat Launch ..................... 23Fraser River Airphoto (Google Earth) ..................... 24Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park Moss ............ 25Sumas Mt. Field Chickweed ..................................... 26Peach Creek Salmon ................................................. 26Hatzic Lake Neilson Regional Park .......................... 27View from Hillkeep Regional Park ........................... 29Fraser River near Hope ...................................... 31-33Spirit Trail Loop in East Sector Lands ..................... 36Fraser River near Hell’s Gate .................................... 36GlossaryETF - Experience the FraserFVRD - Fraser Valley Regional DistrictMV - Metro VancouverBequest - Property given by will.Dedication - The giving of land by a private person to a government.Easement - A right to use or cross someone else’s land for a specific purpose.Expropriation - the act of a government in taking privately owned property, ostensibly to be used for purposes designed to benefit the overall public.Restrictive covenant - Restriction of activities or land-use that is applied to a portion of the subject property.Page 7“Experience the Fraser (ETF) is a recreational, cultural, and heritage project that extends along the Lower Fraser River Corridor connecting Hope to the Salish Sea” (ETF, 2011). At its core rests 550 kilometres of trails and a recreational blueway with ample amenities to support both land and water-based use. Eventually, trails will link communities and Fraser River themes, features, amenities, and experiences.ETF is a unique planning exercise with ambitious, long-term goals. The project is a partnership between the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) and Metro Vancouver (MV) which is funded in part by the Province of British Columbia. While over half of the trail system is already in place, the plan will require decades of land acquisition and improvements before completion.In 2009, the Province of BC provided the FVRD and MV with $2.5 million dollars to develop a comprehensive Concept Plan, and to implement two demonstration projects.1.0 INTRODUCTIONPage 8The first demonstration project, Derby Reach, is a partnership between Metro Vancouver and Langley Township to establish 12 kilometres of trail to link Historic Fort Langley to the Golden Ears Bridge. The second, a partnership between the Fraser Valley Regional District and the District of Mission, is a revitalization of the Mission riverfront which features public art and showcases some of the ways in which successful partnerships will bring about outstanding results.The Experience the Fraser Concept Plan is complete. Documents have been produced, planners, politicians, and the public are all on board for the plan, and there are projects on the ground. But now is not the time to celebrate. What happens next? With over 550 km of trails designated in the plan, how will the network ever be built out? The next logical step is land acquisition along the Fraser River. It sounds straightforward, but what happens when land appears on the market and staff need to quickly make a case to politicians with firm recommendations on whether to acquire the land or not? Imagine a land owner offering an amazing deal on a property. How do staff weigh the benefits and costs of acquiring one piece of land against another? Planners working on the ETF project face these daunting situations on a regular basis. Currently, there is no set process to follow in regards to property selection and evaluation, and the process is done differently in each case.1.1 What’s this project about?This project will answer the question: “How can the process of land evaluation be streamlined to allow planners to make quick decisions about recommending or discouraging the purchase of potential properties?” Of the many approaches available, this project will focus on the design of a set of land acquisition criteria. The presentation of this project will follow a linear process, starting with all the inputs and thought that went into the construction of the criteria, and ending with a presentation of the criteria themselves in tabular format.The purpose of land acquisition criteria is to provide an input into the decision of whether or not to purchase a piece of land. There are many different types of acquisition criteria used in practice, which will be outlined in the literature review.Why use acquisition criteria at all? What are the benefits? o Allows staff to make substantiated recommendations to politicians o Enables a government to proactively pursue lands that have been identified o Helps prioritize where to spend limited funds o Allows governments to respond quickly to unexpected opportunities o Allows landowners to determine whether their properties qualify for acquisition o Narrows focus on properties which advance planning or community goalsAccording to Tassel (2012), “credible criteria are the cornerstones of the best programs, are vital to project selection, and are critical to building trust on the part of the public and partners” (p.98). This project aims to deliver a set of criteria which will achieve these benefits for the Experience the Fraser project, while also progressing the achievement its long-term goals.Page 9This section will discuss relevant background information about the FVRD, more details about ETF, and acquisition criteria.2.1 The Fraser Valley Regional DistrictThe Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) is a local government comprised of six municipalities (Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Kent, and Mission) and eight electoral areas. The FVRD delivers over 100 separate services to over 275,000 residents. Out of 28, the FVRD is the third most populous regional district in British Columbia. It is bordered by Metro Vancouver to the west and Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District to the east. 2.2 Experience the FraserAs already discussed, ETF is a long-range planning project started in 2009 which aims to connect Hope to the Salish Sea with a network of trails, a blueway, and experiences. The project has four main goals:2.0 BACKGROUNDPage 10Goal 1: Connect Hope to the Salish SeaThis goal refers to a trail network which will eventually connect the upper Fraser Valley with the coast. In addition, the river itself and associated stream networks form an overall system. The trail and blueway network are the backbone of the ETF project.Goal 2: Link and inspire experiences along the riverThere are many different experiences available along the Fraser River corridor. These include everything from outdoor recreation, to fishing, to First Nations interpretive centres, and more. The aim of this goal is to link these experiences under a common brand while also creating new experiences which highlight the Fraser corridor.Goal 3: Develop enduring and committed partnershipsETF is a long-term project. As such, it will rely on strong partnerships to ensure its success. This goal encourages partnerships between different levels of government, First Nations, the private sector, non-profits, and citizens. Goal 4: Build and deepen connections to the riverDespite its overwhelming influence in the region, the Fraser River is often overlooked and viewed as a barrier that must be crossed. The goal here is to change this attitude by deepening people’s connection to the river through exposure and experience. From this, it is hoped that citizens will begin to better appreciate the river, and achieve a sense of ownership and connection. 2.3 The ProjectAchieving the above goals will require the acquisition of land. This project was initiated by the FVRD to streamline the land acquisition and evaluation process. Over the summer of 2016, a  set of land acquisition criteria were created based on three aspects: the project parameters as set out by the client, recommended practices from the literature, and land acquisition criteria used in practice by Client’s RequirementsRecommended PracticesReal World ExamplesETF Acquisition CriteriaProject Inputs▲ The FVRDPage 11other local governments. Furthermore, the ETF concept plan acted as an overall guiding framework. This project aims to deliver a set of land acquisition criteria which helps ETF achieve its goals while simplifying the process of evaluating properties. 2.4 About Acquisition CriteriaWhat are Land Acquisition Criteria?The premise is simple. Land acquisition criteria are a tool which evaluate properties based on various factors. This process results in an input to the complex decision of whether or not to pursue the purchase a property. They can be quantitative in nature, using numbers to produce a numeric score, or qualitative, providing a list of considerations to aid in decision making. Traditional Land Acquisition CriteriaLand acquisition criteria are traditionally used by private firms specializing in land investment or development. They provide a guide for companies and individuals to direct investments towards land which will yield maximum returns. Generally, these types of criteria focus on underbuilt or vacant sites with high development potential, or low-cost properties. Depending on the potential use, these acquisition criteria will rate factors such as size, proximity to amenities, and more.  Local Government Land Acquisition CriteriaAcquisition criteria have recently become a common planning tool used in practice. Local governments apply criteria to many different applications. Cities and regions rely on land for services, infrastructure, and amenities. In fact, land is an integral part of a government’s ability to provide these services and ensure a high-quality environment. Cities and regions use criteria to guide them in making responsible choices and purchasing land which aligns with planning objectives and public interest. Having a set of high-quality and responsive acquisition criteria is integral to achieving goals. Cities may acquire land for the following reasons: o Capital projects: roads, firehalls, parks, municipal buildings and facilities, storm water management. o Greenlands: protection of environmental lands, open space, woodlots, creeks, environmentally sensitive areas, heritage properties. o Institutional lands: schools, government buildings and land, hospitals, long term care facilities. o Downtown improvements: provisioning of parking, attraction of specific strategic uses to downtown. o Community improvement areas. o Brownfield redevelopment. o Economic development. o Other purposes in the public interest.Cities also have the following options for acquiring land: o Dedications o Bequests o Compatible Use Agreements o Leases, licenses o Restrictive Covenants o Easements o Outright purchase through actively seeking or offered by landowner o Expropriation.All of these approaches will benefit from the aid of robust acquisition criteria.Page 12Page 13The body of literature on acquisition criteria is sparse. This is surprising, as they are a useful planning tool with different design approaches. As such, this review will focus more on relevant policy than literature. Land acquisition is most important, and most commonly used, for parks and conservation purposes; however, land acquisition plays a role in many other local government functions. 3.1 Recommended PracticesThere are few existing resources for local governments about the recommended practices for land acquisition criteria. One excellent resource is The Conservation Program Handbook: A Guide for Local Government Land Acquisition by Sandra Tassel (2012). The focus of this book is on ecological conservation. Tassel has based this book on case studies of public lands acquisition by local governments. Each chapter of the book breaks down the land acquisition process, and 3.0 POLICY REVIEWPage 14there are several chapters devoted to the evaluation of potential land. For this section, I will review some of the principles outlined in this book which will be applied to the final criteria.Recommendation #1: Reflect the original purpose of the fundingThis recommendation explains how plan, conservation purpose, and/or voter or elected official expectations should dictate the criteria and rankings that will be chosen. This is important to ensure that relationships and trust are maintained and that land acquired achieves community goals. Recommendation #2: Use specific metric for assessmentIt is very important for criteria to avoid “ballot or ordinance language” to describe properties. Credible criteria will translate this language into descriptive, quantitative measures which will distinguish the best properties from the rest and direct funds towards those properties. Tassel suggests that only objective criteria be used, and to limit subjectivity as much as possible. Recommendation #3: Encourage, but do not require, matching funding and leverageFinancial partnerships to purchase land are desirable, and should absolutely be a part of criteria. However, Tassel stresses that if this is given too much weight, it could become impossible to buy properties. A high-priority property offered at a fair price should not be lost because funding cannot be secured. Recommendation #4: Reflect your community valuesHigh-quality criteria should respect the public values and goals. While there is huge range of these, it is important to uncover the values that relate to what your criteria is examining. For example, criteria which aim to acquire land for protection might reflect community values of encouraging non-motorized travel, or preventing sprawl.Recommendation #5: Use criteria as a tool for changeCriteria appear to be a technical set of rules, focusing on acres and dollars. This is not so, according to Tassel. She encourages criteria which incorporate more perspectives and address more community issues that affect the land and its use. Recommendation #6: Consider the distribution of fundsHere, the recommendation is that each resource type (parks, conservation, service land, etc.) have their own separate criteria which rely on different pools of funding. It is important to have criteria which can achieve different goals depending on the focus area.Recommendation #7: Create criteria appropriate for your marketHigh-quality criteria will be designed to respond to local real-estate conditions. For example, in jurisdictions where land values or development pressure is high, criteria will need to be open to paying more for property and moving quickly. On the flipside, a criteria must also be prepared to handle opportunity, such as a land owner offering a substantial bargain in exchange for tax-breaks or other benefits.▲ BiblioVault, 2016Page 153.2 Land Acquisition Criteria in PracticeLocal governments use a variety of land acquisition criteria in practice. I have broken these into two main categories: 1. Lists 2. Frameworks This section will review examples for each category and a visual and verbal assessment will be provided based on subjectivity, qualitative versus quantitative, and their structure. Lessons learned from this analysis will be applied to the ETF acquisition criteria. See appendix A for complete examples.3.2.1 ListsList criteria are an inventory of features which should be consulted while making a decision to purchase land. These are the least quantitative form of criteria. A list of questions is presented and broken into several categories. For example, the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Regional Parks Land Acquisition Criteria has several questions depending on if the property being considered is for regional parks or regional trails. Categories include: environmental, outdoor experience and activities, and management and planning. An example of a criterion under the environmental category is “uniqueness”, and the question posed is: “Is the natural environment of the area distinctive or unique compared with other areas in the CRD? Does the area contain features not already protected within other similar sites?”. Each of these questions is given a score between one and five, which reflects its value, and aggregate scores are created for each category. The Fraser Valley Regional District uses similar criteria within their Regional Parks Strategic Plan. These criteria use the following categories: regional significance, recreational opportunities, ecosystem protection, and project feasibility and management. Unlike the CRD’s criteria, these do not use scores.List EvaluationList criteria give a high level of flexibility and leeway to the evaluator. As we saw, this leaves evaluation open for personal values to interfere with the assessment. The CRD’s criteria attempts to overcome this by using a rating system; however, their use of one to five to evaluate each aspect lacks objectivity. There is no indication of what each number means. Questions such as “What are the opportunities for environmental interpretation?” are open and one reviewer’s 5 will almost certainly be another’s 2. Another problem is the format. A  long list of questions to go through and answer is a cumbersome process for a reviewer. The efficiency required in these decisions will be lost, and each reviewer’s process may be different as there is no set path to follow. Lessons Learned from List CriteriaAcquisition criteria benefit from a clear list of headings which divide up different aspects to be evaluated. Each of these headings should be evaluated separately and then combined for a composite score. Aspects should be well described and easily understandable.More subjective More objectiveMore qualitative More quantitativeLess structured More structuredPage 163.2.2 FrameworksFramework criteria are varied in their approaches. The uniting theme is that they are more quantitative, and have some kind of step-by-step, easy to follow process. Here I will examine four different examples of framework criteria from the least quantitative to the most.Auckland Council Parks and Open Space Acquisition Criteria.Auckland’s criteria “assesses if an opportunity to acquire land…contributes towards achieving the vision and strategy of the Auckland Plan and...the Parks and Open Space Strategic Action Plan”. See figure for each criteria and how it aligns to Strategic plan goals.  This set of criteria is divided into four categories which are evaluated using a table to give a rating of high, medium, or no priority. Each of these designations is accompanied by a description of factors which would qualify the property for each priority level. This helps to remove some subjectivity. For example, for a site to qualify as high priority under Meeting Community Needs, it must “meet a significant current and future need identified in a council endorsed needs assessment or parks and open space network plan”. Overall, this set of criteria is a positive example of how categories to evaluate properties can be reflective of the goals of a plan, which applies to the ETF criteria. This makes it a critical tool for achieving plan goals. It is less on the quantitative side and as a framework it does not have a very structured, easy to follow process. This framework would require more thought on the part of the evaluator and would not be efficient; although much easier to follow than a list of criteria.Sammamish, Washington Park Acquisition CriteriaSammamish is a city of 52,253 people near Seattle. Their criteria “is designed to guide investigations and planning activities regarding the acceptance of dedicated land or land acquisition for parks and recreation purposes”. This framework uses an interesting two-step process to evaluate properties. The first step is an initial screening. Six criteria are presented, and each is accompanied by a procedure which must be followed to evaluate it. For example, to evaluate the criterion of Site Location, an evaluator must “examine site location in reference to the service area, surrounding land uses, zoning, jurisdiction, and geographic relationship to More subjective More objectiveMore qualitative More quantitativeLess structured More structured▲ In the Auckland example, acquisition criteria line up to other plans’s goalsMore subjective More objectiveMore qualitative More quantitativeLess structured More structuredPage 17population/growth centers”. The next step is park site selection review. In this section, a list of 21 questions is presented in chart form. Each question must be checked off as yes or no. An example of a question is: “Is the site suitable for enterprise or public/private partnership development?”. If any of the questions are answered no, then “there should be a critical examination as to the justification of accepting the land…or acquiring the land”.Overall, this example presents an interesting framework which appears quick and easy to follow. Unfortunately, this criteria may make it difficult to acquire land because if a property does not meet one of the conditions, it is unlikely to be purchased. It would be unfortunate to miss out on an opportunity because the property just misses answering yes to one of the questions.Regional District of Nanaimo Community Parkland Acquisition CriteriaHere we have an example of an easy to follow and fast assessment. It is designed to support staff in evaluating potential acquisitions, identify classification for potential community park dedications, provide developers a set of clear criteria to review in advance of proposing dedications, and increase consistency and objectivity of assessments over time. The framework has six categories, each of which is designed to align with the Proposed Community Park Classes (neighbourhood park, nature park, etc.) from their Parks Plan. Within each category, a table is presented which has a proposed criterion (population density), associated evaluation criterion (Is the site located in an area with substantial existing or anticipated residential density where there will be a high demand for a community park?), and an assigned value (high value, moderate value, and low value). The six categories are General Demographic and Public Values, Neighbourhood Park Values, Ecological Park Values, Linear Park Values, Water Access Values, and Affordability. Overall, this set of criteria is an excellent example of a structured and efficient framework, which is slightly more quantitative in nature. It appears very simple and efficient to navigate through the tables and come up with a quick recommendation. Unfortunately, it appears to be more subjective. There are no descriptors for what high, medium, and low actually mean and personal opinion could easily influence these decisions.▲The Sammamish example uses an easy to follow yes/no formatMore subjective More objectiveMore qualitative More quantitativeLess structured More structured▲The Nanaimo example uses a grid format to simplify the evaluation processPage 18Mississauga’s Parkland Acquisition and Evaluation CriteriaThis framework is a part of Mississauga’s Parks and Forestry master plan of 2014. It is designed to reflect the goals of this plan. Of the examples shown, it is the most objective, quantitative, and structured criteria. The structure is a simple table which has four broad categories: protects and enhances natural area system, contributes to a connected open space system/trails system, provides for population growth and/or sustainable community design, and additional acquisition considerations. Each of these categories have several criteria which are rated on a numeric scale, with each number accompanied by a description of how the property can qualify for that number. This framework is a credible example of how to remove subjectivity from evaluations and give numbers a real meaning. Furthermore, the table format is a highly structured process to follow which will contribute to making confident and efficient decisions on whether or not to acquire a property.Overall, we have seen several examples of acquisition criteria used in practice, from the least quantitative to the most. Each of these approaches have various advantages and drawbacks, as well as good examples of categories and criteria. Many of these practices have been incorporated into the design of the ETF criteria, which will be presented in the Criteria section. More subjective More objectiveMore qualitative More quantitativeLess structured More structured▲ The Mississauga criteria is the most objective, quantitative, and structured approach to land evaluationPage 19The ETF acquisition criteria are a result of three inputs: the project parameters set out by the client, recommended practices as per the literature, and real world examples of how other local governments are designing their acquisition criteria. Because these criteria are focused solely on the Experience the Fraser project, its planning goals and principles act as a guiding regime. 4.1 The CategoriesOverall, five categories were chosen for the ETF criteria: 1. Connect Hope to the Salish Sea2. Link and Inspire Experience Along the River3. Develop Enduring and Committed Partnerships4. Build and Deepen Connections to the River5. Critical Features3. Develop enduring and commited partnerships1. Connect Hope to the Salish Sea4. Build and deepen connection to the River5. Critical Features2. Link and inspire experiences along the river4.0 METHODOLOGYPage 20The first four categories are ETF goals, taken directly from the concept plan. This ensures the criteria will work for the plan and contribute to meeting these goals. The Critical Features category is designed to acknowledge other evaluation criteria which are important from a political and planning perspective, but do not directly relate to ETF. The overall goal of this evaluation tool is to evaluate properties based on their ability to advance ETF goals; the secondary purpose is to evaluate properties on their general ability to serve as a regional park and be politically palpable.4.2 StructureThe ETF criteria are broken into five different tables for each category. Within each table are several evaluation criteria to be scored. A tabular structure was chosen because it is the most efficient, consistent, and accessible format of those reviewed. Furthermore, by creating the table in Excel, we can take advantage of formulas to produce a quick, composite score. Overall, this structure contributes to the speed and efficiency which is required in the decision to purchase land, and creates a consistent process for multiple individuals to use.4.3 ScoringA quantitative, number based, scoring system was chosen, as per the request of the client. Each evaluation criterion is given a numeric score by the reviewer. These scores are summed for a composite score between 0 and 200. In order to eliminate ambiguity and subjectivity, each number is accompanied by a description of what it means. For example, when evaluating parcel size, a five out of ten means “the parcel meets current needs but is unlikely to meet future needs”. Using this method ensures that one reviewer’s ten is not another reviewer’s four. Furthermore, producing a quick number makes it easy to recommend purchasing land to the board and does not require as much explanation as a more qualitative scoring system.Each category receives a score, which is then summed for a total composite score out of 200. Only the top third scoring properties receive a recommendation to purchase. After considering several different recommendation mechanisms, it was decided that only scores above 133 should be considered. The decision whether or not to purchase land in the FVRD ultimately lies with the Board of Directors. It was decided that it would be better to only approach them with properties which are high scoring in order to not waste their time with properties that are mid or low scoring.4.4 WeightingEach category was given slightly different weights. The possibility of equal weight was discussed, but it became clear over the process that different categories should be more important than others.Category one (Connect Hope to the Salish Sea), was given the second highest weight (maximum score 45) because this category refers to the “backbone of ETF”; that is, a regional trail which connects the coast and the upper Fraser Valley. Evaluation criteria within this category speak directly to this goal, and ensure that the property will be able to accommodate this need. Page 21Linking and inspiring experiences along the River, the next category, is also a strong feature of ETF and was given a slightly lower weight with a potential maximum score of 40.The next two categories, developing enduring and committed partnership and building and deepening connection to the River were given equal weights (potential max score of 30). These two ETF goals are important considerations for ETF, but not essential to the project. It was decided that the evaluation criteria within these two categories should be given lower potential scores to ensure that they do not make it too difficult to acquire land. The final category (Critical Features) was given the highest weight with a potential maximum score of 55. Although this category is not geared towards achieving the goals of ETF, it was recognized that the project is extremely long range. As such, it is important for all acquisitions made in these early stages to be functional as general parks and provide tangible benefits to FVRD residents in the interim. Furthermore, the decision to purchase or not purchase land is ultimately a political decision made by the board; the considerations in this category will likely be the most important from their perspective, hence the greater weight.4.5 RationaleThe following pages will present rationales for why each category was chosen. The format of presentation will be tabular for easy readability. Each table represents one of the five categories. Within each table, the criteria chosen will appear on the left, and a few bullets points about the rationale for why it was chosen will appear of the right. These rationales were discussed over several meetings. Also, a test run of the criteria was completed on a potential ETF property which further helped to justify reasons for including each criterion. Page 22Overall, the ETF criteria are an amalgamation of various different guiding principles: the ETF project itself, recommended practices, and examples of what other local governments are doing. While this is an ideal format in theory, bringing these types of tools into practice is a political game. The reality is that these decisions rest with politicians, and we must negotiate between goals that we see as important while also highlighting aspects which will speak to the politicians. All of these issues have gone into the creation of the ETF criteria, which are presented in the next section.3. Develop enduring and commited partnerships1. Connect Hope to the Salish Sea4. Build and deepen connection to the River5. Critical Features2. Link and inspire experiences along the riverPage 23Criteria Why it was chosenConnectivity o Land acquired must be fit to achieve the “backbone of ETF” (Connect Hope to the Salish Sea) o Site must be free from barriers and situated so it can eventually link to other ETF parcels.Blueway Access o The Fraser River itself is also part of the network connecting Hope to the Salish Sea.  o This criterion makes sure the River is accessible in some way.Usability o Proximity to rivers means flooding and soil conditions are a concern. o This indicator evaluates the property’s year-round usability. Flow Barriers o ETF is designed for non-motorized transportation. o This indicator checks for barriers which may impede non-motorized transportation, such as rail lines, topography, or more.Amenity Accessibility o Users on the ETF network will require amenities such as campgrounds, bike repair, and water. o This criterion looks for amenities in close proximity to the site. o A low score may mean that these amenities are lacking and should be provided.3. Develop enduring and commited partnerships1. Connect Hope to the Salish Sea4. Build and deepen connection to the River5. Critical Features2. Link and inspire experiences along the riverPage 24Criteria Why it was chosenLand Recreation o The most popular form of recreation in the Lower Mainland is passive activities like picnicking (FVRD & MV, 2011). o This criterion is designed to evaluate a property’s potential to meet these needsWater Recreation o Being able to recreate on the river is integral to ETF. o If the property has water access, this indicator looks directly at the water body to evaluate its suitability for recreation.Cultural and Heritage Values o ETF strives to highlight the subsumed cultural and heritage history of the Fraser River.  o To meet this need,  we are simply looking for a historical layer of the landscape that can be celebrated.Intrinsic Experience o It was recognized that the reviewer needs to have some opportunity to exercise personal preference. o The look and feel of the property is evaluated here, ensuring that it fits in with the Fraser Valley’s overall story.3. Develop enduring and commited partnerships1. Connect Hope to the Salish Sea4. Build and deepen connection to the River5. Critical Features2. Link and inspire experiences along the riverPage 25Criteria Why it was chosenPublic Interest o ETF aims to be a shared vision among different groups, including the public. o This criterion evaluates properties on their potential to inspire public interest. o Factors include: prior public use, distance to urban areas, and more.Financial Partnership o Financial partnerships are ideal, and if a property’s cost can be shared with another organization then it will receive a higher score. o We did not want this to be a limiting factor, so we gave it a lower weight.Service Partnership o Similar to the Financial Partnership but focused on services instead (roads, water, etc.)Land Use Share o If the acquisition has the potential to be used by other community groups, it will be given a higher score. o An example is Island 22 Regional Park in Chilliwack, where an equestrian group shares the park’s land use. Policy Umbrella o Acquisitions which fall under other government, NGO, or community group’s policy will create partnership opportunities. o If there is relatively high potential, a greater score is given.1. Connect Hope to the Salish Sea4. Build and deepen connection to the River5. Critical Features2. Link and inspire experiences along the river3. Develop enduring and commited partnershipsPage 26Criteria Why it was chosenRepresentative Features o ETF aims to increase understanding and awareness of the Fraser River. o Acquisitions should be representative of the Fraser River story by featuring common landscapes or features. o This criterion is designed to ensure an acquisition fulfills this need.Unique Features o Another part of highlighting the Fraser River story are unique features. o A property which has some interesting features which set it apart from others will score higher.Historical Features o Beyond the physical environment, history plays a big role in the Fraser River story. o Properties with visible history will score higher.3. Develop enduring and commited partnerships1. Connect Hope to the Salish Sea4. Build and deepen connection to the River5. Critical Features2. Link and inspire experiences along the riverPage 27Criteria Why it was chosenLand Cost o Properties which are within a suitable asking price range to enter a negotiation will score higher. o Because this will be the most important indicator from a political perspective, it was given the most weight.Development Cost o Similar to the above, but this criterion considers how much will need to be spent on improvements such as parking or water. o All properties will likely require some improvement but those with significant costs will score lower.Operations and Maintenance o Staff time required for O and M is considered here. o A lower weight was chosen because this should not be a limiting factor.FVRD Fit o This criterion ensures that the acquisition will fit in with other FVRD planning initiatives. o This comes from the recognition that ETF is a decades long project so acquisitions will have to act as general parks in the interim.Parcel Size o This simply looks at parcel size, and evaluates it on its potential to act as a general regional park.3. Develop enduring and commited partnerships1. Connect Hope to the Salish Sea4. Build and deepen connection to the River5. Critical Features2. Link and inspire experiences along the river !Page 28Page 29This section presents the final results of the ETF Land Acquisition Criteria design process. The chosen format is tabular, as it was the most efficient structure reviewed. Each table is one of the five categories, and contains the criteria. Each one is scored and summed for a composite score out of 200. In Microsoft Excel, the final score is automatically calculated and a “recommend purchase” designation is provided if the final score is above 133. All other scores are not recommended purchases. Column one presents the criteria titles. Column two, the evaluation column, presents a verbal description of how the criteria should be evaluated. Each of these verbal descriptions is accompanied by a potential score which appears in the next column. As discussed, this reduces subjectivity. The given score category is where the reviewer puts their own score about the property being evaluated. The total score row indicates the weight given to each category. 5.0 THE CRITERIAPage 30Criteria EvaluationPotential ScoreGiven ScoreConnectivityContinues ETF trail network and links to other aspects of ETF10Links to other aspects of ETF but has limited potential to the continue trail network5No likelihood of continuing trail network and limited connection to other aspects of ETF0Blueway AccessAccessible with minimum improvements 10Accessible with major improvements 5Inaccessible 0UsabilityLikely usable for majority of the year 10Likely usable for less than half of the year 5Site is unusable without major improvements 0Flow BarriersSite will offer many non-motorized transportation uses10Site will offer few non-motorized uses 5Site is unsuitable for non-motorized transportation 0Amenity AccessibilityExisting amenities are accessible from the site 5No existing accessible amenities 0Total Score /451. Connect Hope to the Salish SeaPage 31Criteria Evaluation Potential ScoreGiven ScoreLand RecreationSite provides potential for passive recreational experiences10Site provides potential for recreation, but passive recreation opportunities are limited5Limited recreational experiences possible on site 0Water RecreationWater-based recreation is possible 10Water is not suitable for recreation, but is visible 5No water recreation possible 0Cultural and Heritage ValuesSite provides a tangible culturally or historically rich layer worth experiencing10Site provides access to an existing cultural or his-toric experience5No historic or cultural value present 0Intrinsic ExperienceSite offers an overall intrinsic experience which is part of the Fraser River story10Site has potential, with investment, to provide a positive experience5Site offers a negative or no intrinsic experience 0Total Score /402. Link and Inspire Experiences Along the RiverPage 32Criteria Evaluation Potential ScoreGiven ScorePublic InterestAcquisition has the potential to spark high public interest 10Acquisition will likely spark minor public interest5Acquisition not likely to spark any public interest0Financial PartnershipHigh potential for land cost-sharing partnership5No cost-sharing possible0Service PartnershipHigh potential for service agreements with local municipality or other body5No service partnership possible 0Land Use ShareOpportunity to share site land use with other body exists5No opportunity exists 0Policy UmbrellaThe acquisition aligns with the policy of other orga-nizations (First Nations, Municipal, Provincial, Fed-eral, NGO, etc.)5No policy alignment 0Total Score /303. Develop Enduring and Committed PartnershipsPage 33Criteria Evaluation Potential ScoreGiven ScoreRepresentative FeaturesSite contains landscape features or species which represent the Fraser Valley corridor10Site requires restoration but has potential to be representative of the Fraser Valley corridor5Site is severely degraded with no representative features0Unique FeaturesSite contains unique features or species which are worth celebrating10Site requires restoration but has potential to provide unique features5No water recreation possible 0Historical FeaturesSite has significant potential for historical (First Na-tions or settler) importance10Site has minor potential for historical interest worth highlighting5No historical significance 0Total Score /304. Build and Deepen Connection to the RiverPage 34Criteria Evaluation Potential ScoreGiven ScoreLand CostPurchase price within suitable range to enter negotiation20Purchase price too high, but could be negotiated10Purchase price too high, successful negotiation un-likely0Development CostMinor development costs required 10Moderate development costs required 5Major development costs required 0MaintenanceStandard staff time and financial resources required 5Significant staff time and resources required 0FVRD FitAcquisition would align with several other FVRD planning initiatives (Strategic Plan, RGS, Parks Plan, etc.)10Acquisition would align with one or two FVRD plan-ning initiatives5Acquisition has no significance in regards to FVRD planning0Parcel SizeMeets anticipated uses and future growth 10Meets current needs but unlikely to meet future needs without investment5Does not meet current or projected needs 0Total Score /555. Critical FeaturesPage 356.0 CONCLUSIONThis project was to design a set of land acquisition criteria. These criteria will be used by the FVRD to purposefully acquire land which contributes to meeting the goals of the Experience the Fraser project. The first section of the paper described land acquisition criteria in general as well as background about the FVRD and ETF. Next, a policy review explored land acquisition criteria recommended practices as well as how other local governments design their acquisition criteria. The results of this review, as well as client needs and ETF guiding principles fed into the design of the criteria. The reasoning and thought that went into the criteria is explained in the methodology section. The results are presented in the criteria section. The product is a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel which quickly evaluates a potential property based !Page 36on several different factors and produces an overall, numeric score, and a recommendation to purchase or not purchase.While much thought has been put into the design of this criteria, there are still some limitations that need to be discussed. Also, the research component of this project has highlighted a current gap which could be filled by future studies.6.1 LimitationsAs local conditions in the FVRD change, these criteria will need to be updated. An example is the real estate market. Land prices are on the rise in the region due to spillover effects from Metro Vancouver. In the future, demand for land will make it more and more difficult to acquire land for park purposes, and these issues will need to be reflected by adjustments to the criteria. ETF is also a long range planning initiative; as such, its goals and principles may change over time. Therefore, criteria should be updated periodically to reflect any changing planning goals. So far, this framework has only been tested on one property. As time progresses and more properties are fed through the criteria, additional changes may be required. Another limitation to this framework is that it does not consider the issue of First Nations rights and title to land. While not the focus of this project, it is important to acknowledge now and even more so in the future.6.2 Further StudyDespite the fact that land acquisition criteria are widely used in practice, there is only a miniscule body of literature examining their use. Further research could undertake a more comprehensive review of land acquisition criteria in practice, including surveys or interviews with practitioners, to create a set of best practices which local government could use. Land acquisition criteria are useful planning tools which, when thoughtfully designed, can aid in meeting planning goals. It is hoped that this framework will be used by planners working for the Fraser Valley Regional District to evaluate potential purchases, and help achieve the goals of the Experience the Fraser project. “The Fraser River belongs to all of us...”Mayor Randy HawesMission, B.C.Page 37ReferencesAuckland Council. (2013). Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy. Available from http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/en/planspoliciesprojects/councilpolicies/documents/parksopenspaceacquisitionpolicy.pdfCapital Regional District. (2015). Land Acquisition Strategy 2015 to 2017. CRD. Available from https://www.crd.bc.ca/docs/default-source/parks-pdf/land-acquisition-strategy-2015-2017.pdf?sfvrsn=8City of Sammanish. (nd.). Parkland Acquisition Criteria. Available from http://www.sammamish.us/pdfs/parksplan/appendix/AppB_ParkAcqCriteria.pdfExperience the Fraser Concept Plan. (2011). Experience the Fraser. Available from http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks/ParksPublications/ETFDraftConceptPlan.pdfFraser Valley Regional District. (2014). Regional Parks Strategic Plan 2014-2024. Internal DocumentFraser Valley Regional District & Metrov Vancouver. (2011). Regional Outdoor Recreation Opportunities Study. Available from: http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks/ParksPublications/Regional%20Outdoor%20Recreation%20Opportunities%20Study%20-%20Phase%20One%20Demand%20Analysis%20Report%20-%20March%202011.pdfMississauga. (2014). Future Directions: Master Plan for Parks and Forestry. Available from http://www7.mississauga.ca/Departments/Rec/future-directions/pdf/2014-master-plans/parks-forestry-master-plan.pdfRegional District of Nanaimo. (2014). Community Parks and Trails Strategic Plan. Available from http://www.rdn.bc.ca/cms/wpattachments/wpID2933atID6310.pdfTassel, S. (2012). The Conservation Program Handbook: A Guide for Local Government Land Acquisition. Island Press. 9APPENDIX AREGIONAL PARKS LAND ACQUISITION CRITERIAINTRODUCTIONThe purpose of this Appendix is to provide criteria1 that will:• guide and assist Regional Parks in assessing the acquisition of individual parcels based on the acquisition priorities identified in Regional Parks Land Acquisition Strategy; and• be the basis for making recommendations to the CRD Board about the exact area of a legally described parcel that should be acquired .Regional Park SignificanceThe concept of regional park significance plays a fundamental role in acquiring land for regional parks and identifying an area as having regional park potential . Regionally significant areas for regional park purposes are natural areas that represent examples of the diverse geography and environments in the context of the entire region . These areas also provide opportunities for residents to connect with nature and they will attract people from throughout the region .Regional Trail SignificanceThese are areas that are required to provide the land base to establish the regional trail route shown  on Map 1 .LAND ACQUISITION CRITERIARegional ParksThe regional park land acquisition criteria are organized around three categories: (1) environmental;  (2) outdoor experiences and activities; and (3) management and planning .For an area to be recommended for acquisition it must be considered to have regional park significance in the environmental category . An exception to this may be made where an acquisition serves important operational or land management needs . For example, an acquisition may provide a logical and more manageable park boundary, link properties or eliminate an operational problem such as poor access,  thus reducing costs .The criteria will be rated on a five-point scale: 1=Very Low, 2=Low, 3=Moderate, 4=High, 5=Very High . Regional Parks recognizes that the allocation of scores will be subjective but will be based on the best available information . A composite score will be produced for each category . These three scores will be added to provide an overall score for the area . A descriptive narrative will be substituted for numerical scores when assessing the criteria in the category management and planning .1 Criteria means a measure that will be used to judge what portion of a specific legal parcel of land will be acquired for a regional park or trail .10Environmental Criteria1 . Representativeness . How well does the proposed area represent the natural environment of the region and specific ecosystems elements as defined in the Regional Parks Strategic Plan?2 . Uniqueness . Is the natural environment of the area distinctive or unique compared with other areas  in the Capital Region? Does the area contain features not already protected within other similar sites?3 . Connectivity . Does the area play an important role in connecting with natural environments and protected areas? Does the area serve to complete an established park? Is the area adjacent to  existing protected lands?4 . Environmental Function . Does the area play an important role and function in the broader ecosystem (e .g ., wildlife corridors, critical habitat, migration, watershed management, ground water recharge, and flood control and storm water prevention)?5 . Level of Fragmentation . Has disturbance caused this area to become fragmented from adjacent ecosystems?6 . Naturalness . Is there a low relative amount of human-caused disturbance to the natural environment? What type of natural disturbance has occurred and how long ago? How many introduced species are present? Are the introduced species dominating, out competing and/or displacing the native species? Is there potential for the ecosystem to recover through active or passive management?7 . Viability . Are there good long-term prospects for the continued existence of the area’s natural features? Can the area be managed in such a way as to maintain ecosystem process?8 . Habitat Value . Are there important habitat values for native plants and animals?9 . Distinct Environmental Features . Does the area contain significant environmental features that illustrate specific land evolution processes or landforms?10 . Biological Diversity . Is there high biological diversity of the proposed area? Is there a high diversity  of natural communities?11 . Species Conservation Value . Does the area contain rare, threatened or endangered plants, animals  and ecosystems? Are there global, national, provincial, regional and local conservation values?12 . Climate Change . What role could the property have to address climate change mitigation and adaptation?Connecting People with Nature - Outdoor Experiences and Activities CriteriaThe regional park significance of an area for outdoor experiences and activities will be assessed by: 1 . examining the attributes of an area that will attract residents of the region; and 2 . the opportunities an area offers for outdoor activities . The assessment of an area will also identify environmental features that could limit outdoor activities . These limitations will be discussed as part of the assessment of outdoor activities for an area .11Area Attributes1 . Environmental Features . Do the natural features of the landscape provide regionally significant opportunities for outdoor experiences and activities? Do the features provide an opportunity for people to be close to nature?2 . Cultural/Historic Features . Are there regionally significant cultural and historic features relating to  First Nations and European/pioneer settlement?3 . Uniqueness . Are there opportunities for distinctive outdoor experiences and activities?4 . Connectivity . Can the area connect with other outdoor recreational features, opportunities on adjacent lands or the regional trail system?5 . Viewing Opportunities . What are the opportunities for people to view the surrounding landscape, natural features and wildlife?Outdoor Activity and Experience Opportunities1 . What outdoor activities and visitor experiences could be provided?2 . Accessibility . How accessible is the area in terms of distance from people in the Capital Region?  What are the activity and experience opportunities for people with disabilities?3 . Environmental Interpretation . What are the opportunities for environmental interpretation?Management and Planning Criteria1 . Municipal Planning . What is the Official Community Plan, Local Area Plan, zoning and Park and Recreation Plan designations for the area? How do these municipal land use planning tools relate  to natural environment protection and park establishment?2 . Development Proposals . What kind of development is proposed for the area? How would it affect regional park values? Are any parts of the area proposed to be protected or designated as a park?3 . Regional Growth Strategy/Draft Regional Sustainability Strategy . How does the area relate to the Regional Growth Strategy and draft Regional Sustainability Strategy?4 . Federal, Provincial, Islands Trust and Municipal Park Planning and Conservation Initiatives . How does the area relate to park planning initiatives by federal, provincial, Islands Trust and municipal park planning and conservation initiatives? Are there any partnership opportunities?5 . Conservation Initiatives by National, Provincial and Local Conservation Groups . How does the area relate to conservation initiatives by national, provincial and local conservation groups? Are there  any partnership opportunities?12LAND ACQUISITION CRITERIARegional TrailsAn area under consideration for acquisition for a regional trail will be assessed on the following criteria:1 . Connectivity . Does the proposed area connect regional parks and other parks and public lands?2 . Visitor experience . What type of visitor trail experiences does the land provide?3 . Active transportation . How does the acquisition contribute to active transportation and regional trails as transportation corridors?4 . Linking with other trails . What are the trail links that this acquisition will address and provide?5 . Natural area corridors . How does this acquisition contribute to protecting and establishing a natural area corridor?6 . Connect natural areas . How does this acquisition contribute to connecting natural areas? What ecosystems and species would be protected by this acquisition?7 . Municipal Planning . What is the Official Community Plan, Local Area Plan, zoning and Park and Recreation Plan designations for the area?8 . Regional Growth Strategy/Draft Regional Sustainability Strategy . How does the area relate to the Regional Growth Strategy and draft Regional Sustainability Strategy?9 . Partnerships . Federal, Provincial, Islands Trust and Municipal Park Planning and Conservation Initiatives . How does the area relate to trail planning initiatives by federal, provincial, Islands Trust and municipal park planning and conservation initiatives? Are there any partnership opportunities?Hideaway Beach photo: D . Thiessen 2006ACQUISITION CRITERIA Acquisition criteria assess if an opportunity to acquire land for parks and open space contributes towards achieving the vision and strategy of the Auckland Plan and the focus and priorities of the Parks and Open Space Strategic Action Plan. The diagram below outlines how the acquisition criteria relate to the four areas of focus of the Parks and Open Space Strategic Action Plan:  PARKS AND OPEN SPACES STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN:To develop the network of parks and open spaces to contribute towards making Auckland the World’s most liveable city, Auckland Council  will focus on:ENJOY OUR PARKS AND OPEN SPACES Ensuring our parks and open spaces can meet the needs of our growing populationCONNECT OUR PARKS AND OPEN SPACESCreating a green network across Auckland by linking our parks, open spaces and streetsUTILISE OUR PARKS AND OPEN SPACESMaximising the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits of our parks and open spaces. TREASURE OUR PARKS AND OPEN SPACESProtecting and conserving our parks and open spaces and improving people’s ability to understand and appreciate their value and signficance PARKS AND OPEN SPACES ACQUISITION POLICY ACQUISITION CRITERIA:ACQUISITION CRITERIA 1:Meeting community needs, now and in the futureWe will acquire land to meet the recreation and social needs of a growing populationACQUISITION CRITERIA 3:Protecting and restoring Auckland’s unique features and meaningsWe will acquire land to protect and restore Auckland’s unique features and meaningsACQUISITION CRITERIA 2:Connecting our parks and open spacesWe will acquire land to physically and visually connect our network of parks, open spaces and streetsACQUISITION CRITERIA 4:Improving the parks and open spaces we already haveWe will acquire land that makes existing parks and open spaces safer, more attractive and usable  The acquisition criteria state how Auckland Council will prioritise opportunities to acquire he acquisition criteria are not a quantitative scoring mechanism. Acquisition s any of uckland Council has a limited budget to acquire land for new parks and open space.  land by identifying when an opportunity will be considered of high, medium or not a priority.  Topportunities will be prioritised according to the highest priority achieved acrosthe four acquisition criteria.   ANot all acquisition proposals that align with the acquisition criteria, or are considered tobe high or medium priority will be able to be purchased.    Auckland Council Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy                                   Page 15 Acquisition criteria 1: Meeting community needs, now and in the future Changes in Aucklanders’ needs and preferences will influence the location and amount of land Auckland Council will need to acquire for parks and open space.  To assist with identifying current and future needs for parks and open space, Auckland Council is developing tools to assess the provision of parks and open space6. These will help to identify where the capacity and accessibility of the parks and open space network will need to be improved to meet community needs and provide access to a diverse range of recreational opportunities.   Parks and open space are core infrastructure required to support the growth of Auckland. The Auckland Plan development strategy aims to accommodate most of Auckland’s growth within the existing urban area, concentrating growth around town centres and transportation routes7. Some growth will also be accommodated in indentified greenfield and future urban areas8.  Acquiring land where growth is expected to occur is essential to meet the needs of current and future residents of these areas.   Access to recreational and social opportunities provided by the parks and open space network varies across Auckland. Land may need to be acquired to expand or improve the parks and open space network so that all areas of Auckland have equitable access to parks and open space.    New activities and participation in established sports will change over time due to population growth and changes in people’s recreation preferences. In response to this, the parks and open space network will need to adapt and develop.  While existing parks and open space will be able to accommodate many new activities and uses, sometimes Auckland Council will need to acquire new land to accommodate these.  Prioritisation: meeting community needs, now and in the future High priority • Land that will meet open space needs of communities of future urban and greenfield development areas identified through an endorsed spatial planning process (e.g. area plan, precinct plan or structure plan) • Land to increase the accessibility or capacity of the parks and open space network that serve areas identified as most change and significant change in the Auckland Development Strategy9 • Land to meet a significant current and future need identified in a council endorsed needs assessment or parks and open space network plan.                                                     6 These tools are being developed as part of the Auckland Councils parks and open space levels of provision project and open space network planning  7 These are those areas identified as ‘most change and significant change’ in the Auckland Plan Development Strategy. The precise location where growth is projected to occur will be determined through the application of zoning via the Auckland Unitary Plan 8 These areas are identified as ‘future urban’ and ‘greenfield areas for investigation’ in the Auckland Plan Development Strategy 9 The precise location of areas of ‘most change’ and ‘significant change’ will be determined by application of the terraced housing and apartments, mixed use, town centre, metropolitan centre and city centre zones in the Auckland Unitary Plan Auckland Council Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy                                   Page 16 Medium priority • Land to increase the accessibility and capacity of the parks and open space network that serves areas identified as moderate change in the Auckland Development Strategy10 • Land to meet a future recreational need for which there are multiple opportunities to provide for the need (e.g. alternative sites exist that could be purchased now or in the future) • Land to meet a moderate current or future need identified in a endorsed council needs assessment or parks and open space network plan.  Not a priority • Land in areas identified as low and some change in the Auckland Development Strategy that have adequate access and capacity of parks and open space11.                                                     10 The precise location of areas of “mmoderate change” are determined by the application of the mixed housing zone in the Auckland Unitary Plan  11 The precise location of areas of “low change” and “some change” are determined by the application of the single house and large lot zones in the Auckland Unitary Plan Auckland Council Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy                                   Page 17 Auckland Development Strategy (Urban Core) Auckland Council Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy                                   Page 18 Acquisition criteria 2: Connecting our parks and open space Creating a physically and visually connected open space network is an important part of achieving Auckland’s vision – to be the world’s most liveable city. A connected parks and open space network, including associated trails and walkways, contributes to Auckland’s unique identity, quality of life, healthy lifestyle, tourism potential and economic well-being12. A connected open space network also has environmental benefits.  Parks and open space, including streets and greenways, provide opportunities to move around the region for both leisure and commuting purposes. Creating attractive and safe routes for walking or cycling, linking main destinations will assist with reducing dependency on travel by private vehicle.  A connected network of parks and open space improves recreation opportunities and active travel options, assisting Aucklanders to have healthy lifestyles.  Cycling, walking and running are amongst Aucklanders’ most popular leisure activities. Other activities such as kayaking, mountain biking and horse riding all benefit from having connected networks of parks and reserves.   Aucklanders also value being able to access the coast, islands, beaches and harbours. Establishing a connected network of parks and open space along Auckland’s coastline will enhance opportunities for recreation while protecting and enhancing ecological and landscape values.  A connected network of parks and open space delivers ecological benefits. Acquiring land that connects existing patches of habitat or ecosystems allow for the movement and natural life cycles of species, helping to protect and enhance Auckland’s natural heritage.   Prioritisation: connecting our parks and open space High priority • Land that will establish a significant area of contiguous park or open space that enhances recreation, ecological or landscape values • Land required to establish regional or sub-regional recreation connections (walkways, bike trails) identified in a endorsed council plan (e.g. greenways plans, parks and open space network plan) • Riparian land (such as esplanade reserves) that provides access to or along the coast or waterways • Land that connects areas of habitat of significant ecological value.  Medium priority • Land to create local connections that enhance recreation opportunities • Land that connects areas of habitat of representative ecological value  Not a priority • Land that does not connect existing parks or open space                                                     12 The Auckland Plan, Page 305. Auckland Council Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy                                   Page 19 Acquisition criteria 3: Protecting and restoring Auckland's unique features and meanings Auckland has a unique and diverse natural environment made up of islands, harbours, volcanoes, ranges, lakes and streams that support a variety of marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Auckland’s network of parks and open space plays a vital role in protecting, enhancing and providing access to the features that make Auckland special.  Acquiring land for new parks and open space is one way of conserving and restoring Auckland’s unique natural features.  Places of significant cultural or historic heritage value enhance Auckland’s sense of place and unique identity. Acquiring land with cultural and historic heritage value for parks and open space allows Aucklanders and visitors to learn about these places and values.  It also provides opportunities for people to express their culture and traditions. Bringing these areas into public ownership can ensure the cultural and historic heritage values of Auckland are protected and appropriately managed for current and future generations to enjoy.   Prioritisation: protecting and restoring Auckland's unique features and meanings High priority • Land containing or protecting rare or threatened indigenous ecological values • Land containing historic heritage or cultural value, including taonga of significance to Mana Whenua, of regional significance or greater and that has public open space values13 • Land of geological or landscape value of regional significance or greater and that has public open space values  Medium priority • Land containing representative ecological values • Land with historic heritage or cultural value of sub-regional or local significance that has public open space values • Land of geological or landscape value of sub-regional or local significance that has public open space values • Land identified in a council endorsed ecological restoration plan, or open space network plan, to enhance and restore ecological values.  Not a priority • Land with low, common or no ecological, historic heritage, landscape, geological or cultural values • Land with heritage value that does not have public open space values (e.g. buildings)  Alternative methods to protect Auckland’s unique features and meanings, such as planning regulations and partnerships with private landowners, should be considered alongside land acquisition. The benefits and costs of public ownership and management of a feature should be considered alongside alternative methods when the primary reason to acquire land for open space is to protect and restore Auckland’s unique features and meanings.                                                  13 Sites with public open space values typically include sites predominately free of buildings and that will benefit from providing public access Auckland Council Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy                                   Page 20 Auckland Council Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy                                   Page 21 Acquisition criteria 4: Improving the parks and open space we already have Acquiring new land to expand an existing park is an efficient and effective way of increasing a park’s potential and value to the community. Auckland has many parks and open space that could perform better by improving their configuration or size by acquiring neighbouring land. Small, incremental improvements can create a more flexible and adaptive network of parks and open space that will better meet the needs of Auckland as the region grows.  Acquiring adjacent land can create safer, more attractive and usable parks and open space. Some parks in Auckland are hidden from the street, located at the rear of housing and only accessible from narrow entranceways. Acquiring land to widen entrances and create additional street frontage can release the potential of these parks - making them safer and more pleasant for the community to enjoy.  Acquiring land neighbouring an existing park or open space can increase the activities and facilities it can accommodate. As acquiring sizeable new parks becomes more difficult in urban areas, increasing the capacity of the existing park network to accommodate more use and diverse range of activities will be important for meeting community needs.   Land acquisition can improve the conservation values of existing parks and open space. Acquiring land to expand an existing park may buffer or bring the entire extent of a significant feature into public ownership and management. This can provide opportunities to protect and interpret a feature in its entirety.    Prioritisation: improving the parks and open space we already have High priority • Land that will improve the accessibility and functionality of an existing park or open space that serves an area of most and significant change identified in the Auckland Development Strategy • Land that provides access to an existing park from an area with poor access to parks and open space • Land that improves the functionality and capacity of parks and open space serving a regional or sub-regional function  Medium priority • Land that will improve the accessibility or functionality of existing parks in areas identified as moderate change in the Auckland Development Strategy14 • Land that protects the existing landscape and amenity values of significant parks and open spaces  Not a priority • Land in areas identified as low and some change in the Auckland Development Strategy that has adequate access and capacity of parks and open space15.                                                    14 The precise location of areas of “moderate change” are determined by the application of the mixed housing zone in the Auckland Unitary Plan 15 The precise location of areas of “low change” and “some change” are determined by the application of the single house and large lot zones in the Auckland Unitary Plan SITE SUITABILITY ASSESSMENT If an acquisition opportunity is of high or medium priority, the suitability of specific sites for a proposed park or open space purpose will be assessed in detail. Where a acquisition opportunity involves alternative sites, a site suitability assessment will assist with selecting a preferred option. Assessing the suitability of a site requires consideration of the following factors: • Location and physical characteristics • Financial aspects • Community support • Amenity • Planning and legal restrictions  Location and physical characteristics The intended purpose of a park will influence whether the physical characteristics of a site are suitable. Some activities and park functions have specific physical requirements, for example to accommodate a sports field, a site must be of a specific size, configuration and topography while also having enough room to provide for spectators, car parking and changing rooms.   The environment surrounding the site is also important. Well located parks and open space can become the focal point of a suburb or town centre. Ensuring there is adequate infrastructure capacity to cater for the scale of the park, proposed activities (including events) and the expected level of visitation also needs consideration.  Some sites may also be subject to hazards (e.g. contamination, flooding) that will determine their suitability as public open space or for particular functions. Financial aspects Auckland Council has limited funding with which to acquire land for parks and open space. It is important that the cost of acquiring a site represents good value for money in order to achieve the maximum benefit from the available funding. Opportunities to acquire vacant or underdeveloped land are especially desirable as council does not incur the cost of acquiring and removing buildings on the site.  The cost of developing a site and its ongoing maintenance once acquired also requires consideration. Acquiring new parks and open space commit Auckland Council to ongoing financial costs to ensure that assets are appropriately maintained and renewed.   Community aspirations and partnerships The community are the ultimate benefactors of acquiring land for parks and open space. Acquiring land for parks and open space is generally undertaken confidentially, however if there is known community interest in an acquisition opportunity or particular site then this should be considered when assessing an acquisition opportunity. Discussions with local board and governing body members may assist in understanding community aspirations for parks and open spaces and inform consideration of acquisition opportunities.   Opportunities may exist for partnership with between Auckland Council, iwi and other organisations to secure new open space and the ongoing involvement in the management of new open spaces. Partnership opportunities need to meet the acquisition criteria to ensure that new open space align with Auckland Council’s strategic direction.   Auckland Council Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy 22Acquiring a new park or open space can also create opportunities for the community to work together on a project. This may involve participating in activities such as providing input into the design of the park, volunteering at a planting day or establishing a community garden. Parks and open space can also provide opportunities to learn about the natural world, Auckland’s heritage and our own abilities. Parks can accommodate ecological restoration programmes, interpretive information and courses. Opportunities for community involvement and education are important outcomes that should be considered when assessing the suitability of a site.  Amenity A core value of parks and open space is to provide opportunities for rest and relaxation. Parks provide pleasant areas to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. They also provide “green” visual relief in urban areas. The environment surrounding a site will influence the amenity of a park and what type uses it is suitable for. A pleasant outlook can contribute to the quality of a park. The degree to which the amenity of a site will influence its suitability depends on its purpose. For example, when acquiring land for an intensive sporting use , such as an artificial turf sports fields, the amenity of the site will be somewhat less important than when acquiring land for a local informal recreation park.  Planning and legal restrictions Planning restrictions (such as zoning or designations) or encumbrances on the property title (covenants, easements) will influence what type of activities can occur on a site and how easy it will be to develop. Some sites may be owned by trusts that are restricted in how they can dispose of assets or if the land was previously acquired for a public work, a Public Works Act process may need to be followed. Consideration of Mana Whenua interests and Treaty of Waitangi settlement outcomes is required when assessing acquisition opportunities.  Many undeveloped sites in urban areas that may be suitable for parks and open space are often undeveloped because of complex legal and planning restrictions. These can influence the value of land, how long it may take to acquire and how it may be used. A thorough investigation of planning and legal restrictions is required as part of the site assessment process.            Auckland Council Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy 23APPENDIX B  Parkland Acquisition Criteria  This criteria is to guide investigations and planning activities regarding the acceptance of dedicated lands or land acquisition for parks and recreation purposes.  The criteria has a two step process. The first step is an initial screening; the second is a more detailed review. Upon completion of these steps, staff or a committee organized specifically for property acquisition, issues may make the appropriate findings and recommendations.  This same criteria should apply to any lands being considered under an adopted City Comprehensive Plan, local ordinance or as a result of Growth Management Act requirements.  Step 1:  Initial Screening   CRITERIA  PROCEDURE______________________________   1. Site Location Examine site location in reference to the service area, surrounding land uses, zoning, jurisdiction and   geographic relationship to population / growth   centers.    2. Site Condition Examine size in relation to park classification, land use requirements and conditions on site, soil structure, topography, natural features, vegetation, structures, etc.   3. Accessibility Examine vehicular and pedestrian access to the   site, condition of roadways, and how traffic    generated may conflict with neighborhoods or with    ease of access within service area.   4. Infrastructure Status Examine availability of water, sewer, power and    status of storm drains, and other public works    systems in relationship to location and intended use    of site.  5. Comprehensive Plan/ Review the site and intended use in relation to the  Zoning Compatibility Comprehensive Plan, Zoning & Recreation Element    of the Comprehensive Plan or Growth Management.   6. Economic Value Examine land costs and the relative value for    comparable properties in relation to acquisition and   development.  Step 2:  Park Site Selection Review  Following the initial screening, additional criteria along with the required maps, data and forms should enable a selection committee to make a determination of recommendation, acceptance or rejection of land being dedicated or acquired.    YES   NO  1.  Will the site support the perceived park uses,   or programs or services activities?  2.  Is the site's location convenient for access by   the majority of intended users?  3.  Is the site the right size and shape to   accommodate physical development   requirements?  4.  Is the topography conducive to desired site   development in terms of net usable space?  5. Is the general surrounding, physical and    natural environment aesthetically pleasing?  6. Is the site safe relative to high-tension wires,   noxious odors, traffic, and proximity to other   potentially non-compatible land uses?  7.  Is there severe air pollution potential from    manufacturing or other sources?  8.  Is the site free of industrial and traffic noise    generated in the air or from surface activity?  9.  Does the land drain properly and are general    soil conditions acceptable for site and facility   improvements?  10.  Does the site have desirable trees and other   natural vegetation?   YES   NO  11. Is potable water available?  12.  Is the site near other community services:  library, schools, museum, fire station or   police station?  13.  Is there a relationship of the site to existing   parks, trails, conservation areas or   educational facilities?  14.  How is surrounding land zoned - will  development of the park enhance  surrounding land uses?  15.  Are utility services available (water, sewer   gas, electric)?  16.  Is the site readily accessible by public   service agencies such as police and fire   department?  17.  Is the site easily accessible for any type of   vehicle?  18. Is acquisition cost affordable and in line with   comparative land values?  19.  Can the land be shared with other community   facilities and/ or organizations for recreation   purposes?  20.  Is the site expandable for the future needs   through acquisition of adjacent properties?  21.  Is the site suitable for enterprise or public/   private partnership development?  NOTE: If any response is "No" there should be a critical examination as to the justification of accepting the land, if being dedicated, or acquiring the land. The site selection team or committee should be unanimous in its findings and recommendations before any action is taken.   COMMUNITY PARKS & TRAILS STRATEGIC PLAN ELECTORAL AREAS E, F, G, & H  January 2014 Report No. 13-1444-0019 53  3.5 Community Parkland Acquisition Criteria One of the challenges encountered when planning for community parks and trails is evaluating whether new acquisitions fit the needs of the overall system.  To support this evaluation, community parkland acquisition criteria are proposed.  These criteria will:  Support RDN Staff and POSAC members in evaluating potential community park and trail acquisitions and making decisions about whether proposed parkland should be added to the system or if cash-in-lieu should be considered;  Help identify appropriate classification for potential community park dedications;  Provide developers a set of clear criteria to review in advance of proposing dedications; and  Increase consistency and objectivity of assessments over time. Table 26 is a Community Parkland Evaluation Criteria Checklist that provides a set of proposed criteria and value questions to be asked when evaluating potential community parkland acquisitions.   The checklist is organized under 6 categories and is designed to align with the proposed parks classes (See Section 3.2.1: Proposed Community Park Classes).  The 6 categories are described as follows:  General Demographics & Public Values: These values typically apply to all types of community parks.  Parks that score high in this category may be well suited for acquisition and addition to the community parks system.  Neighbourhood Park Values: These values are desirable for establishing neighbourhood parks with amenities.  Parks that score high in this category may be most suitable for neighbourhood parks.  Ecological Park Values: These values include protection and enhancement of natural environments.  Parks that score high in this category may be most suitable for ecological park development.  Linear Park Values: These values include connectivity and trail potential.  Parks that score high in this category may be most suitable for trail development.  Water Access Values: These values pertain to water sites.  Parks that score high in this category may be most suitable for water access development.  Neighbourhood park values Ecological park values Linear park values Water access values  COMMUNITY PARKS & TRAILS STRATEGIC PLAN ELECTORAL AREAS E, F, G, & H   54 January 2014Report No. 13-1444-0019   Affordability: These values include costs for acquiring, developing and maintaining park properties and typically apply to all community parks.  Parks that score high in this category will be more cost effective.  Where review identifies potential parkland to be low in all or most of the above categories, alternatives to acquisition (e.g., cash-in-lieu) should be considered. The CPTS recommends that this checklist be incorporated with Policy C1.5: Review of the Consideration of Park Land in Conjunction with the Subdivision Application Process and also used during the Rezoning Review process. Evaluators using the table will review the criteria and decide if the subject site provides:  High Value: If the site would be a significant asset or fully fulfill the evaluation criteria  Moderate Value: If the site would be a good or moderate asset or partially fulfill the evaluation criteria  Low Value: If the site would be a low or negative asset or does not fill the evaluation criteria    COMMUNITY PARKS & TRAILS STRATEGIC PLAN ELECTORAL AREAS E, F, G, & H  January 2014 Report No. 13-1444-0019 55   Table 26: Proposed community park land and trails evaluation criteria checklist Category 1: General Demographic & Public Values Proposed Criteria Evaluation Criteria Assigned Value/Quality  (check column) High Value  Moderate Value  Low Value  1) Population Density Is the site located in an area with substantial existing or anticipated residential density where there will be a high demand for community park?    2) Existing Park Access Will the acquisition provide parkland to a neighbourhood that is currently underserved by parks and recreation opportunities?    3) Level of Public Interest Is there a known community interest for park development in the area?    4) Neighbouring Property Impacts Could park development in this area have a significant negative impact on existing properties in terms of property value, privacy, noise or other undesirable impacts?    5) Encumbrances Is the site reasonably free of encumbrances that would impact part development such as such as geotechnical, floodplain, environmental and underground utilities?    Overall Rating (high, moderate, low) for Category 1 =  Parks with a majority of high value ratings for Category 1 are valuable potential properties for the community parks system overall, as they fill gaps and/or provide parks services that are in demand.  These properties should be considered for community park acquisition. Parks with moderate or low value ratings should only be considered for acquisition where there are high scores in one or more of the other categories.  COMMUNITY PARKS & TRAILS STRATEGIC PLAN ELECTORAL AREAS E, F, G, & H   56 January 2014Report No. 13-1444-0019  Category 2: Neighbourhood Park Values Proposed Criteria Evaluation Criteria Assigned Value/Quality  (check column) High Value  Moderate Value  Low Value  6) Usable Space Does the site provide at least 0.5 acres of usable park area?    7) Slope Are there gentle slopes for most of the site that would support a variety of active recreation opportunities?    8) Location Is there a significant residential population within walking distance (1 km) to the park location?    9) Recreation Potential Is the site suitable to provide recreational amenities that appeal to the surrounding community?    10) Accessibility Is the site easily accessible to surrounding population, e.g. is it connected to public roads, trails and access routes?    11) Cultural, Historic or Heritage Values Does that site contain any valuable cultural, historical or heritage features that warrant protection?    12) Education or Interpretive Values Does the site provide features with educational or interpretive value and would support interpretive development?    Overall Rating (high, moderate, low) for Category 2 =  Parks with a majority of high value ratings for Category 2 are potential properties for classification as neighbourhood parks as they fill gaps and provide opportunity for amenities.  These properties should be considered for neighbourhood park designation.   COMMUNITY PARKS & TRAILS STRATEGIC PLAN ELECTORAL AREAS E, F, G, & H  January 2014 Report No. 13-1444-0019 57   Category 3: Ecological Park Values Proposed Criteria Evaluation Criteria Assigned Value/Quality  (check column) High Value  Moderate Value  Low Value  13) Sensitive Ecosystem Protection Does the site include significant sensitive ecosystems that warrant protection?    14) Unique Landscape Features Are there unique or representative landscape features such as significant trees, rock formations, water features or other features that warrant protection?    15) Endangered/ Protected Species Are there known blue- or red-listed species occurring on the site or within the surrounding area?    16) Potential Habitat or Wildlife Corridor Does the site have potential to maintain or form a wildlife corridor that connects natural features?    Overall Rating (high, moderate, low) for Category 3 =  Parks with a majority of high value ratings for Category 3 are potential properties for classification as nature parks as they protect unique or sensitive features.  These properties may warrant consideration for natural park designation or protection through other means.   COMMUNITY PARKS & TRAILS STRATEGIC PLAN ELECTORAL AREAS E, F, G, & H   58 January 2014Report No. 13-1444-0019  Category 4: Linear Park Values Proposed Criteria Evaluation Criteria Assigned Value/Quality  (check column) High Value  Moderate Value  Low Value  17) Trail Route Connection Does the site form a potential connection to the regional or community park trail system?   18) Community Amenity Connection Does the proposed site link community amenities or facilities to a neighbourhood (e.g. provides access to schools, retail areas, parks or other destinations?    19) Max. Slope Does the route provide gentle grades for accessible trail?    Overall Rating (high, moderate, low) for Category 4 =  Parks with a majority of high value ratings for Category 4 are potential properties for classification as linear parks as they provide potential trail connections.  These properties may warrant consideration for linear park designation.   COMMUNITY PARKS & TRAILS STRATEGIC PLAN ELECTORAL AREAS E, F, G, & H  January 2014 Report No. 13-1444-0019 59   Category 5: Water Access Values Proposed Criteria Evaluation Criteria Assigned Value/Quality  (check column) High Value  Moderate Value  Low Value  20) Shoreline or Riparian Protection Is the site near a water body or river corridor and capable of providing shoreline protection or enhancement?     21) Accessibility Is the site reasonably accessible with minimum need for stair or ramp construction?    22) Small Development Footprint Can the park be developed to provide water access with no or minimal tree or vegetation removal?    23) Enhanced Access Can water accesses be combined together, or with park land to provide enhanced public access?    Overall Rating (high, moderate, low) for Category 5 =  Parks with a majority of high value ratings for Category 5 are potential properties for classification as water access sites as they provide access points to water bodies – including the ocean, lakes, rivers, wetlands and streams.  These properties may warrant consideration for water access designation.   COMMUNITY PARKS & TRAILS STRATEGIC PLAN ELECTORAL AREAS E, F, G, & H   60 January 2014Report No. 13-1444-0019  Category 6: Affordability Proposed Criteria Evaluation Criteria Assigned Value/Quality  (check column) High Value  Moderate Value  Low Value  24) Acquisition Costs Can the site be acquired with little or no cost?    25) Development Costs Is the public investment required to develop the park to a suitable standard reasonable?  Are there any unusual or extensive anticipated costs?    26) Maintenance Costs Are the amount staff time and financial resources required to maintain the park high or low?    Overall Rating (high, moderate, low) for Category 6 =  Parks with a majority of high value ratings for Category 6 may be considered for acquisition. Where parks score low in this category, considerations for off-setting costs or taking cash-in-lieu may be warranted.       ______________________________________ Appendix A          A1    Future Directions – Parks and Forestry FINAL REPORT    Appendix A – Parkland Acquisition and Evaluation Criteria Rationale Ranking Maximum Score Possible Score Protects and Enhances Natural Area System 1 Natural Area (as identified in the Natural Areas Survey) See Note #2 15 Significant Natural Site 15  10 Special Management Area / Natural Area 5 Linkage 0 Not Applicable 2 Other lands not in NAS, but contributing or having potential to contribute to ecosystem functions. See Note #2. 10 Location contiguous with / proximal to other natural areas with potential for restoration 10  5 Location not contiguous with / proximal to other natural areas but with potential for restoration 0 Not Applicable Contributes to a Connected Open Space System / Trails System 3 Supports the Waterfront Parks Strategy 15 Waterfront property 15  5 Is tangent to a waterfront property 0 Not Applicable 4 Supports trail development 15 Provides a continuous linkage within an existing system 15  10 Provides multiple trail opportunities (e.g. a looped trail system) 5 Provides for a single trail 0 Not applicable Provides for Population Growth and/or Sustainable Community Design 5 Provides park or facility needs for existing / anticipated underserviced area 15 Supports population growth, sustainable community design where no / limited dedications exist (based on geographic distance or population provision standard) 15  10 Provides parkland / facility / public amenity space in an underserviced area (based on geographic distance or population provision standard) 0 Not applicable 6 Protects or Expands function of existing park / enhances existing residential or employment area 10 Protects / expands function of existing parkland (e.g. increases street frontage by more than 50%;significantly increases size of park; significantly enhances existing residential / employment area 10  5 Protects / expands function of existing parkland (e.g. increases street frontage by less than 50%; increases size of park; enhances existing residential / employment area 0 Not Applicable   __________________________________________ Appendix A   A2    Future Directions – Parks and Forestry FINAL REPORT                   May 2014   Rationale Ranking Maximum Score Possible Score Provides for Population Growth and/or Sustainable Community Design (cont’d) 7 Provides recreational opportunities on a Community / city-wide basis 10 Major recreation (1 lit sports facility, 2 or more unlit sports facilities; or major event / festival / picnic sites)   5 Minor outdoor recreation (1 unlit sports field, minor community event / picnic site) 0 Not applicable    EVALUATION SCORE   Additional Acquisition Considerations 8  Commitments made 15 Existing parkland lease 15  10 Council approved 0 Not applicable 9  Cost of land / capital investment 0 Low (e.g. non-developable land; agricultural land) (-15)  (-5) Moderate (e.g. constrained or vacant land, greenbelt within residential properties) (-10) Moderately high (e.g. active commercial / residential uses, contaminated lands with high remediation costs) (-15) High (e.g. active commercial / residential uses, contaminated lands with high remediation costs)    EVALUATION SCORE   Notes: 1. Acquisition Evaluation Criteria and Ranking is to be used for properties to be acquired by purchase only, and evaluation is only applicable to properties that the City has interest in acquiring. 2. If a property scores in Category 1 it cannot score in Category 2. 3. In addition to the scoring, consideration will also be given to opportunities for acquisition of the land, i.e. land that is immediately availability or anticipated to be available in the short to medium term may be ranked higher than lands for which acquisition is desirable but not foreseeable. 4. Land costs will need to be adjusted periodically to reflect market conditions. 

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