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A Park Without Parking: Neighbors asking city to take action

Posted: 5:00 AM, Aug 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-08 09:58:59-04
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GOODYEAR, AZ — A park with no restrooms, water fountains and, above all, no parking lot is raising concerns for residents that live in the homes next to it. They say Portales Park in Goodyear is bringing extra cars and safety concerns to the neighborhood.

Lisa Cordova reached out the Let Joe Know team, saying sport teams have taken over the park. She says they pack the cul-de-sacs next to the park for several hours throughout the week, especially on weekend mornings. She says they block driveways and even fire hydrants, something she never imaged having to deal with when she first moved in.

"You think safety and quiet and a place for your kids to come out and play with the neighbors," said Cordova.

Lisa says she sees less people in the area during the hot summer months, but is worried nothing will be done by the time cooler weather comes this fall.

"As soon as fall comes and winter comes, and it gets cooler here in Arizona, there is going to be a lot more teams," said Cordova.

Portales Park is 14 acres of open space where kids and teams practice. According to the City of Goodyear, the park is classified as a neighborhood park, meaning it is not set up for organized sports. The city says rangers are at the park on a daily basis but rarely see violations or parking issues.

"I wouldn't say we've never seen it. What I would say is that when we've seen [parking violations], we've taken action to alert the police to assist us in enforcement of those codes," said the City of Goodyear's Parks and Rec Manager David Seid.

Seid says, when looking at the actual use of the park, team practices could be allowed while formal sport games are not. A point of disagreement between the city and neighbors.

"Now we may disagree on what's acceptable use and what's unacceptable use with the neighborhood, but we have never denied their request for service," said Seid. "We welcome that public input."

Cordova says she has offered different solutions to the city such as fencing or different landscaping, but none have been accepted.

"I'm still coming up with ideas and everything I've come up with... It's just been shot down," said Cordova.

The city says a larger park is opening a few miles away in 2021, and they hope that will reduce the use at Portales Park. They say they are also asking for funding to complete a study to see if adding a parking lot to the park is an option.

Neighbors say they won't give up until something is done.