The Wheaton Park District will resurface the tennis court at Hurley Gardens instead of converting it to a parking lot after residents said in a survey they don’t mind cars parked on their streets.
Since the park’s improvements, the park district's staff has seen increased interest in the facility as a rental space for weddings and other events, according to a staff memo.
To gage residents’ use of the courts, the park district sent surveys to 112 residents and 18 people who rented the park. One homeowners association also contacted its residents about the survey.
The district received 155 survey responses May 3. Sixty-nine people—44 percent—wrote that they play tennis at Hurley Gardens. Almost everyone—146 residents (94.1 percent)—wrote that street parking is adequate, and 143 (92.2 percent) wrote they would not support converting the courts to parking. Four people wrote parking is needed, and 11 wrote they’d support converting the court to parking, according to the memo.
In their additional comments, residents wrote a parking lot would ruin the charm of Hurley Gardens, hurt property values and invite problems, such as drinking, smoking, littering and loitering.
Mike Benard, executive director of the Wheaton Park District, said at a Board of Commissioners meeting Wednesday the plan for work at Hurley Gardens is approved in the district's capital budget. Though the budget calls for parking, Benard said following the community's hopes to keep the tennis court will be less expensive.
“Barring hearing any comments to the contrary, we’re going to move forward and release a specifications package to resurface that court,” he said.
Park Commissioner Phil Luetkehans said he has talked with residents in the neighborhood that surrounds Hurley Gardens. “I received a lot of comments… They don’t want a parking lot and they have no problem with people parking in (front of) their streets,” he said.
Park Commissioner Kim VanderSchaaf agreed, "I think it is good that we keep our parks looking like parks and we don't pave them all."
Hurley Gardens is located at the intersection of Adare and Creekside drives, south of Roosevelt Road. The 3.2-acre park includes a tennis court, a reflecting pool and an open grass field, with design influenced by the neoclassical revival style and the 1893 Columbian Exposition.