1. Archive

Park Square site too small for library; county shops around

Ride your bike to the library, come home with a pile of fresh books. Sit on the porch, add lemonade, enjoy.

That's the ideal Newland Communities had in mind when the developers planned a public library in the heart of Park Square, FishHawk Ranch's quaint recreation and shopping center.

But the county has other ideas.

The 1-acre site Newland had in mind is too small, county library operations manager David Wullschleger said.

It doesn't have enough parking and doesn't offer the county any room to expand as the planned community grows.

Instead, Wullschleger said, the county is eyeing a spot near Randall Middle School, outside the bounds of the development.

It's still within biking distance of homes in FishHawk Ranch - but it won't be the cozy neighborhood library the developer envisioned.

Still, Newland officials' hopes are not dashed.

Newland marketing manager Pam Parisi said she hasn't heard a definitive answer from the county.

"We're still waiting for something formal from them that says 'Yes we want (the Park Square site)' or 'No, we don't,' " she said.

But she said the developers have been thinking about possible alternative uses for the site.

One option, she said, would be to open a bed and breakfast.

Another plan would be to build an assisted-living facility.

"We have so many multigeneration households in the neighborhood," she said, so the latter idea might be popular among residents.

Meanwhile, she said, the community has a library of sorts.

In 2004, activities coordinator Dawn Turner began an honor-system lending library in the Osprey Club and at Hawk Park, two of the community's clubhouses.

Residents stock the two locations with their own books and magazines, and sign out what they've taken home with them.

For now, it will have to do.

S.I. Rosenbaum can be reached at 661-2442 or