Park development does not always closely follow adoption of a park master plan process. The Park Authority Board must identify project funding sources, typically through voter-approved bonds, private developer contributions, and/or cooperative agreements with local user groups.
When funding is secured, a project scope is developed for Park Authority Board approval. The scope identifies the facilities to be developed, areas of cultural and natural resources to be preserved, transportation and utility improvements, and federal, state, and local code requirements. The scope includes a preliminary cost estimate and schedule identifying major milestones for the design, permitting, bidding, and construction phases of the project.
Once the scope is approved the project proceeds to the detailed design phase. During this phase each element of the plan such as buildings, athletic fields, playgrounds, parking lots, and trails are specifically located on a base plan. Various code requirements for buildings, site work, accessibility, wetlands, and Chesapeake Bay preservation are incorporated into the plan during this process. Following completion of the design, the plans are submitted to various agencies to obtain the permits necessary to proceed to construction.
As a public agency, the Park Authority must conduct the bidding of construction projects in accordance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act. Construction projects must be advertised, and the resulting bid proposals opened in public. Each contract is presented to the Park Authority Board for approval. A "Pardon Our Dust" letter is mailed to citizens that live near the construction site notifying them of the impending project. The Park Authority ensures that the project is constructed in compliance with the plans, specifications, and permit requirements resulting in the issuance of an occupancy permit for the facility. Park Authority operational staff then opens each facility for the public's use.