Full Slate For Parks & Recreation Commission Meeting Wednesday
Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 16th, the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission will hold it's final regular meeting of the year beginning at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers. (There is supposedly a joint meeting with Newport Beach folks to discuss the re-landscaping of the median along Irvine Avenue where more than 100 eucalyptus trees were removed following the death of a motorist when one of the trees crushed her car.)
The agenda is packed for this meeting. In addition to the requests to remove three trees at three different locations, it also includes discussions on: (click on the title for the staff report)
The Community Gardens
Field Use and Allocation Policy Recommendations
Fairview Park Annual Report
Landscape/Beautification Award Program
Parks Project Manager's Report
GRADING A NEW FLYING FIELD/PARKING LOT?
However, the biggie on this agenda is the first one listed under New Business:
Renewal of the User Agreement with the Harbor Soaring Society and Review of the Flying Field Improvements at Fairview Park.
WHY THE "IMPROVEMENT"
This item would seem to be fairly routine except for the part where the Harbor Soaring Society, which has flown their aircraft at Fairview Park for three decades, is requesting to more than double the size of the flying field - the flat, graded surface from which gliders and powered airplanes are presently launched.
ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN, ON AGAIN
You will recall that I recently raised the question, based on two separate inquiries/concerns, about the possibility of part of this area being paved-over and used for overflow parking for events at Estancia High School. I wrote about those concerns, then was assured by city staffers that NO plans were in the works to perform that kind of work - so I wrote an apology. That apology may have been premature.
"IMPROVEMENT" MAKES ME CURIOUS
When I read the staff report on this item and saw the proposed expansion to create a new flying field parallel with and contiguous to the old one - the combination of which will accommodate parking for AT LEAST two hundred cars - I got even more curious about this plan. The image above was provided by City Staff and will be part of a PowerPoint presentation Wednesday evening. You can see the location and size of this proposal. The staff report tells us that the Harbor Soaring Society will pay for all costs associated with this grading through donations. I wonder where those "donations" are coming from?
MY SITE VISIT
So, instead of jumping off this cliff again without a parachute, I jumped, instead, into my car and drove across town to the end of Canyon Drive, beside the Waldorf School, to see the site myself. While there I chatted with several men who had come to the location to fly their electric airplanes. I asked them about the proposed expansion. They were surprised that approvals had not been given yet, since it was their understanding that it was a "done deal" and the grading was supposed to have begun in October. No grading has yet been done.
CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG
As I was getting into my car to leave two of the men continued to talk about this planned "improvement" and chuckled about it because they "knew" that "they" - I assume they meant some officials - planned to use this nice, big, flat graded area for event parking and were using the approval of the expansion of the flying field area to get it done.
So, here's my question: Based on the Fairview Park Master Plan, under what circumstances may ANY portion of the Park, except for the designated parking lots, be used for vehicle parking? If it is NOT permitted, what are the penalties for violating that prohibition?
IT'S A MATTER OF TRUST
Why do I ask these questions? Well, it's a matter of trust. I don't trust the current City Council to follow the rules on most issues and this one is just the potential violation du jour. Quite honestly, this kind of shenanigan is precisely why I don't trust them to create a City Charter - which is a subject for another time.
Labels: Fairview Park