Parks & Rec. Commission Kicks The Can...
Thursday night the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission spent a lot of time hearing from the staff and ten members of the public on the issue of new entryways to the southern end of Fairview Park, HERE, before finally deciding to ask the staff to return to their August 22nd meeting with more information before taking a vote on the major issues.
PARKING MAY VIOLATE MASTER PLAN
The biggest issue, as articulated by Chairman Byron de Arakal, is the fact that the parking area planned at the end of Pacific Avenue shows more than 40 parking spaces but the approved Fairview Park Master Plan only provides for ten at that site. He was unwilling to move the item forward until that discrepancy is resolved, so he asked the staff to consult with the Planning Department and Legal and bring back the result of that consultation. He implied that, if the proposed plan violates the master plan, he may ask to revise the master plan.
RESTROOM, PARKING, TRAFFIC
Speakers were concerned about there not being a restroom at that location, citing the need because of the proposed tot lot adjacent to the parking area. They were also concerned about traffic on Pacific, which has insufficient sidewalks for the current traffic, much less the anticipated increase due to the additional parking. A few members of the public were concerned that the received notice late in the process, and that many of their neighbors may have just received it in their mail today.
ANOTHER LOOK NEXT MONTH
In addition to the issue of inconsistency with the Master Plan, the motion passed unanimously by the commission asked that both Site Plan A and Site Plan B be brought back with a plant palette, photos of proposed plants and hardscape and lighting specifications. de Arakal also asked for broader notification of the issue, and more time between the notification and the meeting, if it is possible within City policy to do so.
COMMISSION LEANING TOWARD THE PLAN
It was clear that several members of the commission favored the plan as shown, so neighbors and others with opposing views should be prepared to make their pitches - again - next month.
COUNTRY CLUB PERFORMANCE AUDIT
In other actions, the commission managed two tree removal requests and heard the issue - briefly - that involved the proposal for a performance audit for the Costa Mesa Country Club. According to Recreation Manager, the need for such an audit has existed for several years and the City Council requested this one to evaluate whether the city-owned facility is performing to contemporary standards and that it is serving the community well. One speaker expressed concern that residents and out-of-town visitors alike pay the same greens fees, feeling that outsiders should pay more. The City Council will select a vendor soon.
WORKING ON A "VOLCOM" SOLUTION
During his comments at the end of the meeting de Arakal told the commission he had been working closely with CEO Tom Hatch, Lt. Mark Manley of the CMPD and others to come up with a plan to make the Volcom Skate Park a safe place for all once again. He expects there may be plans ready to put forward by their October meeting. Apparently this issue is not simply one of citing and/or arresting violators of the safety equipment requirement and using the park when it is supposed to be closed. At least the ball is rolling to find a solution to protect young skaters and to permit Park Rangers to do their jobs without being attacked.