Friday, May 23, 2014

Short Report For A Long Meeting

A BRISK PACE FOR A LONG MEETING
Here's the short version of events from the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission meeting last night that was held before an audience of fewer than 25 people at the peak.

DE ARAKAL AND PEDERSON KEEP THEIR SEATS
Right off the bat the four commissioners on the dais - Don Harper was absent - chose to re-appoint the existing leadership.  Byron de Arakal will remain as Chairman and Kim Pederson will remain as Vice Chair of the commission.  In my view, that's a good thing.  Byron has demonstrated that he's a strong leader and Pederson sits at his right hand, occasionally offering subtle stabilizing comments.

MORE LIGHTS NEEDED...
One of the major items on the agenda was the Athletic Field Use and Allocation Policy, HERE, which was dispatched promptly when it was agreed to bifurcate the subject of lighted fields from the main body of this agenda item.  Community meetings will be held during the summer to try to resolve the issue.  In the meantime, it was agreed that Woodland, Kaiser, Lindbergh and Back Bay schools would remain as possibilities for lights and Harper School - which currently has lights but was scheduled to be "rotated out" this time around - will remain on the "lighted list".  de Arakal received assurances that if agreement can be made with the School District to light any or all of the other four schools, that Harper would be dropped.

TREE REMOVAL REQUESTS APPROVED
There were three (3) tree removal requests on the agenda.  One, on Bismark Way, was continued a month.  In the case of the other two, the commission rejected the staff recommendations and approved the removals requested.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BUDGET
Nearly an hour was spent discussing the Capital Improvement Project budget and the result was the recommendation to the City Council to add into the budget nearly $1.5 million in items not included this year in the Preliminary budget.  The biggest ticket item was the conversion of Field #1 at the Jack Hammett Farm Sports Complex to artificial turf, thus allowing its use all year long.  Other items involved studies in elements at Fairview Park.  We'll see how receptive the City Council is on those issues.  At one point, when emphasizing his perception of the need for more playing fields, de Arakal said, "We don't have enough lighted fields despite what some of those armchair statisticians think."

I AGREE...
Earlier, when the commission was discussing the possibility of buying the Balearic Center from the School District, he said, "We should not be spending a ton of money on capital improvements on property we don't own." 


 WEST 19TH STREET PROJECT APPROVED...
After a short break at 8:25 they reconvened to discuss the 19th Street West project, HERE, which covers the area along that major street from Newport Blvd., to the end of 19th Street.  A half-dozen residents spoke on the issue and most were supportive of the improvements planned.  The plan was approved.
...AS WAS DEL MAR AVENUE
After a short discussion the commissioners agreed to support the "simulation A" version of improvements for the stretch of Del Mar Avenue east of Newport Boulevard.

EAST 19TH STREET MOVES FORWARD, WITHOUT MONUMENTS YET
Last on the agenda was the East 19th Street "improvements", which are really methods of slowing traffic along that corridor from Irvine Avenue to Newport Boulevard.  There is $855,700 in Grant Funds available to do this project.  Approvals should occur and design will begin by August of this year and construction will begin early next year.  Those of us who live on the Eastside are concerned that it may result in more cut-through traffic along parallel streets, like Costa Mesa Street and Flower Street.  Much discussion was held on the various suggestions for monument signage for this area.  The commission asked the staff to return to the drawing board, since nobody seemed interested in any of the suggested styles.
BIKEABILITY MOVIE CLIP
At the end of the meeting de Arakal played a preview of a video production created by Costa Mesa Television on "Bikeability" that will begin appearing on CMTV in the normal rotation on June 4th.  There was one person in the audience to see that film - me.  the meeting ended just after 10:00 p.m. - a long night for the Parks and Recreation Commission and another long night for the staff.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous xyn bohemia said...

of course byron is still on parks commission-- he works for "newport banning land trust" http://www.newportbanninglandtrust.org/who-we-are.html
aka newport banning ranch aka aera energy aka exxon moblil and shell corp. they want to build 1375 houses etc.,etc on banning ranch oil land!! still haven't complied with coastal commission on oil drilling info tho-- ;(

i have NO idea why it's ok for him to be on cm parks commission. oh yeah-- cm don't need no stinking laws we have righeimer, de arakal and baugh--
gotta go im gonna throw up now

5/23/2014 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Dumb Biker said...

So the council raises our density to the moon with all the additional traffic which is terrible as it is and then wants to slow it down, yeah that makes sense as do most of their plans. Good for the developers and their shills, Banning Ranch will top off the gridlock process.

5/23/2014 10:00:00 AM  

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