Short Report 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
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."
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
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.