Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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 fo
r 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

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.

This item would seem to be fairly routine except for the part where the Harbor Soari
ng 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.


You will rec
all 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.

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?

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.

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 o
n 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?


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.



Blogger Joe said...

Thank you Geoff.

Sounds like some of the attack puppets might owe YOU an apology.

I don't trust the council except Leece at all. Today's "slight incursion" is tomorrow's condo project.

I remember the Riggmarshal touting "pocket parks" at a council meeting. Maybe it depends upon who has them in their pocket..

11/15/2011 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Colin said...

Wow, if that comes to be true, that's some shady stuff. So did the Soaring Society get a kickback to couch the parking lot under their expansion ? Maybe someone in that flyer's club is in the Gang of Four City Council club. Why do people have to be sneaky with everything ?

11/15/2011 03:38:00 PM  
Anonymous X said...

Geoff, this is the vernal pool area you were talking about?? I highly doubt it, there is NO WAY that gets graded. I doubt riggy wants to park cars there, you probably talked to two guys floating "shiny objects" , as someone called these distractions that get Genis rabid, in front of you and playing you. There is plenty of parking for Scott stadium across Placentia on the train station side of the park (second bridge anyone?), especially now since Linda Dixon didn't get the Huscroft House moved there or a skate park put in by Foley and Co. - or Grahams latest development scheme. There is a lot of grading going on right NOW in the park, huge areas, not just this small piece which basically is just seven house lots.

11/15/2011 03:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

They clearly don't need the extra room. If the RC flyers get more room they will just fly faster and louder aircraft. Regardless of whether or not it's graded as a runway or parking lot, it will ruin a perfectly good nature park. The West Side is urban enough. I don't want another city park with their urban problems. Just look at how nice East Side is because of the Back Bay.

11/15/2011 03:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Gary Craig, CPA said...

Geoff you are such a cynic.

They are expanding the model runway to offer model airline service to Cabo San Lucas & Mexico city.

Gotta keep up with the Jones'

11/15/2011 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Back in the 80s, Mile Square Park hosted RC planes and rockets. Then they planned a new golf course (which was never opened), exiled rockets and planes, and a lot of the hobbyists went to a place near Irvine Lake to fly their planes.

How 'bout we send certain CM council members to Orange and invite all hobbyists to Costa Mesa?

11/15/2011 04:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Fairview Park said...

When are you airheads going to notice that Fairview Park sucks (big time). It is NOT a "nature park" or anything akin to same.

It is useless weed strewn land that serves no purpose (other than being an eyesore).

11/15/2011 05:03:00 PM  
Anonymous X said...

Gary Craig got it right. and no TSA screening required. maybe a miniature ABLE or drone project would be cool too. the drone could see Genis' illegal block wall in front of her house and level it.

11/15/2011 05:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Opposite Day said...

Joe, I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for continuing to add so much value to the discussion, as always. I find your comments to be relevant, on point and insightful.

Keep up the fine work.

I am glad you and Geoff are so aligned in your thinking.

Thanks again for your contributions.

11/15/2011 05:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

Modern high performance electric RC planes get kicked out of most parks because they are loud and dangerous. If there weren't people walking, hiking, and jogging around the park, it might not be an issue. There is also lots of wildlife that that is endangered because of so many flyers.

11/15/2011 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

If they are going to grade anything, I think Riggy needs to grade his property on 21st and Santa Ana, Casa De Oro. The weeds look terrible through the code violating flailing green mesh. No sandbags along the borders either, but hey, they are above the rules...

Where is the money going to come from to grade Fairview park? The fire unions?

11/16/2011 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Captain Potbelly said...

What? No council update?

Geoff West must be still stewing his anger that Eric Beverages recognized another blog in his comments instead of Bubbling Cauldron.

What is this world coming to? And I like it.

11/16/2011 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Captain Potbelly, Geoff does not care. Geoff might decide to post his review of last nights city council meeting until Thanksgiving day for all we know. But you, you are going to be back here tomorrow, the next day, and the next day after that looking for his post! And when he does post it, you will comment under a diffrent name so as to not prove me right.


11/16/2011 07:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Indianapolis Superbowl said...

Parks do really need some care. And this step will do more. Hope see the agendas to the park.

2/01/2012 03:02:00 AM  

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