Thursday, July 25, 2013

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Gericault said...

When did parking become a problem at Fairview park? At last nights meeting I heard all those "commissioners", mention that Fairview Park is supposed to be for all Costa Mesans, and this is just NIMBYism, which I thought was just a load of B^!!$#!T.
The only time parking gets busy is during a special event. Even during the Fish fry I had no problem. In fact, Dan Joyce took over the half the Parking lot and set up the Community Expo in it.They have so much Parking obviously it can be used for other things.Also why is a red car pictured on the rendering DRIVING INTO THE PARK OFF CANYON?...are they going to the new Pop Warner Lot? Also why hasn't this been given to the Advisory committee? Why the short notice? Why did City Staff not mention the Master Plans allocated 10 spaces in the presentation? Who suggested to the designer that they wanted 45 spaces when the Master Plan clearly stated 10? That deviation is where the real problem lies because without a study, without regards to the Master Plan, and unbeknownst to anyone,including the Advisory Committee members, someone directed the designer to submit plans over 4x's the size.
I also heard last night a lot of discussion about trying to get funds to stabilize the bluff, put in a restroom by the proposed Tot Lot, cable the bluff edge for public safety but repeatedly heard there were no funds for those things. Yet we are spending $650,000 on lights that aren't needed, in a dawn to dusk park, when we have real priorities the public has already planned and waited for. Kudos to Matt Harper for pointing out the notification process, while legal, was still badly flawed and appeared to be rushing this through. I'm sure he'll get a stern talking to, but "Kudos" none the less.

7/26/2013 08:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Natural and Harry said...

I'm glad the Rec Commissioners voted to wait for clarifications on the parking lot issue, as well as to recognize that the Public needs more than the legal 72 hours Notice. Unfortunately, I could not attend the meeting, but luckily I watched it while on my family vacation.

I have a couple concerns not mentioned during the discussions.

The tot lot's close proximity to the Vernal Pools is a huge safety concern during the rainy season for an accidently "unsupervised" young child wondering off from a "distracted" parent. So I hope the landscape architect can somehow address this potential water-safety issue.

Also, there is a massive "30 inch Main" gas line which runs parallel to the area where the proposed tot lot is to be located. The identified "unstable bluff" could potentially damage, or even expose this enormous gas line during a heavy-rain collapse, or even one sizable local earthquake. So, maybe the Gas Co will provide better signage to warn park-goers of it's proximity to the tot lot as it is required by State Law.

7/26/2013 01:16:00 PM  
Anonymous ugh said...

why would anybody enter the park off of canyon/pacific? People who live there are in walking distance-- so who is going to use them? They shouldnt be directing traffic thorugh a neighborhood like that! Especially since there are not sufficient sidewalks for people walking along pacific

Im seriously pissed about this plan

7/26/2013 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Obviously, someone wants to change Fairview Park into an Events Center, maybe the kind of commercial sports stadium they tried to make in TeWinkle Park. Otherwise they wouldn't need the parking, the lights and changes to the Master Plan. Anyone who loves Fairview Park had better start defending it now, or it will be lost forever.

7/26/2013 06:40:00 PM  
Anonymous WS said...

Canyon, and I believe part of Pacific, don't even have sidewalks. We don't have trees in the cut outs on the sidewalks along Wilson. The streetlights are virtually useless. But they can upgrade parking lights, for the contributors of CM United, but the residents can just go to hell. Its the people going to Waldorf and Pop Warner that use Wilson as the Indy 500. How about fixing that with some speed bumps before another child is killed?

7/26/2013 07:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Don't need more parking said...

You know, that parking lot will just be overflow parking for the condos and apartments. It will be virtually useless in the evening.

7/26/2013 07:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Joni said...

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

7/26/2013 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Byron de Arakal said...


Your comment both surprises and disappoints. The parking lot and tot lot elements discussed Wednesday at the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting have been a part of the Fairview Park Master Plan since 2001. It's not as if they've been a secret, or are being slipped under the door while no one's looking. I would have thought - given your commendable service to the community as a Planning Commissioner - that you would have known these elements have been part of the Master Plan for 12 years now. From what I can discern from your comments, I guess not. That said, I - as the current Chair of the Parks Commission - have no interest in turning Fairview Park into an 'events center.'

7/26/2013 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said... area for ten parking spaces was in the Master Plan....not a traffic circle with forty five spaces, which you support. The Master Plan was obviously not being used as a point of reference or guidance during your meeting last night, but thank God, it did prove to be a speed bump.

7/27/2013 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

And, to be clear, it was Byron who brought the issue of the incompatibility with the current Master Plan up...

7/27/2013 12:18:00 AM  
Anonymous WS said...

Geoff, yes, and then said he'd change the Master Plan to suit their new General Plan, no? 45 parking spaces will take all the area to the vernal pool.

Why not, if you have to at all, just add some more parking spaces on the back side of the ones that are already there? The parking on Canyon at the park already has about 40/45 spaces. Why not just put some on the backside of those spaces?

7/27/2013 06:26:00 AM  
Anonymous giving alf fitz said...

but Byron is friends with the wrong people now

7/27/2013 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Key Master said...

Isn't Mr. Hatch is in the process of hiring a $75,000 a year position to be the Volcom gate keeper?

7/27/2013 01:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Byron, you're a good fellow, but you're not cynical enough.

7/27/2013 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Byron de Arakal said...

Perhaps so, Eleanor. But then good for me. Life's too short.

7/28/2013 02:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Echo Chamber said...

Byron, careful. We have cracked their enigma code.

Robin is Tokyo Rose. When she says "I agree and echo what the prior speaker says", she really means "we all got to stick together as no growth advocates and fight these guys"

When the male Egan talks about getting crows out of trees is code for a metgod of dispersing council supporters.

The female Egan distracts with the froggy voice and will soon turn on you.

You watch. They will come for you

7/28/2013 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous truth in packaging said...

You think byron is not cynical enough? He was handpicked for this job by "Cynical Politicians Inc." he knows his worth and he knows his price.

Sausage making and politics, don't look too close at the process of either and you'll be happier. You'll get blindsided, but until that happens, ignorance can be bliss! Just go along like good little sheep now...

7/28/2013 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

I just looked at the Fairview Park master plan. I don’t see the South End parking area Byron de Arakal says is part of the 12 year-old Master Plan. I don’t see one like it anywhere. I see a tot lot and a couple of pocket-sized parking areas. The master plan and consultant’s conceptual plan differ markedly in some areas. If this is the Master Plan (it is) maybe that’s not really Byron posting! Byron knows what’s what. He’s usually well-informed and a pretty sharp guy.

Master Plan:

Paste that into your search engine if you want to know what's really on the master plan. Or you can go to the City website; Council Agendas for 2012; City Council Meeting of 2012-12-04; Consent Calendar #15; Staff Report; attachment 1. If we’re going to debate, let’s have an informed debate.

7/28/2013 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Byron de Arakal said...


Page 29 of the Fairview Park Master Plan (under section 6.1 Park Entrances and Parking). The next to last paragraph of that section reads: "A cul-de-sac drop off entrance is to be created at the dead end of Pacific Avenue with parking for 10 cars including 4 handicapped spaces. This entry is inteded to allow handicapped access to the bluff trail and the local park improvements at the south boundary of the park."

10 spaces is not 42 spaces...and is why I was not willing to move forward with the plan at the last PRC meeting. As it stands now, 10 spaces are all that's allowed.

7/28/2013 08:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Byron de Arakal said...

Also from the Farview Park Master Plan, Page 35, subtitle: Children's Play Area at Pacific Avenue/Canyon Drive. Text reads: "The southern park boundary joins the residential community of Pacific Avenue and Canyon Drive. An irrigated border is planned to provide a small lawn and tree community park with a children's play area."

7/28/2013 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Sports Complex back-nine of Mesa Linda said...

Geoff, several of the residents brought the inconsistency with the master plan to light. Byron at least was smart enough once it was brought up to make it an issue.

And here is quote from one of the Master Plans. "expressed the requirements for the park to the consultants in a meeting on
October 30, 1996. Very strong emphasis was placed on native plant community/habitat
restoration without the inclusion of active sports field facilities.

7/28/2013 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Change the Plan and they will come! said...

Organized team sports
requiring formal facilities or sports operated as a concession are not included. The natural
areas of the park are reserved for running, walking, limited bicycle trails, and interpretive

The passive uses included in the plan were driven by the need to protect the unique
archaeological and biological resources, the City’s new focus of attention on other park
lands for use in active team sports, and the community’s expressed desire for a passive
park. The concept of a park with a natural setting and a very low level of “improvements”
in terms of buildings or other construction appears to have widespread community

7/28/2013 10:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Well then, we are on the same "page" after all, Byron.

I misunderstood some of your comments from the hearing and your reply to Eleanor, and am happy to hear you support the Master Plan as it is and not the 42 space parking area shown on the conceptual plan. Or maybe I'm reading that into your comments now. I should say I hope it means that you do not support the conceptual plan changes.

I think you may have read a few things into Eleanor’s comment that she didn’t say, just as I read your comment as saying the larger parking area was on the Master Plan. I’ll own that one and appreciate the clarification.

I think you were a little hasty to jump on Eleanor. I would be surprised if she didn’t thoroughly understand the FV Master Plan, just as I was surprised by what I thought you were saying. We have not always agreed on issues, but you have always had my respect as someone who does the homework and understands the material.

7/29/2013 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous WTF? said...

This admin is so screwed up. We have crumbling infrastructure. Riding down Wilson is like riding a horse, barely sidewalks on Canyon/Pacific, inadequate street lighting, trees missing from the sidewalk holes (5 years at least now), but they want to put in parking, handicapped no less, for a dirt bluff trail? This city can't even take care of the things it does have, why would they, at this time, want to add more? They make absolutely no sense.

7/29/2013 06:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Logic said...

WTF? said:
"This admin is so screwed up. We have crumbling infrastructure. Riding down Wilson is like riding a horse, barely sidewalks on Canyon/Pacific, inadequate street lighting, trees missing from the sidewalk holes (5 years at least now), but they want to put in parking, handicapped no less, for a dirt bluff trail? This city can't even take care of the things it does have, why would they, at this time, want to add more? They make absolutely no sense."

Actually, it makes perfect sense. With a budget surplus, the Developer can't successfully argue that the city is bankrupt.

Once money is blown and there's a deficit, he will proclaim that only Chapter 9 will save us.

7/29/2013 08:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

When you see a plan or action that seems to "make absolutely no sense," try imagining a set of circumstances that would be consistent with the plan or action making sense. I look at a plan for many more parking spaces than the Master Plan calls for and far more than are needed for the passive uses planned for the park, and I think someone wants to make changes to the park and change the Master Plan to fit what that someone wants. That way it makes sense.

7/29/2013 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Another point of interest, Eleanor, is the fact that the contracted landscape architect, present at the last meeting, replied when asked about the surplus of spaces that they were in anticipation of new uses in the park. Read into that what you will...

7/29/2013 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Haters gonna hate... said...

Right, it is "Pop Warner and Waldorf using Wilson like the Indy 500."

Get a life, hater. Wilson/Canyon are a direct bypass of Victoria, and get people from the 55 to their homes in HB.

Look into it.

7/29/2013 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Wilson Pickett said...

"Haters gonna hate"...I have looked into it. Very little cut through traffic on Wilson for people going to HB. Victoria yes, but not Wilson. And if what you assert is true, why not put speed bumps on Wislon as suggested? Country Club got speed bumps because of HB cut through traffic to the 405. Apparently traffic mitigation is more important in Mesa Verde?

7/29/2013 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Hater here.... said...

Haters, it also has a 25 mph speed limit, with the Waldorf parents doing at least 60 mph down that street. There has already been one child killed on Wilson. I guess that doesn't bother you?

7/29/2013 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous i f it aint broke said...

Well, it seems most people who dont have vested interest with developers want the city to do nothing and keep the place the rarest of jewels it is

Nothing is free, no upkeep, AND keeps the residents happy

I dont understand the city wanting to create problems

7/29/2013 07:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Mason R said...

if it ain't broke...Its all about Mensinger's futile and inane attempt to relive his lost childhood dream of becoming a football hero. Of course, he can't do that any better than he can shoot. But he's going to tear up that park area to prove his point. Its not about the kids, ITS ABOUT STEVE AND CM UNITED.

7/30/2013 08:37:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home