Thursday, December 04, 2014

Bike Paths And Native Plant Nursery Get OK For Study

The Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee met again last night and the rainy weather kept the crowds down.  This meeting was the continuation of the discussion of the Southeast Quadrant of the park.  Fewer than 30 people attended the meeting, but many were active participants in the process.  Vice Chair Steve Smith did not attend, member Brett Eckles made it a little late, as did brand new Mayor Steve Mensinger, who is the primary City Council representative.

Parks Project Manager Bart Mejia led off with a brief summary report of the field trip the committee took to Riverside's Hunter Park, home of the Riverside Live Steamers,  a facility that blends active recreation uses with a model train ride.  If you want to see what that park is like, view a YouTube clip, HERE.  A half-dozen speakers addressed the issue - which apparently was intended to provide perspective for the possibility of mixing similar uses in Fairview Park.  Without exception they felt mixing playing fields with the area currently occupied by the Orange County Model Engineers is a bad idea.
There was to have been some kind a presentation by someone named Bill LeValley about a Native Plant Nursery, but he didn't show up.  Later we learned from a commenter that he actually runs a nursery somewhere.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Bob Graham, on crutches nursing a wounded Achilles Tendon and speaking not as a commissioner but as a private citizen, made a pitch for a bike path that would skirt the perimeter of the north part of Fairview Park, using right-of-way near the Fairview Channel and eventually wind around and connect with the Joann Street Bike Path.  Although it is not clear that the County of Orange would be interested in participating, the committee voted unanimously to agendize the item for further discussion.
Old Business #1 was the discussion of the creation of a Native Plant Nursery in the Southeast Quadrant of the park.  The idea would be to propagate Fairview Park native plants to be used later to rehabilitate areas of the park with such a need.  Mejia described in general terms the scope, cost and possible locations for such a facility in the park.  The image provided shows the main points.  Nine people spoke to this issue, including resident Cindy Black, who was the prime mover of this idea from the beginning.  After some significant discussion the committee voted unanimously to move this idea forward.  The preferred location would be adjacent to the OCME site - visible from the street for security purposes and with easy access to water, power and parking.
Next up was the discussion of the Improvement/Designation of Bike Paths within the park.  There already exists a plan for a bike path in the current Master Plan, shown as a yellow line below.  After a few minutes of discussion, and considering that they had already agreed to move Graham's idea forward, the suggestion to move this item forward died for lack of a motion.
 Below is the current map of Costa Mesa Bike Paths from the City website.  It you wish to see the larger version of the map click HERE.
With the election now behind us and the demographics on the dais known, the committee then agreed, on a 6-2 vote - Anna Vrska and Chairman Dick Mehren voted NO - to bring back the items previously tabled at two earlier meetings for discussion at the next meeting, on January 7, 2015.  Those items are:
Baseball/Softball Facilities
Soccer/Football Fields
Multi-use Athletic Fields
OCME Track Expansions/Improvements
Basketball/Handball Courts
Roller Hockey Surface

I suspect the turnout at that meeting will be large and vocal since the predominant views expressed by residents throughout this process has been to keep the park natural, without playing fields and similar amenities.  I thought it was interesting that nobody mentioned the pending review of the city-wide Master Plan of Parks and Open Spaces, which will certainly affect the work being done by this committee.  Maybe next month...

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Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Having Steve as the council rep. is a bit like having the fox design the henhouse.

12/04/2014 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

Really? And exactly what influence has he exerted? The answer is "none." The panel has recommended very few projects and those that have been approved have minor footprints. Hardly the stuff of a conspiracy to turn the park over to developers.

If you have a beef with Mensinger, or anyone else, provide some facts.

12/05/2014 10:19:00 AM  

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