Sunday, March 26, 2017

Lions Park Projects On Tap Tuesday (Amended)

Tuesday March 28, 2017, is an important date for all Costa Mesans because there will be a Special Joint Meeting of the City Council, Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission to discuss the plans for what is being referred to as the Lions Park Projects.  These projects include:
  • Improvements to Lions Park and new signage, including building signs and directional/wayfinding signs.
  • The demolition of the existing Neighborhood Community Center. Building a new two-story building of approximately the same square footage on the same site to house a brand new, modern library. 
  • The renovation and re-purposing of the current round Donald Dungan Branch Library adjacent to the new library as the new Community Center.
  • The creation of a new one acre park area on part of the site of the current community center. 
  • The construction of a Cafe - Cafe Mesa - on the grounds between the new buildings.  
 New Library elevations
The agenda report for this meeting can be found HERE and the staff report, with attachments, can be found HERE.

This Special Joint Meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Los Lagos Room of the Costa Mesa Country Club, 1701 Gold Course Drive.  See the map below.
Following discussions and presentations the staff recommends the following:
Parks and Recreation Commission
1 - Approve the Lions Park Projects Master Plan as proposed

Planning Commission:
1 - Adopt the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration; and
2 - Adopt a resolution to approve Planning Application PA-16-71 for the Lions Park Projects
     Master  Plan, subject to conditions of approval and mitigation measures.

City Council:
1 - Adopt plans, specifications, and working details for the Lions Park Projects Master Plan,
     City Project No. 17-03; and
2 - Authorize staff to advertise the Lions Park Projects for construction.
Attachment #6, HERE, will give you all the proposed visuals in this project, including images of new buildings and site plans.
FUNDING INFORMATION (Amended - See Mayor Foley, below)
In my view, the most important information is contained in Attachment #5, HERE.  This outlines the funding plan for this project and the rebuilding of Fire Station #1 on Adams Avenue at Royal Palm, which is already underway.  When you review this single page document you will find that these two projects will obligate the taxpayers of our city for more than $46 million, with the debt stretching out twenty-five (25) years.  We will pay $12.3 million in interest on a $18.5 million loan to the tune of nearly $103,000 per month.
I suspect more than a few of your neighbors will join me at this meeting, to hear the latest presentation by the consultants from Johnson Favaro and the staff, and to hear about this very costly project.  Public Comments will be permitted, but only on this subject.  Please join me, since this will not be televised live.
Mayor Katrina Foley saw this entry and posted a long explanation on my Facebook page.  For those who have not seen it, I have copied and pasted it here verbatim.  This clarifies the funding issue.

Geoff West just one correction-- it's not "additional debt." We currently have bond financing related to the Civic Center & Victoria Street improvements & police facility bond refinancing & early pay off. We are simply replacing the beneficiary project of the existing debt obligation. This financing plan will not increase our debt, but stays within the same payment ranges. It's in the staff report: "On January 17, 2017, the City Council approved an agreement with Fieldman-Rolapp & Associates to help develop the debt financing strategy and implement the plan. The financing strategy is under way and includes the goals of keeping the City’s annual debt service payments at or below the current levels, meeting the cash flow needs of the construction contract payment schedule, possible early payoff of the 2003 COP (related to the Civic Center and Victoria Street right-of-way property) and possibly refinancing the 2007 COP (related to the past expansion of the police facility) for additional general fund savings. Staff will return to Council as soon financing options are ready for consideration and selection."

Additionally, we are aggressively seeking grant funding from statewide library & park fund grants. We hope to have those opportunities online by year end to reduce the costs. There is no increase in obligation to the taxpayers and significant improvement to the community, especially the Westside community. The increase in value to properties in the surrounding area and overall quality of life for families in the community far outweighs the cost to build. I refer you to the Costa Mesa High School Performing Arts Center project. It helped transform the school and community, as well as improve the corner of Arlington & Fairview. It cost more than $20 million in 2012-13. We are getting more than double the size and amenities for only $16 million more. We must invest in our community to sustain it as a quality place for families to live, work and play. Investments on the westside are long overdue. I hope you will see the value of this investment after the presentation.

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Blogger Westside Mom said...

Yes, it's an important one for our children. I've giving up sending my kids to that area 7 years ago. Don't get me wrong, this was the place where my kids grew up. We've enjoyed the story time, summer reading program (yes, we used to have it then I discovered Newport Beach one), swimming lessons, and Gym even airplane on the lion park. Also, this is where my kids’ graduation ceremonies and my beloved Newport Harbor Orchid Society monthly meetings. Time after time, constructions, renovation, from taking down the rails to ugly concrete, razor blades by kids play ground, metal fence by history society. On top of that the huge hole on the green field where kids were playing soccer, then becoming a not very kids friendly rose bush path or may you can call it paths for solitary restoration and reflection? Who needs to do some thinking now and for whom?

After reading the agenda, couple questions here: 1) Funny choice of the meeting, they should host in the current community center. 2) Well, there goes another summer we will be under construction; will kids be able to swimming under those demolitions? 3) Call me cheap, and don't want waste our tax dollars. Demolition? These were build not "too long" ago, I did not see the budget yet, but do they recycle or throw those existing fixture away or have a public auction to sell the old sign or someone would like to buy a piece of Costa Mesa history, after all we only 60+ years old. 4) On Parking there are no Compact spaces? Was it wise? And was biking rack or Motorbike space considered in this plan 5) On the extra 20 parking on Anaheim ave. By looking at the image, seems like the metal fence someone builds for History Society to block the homeless sleep there in day time will be taking down. Hopefully that's not our tax dollars again. 6) Can anyone share the light what' going to be "IN" the library? Will it be as good as Newport Beach? Nice children area or media lab, and art show in there. Are those open windows going to look at the lion park or the new open space? 7)Cafe? Yes, that's a sweet thought, but I'm sure cross the street we have plenty of selection. Maybe a book store to sell used book will be better idea for raising fund. 8) The most important one: by demolished the old community to build the smaller footprint ones and "increase the open pace for art shows, Concerts, farmer's market " what happened to Lion Park it's right there? Concert? Farmer's Market, That’s a can of warm if it's going to be outdoor. Talking about parking space, do we have a plan to build a parking garage like Newport Beach Public Library?

An upgrade on our library or community center to represent Costa Mesa- the City of Art is needed. We all know what's around the 19th now, but did you know what WAS on 19th street 60 years ago? You might be surprised. We need a right and safe place to study, to read and to create. This is the place needs a renovation.

3/27/2017 10:34:00 AM  
Anonymous zennymoon said...

Ecomonics 101, if you aren't paying cash you are establushing debt! Since it is clear we don't have 46 million USD but we do have $246 million pension liability debt. This is a HASTY and financial FIASCO....speak up residents we don't need a taj mahal and debt.

3/27/2017 04:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Muffin Top Bob said...

Lions park and the surrounding area, right where the City wants to build a brand new library and community center is nothing more than a giant toilet. All that area draws is the countless homeless, drunks, drug addicts and those recently kicked out of the local rehab homes.

3/27/2017 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Westside Mom said...

To Muffin Top Bob:
Do you have any positive idea to solve these issues? Does our city provide a functional library to enrich our citizen? Or maybe I should ask do you live here long enough to help and prevent any of these issues?
Lion Park was the first park build in Costa Mesa at 1948 and surrounding area had most of the important needs for everyone which from First United Methodist Church (still here : W. 19th St), Mesa Theater (mother’s market location), Boy’s Club ( Costa Mesa historical society ) , City Hall ( possible current Senior Center on 19th,according an old blue print), and Sky Harbor airport (19 & West side Placentia)…. This is part of the original Costa Mesa with good hard working people living here and starting their lives. Does this explain it to you why we had “Costa Mesa Community Center “ ,”Recreation Center” & Library built next to this park?
This was an old part of the town but it was good and peaceful. Property value would be low (affordable )due to early build . Thanks to poor planning system mixed soup kitchen, SOS with lots of liquor licenses, bars , and sober living , yes, time to flush. Except this “poor side “ of the town is only 2 mins away from the beach, and buy a house with yard here below $600,000 it would be a miracle these years. Unless , you are buying one of those box building.
In conclusion, the best way to neglect the value of this side of town is not to give any service and let it rot. Now , finally, we might have a chance to upgrade our library for our future generation. Support it with a sharp mind , and go check it out the content of the Newport Beach Public Library and help. If we are going to spend money and build one, mind as well do it right. This is a positive way to help Costa Mesa. It will help the property value to help the school , and give our kids a quality life as a beginning.

3/28/2017 06:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

The fire station was badly in need to repair. I've been to the library and community center and am not clear on why they need to be torn down and rebuilt. They looked fine to my untrained eye. Unless there is something structurally wrong or dangerous, it seems unnecessary.

3/28/2017 07:02:00 AM  

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