SoPas Council Asked to Approve Park Assessment Projects
Compile a Priority List of 10
|<b>February 18, 2016</b> - South Pasadena is putting together its list of projects for a possible upcoming County Parks bond measure.|
|South Pasadena Review|
|South Pasadena City Council members were asked to approve a final potential park project list for submittal to the Los Angeles Countywide Comprehensive Park Needs Assessment.|
The purpose of the Parks Needs Assessment is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the park and recreation needs and opportunities in Los Angeles County.
The Needs Assessment covers all of Los Angeles County and includes an inventory of all existing parks in the county, an evaluation of their condition, an analysis of park needs within each study area in the county and the creation of a prioritized list of park projects, and associated cost estimates for each study area in the county.
“These projects could receive funding,” explained South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez, “if LA County puts a successful ballot initiative before voters in November. The county tried it a couple of years ago and it failed.”
Gonzalez stressed that there is no funding available for projects while cities are seeking to make improvements to public facilities. “Right now it’s dependent on the general fund, and when you compare park amenities to infrastructure, like sewers, roads and water reservoirs, park projects usually take a backseat.”
The county has provided the City of South Pasadena with a grant to perform public outreach, to hold a public meeting in which residents could give their ideas on the best amenities in the town.
A year ago, the development of a countywide comprehensive Parks Needs Assessment was approved by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. Its purpose is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the park and recreation needs and opportunities in the county.
The results of the Parks Needs Assessment may be used by the County Board of Supervisors to inform potential future county-wide park funding decisions and park planning decisions.
In January, a community engagement meeting was held to inform residents about the results of the Los Angeles County Needs Assessment and what the study defined as park needs for the City of South Pasadena. Park Need was determined through a metrics of park need, distance to parks, population density, current amenities in parks and park condition.
“Much of the meeting emphasized the need for improving our old facilities or adding new amenities like restrooms in the parks, play structures, the need for pocket parks in neighborhoods and, especially, a new community center,” explained Gonzalez. “Some of the projects that were already on our radar, will benefit by submitting them to the county for its potential tax measure.”
City officials say there is currently 3.1 acres of park land per 1,000 people in South Pasadena. Fifty-five percent of residents live within a ½-mile acres of park land per 1,000 people in the city. The study shows that the highest need for park land is the southern portion of the city. The study indicated that the overall condition of South Pasadena parks are good, but are lacking amenities. Through the results of the Park Need Metrics, the study determined potential projects, including a community center, dog park, fitness zones, gymnasium, multi-purpose field, splash pad, and swimming pool. The study also showed that the replacement and repair of restrooms were necessary in all parks.
A list of additional potential projects were added to the list that the city already has on its radar, including the Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail, creation of a sitting area and signage at the Arroyo Seco Woodland and Nature Park and constructing a swale near the northeast side of the playground at Garfield Park where water pools during rainstorms.
City staff recommends the following project list in priority order be submitted to the county:
1. Community Center.
2. Restrooms at all public parks.
3. Multi-purpose fields – renovation of sports complex at Arroyo Park.
4. Multi-purpose fields – renovation of sports complex at Orange Grove Park.
5. Pocket Park at Berkshire.
6. Pocket Park at Grevelia.
7. New Park at War Memorial/Oaklawn Park.
8. Fitness Park at Arroyo Park and Garfield Park.
10. Swimming Pool.
11. The Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail, dog park or trail along Stoney Drive were not included in the list as city staff hope they will be completed by the time the proposed funding would become available. City staff also believes the swale at Garfield Parks and Nature Park improvements are not qualifying projects.
The City Council looks to approve a potential park project list to submit to the Los Angeles countywide Comprehensive Parks Needs Assessment by February 29.
“As this process moves forward, hopefully the voters of the L.A. County would extend the current propositions and, therefore, make revenues available to make these improvements,” said Gonzalez.
Arroyo Seco Foundation, PO Box 91622, Pasadena, CA 91109-1622 (323) 405-7326 firstname.lastname@example.org