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A new park in Chula Vista's future? Allison K. Sampite | Sat, Jun 11 2011 12:00 PM

Residents in southwest Chula Vista may get a new neighborhood park but the road to construction and completion is a long one.

At the first public meeting held by Chula Vista city officials last month, staff discussed details of the development of a park to be built adjacent to the library off Orange Avenue.

“The meeting was held to give citizens an opportunity to provide their input on the park,” City Recreation Director Buck Martin said.

The project is a joint effort by the city of Chula Vista and San Diego Gas & Electric for a 3.9-acre park as part of the city’s master plan.

City staff presented the project to the Chula Vista City Council in February and gained approval for the park’s location and design.

The city of Chula Vista began working with SDG&E in 2003 to explore possibilities of developing key segments of transmission corridors west of I-805.

Transmission corridors are areas of land where overhead power lines run. They have very few uses because of the requirements that SDG&E has to access and maintain the lines.

However, with improvements, the city said it has the ability to meet the SDG&E access requirements and develop more useful recreational areas for the local community.
Southwest Chula Vista resident David Danciu said the park will be a good project for that community.

“We need parks in the southwest area,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that it has to be in a utility corridor but there are not a lot of options.”

The city recently applied for a $2.6 million grant from the state to cover the project’s cost and expects to hear back by January next year. The cost covers the preliminary stages such as design, through the completion of project, including any contingencies.

If the city were to receive the full grant to fund the project, the earliest the city could break ground would be about one year from now and it would take around nine months to complete.

Once the city confirms receipt of the grant, another public meeting will be held.

The park facility will include a multi-purpose field, half size basketball court, walking path, picnic shelters, bathroom facilities, water fountains, exercise stations and a fenced area for dogs. Foliage, including a variety of shrubs and plants that require low water usage, will accent the area.

Irene Homeyer, manager of Thunder Bird Mobile Home Park, said the park is a great idea; however, there are some issues to consider. The back of the mobile home park sits against the park’s proposed multi-use field. Homeyer’s concern is that recreation balls will come over the fence and could potentially damage homes.

Danciu, who lives close to elementary schools, said her concern has merit. “At times it gets really noisy,” he said. “The main concern is the mobile home park. They really do need a sound barrier fence there.”
Martin said city staff will do their best to mitigate any issues.

Residents may submit a form suggesting their ideas for a park name until June 30. Then staff will meet with the Park and Recreation Commission to select a short list of names and invite a public vote.

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