Monday, August 06, 2007

More Hall Park Drama

Rally to highlight Encinitas park concerns

A neighborhood group concerned over possible traffic and parking problems at the planned Hall property park is planning to rally at 17 locations Saturday morning, organizers said.

Members of Friends of the Hall Property will gather at intersections, beaches, markets and parks to collect signatures and pass out fliers and signs that say "Scale Back the Park," said Kim Lande, a Cardiff resident and leader of the group.

In January, the city issued a draft of the environmental report, which said the park would overwhelm nearby roads with traffic during sports tournaments. The city would be unable to compensate for some of the traffic delays because they would happen on state-controlled freeway ramps, the report said.

The report also warned of noise from the dog park and loudspeakers, but suggested walls and presetting speaker volume levels to manage the decibels. Glare from field lighting could be controlled by focusing the lights directly on the turf and shrouding the lamps with glare shields, the report said.




I think the Hall Park theme should focus on baseball.

There is no need for bright field lights that will shine in neighbors windows, play can end at sunset or the lighting should be carefully installed.

The skate park should be world class and built with input from the local skate community. The city should seek donations from the multi-billion dollar skate industry that is centered in north county.

Traffic will increase no doubt (think lots of SUV's with windows covered in pink graffiti reading, "Go Trisha U R #1!") But, traffic is horrible all over town, been to the beach lately?

The Hall Park is really expensive and is sucking funds away from other parts of the town, like downtown Leucadia. Is your street cracked and have potholes? Get used to it.

I would like to see some public art in the Hall Park. Maybe statues of soccer and baseball players or of families having fun together.

The Hall Park should be begin construction as soon as possible.

Leucadia Blog: Herb asks, "Wouldn't it be prudent?"

Leucadia Blog: Dan Dalager Constructs New Hall Park Statue

Leucadia Blog: Leucadia Property Owners Supply Massive Tax Base with Little Return

38 comments:

  1. "Scale Back the Park!" All negative NIMBISM. No positive message in that.

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  2. Residents have asked for open fields, which is not proposed for the Hall property. Building a sports park would prevent over 80% of Encinitas residents from using the grassy fields.

    The vocal Encinitas Soccer League spokesperson is a Carlsbad resident. She gets a salary. The League brings in enough money, over a half a million dollars, to buy their own soccer fields.

    The league wants the Encinitas taxpayer to foot the bill for their playing fields. Why would the city council allow it?

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  3. Before we start any new public art projects, it's not too late to fix the Cardiff Surfer. Since it's bronze, the hands could be removed and re-sculpted without jazz fingers. You don't have to throw the baby out with the bath water. With approval from the artist and the Botanical Society, maybe local surfers could hold some fund raisers to make it happen.

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  4. Billy,

    Hansens is already committed to helping fund a fix of the jazz hands. All that is needed is an ok from the city. The artist and the botanical society no longer own the statue.

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  5. It may sound wacky coming from me, but I don't want the physical statue changed. I would like to turn it 180 degrees and make him doing a backside vertical lip bash though. In that context the statue might actually look really cool.

    Or heck, just leave it as is. It's part of the community now.

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  6. keep it. its lots of fun.

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  7. Why isn't the dog park next to the freeway where the sound of barking doggies will be drowned out by the roar of mufferless Harleys?

    No, I have a better idea. Let's place it next to the homes so that we will need to build an expensive sound wall.

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  8. Are the people who are against this beautiful park the same people who gave us that silly statue?

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  9. I am re-offering this opinion from Feb. 07.
    I don't think anyone is against a community park. The current design is deemed a "Special Use" park. It is not what the all the citizens, invited by the city to offer their imput, wanted. I am 'positive' of this fact. If you care, please get involved.


    Copied from Feb. 07 blog:
    The city has disregarded the will of the citizens of Encinitas. The citizens were "invited' to design the park they wanted. They did. Then the city did what they wanted. Why were the citizens invited at all.
    80% of the park design is dedicated to the special interest 'wants'of 10% of the community.
    Traffic will be a disaster if the current plan to accomadate regional soccer tournaments is approved.
    I really don't think there is much that can be done to stop this. The councils three soccer backers will do what they can to accomadate the minority special interests.
    Sandag reports, community polling, adjoining neighbors and the majority of citizens who were asked to help design the concepts for the park agree that the current proposal is not in the best interest for our city.The time for actio is now. For more information on the history of this venture see: http://www.citizensforqualityoflife.org/
    The city does not need 6 field that could be divided into 2 for junior soccer tourneys. We have an oppertunity to have a wonderful park for the benifit of all,or one that is designed for special interests.
    The city does not need this many dedicated field. The soccer people think they need an unlimited number of fields on Saturdays. What about the rest of the week.
    AS Dallager was quoted, "If we don't build more soccer fields, we will have to build more jails".
    And when asked to comment about the buffer area from the playing field, so neighbors can have a normal peaceful enviorment, he said, "Left field is a good enough of a buffer".
    This does not seem like the best for the most.
    February 28, 2007 7:44 AM

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  10. Mr. Hall stops by my shop from time to time, and he thinks the lease at the shopping center next to the park may be up soon which might be a good time to remodel it to better suit the community, businesses and the park. Perhaps in trade for more parking area, the center could make a new road to the park THROUGH the business complex, and face new shops toward the park area. Just a idea that no one seems to have pitched to anyone yet. Fred Caldwell

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  11. From the N.C.Times web-site:
    Build it already! wrote:

    " I hope the city leaders have the courage to fend off those few complaining neighbors and do what's right for the city at large. The coastal resident's put up with everyone coming to the beaches near their houses, the New Encinitas resident's put up with everyone else coming to the El Camino Real area stores, and the locals around this proposed park need to recongnize how lucky they are to live near what the rest will need to drive to. I for one cannot wait until this jewel of a community park is built. "



    local wrote:

    " The executive administrator of the Encinitas Soccer League lives in Carlsbad. Please explain how Carlsbad residents can come in and tell Encinitas residents that they have no rights to determine what goes into an Encinitas community park. "



    RoadsideBum wrote:

    " This park has cost residents over $3 million dollars and there is nothing to show for the $$$. This $$$ would pay for lot's of sidewalks and a new safe way to Beacons beach. Also this park won't be built for at least 10 more years so what's the big protest about??? But what do I know I'm just a bum!!! "



    Rosie wrote on Aug 6, 2007 6:53 AM:

    " For twenty years the children of Cardiff residents have played on the fields in New Encinitas, Leucadia, Olivenhain and downtown Encinitas. Now that its Cardiff's turn to host some playing fields, next to a freeway no less, a bunch of really new Johnny-come-lately's are having extended temper tantrums. Build it with lights. "



    Yeah . . . wrote on Aug 6, 7:29 AM:

    " Build it. Build it. Build it. (and build it big. with lights.) :) "



    CBS mom wrote on Aug 6, 2007 7:40 AM:

    " Obviously these residents don't have kids that participate in sports. Encinitas is so short of full-sized playing fields. Did you know there are 6 football teams sharing ONE practice field at La Costa Canyon High EVERYDAY due to the shortage of fields. Cardiff already has great parks, but they don't have playing fields. "



    No to a sports park wrote on Aug 6, 2007 8:04 AM:

    " Cardiff is already saddled with a very large sports park with lights on Lake. The Hall propery would be the second hugh sports park in Cardiff. "



    Phased approach wrote on Aug 6, 2007 8:53 AM:

    " To compromise the number of sports fields is to compromise the future recreational amenities of Encinitas. We don't have funding to install it all right now. We don't have infrastructure to install it all right now. Don't kill part of it forever. Work it out as we are able and install it as proposed. And prioritize the TEEN CENTER sooner rather than later. "



    Old Fart wrote on Aug 6, 2007 9:54 AM:

    " Cardiff needs to build a Senior Center to accomodate its ever increasing anti children population. "



    bonddi wrote on Aug 6, 2007 10:11 AM:

    " why can't the money be put into the neighborhood schools' fields -- upgrade those fields and not only will the soccerheads benefit but so will the school children who now play on dirt. The reason is the soccerheads want a park with amenities. I attended a soccer tournament in UTC at Stanley and the traffic that imploded in the residential area was overwhelming. Residents want a park -- just not an olympic sports center. Lets get real - this park is being pushed by the soccerheads -- is the Encinitas Little League going to have access -- and what happens when the sports events overlap. Another untenable grandiose idea from the Dan, Jim and Jerry show. "



    THE ONE wrote on Aug 6, 2007 10:22 AM:

    " Here we go again with the N.I.M.B.Y.s complaints. A park is a much needed addition for the growth of new residents to our city. "



    Allan wrote on Aug 6, 2007 10:27 AM:

    " I don't see much mention of the swimming pool anymore. Has that been quietly removed from the park? I was looking forward to that. "



    Mary wrote on Aug 6, 2007 10:59 AM:

    " Rosie - Cardiff, is a community in the city of Encinitas as are the others you mentioned. These fields will be for all the residents of the city! The city council has to grow a backbone and build the park with enough lighted fields (which doubles the use) to fit the needs. This land is large enough to accommodate all the requests. Build the playing fields and the skateboard element next to the freeway. The building of a park far outweighs any impact on the surrounding area. Build it already!. "



    School Mom wrote on Aug 6, 2007 11:16 AM:

    " In response to "bonddi" and why the money can't be put into schools: millions of city taxpayer dollars can't be committed annually to school districts to improve and maintain school fields in perpetuity. The schools are each tens of thousands of dollars short of improvements, not including higher maintenance standards afterward. Those fields are already in use immediately after school for childcare and other programs that do not include organized sports leagues. "



    The Sculpin wrote on Aug 6, 2007 12:08 PM:

    " It is not feasible to put more money into the school fields. First off, it's not the city's land. Second, it does nothing to increase the number of fields. There is enough room at Hall for both soccer and baseball, and the overlap will not be nearly as bad as it is today, so that's not a problem. I was involved with the original planning meetings where the public was asked what they would do with the property. it was an interesting excerise, and most people at that time favored the sports park idea - with a pool and skatepark! There were a few who favored a passive park idea, and some (a minority) were just downright nasty about not having a sports park! My kids are grown, so I doubt that I will be using the park very much, but I'm still a strong supporter. It is clear to me that open space increases property values. It is also clear to me that sports, and sports fields are an integral part of raising children. It keeps them busy, makes them do better in school, increases test scores, and increases property values! Cardiff, and its neighbors are way too affluent a community to allow this opportunity to pass by. "



    local wrote on Aug 6, 2007 12:10 PM:

    " Residents have asked for open fields, which is not proposed for the Hall property. Building a sports park would prevent over 80% of Encinitas residents from using the grassy fields. The vocal Encinitas Soccer League spokesperson is a Carlsbad resident. She gets a salary. The Soccer League brings in enough money, over a half a million dollars, to buy their own soccer fields. The league wants the Encinitas taxpayer to foot the bill for their playing fields. Why would the city council allow it? "



    Cardiffer wrote on Aug 6, 2007 12:16 PM:

    " Cardiff resident here. Build the park with plenty of fields, not just soccer, but football & baseball too. More kids enhance our area, not the other way around. I welcome the sound and sights of kids playing sports, versus hanging around the 7-11 store. "



    What about Santa Fe Drive? wrote on Aug 6, 2007 12:19 PM:

    " I want the park to be built sensibly.I support the park, but not the insane traffic that will come with regional sporting tournnaments (all those giant momobiles with mom on the phone and driving at the same time). I'm not a neighbor of the proposed park, but my family will be directly impacted by traffic increases on Santa Fe Dr. This crummy road is one of the most neglected streets in all of Encinitas, and we recently had one SDA student fatality. Expansions are planned for the hospital and the Academy. Add to this the Hall property park traffic and a lack of sidewalks along most of the street, and we're gonna see more pedestrains hurt. Build the infrastructure, then build the park. Unbelievably, Santa Fe Dr. is part of the city wide "trails system" and recreational "bike path" system. What sane person would either walk or ride a bike down the street in its current configuration? Folks in town blow the breeze about being "sustainable"; what's more sustainable than getting our citizens to walk and/or ride bikes to a park? "



    Common Sense wrote on Aug 6, 2007 12:53 PM:

    " As a Cardiff resident, I believe it is not to remove the park from the agenda, but to scale it down from its current version. Last January, an ex-council person made a comment in the TA that we need a new field due to the poor shape of existing fields. No! Fix the poor conditions. Also, work out a school field solution (with amenities), minimize the scope of the proposed park, and get the state to work with Encintas freeway traffic. There is a small town character (way of life) that as a resident, I want to keep. When it is your neighborhood, I will support your way of life. "



    local wrote on Aug 6, 2007 12:54 PM:

    " Unless your family can afford the $200 per child fee to play for the "recreational soccer" games, this proposed sports park doesn't fulfill the need for a community park. The Encinitas Soccer League has another part of the league where each child is charged a $1000 to play. How many kids hanging around the 7-11 stores have parents that can pay that amount of money to belong to a sports team? "



    tattots wrote on Aug 6, 2007 1:39 PM:

    " Has anybody read the environmental impact report? It was long, but it showed that most of the resident's concerns would be taken care of...the city has owned that land for years now - build the park! "



    The Sculpin wrote on Aug 6, 2007 1:55 PM:

    " Encinitas Soccer League may be the biggest, but it is not the only league in ther area. There is also the Cardiff Soccer League, which serves Cardiff kids for far less than $200. There are scholarship programs as well as other ways parents can pay for their kids. At Cardiff, no kid is turned down. It is run by an all volunteer board who work hard to make sure kids get a quality experience. There's also local football, baseball, and lacross leagues, so it's not just about soccer. And there are kids leagues and adult leagues. It's everybody. Common Sense wants to fix existing fields - that's not the problem The problem is that there are not ENOUGH fields to meet the needs of the community. I'm not sure what math local is using when he/she states that a sports park will prevent 80% of residents from using the fields. Does that mean that only 20% of users are from Encinitas? Me thinks not. It is also my understanding that the property will not be exclusively a sports park. There will also be a fair amount of space dedicated to non-sports uses, such as walking trails, gardens, dog walks, maybe even a space for a statue! As for Enc Soc League having enough money to buy their own fields, that's laughable. "



    Bet Ya wrote on Aug 6, 2007 2:09 PM:

    " Let me guess: a majority of these NIMBY's don't have children that could utilize a park with athletic fields, so therefore a park is of no use to THEM! While I can appreciate their concern's regarding traffic, light's and noise, why do I think these same whiners were complaining about the noise and chemicals originating from the property when it was a commercial operation? Leave this plot of land as a bare piece of land with weeds growing on it and they would complain about what an eyesore it is. When it gets down to it the very small numbers in our communities that make projects such as this a matter of satisfying their needs rather than the majority is what drives the costs way over budget and brings progress in our cities to a crawl. "



    local wrote on Aug 6, 2007 2:33 PM:

    " Encinitas has 41 fields at different sport sites. There are ENOUGH sports fields. Are the Lake sports fields closed now? There are city no trespassing signs on closed sports fields. Why isn't a park to be used by everyone? Not in Encinitas. The Encinitas Soccer League is a big business. "



    Sports Lover wrote on Aug 6, 2007 3:07 PM:

    " We need Encinitas Little League & Softball, Cardiff & Encinitas Soccer Leagues as well as the Pop Warner & LaCrosse leagues to come out in force with their athletes in tow and show the City their support for these fields. "



    Phased Approach wrote on Aug 6, 2007 3:16 PM:

    " Call city hall, Local. The city of Encinitas has ONE soccer field and one shared-use field I'm certain, and I think there are about 3 baseball/softball fields and possibly no public and publicly maintained football fields. The schools have fields in such poor condition that our children can only improve their technique to a certain extent, limited by the inaccuracy of the rough terrain, and there AREN'T ENOUGH of them. When the city closes a field it's for temporary regrowth and maintenance, not to keep park-goers away from sports fields. Encinitas does not have state-of-the-art artificial turf fields in abundance, like Carlsbad. Whoever thinks Carlsbad residents are waiting to take over Encinitas fields is daft. "



    To Local wrote on Aug 6, 2007 3:17 PM:

    " Not all fields are useable by all sports. The Lake field, as well as most high school fields are closed for a portion of the year so that the grass can grow back. Keep in mind fields are living things that require care and rest to be useable. I walk Lake most everyday, so I don't understand your comment about closed fields. There are no signs posted. When was the last time you were there? Are you sure you're a local? For the most part Encinitas Soccer serves the kids of Encinitas. There are alot of kids in Encinitas, ergo, the league is large! Yes, they have a competitive program that brings in players from all over southern california, but so does Del Mar (Sharks), San Dieguito (Surf), La Jolla (Nomads), Leucadia (Lightning), Vista (Storm) and every other city in the area. Encinitas kids play on all those teams, so as a league Encinitas is just doing its part to provide kids with opportunities to excel at a sport. If you really want to get angry, get mad about prop 13. That's when school funding of all the sports programs dried up so parents had to pick up the slack with after school programs. So, not only are you saving money on your property taxes, but you want to begrudge those parents who are trying to provide for a similar experience for their kids that YOU had as a kid pre prop 13! Geez...what a grump! "



    Nimby Nimby Nimby wrote on Aug 6, 2007 4:16 PM:

    " Shame on you. Always thinking of yourself. Kids need places to play. Adults need places to play. The citizens of Encinitas voted to put a park there. Build one. Why is it that Carlsbad is able to build parks with fields, gyms, various outdoor courts, etc. but Encinitas has trouble putting a playset on the beach. Nimby, anyone? By the way, go with artificial turf for the fields, it costs more to put in but maintainence is zero...check out Pointsettia Park, Stagecoach, Calavera...hey aren't those all parks in Carlsbad? I have to go a city over to play in adult leagues because Encinitas' city council is so concerned with offending a donor to they're paralyzed...what do I do if someone on both sides of an issue donated to my campaign? Nothing! Make more promises next time around...how's that Moonlight Beach Master Plan coming? It sure would be nice to have a beach without asphalt covering a third

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  12. I see there is an anti-prop 13 comment in there. That is just silly. The city collects massive amount of revenue from property taxes. Leucadia supplies the majority of property taxes but has the worst infrastructure while the city uses those taxes for these big projects in other parts of town.

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  13. On what day did the citizens of Encinitas vote to put a park there? I have been here a long time and never got to vote. Was that some sort of secret vote?

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  14. Dear Aug 6, 2007 3:17 PM,

    Your point that the Lake fields are often vacant and as you state, "The Lake field, as well as most high school fields are closed for a portion of the year so that the grass can grow back." I wonder why, if citizens can have access to the Lake Park during the time organized sports are postponed, it isn't full of folks enjoying the park. Maybe hanging in the middle of a big grassy field isn't everyones idea of a great park experience. If 80% of the "Special Use" park is devoted to this landscape it would be a shame. There certainly should be sports fields. Maybe 20% of the taxpayers play organized sports. Encinitas was the Flower Capital of the World. We have an oppertunity to have both the sports fields and a community park that is designed for all to enjoy. Verses the redefined "SpecialUse" park.
    See the design of the park suggested on the CQL website or the proposals the the citizens who were invited to design the park by the city.
    If the soccer groups have some money, they could lay a less water thirsty surface and get by with less fields.
    I hope we can have a community park that can be enjoyed by all for many gerations. I hope we DO NOT hand our children an 'Irvine' Regional Special Use Sports Park and a small adjacect garden.
    The city has asked all it's citizens to let them know what kind of park they wanted. Let them know again.

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  15. It's your City.
    It's your Park.
    It's your Choice.
    Wait too long, the choice will be made for you.
    The Hall Property Park will soon be voted on by the Encinitas City Council.
    Do you know what's truly in store for our community?

    Are you ready for:
    -1,500 additional cars a day on our streets, and an unsolvable traffic problem?
    -90-foot lights illuminating our night sky, blocking glorious sunsets?
    -Noise pollution throughout our neighborhoods?
    -A decline in the safety and quality of life of our beach community?
    We welcome a safe park with sports fields for Cardiff and Encinitas,
    not a special use park to host tournaments for teams outside our community.

    Don't take our word for it.
    Find out what could happen to our neighborhoods.
    Then, learn what you can do to change it.
    Call (760) 753-0052 for more information.

    Thanks for helping to preserve the character of our community

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  16. I raised my kids playing sports with the existing parks, playgrounds and fields. We never had a game canceled due to lack of a playing field. That was 4 years ago. I don't think our juvenile population has grown that much. We should use the minimum amount of money on that property and use the money to improve our beaches and access.

    Why doesn't our coast line look like Carlsbad with nice walkways, etc.?

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  17. almost missed this one. gotta write, be back soon.

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  18. The aquatic center is out. Has anythings else changed?


    May 15, 2003 - The Coast News
    by Randy Bull
    Input? Don't need no stinkin' input

    Ahhh, springtime in Encinitas and time once again for the seasonal rite of City Council ignoring public feedback and doing just what it wants to do.

    Not so long ago, city leaders were at war with citizens over where to situate the city's library. Every time public surveys or consultants came up with a location that did not jibe with the council's preference, a new survey was commissioned or consultant hired.

    While the library soap opera played out, the council pushed along plans to build soccer fields on environmentally sensitive land near the San Elijo Lagoon, despite public outcry and in the face of governmental and environmental group litigation threats.

    In both cases, the City Council ended up having its favored solution rejected by the people of the community.

    The situation regarding the Hall property in Cardiff reminds me of those earlier tests of council will and determination. Almost a year ago, citizens from all over Encinitas came together at the invitation of the city to help design a community park to place on the 43-acre site that the city had acquired.

    The process was a thing of beauty. Public input, design and priorities were solicited and the public was assured that all of those considerations would be part of the design of this jewel in the crown of city parks.

    After a careful review of the gardens, meeting rooms, dog parks and children's play areas suggested by city residents, the city's consultants announced plans to build a sports complex on the Hall site.

    An aquatic center, and soccer and softball fields will dominate the property. Oh, there are some flower beds and a couple of tot lots on the margins, but on the whole this proposed park caters to a very narrow band of local citizens.

    I don't have a problem with the city building an aquatic center, but why not build it in conjunction with the San Dieguito Academy, or one of the city's two middle schools or even, heaven forbid, in conjunction with La Costa Canyon High School? Joint-use swimming facilities on high school property are very effective and successful public facilities. I have seen this arrangement work in numerous California cities.

    Does Encinitas really need an aquatic center? No. There are pools all over the community that are empty 90 percent of the time. Yes, the YMCA is crowded, but I belong to a private health club that has a pool that is empty every time I visit the club (and this club doesn't cost any more than the YMCA). Narrow, special interests are driving this so-called community demand, not actual public need.

    I question the need to build more soccer or softball fields. As I sit writing this article, I can look down upon several lighted softball fields that are completely devoid of players.

    What most of the soccer/softball moms and dads' of our community want is not more playing fields, but an infinite supply of playing fields that are available from 9 to 11 on Saturday mornings.

    Instead of a facility that can serve the majority of Encinitas citizens, the City Council is pushing for one that meets the needs of small, but vocal minorities.
    Not much of a surprise.

    Randy Bull is a management consultant who resides in Carlsbad.
    E-mail him at bull@thecoastnews.com

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  19. almost missed this one... been spending any after work time goofing off at race track. did hit the 1st race tri on sunday the 5th . . . on a six dollar ticket. sweet.

    this whole park thing was originally "sold to the community" as primarily a "passive park". i
    supported and continue to support that concept.

    we have not as yet spent way too much $$$ on the project. we got a sweet purchase price from mr hall. we paid 19 million for 41 acres. we've spent less than 5 million to date. those 41 acres,
    even in an "off" real estate market, if put on the auction block, are going to more than cover any expenses including the bond with an almost obscene amount left over.
    again, thank you mr hall.

    now i need to lightly (ha-ha) touch on some park stuff. call me crazy, call me funny, but don't call me from 2-6 when the races are happening. (tuesdays excepted)

    1. this community relayed their grudging support for this park purchase because it was going to be
    a somewhat passive park. sorry, but that was the intent. there was talk of a costco purchase as an
    alternative to the city purchase. at that time there was NO WAY that the coastal commission was going to allow a costco because of the impact from traffic on access to the coast.

    2. a sports park with night playing field lighting was NOT part of the original concept at ANY point. there is some question whether the coastal commission would allow night lighting in an
    area that will, if the park is passive enough, become the home to creatures other than norway roof
    rats.

    3. i don’t think that anyone is against a community park. i believe that the expression “scale it back “ has nothing to do with disposing of some of the acreage. the community supported the 41
    acre purchase for a park. it has to do with interruption of “special use” so we don’t end up with special abuse.

    4. the park proposed and worked on by the community did not have 6 ballfields or lights. period.

    5. on the teen center, it is my understanding that the sheriffs have never liked the idea of a “teen center” located on the hall property. the response time to the existing teen center makes sense.

    6. organized sports are very expensive. i personally help one athlete’s mom pay the insurance so
    her child can participate in organized sports but what about the rest. i would hope for this park to cater primarily to un-organized sports and family activities for kids and for adults.

    as a kid, i could always hop on my bike and ride to the commons and find a thrown together
    game of some kind depending on the season. just give a kid a ball, a jacket to wear on the way home (usually used as a base or out of bounds marker during play), a safe path to the field and the kids will make the playing field and choose up the teams. sure there will be a few squabbles, a few occasionally left out, but it won’t cost a cent and anyone can play. that’s how you help keep kids out of jails, very early you allow them the opportunity for athletically active social interaction without exspense of constant organized adult supervision. and also provide the chance for ten parents and ten kids to get together for a mixed family softball game. organized sports have their place but so does real family interaction. if you just don’t have the time for that and expect to constantly sluff the kids off into some expensive organized sports activity, your missing part of
    parenthood and the bond that it develops.

    as an adult i always liked watching the gonad football game held each thanksgiving day between
    the old alums from san dieguito vs. torrey pines alums. no equipment tackle. brutal.
    the tradition finally ended when the bodies became breakable and medical treatment too expensive. unorganized but unforgettable both in real time and as a memory. adults acting like kids? . . .hell yes, ain’t it grand.

    that’s all for now, gotta work on the form for tomorrow. get involved in this park folks, the
    result will have a great influence on your quality of life.

    i will blog back in with: acres and acres of grass . . .gallons and gallons of water, cause even
    tho i don’t “live” here i’m quite opinionated and i’m just getting warmed up.

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  20. 7:01 nails the facts.

    Great Job.

    We do not need a special use part for Carlsbad Citizens to flood, just like they flood our streets and beaches.

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  21. Gil-

    even though you don't live here, you made excellent points. Thanks for the post.

    I hope Jerome, Jim, and Danny will listen.

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  22. The troglodyte sports enthusiasts are out in force on this one, but they don't seem to have read the Draft EIR fully and carefully. And they are trying to rewrite history and change the facts.

    This park was sold to the public as a "community park." By the city's own definition this kind of park must have a balance of passive and active uses. From the beginning the city planned a regional sports park. Only when the EIR came out was this made clear when the park was called a "special use park" with night lighting on 90-foot towers. The city had to be sued to force it to reveal its true intentions. So much for the city's vaunted "transparency," as proclaimed by James Bond in the Encinitas Now! newsletter.

    We citizens never voted for the park or its lease revenue bond financing. The council did this with simple majority votes in council sessions. The council was afraid to seek voter approval. Remember the debacle on the Manchester property that the city bought for sports fields. This was shut down by the Coastal Commission and the city was forced to sell the land at a loss. Who would trust the city after that? Well, the competitive sport leagues would, and the city promised the fields they desired.

    Everyone who attended the the park design workshop knows that the results supported a community park with balanced uses, not a sports complex. Lighted fields never came up. Afterwards the city went ahead with what they had wanted all along, contrary to the citizens' input. Christie Guerin, Jerome Stocks, and the rest justified this by saying the sports people were underrepresented at the workshop. The city's park consultant, RJM, assigned seats at the workshop in an attempt to skew the results in favor of a sport complex. There were at least two sport people at each table. The deception didn't work.

    Those who think that the EIR is perfect should read the EIR, especially Vol. 2, juicy parts of which are only available at city hall, not on the website or the CD. For example, the Hazardous Materials consultant writes, "Therefore, we judge that patrons of the park could potentially come into direct contact with residual pesticides present in shallow soils via inhalation (of fugitive dust), ingestion, or dermal exposure." Of course, grading and construction will be an even greater risk for the surrounding residents. In June the council voted to spend another $100,000 to respond to criticism from the citizens. It turns out the NIMBY critics were correct, otherwise the city would have ignored them.

    Cardiff already has more sports fields than any other area of the city. The General Plan calls for an even distribution of recreational facilities throughout the city. The Cardiff area has the Lake Drive fields, the Academy fields, and the fields at the two Cardiff schools. The city has a joint use agreement with the Cardiff School District and runs sports almost every weekend all year long at the two school. Why are the San Dieguito District schools not used? Why are there no lights at the Leo Mullin sport park?

    The two answers are cost of field maintenance and complaints about lights. Both Leo Mullin and Lake Drive fields are closed four months of the year for field restoration. A representative of the soccer league admitted in a meeting at city hall that the Hall property fields would be closed four month each year and unavailable for public use. Ah, but the fields would be rotated, this person said. This still means that at any time during the year, two fields could not be used. The city has said the pool will not be built because of lack of promised funding. This means the area will turn into a sixth field.

    The city's recreational element suggests one soccer field for every 10,000 people. That means six fields maximum. At the same time city documents list five existing soccer fields. Add in the unutilized school fields, and there are no unmet needs as stated in the EIR. The city needs to agree to fund field maintenance at the schools. Right now the Cardiff School District is funding maintenance on its fields that are used by people from all over Encinitas.

    Finally there are the unspoken problems of financing the park. Can any reasonable citizen trust this city to be fiscally responsible after the fiascos with the new Public Works yard, the new library, and the Leucadia drainage project? The park will be even more expensive, probably a minimum of $60 million. Even the "bare-bones" proposal (fields, parking, restrooms and roads) was over $19 million in May 2006. And the contaminated soil mitigation could be many millions more.

    I can't agree with Gil that this property was a bargain. To sell the property the city would have to divulge all the problems to the buyer, principally the soil contamination, the poor access, and increased traffic congestion. All would need to be mitigated at a huge cost. Yes, the city could buy the shopping center for access to the park. That would be a very large amount of money. With the Albertsons closing at Encinitas Boulevard and I-5, the Vons on Santa Fe Drive becomes more valuable than ever. Only Cardiff Seaside Market is an alternative, with Henrys and Ralphs on El Camino Real as the next closest options.

    The whole thing looks like a giant boondoggle to me. There is still time to build and fund something that is more suitable for the city and that meets the needs of all the residents, instead of the needs of a vocal minority. Will the sports leagues pay fees for field use and lights? The city is silent about this. If they don't, this will be big time welfare for the competitive leagues, which really function as profitable business.

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  23. Did we have any information of more businesses closing in Encinitas? The closing of the Alberson's on Encinitas Blvd. is a surprise. Does the city plan to buy that property also?

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  24. 7. acres and acres of grass, gallons and gallons of water. grass play fields are going to be a thing of the past very shortly. they are one of the largest water users in southern california, which is essentially an irrigated desert. wake up folks. can’t use reclaimed water on playing fields with heavy human contact. this does not even consider maintenance.

    8. i am less concerned about the contamination hot spots. generally speaking, most
    contamination can be ripped and exposed to the sun where it breaks down and any real hot spots
    can usually be trenched and buried ten feet deep. those spots are usually in the storage, mixing,
    and loading areas. this isn’t a superfund clean up site folks. we have the technology.

    9. which brings us back to the six grass fields. if grass, they will need constant irrigation, which
    will constantly leach any contamination into the water table and eventually the ocean. now
    synthetic fields could make a difference on the constant irrigation and any contamination plume would probably be much, much smaller. yes they are expensive. LCC spent a million for one
    playing field. the pay back time is seven years because of decreased maintenance and water cost. the life expectancy is ten to twelve years on the “carpet” itself. the under pinning infrastructure and drainage is reusable.

    i have expressed my opinion “on phase one” numerous times to most of the current council:
    A.) deal with any contamination.
    B.) get the property adequately graded and any potential run off controlled.
    C.) work with cal/trans to make the mackinnion street bridge accessed from highway 5, the
    primary entrance. promote and design for only foot and bike entrance traffic from streets within the community.
    D.) start a one day a month brush and branch recycling program. community members bring
    yard brush to the site, it is run thru a chipper and used for temporary paths throughout the
    park. this allows for later park phases without pulling up concrete paths and still provides clean access throughout the park in the meantime AND sends less yard brush to the landfills.
    E.) work on finding corporate sponsors for the pool and the skate park if possible.
    F.) try to get “phase one” completed before i move from my present site or croak and have a
    community arbor day at the park. i will almost certainly have thousands and thousands of
    low water use grasses, trees, and shrubs that i will not be moving to my other facility. i have expressed to mr wells, park supervisor, that i would gladly give and grow whatever he and the landscape honcho need if given sufficient lead time. 2 bobcats with augers, a truck and transfer of good topsoil, and a couple hundred able bodied citizens could have the park planted out in a weekend or two. if the plants had to be destroyed for future phases, no big expense. if it takes a few years to go through the phases the park will develop character in the meantime. and the community will have a feel that it IS their park because, “see mildred, the kids and i planted those five agonis flexuosa, or heteromeles or muhlenbergia regins.” this IS positive community bonding.

    1:30 time to head to the track. later. luv ya all.

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  25. Gil: I sure hope you know more about the ponies that you do about soil contamination. You are sadly uninformed about technical aspects of pesticide contamination. The four pesticides found on the Hall property exceeding federal standards are 4,4-DDE, 4,4-DDT, toxaphene, and dieldrin. All are very persistent in the environment and very slow to decompose. Half life can be 50-75 years. Exposing them to sunlight doesn't do much as the compounds are very stable chemically. In fact bringing the contamination to the surface only increases the danger of exposure due to inhalation of airborne dust and skin contact and the possibility of runoff into the protected wetlands in the adjacent Cardiff Glen and then into San Elijo Lagoon.

    It's obvious you haven't read the EIR. There are also very high levels of arsenic from chromated copper arsenate used to protect the wood structures that is already flowing down Rossini Creek. The Coastal Commission will be be very unhappy about this, as well as any pesticide leaching that occurs if the contaminated soil is "flipped" and buried. There is also a documented diesel oil leak.

    It would be best to remove all the contaminated soil or simply leave it undisturbed. But the property has more that 60 feet difference in elevation between the lowest and highest points. So how does the city flatten the topograpy for level playing fields with minimal soil disturbance? Please read the EIR, both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. You haven't informed yourself. Pay close attention to the consultant's recommendation about precautions needed in grading the property. You are a fool if you go in there with augers and without full protective gear, especially high quality respirators. I certainly won't be volunteering.

    You also haven't done your research on the access problem. Go down to the city and ask to see the minutes of the 2002 City Council meeting when the city considered access alternatives. The Mackinnon bridge realignment must wait for Caltrans. Arturo Jacobo, project manager for the I-5 expansion, says the bridge could be finished in 2015, if funding is available. This is why the rumors keep flying about the shopping center and gas station. The city is desperate for a proper entrance into the property. If the city had done due diligence when buying the property, we wouldn't be in such a mess. You think the city got the best deal. I think Robert Hall did. He outsmarted the city on everything. Of course, property values have gone up. But you can say the same thing about every single piece of property sold in California in the last 150 years.

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  26. all right 5:56 - i'll go down and get copies of the EIR and do some home work but i hope i'm not wasting my time. i have dealt with pesticide spills and clean-ups and i find it hard to believe that we don't have the technology or that the contamination is as extensive and over whelming as the picture you are drawing. as to a consultant's recommendation, if i were a consultant i might be overly zealous in my recommendation to protect my ass. as for planting in the soil without protective gear, i personally would have no problem right now going down and planting out the hall property in shorts and flip-flops, with the exception that i don't look that good in shorts and flip-flops. but i will check and ask the few chemical people that i deal with and my relatives that teach at cornell university and get back to you. until i find out differently i am not taking a dooms-day position on this which is alright since you seem to be fulfilling the fear mongering position quite nicely. i would venture to say that chemical miss-use by homeowners in any area in this state causes more contamination problems than that caused by any neighboring properly run agricultural operation. as a licensed agricultural pesticide applicator, i am very conscious of how i store, mix and apply chemicals and the residual risk potential for humans, animals and the environment from those applications. i've already checked on the lack of an abnormally high number of cancer cases in the greater encinitas area so i won't be wasting anymore time on that wild goose chase but i will thoroughly read the EIR, both vol 1 and vol 2.

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  27. RESPONSE TO: rosie wrote on Aug 6, 2007 6:53 AM:
    Hi Rosie,
    Kids from all over Encinitas have played on the more than adaquate Cardiff playing fields on Lake, The Acadamy and Cardiff Elementary for twenty years too. That seems like a lot of fields in Cardiff to not even mention them. Drive over to the coast and see children playing on the very nice fields Cardiff has to offer to newcomers and 'old timers, like you.
    Are from the Olivenhain area of Encinitas?

    rosie wrote on Aug 6, 2007 6:53 AM:
    " For twenty years the children of Cardiff residents have played on the fields in New Encinitas, Leucadia, Olivenhain and downtown Encinitas. Now that its Cardiff's turn to host some playing fields, next to a freeway no less, a bunch of really new Johnny-come-lately's are having extended temper tantrums. Build it with lights. "

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  28. Very informative posts.

    Thanks for sharing. I raised my children here in Encinitas. They used the fields at local schools for soccer, and the Lake Drive fields for Bobby Sox.

    We all support more passive use of the park. It should not be a regional sports complex catering to a few gung-ho organized sports enthusiasts, special interest groups, at the average citizen's expense.

    Cottonwood Creek Park took forever to finsih. But it is well used and much appreciated, now. It does not have "dedicated" sports fields, but grassy places where kids can play with their families.

    The City Council on this one still has an "us vs. them" philosophy, unfortunately. And "them" is us. The workshops were good but the results are not supported by the current plans.

    Yes, I really liked Randy Bull's perspective, and am sad that he no longer has a column for the Coast News.

    I'm tired of the term "NIMBY." Honestly, we don't want something in our back yards that is not condusive to our neighborhood's quality of life. We can all relate to that.

    The new library is being overbuilt. Seems as though we could have kept the current library and built an additional library on the Quail Hills site for so much less. No one is looking for creative ways for us to get "more bang for our bucks," that's for sure. Yes, the Manchester property was purchased for soccer fields, and that was a fiasco.

    It is difficult, indeed, to trust our current City Council.

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  29. i have picked up the EIR on the property. just so everyone knows...it is available at the city planning desk on CD for no charge. i am going to the joshua tree property this weekend and while the wife reads harry potter i will read the EIR.

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  30. 8/8-5:56 obviously i haven't read the entire report, but based on a quick read i would have no problem planting the hall property nude after the storage, mixing and loading areas are addressed. the sky is not falling!

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  31. Attention Gil:
    You are not reading the posts carefully. The most informative parts of the EIR are in Volume 2, as someone posted above. These are the consultants reports. But not all are on the CD. For example, the Hazardous Materials section was left off the CD. When you go to the city and pay over $30 for a copy, you will understand why the city left it off. I don't think they wanted anyone to read it. The first person to go to city hall to ask for it was told it was not available. And this is public record! What a city!

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  32. Gil,

    Homeowners don't get to use the crap that Hall was allowed to use decades ago. You know that.

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  33. Comments to CBS mom's comments below.

    Lake Drive, George Bychird Park,(Cardiff Elementary), and The Academy fields are all fields that children play on regularly. Did you know about these?



    CBS mom wrote on Aug 6, 2007 7:40 AM:

    " Obviously these residents don't have kids that participate in sports. Encinitas is so short of full-sized playing fields. Did you know there are 6 football teams sharing ONE practice field at La Costa Canyon High EVERYDAY due to the shortage of fields. Cardiff already has great parks, but they don't have playing fields. "

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  34. August 06, 2007 4:29 PM wrote:

    "The citizens of Encinitas voted to put a park there."

    Not true. There was not a vote.
    The citizens of Encinitas were invited, in a local newspaper ad to design the park that they wanted.
    They did.
    The results presented were not what they desired or recomended.

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  35. I 2nd the comments made by anonymous on aug 7th 10:11 am. I grew up here locally years ago and played sports and I never noticed any problems with the fields. This whole plan is a ploy to increase the desireability to outside residents in the hopes of raising property values. Having recently walked along the coast hwy from Swami's to south campgrounds, I see many places for improvements to be made. The main draw of a beach community is it's beaches. Let's keep them nice, make improvements and make them "FREE." Having to pay to park at Seaside is a travesty. I'd rather see no park project in exchange for dree beach parking. Wondering when some poor kid is going to get hit by a car trying to save the 8$ by parking at Robertos and walking to Seaside beach in the bike lane.

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  36. actually, the newer version of the EIR CD that i got at the front desk does contain everything including all appends. it did not cost me thirty dollars. i did read all the hazmat stuff, including the charts of comparative levels and risk assessment and will post something when i get back. there are some ust areas that need to be addressed, the chemical storage mixing and loading areas but most areas of contamination are quite shallow, they did not find any plumes and the heavy metals are not elevated. are we reading the same material? and as far as home-owner chemical use: there are chemicals available to the homeowner at home depot that i can't even use. there are no reporting requirements for homeowners, i file a use report monthly that is matched with my purchases. home owner mentality is often, "it says one ounce per five gallons, two should really kill them." also, when the home owner can't read the label any more cause the product is so old, rather than get it to a hazmat landfill facility it often is poured into the garage sink or dumped into the closest storm drain. not anyone on this blog of course, the other guy. the "crap" that we used decades ago was what the powers that be told us was safe, effective and affordable. as the evidence grew that this was not the case the chemical cos. developed safer materials. farmers have never professed to be chemical engineers or rocket scientists like you. most of the contamination is very shallow, isolated and 'easily' remedied.
    better study the CD well because my responses are going to be very clear and based upon the 'experts' EIR documentation. i am more concerned with the trafic impact than any chemical contamination. i am more concerned with the negative impact of lights than i am with chemical contamination.

    as to any ploy, i personally believe that some of the current council members may have lost some of their voter base over prop A and are fishing for the sports league support for the next election.

    i could never approach the coastal commission asking for intervention based on the haz-mat sections of the EIR... but have no qualms about making a stand before them on the traffic impacts and the lighting.

    i do understand the concept of throwing as much ammo into the breach as possible hoping something hits some target but this chemical contamination frenzy just doesn't float for me.

    at the rate we're moving 2015 might work for the mackinnon street bridge. it took 17 years to get the new carlsbad golf course finished. this park will probably take as much time.

    the arsenic is below the background levels in many western state areas. Ag hasn't been allowed to use ddt since 73 so the half life on that nasty boy is now. and most of the chemicals sited in the report are below the danger threshold and where they are not the depth of penetration is less than six feet.

    like i said i haven't read the entire massive report but i will, and i hope you re-read it also.

    i would wear a dust mask if on the augar drilling holes, always do, not because of the chemicals but because of valley fever. this i contracted at a different location on lake that i used to farm. my lungs were permanently scarred from that adventure. it's a soil fungas that develops in soil without adequite drainage and aeration. soil that hasn't been worked in a long time.

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  37. Did Gil Foerster miss the post above and the newspaper reports that the city council voted in June to spend another $100,000 to answer comments made by the public to the original EIR? It appears that the public found inadequacies in the EIR that he doesnt see, and the council seems to agree. He should explain to us why the council is spendng $100,000 more on top of the $500,000 they already spent for the EIR.

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  38. For those of you who stated that each area of Encinitas has carried the burden of supplying playing fields: Where are the playing fields in Olivenhain? For the area that has the most open space in the entire city, heaven forbid a field or two be built there. I bet some of those soccer and Little League advocates who are clamoring for the Hall Park live comfortably and quietly there. Speaking of NIMBISM.

    And has anyone seen 90 ft. lights in any recreational park ANYWHERE? The lights at Lake and SDA are blaring at night and I bet they're not more than 50-60 feet tops. Scale Back the Park.

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