Letters: Aug. 14, 2009

Hall property park has few benefits for most people

I respond to the attack piece on Encinitas citizens who were promised a park for everyone on the Hall site. The unsigned Union-Tribune article of Aug. 1 is full of venom, deceptions and distortions. The so-called “community park,” planned and approved by Councilmen Stocks, Bond and Dalager, is a regional sports complex, designed entirely for active tournaments that benefit 10 percent of the population who play competitive team sports in private clubs. Less than 10 percent of the park area is dedicated for passive recreation of the general public.
The city issued $22.6 million in bonds to purchase the land for recreational purposes, encumbering Encinitas taxpayers with $45.2 million over 30 years. Building the sports complex will cost taxpayers another $70 million if more bonds are floated, not including $50 million in maintenance and utility costs over the next 30 years.
City and school districts already have 41 fields, many with lighting. Article states, “a few selfish voices are robbing their children of a place to play.” In truth, a few private clubs want to severely burden a residential community of several thousand homes with excessive traffic, noise and lights from sports tournaments, drawing some 250 teams and 20,000 people.

Dietmar Rothe
Cardiff-by-the-Sea

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  1. morgan mallory says:

    I too, thought the Union-Tribune article of Aug. 1
    was an attack piece.

    This attempt to vilify concerned citizens and two Encinitas council members is unfair. I agree with,” misinformation abounds…”,( it is exemplified in this commentary),and that the city bought the land for a Community Park.
    The current plan can not be legally called a community park. It is a Sports Park.
    The only city funded survey, the Godby survey, shows that 80% want a more passive park. Citizens were invited to design their park. They did and their wishes were ignored. (see map, invitation).
    As to the comment, “these two “quality of life” women have been maneuvered into the curious position of opposing a wonderful park”, I say Balderdash.
    These two council members did not,”…reflexively take the opposite position”. They supported some valid concerns of citizens throuout the city and the impacted neighborhoods and are vilified only for voting to support the reasonable recommendations of Planning Commission that had reviewed many hundreds of pages of the Hall Environmental Impact Report, acknowledged the Godbye Survey, heard two nights of public testimony and read volumes of written comments from citizens of Encinitas who still want a community park for all.

    Morgan Mallory

    http://www.theleucadiablog.com/2008/10/hall-park-roundup-by-morgan-mallory.html

  2. Cardiffian says:

    The claim by the city and the sports people that only 22% of the park area is field usage is a manipulation of the facts. The vast majority of the park land is dominated by the fields. The space between the fields is generally slope to provide level areas for the fields themselves or spectator / warm up areas. I don’t think any body is going to be picnicking in the space between & around the fields. The majority of the required parking serves the field usage. When you factor in a pro rata share of circulation & parking landscaping, you would find that approximately 60% of the park area is dedicated for field uses. The reality is that the buffers (used to protect the existing residential neighborhood from the active field use) are the passive use areas; essentially the area that is left over after the playing field usage is accounted for.

  3. Community Park? says:

    I agree with Cardiffian.
    The ‘open space’ is more paths to the fields.
    These fields will be fenced off and will be locked during the months needed to repair the fields, too.
    What to play hoops, tennis, volleyball, a pick up game in football, baseball, soccer or rugby? Can’t do it in this Sports Park.
    But the soccer kids play for free.

  4. Concerned Encinitan says:

    To find the map of what the City Council really approved for the Hall Property go to the attached link. There you can compare it for yourself with the map of the Community Input Plan based on citywide workshops sponsored by the Council.

    http://www.theleucadiablog.com/2008/10/hall-park-roundup-by-morgan-mallory.html

    Compare the two maps to get a clear idea of what has caused the community to object so vigorously to the continuing deceptive practices of our City Councilmen.
    The City’s own map clearly proves that the sports field serving area is much larger than the 22% claimed by the City Council and the Union Tribune Editorial Staff.

    Can you find the missing 78% of passive park area?

  5. Integrity Counts says:

    Thanks to Dietmar Rothe for his excellent letter, and to all who have commented here. Yes, it’s fascinating to see the spin that is being put on this by those who would manipulate and deceive, catering to special interests and attacking those community members, citywide, who are concerned about quality of life and a “fair playing field” for ourselves, and future generations.

    Might, in terms of the three man Council majority of Dan Dalager, Jerome Stocks and James Bond, does NOT make right. Councilmembers Teresa Barth and Maggie Houlihan are being honest, sensitive to the concerns of residents and neighbors, looking at the FACTS. Dalager, Stocks and Bond are again violating the public trust, as they did, before with the Orpheus Park tree slaughter incident.

  6. Lynn Marr says:

    The State will be “borrowing” money from Encinitas, and cities’, statewide, General Funds. The truth is that we don’t have the funds to build this overblown project, as designed, and Council knows it. All fees have recently been raised in Encinitas, including building permit fees to remodel, fees charged to seniors at the Community Center, and per day, per student fees charged to surf instructors and yoga instructors. Only sports leagues are exempt from having to pay ANY fees for use of public facilities. The inequity and influence of special interests is obvious. Once again the interests of Encinitas citizens have been twisted, ignored and a political “spin” is being put on this project, which is a true “White Elephant.”

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