ENCINITAS — The long awaited Hall property park will soon have a proper name. The Parks and Recreation commission created a subcommittee tasked with soliciting submissions from the public on Feb. 15.
The all-volunteer group was directed by City Council to get public input on the naming process. Dr. Lorri Greene, John Ghata and Dennis Llota are in the process of making decisions about the submissions.
“It can be any name with the exception of any person’s name,” Greene said. “Outside of that, within reason, anything is the limit.”
“We want citizen input,” she said. While the commission wasn’t involved with the Hall property at the onset, she said it is pleased to facilitate such a pivotal role. “This is an opportunity to get involved.”
The 44-acre site was purchased for $17.2 million by the city in 2001. Residents have disagreed about the purpose of the park and controversy has surrounded its creation at the various stages of planning.
The property is partially surrounded by residential neighborhoods with the eastern edge adjacent to the freeway and its northern border along Santa Fe Drive.
After a public workshop in 2002, the council revised the initial $35 million design to include buffer areas between the site and residential neighborhoods to the west, a teen center and an amphitheater. However, after several revisions the first phase of the park has been scaled back considerably.
Plans also include a dog park, baseball and five multi-use sports fields, an aquatic center, a basketball court and a skate park. Passive uses would encompass a portion of the park with gardens, picnic areas, trails and a scenic overlook.
The commission’s timeline is succinct. “We will submit a list of names to the full commission on March 15 then select a top 10 list that will be given to the City Council for consideration,” Greene said.
Deputy Mayor Jerome Stocks said relying on the commission to use diligence in making a recommendation to the council is part of the goal setting agenda discussed by the council at the beginning of the year.
“The commissions are another set of eyes and ears for the council,” he said. “That’s invaluable. I’m looking forward to the process.”
The winner will be recognized at the park ribbon cutting ceremony and at the council meeting when the name is announced according to Greene.
The deadline for submissions is March 10. E-mail the sub committee at recreg@city ofencinitas.org or lgreene98@ aol.com.