Groundbreaking ceremonies held for Encinitas Community Park and Moonlight Beach improvements

Groundbreaking ceremonies held for Encinitas Community Park and Moonlight Beach improvements
City staff and council members take part in a groundbreaking ceremony for Moonlight Beach improvements. From left to right holding shovels, Mayor Jerome Stocks, Deputy Mayor Kristin Gaspar, Councilman Mark Muir, Councilwoman Teresa Barth, Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Rudloff and City Manager Gus Vina Photo by Jared Whitlock

Encinitas — The city recently marked the start of two major projects: the 44-acre Encinitas Community Park, also known as the Hall Property, and Moonlight Beach improvements. On Monday, city staff and residents gathered at the future site of the Encinitas Community Park, just west of Interstate 5 and behind Vons, for a groundbreaking ceremony. Council members acknowledged the park’s severe delays, but said the effort was worth it.

The property the park will be built on was purchased by the city in 2001, but it has sat vacant since. Often controversial, the park has been delayed by legal wranglings, concerns over toxic soil and funding challenges. But City Council gave the park and the Moonlight Beach improvements the green light last month.

After the ceremony, Councilman James Bond, who has served on Council for 20 years and will retire in four months, said he’s happy to finally see the park move forward.

“We’ve always needed more park space in Encinitas,” Bond said. “This park is a huge step. In my mind, a Manifest Destiny for recreational activities.”

“It’s a nice way to go out,” he added.

Residents and city staff talk about the Encinitas Community Park, which will open at the end of 2013. Photo by Jared Whitlock

The park will include five paved parking lots, two restrooms, a 13,000-square-foot skatepark, a two-acre dog park, a soccer field and three multiuse fields.

Resident Nate Bauer, who advocated for the skatepark at Council meetings, said he can’t wait for the entire community park.

“It’s awesome. A lot of people rallied together for this,” Bauer said. “There’s something for everyone at the park.”

The park will cost $19.3 million. It will be funded by about $4.5 million in financing, reallocating around $7 million that was previously designated for capital improvement projects and $7.8 million from existing funds.

With construction beginning next month, the park is set to debut to the public at the end of 2013.

Last Friday, residents also took part in another groundbreaking at Moonlight Beach, which was targeted for upgrades due to outdated facilities.

Council members at the ceremony thanked the Parks and Recreation Department for its hard work and talked about the importance of Moonlight Beach.

“It’s truly a treasure, not only for our businesses, our tourists, but most of all, our families and friends that come down here every day,” Councilman Mark Muir said.

Construction on the $4.8 million project is scheduled to begin shortly after Labor Day. It entails removing the existing concession and restroom buildings, which will result in more beach area; adding a combined 3,600-square-foot restroom and concession building at the bottom of the parking lot; and also putting in a 950-square-foot garage, which will house lifeguard trucks, storage containers and rescue equipment. The top of the garage will double as a public overlook.

According to Lisa Rudloff, the city’s parks and recreation director, part of the parking lot near the beach could be closed, but the beach area will remain open during construction.

The improvements are expected to be completed by next May.

As part of the revamp, the Moonlight Beach snack bar closed. A new snack bar will open on another part of the beach.

The project will be paid for with $2.9 million in financing and a $1.9 million grant from the State of California. Encinitas operates and maintains all services and facilities under a longterm lease with the State.

 

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  1. No Proof says:

    Encinitas ‘Community’ Park has provided photo ops for Council and has drained funding away from other important City needs like road repair and drainage in Leucadia. What do we get from this deal? It has left residents in dept for the next 30 years. The bids for these projects are low, and they will run out of money part way through–as usual!

    There is a good chance that the borrowed money will never make it to the park but will be spent on the 3% raise that City staff gets starting September and the retirements of many staff that are about to hit. Did anyone else get a 3% raise this year with no standards of performance?

  2. Chris May says:

    The Moonlight improvements are good for the city. $1.9 million is from the state that was originally for Beacons improvements. By joining the two projects together the city can use these funds for the sports park development. Draining $7 million from existing city projects, borrowing $8million more to rush this through at election time seems irresponsible. There are still flooding issues in our city and the flood funds are going to be drained as well asante other projects.
    When it rains and floods on the coast the plan is to drain this contaminated water on our beach and ocean. The city had an opportunity to put a larger pipe in along the tracks that would have improved the situation. The city chose a small pipe and said Coastal Commission wouldn’t let a larger pipe be installed. Not true.
    And all these funds borrowed and pilfered are to build a regional sports park. Everyone wants a community park for all. The dog and skate park and some sports fields are what all want. The organized leagues want to create a Special Use Park mainly for sports fields.
    It is not a community park.
    http://encinitascommunitypark.blogspot.com/2012/07/encinitas-community-special-use-park.html?m=1

  3. flaire says:

    “Manifest Destiney”??? Oh, like you just plow over people’s civil rights, like what we did to the Native Americans, in search of the Almight Buck, eh Mr. Bond? What an idiot, I’m so glad to see you go.

  4. Tom Penny says:

    Councilman on the right: Terrible form! Have you ever shoveled anything in your entire life?? Flip your front hand around, that way you will support the sand that you are supposed to be shoveling, but you have not even moved a grain of sand. Jerome Stocks – almost worse!! BEND YOUR KNEES and change your feet and get in a fighting stance like the guys in the middle. You look like you are going to throw out your back costing us all more money!!!

    I blame your parents.

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