Lighting, soil touched upon during Q&A for Encinitas community park

ENCINITAS — About 30 residents came to a Q&A session at City Hall Tuesday night to learn more about the status of the Encinitas Community Park. 

Since early October, workers have started grading the soil at the park, including reburying potentially toxic soil.

Due to longstanding health concerns, a handful of residents questioned officials about samples gauging the quality of the soil, with other residents wanting to know about nighttime lighting.

In regards to questions of soil sample results, two of the 12 samples taken from around the park have yielded trace amounts of pesticides. County officials stressed the soil would not pose a health risk to nearby residents or those playing at the park.

Officials have been taking one sample for every 5,000 square feet of the park.

Twelve samples were taken from around the park as part of the environmental requirements.

As a safeguard, soil from potential areas of concern was buried in geofabric netting underground in the southwest part of the park and fresh soil was placed on top of it, a process that’s almost complete, officials said.

Other residents brought up that funding for nighttime lighting for some of the fields in the park has yet to be approved.

In addition to funding, John Frenken, Encinitas Park and Beach superintendent, confirmed the future lights would need to get the approval from the California Coastal Commission and go through a public hearing.

The park is expected to make its debut by early 2014.

The park, just west of Interstate 5, behind the Vons on Santa Fe Drive, will include a 13,000-square-foot skate park, a two-acre dog park, a soccer field, three multi-use sports fields, five paved parking lots and two restroom facilities.

The park will cost $19.3 million.

It will be funded by about $4.5 million in financing, a reallocation of around $7 million that was previously designated for capital improvement projects and $7.8 million from existing funds.

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