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Public input sought for new park’s skateboard, bike features

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to include a new date for a public meeting on bike and skateboard features at Standard Pacific Park in Leucadia.

ENCINITAS — Once complete, Standard Pacific Park might have what it takes to “keep Leucadia funky,” as the old neighborhood slogan goes. The innovative design plans for a 3.1-acre park on the southeast corner of Piraeus and Olympus streets include a children’s zip line and sloped adventure path.

But in particular, RRM Design Group wants to solicit community feedback before finalizing the park’s bike and skateboard features. To gather public input on the design of those elements, RRM and the city of Encinitas will host a meeting at City Hall’s Poinsettia Room at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25.

RRM’s Senior Designer Amanda Conahan said, “The skate and bike features got a ton of attention during the initial public outreach, so it’s really important that we get that spot right.”

Conahan explained that her company wants the bike and skateboarding section to live up to the buzz generated by the first wave of outreach, while also ensuring that it is “appropriate for the neighborhood.” Some area residents had raised concerns about noise and crowds.

The initial design plans show an all-wheel pump track in which bike, scooter and skateboard riders use their momentum and balance to pump their way around the track. Also shown were potential skateboarding features, such as a concrete bowl containing a raised, ramp-like section.

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said, “The skate park at the Encinitas Community Park is so popular that it only makes sense to include a skate feature at this new park. I’m really excited to offer so many different recreational opportunities in our city parks.”

Conahan prefers to use the word “spot” to refer to the bike and skate area of the park, with spot conveying the small scale. The area allocated is about 5,000 square feet, which Conahan likened to a skateboard feature “your buddies might have that fits in the backyard.”

The first four public-outreach workshops revealed that the bike and skate spot was the most desired feature, followed by a fenced dog area. The third most popular element was the 65-foot zip line designed for children ages 5 to 12.

RRM will work with Wormhoudt Inc. — a company that has designed skateboarding and bike elements in many California cities, such as Venice Beach, San Luis Obispo, Emeryville and more — to create those design concepts.

At theSept. 25 meeting, Conahan said the designers will remind the public of the scale of the bike and skate spot and will present images from past projects as inspiration. Then she wants the meeting to turn into “an open brainstorming session” that will generate the feedback needed for the final designs.

Encinitas’ Director of Parks and Recreation Jennifer Campbell and Parks Operations Manager Annette Saul will be at the meeting to take input and answer questions. Campbell wrote to The Coast News, “We are excited about the community input and support and feel that the park has something for everyone.”

The city purchased the land in 2000 with the plan to turn it into a park that would serve the community east of Interstate 5 and north of Leucadia Boulevard. On March 21, the City Council unanimously approved the park’s overall design. More than $2.7 million has been earmarked for the project, which Conahan estimates will be finished in fall 2019.