What Will the Point Loma Pocket Park Be Called?

by on August 2, 2017 · 7 comments

in Ocean Beach

City’s Public Works Department used on its postcard distributed to some nearby residents.

By Geoff Page

What will the Point Loma pocket park along Cañon street be called? Cañon Street Pocket Park? Or Portuguese Village Park?  … or some other name?

That eventual decision was part of the discussion at a very interesting meeting on Wednesday, July 26 billed by the city as the “Cañon Street Pocket Park Workshop #1.” This was the name the city’s Public Works Department used on its postcard and the name on the Park and Recreation Department’s notice posted at the Cabrillo Recreation Center.

There was a third announcement for the meeting that used the name Portuguese Village Park. This was a flyer distributed by a group of private citizens who have been involved in this park project for awhile.

flyer distributed by a group of private citizens who have been involved in this park project

However, despite there being three different notices to the public very few people knew about the meeting and very few attended. And that matters because of many things, but especially because the budget for this little park is $1.16 million. The original budget was $840,000 in developer fees that were devoted to this park; that is a story by itself. Now, another $320,000 has been added to this project with no public discussion.

There is a lot about this park project that seems off – starting with notice of this meeting. Here is why.
The Public Works notice was only mailed to people who lived within 300 feet of the project, which would not have reached a large number of people.

Rec council agenda

If anyone is unfamiliar with the site, it is a sliver of land that is up a slope on the left side of Cañon street as you drive south towards Rosecrans. There are three custom homes on the left side and south of those is the two thirds of an acre parcel.

The land is flat but elevated about ten feet above Cañon. On the east side is another slope that runs up to some large homes that border the parcel. At the south end of the parcel is a dead end cul-de-sac, Avenida de Portugal. No one lives within 300 feet to the north.

On the east side, on top of the slope, are a few big homes but not many within 300 feet. The point is that 300 feet is already a limited notice to the public and in this case it was further limited by the location.

The Parks and Rec notice seemed inadequate because it would only reach people who frequent the Cabrillo Rec Center but when this was put to Parks and Rec, they explained that this was all they were required to do and that they relied on the local Park and Recreation Council to help get the word out, although they didn’t say how.

The private citizen notice was printed and distributed by some volunteers and there were postings on social media. But social media did not represent the meeting for what it was. There is a loud faction of people who are not in favor of this park and some expressed this sentiment in social media. This prompted a response by one person at the center of this private citizens group that this meeting was only to discuss art for the park and anyone who came and spoke against the park would be made to leave.

The problem was that art was only a part of the discussion that evening and this was a public meeting where the public is allowed to freely express their opinions even if the opinions are not what others want to hear. We will politely refer to this as “misinformation”.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Geoff Page August 2, 2017 at 1:40 pm

One thing I forgot to put in this piece is the irony of where the $840,000 in developer fees comes from. As I said, it came from the development that infilled where the Barnard Elementary School once was. If you recall, the school sat on one half of that piece of property, the other half was empty. Now the whole piece of land is covered with 170 plus condos. Across the street and in surrounding area are big apartment complexes. If ever there was an area the really needed a park for all those kids and moms in those apartments, that was it. Why part of this site wasn’t kept open for a park is beyond me. Instead, the fees from this development are new being devoted to a pocket park in a single family residential neighborhood with no where near the population of children as are around the old Barnard site where there is nothing else close to use as a park. This was really a travesty.

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avatar korla eaquinta August 3, 2017 at 7:00 am

We were promised park land on the Barnard site but the city and the school district “sold us out.” DIF fees or not, it was an unfortunate loss for the community.

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avatar Geoff Page August 4, 2017 at 4:17 pm

It was a tragic loss for the people who live near that site, instead of a park, they got more people and more traffic.

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avatar triggerfinger August 4, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Let’s call it Faulconer Park, in dedication to our local hero’s commitment and stewardship to community parks and infrastructure.

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avatar rick callejon August 4, 2017 at 3:26 pm

I can only assume that it’s a passive pocket park.

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avatar Geoff Page August 4, 2017 at 4:16 pm

It’s a pocket park but whether or not it will be passive is still undecided.

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avatar nostalgic August 4, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Is “no bathrooms and no parking” and “passive pocket park” the same thing?

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