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City Breaks Ground on Encinitas Community Park

Construction will start next month and should be finished by the end of 2013.

Encinitas City Council, city staff and dozens of residents gathered Monday afternoon to celebrate the groundbreaking of Encinitas Community Park—a day that for many, has been more than a decade in the making.

Though the project has hit plenty of bumps along the way, Encinitas Deputy Mayor Kristin Gaspar said the persistence had finally paid off.

“For a long time it seemed like there was a dark cloud over this park—but the clouds have finally cleared and today it’s nothing but sunshine,” she said. “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new park and in Encinitas we’re feeling good.”

The 44-acre park will be the city’s largest by far, featuring a 13,000-square-foot skate park, a more than 2-acre dog park, one soccer field, one softball field, two baseball fields and sprawling turf for unrestricted play. During her address to the audience, Encinitas City Councilwoman Teresa Barth pointed out that beyond its features, this park would serve as a gathering place for the entire community.

“This is not just a sports park, or a dog park or a skate park. It truly is a multi-generational community park with something for everyone,” she said.

Barth also thanked the Encinitas Lions Club for being the first community group to step up with a donation and applauded the other groups that are planning to help.  

Encinitas City Councilman James Bond, who is stepping down after 20 years, said he could retire happy now that the park was underway.

“I had a number of things on my bucket list and this was the most important,” he told residents. “We love you all and hope you’ll enjoy this park.”

Construction will start next month and should be finished by the end of 2013.

The park will cost $19.3 million. Of that, $7.8 million will come from existing funds, $7 million will come from reallocated funds, and $4.5 million from gap financing—a plan that City Council

Some of the highlights for the new park, which sits west of Interstate-5 between Santa Fe Drive and Birmingham Drive, include:

  • The 13,000-square-foot skate park, which features a skate bowl, urban plaza area with planters, ramps and platform areas (image of design attached)
  • The more than 2-acre dog park, which features a large turf area and a special section for shy or small dogs (image of design attached)
  • Five parking lots offering 418 spaces will be peppered throughout the park
  •  Two restroom facilities, several paved paths and a winding dry creek

 For more information about Encinitas Community Park, visit the city’s website.

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Chris may August 28, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Yes, it is named a community park. It is not according to city plans, documents or definitions of a community park. http://encinitascommunitypark.blogspot.com/2012/07/encinitas-community-special-use-park.html?m=1
Jay Berman August 29, 2012 at 01:36 AM
How can a park possibly cost almost $20m ?
Debi August 29, 2012 at 03:44 AM
It is a sports park not a community park!
laurie steele August 29, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Building a kids park on a former toxic waste area? Am i the only one who thinks this kooky?
Chris may August 29, 2012 at 02:41 PM
The land alone was bought by the city without citizen's input for $23 million. Bond payments of $.5 Million x 10= $5 million New financing of new bond without citizen's input at $8 million Money taken from existing projects = $7 million Not including paying for lobbyists, ($25k), Lawsuits, ($50k), lawyers to allow toxic soil to be buried on site rather than off site as the county required,($?) and more. That total exceeds $43, 000,000.00 and counting and does not include teen center, amphitheater, tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, aquatic center or all the off site traffic mitigation. ….but a whole lot of sports field.
patrick oconnor September 01, 2012 at 06:11 PM
An expense this large should have been passed on to a public vote. per Prop 13. Our elected masters decided the public votes were NOT there and slipped it through with council approval. QUICK AND EASY has proved tone LONG and EXPENSIVE. So much for you and me. $45M translates into a 20 year payout of $90M and more. Good intensions are are great for electioneering, but watch out for the reality of lawsuits galore over toxic health issues and field lightring.
Lynn Marr September 01, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Citizens should have been allowed to vote on borrowing money to finance, PLUS the City's completely UNFUNDING important accounts such as funds to deal with chronic Leucadia flooding, the subject of a recent Grand Jury Report & a "lackluster" City response, as well as totally unfunding the Open Space & Habitat Acquisition Fund. Not asked for by citizens, & not necessary is a lifeguard parking garage on our Moonlight Beach bluff, when there is a nearby public works yard at the former Mossy Property, just off Encinitas Blvd. The funding for Moonlight Beach & the so-called "Community Park," which IS called a community park without deference to the City's own definitions, which are part of Encinitas Municipal Code, is tied together. There IS no revenue stream which could begin to pay back costs for construction, debt service & maintenance. Funding the $8 million debt through a so-called lease revenue doesn't make this acceptable. Not accounted for is the probably $1 million dollars that will be paid to an attorney, "Lease Revenue Bond Counsel." To many who have been paying attention, this is NOT in the best interests of the people who want honesty, good government & accountability. It seems to be more about preening and posturing at groundbreaking ceremonies at Moonlight Beach and the Hall Property Park, just before the upcoming election. The City could benefit by a system for conflict resolution, so that neighborhood concerns could be addressed, citywide.
Pitch Fork September 02, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Grouchy losers, you lose. The park moves forward!!
Chris may September 03, 2012 at 07:49 PM
You're correct about, there are a lot of losers. Both sides lost a bunch. If the city had done an EIR without being forced to by citizens, we wouldn't have lost time and millions of dollars. If the city acknowledged the city survey that they funded with your money that determined that the public wanted a more passive park, with fields, we would have saved a lot of time and money. If there was ANY compromise from the sports league / Rotary side then people who like tennis, volleyball, basketball or were not involved in organized sports, then would not have lost the oppertunity to have a community park built by now. If we had taken the recommendations of our city Planning Commission we would have a safer community park instead of a Special Use / Regional Sports Park. Everyone loses when the city chooses to bury 49,000 cubic yards of toxic soil permanently over an underground water source rather than remove it off site, as the county requested. Your tax money was spent for lawyers to allow the toxic storage to be kept on the park property. Yea, people should be grouchy about the waste of time and money and all sides have lost because of the manner this park project has been handled by the same majority that has been in power for over ten years. I am offended by the lack of honesty.

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