Some 25 years ago, the city of Rancho Palos Verdes considered developing a golf course and senior citizens center at Point Vicente Park, and buying Miraleste Elementary School to provide an active recreational space for the east side of the city should Miraleste High School close.
While the high school did close, the acquisition of Miraleste Elementary and the development of a golf course or senior center at Point Vicente never came to pass, though the goals still appear in the city’s Parks Master Plan, last updated in 1989.
“A lot has changed in 25 years,” said Matt Waters, a department senior administrative analyst.
At the City Council’s direction in July, the Recreation and Parks Department started work on a revised version of the Parks Master Plan that will delete obsolete goals and outdated information, and incorporate an updated inventory of the city’s parks and recreational spaces, and expansions and improvements at the parks. The updated plan will also include the city’s Coast Vision Plan and Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, of which 1,400 acres are within the city’s boundaries. In 1989, the Nature Preserve “wasn’t even a thought,” Waters said.
With new acquisitions and changing demographics, the revised plan will address the current and future uses of the city’s parks and recreation areas. The Recreation and Parks staff has scheduled 12 workshops, which started Wednesday, to gather public input about what the uses will be.
Because some of the city’s parks, including Lower Hesse, Grandview, Lower Point Vicente and Abalone Cove Shoreline parks, have already undergone planning processes, extensive public outreach and/or improvements, the workshops will focus on five sites that haven’t had as much attention.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” Waters said of the revision. “There are parks that haven’t gone through the planning process and we’ll focus on those.”
The first 10 workshops will target Eastview Park, Ladera Linda Park, Point Vicente Park/Civic Center, Gateway Park and Upper Hesse Park. The last two will be a chance for the public to comment on the master plan in whole.
At Eastview Park’s second workshop Jan. 14, staff wants residents to weigh in on the development of a dog park. The park’s first meeting was Wednesday.
The facilities at Ladera Linda Park, a former school site, will be another topic. That park’s meetings are Nov. 12 and Jan. 21. “The modular buildings weren’t meant to last as long as they have,” Waters said.
A multiuse skate park, proposed by the nonprofit Skatepark PV, at the Point Vicente Park site was the impetus for an updated Parks Master Plan.
“Councilwoman Susan Brooks brought it to the council’s attention when the skate park issue came up,” Waters said.
When Skatepark PV approached the council in the spring about the use of the site, Brooks asked her council colleagues to delay a decision until a master plan for the site was developed. “We do not have one, and it has been a long time,” she said at the time.
The staff will wrap up the workshops Feb. 25. Waters said a draft version may be ready for council’s review in April.
The document, he added, will serve as a guide for future city councils. He said while there are no existing funds for projects that may come out of the public workshops, plans for those desired projects will serve as placeholders until such time when funds or grants become available.