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Sounding Off:

If a skate park is built, let it be at Fairview

November 04, 2007|By Geoff West

At its meeting on Tuesday, the Costa Mesa City Council will debate whether to open the Fairview Park Master Plan to consider including a skate park and/or dog park within its boundaries.

This issue has generated lots of debate since former councilman Mike Scheafer recently wrote an opinion piece on these pages suggesting that a skate park should be placed in Fairview Park and not at Lions Park — the site which seems to have gained some steam among some community activists, including former — and maybe future — councilman Gary Monahan.

More than 100 posts have been made on the Daily Pilot blog attached to Scheafer’s commentary, many of which railed against any kind of additional active uses in Fairview Park.

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I’ve read the staff report on this subject, which addresses four sites in Fairview Park for potential skate parks, each of which would be larger than the current facility at TeWinkle Park.

Two of the sites are located west of Placentia Avenue and two are in the eastern portion, near the model-train venue. A site for a potential second dog park is also located on the east side.

I agree that Fairview Park is a very important asset to our community, but think the community is not well-served by restricting the entire park to passive uses. We have a growing young population that simply doesn’t have enough places in which to engage in sport.

It took a generation to build our first skate park — the Volcom facility mentioned above — and it has proven to be a rousing success.

Obviously, there is still pent-up need for another facility. Fairview Park seems like a reasonable and logical location.

In my opinion, the placement of any active recreational sites should be on the east side of Placentia Avenue, which separates the two segments of the park with sufficient distance to protect the passive uses on the west side. Either of the two proposed sites appear to be acceptable, as is the proposed location of the dog park. In addition to the nearby crosswalk, the new, big, ugly bridge over Placentia Avenue provides safe passage from one side to the other.

No mention is made in the staff report of Lions Park and the potential displacement of the annual Lions Club Fish Fry for a skate park at that location. I think it is wise to focus this particular meeting on the viability of Fairview Park as a potential site for a skate park and dog park without cluttering up the debate with the Lions Park location.

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