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Council approves museum at park

Engineers assure building at Fairview Park would be temporary; compromises also suggested to preserve annual fish fry tradition.

November 07, 2007|By Joseph Serna

The Costa Mesa City Council opened the door for future development at Fairview Park Tuesday when it approved placing a temporary building for a model-train museum on the east side.

The council’s decision hinged on what the building, a 2,000-square-foot trailer, would look like when installed.

Staff was instructed to consult with Friends of Fairview Park and the parks and recreation commission for enhancing the building’s facade.

Fairview Park was at the center of most the issues facing the council Tuesday night, most of which were unresolved at press time.

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The fate of the annual fish fry at Lions Park was potentially at stake, depending on the council’s placement of a proposed 25,000-square-foot skate park.

Lions Club board member Mike Scheafer has said if a proposed 25,000-square-foot skate park were built at the park, it would spell the end of the fish fry and eliminate the baseball field.

He pointed to the annual event’s last move, an unsuccessful brief stint at Orange Coast College, as proof that its fate lies with its roots at Lions Park.

The last time fish fry moved, the club was sued when a woman injured her ankle stepping off a curb at the school.

Scheafer suggested relocating the proposed skate park to Fairview Park.

There is plenty of room, and it would preserve the fish fry tradition, but it would encourage development on open space on east Fairview Park.

At a previous Council meeting Councilwoman Wendy Leece suggested a compromise: build a smaller skate park at Lions Park, saving fish fry, and build a full, multipurpose one at Fairview Park.

The early decision to place a temporary building at Fairview Park depended on the Orange County Model Engineers reassurance it would, in fact, be temporary.

With approximately $100 million available next fiscal year for historical-themed buildings in California, they said with city help they would apply for a slice of the state money to fund a permanent, more visually pleasing building.

A permanent Orange County Model Engineers building with a model train museum is part of Fairview Park’s master plan.


JOSEPH SERNA may be reached at (714) 966-4619 or at joseph.serna@latimes.com.

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