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Fairview advisory panel OKs kiosks

Two informational booths in park's northwest quadrant would clarify for visitors the scenes before them.

February 07, 2014|By Bradley Zint
  • The Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee approved a recommendation for a pair of informational signs, marked in yellow, for the park's northwestern quadrant Wednesday night.
The Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee approved… (City of Costa Mesa )

The Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee has approved a recommendation for a pair of informational kiosks to be added in the 208-acre park's northwestern quadrant.

The kiosks, one to be at the entrance of the Wetlands and Riparian Habitat that opened nearly one year ago, would likely contain information about the area's birds and plants, according to city staff.

Six committee members favored the kiosks. Vice Chairman Steve Smith dissented, and members Dennis Popp and Terry Cummings were absent.

The kiosks may not provide paper pamphlets, but they could be modernized so that cell phone users can scan them to be connected to relevant information, city staff said.

The plan for kiosks, which city staff consider to be an idea consistent with the park's approved master plan, will eventually go to the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Chairman Richard Mehren said he felt the kiosks will be essential to let park users know what they're looking at.

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"If it's just greenery, they may not know how important the area is," he said.

Gilbert Collins, who served years ago on an earlier version of the advisory committee, said there has to be some sort of plan to maintain the displays.

The work could be done by a volunteer organization, he said.

"Most kiosks that I've seen are real duds," Collins said. "No one takes care of them after a while."

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Rejected plans

The committee soundly rejected a proposal for a new community garden in the northwest quadrant.

The garden was infeasible because it would have been too far from the parking lot — about 4,100 feet, residents and committee members said.

The nearly half-acre garden with 20 to 25 parcels was planned for an undeveloped edge of the park, near the Santa Ana River, a flood control channel and some residences in the Lower Birds neighborhood.

"Anybody who walks the area knows this is a terrible place" for a garden, said resident Harold Weitzberg.

Six committee members voted against the idea; Ron Amburgey voted in favor of it. He added later that he sees the need for a community garden — Costa Mesa only has two — and that adding another is probably appropriate elsewhere in the park.

The committee was split on adding a bird-watching platform outside the Wetlands and Riparian Habitat. Anna Vrska, David Stiller, Smith and Mehren voted against it. Brett Eckles, Lee Ramos and Amburgey voted in favor.

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