Park Advisory Board Discusses Pickleball, Erosion, Vandalism and Mosquitos

Riperian landscaping surrounds the stream in Wolfberg Park, which depends on rainfall.

The Palisades Park Advisory Board met virtually on January 25, and the agenda included a variety of topics.

MOSQUITOS, YIKES.

Phew! Vector control was called to George Wolfberg Park at Potrero because residents reported standing water and the possibility of mosquitos.

Last week, County Vector Control inspected the riparian stream that goes down the middle of the canyon and other standing water and reported no mosquitos. The Inspector also did not see any mosquitos breeding but will come back in two weeks and check.

According to some sources, mosquitoes hibernate during the winter and re-emerge when the weather begins to get warmer, while others hatch from previously laid eggs in the spring. The temperature plays a key factor in determining the actual start of the mosquito season.

Generally, mosquito activity will begin when the temperature rises above 50°. Mosquitoes thrive on hot weather – so the unseasonably cool January in Pacific Palisades may have been a damper on mosquitos.

By definition, the park is called a restored riparian canyon, which means “related to the bank of a natural watercourse, such as a river.”

PICKLEBALL:

Stripe the courts and open them right now! was the message from several pickleball players. It appears that everyone on the PAB board (and even this editor) appreciates pickleball not only because of the exercise but also the community it provides.

But many pickleball advocates calling in, did not want to hear the message that the L.A. City Recreation and Parks General Manager Jimmy Kim presented at the Board of Commissioners meeting on January 17.

As the sport has spread, so have the lawsuits about the noise emanating from pickleball. City Parks must comply with the Noise Element of the Los Angeles City General Plan.

That plan specifies the decibels allowed into residential areas from neighboring parks. Kim has requested a professional sound check from tennis court #7, which would be the proposed site of a pickleball court.

Two neighbors adjacent to the court said that not only should a sound check be made, but also a parking study done before a tennis court is striped for pickleball.

In the meantime, Palisades Rec Center Director Jasmine Dowlatshahi said that the big gym is available to pickleball players on Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

TENNIS LIGHTS:

New tennis lighting would not only be more energy efficient, but also focus lights on the courts, preventing light pollution in nearby residences.

One resident said tennis lights are on until 10 p.m., even when it is raining or when no one is on the courts. The lights are also halogen and not LED and cause light pollution by shining in neighboring homes.

In a January 2022 PAB meeting, Tennis Center director  Mike Tomas said, “The tennis lights are from the 1950s and 1960s; they are not energy efficient.” (The lights on Court 7-8 were installed in the 1970s). He also pointed out that with different poles, the lights could be lowered and more focused, thus projecting less light pollution.)

The plea for new lights went to the Darryl Ford (L.A. City’s Rec and Park’s Superintendent of Planning and Maintenance), who estimated it would cost $200K to replace them, but said  there was no funding.

At this meeting Tomas said he had found an environmental company that was doing lights for free. He said they were doing lights at the Riviera and Bel Air Country Clubs, and that he would follow up.

VANDALISM:

Rec Director Dowlatshahi reported that there had been vandalism in the park, including fireworks, graffiti and kids on top of buildings after the park closed. There was a discussion about those challenges. A letter was proposed that would ask the City for a dedicated ranger to the Wolfberg Park and the Rec Center.

A resident pointed out there are two additional park areas, including above the Asilomar and Via de las Olas bluffs that needed patrolling. Temescal Canyon Park, a large city park on either side of Temescal Canyon Road, could also be included.

It was not clear if the Wolfberg Park is defined as a regional park and could therefore receive more services. It was also not clear if this Park Board and Dowlatshahi would oversee that park. That needs to be defined.

 

Andrew Starrels

STARRELS NEW PAB PRESIDENT:

Andrew Starrels is the new PAB President, and ran what could have been a contentious meeting, in a civil, organized and tight fashion. He is an attorney with Holland & Knight and a member of the firm’s West Coast land use and environmental group.

Starrels has also chosen to increase meetings from quarterly to monthly at least for the next six months because of the number of issues facing this park. Discussions included tree replacement, the sinkhole in the pathway by the baseball field, and bathrooms and playgrounds that are not ADA accessible. The next meeting, via Zoom, will be held February 15.

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3 Responses to Park Advisory Board Discusses Pickleball, Erosion, Vandalism and Mosquitos

  1. Ellen Champion says:

    Put the pickleball lines in one of the gyms. The noise will be contained. End of story.

  2. Paula H Deats says:

    A great edition! Thanks. I’m forwarding it around (reminding people they can subscribe…for a moderately hefty fee, of course.)

  3. K.C. Soll says:

    Always excellent reporting and coverage of timely events. Thank you!

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