Three Reasons to Attend Next PAB Meeting: Potrero Park, Dog Park, Tennis Courts

When will grading be done in Potrero Park? What is the latest date that this park might open?

The Pacific Palisades Park Advisory Board will hold its first quarterly meeting of 2020 on Wednesday, January 15 at 7 p.m. in the small gym. The public is invited.

The L.A. Bureau of Engineering’s Pedro Garcia, who is overseeing Potrero Canyon Park construction, will be on hand for questions.

When the BOE asked for a $3.9 million change order at the October 2 L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks facility repair meeting, Commissioner Joe Halper asked for a Program Evaluation Review Technique that shows start and completion dates, the costs of elements and any interdependency going forward.

It is unclear if the PAB has asked to see the PERT, prior to next Wednesday’s meeting.

The agenda includes an update on the proposed dog park in lower Temescal Canyon Park, which needs money to fund an environmental impact review. Last April, it was announced the study would cost $20,000 to $30,000 and that Quimby funds* could be used for it.

Quimby funds, which were designated for the Palisades Recreation Center but initially quietly shifted to the Venice Pier project, have yet to come to our park.

Once an EIR is completed, organizers can start raising money to fund the dog park (estimated at $500,000 three years ago). The park would also need a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) assessment. As a point of reference, the dog park in Westwood cost about $800,000 for grading, fences, benches, fountains for dogs and planting ground cover.

The proposed location for the Palisades Dog Park would be along Temescal Canyon Road.

The latest campaign for a dog park started with a request for Measure A funding after the special tax was passed in November 2016. Then, more than 3,000 Palisades residents signed a petition that was sent to Councilman Mike Bonin, requesting a dog park.

In January 2017, a task force was formed and 11 sites were investigated, including the once-proposed Occidental oil-drilling site off PCH near Potrero, sites along Temescal Canyon Park, Simon Meadow, Temescal Gateway State Park, the vacant DWP-owned property off Marquez Avenue, the old Bernheimer Gardens location, the fire road at the top of Lachman Lane, undeveloped land on Sunset adjacent to the Highlands Plaza, Will Rogers State Beach, and park areas in the Highlands and at Will Rogers.

(When Councilman Mike Bonin was up for reelection in March 2017, he [31,865 votes] and opponents Mark Ryavec [7,047 votes] and Robin Rudisill [5,967 votes] all promised support for a dog park.)

At the Community Council meeting on June 27 this year, Bonin suggested that the same people who donated to the Veterans’ Garden/bocce project at the Rec Center could contribute to the nearly $800,000 needed for a dog park. (The Veterans’ Garden project is now on now on track for a 2020 completion. An update will be provided at Wednesday’s meeting.)

A large number of people who attended the PPCC meeting wanted to know about the promise that some of Measure A money would be used for a dog park.

“A dog park remains a priority for me,” said Bonin, who promised that Rec and Parks would look at Measure A funds in August. Bonin’s field deputy Lisa Cahill said at the January 9 PPCC meeting that there would be an update at this PAB meeting.

Dog park supporters were urged to contact Bonin’s office and RAP. The annual allocations to the City of L.A. via Measure A funding is $22,438,249.

A Circling the News reader wanted to know last week if the dog park could be put on the other side of the bocce courts, because it would be more centrally located to the Village.

The dog park cannot be located at the Palisades Rec Center because dogs are not allowed off-leash by law in City parks. The Palisades PAB has publicly backed a park at any location that is not the Rec Center.

A sink hole took away parking at the Palisades Rec Center in February 2019. It was repaired, but the parking lot is still not fixed.

Finally, the parking lot at the tennis courts on Frontera is not completed. A sinkhole developed in that lot in February 2019. The hole and the affected tennis courts have been repaired, but the parking lot has not.

Having a functioning parking lot is important beyond tennis. At Thursday night’s Community Council meeting, PAB member Rick McGeagh announced that a record 375 players have signed up to participate in the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association. Tryouts are this weekend, and the season starts in March.

 *(Editor’s note: Quimby funds are derived from new-construction fees and are supposed to stay in the area where the fees are generated. But in this case, Quimby funds were taken from Rec Centers and funneled into the proposed Venice Pier project. When this editor discovered that money had been taken away from the Palisades, I wrote an article about the “theft.” Soon after that, Councilman Bonin and Park Director Michael Shull agreed to return the money to individual Rec Centers.)

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