There were two items of interest for Pacific Palisades residents to Westside residents at the October 6 meeting of the Recreation and Parks Facility Repair and Maintenance Commission Task Force, held before the regularly scheduled RAP Board of Commissioners meeting.
RAP Commissioners Lynn Alvarez and Palisadian Joe Halper sit on this task force and report findings back to other commissioners.
Halper asked for an update on the Palisades Dog Park project, which is aimed at a location in lower Temescal Canyon Park.
He was told, “We did the original updates in 2017,” but nothing further has been done.
“This project is on the top for our Community Council,” Halper said. “There is a lot of interest.”
There was a brief discussion whether mulch or a synthetic surface should be considered. Halper was told, “In all of our recent dog parks, they are moving towards synthetic surfaces, to minimize maintenance, so that the dog area doesn’t immediately turn to dirt.” Synthetic appears to last longer, with much less maintenance.
No funds have yet been appropriated for a Palisades Dog Park.
“If and when it is approved and funded, how long will it take to get done,” Halper asked RAP Superintendent Darryl Ford.
“It is difficult to say at this point because funding is a hurdle,” Ford said. “It would have to be bid, there are a lot of procedural steps—it would need to be designed, and that hasn’t been done, yet.” He also stated that the project would most likely need Coastal Commission approval.
“You need an approval of funding before you can design it?” Halper asked.
“Yes,” Ford said.
Pacific Palisades Community Council Chair David Card spoke in favor of the dog park.
“It is a number-one priority,” said Card, who noted that dogs are running off-leash at the Palisades Recreation Center and Rustic Canyon Park and that if there were a park, some of that illegal off-leash activity might stop.
Lynn Miller, a member of the Palisades Dog Park working group, asked for clarification about the funding and Coastal Commission approval.
(RAP staff does not address comments during public comment.)
Halper then addressed the Veterans Gardens recognition signs at the Palisades Recreation Center. The proposed signs were presented at a Board of Commissioners meeting in July and were not approved. They are the sole remaining hurdle to having the project approved by the Commissioners.
The names and accomplishments on signs of this nature have to follow L.A. City Rec and Parks protocol, but these signs did not. A QR code (code read by a hand-held device, such as an cell phone) has now been placed on the signs and will go to a non-city website.
The recommendation was to approve the panels for 10 years with an amended and restated agreement.
“I don’t think we gave you great instructions at the last meeting,” Halper said to staff. “You have done a thorough job of trying to determine the issue.”
Then he asked why the reduction of the names on the panels from 30 years to 10 years.
“It is to balance the concern of the commissioners,” staff said. “It would change the duration for the military panels from 30 to 10 years. The Donor Wall and Veterans Gardens names would be 30 years.”
Halper pointed out that Your Park, the nonprofit that brought the project to RAP, saw themselves as being responsible for maintenance.
“The planting there is not found in typical parks,” Halper said. “They planned to get $1 million for maintenance. That money may be in jeopardy for diminishing recognition.”
He told RAP staff that he commends Your Park because a whole new population that had not used the park is now using it.
Staff recommended Halper bring the issue back to a Facility Repair and Maintenance Commission Task Force meeting when chairperson Alvarez was also present. If it is approved then, it could then go to the Commissioners for final approval.