By Mary O’KEEFE
The Crescenta Valley Town Council is working with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor’s office to help get the word out about local parks, and to ask for suggestions from the community as to what could be done to improve those parks.
“Over the past 22 years the RPOSD (Regional Park and Open Space District) has awarded more than $1 billion to parks projects across Los Angeles County,” said Leslie Dickson, CVTC recording secretary.
RPOSD was created after voters approved Proposition A, The Safe Neighborhood Parks Act, in Nov. 1992. This authorized an annual assessment on all parcels of property within L.A County. However, on June 30 this year the authority to levy assessments under Prop A sunsetted. It was extended with another vote in 1996 that extended the assessment to June 30, 2019.
Prop P was placed on the ballot in November 2014 and would have extended the Safe Neighborhood Parks Act, but did not get the two-thirds vote required. If it had succeeded it would have extended the funding through an annual $23 per parcel special tax for 30 years.
CVTC and the supervisor’s office feel the failure to pass Prop P is due to the lack of understanding of the what the special tax was for and that it was not a new special tax but a continuation of Prop A. The CVTC wants to reach out to the public about the Safe Neighborhood Parks Act and find out what community members may want at their local parks.
“We will only have one meeting,” Dickson said.
On Jan. 30, the CVTC will host a meeting where residents can bring their suggestions for parks within the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County – La Crescenta. The meeting will be held at Rosemont Middle School, time to be determined.
On that same date, the City of Glendale will hold a similar meeting at Sparr Heights Community Center. Community members will be asked to comment on parks within the city of Glendale.
CVTC President Robbyn Battles and Dickson attended a park assessment meeting in Sunland last week.
“One thing we discovered was you don’t have to be a resident of that [specific] community to let your voice be heard,” Dickson said.
Suggestions from Sunland included creating a dog park and a request for more lighted fields.
“[Suggestions] can be anything for a project idea, from a new senior park area to an aquatics center,” she said. “[But] just because we say we want it doesn’t mean we’re going to get it.”
But there is no harm in asking, either. What CVTC is doing from now until Jan. 30 is to reach out to the community for suggestions and is also doing research as a board to find projects they can suggest.
“Everyone has [thoughts] of what we need. Some say we need more trails and bike paths – that’s just one group,” she said.
Dickson said there is also another suggestion that was made in Sunland to partner with the local school district for joint -use parks.
“That would work with places like Rosemont Middle School that really need to have their soccer fields repaired,” she added.
There is also a lot of vacant land that could be purchased and revived as a park.
“We are trying to be creative with our suggestions,” Dickson said.
Anyone who would like to send in a suggestion prior to the Jan. 30 meeting can do so by emailing the CVTC at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (818) 248-9387, or stopping by the CVTC meeting the third Thursday of the month.
Parks within La Crescenta include Two Strike Park, 5107 Rosemont Ave., Crescenta Valley Park, 3901 Dunsmore Ave., and Pickens Canyon [pocket] Park, 2391 W. Foothill Blvd.
Far north Glendale includes: Montrose Community Park, 3529 Clifton Place, Deukmejian Wilderness Park, 3429 Markridge Road, Dunsmore Park, 4700 Dunsmore Ave., and New York Park, 4525 New York Ave.
From now until Jan. 30 CVW will look take a closer look at each park, sharing what amenities they have and what, if any, future plans are scheduled for the locations.