Amphitheater, dog parks, among park recommendations

Amphitheater, dog parks, among park recommendations
An amphitheater will be added at Aviara Community Park, pending Carlsbad City Council approval, to leverage the views. Photo by Ellen Wright

CARLSBAD—The Parks and Recreation Commission approved the final Master Plan updates to Poinsettia, Pine Avenue and Aviara Community parks. With council approval, an amphitheater, dog parks, gardens and recreation facilities will be added.

The yearlong process is close to an end and the commission is hopeful the City Council will approve the Master Plans Dec. 9.

Parks and Recreation Director Chris Hazeltine prefaced the presentation saying there were reasons each park addition was considered and reasons why some things, including a BMX track and pickle ball courts, were left out.

At Aviara Community Park, an amphitheater will be added, pending city approval, along with a small community kitchen and fire pits, according to Neelay Bhatt, vice president of PROS Consulting, Inc.

“We didn’t want to assign a specific single use and then limit a portion of the community,” Bhatt said. “We wanted this to truly be a community wide facility so that everybody has access to this because the one thing you really cannot recreate is a location as beautiful as that.”

Commissioner Jason Hansen expressed his concern that the views currently overlook burnt remnants of the Poinsettia fires.

“The views right now are black,” Hansen said.

Kyle Lancaster, parks superintendent for the city told the commission that the native plants will grow back on their own over time. If they don’t, or if non-native species invade, a biologist will step in.

Officials estimate the amphitheater will cost $1.75 million.

At Pine Avenue Community Park, the senior center will be expanded to include an indoor recreation center focused on teens and youth. On top of the center will be an outdoor basketball court, Bhatt said.

The estimated cost for the center is about $6 million.

The Parks Department also acquired more space so the addition of a large garden will be possible. An ornamental and a community garden will be added, with a buffer zone in between the two.

The community garden will have 50 plots for residents, eight of which will be ADA accessible.

“A lot of people have been there a long time and we will make sure the place reflects the history and the heritage and honors it,” Bhatt said.

The gardens are estimated to cost $1.2 million.

At Poinsettia Community Park, a multi-sport arena will be added. Previously an arena soccer facility was proposed, but Bhatt said, a multi-sport arena will serve more of the community’s needs.

Some of the sports will include lacrosse, field hockey and adult soccer, Bhatt said. Shaded areas and fitness pads will also be added.

The cost for the center has yet to be determined, although Hazeltine said that a private partnership would likely be necessary to fund the construction.

An off-leash dog park will be added, with a fence separating an area for small dogs and an area for large dogs. The cost estimate is about $513,000.

The playground structure that is currently there will get an update and an additional playground will be added in the same location at a cost of about $497,000.

Pickle ball supporters were at the meeting to continue their call for more pickle ball courts.

Hazeltine told the crowd that the City Council will need to approve the conversion of two tennis courts at Laguna Riviera City Park to make eight pickle ball courts.

If the council approves the conversion, the courts will be converted after all of the tennis programming ends in April, according to Hazeltine.

Each addition was carefully considered and consultants used the input from a statistically reliable survey that was sent to over 1,000 homes, online surveys, of which more than 600 people responded, and from public input meetings held over the past 18 months.

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