The city unveiled its one-year and 15-year Capital Improvements Program on May 8, but the center of discussion came from residents near Ponto state beach.
Of the 19 speakers, more than a dozen spoke against the lack of a suitable park in the southwest quadrant of the city. In addition, they railed against adding parkland to Veterans Memorial Park off Faraday Avenue while catering to Shopoff Realty Investments’ proposal for 136 condos and a commercial development on two parcels.
The council did vote to include an analysis of current and future park and open space coverage in the city.
The lots in question are located on the 11-acre lot east of Ponto Drive and north of Avenida Encinas. The proposal calls for buildings 40 feet in height and much higher density than the surrounding neighborhoods.
Jean Camp, of the Ponto Development Beachfront Development Review Committee, a subcommittee of the San Pacifico Homowners Association, said the 6.6-acre park deficit, and the developer and city’s recommendation to add it to Veterans Park is inadequate. Also, the she noted, as did others, a 30-acre deficit of open space in the southwest part of the city.
“It is too narrow to provide the amenities that we need,” she said. “Basically, it (the development) would be a large sidewalk. Veterans Park is not an appropriate solution. It will not meet the southwest quadrants recreational needs.”
Carter McLarand, development associate for Shopoff, said the Ponto Vision Plan clearly states the guidelines and community outreach was performed in 2003 and 2004. In addition, an environmental impact report was certified by the city in 2007.
“We have a Growth Management Plan allowance for 136 units for our site,” he said. “We believe the Veterans Memorial Park will create a surplus of park in the community. There is no reason for a development moratorium or further analysis on our space. The reality is the General Plan and Vision Plan have been the guiding documents. They have been well vetted and transparent.”
As for the rest of the CIP, staff city current projects total about $200 million including a new Fire Station No. 2, public beach access and park development at Poinsettia and Aviara.
Residential development calls for 1,698 units in the next five years and nearly 1 million square-feet of non-residential space.
For Fiscal Year 2018-19, the city is appropriating $63.3 million with revenues totaling $49.7 million. In total, the FY18-19 budget is $262.3 million.
As for funding, the 15-year CIP budget revenues are estimated at $668 million and $458 million in expenditures.
The city counted 26 new projects for FY18-19 including renovating the Monroe Street Pool, Fire Station No. 4, Poinsettia Park and Faraday Center rehabilitation to name a few.
The council will discuss the operating budget on May 22 and hold a public workshop on May 29 at 6 p.m. at the Faraday Center.