Encinitas’ newest neighborhood park is moving forward after the City Council recently gave the thumbs up to the ambitious design plan.
The City Council voted 5-0 March 21 in favor of the final design for the proposed Standard Pacific Park in Leucadia on the southeast corner of Piraeus and Olympus streets.
“With any park project, you first have to come up with the design before construction starts, so having that approved is a step to getting the park built,” Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Director Jennifer Campbell said.
The city purchased the sloping, 3.1-acre property nearly two decades ago with the intent to transform it into a park for the neighborhood east of Interstate 5 and north of Leucadia Boulevard.
The final design includes a basketball/pickleball sports court, a dog park, a skate park structure, an “adventure path” up the 68-percent grade slope between the western and eastern segments of the park, a 100-foot zip line, playgrounds, shade structures and terraced seating.
But officials said the most unique amenity in the park is the all-wheel pump track, a bicycle track with rolling jumps and turns that, according to one website, “teaches the basic skills of carrying momentum, balance and speed by using your arms and legs to pump your bike/board/scooter around the track.” The track can be used by riders of all levels.
City officials said the property’s somewhat steep east to west grade made some of the park’s more unique features, such as the pump track, zip line and adventure path, possible.
“We saw the property’s grade as a unique feature, not as a drawback,” Campbell said. “We incorporated that into the design features.”
The city yielded many of the concepts for the park from the public at four workshops last fall and winter, including a so-called “pop-up workshop” at the Leucadia Farmer’s Market.
“The design concept was developed with a lot of input from residents, so we are excited to deliver on a park that had such community input,” Campbell said.
City officials have not set a construction start date, as they are awaiting 30-percent design plans from the project designer, RRM Design Group. Once the city receives those designs, they will issue a request for proposals and pick a contractor for the project.
While officials earlier estimated the project would be completed by April 2019, they are now expecting it to be done in the summer of 2019, city parks operation manager Annette Saul said.
Campbell added that the new timeline takes into account potential weather or permitting delays.