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Mission Hills' Million Dollar Mini Park

A small group of Mission Hills residents are so adamant about scoring parkland for their neighborhood, they are willing to spend over a million dollars to hardscape a third of an acre of environmentally sensitive land just to be able to call it a park. Objections have been voiced by the area's planning group and by residents in neighboring communities, who feel the money should be spent on parkland more people can enjoy.

The "West Lewis Street Mini-Park" is viewed by most residents of the Uptown district as more of a money pit than a mini-park. The number of people that now oppose the park (at the corner of Falcon Street and West Lewis Street in an upper-class residential area of Mission Hills) has skyrocketed along with its projected cost.

From the outset, the cost for building the park has exceeded previous predictions. For phase one alone, the estimated cost was around $450,000; that price has swelled to around $650,000.

“We’re talking about major development, basically paving the area and constructing a steel bridge,” says Leo Wilson, chair of the Uptown Planners. “And then connecting the two streets out into the canyon. The whole thing is going to cost well over a million dollars, and this is just a sliver. This isn’t a park; this is a mini-development.”

Wilson says the money could instead be used for higher density urban areas that more people will be able to enjoy. “Let’s get urban parks in the urban corps and leave the natural vistas to accommodate the open space.”

According to the site-development permit for the area, the park will include “construction of a steel-supported pedestrian bridge with wood treads and a trail development of the park design; [the] western portion (Goldfinch Street) includes finish grading, drainage, pedestrian ramps, hardscape, decomposed granite paving, decorative boulders, temporary irrigation, and plantings. The park will have lookouts to the natural canyon to the north”

Besides the cost, the teeny park would impact an amount of sensitive upland habitats that is nearly twice what the City allows, requiring some type of mitigation between the City and the developers of the park. “To qualify for an exemption, the total impacts to upland habitat must not exceed 0.1 acres; the combined project impacts would exceed .19 acres and so mitigation would be required. Biological report must include mitigation measures.”

The sliver of parkland will be on the December agenda for the Uptown Planners. They meet at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest on the first Tuesday of every month, 6:00pm.

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A small group of Mission Hills residents are so adamant about scoring parkland for their neighborhood, they are willing to spend over a million dollars to hardscape a third of an acre of environmentally sensitive land just to be able to call it a park. Objections have been voiced by the area's planning group and by residents in neighboring communities, who feel the money should be spent on parkland more people can enjoy.

The "West Lewis Street Mini-Park" is viewed by most residents of the Uptown district as more of a money pit than a mini-park. The number of people that now oppose the park (at the corner of Falcon Street and West Lewis Street in an upper-class residential area of Mission Hills) has skyrocketed along with its projected cost.

From the outset, the cost for building the park has exceeded previous predictions. For phase one alone, the estimated cost was around $450,000; that price has swelled to around $650,000.

“We’re talking about major development, basically paving the area and constructing a steel bridge,” says Leo Wilson, chair of the Uptown Planners. “And then connecting the two streets out into the canyon. The whole thing is going to cost well over a million dollars, and this is just a sliver. This isn’t a park; this is a mini-development.”

Wilson says the money could instead be used for higher density urban areas that more people will be able to enjoy. “Let’s get urban parks in the urban corps and leave the natural vistas to accommodate the open space.”

According to the site-development permit for the area, the park will include “construction of a steel-supported pedestrian bridge with wood treads and a trail development of the park design; [the] western portion (Goldfinch Street) includes finish grading, drainage, pedestrian ramps, hardscape, decomposed granite paving, decorative boulders, temporary irrigation, and plantings. The park will have lookouts to the natural canyon to the north”

Besides the cost, the teeny park would impact an amount of sensitive upland habitats that is nearly twice what the City allows, requiring some type of mitigation between the City and the developers of the park. “To qualify for an exemption, the total impacts to upland habitat must not exceed 0.1 acres; the combined project impacts would exceed .19 acres and so mitigation would be required. Biological report must include mitigation measures.”

The sliver of parkland will be on the December agenda for the Uptown Planners. They meet at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest on the first Tuesday of every month, 6:00pm.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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