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At its January 10 meeting, the San Diego City Council unanimously agreed to send a grant application to the State of California for a proposed Normal Street Linear Park. The $4.7 million project would create a small park along Hillcrest's Normal Street, including the unimproved asphalt median strip between Lincoln and Blaine avenues.

The project is apparently not on a fast track. The council's description states: “If the City is successful in the grant award, it is anticipated that the project can be constructed in approximately 36 to 48 months from the date that funding is secured. Construction is anticipated to occur in tandem with redevelopment of the DMV site.”

Benjamin Nicholls, executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association, said they've been talking about the park for two years. “Four years to complete the park sounds optimistic,” Nicholls said. I asked District 3 councilmember Todd Gloria's office for a comment but received no response.

Normal Street is not “normal” because it's about 135 feet in width; most streets are about 80 feet wide. The trolley once ran up the middle of Normal Street. The median's wide area is currently used weekly for the Hillcrest farmers’ market.

Total cost of development is estimated at $4,793,500; the city previously paid $2500 for the minimalist conceptual design. The breakdown consists of $2,421,200 for walking paths, seating areas, and plaza; $76,250 for children's play area; $898,800 for open space, $445,000 for lighting, and $952,250 for pre-construction cost.

Funds would come from the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program of 2008. The state's grant guide emphasizes that submitting an application doesn't guarantee funding.

The park's sustainable aspects would include energy-efficient lighting, water recycling, “smart” irrigation sensors, native vegetation, and at least 10 percent of construction materials made of recycled materials.

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Twister Jan. 11, 2012 @ 9:11 a.m.

This space has been a "park" in the past. It was paved as an economy measure during tough times. Or is that "tougher?"


Burwell Jan. 11, 2012 @ 11:43 p.m.

With the state on the verge of bankruptcy, spending $4.7 million on a park is sheer stupidity.


Twister Jan. 12, 2012 @ 6:18 a.m.

But that's not an exception, it's a PATTERN. Check out which firms have been handed which contracts.

We pay taxes. Contracts is how those tight with the representatives we elect get our money, whilst our inadequate infrastructure crumbles.

Build a park and you're a hero to the public. Fix a sewer . . . well, you get it, no?

They will always get elected. We have to gather evidence and send them to prison. Nothing else will work.


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