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Get it all out now, park abusers

Fence project to protect Mission Trails soon to begin

Fencing and gates coming soon to Cowles Mountain Boulevard dead end
Fencing and gates coming soon to Cowles Mountain Boulevard dead end

Nearly nine months after a driver crashed through a guardrail at the end of Cowles Mountain Boulevard, residents of the Cottages condominium complex have a timeline from the City of San Diego for the installation of a fence to close off a portion of the street that ends at Mission Trails Regional Park. The Cottages own some land to the right of the dead end.

The installation of a 64-foot-long, 6-foot-tall black-vinyl fence to close the end of Cowles Mountain Boulevard to traffic will "begin within a week or two of receiving the materials," according to Ryley Webb, a policy analyst in District 7 councilman Scott Sherman's office.

Delivery of materials is expected "in the next week or two," Webb said in a March 9 email interview. The project, which includes two 10-foot gates, will be located north of the intersection of Cowles Mountain Boulevard and Rainswept Way. Webb said the city and agencies with easements will have access to gate keys.

Too many people disregarded this sign

Brett Weiss, who has lived at the Cottages since 1991, requested the barrier at the May 19, 2014, Navajo Community Planners, Inc., meeting. The planning group voted to recommend that the city install the barrier and suggested that residents pay part of the cost. Estimates at the time ranged from $3980 for a chainlink fence with a moveable gate to $5580 for a barricade.

Weiss and former Cottages homeowners-association president David Craig showed up at the March 4 San Carlos Area Council meeting to check on the status of the barrier. Sherman was the guest speaker.

Craig said, "We already put in our 50 percent."

Sherman said his office would look into the matter, and Webb wrote in the email about the project and the delay. Last year, residents and the city worked out an arrangement to split the cost of the fence. The homeowners association approved a $2000 allocation when the project cost was estimated at $4000. The association paid that amount in late November. However, the city’s Street Division revised the cost to $5000. As a result, Sherman's office contributed $3000 in January, said Webb.

He said there were several reasons for the delay. Although the city approved the project in June, the Transportation and Storm Water Department raised some concerns. As a result, the association submitted money late in the year.

"This is an unusual project, which has resulted in a bit slower turnaround,” said Webb. “The street department does not normally do this type of project" and did not have a fund for that "type of work."

Sensitive habitat dictated the necessity of city funds for this project.
Left behind from an oil change
A few steps away from the discarded oil-change materials is this storm drain

Webb said funding came from the council's Community Projects, Programs, & Services funding program. "This particular project serves a public benefit by helping prevent crime and illegal dumping."

Living next door at the Cottages, Weiss has seen both.

"It's not going gently," she said in a March 7 interview, paraphrasing Dylan Thomas's poem, "Do not go gentle into that good night."

In addition to the "day-to-day intrusion" of discarded debris (including condoms), Weiss sees people, including a man with three dogs, walk past the city sign stating the area behind the sign is closed and public entry is prohibited.

"I tried to tell" people they weren't allowed in the sensitive area, she said. They responded with abusive language "or they showed me the middle finger."

Furthermore, Weiss took pictures of a nighttime incident that occurred August 3, 2014. A man changed the oil in his car at the dead end and "discarded the oil [receptacle] and garbage bag he'd been using. [A picture shows] the proximity of leaked oil to the storm drain," she said.

Weiss is looking forward to the fence installation.

"I've been planning a great celebration. I'll bake," she said and began listing some of those she'll invite. These include Sherman, Webb, and "the workers" who install the fence. Not on the guest list? "The park abusers."

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Fencing and gates coming soon to Cowles Mountain Boulevard dead end
Fencing and gates coming soon to Cowles Mountain Boulevard dead end

Nearly nine months after a driver crashed through a guardrail at the end of Cowles Mountain Boulevard, residents of the Cottages condominium complex have a timeline from the City of San Diego for the installation of a fence to close off a portion of the street that ends at Mission Trails Regional Park. The Cottages own some land to the right of the dead end.

The installation of a 64-foot-long, 6-foot-tall black-vinyl fence to close the end of Cowles Mountain Boulevard to traffic will "begin within a week or two of receiving the materials," according to Ryley Webb, a policy analyst in District 7 councilman Scott Sherman's office.

Delivery of materials is expected "in the next week or two," Webb said in a March 9 email interview. The project, which includes two 10-foot gates, will be located north of the intersection of Cowles Mountain Boulevard and Rainswept Way. Webb said the city and agencies with easements will have access to gate keys.

Too many people disregarded this sign

Brett Weiss, who has lived at the Cottages since 1991, requested the barrier at the May 19, 2014, Navajo Community Planners, Inc., meeting. The planning group voted to recommend that the city install the barrier and suggested that residents pay part of the cost. Estimates at the time ranged from $3980 for a chainlink fence with a moveable gate to $5580 for a barricade.

Weiss and former Cottages homeowners-association president David Craig showed up at the March 4 San Carlos Area Council meeting to check on the status of the barrier. Sherman was the guest speaker.

Craig said, "We already put in our 50 percent."

Sherman said his office would look into the matter, and Webb wrote in the email about the project and the delay. Last year, residents and the city worked out an arrangement to split the cost of the fence. The homeowners association approved a $2000 allocation when the project cost was estimated at $4000. The association paid that amount in late November. However, the city’s Street Division revised the cost to $5000. As a result, Sherman's office contributed $3000 in January, said Webb.

He said there were several reasons for the delay. Although the city approved the project in June, the Transportation and Storm Water Department raised some concerns. As a result, the association submitted money late in the year.

"This is an unusual project, which has resulted in a bit slower turnaround,” said Webb. “The street department does not normally do this type of project" and did not have a fund for that "type of work."

Sensitive habitat dictated the necessity of city funds for this project.
Left behind from an oil change
A few steps away from the discarded oil-change materials is this storm drain

Webb said funding came from the council's Community Projects, Programs, & Services funding program. "This particular project serves a public benefit by helping prevent crime and illegal dumping."

Living next door at the Cottages, Weiss has seen both.

"It's not going gently," she said in a March 7 interview, paraphrasing Dylan Thomas's poem, "Do not go gentle into that good night."

In addition to the "day-to-day intrusion" of discarded debris (including condoms), Weiss sees people, including a man with three dogs, walk past the city sign stating the area behind the sign is closed and public entry is prohibited.

"I tried to tell" people they weren't allowed in the sensitive area, she said. They responded with abusive language "or they showed me the middle finger."

Furthermore, Weiss took pictures of a nighttime incident that occurred August 3, 2014. A man changed the oil in his car at the dead end and "discarded the oil [receptacle] and garbage bag he'd been using. [A picture shows] the proximity of leaked oil to the storm drain," she said.

Weiss is looking forward to the fence installation.

"I've been planning a great celebration. I'll bake," she said and began listing some of those she'll invite. These include Sherman, Webb, and "the workers" who install the fence. Not on the guest list? "The park abusers."

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Comments
1

A fence like that, if it has ends that are also secured, will keep the pedestrians out. But will it stop a speeding car? It will slow it down when the car goes through or over it. But then, of course, it will cost $ thousands to repair the fence. And how many times have drivers crashed through the existing barrier, a guard rail, over the years? Several times, I'll bet. I'm not sure this fix will solve the larger matter of that wide street to nowhere.

When I saw that end, and a similar one at the end of Lake Murray Drive nearby, I always assumed the streets were intended to eventually go farther and end up in Santee. But other than to add apartment/condo complexes at the end of the street, now they abruptly end. What's a guy to think as he whizzes along wide and generally straight Cowles Mountain Blvd than it goes on the same way for many more blocks? And then, it doesn't.

March 10, 2015

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