Guest opinion: Portuguese Park is long overdue
by Byron Wear
Published - 09/17/15 - 05:22 PM | 5201 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the past year, the Peninsula Community Planning Board deliberated over implementing an important part of our community plan – the creation of a new park in Roseville.

In 1986, I chaired the update of our Peninsula Community Plan and was a member of the Coastal Area Committee of the Park and Recreation Board, and in 1995, I was elected San Diego City Councilmember for District 2 for two terms.

During the update of our Peninsula Community Plan, we fought for language to add park acreage to the plan, later adopted by City Council in 1987. Based on any analysis ever completed, the Peninsula community does not have adequate acreage dedicated for parks, particularly in smaller neighborhood and community park categories. In addition, the “Peninsula Park Inventory Needs Analysis” completed in 2006 clearly shows the fact that our community contains park deficiencies.

The Canon Street/Avenida de Portugal site was one of the best sites identified to provide additional parkland for Roseville. Other potential park sites are limited in size, inaccessible or very steep. The area of Roseville adjacent to the Rosecrans transportation corridor is zoned for multifamily, and additional housing units are anticipated as part of our adopted plan and SANDAG forecasts.

This elevated park site is an ideal location for a natural, peaceful pocket park providing a point of reflection overlooking San Diego Bay and an important landscaped pedestrian and bicycle connection from the Portuguese Hall to Cabrillo National Monument along Avenida de Portugal, Canon Street and Catalina Boulevard featuring additional landscaping and safe pedestrian and bicycle paths. Furthermore, the proposed park has broad community support from many residents and civic organizations willing to help and is consistent with our adopted Peninsula Community Plan.

The good news is our Councilmember, Lorie Zapf, has identified park funds within the Peninsula Community Developer Impact Fee account to proceed with the park completion now. These fees have already been paid by developers for this purpose. The next steps are community workshops to receive public input, completion of a low-water use native landscape design and construction of the actual park. And our community will have opportunities to partner for special park enhancements and features.

This is a victory! It is time to complete this long-overdue park for our enhanced quality of life.

Byron Wear served as a member of San Diego City Council, representing District 2, from 1995 to 2002.
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