The proponents of a sprawling recreational center atop of Bluffs Park persist, with pleas and petitions to prompt the Malibu City Council to reverse itself and approve an environmental impact report for their wish list of facilities.
So what if the costs are going to be prohibitive, the Coastal Commission most likely will reject the plans, and probably suggest the city look elsewhere. I certainly do, wearing various hats that include a former little league coach.
But where there is a hope, there must be a way, declare the sincere if misguided playing field proponents. And by the way, they add, why do people opposed to the plan hate children. Personally, as a father of four, I don’t.
Their arguments have been particularly emotional. These include the fatuous playing of the gender card since all three council members who voted for the park’s status quo were male, to the more pertinent review of the promises of playing fields not kept by past councils.
The councils did have several opportunities to increase the playing fields, without compromising Bluffs Park.
There was what is now Legacy Park, which was proposed 20 years ago when I was a Parks and Recreation Commissioner.
But City Hall and several successive servile mayors back then had their own agendas. (That they are now publicly quoting the Mission Statement in support of compromising the Bluffs is pure hypocrisy.)
They had worked out a back door deal with a few commercial property owners, and opted for a water treatment plant. That would satisfy an E.I.R. to allow more civic center development. while covering the plant with vegetation, call it a park, and let the city and gullible locals pay for it.
I feel Legacy still could be sensitively landscaped for a few playing fields, if the city really pushed it.
And then there is Trancas Canyon Park, whose exercise field can easily accommodate several playing fields, and with a few inexpensive touch ups, almost immediately, certainly much faster than the city putzing around with Bluffs Park.
Again, all the city has to do is amend its specious agreements now banning active sports there, which it did to please a few vociferous locals. It is not like the park doesn’t host active sports now, at least what I view daily from the dog park overlooking the field.
Hey, neighbors, times change, needs change, and it seems many of the kids in active sports are from west Malibu and Point Dume. It certainly would be convenient. Then there is also Trancas Field and its potential. Hopefully the city didn’t buy the fields as a private front lawn for few dozen homes.
This prompts me to suggest that city first and foremost contract for a new needs assessment study. We know what the park advocates want: everything, of course. But what we really should know is what actually is needed: how many kids are expected, from where, now and the future. Details please.
This was not done three year ago to by city’s cozy, costly, consultants. Their workshops were a charade, as is the city’s bumbling planning process.
Needed also is a site analysis: what can the Bluffs’ geology actually accommodate: more structures, cut and fill, or just light footed outfielders?
Those are questions that should have been answered first if City Hall didn’t do things ass backwards, and before some council members made promises.
Hold the divisive grandstanding, Lets get the facts, and then consider the options. Come on city, play ball!