Arcadia City Council Upholds Plans For Eisenhower Park Renovations

Eisenhower Memorial Park post demolition. – Photo by Galen Patterson / Beacon Media News

By Galen Patterson

Arcadia City Council held an open study session regarding the planned developments at Eisenhower Memorial Park in Arcadia.

Residents were encouraged to speak about their thoughts on the Eisenhower Park project, due to the previous City Council meeting when several members of the public voiced concerns about the project and claimed they had not been given a fair chance to speak about the park before construction began.

Public tempers flared more than once during the meeting, at one point causing Mayor Verlato to declare a recess to let emotions settle.

Main focus points from the speakers can be broken down into four categories: missing sound barrier on the nearby highway, the length of time for closing the dog park, pedestrian safety from an adjoining crosswalk, and the removal of the basketball courts from the park.

After 11 residents voiced their opinions, councilmembers responded to the focus points and asked questions to city representatives on traffic safety and park amenities.

By the end of the evening, the council had deliberated and addressed the main concerns of the park project.

The missing sound barriers remain under a promise from Councilman Tom Beck, that he will continue to work on the issue and has been since he was elected 5 years ago. Beck said the problem deals with agencies outside the city’s direct control and he will not stop trying to fix the issue.

The pedestrian safety at the adjoining crosswalk near Newman Avenue is scheduled to be addressed at a future Traffic Safety Committee meeting, where they will presumably discuss how to most effectively enhance the safety of the crosswalk.

The dog park and basketball court removal differ in the way that the city is planning on installing a new dog park, while the original approved plan for the project was to remove the basketball courts without replacing them.

Currently, the park has been closed and almost entirely demolished to begin renovation, which is scheduled to be completed in April of 2020, meaning the dog park is irreparably closed and the basketball courts are already gone. Part of the purpose of the open study session during the meeting was to see whether or not the basketball courts should be replaced.

City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto addressed the council with his take on the difficulty of the construction of new basketball courts, saying that if the concerns had been heard earlier in the design process it would have been much easier to fit the courts in but given that the park was designed without consideration for them, there are limited options on where the courts can fit.

“We designed the park based on what we heard. If we would have heard this input we might have included basketball at that time,” said Lazzaretto.

Lack of forewarning was also addressed as a common concern by the people but nearby residents spoke on both sides of this issue, saying that there was both not enough warning ahead of time and that the process was executed fairly.

In a motion started by Councilman Roger Chandler of the 5th District, and passing by a 3-2 vote, the current plans to develop Eisenhower Memorial Park will stand and no basketball courts will be added.

However, in a last-minute motion by Mayor Verlato, funding will be provided to add fencing to the basketball courts at the nearby Camino Grove Elementary school which will allow the public use of them.

August 21, 2019

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Galen Patterson

9 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Arcadia City Council Upholds Plans For Eisenhower Park Renovations”

  1. The Leachs says:

    We just received a letter message from a neighbor concerning Eisenhower Park. We had not heard anything about the park being redone. We have lived here for 43 years and our boys and our grandchildren have used this park for years. It has been a part of our family get together s. We had my moms memorial there after her death. And it was so nice to see the boys in the family using the basketball courts and playing baseball. The little ones playing on the swings and things. We are very saddened to hear they will be gone. It seems to us that the dog park is more important then what helps keep kids off the streets and family’s to be able to do things as a FAMILY. All that dog park brought was mess, smell and fleas. Kids are more important. Think about what you are doing to the family’s of Arcadia.

  2. Bob kimball says:

    Good job council. Basketball four neighborhoods away. Should’ve thought twice.
    Then there’s the whole scare tactics with lack of funding with fire and police. Typical bureaucracy and a close minded biased council. Maybe I’ll attend more meetings and get involved again.

  3. Sonia says:

    Why did the reporter leave out the comment by Mr. Chandler about the people the court attracts that come from out of town and not the type he would want brought into Arcadia? I was at this meeting and heard it with my own ears.

  4. Tom says:

    racism is behind removing the basketball courts, it’s painfully obvious.

  5. Pasadenaobserver says:

    So is the dog park closed indefinitely or is there still plans to have it renovated? I liked the dog park. I barely realized it was there when passing by on the 210. I did not even know it was going to close for renovation.

  6. Shin says:

    I live just right next to the park. The construction noises are as irritating as hell. Don’t know what to say.
    At least there should be a way to minimize the noises. Obviously nobody cares about that…
    It has been a huge impact on the quality of my life. Thinking about moving out from Arcadia and never come back, it sucks

  7. Dean says:

    Honestly, what is taking so long to get this going. After all of this time, it is finally showing some movement. The Dog Park was always in use and from what I saw, when I took my dogs, actively using it, there was never a mess, it did not smell and my dogs never got fleas as mentioned previously. The dog owners were mostly respectful to other visitors and their pets with everyone doing their part as far as cleaning up after their pet. I don’t know where or when they visited, but it’s hard for me to believe that they even used it. It was a nice area to take your dogs out, enjoy the fresh air and relax. I hope now that there is work being done that the park along with the basketball court and dog park section will open up sooner than later. Since it’s closed, it has been an eye sore and wasted land not doing anything. This park was always in use each time I passed it. Let’s speed it up and get this park up and running again.

  8. Helen says:

    When will the dog park be reopened?? its been nearly a year and with other dog parks so far away, it’s a huge inconvenience.

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