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NEWS FROM PAGE 1 PARK “Right now it [the mini-park]

is pretty much in the state where people are trying to envision what it might look like, feel like,” said Liz Studebaker, executive direc- tor of North Park Main Street, the neighborhood’s Business Im- provement District (BID). Noting the project is in its

formative stage, Studebaker talked about early public reac- tion to the project. “It

hasn’t been positive or

negative,” she said. “Everybody’s pretty excited about turning a piece of empty asphalt into some- thing that can be activated by the community. I don’t think anyone is opposed to that general concept.” Brandon Cohen, an immediate neighbor to the proposed mini- park, who also participated in the June 4 charrette/workshop, agreed. “Anything’s better than a parking lot,” he said.

But, although Cohen favors the

project in concept, he said he and others have some reservations. “Our (breakout group) and two others proposed some radical changes to the streetscape as a way to deal with some ills we have in the community,” he said. “In the design charrette we proposed making [the mini-park] more of a promenade, so it isn’t a park in the middle of a city, but try and make it houses and businesses in the middle of a park. The more you make it feel like North Park is a park with residences and busi- nesses within a park, the better experience we’re going to have.” Cohen said an advantage of the mini-park would be that it could provide multi-use space—a place people could eat lunch during the week and a venue for events on the weekend.

But Cohen said there could be some disadvantages, too. “We’re not excited about creat- ing a space that might be a haven for drug or homeless activity,” he said. The Redevelopment Agency has transferred the park parcel to the City of San Diego, and has con- tributed funding for a Streetscape Master Plan, which is to include

design of a General Development Plan (GDP) for an approximate half-acre urban mini-park between Granada Avenue and 29th Street, along North Park Way.

The location of the park is ex- pected to provide a connection be- tween residential neighborhoods to the south and the Business Dis- trict in which it is located. Mini-park amenities are yet to

be determined through a commu- nity-input process at a later date. North Park Main Street’s Studebaker talked about a few ideas for the park that are taking shape in residents’ minds. “There’s been discussion about

having passive performance space, not necessarily a band shell or a stage, but some area to have gath- ering space for elementary school graduations or outdoor movie view- ings in the summertime,” she said. “There is a lot of momentum toward implementing that kind of asset.” Studebaker said residents have concern

also expressed about

landscaping for the proposed proj- ect being drought tolerant. Patrick Edwards, a North Park

BID boardmember who partici- pated in a group discussion at the June 4 charrette/workshop is a business owner within the foot- print of the proposed project. Ed- wards said providing ample green space is another major concern of some residents with project streetscaping. “We focused on the streetscapes

as effectively being a larger area of impact in North Park,” he said noting “take back the street” was the slogan chosen by his charrette breakout group. “North Park as a development

is over 100 years old and before that it was an orchard,” Edwards added. “We’d like to get back to a green- scape with shade trees, reducing on-street parking, slowing traffic and creating increased pedestrian spaces including bike lanes.” Storey said the design of the GDP for the Park and the Streetscape Master Plan for the proj- ect are scheduled to be complete in the Spring of 2012. Construction will be scheduled as funding becomes available, and as maintenance fund- ing for ongoing park and street op- erations is identified and secured.u


Balboa Park’s Bea Evenson Fountain June 13, 2011, 5:30 p.m.

AIDS is 30 years old and still no cure!

Wear a red shirt and join us to help spread awareness and support for finding a cure for HIV/AIDS at Balboa Park’s Bea Evenson Fountain (beside Park Blvd.) on June 13 at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, visit

San Diego Uptown News | June 10–23, 2011


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