Quantcast
 
Loading
WatchSonoma
WatchSonoma Watch

County supervisors back efforts to build park where Andy Lopez died

By MARTIN ESPINOZA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday directed staff to proceed with efforts to build a park in the Moorland Avenue neighborhood where 13-year-old Andy Lopez was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy.

Calls for a park in the Santa Rosa neighborhood, especially at the site where Lopez died, continue to gain momentum since the Oct. 22. shooting.

A memorial to Andy Lopez stands on the lot on Moorland Avenue where supporters hope to see a permanent park built in the teen's memory. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

A memorial to Andy Lopez stands on the lot on Moorland Avenue where supporters hope to see a permanent park built in the teen’s memory. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

The supervisors, who expressed their desire to move quickly on the park project, instructed county staff to continue efforts to purchase the property and to devise ways to fund the park’s development and upkeep.

“This area is deficient when it comes to park assets and facilities,” said Supervisor Efren Carrillo, whose district includes the Moorland Avenue neighborhood and the rest of southwest Santa Rosa.

Carrillo said the two vacant lots being considered for acquisition were slated to have a park as far back as 20 years ago. Back then, the nearby Parkview subdivision was originally designed as a 10-acre development with a 2-acre park.

But county supervisors cut the scope of the development in half and eliminated the immediate requirement for the park, leaving the construction of a park for future development of the two lots, which total 4.22 acres.

Carrillo called it a “shame” that it took two decades and the death of a child for the county to finally get serious about building a park in the Moorland neighborhood.

At the supervisors meeting, Sonoma County Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart said the park project would cost $2 to $3 million. The cost would cover purchasing the property, mitigating possible tiger salamander habitat and community outreach for input on park design, as well eventual design and development of the park.

Annual operation and maintenance of the park would cost an estimated $25,000 to $100,000, Hart said.

Carrillo, reiterating a point he’s made often since the shooting, said involving local residents in the design and development of the park is a critical step in healing the community wounds and rifts caused by the Lopez shooting.

Hart said possible design features could include a plaza, athletic fields and a playground. She also identified possible funding, including a $450,000 state Housing Related Parks grant, matching funds from the Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District and the creation of a nonprofit account to receive private donations.

Hart identified the county’s next steps as further evaluating acquisition and funding options; community engagement and outreach; identifying site constraints and refining the timeline for the project.

Construction of the park could start in the summer of 2015 and conclude at the end of 2016 under a preliminary timeline released Tuesday.

The next status report is expected in March or April.





4 Responses to “County supervisors back efforts to build park where Andy Lopez died”

  1. Francis says:

    When will cooler heads think this through and think seriously about how to spend millions on a project that will bring real progress to this blighted, crime ridden neighborhood.

    So far only politics, street theater and protests have been presented. Other ideas and calmer proposals need to be considered before any money is spent.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  2. The Hammer says:

    Where do they plan to build the Vietnam Memorial for all those young men who died?

    Answer: Nowhere!

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  3. Jim says:

    Well of course county Stupidvisors back this. It isn’t their money.

    “Annual operation and maintenance of the park would cost an estimated $25,000 to $100,000, Hart said.”

    Yeah, I bet it’ll be at least $100,000 once you get union cronies to “clean” and “maintain” it. It is expensive to clean up crack pipes, needles and graffiti. Add in the added patrol by the Sheriff and it’ll easily be $100,000.

    No big deal, those horrible rich folks and property owners can always be taxed more to cover this new government waste. Toss another bond measure on the ballot so those who pay nothing can tell those that pay too much already to pay more.

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 6

  4. Papa ESoCo says:

    Good, a park in this neighborhood is way long overdue. Too bad it took the death of a child to light a fire under Supes.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 18

Leave a Reply