Search for park sites down to just five
The above is not only a famous beer ad, but also how J. Dennis Crabb, hired by El Dorado County to serve a consultant to search for a county park on the South Shore, described the mid-90s battle over Golden Bear Park.
“It became a partisan political fight with no solution, just positions,” Crabb said.
Out of the ashes of the failed Golden Bear Park effort came a new effort, begun in December 1997, which Crabb said has taken into account the various objections community members had with the Golden Bear idea.
On July 29, Crabb will present his firm’s findings of five possible South Shore sites for the main section of the park. The sites were found based on screening criteria, including existing public ownership, existing street access, existing utility service, no environmental uses for the property and an existing plan for use of the property. The screening narrowed the search from 444 potential sites to five.
Crabb said he was unable to release the specific sites for publication because the community steering group has not seen them.
However, this proposal will contain much more than just a few baseball fields.
In addition to the actual park area, Crabb’s group is looking to help acquire bike trails and beaches for the public’s use.
In a survey undertaken by Crabb’s firm beginning in May, the community identified the highest priorities associated with a park as bicycle/recreational trails, multi-use fields, beach access, gymnasiums and skating rinks.
The fields are important because the South Shore does not have enough field space to provide field activities to area youths.
Recently, 300 South Shore kids had to be turned away from youth soccer due to limited field space.
Crabb said the problem is not only limited field space, but fields must have some time when no one is using them to recover from trampling.
The beach access and bike trails which may come out of the park search could be connected to the final park site, but won’t necessarily be in the park. Crabb hopes the bike trail will eventually connect Meyers to Stateline.
He said he also hopes the project will eventually connect El Dorado Beach with Stateline Beach.
Crabb said money for public beaches and bike trails could come from the Tahoe Conservancy which has funded similar projects in the past.
He said funding for the park, complete with ball fields, among other amenities, could come from Presidential Forum funds as well as county tax dollars.
The July 29 steering committee meeting at Tallac Vista begins at 11 a.m. and will go until about 3 p.m.
The committee will review the draft plan, comment and have a final plan presented at an Oct. 2 meeting.
Who: County Park Steering Committee
When: Wednesday, July 29, 11 a.m.
Where: Tallac Vista on Sherman Way
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