The Protect Plummer Park movement got an early Christmas present at Monday night’s City Council meeting when the city announced it had commissioned architects to come up with alternative designs for the proposed and will reactivate an internal subcommittee dealing with the park redesign.
“We just commissioned the architects to do some more renditions [of alternatives for the park redesign],” City Manager Paul Arevalo announced at the meeting. “We’ll have some concepts on costs and models on that within the next six weeks to two months.”
The cost of those alternative designs will be around $1 million, according to Arevalo.
The city is also reactivating an ad hoc subcommittee dealing with the park redesign. Councilman John D’Amico will join that subcommittee, which also includes Councilwoman Abbe Land.
D’Amico will replace Mayor John Duran on the subcommittee. Duran explained that D’Amico’s background as an architect and land use expert makes him a better choice for the panel.
The subcommittee was formed three to four years ago to meet on an as-needed basis, Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Prang told Weho Patch after the council meeting.
The subcommittee is not covered by the Brown Act, the state's open-meeting law, and therefore is not required to invite the public to its meetings. However, D’Amico said, the public will be included.
“There is every intention to hold public meetings, which Abbe and I will now be leading, rather than John [Duran] and Abbe,” D’Amico told Patch after the council meeting. “Abbe and I will meet first with the architect so I can get the history of the plan as it is."
"We’ll then have the city summarize for us what the concerns of the residents are as well as our own input," D'Amico said. "I met with residents. I know Abbe met with residents. Then we would begin a series of meeting with the public.”
D’Amico said a time line for those public meetings would be announced at the next council meeting on Jan. 17. He speculated the meetings could begin as soon as late January or early February.
In response to several boards and commissions saying they were not offered enough opportunity to give input in the planning of the Plummer Park redesign, D’Amico told Patch he intends to invite such groups to the public meetings.
“That way, we would make sure there were not boards and commissions that missed their opportunity,” D’Amico said. “I think it is very clear the set of things we need to do to make sure that people who were included stay included, and [those who] were not included are included.”
Arevalo also announced that a real estate broker representing the city had contacted owners of properties adjacent to the park about selling their land to the city for park expansion. However, none of those property owners were interested in selling to the city.