In 2013 a big, beautiful sign went up in an empty lot near the corner of Hollister and Kellogg Avenues announcing an exciting new project — the future park in Old Town, but what has happened since that day the sign was erected?
The Parks & Recreation Commission has worked closely with staff and the community to design a facility to meet the needs of today and the future for the residents of Old Town. The park design is based on public input from various workshops and stakeholder meetings. It has evolved to contain a multitude of recreational amenities and landscaping, including a multi-purpose field, basketball court, handball court, concrete ping-pong table, bocce ball court, perimeter walking path, fitness nodes with exercise equipment, picnic areas, splash pad and a skateboard plaza. With so many great amenities, the Old Town Park will be a fantastic place for children, and adults, to play.
In September of 2015, a final design of Old Town Park was brought to the City Council for consideration. The City Council provided direction to staff for some modifications. These changes included enlarging the bathrooms and adjusting the alignment of the San Jose Creek Bike Path to avoid impacts to Creekside habitat. Staff made the requested changes and the revised park design was taken back to the Parks and Recreation Commission in November 2016 incorporating the City Council feedback. The park design still needs to return to the City Council for final approval (expected in spring 2017).
The park has taken longer to build than anticipated for two reasons: 1) the design of the park went through several modifications to comply with new water restrictions imposed by the Goleta Water District due to the prolonged drought; and 2) ownership of the site needs to be resolved between the City and the Goleta Redevelopment Agency Successor Agency, which currently holds title to the property. State law on how redevelopment agencies should dispose of property has evolved since 2011. The City has been attempting to acquire title to the property since that time. The City is currently working on developing the best path forward and hopes to be successful in that effort within the coming months.
In the meantime, staff will continue efforts on the final design so the project can move quickly upon successful title acquisition. This is the first park in Goleta’s history to be built by the citizens of the City of Goleta, which is exciting for all involved.
Please click here for more information on this project.