A Victory For Culver's Kids
Council Approves Playground Improvements, Adds Funds
June 25, 2015
By Lynne Bronstein
Community members who wanted to see improvements to the playground at Sid Kronenthal Park got their wish at the June 22 City Council meeting.
The council approved Design Concept “A” and the related budget for the rehabilitation of the playground.
The Council also approved an addition to the adopted 2015-2016 budget by adding $75,523.80 from the General Fund to augment the remaining funds (an amount of $62, 051.20) from the Proposition A Cities Excess Grant Funds.
This will bring the total amount of funding for the improvements to $137,575.00, subject to receipt of final grant funding approval by the County of Los Angeles Regional Park and Open Space District (RPOSD).
Following the playground item, and with the addition of the funding for the playground, the council adopted the 2015-2016 Budget.
The action on the playground was a follow-up to a special meeting held on June 2 at Kronenthal Park, with several council members and members of the community. At that time, meeting participants were given five options for playground design fro 2 to 5 year-olds and were asked to vote on comment cards for their preferred design alternative.
Additional public input came from a meeting at Echo Horizon School on June 9.
The preferred design option will provide one bucket swing and one traditional flat swing. In order for the two different types of swings to be incorporated into the design, the configuration of the equipment must comply with the playground safety requirements outlined in California State Health and Safety Code Section 115725-115735.
Mayor Mehaul O’ Leary was concerned with the portion of the park that is not at this time receiving rehabilitation. He asked staff what the timeline was for improving the presently unfunded section of the park and was told that it might be five years.
Andrew Weissman noted that the process involving the approval of improvements had been somewhat stormy and wondered “if we can learn from this when it comes around next time.”
Parks and Recreation Director Dan Hernandez admitted that the process had been awkward for Kronenthal Park, as it was a process that had gone on for several years. “We will be better at getting the word out in the future.”
The playground advocates’ success with the council may have inspired other neighborhood groups to push harder with their issues. A large percentage of the 26 speakers in public comment at the June 22 meeting spoke on the issue of mansionization in Culver City and asked the council to reconsider passing a moratorium on new building after the council’s having passed on considering such a measure a few weeks ago.
Hearing the zeal of the speakers, Meghan Sahli-Wells (who supports a moratorium) said she believed the Planning Commission had slated a study session on the mansionization issue. City Manager John Nachbar told the council that the session would likely be held in July due to the deep interest in the matter by the public.
Sahli-Wells asked staff if there would be wider notification this time and Martin Cole assured her that the city would do its best to notify the public of the session, possibly with newspaper ads.