A new park in Del Rey is in the final stages of planning after an almost four-year hiatus because of a funding freeze.
The proposed park would be long and skinny, about 45 feet by 1,000 feet, and include a pathway, overlook areas and native landscaping on the 1.2-acre parcel located south of Milton Street between Mascagni Street and Westlawn Avenue.
Discussions to build a new park on the site started in 2008 when planners conducted several community meetings to gather input and then incorporated feedback into the design.
“The design has not changed very much since then,” said Ana Petrlic, project manager for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, a local government entity that maintains about 69,000 acres of open space in the Los Angeles region and is overseeing the Milton Street Park project.
On Monday at a Del Rey Residents Association meeting, residents voiced their enthusiasm and concerns for the Milton Street Park. Primarily, people asked about lighting the area at dusk and pedestrian safety.
Although the park will have no lighting, its hours of operation will be from sunrise to sunset, according to Petrlic. And to combat speeding on the street and ease pedestrian access, speed bumps and a cross walk will be installed on Milton Street. Designers will also build staircases to a new access point in the center of the park.
Planners envision this new entryway to lead to an area where the nearby Marina del Rey Middle School could hold outdoor classes. Teachers already bring children to the area for some science classes, and the park’s new infrastructure would facilitate their learning.
“Kids can be in a safe spot and avoid bikers and pedestrians on the bike path,” Petrlic said.
In addition to park landscaping, engineers would turn the abutting segment of Milton Street into a “Green Street” – capturing and treating water and debris during wet and dry periods from the street and park before it reaches nearby storm drains. To accomplish this, planters with native trees – likely western redbud and western sycamores – would line both sides of the street.
By capturing trash, bacteria and oil, the planters will alleviate pollution runoff into Ballona Creek, as currently, it flows untreated into the creek from a 20-foot-wide storm drain located on the east and west sides of Mascagni Street and Westlawn Avenue. However, the planters will reduce street parking.
The Baldwin Hills Regional Conservation Authority purchased the property in 2007, and since then has been in discussion to design a park on the barren land. The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority will maintain the property.
The two agencies have implemented various projects along the Ballona Creek bike path, including water fountains, fencing, landscaping and signage.
Park construction is expected to cost about $3 million and start in 2013, with a tentative completion date of early 2014. The Baldwin Hills Conservancy, the Baldwin Hills Regional Conservation Authority, the Mountain Recreation Conservation Authority and the California Coastal Conservancy are funding the project.
“The City of Los Angeles still needs to approve the permits,” Petrlic said.
Almost all of the funding has been secured, except for about $300,000 that the Coastal Conservancy is expected to contribute to the project. She is meeting with the agency in December.
The public comment period is open until Aug. 22, and members of the public can submit their comments to Ana Petrlic at email@example.com.