Church to Pay for Park in Exchange for More Parking
Reporting by Leon Worden, SCVNEWS.COM
The Santa Clarita Parks Commission will hear a proposal Thursday to modify approved plans for a future park at the southeast corner of Valencia’s Bridgeport Marketplace.
Under the new plan, rather than a 5-acre park, the city would design a 2.6-acre public park and the remaining 2.4 acres would be paved as a parking lot for approximately 100 vehicles.
Real Life Church would pay for all of it. When complete, shopping center owner Bridgeport Marketplace LLC would deed the park property to the city and the new parking lot to the church.
When approved in December 2005, the 26-acre Bridgeport Marketplace was supposed to include a five-acre park at the corner of Newhall Ranch Road and Grandview Drive.
“That area has remained rough-graded but undeveloped, mainly due to budget restrictions brought about by the ongoing economic conditions,” according to a city staff report.
The growing church is the closest tenant to the intended park space. To accommodate its needs for more parking, city officials, along with representatives of the church and shopping center, hammered out a deal that would meet that need and still give the city some new park acreage.
The deal “is an attempt to create a compromise that will serve multiple needs while fulfilling the documented desire to have a park on the site in question,” the staff report states.
A proposed memorandum of understanding calls for Intertex General Contractors to oversee the physical construction of the park and the parking lot, which is characterized as a park-and-ride facility.
The 2.6-acre park would include turf, shrubs, trees, a gazebo-style bandstand for small gatherings, and “basic park amenities” such as benches, lights and drinking fountains.
Real Life Church and the Bridgeport Marketplace would have dibs on 12 days of reserved park usage, but other than that, “reservations will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis” under the city’s normal reservation policies.
The park would also be subject to CC&Rs, to be drafted by the shopping center owner with city and church consent.
The public would be allowed to use the church’s new parking spaces while using the park.
A new monument sign, designed and paid for by the church, would be placed at the corner of Newhall Ranch and Grandview. It would include the names of the Bridgeport Marketplace, Real Life Church and the park, to be named later.
If the Parks Commission green-lights the plan, it would advance to the City Council for approval.