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City to Temporarily Relocate Parks Maintenance Staff to Airport

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

October 14, 2019 -- The City plans to temporarily move its parks maintenance staff from Memorial Park to Santa Monica Airport in January to pave the way for the park's expansion, City officials said.

Part of the Public Landscape Division, the staff is responsible for maintaining 28 public parks, including sports fields, playgrounds, and water features, as well as public medians and street trees.

Staff moved to its current location at Colorado Yards after the City bought the site from Fisher Lumber in 2004 to expand Memorial Park, staff said in a memo to the Council Thursday.

"Plans to expand the park include use of the Colorado Yards, which
requires staff and equipment to be temporarily relocated to the Airport until a permanent location is identified," staff said.

Staff reviewed all City properties and identified the City Yards and the Airport as "the remaining viable alternatives" for the relocation of the Park Maintenance operations.

But City officials determined that building a permanent structure at City Yards, which is being redeveloped, would be too expensive, staff said.

"Ultimately, the existing Airport Maintenance building was identified to be suitable and adequately sized to accommodate both the Airport Maintenance and Park Maintenance operations," staff wrote.

The proposed move to the Airport, which will require upgrading existing utilities, has met with some resistance from neighbors, who worry the temporary home could become permanent.

Neighbors are concerned the landscape operations, which start at 6:30 a.m. will be noisy and increase traffic, especially from the large landscape trucks using 25th Street, staff said.

They also are concerned about the proximity of their residences to storage bins and containers they worry my pollute the air.

"Staff have actively listened to these concerns and believe they can be addressed through proposed changes to the construction and future operational procedures," according to the report.

Among the proposed changes are loading equipment and materials at the end of each day, instead of in the morning, and storing some of them at other City facilities.

In addition, "staff is proposing to move the storage area to the east
side of the site, which is furthest from the residential area," the report said.

Large trucks would use 28th Street gate, instead of the gate at 25th Street, and plants will be used to form a screen to "provide a more
visually appealing site perimeter," staff said.

Staff will present the newly revised proposal at the Airport Commission's meeting October 28.

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