By Zia Zografos/Orange County Tribune
Edison Community Park upgrade plans have been halted due to community pushback.
Plans to proceed with the reconfiguration of Edison Park, located on Hamilton Avenue and Magnolia Street in Huntington Beach have been withdrawn, the city council voted unanimously at the March 1 council meeting. A revamping of Edison Park in collaboration with RJM Design Group was first brought to the council’s attention in order to upgrade the park, which the city felt was overdue.
However, community members urged the council not to proceed with reconfiguration plans as it would take away from the park’s natural features and exacerbate community concerns like parking.
Now, city staff will be conducting more community outreach and return to city council after an additional review of the conceptual plan for the park. A majority of community members who attended the city council meeting stated that community outreach was not executed properly, and that some design plans that were not mentioned on surveys.
Community member Don Albrecht stated that traffic is already an issue in the Seabury neighborhood where he lives, and that he and his neighbors were not properly notified about the reconfiguration.
“If two soccer games are played at the same time, there could be up to 60 cars trying to park … I and my neighbors were never notified of any proposals regarding changes to Edison Park, that is why we want to be able to help with any plans for the park,” said Albrecht.
The plans included multiple ball courts including tennis, volleyball, basketball and pickleball, as well as batting cages, a skate park, a ropes course and pump track. There were also plans for multiple fields to be installed, such as softball, Little League, baseball and soccer for local school use. Several new buildings were also accounted for.
With the potential installations of courts and fields would come with the removal of eucalyptus trees as well as other mature trees within the park. Some community members stated that the 48-year-old trees provide shade and block out the stadium lights to the neighboring areas. Some also stated that the trees are home to bird species and wildlife.
Erica Shane, who has lived within a thousand feet of Edison Park for 28 years, agreed that the park needs renovations, but RJM was trying to fit too much within too small of a space. “My family would like to see the park remain a park, not an overdone sports complex … the unnecessary demolition of existing highly used fields and courts and the removal of so much grass and mature trees, seems counterproductive and unreasonable,” said Shane.
Another issue echoed by community members are elders and neurodivergent children who are not able to cope with a high volume of active environments in the park, and pointed out that some peaceful open space is essential for the community’s needs.
Design modifications, site analysis on mature trees, and increased community input on Edison Park’s development will be considered for the next revision, and will be brought back to the city council in the next 90 to 120 days.
Categories: Huntington Beach