|Council seeks public input on park failure|
On Tuesday, Half Moon Bay residents will get a chance to vent to the City Council about the failed park property off Highway 92, a longtime source of bitter controversy for many locals.
The fallow land at the end of Stone Pine Road was originally championed as the future community park long demanded by Half Moon Bay citizens.
The city purchased the 22-acre property from Nurserymen’s Exchange in 2004. That sale was made possible with a $3.1 million loan from the Peninsula Open Space Trust with the agreement that Half Moon Bay would pay back the debt by 2007.
At various times, plans for the park included something for everyone: facilities for soccer, basketball, horseshoe competition, shuffleboard and bocce ball, as well as picnic areas, a community garden, a field house with restrooms, a parking lot, a children's playground and a labyrinth.
But the city never figured out how it could pay the POST loan and the shocking $14.5 million cost to construct the elaborate park. Years went by without any progress and the deadline for the POST loan was put off to October of this year. Now the city says it has to abandon the project. Blame Beachwood, council members say.
The city announced last month that rather than pay back the loan, it will cede the property to POST.
A spokeswoman for the land trust said the property could still become a public park, but probably not the one envisioned by the many Half Moon Bay citizens in planning for the park.
The Council will hear commentary and possibly decide on turning over the property to POST during their regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at 535 Kelly Avenue.