"We're going to have the gymnasium open by the beginning of the year," Councilman Mitch Englander told a crowd of about 150 gathered Thursday to hear plans for Chatsworth Park South.
The park has been closed since Valentine's Day, 2008, when lead and other contaminants were found in the soil. Local residents, sporting stickers on their chests, have been counting the days since the park was shuttered. As of Thursday, the stickers reminded everyone that it has been 1,707.
Englander said there is lead contamination at the gym, which will be cleaned up. Vandalism will be repaired. He said the new $80,000 gym floor, which was installed with Prop. K funds after the park was closed, was undamaged.
The parking lot will be reopened, but access to the rest of the park will be closed until remediation is complete. However, he cautioned that the gym would be closed again when the process of removing contaminated topsoil begins.
Fifty years ago, the property was a skeet range frequented by local resident and cowboy star Roy Rogers. The pollutants come from buckshot and broken clay pigeons at the firing range.
Englander is seeking public comment on how the park should be redeveloped when it reopens. Click here to participate in an online park survey.
Representatives from the city Parks Department and the state Department of Toxic Substances Control manned tables in the Mason Park recreation center where the meeting was held. Rather than a general question and answer session, residents were invited to take their queries directly to the officials manning the tables.
There were also maps of park redevelopment proposals. One plan would provide for equestrian use. Another featured walkways and hiking trails. See PDFs of the concepts in the box above.
Read More about Chatsworth Park South:
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- Chatsworth Park South a Target for Vandalism
- No Reopening Date Yet for Chatsworth Park South
- City Presses Forward to Open Chatsworth Park South
- Parts of Chatsworth Park South Might Open as Soon as This Summer
- Fire Hazard to be Removed Soon from Chatsworth Park South
- Have Opinions on Opening Chatsworth Park South? Get a Survey Here
- Chatsworth Neighborhood Council Tackles a List of Local Issues