Statement from Councilmember Madison on Linda Vista Park

Over the past few weeks, I’ve received many emails urging me to support Linda Vista Park. I want to make it clear that I worked very hard, along with others, to open Linda Vista Park and I will continue to strongly support it.

Many do not realize that Linda Vista Park is located on Pasadena Unified School District, not City, property; the City leases the grounds for the Park. To provide some history, several years ago the school property became available when PUSD closed Linda Vista School. At that time, a group of Linda Vista residents came together and proposed many uses for the property, including a community center, a farmer’s market, a coffee shop and more. My office held a number of meetings to gather community input.

Given the somewhat dilapidated condition of the buildings, it became clear that the most viable use of the property was to convert a large section of the open space into a community park. With the support of the City Manager, the driveway was poured, new fencing went in, trash bins were added, the trees were timed a play area was improved with the addition of equipment for young children and the grounds were placed on a maintenance list for the park crew.

Over three years ago we had the grand opening and I have been proud to co-sponsor an annual community picnic in the park with the Linda Vista Annandale Association each year thereafter. Just last summer, we added the latest amenity, a new drinking fountain, even though PUSD’s interest in selling or leasing the property was already evident.

I want to thank the Linda Vista community and particularly, Betsy Nathane, who has worked with my office to try to ensure that the space can be kept open as a neighborhood park. We hope to welcome the community there for many years, but we are mindful that it is PUSD property.

As the PUSD contemplates its potential options, I have met with the PUSD Superintendent and School Board members and told them that the Park should remain a park, no matter what. Next week, the Council has a joint meeting with the PUSD Board (Tuesday, February 21, at City Hall at 6:30 p.m.) and the District staff will report on the status of the site from the District’s perspective.

I understand the School Board is scheduled to discuss the site at its regular meeting on February 28 as well and I am confident that the concerns and comments of myself and other Linda Vista residents will be duly considered in the Board’s deliberations.
Posted: 2/20/2012 01:50:00 PM
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