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Alisal Commons Park in Solvang
updated: Mar 09, 2014, 10:20 AM

By William R Moreland

The "Alisal Commons Park" Demise

On Monday, February 24, 2014, the City of Solvang held a public hearing to certify the water system master plan. The construction of a water treatment plant in the middle of little Alisal Commons Park was included. The plan was approved with a second motion to reconsider the location of the plant. There was no agreement that the site of the proposed plant would be changed. Below are the various reasons the site should be changed, and alternatives exist that do not involve sacrificing park space.

The Park and the View

  • Many of the more adventurous tourists and many Solvang residents come down Alisal Road and stop at the edge of the mesa to take pictures of the awesome view. Have you? It overlooks the park, the golf course, the river, and the Santa Ynez Mountains in the background looming over Alisal Ranch.
  • Bicyclists, families riding four wheelers, Segway riders, and hikers frequent this parkway due to its beauty. The water treatment plant would mar that view for all time. Is this the legacy that council members want to leave to the Solvang community?
  • The Alisal Commons Park gets more foot traffic per day than two of the larger parks in Solvang. It is more than a small place for recreation, walking the dog, or exercising. Many citizens (I count at least 10 an hour) go through the park daily (some even at night), since it's an easy walk to the village center from Alisal Glen's "civil service row," the Fjord homes, and the modular homes park.
  • Alisal Glen may be at the bottom of the hill, but it ranks high in the estimate of the neighborhood! We have pride in our homes. Residents whose houses are located on top of the mesa overlooking the park will also have their views marred by this proposed facility.
  • Proponents of locating the water treatment plant here refused to call this a park. Presentation slides had all designated the park as "Alisal Commons Open Area." Yet any Internet search for the phrase "Alisal Commons Park" reveals that the world knows this area as a park. On Goggle Maps, it is not an "open area," but rather a "park." Who is responsible for this change in terminology and when and how did it happen?

    The Park Pictures and In the News: (with maps):

  • Walkscore.com
  • SYVNews.com
  • SantaMariaTimes.com
  • OneDrive.live.com

    The Water Treatment Plant

  • The construction of the pumping station and the placement of a big generator beside it was the city's first betrayal of our neighborhood. This time we will not be silent. We value our park and neighborhood and will stand up to make a difference.
  • For the residents of Alisal Glen, this little park, including the Fjord, the modular home park, and the Village of Solvang and it visitors, represents one of our community's living rooms. The insertion of a treatment plant would be a ruinous blight.
  • The potential 24/7 noise, chemical stink, lights, and parking lot are not fitting for this residential area. Compounding that would be the noise and earth vibrations from a lime-grinding facility. We can imagine the negative affects this change will have on us, our animals and the abundant wildlife, and our property values?
  • Crime will become a greater problem. With a wall eight-feet tall and a narrow walkway alongside it, will provide those prone to criminal acts, including graffiti, new opportunities. More and brighter lights would be required, followed by the installation of surveillance cameras. (Just last week I had to call the police to retrieve a stolen bicycle that I found in bushes in the park.)
  • Is there anyone here who would vote for or even acquiesce to having this plant built 50 to 85 feet from their bedrooms? Who among you would agree to the construction of this plant next to your own home?

    The Cost

  • This amounts to losing, or tossing away, the expenditures already made in creating the park. Is this a savings or a waste?
  • Considering the centrality of tourism as a source of Solvang's income, it makes no sense to diminish the beautiful views and destinations that attract more visitors.
  • If the city and Alisal Ranch worked together to use the green belt in this area, a truly wonderful park could be developed to reach down to the river and the green belt along the Fjord. This is where Solvang needs to create an enhanced recreational park.
  • Preserving the beauty of this place for the future will enhance the benefit to Solvang and Alisal Ranch.

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