Panel runs through ideas for Fairview Park

Fairview Park's citizens advisory committee continued its months-long examination of park additions Thursday, rejecting a slew of ideas for one area but hinting at additions for another.

Eight voting members — Anna Vrska was absent — turned down eight proposals for the 208-acre park's northeast quadrant. Among them were improving and designating bike lanes and adding a lawn bowling and boccie ball area, dog park, skate park and archery range.

The ideas were among more than 30 conceived by the group last year.

Except for committee member Ron Amburgey pushing for the lawn bowling and boccie ball, little to no discussion on the proposals ensued.

Amburgey, an advocate for adding athletic facilities, said the playing fields would be far from the adjacent homes and would not cause a disturbance.

"It would be a good spot to put the activities for seniors," Amburgey said.

Last month, the committee also discarded eight proposals for the northeast quadrant, including a planted redwood forest, soccer and football fields, and an interpretive center with a viewing deck.

The committee had more active discussions Thursday, however, when looking at what might be in store for Fairview Park's 45-acre southeast quadrant, which primarily contains the Orange County Model Engineers' ridable railroad and an adjacent parking lot.

Amburgey and other committee members have said the quadrant has the most potential for additions — including sports fields.

The group ended up rejecting an expanded concert venue and archery area for the southeast quadrant, but split on the idea of a dog park.

Chairman Richard Mehren and committee members Terry Cummings, Steve Smith and Frank Davern voted not to continue discussion of the dog park idea at the next meeting, in August.

But Amburgey and members Brett Eckles, Dennis Popp and Lee Ramos dissented, keeping the proposal alive for now on a 4-4 vote.

Mehren said the last time Fairview Park had a dedicated dog area, it was "a total failure."

Amburgey envisioned the southeast quadrant having as many offerings as TeWinkle Park.

TeWinkle, which is near the Mesa del Mar neighborhood, is about 50 acres and contains a playground, baseball and softball fields, the Volcom Skate Park, Bark Park and a lake.

"It's a complete park," Amburgey said of TeWinkle. "We could have virtually the same thing in the southeast quadrant. It would be a jewel of our city, I think."

The Westside's Latino community would particularly enjoy such amenities so close to their homes, he added, a comment that was met with jeers from the audience.

"We owe it to the citizens to try and give them something," Amburgey said. "The select few that are here just want to keep it weeds or whatever. That's your prerogative."

The committee next meets Aug. 6 in the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Ave. It is scheduled to discuss more proposals for the southeast quadrant, including athletic fields and a recreated Native American village.

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