Forces fighting Fairview lot combine

Signature gatherers have combined to protest a proposed parking lot in Fairview Park.

A paper petition started last week by some Pacific Avenue residents is joining Benjamin Yessayian's petition, titled "City of Costa Mesa: Keep Fairview Park natural and Pacific Avenue safe." The Costa Mesa resident's online petition started Friday.

As of about 4:30 p.m. Monday, it had 266 supporters from throughout Orange County.

The combined petition effort seeks to reverse the Parks and Recreation Commission's 4-1 vote — with Commissioner Bob Graham dissenting — on Aug. 22 that approved some design concepts for a 10-space parking lot and playground area at the end of Pacific Avenue, within the 208-acre park's southeastern quadrant.

The petition contends that the lot exceeds the size called for in the park's master plan, that the playground isn't needed and that traffic will increase along Pacific Avenue as a result of the additions.

Terry Welsh of the Banning Ranch Conservancy has also protested the lot.

Councilwoman Sandy Genis has brought the matter before the City Council, which will consider it Tuesday. The council may then call for another hearing, making the lot subject to future debate and potential changes.

City officials have contended that the size of the lot — reduced from 42 spaces in an earlier proposal after officials realized the master plan called for 10 spaces — is needed so that the Fire Department has enough turnaround space for its emergency vehicles.

Mayor Jim Righeimer, during a Meet the Mayor session at a Pacific Avenue residence Sept, 13, suggested having a turnaround space big enough for the Fire Department but without any parking spaces.

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