Community helps shape concepts for Verdugo Park overhaul

A cyclist rides his bike through Verdugo Park in Glendale in 2007.
(File Photo)

About 40 community members helped shape the future of Glendale’s Verdugo Park during the final public meeting before the Community Services and Parks Department brings three concept proposals to City Council for feedback.

Landscape architect and consultant David Volz led the presentation and discussion at the Glendale Civic Auditorium Monday to incorporate the last round of community feedback to proposed changes, which include an ADA all-inclusive playground, a new granite pathway as well as community rooms and restrooms at Verdugo Park.

The renovation project carries an estimated $3.8-million price tag with construction slated to start by December and will take about one year to complete. City Council members approved the all-inclusive park project last year to replace the existing six-year-old playground. City officials held one other meeting in June to help shape what was presented Monday.

Concept A for the $3.8 million Verdugo Park rehabilitation project.
(City of Glendale )

Each of the three proposals maintains the staging area site for the city’s maintenance workers, which Koko Panossian, deputy director with the city’s Community Services and Parks Department, said would be too cumbersome to relocate.

Many liked that Concept A’s central parking location provided easier park access for those with disabilities, but overall preferred the lot to be located near the maintenance yard and away from the main park area as designed in Concepts B and C.

Concept B for the $3.8 million Verdugo Park rehabilitation project.
(City of Glendale )

All three concepts will incorporate the same scope of work — the playground, parking, pathway and restrooms — but each deviates in the location of parking, the park entrance and main vehicle path. They all, however, propose to reduce the amount of turf by about an acre.

According to Onnig Bulanikian, director of community services and parks, community consensus went between concepts A and B, which do away with concept C’s vehicle path that runs through the park and out to Colina Drive and a community room.

Concept C for the $3.8 million Verdugo Park rehabilitation project.
(City of Glendale )

There was some back and forth on the need for new exercise equipment, with some residents saying it is not used often. However, city officials countered that it is, in fact, used, and exercise equipment is a trend in parks nationwide.

There is a segment of the park portioned out as a potential site for a historic village — where important Glendale homes that need to be relocated could be moved — but many in attendance preferred to leave the space open.

Some also worried about how the project would affect the number of trees in the park, with Volz confirming that concepts A and B will remove 23 trees but each will be replaced. Concept C would remove 31. Seventeen of the trees expected to be removed would be redwoods.

Regarding parking, a few residents said they were worried that any extra parking spaces would become an overflow for Glendale Community College students. Bulanikian said the spaces would be clearly marked for park use and a good portion would be set aside for handicap accessibility.

Twitter: @JeffLanda