New park gets thumbs-up

CITY HALL — The City Council has approved plans for a new park in south Glendale as city officials await news on a pending grant application for the funding.

Costa Mesa-based firm David Volz Design has already crafted plans for the proposed Maryland Avenue Mini-Park, which would be on a half-acre lot within the East Garfield neighborhood bordered by Glendale Avenue, Brand Boulevard, Chevy Chase Drive and Maple Street.

The $1.6-million park is part of the larger East Garfield Neighborhood Revitalization Project, which includes a new 30-unit affordable housing development, Garfield Gardens, and more than $1 million in public infrastructure and beautification improvements.

The City Council last week voted to amend the city's contract with David Volz Design by $208,890 so the firm can complete the additional design and draft construction documents to make the project shovel-ready.

Officials are awaiting the results of the city's $2-million grant application for a portion of a $184-million state funding pool meant to support the development of open space for underserved communities. The funds come from a $5.4-billion bond California approved by voters in 2006.

The mini-park currently has about $1.6 million in federal block grant funding set aside for the project. If the state funds are awarded, the block grant funds could be shifted to a different city project, officials said.

The design plans for the park — which include a children's play structure, exercise stations and a community garden — are based on 15 community meetings held with area residents, said Community Services and Parks Director George Chapjian.

Parks officials hope to break ground on the project next summer in order to complete work by December 2011.

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