EDITOR'S NOTE: The public can weigh in Wednesday evening at 6 on the second floor of 910 Calle Negocio; the General Plan Advisory Committee is meeting there in part to discuss priorities for North Beach.
Now that the plan to build a commercial development on publicly owned land at North Beach , what should be done to revitalize the area? What is the logical next step?
In my opinion the answer is simple: Complete the park.
Ole Hanson's original 1927 design for North Beach showed the as a beach park. It was only half completed. is the completed half. All we have to do now is finish the job and Ole's beach club will be done. This park should be an extension of what is already in place. We already have the restrooms, banquet facilities, kitchen and parking. All that needs finishing is adding some more grass, turn some streets into pedestrian walks, and move some parking to the “ECR” lot which is on the ocean side of El Camino Real. Some people call it the "Christmas tree " lot.
The hard part is done. The zoning is in place. It is zoned “public.” The City owns the land. No acquisition costs required. A park would be consistent with the policies of the California Coastal Act. The Ole Hanson Beach Club will be undergoing a $1.5 million restoration starting early next year. Let's do it right. Let's finish the park.
People have been talking about adaptive reuse of the Miramar Theatre for a long time. They've asked questions about what the City can do to encourage some development. I think it is time to do just that. A more beautiful and spacious beach club area sounds like something that would draw people to the area. With more people comes an opportunity to do something with the Miramar.
Have you ever sat on the ? I have. It's a great spot that we can make even greater. A completed park offers endless recreational opportunities: , special events, festivals, cultural and charitable events, fitness camps--the possibilities are almost unlimited.
Designing the specifics of a park on this site will require lots of community input. Many people will and should weigh in on exactly what a park would include. The possibilities are many. There are already a couple of plans that have been proposed by some local residents. Look at www.olehansonbeachpark.com and www.imaginesc.com.
Completion of this park can be the catalytic opportunity that will provide the property owners in North Beach a reason to continue to invest in San Clemente.
Historic buildings surrounding an ocean-view park with parking included. A gateway to our city that we can all be proud of. Now is the time. Complete the park!
Please send me your comments. Address them to me at BakerB@san-clemente.org All good ideas are welcome.