SD Rostra

You want to plant a lawn and let people play on it? That’ll cost you!

The following is an update on the status of Encinitas Community Park, formerly known as “The Hall Property”…

It’s about 43 acres just west of the I-5 freeway and south of Santa Fe Drive. Encinitas purchased this former greenhouse property from the Hall family to make into a park in 2001. The purchase was one of my first votes as a City Councilman, and at roughly 20 million dollars it was an attention grabber!

We had a myriad of public meetings and design “sharretts” with various interest groups involved. We did a massive E.I.R. and were subsequently sued but we prevailed. 1.5 million dollars and 11 years later we are nearly ready to go out to bid for the first phase of construction. The list below is a teeny tiny example of the painful and expensive process the city of Encinitas has been through in what amounts to a desire to grow a big lawn and create a place for people to play.

Soils Report:
Our environmental subconsultant has completed their additional sampling of the contaminated soils at the property. This sampling will allow us to be much more precise as to the expected quantity of soil that will need to moved and buried at the southern portion of the site. Because of the added precision, we have revised our estimate of the amount of soil relocation from 65,000 down to 45,000 cubic yards. They have included this information into a “Soil Reuse Plan” and a “Community Health and Safety Plan” that are required to obtain the required County Department of Environmental Health Permit. This was submitted to the County last Thursday, and we are anticipating the County’s comments and hopeful approval during the week of October 17. Our consultant and City Engineering staff have been in informal contact with County staff to keep them apprised of the report and permit application.

Utility Relocation:
SDG&E did submit plans to the other utilities for review. SDG&E needed to obtain some additional easements, and these have been obtained. In addition, some issues were raised regarding future Cox cable needs and these are now being addressed. We expect work to begin within 30 days, with poles removed and underground work done within 60 days.

Storm Water Pollution Prevention:
We have hired a consultant for the necessary Storm Water Pollution monitoring during construction. In anticipation of the upcoming rain season, Public Works crews have secured the perimeter of four large piles with additional gravel bags. Staff has also made arrangements with a contractor doing work at a nearby site to spray a “fiber bond matrix” to further reduce runoff. This should be done this week.

Plans and Specifications:
The plan sheets now number over 400 pages, and the specifications are approaching 500 pages. We have been working with an attorney specializing in construction contracts that the City has worked with in the past. They have suggested a number of changes, both to content and format that should make the document more clear. Many of these changes will also be incorporated in future City construction contracts.

The Engineering Dept. has also identified methods to change the design of some of the perimeter wall footings that will reduce construction costs, yet provide the needed strength. These changes are being incorporated into the design documents.

Project Schedule:
Although the plans and specifications are nearly done, the size of the document package has made completion slower than I had previously indicated. The soil testing and footing redesign have also added some time but are very worthwhile changes. At this point our best estimate is that the project will be advertised for bids in November, and the bids will remain open for 5 to 6 weeks. A mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held two to three weeks after initial advertisement of the bids to answer any questions that contractors may have at that time. A November bid advertisement date would mean that Council would consider the bids in late January or early February.

We are estimating that construction will require 15 months.

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