October 20, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

From Mud to Fun

New park to be built along the Grand Canal.

By Sam Catanzaro

What is now an empty lot of mud along the Grand Canal will soon be a park complete with a playground, exercise equipment, native landscaping, and bike racks.

On March 23, after a week of heavy rain, City officials and neighborhood leaders put their boots on and got muddy for the groundbreaking of Via Dolce Park along the Grand Canal.

“This is going to be a wonderful addition to our parks system and it is all thanks to the community,” said Ramon Barajas, Assistant General Manager of Planning, Maintenance & Construction for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

The lot where Via Dolce Park will be built is located in the California Coastal Zone, which means that there are more regulations that must be accounted for in the planning process. Projects proposed within the Coastal Zone often face appeals and lawsuits. Via Dolce Park faced none of these barriers, and the planning process took only four years, which is quick for a Coastal Zone project.

“Anything in the Coastal Zone takes twice as long,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Here we are four years later doing the groundbreaking. That is a long time but frankly by government’s standard that’s actually light speed.”

The process began when some residents of Marina Peninsula and Silver Strand noticed that there were a bunch of empty lots up for sale. Neighborhood leaders got together and saved three of these lots for community use.

Councilman Mike Bonin (left) and Roman Barajas of the Department of Recreation and Parks speak at the groundbreaking for Via Dolce Park. Photo by Sam Catanzaro

“We had the whole community behind us,” said Sandy West, a member of the Marina Peninsula Community Council. “We saved three lots, and this is one of them and it was always a plan for it to be a park so it is amazing that we are really having a park right now, right here in Venice.”

Originally the City planned to just put simple landscaping in these lots to make them green spaces, but neighborhood leaders pushed for a playground to be added. Without any nearby parks and many families with young children in the community, the City changed their plans to include a play place and other facilities.

“We are going to end up with a park that is not just a pretty little area for people to be in but a place where children can come and play,” said Fred Karlsen, President of the Silver Strand Marina Homeowners Association.  

Even though construction has not started yet, City officials are confident that the park will be open by the summer. Even with this quick construction process, the City is also sure that this park will last for many generations.

 

“Our facilities are planned to last for 50 years at least and many of our facilities are way older than that so when we design them we want to make sure that they actually survive the heavy use that they get,” said Neil Drucker, Program Manager for the Bureau of Engineering.

 

Related Posts

Opinion: Housing, Homelessness and the Empty Rhetoric of LA Mayoral Hopefuls Looking to Replace Eric Garcetti!

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

For who will help Venice get rid of Mike Bonin? By Nick Antonicello There is an obvious “disconnect” between this...

Opinion: How Low Can You Go?

September 20, 2021

September 20, 2021

By Nick Antonicello Instead of discussing the issues people really want to talk about like Councilman Mike Bonin’s miserable record...

Opinion: Recall Or Reelection: That’s The Choice For D-town Voters When It Comes To Incumbent Mike Bonin

September 16, 2021

September 16, 2021

By Nick Antonicello There was good news for embattled incumbent Councilman Mike Bonin yesterday in that Governor Gavin Newsom not...

Opinion: Ten Reasons Why the Venice Boardwalk Got Cleaned Up

September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021

By Nick Antonicello After years of neglect and outright incompetence when it came to the maintenance of Venice’s Oceanfront Walk...

Editorial: Unprofessionalism and Racial Insensitivity at Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. Leaves a Lot to Be Desired

September 10, 2021

September 10, 2021

By Mirror Media Group Editorial Staff A recent incident in which an executive at Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. flippantly used the events...

Opinion: The Venice “Scooter Scourge” Worse Than Ever Before!

September 2, 2021

September 2, 2021

By Nick Antonicello One needs to be consistent in what outrages one and while many are now somewhat relieved that...

Opinion: Rampant Homelessness is at the Source of Rising Crime at Venice Beach

August 4, 2021

August 4, 2021

By Nick Antonicello There are those who condone and enable homelessness here in Venice by claiming housing is the “cure-all”...

Opinion: Why the Recall of Mike Bonin Matters

July 29, 2021

July 29, 2021

By Nick Antonicello For the first time in a long time Mike Bonin seems to be actually responding to the...

Opinion: Why Silence the Sheriff? Bonin Bashing of Villanueva Backfires at the Wrong Moment!

July 21, 2021

July 21, 2021

By Nick Antonicello Don’t like the message? Please don’t shoot the messenger! For that seems to be the case when...