It is a strip of land approximately 150 ft wide by about 940 ft in length that is dying from a lack of attention.
Even after planting numerous plants (2,881 per the Planting Plan) and then spending almost $10,000 in emergency environmental permits and burrowing owl studies in this park, rebuilding the dog park at a cost of $10,500 for DG and fencing, this parkland has been all but abandoned by the city of Wildomar, excepting the expenditure of $950 for a bronze plaque.
All one has to do is look at the water bills which in the past have been $1452.28 for July of 2009, $1,827.37 in August of 2010, $1,243.18 in October of 2013 and is now down to $87.65 for May to June of 2014 (one month after re-opening the parks).
This parkland started out life in October of 1992 as the second Quimby land dedication, with Windsong Park being the first, in the then Ortega Trail Recreation and Park District. It’s value at the time was put at $237,133 with the improvements such as a park sign, access road, fencing, basketball court and bbq. It was soon determined that of the 5.8 acres accepted, 2.5 acres contained flood control channels. Of the 3.3 acres left a strip approximately 36 feet wide running the entire 940 foot length of the park contains a slope of 11% which exceeds the County of Riverside standard for Quimby donated parkland, the standard being 5% this is exceeded by more than double. Add to this a strip of land approximately 10 feet wide
that CURRENTLY contains a concrete lined drainage channel running the entire length and you are left with just less than 2 acres of usable parkland. It was originally determined the developer was only required to donate 1.8 acres of parkland to satisfy their Quimby requirement. Looks like they succeeded.
When the County of Riverside turned over this parkland, after spending several million dollars on renovation, to the City of Wildomar the County failed to turn over, and the City of Wildomar failed to pursue all 5.8 acres of the original dedicated land (Even though city staff told the city council on July 22, 2009 that the county had turned over all of it, Staff Lied). This is a problem because the title to the flood control channel and associated access roads is currently held by the County of Riverside Economic Development Agency (EDA) leaving the maintenance of these channels, access roads and fences in limbo because this agency doesn’t really have a budget for maintenance, just ask the folks in Mead Valley. These flood control channels leading to Palomar and Grand Ave are also ideal for a trail Class One Trail as well as being necessary for the completion of the Murrieta Creek Trail link to Lake Elsinore.
CURRENTLY was used to describe the concrete drainage channel because in the Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plan this 10 wide strip is to be widened to 40 feet in width by 6 ft in depth.
The question remains is the widened area to be shared by the slope as well as the flat or is all going to be contained in the flat, narrowing this park even further. When the city manager was asked about this future prospect for this park he feigned ignorance. He has been sent the information on the Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plan.
This new drain will result in the removal of a 15 feet strip running the entire length of the dog park requiring the fence be moved along with the several of the apparatuses recently renovated.
Along with narrowing the existing dog park this channel will result in a loss of walkway,
the rebuilding of a bridge,
the possible loss of a gazebo,
the moving of numerous existing water lines and irrigation support apparatus.
This impending channel has been proposed in the Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plan which was released to the Public for comments back in January after several years of work being done on it by County Flood Control. Apparently the City of Wildomar only talks to County Flood Control when a developer needs something.
This parkland is in desperate need of a Parks Council to guide its future and the City of Wildomar needs its staff to separate the flood control aspects of it from the Parks and Trails aspects. I wish the Measure Z Oversight Committee all the luck in the world in determining what is expenditures for parks, trails and flood control.
If anyone is interested in reading about the history of the old Ortega Parks District there is a good synopsis at http://www.bsa.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2002-106.pdf which is the State of California Audit of the district after bankruptcy.
The Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plan can be found at http://www.floodcontrol.co.riverside.ca.us/ bottom of the page under CEQA/Section 18 is the Draft Program EIR for the Lakeland Village MDP it is about 60 megabyte.