• Council lets the dogs out

    Local dog owners fond of walking with their pets at the Rip Van Winkle Open Space are breathing easier this week, as the likelihood of parking citations along the popular wooded area has abated.

    Much has taken place since Cal Fire contacted the city of Pacific Grove last summer with concerns about cars blocking the fire access road at the open space. Citizens dissatisfied with the parking re-alignment in December requested staff to come up with a new plan, and the Traffic Commission did so. Last April, Traffic Engineer Malcolm Knisely sent in his recommendations, which included removal of stunted trees and a stump (offset with a two-for-one planting of oaks deeper in the woods) plus the installation of decomposed granite to shore up the ground where cars would park.

    On June 17, the Pacific Grove City Council dismissed the proposal and voted 4-3 to enforce the “no parking” regulation at the Rip Van Winkle Open Space. On July 15, residents submitted a petition with over 500 signatures (now up to 700, according to Lowell March who was a member of the ad hoc committee looking into the matter) requesting the council reverse their decision. The reconsideration, originally scheduled for August 5, finally happened at Wednesday’s August 19 council meeting, and was presented by Vicki Stilwell and Public Works director Celia Martinez.

    Speaking of the “no” vote in June, Stilwell said “It’s unfair, considering the amount of effort put into [the plans].”

    Many citizens have come forward to offer help with the needed $3900 and Granite Rock has offered to donate the decomposed granite which will be used for the paving.

    There were questions about moving a crosswalk which exists and about adding “handicapped” spaces, but by a 6-1vote (with Lisa Bennett in the minority), council agreed to proceed with the plan presented by the ad hoc committee. Staff will be directed to remove one head-in parking space just south of the gate and take steps to protect tree roots. An ordinance will allow parking in the open space area, which technically extends all the way to the edge of the pavement on Congress Avenue.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on August 20, 2009

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News


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