Huntington Park

Park Rules PARK_RULES_2014-10

Suspension Policy Suspension of Park Use Process.2014

If you are a Huntington resident and would like a release form to obtain a Key Card for the Park, please contact the office at hppocltd@gmail.com please include your name and address.  Thank you!

Here is the most recent Park Comment Summary  Park Comments as of June 19 2014

Updates –  For the latest information on the Huntington park please go to our home page. hppoc.org

Huntington Park Rules:  For a copy of the Huntington Park rules and release form, please contact the HPPOC Office at hppocltd@gmail.com

June 6, 2014

UPDATE!!  The Board meeting has been changed from Tuesday June 10th to Thursday June 19th, at 7 pm.

The next HPPOC Board meeting will be held at the Palisades Library, 861 Alma Real Drive on June 19th, at 7 pm.

Board update:  Thanks to everyone for sending us comments regarding the reopening and future design and use of the Huntington Park.  At this time, we will not respond individually to each comment, but we will prepare a summary and present the results at the next Board meeting.  Please join us at the Palisades Public Library across from Corpus Christi at 7pm.  We encourage ALL members to attend as the Board will vote on this very critical juncture of the future of our Park.

May 16, 2014

Dear Fellow Members of the Huntington Palisades Property Owners Corporation:

This letter and its enclosures are being sent to all members of the HPPOC to bring you up to date with respect to the Corona Del Mar Park, to be re-named The Huntington Park (“Park”), and to solicit your comments on a proposal that will be voted upon by the HPPOC Board at its next meeting on June 10, 2014. We encourage and welcome your feedback and it is as important for us to hear positive feedback as well as negative feedback.

Enclosed are (1) the statement prepared by the Park Committee with their recommendations to the Board which has been posted on the HPPOC website (www.hppoc.org) (2) A draft of revised Park Rules governing conduct and the presence of dogs, and (3) a schematic sketch prepared by Cynthia Hirschhorn of the Park Committee which shows the proposed layout of the new Park design.

As most of you know, the Park is a private park owned by the HPPOC and maintained as a park and playground for the benefit of its residents and members. For almost 85 years, the Park has been used as a gathering place to enjoy the lawn and view and to watch the sunset.   It was utilized by neighborhood children as a place to play, throw a ball or Frisbee and be with their family and friends. The Park has also been used on a more formal basis for weddings, parties and our Annual Party in the Park. It has also been a place where residents would bring their dogs and have them off leash.

Over the years, because of its beautiful open space and views, coupled with the shortage of spaces where dogs can be off leash, the use of the Park by non-Huntington residents and by professional dog walkers has increased dramatically. Visitors, in particular, did not always follow the Rules on controlling their dogs or leashing their dogs when it was appropriate. The situation made it uninviting for those who chose to use the Park with their younger children, for the elderly, and for those who just wanted a clean patch of grass to sit on. In addition, the large number of dogs at popular times of the day created noise and traffic that made it unpleasant for residents who live adjacent to the Park.

In late January of this year, in response to a member complaint, the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety issued a citation and a cease and desist order to the HPPOC for the unapproved use of property zoned residential as a “dog park.” While working to resolve this issue with the City, the Board posted signs asking users of the Park to keep their dogs on leash until a resolution had been reached with the City. This request was ignored despite the signs and repeated requests to individuals using the Park with their dogs. Despite the presence of signs that explained that the Park was for Huntington residents, the presence of outsiders bringing dogs continued. The Board then determined that it had no choice but to close the Park to all until a resolution of these issues could be achieved.

Not surprisingly, there have been strong and diverse feelings by members on all sides as to the appropriate use of the Park. Some residents want no dogs, some want the Park to continue to remain open in its entirety to dogs, some want the Park to be open to all, including non residents, some want no gates and locks and some want it locked and gated. To address these various points of view and to come up with a recommendation for the future use of the Park, the Board appointed a Park Committee chaired by Board member Sue Jameson and past Board member Anne Sacks.

The Park Committee, after several weeks of Committee meetings and meetings with residents representing different viewpoints, has now made its recommendation to the Board. The Board will vote to approve or disapprove the Park Committee’s recommendation at its June 10, 2014 meeting.

In a nutshell, the proposal has four major components: (1) the Park, which has always been intended for use only by members and residents, will be locked at all times and access will be provided through key cards to be distributed to members and residents only; (2) the Park will have a large open space where no dogs will be allowed and a smaller space, separated by a hedge and low fence, where residents may play with and exercise their dogs off leash, with each area having a separate entrance; (3) there will be new Rules for the Park; and (4) the Park will be resodded and landscaped with additional benches, gardens, and an improved viewing area in the southwest corner.

The proposal to be voted upon by the Board calls for a temporary re-opening of the Park on June 21 with a key card system, a separation of the two areas with separate entrances, the establishment of Rules and the installation of some benches and an amphitheater type viewing area in the southwest corner all in place. In October, after the Annual Party in the Park, the Park will be closed and the landscaping work will begin with a targeted completion of four weeks.

The HPPOC has budgeted enough reserve funds to pay for the entire project. We estimate that the cost of the soft re-opening will be about $40,000. The cost of the entire project will await bids from the landscape contractors but is estimated to be less than $200,000.

Your feedback with respect to this proposal is important and can be communicated to the Board through the website directly at http://www.hppoc.org or by contacting the HPPOC manager’s office by email to hppocltd@gmail.com, by mail to P.O. Box 1585, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 or by FAX to 310 454-2918.

We look forward to hearing from you and to the re-opening of our beautiful Park for all members and residents to enjoy. We especially thank our Park Committee, whose members have spent countless hours working on the Park design. We ask that you thank them as well for their great service to our wonderful neighborhood.

My Very Best Regards To You All,

David Peterson

President, HPPOC

For the Board

This schematic of the Huntington Park is in draft form only and is subject to change.  This first draft is designed to initiate feedback  from Huntington residents.  Please double click on the image to see a larger version.

CDM park Draft

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Corona del Mar Park Update –  original post May 12.  (Updated May 15 and May 16)

The Huntington Park update

The Corona Del Mar Park update from HPPOC Park Committee

REPORT OF PARK COMMITTEE

Presented to Board – Posted on Internet

GOOD NEWS: REOPEN TARGET DATE IS SUMMER SOLSTICE, SATURDAY, JUNE 21

       The Park Committee: Sue Jameson & Anne Sacks (co-chairs), Lori and Ralph Buoncristiani, Lauren Evans, Cynthia Hirschhorn, David Peterson, Kevin Roberts and Mario Smolinisky have met regularly over the past several months to address the various needs, concerns and desires of Huntington homeowners regarding the use of our lovely pocket park on Corona del Mar, to be re-named Huntington Park.

The Committee members have spoken with a large number of interested and concerned members of the Huntington Palisades, as well as investigated various options in terms of enjoyment, aesthetics, zoning restrictions, security and enforcement. We have created a park design and a new set of standards and rules that we believe are in a manner consistent with the original intentions and past use of this lovely park and playground and that will be an appealing space for all of our homeowners, those with or without children, and those with or without dogs.

The Committee’s recommendation was presented to the Board at its meeting on May 13, 2014. The Board approved the posting and dissemination of the proposed Park redesign and it will be voted upon at the Board Meeting on Tuesday, June 10. The Board will take into account all of the member comments submitted prior to that meeting.   If all goes according to plan, a grand event on Summer Solstice will mark the reopening.

The Committee is recommending three major changes. First, we realized that the time has come to secure the park to allow access to HPPOC members and their guests only. This is a necessity. If we reap the benefits and use discretion that comes with private property, the Park needs to be gated and locked. A new keycard system will ensure that only Huntington residents will have access to the Park. Second, given all the concerns and issues relating to dogs (both on and off leash) we feel that we need to have two separate areas: a people only space where no dogs are allowed and a smaller exercise area with a separate entrance where residents can have their dogs off leash. An unobtrusive fence masked by shrubs will define this special area for dogs. Finally, no guest dogs will be allowed under any circumstances.

We also have recognized that the Park has suffered aesthetically over the years due to overuse and natural disasters. Huntington resident Cynthia Hirschhorn and others have dedicated an enormous amount of time to create a new landscape plan to beautify the park that will involve a complete demolition and regrade of the current field space, and installation of new sod and irrigation systems. We will also plant new trees, shrubs, flowers and benches. This is an enormous undertaking, so it will require a two-phase implementation.   We will prune and plant, install the gates and security systems, place benches around the park, and create the exercise area for dogs off leash immediately. The target dimension is about 1/3 of the usable space. In the fall after the HPPOC annual picnic, we will shut down the park for the major overhaul. Although the construction will temporarily be inconvenient the end result will be magnificent.

We live in a truly wonderful neighborhood and look forward to being able to soon enjoy the benefits of owning and using such a lovely space.

Please send your comments to (hppocltd@gmail.com)

HPPOC P.O. Box 1585 Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 Fax 310-454-2918

Email; hppocltd@gmail.com HPPOC P.O. Box 1585 Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 Fax 310-454-2918

HUNTINGTON PARK   

Huntington Park Update March 11, 2014

From HPPOC Board President David Peterson

To All:

The Park is closed because the City has been taking the position that the property is zoned RE-20 and that is what the City’s zoning map shows. As a result, the Planning Commission is presently taking the position that the only approved use for the property is for two single family residences, one on each lot that comprise the Park. The Park was established in approximately 1930 and was first leased and then deeded to the HPPOC specifically for use as a park and playground for HPPOC members. The HPPOC originating documents clearly and specifically restrict the use of the property for park and playground purposes only.
The property has an 84 year history as a Park. It was established before most of the lots were sold and built upon. Thus its origins predate current zoning laws and the Park should be considered as a legal non conforming use. The Board and its lawyers are working with the Planning Commission and Councilman Bonin’s office to resolve this issue. We are utilizing the services of Land Use attorneys and HOA specialists and believe the issue will be resolved in our favor. Because the Park was never re categorized as zoning laws changed around it, it is somewhat complicated. The Board is working diligently to resolve this problem and agrees with all who have expressed the view that the Park should should reopen as soon as possible and we are working diligently to accomplish that goal.
In the meantime, a Committee has been formed to make a recommendation to the Board with respect to the future use of the Park. More details will be available in the coming days with respect to the details and progress of the Committee’s work. Please refer to the HPPOC website at HPPOC.org.

In the meantime, it would be helpful if everyone would be patient and engage in constructive dialogue. As might be expected from our fellow residents, there are different points of view as to how the Park should best be utilized and that will be the job of the Committee. Constructive thoughts and ideas as to what the Park should be like are welcomed.

From Park Committee Chairperson Sue Jameson

Facts regarding current situation of the Park: On January 23, 2014, The Building and Safety Department of the City of Los Angeles issued a Citation to the Owners of 15010-20 Corona del Mar. The violation was for the unapproved use of a residential zoned (RE20) vacant lot as a dog park without a permit. While working to resolve the situation, the City Planning Department also told us that the Park could not be used for any reason other than building residential homes without being rezoned or having a legal non-conforming use permit. More details about this situation are included in the March 10 post by David Peterson. Thus, we are now embroiled in the LA City bureaucratic quagmire and getting out of it will obviously take time. In the meantime, we cannot operate the Park without subjecting ourselves to more fines. Unfortunately, the only prudent option is to keep the Park closed. Hopefully, this post clarifies the current situation and assures Huntington members that the Board did not close the Park needlessly or with prejudice, bias, haughtiness, little regard for workers, dissention, racism or spite.

As a team of experts works to resolve the above situation, a Park Committee has been formed to design options for optimal use of the Huntington Park – should dogs be allowed, not be allowed, allowed at certain times, allowed in a defined space, etc. The other issue is exclusivity – should the Park be for the exclusive use of Huntington Homeowners or not? The committee is starting with a clean slate and will examine all facts including information gleaned from the cameras posted in the Park and determine how best to include Huntington member input. The “de facto dog park” has created a lot of legitimate dissention. The goal of the Park Committee is to create a use-of-space design that eliminates the current acrimony and serves the needs of all Huntington residents.

Park Committee members are Sue Jameson and Anne Sacks, Co-Chairs, Lauren Evans, Ralph and Lori Buoncristiani, Kevin Roberts and Cynthia Hirschhorn. We populated the Committee with persons of differing interests and disciplines and, we deliberately kept it small so we could move quickly and efficiently. Many, many persons volunteered to help and we thank all of you for your interest. We will reach out to you and the rest of the community in the future.

February 2014                                                                                                                    

The Park continues to be a problem. On January 23, 2014, the HPPOC was served with an ORDER TO COMPLY AND NOTICE OF FEE from the City of Los Angeles to discontinue the use of the Park as a “Dog Park.”    In our last posting the HPPOC  requested that until the issue with the City is resolved, everyone needed to keep their dogs on leash while at the Park.  Signs were posted at the Park.  There was a dialogue with dog owners at the Board’s January meeting explaining the need to keep dogs on leash. There was a similar dialogue at the Annual Meeting on February 4.  There were individual conversations with dog owners at the Park.  Signs were posted at the Park requesting that dogs be kept on leash. The explanations, the requests and the signs were repeatedly ignored and disregarded and dogs were still coming to the Park and taken off leash.  As a result the Park has been closed to everyone until the Board resolves the dogs off leash issue.

There are competing interests involved that have generated a great deal of heat and disagreement over the proper use of the Park. There are residents who want to continue to use the Park as a “Dog Park” and be able to gather with their fellow dog owners and socialize while their dogs run off leash. There are residents who believe that the dogs off leash prevent others from using and enjoying the Park, particularly young children and the elderly.  This has been an issue that has been greatly aggravated by the increasing use of the Park as a “Dog Park” by non residents.  The Deed turning the property over to the HPPOC in 1930, the HPPOC By Laws and the Articles of Incorporation make it clear the property is to be used as a park and playground for all Huntington Palisades residents. The other interested party is now the City. The City of Los Angeles has very strict Leash Laws with respect to dogs and it is illegal to have a dog off its owner’s property unless it is on a leash no longer than six feet.  The use of the Park for dogs off leash must await agreement among our residents and resolution with the City.   The one issue about which there can be no disagreement, however,  is that the Park must be restricted to use by Huntington residents

To resolve this issue and to seek to reach a resolution that will  meet the needs of the competing interests and provide all Huntington residents with a beautiful Park that everyone can use, the HPPOC Board is taking the following steps:

      1.  A Park Committee is being formed under the leadership of Sue Jameson and Anne Sacks.  The Committee will be composed of residents reflecting different points of view as well as landscape architects who can help with the design of the Park that will ultimately result from the Committee’s recommendations.  The Committee will be charged with formulating a plan for the use and design of the Park for presentation to the HPPOC Board and residents.

      2.   In the meantime, two new gates  will be installed at each end of the Park. These gates will be locked with a key card entry system and cards will be made available only to residents of the Huntington Palisades. The logistics and method of issuing cards has not been finalized and will be the subject of later announcements. At the same time, the Park will be temporarily divided by a four foot wrought iron fence with a green covering that will run from the front fence to the back fence.  This fence is being rented for six months. The Park area to the right of the fence as you face the ocean and running to the wall separating the Park from the Cal Trans property will be an area where dogs will be allowed off leash pending formal resolution with the City. Entry to this area will be through the gate on the right side as you face the ocean.  The larger part of the divided area, to the left as you face the ocean, will be a dog free area where no dogs will be allowed, on leash or off. Entry to this area will be through the gate on the left side of the Park.  Benches and a picnic type table will be placed in the dog area and the grass area in the dog free part of the Park will be renovated.  It is expected that this will all be completed in the next two to three weeks.

The HPPOC is hopeful that a workable solution will be reached that will satisfy our residents and the City and we ask you all for your input, cooperation and participation in collectively and constructively resolving this issue.

January 2014

                                                                                                                               BRUSH FIRE

On Tuesday, January 14, a brush fire erupted on the hillside below the 14800 block of Pacific Coast Highway and Corona del Mar. More than 150 Los Angeles firefighters, including a water plane and numerous helicopters, fought for one hour and 39 minutes to extinguish the fire, which covered ten acres.  Special thanks to all of the responders for doing such a terrific job in controlling what could have been a much more serious fire.  The hillside below the Corona del Mar Park was totally burned and the Eucalyptus trees at the back of the Park caught fire but were saved be the fire crews.  As many neighbors observed, the skill of the firefighters and the pilots was pretty awesome.  The photo at the top of this page was taken by Al Alicea and shows the yellow plane that made repeated water drops at tree level.  Additional photos are posted in our photo section.

The fire is another reminder that we are in the midst of a record lack of rainfall and the fire danger has never been higher than it is now.  Be careful and be observant and make sure all of the hillside brush is cleared .

Corona del Mar Park (CDM) is a beautiful, grassy  park with a spectacular ocean and coastline view that is owned by the HPPOC.  Property taxes are paid by the HPPOC and the gardening, water and upkeep are paid for by the HPPOC.  It is for Huntington families and their guests only.  It is not open to the public or for use by non residents of the Huntington.

Although dogs are allowed at the Park, it is not a dog park.  It is intended to be a Park for residents of all ages where you can play catch with your children or grandchildren or just sit in the sun and enjoy the view.

Over the years the Park has been a time consuming and extremely expensive  problem for the HPPOC Board as neighbors have bickered over dog use and the Park has become a destination for an increasing number of non Huntington residents using the Park to exercise their dogs.  The Board is currently in the process of addressing these concerns in a manner that will protect everyone’s interests and maximize the enjoyment of this wonderful Park.

Dog Tags

HPPOC resident dogs are allowed in the park but must have an HPPOC license. To obtain a license please download an application and Rules or call the office to request an application and rules via fax or mail. Fees are $10.00 per tag. Dogs may be off their leash in the park, but if you are asked to leash you dog, then YOU MUST LEASH YOUR DOG. If you are asked to leash your dog and you do not comply, your dog tag

may be cancelled and you will no longer be allowed to bring your dog to the Park.

Trash cans, “poopie” bags and scoopers are provided. PLEASE clean up after your pet. The Park is for everyone; when one person chooses not to clean up, it affects all. Please be courteous and respectful of others.

Parties & Weddings

The park is available for parties and weddings. It is available to both HPPOC members and Non HPPOC residents (Non-HPPOC members must be sponsored by an HPPOC resident). Rental of the Park does not grant exclusivity. Please either download or call the office to have the information faxed or mailed. Fees apply for rental.