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SH City Council approves creation of new parks plan

Greenplay to complete new parks-and-recreation master plan by July 2019

Tom+Diehl+%28right%2C+at+podium%29%2C+project+manager+with+Greenway+LLC%2C+a+greenspace+consultancy%2C+spoke+to+the+Signal+Hill+City+Council+at+its+Nov.+27+meeting+about+his+firm%E2%80%99s+plan+to+seek+community+input+in+creating+a+new+parks-and-recreation+master+plan+for+the+city.+
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SH City Council approves creation of new parks plan

Tom Diehl (right, at podium), project manager with Greenway LLC, a greenspace consultancy, spoke to the Signal Hill City Council at its Nov. 27 meeting about his firm’s plan to seek community input in creating a new parks-and-recreation master plan for the city.

Tom Diehl (right, at podium), project manager with Greenway LLC, a greenspace consultancy, spoke to the Signal Hill City Council at its Nov. 27 meeting about his firm’s plan to seek community input in creating a new parks-and-recreation master plan for the city.

Anita W. Harris | Signal Tribune

Tom Diehl (right, at podium), project manager with Greenway LLC, a greenspace consultancy, spoke to the Signal Hill City Council at its Nov. 27 meeting about his firm’s plan to seek community input in creating a new parks-and-recreation master plan for the city.

Anita W. Harris | Signal Tribune

Anita W. Harris | Signal Tribune

Tom Diehl (right, at podium), project manager with Greenway LLC, a greenspace consultancy, spoke to the Signal Hill City Council at its Nov. 27 meeting about his firm’s plan to seek community input in creating a new parks-and-recreation master plan for the city.

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Parks plan
At its Nov. 27 meeting, the Signal Hill City Council awarded a contract to Greenplay LLC, a greenspace consulting firm, to create a new parks-and-recreation master plan for the city by July 2019 at a cost of $74,999.

Community Services Director Aly Mancini told the council that the last such master plan was established nearly 30 years ago in 1989 and several parks projects have been competed since then, including Hilltop Park, Discovery Well Park, Panorama Promenade, Sunset View Park and walking trails.

Mancini said that Greenplay is headquartered in Colorado but has worked on more than 475 projects for public entities and nonprofit organizations, many in California, and had been selected based on its qualifications and experience.

City Manager Charlie Honeycutt emphasized that Greenplay will solicit resident feedback in creating the plan.
“The process […] includes a significant amount of community input to help us understand what kinds of park-and-recreation programs and spaces […] would serve this community over the next several years,” he said.

To accomplish that, Mancini said that over the next six months, Greenplay will conduct two community workshops (one during a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting) and four or five smaller focus groups. It will also interview city officials and department heads, mail surveys to 3,000 households and provide a survey link for all residents through the City’s website.

In answer to a question by Councilmember Lori Woods about the recent citywide needs-assessment that also solicited community input on recreation, Mancini said that Greenplay would use those findings as a starting point.

Mancini said that a draft of the new master plan will be shared with the Parks and Recreation Commission in June before the final report is presented for city-council approval in July.

“The […] plan will also include potential costs and funding sources for the highest prioritized projects, as well as potential maintenance needs that will require additional resources over time,” she said.

Tom Diehl, a project manager with Greenplay, asserted that his firm would build the plan from the ground up.

“Community engagement is the biggest part of what we’re doing,” he said. “I’ve already been through all of your parks twice.”

In answer to a concern by Councilmember Edward Wilson about Signal Hill’s topography and being surrounded by the City of Long Beach, Diehl said his firm would be studying demographics and trends to address the city’s unique features.

“We’re going to look at walkability, distance, how [the parks] are laid out in the community and all of the amenities they have,” he said.

Diehl added that one new development trend in parks involves loop trails that users can drive or walk up to and then circle back around to the beginning.

“Doing something like that can increase use of a park by up to 70 percent,” Diehl said, noting that it’s also important to offer a variety of activities and maintain parks.

Green-waste recycling
The council also conducted a second reading and approved an ordinance amending the City’s refuse code to establish a mandatory organic-waste recycling program for commercial businesses, including multi-family dwellings with five or more units.

The ordinance was first introduced at the council’s previous meeting on Nov. 13.

At that meeting, City Manager Charlie Honeycutt had said that the program is required by a California law– AB 1826: Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling– which is part of the State’s effort to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from landfills.

Kelly Tunnicliff, public-works director, had defined organic waste as biodegradable material coming from a plant or an animal, including food waste, green waste, landscape-and-pruning waste, garden-and-lawn clippings and nonhazardous wood waste.

“All commercial businesses that generate four or more cubic yards of commercial solid waste will be required to establish an organic collection and recycling program,” she said. “Under the law, multi-family buildings of five or more units are considered a commercial business and must also comply with the new organic-waste regulation.”

The regulation affects 200 commercial businesses and 57 multi-family dwellings in Signal Hill and becomes effective on Jan. 1, Tunnicliff said.

The cost to commercial businesses for EDCO’s additional green-waste collection services will be $69.10 per month and $65.12 per month for multi-family dwellings, she said.

The council received no questions at its second reading of the ordinance this week and voted to adopt it.

Afterward, Vice Mayor Larry Forester noted that he had read an article in a sanitation-district newsletter about energy-creation possibilities for such waste.

“[The article is about] food-waste recycling and what they’re going to do to it,” he said. “Changing it into gas and using it for generation of electricity.”

The next Signal Hill City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7pm in the council chamber at 2175 Cherry Ave.

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SH City Council approves creation of new parks plan