The Felton Library Site is a vacant 2-acre property on Gushee Street, in downtown Felton. The new Felton branch library will be constructed on a portion of the site, and the remaining areas of the parcel will provide an outdoor space for nature exploration, as well as restoration of native riparian vegetation around the Bull Creek riparian zone.
Background - Design of the new library building in Felton began in 2005 and has involved extensive input from the community. In 2015, the County acquired additional property next to the library site, making a total site of over 2 acres, with space for additional outdoor uses on the library grounds. In 2016, Measure S was passed by the voters to finance library improvements throughout Santa Cruz County, including the construction of the new Felton branch library building. County Parks was awarded a $395,000 grant in 2018 for part of the park construction from the Outdoor Environmental Education Facilities grant program from California State Parks. The remaining funds for the park project will be raised in partnership with the Felton Library Friends.
Park Design - The Parks Department is working with consultants to develop designs for the parks space in summer of 2018. A nature trail and pedestrian bridges over Bull Creek, outdoor environmental education stations for interactive learning, and native plantings are included in the concept plan.
The Farm Park- located northwest of the intersection of Soquel Drive and Cunnison Lane and east of Tee Street in Soquel, CA.Following many community meetings and a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors, a Master Development Permit was approved by the Planning Commission in March of 2011 at a public hearing. This Master Development Permit allows the Parks Department to construct future park improvements in phases and to develop interim uses, as funding becomes available. The Master Development permit approved the development of a community center, a skate feature, a ½ basket ball court, community gardens, play areas, a bocce ball court, a pedestrian bridge and other park features.
Following the Planning Commission’s approval, the construction of the complete Master Plan was defunded and delayed by the loss of the Redevelopment Agency in August of 2011. Shortly before the Redevelopment Agency was closed down staff submitted grant applications and fortunately the County was the recipient of nearly a million dollars from the State’s Proposition 84 Urban Greening Grant program. These funds were used to construct Phase 1 of the Farm Park.
Farm Park Phase 1- The Farm Community Garden and Stream Habitat Restoration project was completed and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held in October 2015 (see photo above). Phase 1 provides over 1.5 acres of stream and oak woodland habitat restoration, thirteen community garden plots, including three accessible plots, on-site green waste recycling, interpretive features and signage, a rain water harvesting system, a kiosk, a small garden shed, fencing around the garden and at the edge of the riparian corridor, picnic tables, disc golf target baskets and public art that is inspired by the natural environment. The project incorporates Best Management and Low Impact Development practices and native drought tolerant plants.
Farm Park Phase 2- On April 26, 2016, Supervisor Leopold’s office and the Parks Department held a community meeting to: (1) share a draft conceptual plan to place a pedestrian bridge and to construct a bocce ball court and an ADA accessible pathway, and, (2) request the community’s assistance in identifying priorities for future phases and/or interim uses.
At the community meeting, interest was expressed in adding a playground on the Tee Street side and to expand the length of the proposed ADA pathway to completely join the Tee Street and Cunnison Lane sides of the park. The bridge and pathway will connect the two sides of the Park located on either side of the creek and the neighborhoods adjacent to Cunnision Lane and Tee Street.
Based on the outcomes of the community meeting and other community interest expressed after the meeting, Parks staff worked with the design team and developed revised conceptual plans that include all the park features discussed at the April community meeting, as well as a temporary/interim bike pump track.
These revised conceptual plans were shared with the community on December 7, 2016, at a well-attended meeting.
The design team (Waterways Consulting Inc. and Joni Janecki and Associates) shared the revised concept plans in a PowerPoint presentation. Also, the full-sized revised concept plans were on display for meeting attendees to view; these plans included the overall revised concept plan (titled “Landscape Concept Plan) which show:
- the bridge connecting the Tee Street and Cunnison Lane sides of the bridge with accessible pathways to each neighboring street,
- on the Tee Street sides, the two playground areas for ages 18 months to 3 years and 3 to 10 years
- a picnic area and a bocce ball court
- a meadow restoration
- on the Cunnison Lane side, an interim/temporary bike pump track.
Other, more detailed, concept plans were shown for the play and picnic area, pathways, accessory park features (e.g. signs, benches, seat walls, etc.), materials, details of the potential play elements, and the civil engineer’s Draft Concept Plan for the entire project showing existing and proposed elevations and other details. Additionally, new public art concepts, provided by the Public Artist, Bruce Myers, were shared within the PowerPoint presentation and on display boards.
There were three main comments expressed by the public at the meeting: (1) strong support for the temporary/interim bike pump track (2) questions about the location of the end of the bridge on the Tee Street side, relative to the location of a few of the Tee Street Park neighbors’ properties whose lands border the Park’s western property line (Tee Street side and (3) One person, who was new to the Farm Park community and planning process, asked questions about the prior community and Planning process.
In response to these comments, the Parks Department is or has taken the following actions: (1) Continuing to work with Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz County to design, permit, fundraise and construct the temporary and interim bike pump track, (2) Contracted with Waterways Consulting, Inc., to stake the four corners of the bridge.so that the corners will be available for viewing on 1/25/17. The staking has been completed. The residents of Tee Street who attended the meeting and provided their email address were notified on 1/19/17 of the pending staking and were provided with the “staking map” and, (3) A brief history of the requested community and planning process is described on the last page of the PowerPoint 12-07-16 presentation. This PowerPoint slide lists the eleven prior community and planning meetings, not including the 12-07-16 meeting. Also, the Environmental Review documents filed and certified by the Planning Commission in conjunction with their approval of the Farm Parks Master Development Permit in 2011 are now available for your viewing.
Chanticleer Avenue Park is a 4.5-acre neighborhood park in the Live Oak community.
Background - The County acquired the two parcels that now comprise the neighborhood park in 1998 and 2004. The County Redevelopment Agency completed a master planning process, environmental review and master development permit for the construction of the park in 2011. With the State defunding of all redevelopment agencies in 2012, the County was left without funding to build the improvements in the master plan.
Led by the Chanticleer Park Neighbors Association, the County and the community have built interim park features which are currently used by the community. These features include a bike pump track, off-leash dog area, community garden, temporary parking area, and public art.
Phase I Park Improvements - In 2014, the Santa Cruz Playground Project formed and began getting support to build the first inclusive playground in Santa Cruz County at Chanticleer Avenue Park. In 2015, the County Board of Supervisors voted to support a public-private partnership between the County, Shane’s Inspiration, the Santa Cruz Playground Project, and the Chanticleer Park Neighbors Association to design, fundraise, and build LEO’s Haven at Chanticleer Park as part of a Phase 1 development of the Chanticleer Park master plan. The Phase I improvements will also include parking, a restroom, pathways, and improvements to the existing community garden, bike pump track, and off-leash dog areas.
The County and the Santa Cruz Playground Project are currently raising the necessary funds for the development of Phase I at Chanticleer Avenue Park.
Future Phases - The park master plan includes a tennis court, bocce courts, picnic areas, walking paths, on-street parking, improved perimeter fencing and landscaping, and renovation of the historic Miller House for use as office space. These improvements will be developed in future phases of park development.