For many years, mountain bike races have been held in the Southridge area of Fontana, attracting competitors from all over the world.
But when a resolution came before Fontana City Council to abandon about 9.9 acres of undeveloped city-owned park property in that region, many cycling enthusiasts were alarmed, believing that the well-known weekend racing events would not to be able to develop more.
With dozens of protesters in the audience, the City Council addressed the issue during the April 12 meeting and ended up voting in favor of abandonment, but with the understanding that the city would do everything possible to ensure the races continued.
Council member John Roberts, whose district includes the southern part of the city, said he agreed with many of the protesters.
“It seems that there is enough interest to continue this activity. “What is created here is very unique,” said Roberts. “I was very impressed by the testimony I heard tonight. I thought it was very honest and very valuable. “
Council member Jesse Sandoval did not want the abandonment to move forward immediately. He asked if the resolution could be submitted and returned after further evaluation. Instead, the City Council approved it by a 4-1 vote.
The long discussion focused on a part of the property in a triangular shape consisting mainly of flat, rocky terrain, adjacent to Southridge Park. There is a small unmaintained parking area that previously included a poultry farm but has been vacant since 1997.
Some of the bike races are held on trails that run through three separate areas – Southridge Park, the undeveloped property and the privately owned hilly property.
Thirty people sent written correspondence to the city opposing the abandonment, and more than 20 spoke during the meeting’s public comment section, including Don Jackson, who has coordinated racing events in the country over a three-decade period.
Jackson indicated the city benefits financially from the races, saying more than $ 400,000 a year has been injected into the community and local businesses because of them.
“Please do not accept this as an abandoned park. “We still use it,” Jackson told City Council.
Council member Phillip Cothran agreed and said he had a personal interest in wanting to make the racing area even better.
“I’m a guy on a road bike,” Cothran said. “I would like us to continue working with the group.”
Council member Peter Garcia and Mayor Acquanetta Warren also expressed a desire to meet the needs of community members.
Deputy city manager Phil Burum said in a staff report that abandoning the property would allow for a possible sale in the future, which could be an improvement on the current situation.
“The nature and location of the property tends to invite evil activities that are not easily preventable,” Burum said.
Over the past year, the Fontana Police Department has been called to the park for enforcement activities or has conducted additional patrols more than 150 times. Most of the calls were for public drinks, unauthorized camps, public sex acts and drug use, the city said.
Locals had expressed a desire to make improvements to the existing Southridge Park area (which includes the Don Day Center) at 14501 Live Oak Avenue, but funds are not currently available to make those improvements, the city said. It would cost $ 16 million to make it a complete and active park, Burum said.
City abandons undeveloped property in southern Fontana but will work to keep bicycle races alive | News Source link City abandons undeveloped property in southern Fontana but will work to keep bicycle races alive | News