‘Sand Dune Park’ Archive

Sand Dune Update

At its October 18, 2011 meeting, the City Council recognized that, after one year of collecting data, the Sand Dune was operating at less than 45% of capacity and dropping. During this meeting and thanks to all of your emails, additional lunch and Saturday hours, as well as a monthly pass for walk up usage were enacted. Consistent with the last 1.5 years, there have been no serious issues associated with the additional dune hours. At the time, the City Council also indicated that they were in favor of adding morning exercise hours to accommodate working residents and asked the Parks & Recreation Commission to add morning reservation slots and consider Sunday hours as well. Although the Parks & Recreation Commission declined to suggest possible times for either weekday morning or Sunday slots, at this Tuesday’s City Council meeting the addition of weekday morning & sunday slots will be considered. Since the staff report does not suggest possible hours, CORE will present the City Council with recommended hours (see below).

If these options appeal to you, it is important that you attend this Tuesday’s city council meeting, (February 21, 6:30 PM at Manhattan Beach City Hall). Or at the very least email city council with your request (again, always include your Manhattan Beach address) at CityCouncil@citymb.info and you can also cc: jake@core4you.org & bill@core4you.org . The emails were instrumental in the council’s decision to add additional reservation slots.

Since there is still a maximum of only 20 per slot, it is CORE’s position that these new usage opportunities will enable local residents to use the Dune more often without impacting the neighborhood. As you may know, these rules may not be revisited for several years, and this is your best opportunity to make your voice heard on this issue important to our hearts (pun intended). If the weekday morning hour and Sunday hours are added, CORE does not expect to take the lead role in pushing for any additional changes since we would like to put this issue to rest and simply enjoy our park. As usual, we encourage you to send constructive comments and suggestions to city council, CityCouncil@citymb.info .

 

 

CORE’s proposed hours.

Weekdays
7:00 – 8:00 (NEW)
8:30-9:30 (Currently 8:00-9:00)
10:00-11:00 (Currently 9:30-10:30)
11:30-12:30 (Currently 11:00-12:00)
1:00-2:00 (Currently 12:30-1:30)
3:00-4:00 (No change)
4:30-5:30 (No change)
6:00-7:00 (No change)
——————————-

Saturday: (No Change)
8:00 – 9:00
9:30 – 10:30
11:00-12:00
12:30-1:30
3:00- 4:00
4:30-5:30
——————————–

Sunday: (NEW)
9:30 – 10:30
11:00-12:00
12:30-1:30
3:00- 4:00
4:30-5:30

Running Up

Sand Dune Park community meetings

Following CORE’s recent campaign to expand dune access due in large part to dozens of emails sent by dune users, the new rules for the dune are now in effect. The big benefits are that seniors can use the dune w/o reservation if space is available and there are 7 additional time slots each week. There is also a new “monthly pass” which costs $25/month and allows walk-up use ony if there is available space on the dune after 10 minutes. A side effect that reservations may not be honored if the patron does not show up within the first 10 minutes.

This falls short of the promising improvements the council supported at the recent meeting. The council members indicated that they wanted to allow walk-up reservations, and we’re obviously not there yet.

Thankfully, there are 2 upcoming opportunities to make your voice heard on this subject. On December 7 & 14, the Parks & Recreation Department will hold 2 community workshops to discuss improvements to dune access. It’s important that dune users show up in person to these meetings, otherwise your voices may not be heard. On the agenda are the addition of when to add hours weekday morning (which the council unanimously supported) and Sunday time slots.

In addition, there will be a discussion about what to do about a permanent fence. CORE still stands against fencing in the dune– as one supporter asked, what color fence would you build around the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Parks?

Resident Support Leads to Expanded Dune Hours!

Congratulations all, because of the suggestions offered by CORE supporters and other residents following our last blog post, the City Council heard your voices & unanimously voted to expand dune hours, allow walk-up reservation with a permit & allow seniors to enjoy the dune without reservations. These changes, while modest, go well beyond what was recommended by Park staff. In addition, a group of neighbors & dune users will form a committee to explore adding more hours. Both the Daily Breeze & the Easy Reader both have stories with some more background & detail.

The near immediate benefits are the addition of the following hours:

  • 12:30-1:30 Monday-Friday
  • Saturday 12:30-1:30, 3:00-4:00 & 4:30-5:30

The already decided short term improvements:

  • Walk-up use for seniors– it’s unclear if this is during all open hours or just during the fixed time slots.
  • Walk-up use for up to 50 people that purchase or otherwise obtain a monthly pass. The cost of the permit and procedures for using it have not been announced yet.

Finally, probable medium term changes after community meetings & staff implementation:

  • Addition of early time slots in the morning
  • Sunday time slots
  • Walk-up reservations for all, enabled by staff using wireless technology. Hey, if tech savvy folks can help staff with this & demonstrate it to staff & council, we can make this happen sooner rather than later.
  • Fencing options will be determined

There were some ideas that were not supported, but with continued community support and more thoughtful emails to city council & staff, we can continue to improve dune access & achieve these long term goals:

  • Extended hours in the evening
  • Allowing children & adults to play & exercise on the dune after dark, as we have done for 40 years
  • Have the city remove the fence
  • Removing the dune divisions, opening the entire dune to all and letting young children climb w/ their parents to the top of the dune together

Look for updates on the reservations page and the city’s official page for the dune. And you can still email city council with ideas for improvements, praise for park staff or anything else.

What has been a big part of the success of the CORE campaign has been the positive engagement of so many dune users, led by the example of partner-in-crime Bill Hory. From the outset, Bill’s philosophy has been to understand the issue from all sides and work through the City Council process, even if it seemed slow at times. The benefits of this approach have not always been immediately visible, but they were on full display this week. By building a broad coalition, CORE members were able to send dozens of emails to the city on short notice, undoubtedly steering the expansion of dune access well beyond that recommended by staff. It wasn’t only CORE supporters of course. Some dune neighbors emailed and even spoke at the city council meeting encouraging staff to add more hours. It’s hard to overstate how crucial that support was. So thanks to all CORE supporters and dune neighbors that contacted City Council to advocate for expanded access.

Proposal for Modifications of Sand Dune Rules

Fellow Manhattan Beach resident & sand dune fans,

This Tuesday, October 18, the dune at Sand Dune Park will once again be on the City Council agenda. City statistics show that in the last 12 months, dune usage has fallen 80-90% and the dune has been replenished only once, which is less than half of the usage anticipated by the city. The number one reason for this are the restrictive hours that make it very difficult for working adults to exercise on the dune. The city has proposed only the minor change of adding one more reservations slot during mid-day to accommodate people on their lunch break. While we support that measure, it still does nothing to help the thousand of Manhattan Beach adults that commute to work each day. The dune is not open until 8 AM and closes at 7 PM in the summer, and 4 PM in the winter. Closing so early in the winter is unfortunate, as winter nights are perfect for exercising in Manhattan Beach. CORE’s proposal to modestly extend hours is included below.

In addition, city staff proposes spending $50,000 or more to build a permanent fence around the dune. Finally, statistics show that only 15% of dune reservations are made by city residents; CORE believes this is because spontaneous usage has been eliminated, which is how most Manhattan Beach residents enjoy the dune.

CORE Proposal

SCHEDULE
Monday-Friday , year round
7:30 – 8:30 AM
9:00 – 10:00 AM
10:30-11:30 AM
12:30 – 1:30 PM
2:00 – 3:00 PM
3:30 – 4:30 PM
5:00 – 6:00 PM
6:30 – 7:30 PM

Saturday & Sunday, year round
8:00 – 9:00 AM
9:30 – 10:30 AM
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
12:30 – 1:30 PM
2:00 – 3:00 PM
3:30 – 4:30 PM

WALK-UP RESERVATIONS
Allow walk-up use during regularly scheduled times if fewer than 15 reservations have been made.

FENCE
Defer building a permanent fence, and instead use the money to support important Parks programs such as the fixing of the Begg Pool.

———————

We hope you can support the CORE proposal, which modestly extends the hours to accommodate working adults, spend scarce city dollars on more beneficial projects and allow walk-up reservations on a trial basis. Please also email the City Council here.  We encourage you to write your own message, or simply cut and paste the following language into an email and send it to the City Council ( CityCouncil@citymb.info ) and please cc bill@core4you.org & jake@core4you.org:

Honorable Mayor and City Council Members,

I understand that you are reviewing the management of Sand Dune Park at your Tuesday, October 18 meeting. I am writing to strongly urge you to support the CORE proposal for Sand Dune Park.

The plan addresses the major issue with the current rules at Sand Dune Park, specifically the near inability of working adults to regularly exercise on the dune or spontaneously enjoy this crown in the city’s park system. Since the dune has been used less than half as often as targeted by the city, there is ample capacity to allow more time slots. By modestly extending dune hours just 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening and  allowing spontaneous midday use, this will make it much easier for working residents to enjoy the park. Allowing children & adults to play & exercise on the dune during winter evenings would be a welcome benefit as well. Adding weekend slots is another way to improve access for residents.

I am pleased that the City is once again working to manage the dune for the benefit of all city residents. I hope the City Council can develop a solution that allows more city residents such as myself to enjoy this city park

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]

————————-

After one year, Sand Dune replenished

Just in case you have not been to the dune lately, a fresh pile of sand is now back at the top!  With an unfortunate 90% reduction in usage, the Dune was replenished just once this past year. 

Perhaps, this could demonstrate support to add an extra time slot earlier or later to help out  those that commute to work and are currently prevented from using.

May Update


May Update

sand dune, moai, bike racks

Wow – seems like the summer we missed in 2010 is finally here!

Before reading on, I was hoping you could indulge me here for a moment:
Q.  What does our Sand Dune and contemporary civil rights have in common?
A.   Unless you remain active and participate in the process, access to both tend to slip away!
While this may sound a bit of a stretch, thanks to your collective effort in 2010 by writing city council, attending meetings, and even writing to the local media, we were able to say “yes to exercise” and re-open the Sand Dune (albeit with significant restrictions).

This Tuesday, the City Council will be revisiting the Sand Dune once again (agenda here).  While we are genuinely happy that the local neighborhood is satisfied with last year’s compromise, we nevertheless, feel that an 80% reduction in usage was draconian and simply overkill.  For example, if you live in Manhattan Beach and must commute to work (like a large number of us), the opportunities that you can use the Dune practically do not exist as the reservation system only has a few slots per day that exclude most of those who must drive to work.

During the next couple of days, we urge you to write to our city council to express your personal experience as well as provide any constructive suggestions you may have since the Dune has been re-opened.  Also, feel free to include CORE’s three basic requests as well.   Please copy the city manager, David Carmany, and include your Manhattan Beach address.  Don’t forget, each letter has significant impact to our city leaders.

In the meantime, here are a few events that some CORE founders have been personally involved in and encourage your participation:

Vitality City / Blue Zone in partnership with Beach Cities Health District

  • Manhattan Beach residents have a very unique opportunity to involve themselves in many new recreational and exercise activities that will be sponsored by our very own Beach Cities Health District.  While you can read about the entire program and its founder in this great article, we encourage every single one of you to sign up for the Moai initiative that just began last week and is still open.  These are local walking groups offered at different times within your neighbors that occur right in your own neighborhood!  It turns out that creating these type of long term social connections may have just as much impact on health and life expectancy than what you eat!

Bike Racks

  • If you or your family do not bike, than you probably do not realize how few bike racks there are in this city!  Next week, this year’s Leadership Manhattan Beach class will be installing 45 new custom bike racks around town.  As other cities have proved, increased bicycle infrastructure not only encourages more people to leave their cars at home and exercise, but also increase local economic activity as well.   If you would like to be more involved with improving Manhattan Beach’s bicycle infrastructure, we would encourage you to sign up at the South Bay Bicycle Coalition and be part of the development of the South Bay Bicycle Master Plan.

Hermosa 24

  • About six months ago CORE helped organize and support Operation Jack, the first charity marathon here in Manhattan Beach.  On June 18th, join our CORE team in another charity run – the Hermosa 24.  Last year, Christian Burke, set a Guinness Book of World Records by running in our sands for 24 hours.  This year, run on your own, field your own team, or join our team for a unique experience on our beaches!

As usual, free to contact us with any thoughs, ideas or suggestions about other local outdoor issues.

On behalf of CORE,
Bill Hory, co-founder
Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach City Council Questionnaire

As you probably know, there will be an election on March 8th for two city council positions.  Each of the winning candidates will serve four years, rotating one of those years at the position of Mayor.  Unlike larger cities, these are not what we would consider salaried positions and specific income information can be found here

Why vote?  Believe it or not, your vote actually matters as only 43 votes separated last city council elections.  Not only does City Council decide upon the most important issues affecting our city, once elected, incumbents typically seek and win a second term – extending their service to the year 2019!

CORE offered six question to three candidates, Amy Howorth (contact), David Lesser (contact), and Kathleen Paralusz (contact) regarding some of the issues that are relevant to CORE members (#4 & #5 relate to the Sand Dune)

We would enjoy hearing about your comments so feel free to contact us direct or post a comment .


Question #1 – During the next four years, how would you support making Manhattan Beach a more bikable and pedestrian friendly city?

Amy

Manhattan Beach has the natural qualities to be a very bike and walk friendly city.  It’s good for the environment and good for our health to encourage such activities.  Vitality Cities is currently conducting a walkability survey, which will provide data that help us make some improvements. Information such as traffic light timing, location of crosswalks, and peak traffic routes will help determine safe and accessible walking routes.  Encouraging bike use is a complicated topic as our roads are pretty narrow here in the city.  I support painting “sharrows” on major thoroughfares to alert drivers to the presence of bikers.  Another partner in these endeavors is the South Bay Bicycle Coalition. They are doing great work that will help guide our council’s bike policies.  Of course, I support putting more bike racks in the city so it is easier to secure your bike once you ride it.

David

As a Council member I would actively support the work of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition  and South Bay Cities Council of Governments to make Manhattan Beach a more “bikable” city.  For the past seven years as a City of Manhattan Beach Parking and Public Improvements Commissioner and Planning Commissioner I have repeatedly urged our city leaders and staff to be more proactive in developing interconnected bike routes beyond our beach bike path.  My family and I are avid cyclists.  A preliminary network could allow our city to qualify for funds to develop additional bike routes.  Our city has an extraordinary pedestrian-friendly infrastructure based on our Strand and Veterans’ Parkway.  We need to continually explore ways to encourage residents to take advantage of opportunities when possible in their busy lives.

Kathleen

I’m pleased to be supported and endorsed by Todd Dipaola (former Environmental Task Force member and co-founder of the South Bay Bike Coalition) and have had frequent discussions with him and other residents about how to make Manhattan Beach more bike and pedestrian friendly.  I’ve been an enthusiastic supporter of the SBBC since they formed.  As we all know, change starts at the grassroots level.  SBBC has given Manhattan Beach a huge edge by obtaining a $240,000 grant from the LA County Dept. of Public Health to pay for the South Bay Master Bicycle Plan for the South Bay, I plan to work closely with SBBC and strongly support and advocate on behalf of their efforts to develop and implement a bike-network not just for our city, but our neighboring cities as well.

Being bike-friendly and being pedestrian friendly go hand in hand.  Once you bike to your destination, you need a place to park so you can then walk (rather than drive).  Another priority must be on installing additional bike racks around the city, including on public property (our parks, and our downtown and North Manhattan Beach areas, as an example).  I would also strongly encourage our local businesses to include bike racks, including Manhattan Village Mall.  The Mall is planning a renovation (which has been on hold for some time now due in part to the economic downturn).  I would like to see a design that not only includes bike parking but a plaza-type arrangement similar to what El Segundo did with Plaza El Segundo, only better to encourage more foot traffic.

A third item which does not get as must attention as say, bike lanes, is the continuity and upkeep of our current sidewalks.  Anyone who tries to walk around town knows that there are sections where there simply are no sidewalks or just as bad, there are streets where the sidewalk suddenly ends or is interrupted.  This makes walking more of a hazard and therefore discourages residents from walking at all.


Question #2: How concerned are you about safety for cyclist and pedestrians?
David
Safety for cyclists and pedestrians is an ongoing concern, particularly as we explore interconnected bike routes.

Kathleen

Very.  It’s one of the reasons the city needs dedicated bike lanes and sidewalks, particularly along our main arterial routes.  I’ve already had initial discussions with Jim Hannon of the Beach Cities Cycling Club, which not only leads bike rides but trains cyclists on safety.  They need to be a part of the conversation when the Council begins evaluating and implementing the Master Bicycle Plan.

Amy

Public safety is a top concern


Question #3: Do outdoor festivals like Concerts in the Park and Volleyball Tournaments need to be rolled back, expanded, or maintained as is?

Kathleen

The short answer is yes but it depends on the nature of the event, whether we can afford to add more events, and whether they would put the public safety of our neighborhoods at risk.  Ideally, it would be great if we could have more events like Concerts in the Park or Movies on the Beach, which are truly community and family-oriented events that everyone can enjoy.  However, the nature of those types of events is markedly different from and poses less public safety challenges than say, the Six Man Tournament, where we’ve seen tens of thousands of people converge in recent years – sometimes irresponsibly – on the beach and downtown neighborhoods.

The other challenge will be paying for the events – including Parks and Recreation personnel dedicated to staff and clean up afterwards – at a time when the City will be looking at additional ways to cut expenditures.  One option will be to solicit more private support to pay for the events (much like the case with Movies on the Beach).  It will likely be easier to obtain such support where the event is more community and family-based.

Amy Howorth:

Concerts in the Park is wonderful summer tradition for our city.   Downtown businesses are pressuring Council to limit outdoor events downtown because their revenues suffer during events like the Fireworks and the Pumpkin Races.  I love all those events and want to see them continue, but we need to manage them well so they don’t negatively impact residences (Concerts in the Park) and businesses.  I would not roll them back, but I would think carefully before adding more.

David Lesser

Concerts in the Park are terrific and should be maintained.  The Manhattan Open volleyball tournament is the subject of ongoing negotiations with a new operator and sponsor following the liquidation of the AVP.  I am excited by the opportunities.  The six-man tournament was properly policed last year to maintain a classic community tradition.


Question #4: Now that there is a fence and quota of users for the Sand Dune, would you support increasing the morning, evening & weekend hours to accommodate those working Manhattan Beach residents that must commute to work and currently cannot use the Dune?

David

I would like to have data for a full year of usage at the Sand Dune, including the summer months, before taking a position on increasing quotas. As one who used to love using the dune freely for exercise when I was not commuting to work, I am receptive to the issue.  But I would want to carefully consider changes to current use restrictions with solid data to avoid the circus of two years ago

Kathleen

Yes, I think it’s a reasonable request and I support reviewing the current system and making tweaks that make sense.  This includes exploring an increase in hours to allow residents to access the park but not pose additional burdens on the neighborhoods.  I think that’s one of the reasons why the quota is so important – it limits the number of users and minimizes the impact during the hours of operation.

Amy

The Sand Dune compromise has brought relief to the homeowners who live nearby. Council must take into consideration their quality of life. However, it seems that a working group  or committee made up of a few homeowners and few representatives of CORE could get to  an understanding whereby people who exercise could have limited expanded time before or after work. It’s a delicate balance.


Question #5: Given that city staff has determined that the local neighborhood can handle 50 Sand Dune users, would you be supportive of increasing the current quota of 20 if there is more demand?

Amy

As I said above, it’s a delicate balance.  50 is more than double the current amount of users, and I would say that if any discussion of upping the amount of users began, doubling the number would not be the place to start.  I would need to see all the data to fully understand the problem

.

David

As with my earlier response, I would like to have data for a full year of usage at the Sand Dune before taking a position on increasing the quota.

Kathleen

Possibly.  I am not opposed to it but this I think will be a more difficult issue to address than increasing hours.  We know from the previous usage pre-closure that the demand far exceeded 20 so I don’t think that’s the issue.  The issue is whether and how an increase could be implemented without having a negative impact on the adjacent neighborhoods.


Question #6: Following on the success of the inaugural event, as a city council member would you support the continuation of the Operation Jack Marathon half/full marathon which starts and finishes in Manhattan Beach (no public funding required)?

Kathleen

Yes, especially as a former marathoner myself (including San Diego, LA, NYC and Marine Corps). but I don’t agree that no public funding is required.  We’ll still have public safety costs associated with monitoring and ensuring the safety of the event.  However, I think the City has a great opportunity to support and add a fun, healthy, positive addition to the list of annual events that our community enjoys together.

Amy

In general, I’m supportive of charity events (marathons, walks, etc).  Many organizations apply for permits to use the Strand and so we have to look at the whole picture.  We can’t have an event every weekend, because again, that affects local businesses. Frankly, I was shocked to see that our businesses suffer as a result of these types of programs.  I guess not everyone eats a large breakfast at Uncle Bill’s after the Pier-to-Pier like I do…..

David

It sounds like fun!

Comments from dune petition signers

In the last week, we’ve had dozens of people sign the new CORE petition. Some of their comments are included below.

Sally writes:

I give up! The on line sign in is too difficult to use. I had to get assistance from your office last time I used it. As a result of the extreme difficultly using the on line system I have quit going. I know this is what you wanted but it isn’t fair. I think the Dune should be open to anyone who wants to use it in the a.m. from 9-11 on weekdays.

Eric notes:

The current hours make it difficult for working families to use the park.

Kim implores:

I’m all for the expansion of hours and allowing parents to accompany their children. The MB Sand Dune park is a wonderful way to exercise before or after work during the week and enjoy time with family on the weekends. Please consider changing rules to be more lenient for working adults and families. Thanks in advance for the consideration!

Martin laments:

I work in Manhattan Beach and was a regular user of the sand dune. I used to spontaneously squeeze in an hour exercise in the afternoon. With the severe access restrictions that’s not possible anymore. I would really encourage the city to allow unrestricted access in the off-peak hours.
Thank you.

Suzanne requests:

Please keep sand dune park and remove the overly restrictive online registration process that only allows certain blocks. I would like to be able to register for one hour on a certain day, not a certain time block (or at least one hour at any time during a 4 hour block).

About that fence

A couple weeks ago, I was in contact with city staff about Sand Dune Park. As an aside, the city noted “FYI, there will be a City Council Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) “public town hall” study session next Tuesday (9/28) at 6:30pm in the Police/Fire Community Room. Among the issues to be discussed are potential future ammenities at the sand dune (e.g., fencing, landscaping, etc.).” So I did a bit of sleuthing, and could not find any mention on the City Council agenda page, where upcoming meetings are generally listed. Eventually, I found the meeting notice and agenda through a site search. Here’s a screen capture from the agenda, where city staff added the costs of the two fencing options. That worked out to $200,000 plus 40% admin costs, for a total of $280,000.

Sand Dune Park capital spending proposal

Upon seeing this, I wrote a short blog post & several CORE members contacted city council, who in turn contacted city staff. That soon elicited a response from Jim Arndt (Manhattan Beach Public Works director), which I’ve included in full at the end of this blog post. Long story short, there were 2 fencing options being considered, one would cost $79,800 ($57,000 + 40% administrative overhead) and the other $199,500 ($142,500 + 40% administrative overhead); the original agenda item had combined these two costs. Jim Arndt closes the email with this recommendation, which was not in the original staff report, “As a final note, because operation of the Dune only began in August and there hasn’t been much time to observe impacts, staff will recommend that any improvements selected be delayed until next year’s CIP to better understand impacts and ensure that the current operating schedule meets Council’s expectations.”

So that was already good news. At the meeting that evening, Chuck Trucker of CORE attended and spoke in favor of removing the fence, the only resident in attendance to speak on the subject. Following the meeting we received emails from two city council members about the proposed fence. One council member wrote, “Thank you for your email. Tonight, the City Council decided to defer a decision on the installation of the fencing (estimated at $57K) until after the Sand Dune trial period (and resulting review of the usage statistics/info). Moreover, there is consideration of potentially removing the fence on a trial basis, but it’s premature to do it right now.” A second council member added, “So we met tonight and the plan moving forward is for staff to implement the improvements to the park including greening, shade, benches, etc. We won’t address the dune until early spring, at a public meeting, of course. We will all have the opportunity at that time to discuss fencing/no fencing options, etc. and how the program is working. At that point, and based on our decisions then, we will decide the money allocations.”

That’s pretty much the whole story, start to finish. CORE looks forward to working with city staff, the City Council, dune users and park neighbors to develop a workable operational plan for the dune at Sand Dune Park that won’t require any fence. Thanks.

Email from Jim Arndt

Mr. Rome,

Below is an email sent to the Council regarding the fence at Sand Dune. I apologize for the error in the fence cost estimate. If you have any questions regarding the fence alternative or costs, please let me know.

Additionally, I would direct you to the last three paragraphs of the email that note these are only options of which the Council can choose to do any of it, all of it, or some of it.

Thanks and please contact me if I can answer any questions you may have.

-Jim

COUNCIL EMAIL
Some of you have questions regarding Sand Dune CIP item contained in your Council item for tonight. The Sand Dune cost estimate detail may be found in your Appendix 2, wherein lies the various components that make up the cost estimate (including the fence).

There is an error in the Sand Dune cost estimate. The sub-total shown as $260,675 includes costs for both fencing options, “black vinyl clad chain link” ($57,000) and “fencing upgrade”, such as the more expensive tubular steel, (142,500). There should be two cost options for consideration, depending on the fencing option the Council chooses. Recalculating the costs based on fence choice, the projects costs change to:

Black Vinyl Clad Option
Sub-total……………………$118,175
40% Admin Cost………….. 46,825
Total……………………… $165,000

Fencing Upgrade Option
Sub-total…………………… $203,675
40% Admin Cost…………… 81,325
Total……………………… $285,000

Also, to be clear, these two cost items do not represent the fence recommended but rather bracket the low and high estimated costs of fence options. It assumes that fence would surround the entire site. All choices of fence type, number of sides to be fenced (if any at all), and any other project items included in the cost estimate, are at the sole discretion of the Council…they are only included to give Council some idea of costs of items that have been brought up in recent Sand Dune discussions.

As a final note, because operation of the Dune only began in August and there hasn’t been much time to observe impacts, staff will recommend that any improvements selected be delayed until next year’s CIP to better understand impacts and ensure that the current operating schedule meets Council’s expectations.

I apologize for the error in the cost estimate and any confusion and inconvenience it may have caused.

-Jim

Say no to the $280,000 fence

On Tuesday, September 28th at 6:30, the Manhattan Beach City Council is holding a study session to review the Capital Improvement Program Projects. Included in this review is a proposal to spend $280,000 to build a permanent fence around the sand dune. It took a lot of searching, but I found the meeting announcement on the city website. It seems hard to believe, as CORE and other dune users always opposed fencing while dune neighbors have also written op-ed articles and letters to the editor opposing a fence. Here’s an excerpt from Gary Osterhout’s op-ed.

As an attendee of the many Sand Dune Park hearings over the last year, I cannot recall ever hearing one resident or City Council member specifically say they believed a fence was needed. Residents, no matter what side of the current debate they align themselves on, have expressed opposition to a fence. To me, it has always seemed the Parks & Recreation staff is the group that wants a fence erected.

Despite all that, city staff has drawn up plans to spend almost $300,000 to build a fence, as detailed in the staff report. If you think a fence is a bad idea and a $280,000 waste, please email the city council & let them know, and remind them that you support the CORE petition to reduce dune restrictions to make it more family friendly and accessible.