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Park master plan extended to complete review process

Residents anticipating solutions to the numerous challenges that have plagued the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park and surrounding neighborhoods in recent years are going to have to wait just a bit longer.

At the request of city staff, the Claremont City Council authorized extending the city’s contact with MIG Inc.—the consultant hired to prepare the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park (CHWP) Master Plan—until December 31, 2015.

The approval of the six-month extension during Tuesday night’s council meeting will allow for the completion of the public review process as well as inclusive review by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), Traffic and Transportation Commission and the Community and Human Services Commission, with final approval by the city council. No changes are being made to the project’s $242,275 budget, only to the length of the contract.

The city contracted with MIG in January 2014 and while it was expected that the CHWP Master Plan project could be completed in one year, the process has evolved, resulting in additional public input and a longer, more complex final document.

Claremont resident Robin Trozpek supports council’s decision to delay the master planning process. 

“This gives us an opportunity to include a thorough watershed and water conservation plan,” Ms. Trozpek told the council during public comment. “I’d like to suggest that city staff look to council for instruction on this, and council can insert this plan under MIG’s existing scope of work which provides an Environmental Baseline and Resource Management Plan,”

As stated in MIG’s scope of work, the purpose of the Resource Management Plan (RMP) is “to identify and describe significant and/or fragile natural resources within the park and to discuss methods of protection and enhancement to these resources.” Current land management strategies, including storm water management, are to be assessed and recommendations presented on how to minimize any negative effects on the natural environment. BonTerra Consulting will revise the RMP based on one set of comments from MIG and another set from the city.

“You may have seen Ann Croissant’s viewpoint in last Friday’s COURIER. She also calls for delaying the finalization of the master plan,” Ms. Trozpek continued. “I think she’s right. We need to align ourselves with drought planning and protect our hillsides. For me, protection includes balancing conservation with recreation.”

City staff is currently reviewing the draft of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park Master Plan, a document that was originally scheduled for release in March 2015, and anticipates releasing it to the TAC and the general public in early July.

A series of public meetings will be held with the TAC and the community beginning in September, followed by Traffic and Transportation and the Community and Human Services Commissions review in October, with Claremont City Council analysis expected in November. Dates and meeting locations have yet to be determined. 

—Angela Bailey

news@claremont-courier.com

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