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Goleta City Council Signs Off on Final Design of Old Town Park

If approved by state, four-acre site will include picnic areas, sports courts, playground and field — but water play area will have to wait for drought restrictions to loosen

A revised site plan shows the design for the Old Town Goleta park at Hollister and Kellogg avenues. Click to view larger
A revised site plan shows the design for the Old Town Goleta park at Hollister and Kellogg avenues.  (City of Goleta illustration)

The Goleta City Council has unanimously approved the final design for a new Old Town park at Hollister and Kellogg avenues, although city drought restrictions on outdoor water parks will delay building a splash pad at the site.

Pipes will be installed to support the infrastructure of the small water recreation area, but the spouts and above-ground features of the splash pad itself will be built once water use restrictions are lifted.

The revised final design of the four-acre park includes a larger play area, four unisex restrooms, larger storage for playground equipment and a reconfigured bike path.

Design plans have evolved since the city first purchased the lot at 170 Kellogg Ave. for a new Old Town park. Among the planned features are picnic areas; a multipurpose field; two multiuse courts for basketball, tennis and pickleball; a handball court; concrete ping-pong tables; a bocce ball court; a perimeter walking path; and fitness nodes with exercise equipment.

The final design will now be subject to approval by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, according to Joanne Plummer, Goleta’s parks and recreation manager.

The City of Goleta was awarded a $910,000 state grant for construction, and building the park is dependent on regaining ownership of the land from the state, since the property title was held by the city’s now-defunct Redevelopment Agency.

Plummer presented the park design last week to the City Council, which in 2015 had opted to keep a splash pad in the park layout.

But in 2014, the Goleta Water District had imposed drought restrictions that prohibit outdoor water features, and splash pads — recreation areas that spray water onto park-goers looking to cool off — fall under that definition.

The planned splash pad would use well below the yearly amount of water the GWD allocates for the park property, but the structure itself is off-limits for now.

Stage II Water Shortage Restrictions stipulate that the “use of water in outdoor fountains, reflection ponds and decorative water features is prohibited” except on a residential property.

Plummer proposed temporarily working around the restrictions by building a splash pad without opening it for operation.

Ultimately, however, the council approved installing the necessary piping infrastructure beneath the ground to support a splash pad, but holding off on the above-ground spouts and nozzles.

Palmer noted the area will be covered with mulch until the Goleta Water District drought restrictions loosen and allow a splash pad to be built.

Noozhawk intern Shomik Mukherjee can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Water restrictions due to the drought are causing Goleta to delay installing some features of its splash pad water play area in the park at Hollister and Kellogg avenues. Click to view larger
Water restrictions due to the drought are causing Goleta to delay installing some features of its splash pad water play area in the park at Hollister and Kellogg avenues.  (City of Goleta illustration)

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