Rancho Simi Recreation and Parks Department presented a proposal to double the size of the club house/community center at Mae Boyar Park in Oak Park to the Oak Park Committee in April. The OP Committee interfaces with RSRPD staff and board of directors because Oak Park does not have the population to elect an RSRPD board member.
The old community center is 1,000 square feet, and in this time of tight budgets, RSRPD has preliminary plans showing a 2,000 square foot structure. Of course, increasing the size of the building requires that parking spaces be added according the code. Instead of approximately 28 parking spaces, the preliminary plan shows over 70 spaces.
Here is a mockup from the district, using an aerial photo of the existing park with overlays for the proposed larger building and parking lot, shown in red lines. The new plan would take out so many trees! The trees that would have to be removed include five beautiful and mature Holly Oak trees in the existing center circle of the parking lot. And I am only looking at the tree removal at this point, and not yet focusing on the probable increased traffic in and out of the lot from Conifer Street, adding an extra burden to the neighborhood.
Oak trees in parking lot at Mae Boyar Park in Oak Park.
Thoughts on the Mae Boyar Park update: Let’s keep the existing building footprint of 1000 square feet for the new community center. Therefore, the parking lot could stay the same size! Interestingly, this oldest park in Oak Park is the only park that has a small community center on it…if more space is needed for meetings in the community, why not build another one in one of the other parks?
More posts on this later. Sorry to be so Oak Park-centric, it just seems that there are threats to mature trees in this unincorporated part of Ventura County right now and trees are part of what makes Oak Park a charming place to live. Let’s not remove any, just to add parking spaces that would encourage additional unwanted traffic in a residential area.
Please note, the Oak Park Committee will be considering this in a public meeting on July 9th at 7:00 PM at the community center at Mae Boyar. Please come to the meeting!
Here is a link to an article in The Acorn by Sylvie Belmond: Plans to update Mae Boyar Park