Monday, March 29, 2010

No more sports fields in Hahamongna

Lately I've been thinking quite a bit about the proposed new sports fields in Hahamongna for the same reason given by one of the Hahamongna Advisory Committee members - it's the nose of the camel under the tent. The fields are incompatible with the natural park now (look how far out into the basin they will built!) but they could become even more so in the future.

How tempting will it be in the future to add lights for night play if the shortage of fields continues or grows worse? Then comes all the attendant noise, auto lights, and traffic - not to mention opening up the park to all kinds of uses (and misuses) after dark. And, if the park no longer closes at dusk, all the parking lots will require security lights and then what is to stop these parking lots from being used for supplemental parking for all kinds of non-park events, further degrading the natural area. Don't forget that exactly this was proposed in earlier versions of the Hahamongna Master Plan. What is now a dark and silent wildlife corridor out in the basin would be severely impacted.

Lest you think my domino theory is far-fetched, here's what the Hahamongna Master Plan Findings of Fact document stated: "The Hahamongna Watershed Park element would also include the expansion or rehabilitation of play fields in the Upper Arroyo Seco. The use of these fields would be expected to create a new source of light ..."

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