Cloverdale field of dreams ends in frustration

  • Patty Frendo of Cloverdale walks her terrier-chihuahua mix NIcky, near her home in the Del Webb community. Frendo was part of a group trying to establish a dog park when the proposed deal collapsed.

    (photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

Ambitious plans for a baseball, skateboard and dog park in Cloverdale have been scrapped, disappointing supporters who have been working for years to make something happen.

Backers had spent $47,000 trying develop the multi-use facility on a 3.5 acre piece of surplus city land, but said they were frustrated by changing requirements imposed by the city.

Creating enough parking to accommodate Little League games proved daunting. The also were unresolved questions surrounding a former dump on part of the property.

"My board made a decision to drop it and stop throwing good money after bad," Little League representative Travis Pisors said of the decision to abandon plans for the park.

He expressed frustration with city officials for drawing out the parking question, saying it was "the death blow. It took us 11 months going back and forth."

"I'm not going to bash the city too much," he said. "But if it's a senior center, arts alliance or some pet project, that gets puts through. The red tape somehow disappears for their project," he said.

"I don't think they (city officials) were working in a timely manner," said Cassie Wall, a dog park proponent. "They were being a little more difficult than what needed to be done."

City officials defended their actions, saying the property had a number of challenges, including a creek that runs along the northern edge and the need for minimum setbacks from the banks.

"The constraints really came from the property itself and the intensity of the uses being proposed on the site. You can only do so much with something," said Karen Massey, Cloverdale's assistant city manager and community development director.

Regardless of who is to blame, "There's a lot of disappointment," said Ipolani Bov?, a skateboard park backer. "We feel like the public has lost confidence in the project."

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