Save a Sports Field at the Civic Center!

Support a Sports Field at the Civic Center in Santa Monica!

The Santa Monica City Council promised in 2005 to include a Sports Field at the Santa Monica Civic Center directly across 4th St from SAMOHI, as part of the Civic Center Specific Plan. The City Council meets to discuss this on February 9 -- we need your help NOW!

Because the field was not protected as a “given” during the most recent Civic site envisioning process, we anticipate that the Council ultimately may favor commercial development at the Civic site as a means of financing and operating the renovated Civic, which may include a boutique hotel, instead of the much needed Sports Field promised to our students and envisioned to serve as a Village Green for use by all community members.

Supporters to date of a Sports Field on the Civic Center Site include SAMOHI PTSA and Executive Board, SAMOHI PTSA Civic Center Task Force, SAMOHI Viking Fund, Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission, the Santa Monica Field Sports Advisory Council (whose membership includes Santa Monica Little League, Santa Monica AYSO, Santa Monica United Football Club, local private schools, etc.), John Adams Middle School PTSA, Residents Coalition, and Northeast NeighborsBut without community action, we will lose this valuable open space.

Here's how you can help (and see below for more background):
(1) Send an email now but no later than February 3rd.
Address it to council@smgov.net , send a copy to manager@smgov.net and to us: fieldatcivic@gmail.com. Write “Civic Center Sports Field” in the subject line.
Suggested message:

Dear City Council Members:
I request that you reaffirm inclusion of a Sports Field at the Civic Center as was promised to the community and approved in the 2005 Civic Center Specific Plan, making it a “given”. Children and adults of Santa Monica deserve and need this open space now more than ever. Please honor your commitment and make this field a reality as soon as possible.
Thank you - [YOUR NAME/CITY YOU LIVE IN]
Conclude with the following: CITY CLERK – Please include this letter in the public record for the City Council meeting of February 9, 2016.

2) Come to the City Hall on Feb, 9th at 6:30 pm and sign up to speak
Or come and show your support. ( City Hall is located at 1685 Main Street. Parking is free in the structure at 333 Civic Center Dr./ 4th Street if you bring your parking ticket and validate it on the 2nd floor.)
Your presence will demonstrate that we are a force
and we want this field!

More Background:

In 2005, after enormous community demand, the City Council approved the Civic Center Specific Plan which included an athletic field. The vision was to include a large open space which could be used for youth and adult active recreation as well as a village green to serve as a venue for art shows, open air concerts, and other public participation events. The location in the heart of the Civic Center and across the street from the high school made it an obvious choice for beneficial use.

The City has long stated the reason we don’t have more park space is that there isn’t room. However, here is city-owned (tax payer-owned) property on which a specific plan for a field was approved!

In the time since the 2005 approval and the present, the number of residents — youth and adult — using our limited active athletic space has multiplied. Soccer, lacrosse, football, rugby, baseball, softball, ultimate Frisbee, schools and after school programs, high school marching band, adult soccer and baseball and other sports and active users all need field space. Our high school campus with 3,000 students has active recreation use for elite athletes only, and not even enough at that. The city has only minimal field space and must limit the offering of sports participation to elite athletes only.

Thousands of local residents want and need this field. It was promised to the community and now is in danger of being eliminated in favor of private commercial use as part of proposals to renovate the Civic Auditorium building and to finance that renovation. We believe the Fourth and Pico location within the Civic Center was and remains the ideal place for a new field. The only change of relevance since the field was approved is that the need is greater. Don’t let the Civic Working Group (CWG) and City Council ignore us. A field at this location should have been an integral part of the CWG’s recommendation to the City. We are a city with a $550 million annual budget, surely we can find the funds from our annual budget, grants, and/or bonds to guarantee public use of this space!

The Civic Working Group specifically says in its report that it as a whole does NOT favor a field, although they do recommend that the Council explore the feasibility of a field as an action item. At a meeting in June, 2015 the CWG dismissed more than 800 survey responses and hundreds of attendees at their Community Workshops requesting a sport field/open space and, further, largely ignoring 450+ emails the community sent in support of the field.

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