Park construction on former DWP land likely to start in March

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Photo of former DWP property taken from the DWP Street Specific Plan as amended Nov. 9, 2015. (Text added.)

Construction of the park that will be built on the former DWP property (now known as Ocean Place) is expected to start in March, according to a staff reply to recent questions from Councilwoman Schelly Sustarsic. The District Four representative wanted to know if park construction would be completed first. “The residential portion of the development work will be performed in parallel,” the reply said. (For years now it has been reported that the developer would need to complete the park first. However, that was when the property belonged to Bay City Partners. It now belongs to Shea Home. The park is going to be city property.)

Council members Sustarsic and Thomas Moore, who represents District Two, both raised questions about the status of the Ocean Place project prior to the Nov. 13 council meeting. The staff sent them replies that City Clerk Robin Roberts made available to the public before the meeting started.

Sustarsic also wanted to know the status of the “visitor serving” part of the property—land that the California Coastal Commission has determined must be developed for visitors to the coast. “The City has not received an application or proposal for the development of the visitor-serving lot,” said the staff reply. “Any proposal will have to comply with the City’s Municipal Code [and] then must be approved by the Coastal Commission.”

Councilman Moore, of College Park West, raised concerns about costs to the city. According to city staff, the money for the construction project is paid by the developer into a deposit account. Deposit accounts such as the one for the “Ocean Place” development are not included in the city budget because the developer is responsible for paying costs for inspecting infrastructure, according to the document containing the staff replies to council.

The staff reply said the facilities being built would be incorporated into Seal Beach’s infrastructure as “donated assets.”

Staff also told Moore that the city does not yet have an annual landscape maintenance cost for the park. Staff will reportedly work with landscape contractors during the Fiscal Year 2019-20 budgeting process to estimate the annual cost of keeping up the future park.

The California Coastal Commission has already issued a development permit for the 10.9 acres of former DWP land. Of that, more than 6.4 acres will be developed as a park. This past summer, Bob Yoder, division president for Shea Homes, told the Sun that 30 homes would be built on the residential portion of the property.

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