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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Malibu Road Residents Oppose Plan for Skatepark at Bluffs Park

• Council Approves Project Design Agreement

BY BILL KOENEKER

The Malibu City Council was poised to approve an agreement for professional design services for the Malibu Bluffs Park Skatepark when Malibu Road residents appeared before the council to urge them to consider another location.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Director Bob Stallings had told the council that Bluffs Park is still the most feasible location, but the city must still determine if the site itself is feasible.
“We are working simultaneously on a temporary park and a permanent park,” he said.
Then a contingent of road residents, who had previously not been heard from in council chambers, urged the council to find a different location saying there was no reason to believe Bluffs Park was the best location.
Malibu Road resident Lynn Konheim said he was strongly opposed to the location. “We are not opposed to a skatepark. Most of the teens are in West Malibu. Using the $38,000 for the [design] study is fiscally imprudent. The Bluffs are for passive recreation. It is inconsistent with the [city’s] recreation master plan,” he said.
Others including the president of the Malibu Road Homeowners Association said there had been no noise study done, that a report should be completed to first see if the site is viable, there was concern expressed about illegal use of the park during after hours and the emergency access component of Bluffs Park could be lost.
The council shifted discussion about the design study in front of them and began to talk about sites.
Stallings spelled out why the city eventually settled on the Bluffs Park; given it is city-owned property, there is no other park where a site is suitable, high school officials were not interested in a skatepark on school district property
“This has turned out to be the best location,” said Councilmember Skylar Peak. “The time is now. The sound can be directed [away from Malibu Road]. Bluffs Park is close to emergency medical services. There is no question there is a need for this. Malibu Road [residents] have valid concerns, but they can be addressed.”
Councilmember Laura Rosenthal said the city could easily be persuaded to consider another site, if someone wanted to donate property for a skatepark. “We are looking for land,” she said.
Councilmember Joan House asked if there was any possibility of another site.
Stallings said yes.
At that point, Mayor Lou La Monte sought a vote on the matter and the council unanimously approved the design contract.
The design service contract will not exceed $38,299 to Wormhoudt, Inc. who was chosen from the 10 design firms, which submitted responses.
The request for proposal was released at the beginning of this year and included tasks for site analysis, community outreach, conceptual design, schematic design, final design development, cost estimates and final construction documents.
In June, 2012 the council decided there had not been enough community input and discussed options for including more members of the public.
Subsequently, the council directed the staff to reject all proposals, re-issue the RFP for design services and include up to three members of the community to serve as advisors throughout the selection process, according to a staff report.
The Skatepark Ad Hoc Committee comprised of Councilmembers Joan House and Skylar Peak met in the end of August and at the direction of the council appointed three community members to serve as advisors in selecting a skatepark design firm. Of the six applicants, Justin Kell, Walter Lohr and Hamish Patterson were appointed to advise the city on selecting a design consultant, according to city officials.
The proposals were reviewed by qualified city staff and the advisory group appointed by the skatepark ad hoc committee. Using the evaluation criteria as outlined in the RFP, the proposals were scored and ranked by the six-member review team.
“Of the 10 design firms submitting proposals, the top four were invited to interview last month. The firms interviewed were ASD, California Skateparks, Wormhoudt Inc., and Wally Hollyday Skateparks, which incidentally were the same four firms that were previously interviewed,” wrote Bob Stallings, Parks and Recreation Director.
“Based on the proposal submitted by Wormhoudt, Inc. their interview, and reference checks, staff recommends the city council authorize the city manager to execute a professional services agreement with Wormhoudt, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $38,200. The citizen advisory committee and city staff ranked Wormhoudt, Inc. as the best consultant to perform the work. Wormhoudt was also the highest ranked consultant at the time city staff interviewed companies back in May of this year.” Stallings added.

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