Architectural Board Blasts Elings Park Tennis Court Plans

Design Called Too Vague and Insufficiently Detailed

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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Plans to the rebuild the bathrooms serving the Elings Park tennis courts, while adding a kitchen, dining patio, and exercise instruction room — not to mention three new clay courts in the far-off future — got a decidedly frosty reception from the Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review (ABR) this Tuesday. Elings, a private park, took over the courts a year ago at the instigation of the City Parks and Recreation Department — which has owned it since the 1970s — because it could no longer afford to cover the cost of deferred maintenance. This elicited a hue and cry among some of the tennis players who’d long used the public courts, and many were on hand to voice their displeasure with the latest plans.

But the sharpest remarks were made by ABR members. Some suggested that the initial renderings — meant only for conceptual review — were too vague and insufficiently detailed; others likened the proposed design to that of Cutter Motors, cautioning park administrators from building anything that resembles a BMW or Jaguar dealership. Commissioners were less than enamored of the two-story elements of the new structure, which would be about three times the square footage of the existing locker room–bath house structure.

Park administrators say they need to generate about $120,00 a year to be economically sustainable; they’re currently generating about $25,000 annually on court rentals. By programming the space more intensely — holding tounaments and offering lessons and clinics — they’re hoping to help create a new hub for the South Coast’s tennis community. By building an exercise facility as well as new dining area, they’ll generate additional revenues and create a space where parents can hang after dropping off their kids. No such space currently exists there. Tuesday’s meeting was conceptual in nature, so no vote was taken. But by the end, it was clear the park architect had been sent back to the drawing board.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

This is why these boards exist. The way this article is written,m you'd think the PROPOSED changes were already built. It isn't.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
December 18, 2013 at 2:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Time for P&R to review the original terms of the contract they signed with Ehling's to see if they need to repossess this tennis facility.

Ehling's appears to be badly run with constant bungling and over-reaching of their CUP. No reason Ehiing's should take down P&R in their wake with this tennis club white elephant.

They need to get some people on board who play by the rules. It was nice when it was a limited activity and passive park. Then they got snotty.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
December 18, 2013 at 9:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 18, 2013 at 10:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You know your goose is cooked when Foo and I agree.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 18, 2013 at 10:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

PETA suggests we get our ducks in a row, rather than cooking a goose

foofighter (anonymous profile)
December 18, 2013 at 10:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh Foo you silly goose!

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2013 at 4:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The problem you have with Elings Park is that you have a board running it, but at the same time you have people thinking it is a public park so of course there's going to be these civil clashes.
So foofoo, what's these "limited" or "passive" activities you speak of? Returning it back to being an unattended dump? Allow off-road vehicles to tear up and down those hills? A shooting range?
As that park stands now, aside from the petty politics, its not a bad deal. The issue in this case is with the tennis courts, which the city of Santa Barbara decided to dump on Elings park. So guess what? A once "communal" entity (the tennis courts) is now a part of a privatized entity (Elings Park). Get over it.
So my question to all of you "limited and passive activities" people is this: What did you expect from a privately run park?
If you don't like the place, don't go there and support it, its your choice to do so, but it is also your choice to miss out on the good stuff going on there that have nothing to do with the management.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2013 at 11:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why exaggerate when you have the CUP in front of you. Turning it into a BMX competition track is not maintaining its passive park aspects. Near-by residents are naturally concerned about the expanded private tennis club house use, and its increased use impacts on the current scene.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2013 at 12:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No foofoo, what the nearby residents are concerned about is a different kind of green: THE COLOR OF MONEY.
Don't give us this impact BS, it isn't about impact, it is about property values and that's all there is too it.
Seems like you have an issue with the BMX track there. What's the matter, can't ride a bicycle?
There's also an remote control car track, soccer fields (which are also used for rugby games), baseball/softball fields and basketball courts and the south side of that park has a ton of trails that are used by hikers, joggers, mountain bikers and equestrians as well as the para-sailing/hang gliding group.. But your ire seems directed at the BMX track. What's your issue with them? What did they do to you or what misinformation have you been fed?

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2013 at 10:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What's that about a bmx track blahblah? I can't hear you over all this FREEDOM.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2013 at 12:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thr BMXers are becoming convenient scapegoats to distract from the fact that John and Joan Q. Public no longer have reasonable access to tennis courts they've paid for with their tax dollars.
The BMXers are hurting nobody, the corporate drones who want to swallow up the park as a freebie are.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2013 at 12:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Has nothing to do with the issue. I mountain bike and hike out there, there never seems to be anything out of sorts there.
The point of my comments comes in the form of a question to the foofer: Why the disdain toward the BMX track?
There's tons of other activities out there, why the selectivity? What did they ever do to you foofles? You sound like a bitter old grump.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2013 at 12:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well foofles, you've had 2 weeks to respond and you haven't so let me clue you in on what's going on (based on conversations I have had over the holidays w/ assorted players in your self-induced anti Elings park drama:

1) Apparently the Independent's "reporting" of the facts is sensationalist. The ABR didn't "blast" the Elings management, instead what they did was point out what should be changed based on certain design & aesthetic considerations. It was a positive meeting, not the way the Independent makes it out to be, but hey, controversy sells, right?
2) There is a small vocal group that thinks they run the tennis courts (I wonder if any of them are aligned w/ the Independent?) and have become a downright nuisance ever since the City of Santa Barbara dumped the tennis courts on Elings Park. They want maximum services for free, or covered with OPM (Other People's Money), talk about penultimate pseudo-socialists!
3) There is a new park president coming in to replace Danny Vickers, Vickers is stepping down due to outside responsibilities, something MOST of us wish Obama would do.
4) The BMX track, which you so hate, has no plans to expand its size or move location. In fact, I got to meet and talk w/ Hank, he said to me that the track is a self-sustaining entity, the relationship with Elings Park and the surrounding neighbors is better than ever, in fact, many of the neighbors bring their kids to the track. He also said (in a very polite way, the following wording is mine) you don't have the cojones to get on a bike and come out either or to just address your invalid concerns face to face.
5) New plans for re-submission to the ABR are being drawn up, as asked of Elings Park by the ABR.
6) Just a reminder foofless, Elings Park is a PRIVATE park, NOT run by the city, county or state.

So there foofie, you keep harping about the CUP, but make no sense. Stick to something you know about, which apparently isn't much of anything. Happy New Year.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey blahblah,

You must work at Elings or associate with one of its employees. The article appears fairly sympathetic to Elings cause, considering they pay nothing and have done nothing for this Public Park. The title was sensationalized to grab your attention, then appeared to try and create sympathy for the dying patient that Elings Park definitely has become.

The small group to which you refer is the public that has used and supported the Las Positas Municipal Tennis Facility for decades. I ask you why the public is not worthy, but the small PRIVATE group of Elings park is worthy to claim our park in a hostile takeover? The whole deal smacks of cronyism from the top down with a thick smoke screen obscuring the real deal.

The $25,000 Elings has received is money taken from the public and our City Parks and Recreation Budget and given to Elings Park to supplement the PRIVATE salaries and pensions of their employees. It is apparent they have spent almost nothing on the facility they promised to maintain. They are pocketing all or most of the proceeds from our Public Park. This is just wrong.

When Elings resubmits their plans they may want to get the zoning right. Their last set of plans were zoned A-1 but the park is zoned PR with a subcategory of Sports Facility. This is a major mistake. Sneaky or stupid? You decide.

Two major problems exist for Elings overzealous plans.

First, the zoning does not allow for meeting rooms of any size and this includes yoga, office space or any other room that does not relate directly to tennis, storage or bathroom. A Sports Facility subcategory provides further restrictions on building.

Second, it appears from their plans that all 3 of the proposed tennis courts cross the Las Positas Municipal Tennis Court zoning boundary and spill over onto Elings Park zoning boundary. These are two separate zones and this is not allowed by the City. All the development must stay in the PR zone.

Elings clearly does not have the room for the proposed courts and no permission for the meeting rooms, according to the zone and subcategory of Las Positas Municipal Tennis Courts. Their plans are a NOGO and will need to be POOH POOHED or dramatic revisions will be needed upon submittal.

blahblah, you should stick to something you know about and Elings confiscation and obscene proposed development of Las Positas Municipal Tennis Courts is apparently not one of them.

redtail (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2014 at 8:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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