The Elings Park Foundation announced today that it will file an amended project description eliminating all development elements for Elings Park South from its proposed Phase III plan.
The proposed facilities that will be deleted include a park office building, restrooms, additional parking facilities, a Frisbee golf course, and a BMX track.
In making the announcement, Steen Hudson, Executive Director of Elings Park, noted that the proposed BMX track in particular has drawn criticism from a small group of the park’s neighbors.
“While we believe strongly in the benefits of BMX to the youths of our community, we also recognize and respect the views of some of the park’s neighbors and others who have expressed concerns over our proposal for a new BMX facility in Elings Park South,” Hudson said.
“The overriding mission of the nonprofit Elings Park Foundation is to provide outstanding recreational opportunities to the entire community at no cost to taxpayers. In this era of diminishing public resources, we believe that mission is more important than ever. Unfortunately, the controversy over expanding our BMX facilities is obscuring Elings Park’s undeniable achievements, which include hosting 220 adult softball teams, the city’s largest youth soccer facility, the city’s largest off-leash dog park, more than 900 summer campers and wide range of special events and other activities,” Hudson said.
“Consequently, and in the interests of uniting everyone who cares about Elings Park, we will no longer seek to construct new BMX facilities. Our other objectives, all of which are designed to benefit the community as a whole and enable us to continue our mission, will remain part of our proposal. We now ask everyone who has expended time and resources on this controversy to leave it in the past and join us in making Elings Park even more valuable to the community.”
Elings Park’s Phase III proposal, which will now be re-submitted in revised form, would create two new soccer fields, an arena soccer field, a dog-walking area, an 18-hole putting course, a family fun zone and picnic area, batting cages, a hillside amphitheater, and a community building capable of hosting weddings, corporate retreats, and other events – all of which can help the park achieve its overall mission.
Hudson noted that the current Elings Park BMX track will remain available to the community while the Phase III proposal is under review.
“BMX has been a part of Elings Park for the last 12 years, and we remain committed to the many hundreds of youths and families who enjoy the sport,” he said. “We will continue to support the BMX community in every way we can as we move forward with our plans to broaden our recreational offerings under Phase III.”
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Elings Park is the non-profit regional park in Santa Barbara County. Its 230 acres provide an array of outdoor sports and recreation opportunities, including multi-use trails for jogging, hiking and mountain biking, a BMX track, three lighted ball fields, two soccer fields, and a paragliding training hill. Elings Park also offers two scenic wedding/special event venues, an outdoor amphitheatre, numerous picnic areas, and two children’s playgrounds. The park is administered by the Elings Park Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported entirely by private donations and user fees.