After stirring up a considerable amount of controversy with an earlier proposal, the Elings Park Foundation will be submitting a drastically scaled back plan for future development at the park, which sits atop an old trash dump off of Las Positas Road. The new proposal features two new soccer fields, an arena soccer field, a dog-walking area, an 18-hole putting course, a “family fun zone,” batting cages, an amphitheater, and a special events building. Gone from the plan are the new BMX track, the Frisbee golf course, an administrative building, restrooms, and additional parking spaces.
Noting that the initial BMX track proposal attracted the most ire from neighbors, the park’s executive director Steen Hudson explained in a prepared statement, “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.” So despite noting that “we believe strongly in the benefits of BMX to the youths of our community,” Hudson announced on Wednesday that the BMX track will no longer be pursued in hopes of “uniting everyone who cares about Elings Park.”
The existing track will remain open during the project’s planning process, promised Hudson. “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.”