Save Alisal Commons Park

Alisal Commons Park
William R. Moreland

The City of Solvang will be reviewing its water system master plan on November 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Solvang City Hall. It includes the construction of a water treatment plant in the middle of little Alisal Commons Park. The various reasons the site should be changed and alternatives examined include:

• Adventurous tourists and residents come down Alisal Road and stop at the edge of the mesa to take pictures of the awesome view, which overlooks the park, the golf course, the river, Alisal Ranch, and the Santa Ynez Mountains. Bicyclists, families riding four wheelers, Segway riders, and hikers frequent this parkway due to its beauty. The water treatment plant would mar that view for all time.

• Alisal Commons Park gets more daily foot traffic than two larger Solvang parks. It is more than a small place for recreation, walking the dog, or exercising. Many citizens (I count at least 10 an hour) go through the park day and night, since it’s an easy walk to the village center from Alisal Glen’s “civil service row,” the Fjord homes, and the modular homes park.

• This little park represents one of our community’s living rooms. The insertion of a treatment plant would be a ruinous blight. The potential 24/7 noise, chemical stink, lights, and parking lot are not fitting for this residential area. Compounding that would be the noise and earth vibrations from a lime-grinding facility. This will have negative effects on us, our animals, the abundant wildlife, and our property values.

• Proponents of locating the water treatment plant here refuse to call this a park, referring to it as “Alisal Commons Open Area.” Any Internet search for the phrase “Alisal Commons Park” reveals that the world knows this area as a park. On Google Maps, it is not an “open area” but rather a “park.” Who is responsible for this change in terminology, and when and how did it happen?

One doesn’t destroy a $500,000 investment in a park that enhances the beauty of our town in order to save $500,000 on a huge industrial plant (30,000 sq.ft.) and build it in a residential area. The easiest way is not always the best way.


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