Artificial Turf Appears to be Off the Table at Crestview Park.

July 5, 2013

Turf Wars, Part II

On the heels of the decade-long battle to renovate the Highlands Park playing surface with artificial turf, there has been another face-off brewing between the pro and anti-turf camps in San Carlos on how another popular park should be renovated:  Crestview Park.     The City of San Carlos had originally proposed replacing the aging pitch at Crestview Park with an artificial surface similar to the one that's now in place at Highlands Park.   Because of park's limitations in size and shape, it would only be lined for soccer use (similar to how it's being utilized today).

Much as it did with the Highlands Park decision, the City of San Carlos took a close look at the long-term cost tradeoffs between turf and natural grass.  The installation cost for turf is much higher than grass, but that cost is recouped over time because turf requires very little maintenance.  Grass fields are cheaper and easier to install, but require the normal constant maintenance — watering, fertilizing, mowing — that any lawn would.    The City is also took into account the increased playability of artificial turf, which would allow more games to be played than on a natural surface, which needs to be closed periodically for rehabilitation.

Organized Opposition.

And just like with the Highlands Park conversion, there was a very well organized and vocal opposition to the proposal to replace the grass at Crestview Park with turf.  Save San Carlos Parks is a grass roots community group that is strongly opposed to artificial turf at Crestview.    They successfully raised the attention of the issue to community members, emailed City Council members, and attended the various Park and Rec meetings to voice their opposition.    Their presence was far greater and more organized than any pro-turf contingency at these meetings.

Even many in the local soccer community, who stand to gain the most by gaining more field hours, are in favor of keeping the surface natural at Crestview.  They point to the recent joint venture between the City of San Carlos and San Carlos AYSO where the pitch at Heather School was redone with natural grass as a model of how it can be done.

Park and Rec Recommendation.

In this coming Monday night's City Council meeting (July 8th), the Council will be presented with the Park and Rec's recommendation to remove artificial turf as an option for Crestview Park, which has to be viewed as a huge victory for the Save San Carlos Parks contingency.  But in the spirit of leaving nothing to chance, the group is still recommending on their website that supporters attend the Monday meeting and drive the point home with the City Council during the public commentary section of the meeting.

Here's the recommendation in its entirety, from the public agenda:  Crestview Park.

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  1. jan on July 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Kudos to the Crestview people for pausing or stopping what seemed to be inevitable. I wish the same had been done at Highlands. The word “Park” should be replaced with “Athletic Facility”.

  2. Michael on July 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I think all those who took on city hall should be commended. It worked this time.

    However the amount of time and energy that this effort required is really excessive. Should a representative government require you move heaven and earth to be heard? I don’t think so. We thank the city council for seeing the light, but perhaps the dignity of those many people who tried so hard to express their dissatisfaction with this issue was not respected as it should have been.

    This has spawned a new debate over the need for more play space/time for the local kid sports and recognition of the finite space that we have to work with. Let’s hope that al the grown ups can play nice and come up with a solution that works for everybody.

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