Expansion of Airport Park Moves Forward
November 1, 2016
by Karen Ginsberg
Soon there will be 12 more reasons to love Airport Park; one for each new acre. The much beloved Airport Park will soon more than double in size! The park will go from its current size of 8 acres to 20 acres thanks to the leadership of the Santa Monica City Council, and the voice of many residents. The Council approved the park expansion master plan during their September 27th meeting. Before I describe the features of the park expansion, let me take a minute to give you a bit of background.
In 2015, the City Council directed staff to begin the master planning process for expanding Airport Park with recreational uses. Based on a competitive process, the City hired the design firm of Rios Clementi Hale Studios (RCHS). Their strong park planning experience, including their recent design of Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles, is why RCHS earned the design contract. The approved concept reflects the comments and suggestions received from the community during the public participation process.
The expansion will include: two new FIFA regulation size fields each suitable for soccer and lacrosse with capacity to divide to accommodate three simultaneous matches on each field, 60 community garden plots, picnic areas, children’s playgrounds, pickle ball courts, meadow habitat, pathways, additional restrooms, and realignment of Donald Douglass Loop South. Of course, the dog park remains untouched in its current location (hooray for Fido!)
Airport Park is located in the southeast portion of the land currently occupied by the Airport. Expanding the park is permitted under a 1984 agreement signed with the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA determined the land was deemed unnecessary for aviation and therefore released it for alternative uses, including parks.
With this important milestone achieved, next steps include completion of design and constructions documents, necessary environmental review, and identification of construction funding. The park design will serve a broad range of users and is designed to allow for further park expansion in the future. To view the scheme selected by the City Council, as well as get updates on other Santa Monica Parks and Beach Improvements, click here.