I would hope that our new City Council would read an article found in the current issue of Organic Gardening for November-January 2009. I attended the Peterson Park meeting and found it interesting, but it saddens me that city staffers want to kick out our community garden for another ball field.
I would hope our city planner would read page 43 of the latest issue of Organic Gardening, "Community Gardens." They reprinted an article from Real Estate Economics stating that community gardens increase housing prices in low-income neighborhoods by 9.4 percent over a five-year period. It saddens me to think that all the hard work people have done in the community garden would have been done for nothing.
People are putting fresh food on their tables. I am not against improving our current ball field, but before we redo our parks, maybe we need to ask the county, city and school district to revisit a plan they did a number of years ago. The people expressed what they want. Somehow we have allowed them to drop the ball here. This recreation plan has been collecting dust for too long.
Maybe it's time for the city and the county to create a special district and fund it through our TOT taxes. How many more years are we going to give the chamber monies from our TOT taxes? Are we getting all the TOT taxes from our hotels and motels? Cities throughout California use their TOT taxes to support other types of programs. They support art programs, community recreation and a long list of other programs. Also, I would hope the people at CAN would be talking to the people at First Five. I would hope CAN would work with First Five and move the greenhouse sitting at Peterson Park over to the children's garden at First Five and move some raised beds over to Pacific Avenue.
People should have the right to feed themselves. Social justice should come into place here. This greenhouse should be used to feed low-income children. I believe that both the city planner and the City Council, along with Mr. Black, need to look at our current CR zoning rules. How many illegal B&Bs are operating within our coastal zone in single-family homes without current business licenses or without going through our Planning Commission?