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Santa Barbara - South County

Santa Barbara Eastside’s Ortega Park clears preliminary design hurdle

Ortega Park Preliminary Design
City of Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- A park in Santa Barbara’s Eastside is getting a facelift. The city outlined the master plan for Ortega Park near Santa Barbara Junior High.

Jess Martinez lives across the street from Ortega Park. He said of the plan, "I think it's a great step forward back to those days."

Neighbors in Santa Barbara's Eastside are looking forward to seeing Ortega Park renovated.

Aaron Goldschmidt lives down the street from Martinez. He said, "It's great to have the open space in town, so close to downtown, this close to the beach. Some of my feelings though are it's under used or under utilized with regards to the amount of space that there is and how it can be servicing a greater percentage of the community."

On Monday, the Parks and Recreation Department presented the preliminary design which includes a dual soccer and baseball field with a synthetic surface, a new lap swimming pool, waterslides, wading pool, skate park, basketball court and public art.

"I think it's an improvement what they will do to the improvement of the park," said Martinez. "It's long overdue. I think the upgrades are going to ask for more kids to participate here and it's open for the youth."

Goldschmidt added, "Yeah, having a user-friendly accessible park available is a benefit for everyone."

Neighbors do have some questions about safety and wonder how late the park will remain open.

"I would like the park to be open until 9 p.m.," said Martinez. "I don't see why it should be any later."

The Planning Commission must approve the preliminary design. Renovations should be complete in the next four years and cost $14 million dollars.

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Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.

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