As an Irvine Community Services Commissioner for the past year and 10 months, my number one priority has been making sure that our children and families experience the highest quality recreation. With over 90 unique parks, Irvine has won awards for being one of the best places to live and raise a family. As a Commissioner, I am proud of the work I have done making sure that our parks live up to Irvine’s high standards.
That is why I am so proud to have voted to begin improvements to Bommer Canyon’s Cattle Camp. Bommer Canyon has been surveyed to be Irvine’s most loved and used community park space for excellent reasons. Bommer Canyon is a quintessential example of Irvine’s successful weaving of open space with world-class recreation. What was once an active cattle camp only 30 years ago is now a cherished, rustic hiking area. However, the structures have been out of code and out of ADA compliance for many years. Termites and rodents have made these structures home and there is no real restroom in this community park. I am excited to have been able to vote to approve the begging of a rehabilitation that will make this space safer, and ADA compliant, without sacrificing its rustic feel and aesthetic. I am also happy to share that I fought to make sure that the final design plans and materials will come back for approval in front of the Community Services Commission before they go to the City Council. All of the Commissioners want to make sure that we preserve the unique character of the cattle camp for residents to enjoy a true piece of Irvine’s history.
I love how Irvine’s parks are as diverse as the members of our community. During my term as a Commissioner, I have fought for park space in the Irvine Business Complex and approved several parks that met residents’ high standard in this uniquely urban-feeling space. Unfortunately, not all parks that come before the Commission have lived up to Irvine’s high standards, but rarely does the Commission vote down a park. Just this year, all five Commissioners voted not to approve a proposed park that would have been on the roof of a building, with a swimming pool and tot lot, that the public would have had to access by taking the building’s elevators. In reality, this was not a feasible park plan and putting park space on the roof is not consistent with the character of any Irvine neighborhood. It was a unanimous decision and one that the Community Services Commission made with the best interest of Irvine residents in mind.
It has been a privilege to work to make sure Irvine’s parks and recreation are of the highest quality and live up to our residents’ standards. Careful planning and sound decision-making is critical to preserve and protect Irvine’s excellent quality of life and I am proud of my work to contribute in this way.