The complex saga that has become Star Valley Park enters center stage at 9 a.m. Friday, April 15. That’s when Valley Center officials hold a kind of “groundbreaking, sign raising and kickoff” for the 15.5-acre park that was bought last year, but also depleted the parks and recreation district of reserve and maintenance funds necessitating a November ballot initiative to raise district funds.
Doing the honors at the event will be a combination of officials from the Valley Center Parks and Recreation District Board, Advance Planning Subcommittee.
The Valley Center Parks & Recreation Department used $300,000 from the sale of a 7-acre property on Lilac and Valley Center roads to buy the 15.5-acre Star Valley property between Valley Center and Vesper roads last year. It’s physical address is 29902 Valley Center Road.
That expenditure, however, coupled with the depletion of reserve funds, apparently caused the department to fall short of money needed for parks maintenance.
Directors earlier this year voted to put either a tax assessment or benefit assessment to raise the funds on the November election ballot. A benefits assessment would need 51 percent approval to pass. Funds raised could be used only for parks maintenance. The straight-ahead tax assessment would need a two-thirds vote to pass.
Hence, Friday’s event.
“With community support,” said Anita Baranowski, a spokeswoman for the parks effort, “Star Valley Park will become a regional park serving area residents within 20 minutes drive with a Community Center that includes a fitness center, gym, kitchen and meeting rooms, high quality sports fields and courts with lights, an equestrian arena, amphitheater, splash park and much more.
“To help fund the project, VCPRD is working to create a voter action that will support this development with a minimal benefit assessment and allow Valley Center to offer the level of park services that meet state requirements,” Baranowski said. “The new Star Valley Park is being designed so that it will benefit all residents of Valley Center.
Meet your new Valley Center Star Valley Park
The park’s 15.5 acres were cut from a 43 acre property owned by Eunissa Burkel. The district has four years to come up with additional funds to buy the rest of the property or Burkel can arrange a sale elsewhere.
Burkel was allowed to name the park. She said Star Valley was an homage to the portion of County Road S6, or South Grade Road, passing by it that once was called “The Highway to the Stars.” Her parents, Wanda and J.B. Phillips, named their property Star Ranch.
The property has native oaks and California native trees along with a dry creek. Several barns and a caretaker’s residence sit on the property. It may be accessed through a Vesper Road gate across from Triple B Ranches Winery and Cal Fire’s Valley Center Station.
No firm plans are in place for the new park. It may feature the likes of a community center, senior center, soccer fields and even the Valley Center Vaqueros, who may sign a five-year lease to move into the property with a projected June signing date.
This is from the official parks department announcement, issued through Baranowski’s media relations office:
- Who: Valley Center Parks and Recreation District Board, Advance Planning Subcommittee members
- What: Ground Breaking/Sign Raising and Kickoff for Star Valley Park development
- Where: 29902 Valley Center Road
- When: 9 a.m. Friday, April 15.
- Why: The Star Valley Park project is kicking off due to the need in Valley Center for additional active parks. As per California State law (Quimby Act), park area goal is 3 acres per 1000 residents. The San Diego County goal is 10 acres per 1000 residents. There are approximately 20000 residents in the Valley Center zip code of 92082, which puts local park acreage goals at:• 60 acres (as per the Quimby Act)• 200 acres (as per SD County goal)
Park amenities; for more information visit http://starvalleypark.org/.
Phase 1: on currently owned 15 acres
- A community hall to include: an evacuation center, child care center, 10 meeting rooms with kitchen, and gymnasium (to include fitness center, training rooms, indoor basketball and volleyball courts, indoor soccer and field hockey, and 4 batting cages, snack bar, etc.)
- A splash park
- An equestrian center with multi-use arena, moveable bleachers, lights, rodeo facilities, etc. (could also be used for concerts, field games, concerts, dog park, etc.)
- Skate park with roller hockey facilities
- Picnic area
- Children’s playground
- Senior Center with meeting rooms, kitchen
- Stage and amphitheater
Phase 2: on additional 27 acres to be acquired
- Lighted multi-use Sports fields: baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, youth and adult fields
- Sports restaurant
- Olympic swimming pool , therapy pool
- Indoor track
- Park headquarters (existing farm house)