By Marianne Love
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, CALIFORNIA -- Neighbors of an LDS Church in La
Canada are upset about a city proposal to use the Church's ball fields
and develop a nearby Caltrans parking lot into associated facilities.
The neighbors, who fought for and won restrictions on the hours that the
Church's fields could be used, feel that the influx of people to the
fields would destroy their neighborhood.
The ball field was the subject of a dispute in 1986 that involved
neighbors in many planning commission meetings. The fields are located
behind the LDS Church's building on Foothill Boulevard, where they abut
a residential neighborhood. The result of the 1986 dispute was a
conditional use report that set the days and hours that the fields could
But now the city is under pressure to find more ball fields. Three youth
sports program directors met with the Parks and Recreation Commission on
January 12th to try and find a solution to the lack of fields, because
the programs had to jockey for time on the city's nine fields. Instead,
the commission spent much of the time discussion the use of the LDS
The discussion probably happened because the City had looked at how to
use a surplus Caltrans park and ride lot near the LDS Church's fields,
and produced an 11 page study on how to use the lot. The study
recommended that the lot be used along with the LDS Church's fields for
a $2 to $5 million recreation center.
One neighbor at the meeting, Larry Gluck, was upset about how the
meeting topic changed, "We came to the meeting last night because we
were previously invited to see how the commission doles out the playing
fields. Instead, the conversation was about the Morman (sic) Church
"I believe there is a need for all the fields they can get their hands
on, but the consequences have to be weighed and looked at," continued
Gluck. "I heard people say they can make due. I didn't hear any children
will be left out. Now we are being asked to compromise. We won't negate
our side simply because there's a need for field. We want to find a
solution to the problem while still being an opponent."
Gluck and two neighbors will be added to a 10-member Ad Hoc committee
that is investigating how to use the Caltrans lot, giving neighbors a
spot on the committee that they didn't have before.
La Canada's field of nightmares
Los Angeles Times 15Jan00 D1
By Anita Brenner