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Residents Ponder Sand Dune Park Options

Mar 12, 2024 10:39PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Renderings of two playground concepts presented to residents at Sand Dune Park on Saturday.

A community workshop over the weekend gave residents a chance to consider two different visions of a revitalized Sand Dune Park.

As residents mingled with city staff, city commission members, and representatives from the design firm, they were given a chance to provide feedback and offer suggestions (and enjoy donuts). 

"The Sand Dune Park presentation brought out great feedback from our community members," said Larry Zimbalist, a Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Commission member who chairs the commission's ad hoc committee on Sand Dune Park. "There is a real sense of excitement about the future of the park."

Two Visions of the Park Presented

Both visions of the park - created by the firm David Volz Design - would preserve existing trees, provide new restroom facilities with a modern Spanish design, and create wider playground spaces, with one "tot lot" and one space for older children. 

In both designs, a concrete walk on the easternmost side of the park would be widened and extended to allow bikes to continue past the park.

(Concept 1)

Concept 1 would offer a more modern-style playground (see the design on the left in the lead photo), and would feature separate buildings for restrooms and for staff offices.

(Concept 2)

Concept 2 would offer a more traditional playground with swings (see the design on the right in the lead photo), and would combine staff offices and restrooms into one larger building. There would also be a 6" high raised wood stage in the southwesternmost corner of the park to allow for educational demonstrations. 

Informal public opinion seemed to heavily favor Concept 2. "Kids love the swings," wrote one commenter, while another wrote, "Hooray for the stage!"

Split Opinions on Proposed Concrete Path


Meanwhile, the discussions were more deeply divided around a proposed a concrete path to be added to the westernmost side of the park's grassy South Lawn.

"We need a walkway through the grass area!" wrote one commenter, who recommended either stepping stones or a concrete surface. "It is so wet all winter that wheelchairs and bikes and walkers have difficulty getting through."

On the one hand, those whose kids play games on the lawn said they did not want the added bike traffic. "Bikes and pedestrians will cause chaos and could cause injuries to them and soccer players," wrote one commenter. "Bikes will end up on grass to avoid pedestrians or vice versa."

Ideas To Return to Parks and Rec Commission

All of the input from Saturday's community outreach has been collected and sent to David Volz Design, according to Zimbalist.

It will take the firm several weeks to complete a final concept rendering. That design will then be presented to the Sand Dune Park ad hoc committee, which will evaluate the final rendering with the design firm and city staff.

The approved rendering will then be presented to the full Parks and Recreation Commission. Zimbalist said he hopes that the commission will be able to view the proposal at its April meeting. Once the commission reviews the project, it will send it to the full City Council with its recommendations.

For those following progress on the Begg Pool renovations, that item is expected to come before the Parks and Recreation Commission at its March 25 meeting.

To comment on a Parks & Rec agenda item, submit comments to [email protected] and [email protected]. To reach commission members, email all Parks and Recreation Commission members.

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