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City addressing issues at Cornishon fields

Neighbors frustrated by traffic, noise and trash generated by teams that use the facilities.

September 15, 2010|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com

The city of La Cañada Flintridge on Monday painted striping for 53 designated parking spots on Cornishon Avenue, the first step in addressing a litany of concerns aired by residents who live in the immediate vicinity of the sports fields at the former Foothill Intermediate School.

"The parking on Cornishon Avenue itself, adjacent to the fields, wasn't being used efficiently," said Carl Alameda, senior management analyst with the city.

The designated parking spots will ensure that all available street space is being put to good use, Alameda said.

Congestion and insufficient parking are ongoing concerns of residents on Cornishon, just south of Foothill Boulevard, one of the most heavily trafficked areas in the city. The former public middle-school campus is now home to half a dozen private schools and educational centers, including Renaissance Academy and Learning Castle, as well as La Cañada Unified School District headquarters and Lanterman Auditorium.

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Recent neighborhood ire has centered around unauthorized use on Sundays of the athletic fields, located on both the west and east sides of the street.

City ordinance limits the use of the two fields for organized play to six days a week. Sunday is reserved for unorganized play by local residents, such as father-and-son pick-up games. The idea, said Jim Kambe, vice chair of the La Cañada Flintridge Parks and Recreation Commission, is to give residents some respite from the traffic and noise, as well as to give the fields a chance to regenerate.

However, teams, complete with uniforms, equipment, coaches and referees, are showing up to use the fields on Sundays, according to residents and city officials.

"The thought behind it was to give the fields and the neighbors a day of rest," Kambe said. "Now you have people coming there — they don't seem like they are from in town — and they are playing. We have let it go for so long that they are obviously running a schedule around it."

Local groups make a concerted effort to care for the fields and to be sensitive to the neighbors, said Parks and Recreation Commission member Allen Koblin, but individuals who come from elsewhere do not.

"They are out there playing and they are digging up the field," Koblin said. "The field needs as much time as possible for re-growth. They don't care. They are not from the area."

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