If Not Ortega Park, Where for a Public Pool? title=

If Not Ortega Park, The place for a Public Pool?

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Santa Barbara is critically behind the instances relating to public pool amenities. In keeping with the 2003 Aquatics Advanced Feasibility Research, the Metropolis must be offering its residents between 40,000 and 120,000 sq. ft of water floor space. In distinction, now we have a meager 10,000 sq. ft and inadequate plans to construct extra. For extra data on these figures, see the suitable hyperlink in our petition.

The SB Aquatics Coalition urges the Metropolis of Santa Barbara to step issues up a notch. Though our ranks embrace a number of the finest aquatics minds within the nation, now we have but to affect the brand new Ortega Park pool amenities design.

That is an open letter to the Metropolis Council of Santa Barbara relating to the group pool at Ortega Park. Should you agree with our proposed web site design, which features a barely bigger pool facility than the Metropolis of Santa Barbara is proposing of their official Grasp Plan, please signal this petition: change.org/change-the-design

You may as well ship an e mail on to Metropolis Council and the Parks and Recreation Fee Secretary at:

Expensive Mayor and Metropolis Council, and the Parks and Recreation Fee,

The aquatics group’s invitation to the desk, held June 8, 2022, was FOUR years overdue.

The aquatics amenities design was determined in the summertime of 2018, through unilateral Parks & Recreation determination, with no single workshop for the aquatics group.

In distinction, specialised skatepark conferences which serve a small share of the group have been held Could 2019 and March 2020. Conferences have been held in March/April 2021 to deal with the shortage of consideration for the historic murals within the park, and in 2022, to permit SOPAC (a not-so-grassroots-organization) to plan the brand new art work lay-out.

All kinds of aquatics individuals and Eastside residents have spoken to us relating to Ortega Park, and now we have taken this enter to coronary heart. The Metropolis’s proposed design is just too small in pool and deck area, supplies inadequate choices for simultaneous programming, and eliminates the gathering space outdoors the Welcome Home.

The design proposed on this petition serves group members of all ages and talents, those that can swim and people who wish to be taught. Most significantly, it takes into consideration group enter, but in addition enter from the aquatics group, and works to satisfy the unmet NEEDS of Santa Barbara which have continued for many years.

This design additionally permits area for the 8,000 sq. foot skate park depicted within the 2019 Grasp Plan, which could be programmed for youthful youth.

The Ortega Park Renovation Undertaking supplies a Golden Alternative to supply bigger aquatics amenities for the group. This location is the place a excessive share of Santa Barbara youngsters truly reside, and permits the SPACE to assemble these amenities, SPACE that’s not more likely to be out there anyplace inside the Metropolis limits sooner or later.

A modest sized aquatics complicated that may serve the best variety of our group members, like the instance proven right here MUST be constructed at Ortega Park and SOON.

If not Ortega Park, then WHERE???

SB Aquatics Coalition


In 1979, plans have been within the works for a serious aquatics complicated at Elings Park. A scaled mannequin was displayed within the workplace of Richard Johns, Parks and Recreation Director on the time. Sadly, this plan was discarded attributable to neighborhood protest, in addition to points associated to the positioning being a former rubbish dump – points that might have been overcome.

In 2003, the Metropolis of Santa Barbara wanted additional convincing relating to the Metropolis’s want for a serious aquatics complicated. This want was formally recognized within the 2003 Aquatics Advanced Feasibility Research. Appendix D of this report states that, for a metropolis the scale of ours, we have to QUADRUPLE the pool area that’s at present provided by the Metropolis of Santa Barbara.

Sadly, a serious aquatics complicated won’t ever be constructed on the Los Banos location as is beneficial on this report, attributable to its historic landmark standing, in addition to the nesting birds difficulty.

Various websites have been proposed: The Armory, which now belongs to the SBUSD (not an choice), and websites on County land which could be applicable for a MAJOR aquatics heart. Nonetheless, this can by no means occur in our lifetime, and such proposed places aren’t the place the vast majority of SB youngsters reside — youngsters with out entry to swim instruction, and kids of households for whom transportation to proposed County websites would possibly current an impediment.

March 27, 2021 Santa Barbara Aquatics Coalition launches its first petition for BETTER aquatics amenities:  https://www.change.org/AquaticsOrtegaPark

The Metropolis’s proposed design,  up to date spring 2022, is improved, but supplies just one pool, with inadequate deck area, due to this fact, is inadequate for simultaneous programming choices which, in accordance with USA Swimming is a PITFALL in pool amenities design.

The Metropolis’s design additionally eliminates the group gathering space outdoors the Welcome Home.


This proposed web site plan has acquired enter from Eastside residents and key members of the aquatics group.


  • Modest-sized Aquatic Middle contains 25 yard x 6 lane competitors pool (80 levels), a 4 lane heat water pool (84 levels), a wading pool, and a water slide.
  • Two swimming pools permit for a number of applications run concurrently: Swim classes for all ages and talents, lap swim, aqua aerobics, novice swim staff, intermediate/superior age teams swim staff, water polo, open leisure swim.
  • Splash pad to be added outdoors the pool enclosure.
  • Unfenced, pure grass soccer area and different grassy areas irrigated with present recycled water system.
  • Group gathering space outdoors the Welcome Home is preserved and needn’t be fenced in. Supplies quick access to kitchen/snack bar, restrooms, assembly space.
  • New basketball court docket is positioned at this location (approx. present location), as it may be vacated when massive gatherings are scheduled.
  • The grove of lovely evergreen bushes is preserved, for picnic space, gentle recreation.
  • Potential websites for cultural shows, and
  • Group gatherings and cultural actions accommodated by predominant Gathering Space, tree grove/picnic space, different picnic areas, and grassy areas across the perimeter of the park.
  • Landscaping (together with paths) should be added to this design. An impressionistic palate over contrived patterns could be appreciated.
  • An abundance of play gear must be added to playground areas.
  • Primary grownup train gear to be added to the park perimeter.
  • Picnic tables, seating, spectator areas, and shade pergolas (the place applicable) to be added to Welcome Home patio, evergreen tree grove, playgrounds, skatepark, and aquatics space.
  • Paintings and mural structure must be addressed by the artwork group, attributable to constructing re-arrangement. It’s doable to avoid wasting sure items of culturally important artwork, within the neighborhood of the Gathering Space. Extra artwork alternatives could be created via the addition or partial partitions/partitions.
  • Two Solstice Parade staging areas are doable: The Gathering Space, and/or the soccer area.
  • It’s preferable that the skatepark be designed for elementary college youngsters. The picture of the skatepark from the 2019 Grasp Plan is included on this design.

Op-Ed’s are written by group members and organizations, not representatives of edhat. The views and opinions expressed in Op-Ed articles are these of the authors and don’t essentially mirror these of edhat.
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