County park expansion under way

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Construction of a development at the corner of French Street and China Lake Boulevard has sparked interest from local residents. Since Kern County 1st District Supervisor Jon McQuiston’s field representative was on vacation, she referred the News Review to a county officer when inquiries were made last week. At press time those calls were not returned.

However, City Planner Matthew Alexander said that he spoke with McQuiston and circulated a press release to local media. Alexander said he made his own inquiries when he fielded many calls about the project.

According to the press release, the grading activity is part of a proposed extension of LeRoy Jackson Park. Phase I began on Aug. 1 and is tentatively scheduled to conclude on Nov. 8.

Phase I work includes clearing and grading the site and installation of a backflow device, a new water line, trash enclosure, park entrance and driveway, parking lot, lighting for the lot and walking path, picnic shelter with seating and barbecue grills, monument sign with planting and lighting, a main walking path from Las Flores to China Lake, decomposed granite walking path, irrigation and landscaping along Phase I amenities, and the restroom/sewer connections.

Phase II will include installation of wind walls along China Lake, completion of the walking paths, completion of remaining landscape and irrigation, and an amphitheater.

“Unfortunately, the entire site is being graded at this time with no provision for containing blowing dust,” said Alexander. “Phase I only represents a fraction of the entire project area. It would have seemed more prudent to leave the ground cover in place for those areas that should not be disturbed until Phase II.”

He said he recommends the city requests steps be taken toward permanent dust mitigation during the first phase.

Story First Published: 2012-09-05