The City of La Mesa first entered into a fifteen-year lease agreement with Sun Valley Golf, LLC in 1997, to operate a nine-hole executive golf course in MacArthur Park. In 2012, a five-year option extended the term to October 2017. OnMay 20, 2017, operators of Sun Valley Golf Course notified the City of intent to terminate the lease effective June 22, 2017. City Council directed staff to repurpose the 9 acres back to public use for future re-development of the entire 22 acre park.
In June 2017, the City hired a landscape architect to draft a design for short-term uses for the old golf course based on recommendations from the Parks Master Plan (such as trails, dog park, garden, disc golf, new access points, etc.)
In August 2017, the Community Services Commission hosted a public meeting to solicit input on proposed short-term amenities; disc golf and additional neighborhood entrances were not preferred. At that meeting, consultant KTUA introduced the Opportunities and Constraints Study project that would look at long-term options for the 22 acre park.
The Public Works Department and contractors completed maintenance to facilitate the transition of the former golf course to City management and opened it to the public in October 2017 as an open space park.
The Opportunity and Constraints Study's goal was to assess current uses and conditions of facilities to recommend opportunities for future facilities, upgrades, expansions, and/or possible additions for increased benefit to the community for park and recreation purposes. In order to solicit public input, two outreach workshops and a formal public workshop were held in fall 2017, in addition to a survey.
In October 2017, the City solicited Request for Proposals (RFP) from firms to rehabilitate and operate the former golf clubhouse, however, after a year of negotiations, no operating agreement was put into place.
In fall 2018, the Opportunity and Constraints Study recommendations were presented at a public meeting, to the Community Services Commission, and the Community Relations and Veterans Commission. Recommendations included options for renovation of existing facilities and/or replacement facilities for the pool, recreation center, and community center, in addition to a list of possible park amenities. City Council approved the study on November 27, 2018, and asked staff to move forward with the planning process to explore the option for new replacement facilities. Click on the cover photo of the Opportunities and Constraints Study below to read the document.
In October 2019, the Master Plan consultant, KTUA, continued work from the Opportunities and Constraints Study and hosted another public workshop, and launched an online survey to narrow down the list of amenities for a new community center, aquatics complex, and park features.
The City executed a three-year Operating Agreement with the La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation to operate a community garden at the former putting green and clubhouse on February 14, 2020.
In July 2020, the Master Plan consultants presented two concept plans highlighting most popular amenities in an online presentation, followed by a survey of the preferred options. The concepts were formulated using public input from the 2019 workshop and survey, the Opportunities, and Constraints Study, the Parks Master Plan, Community Services Commission, and staff. (View the full 22-minute presentation at https://youtu.be/pQ0S6WRssfo or 14 minutes condensed version at https://youtu.be/Vh5v-3oStBw.) Results of the input revealed that Concept 1 (two separate buildings) was preferred with a hybrid of recommended park amenities.
On May 1, 2021, the La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation Community Garden opened
In December 2021, KTUA presented a final concept plan that was based on input results and the draft Master Plan document to the Community Services Commission. The draft MacArthur Park Master Plan was posted for public comment from December 20, 2021 through January 30, 2022. Visit https://youtu.be/gP2ngkVrKig to view a recorded presentation of the November 2021 draft plan.
Click on the cover photo of the plan below to read the document.
View the comments received on the November 2021 draft plan here.
May 2022, project is put on hold pending results of City-wide Recreation and Parks Needs Assessment Survey, scheduled for early 2023.