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Park History

Here is a chronological summary of key actions that got the Carmel Valley Recreation and Park District to where it is today.  Please enjoy!

In 1950, a group of citizens purchased 1.57 acres for the development of a Community Center.  In 1952, a building was constructed and later pool was constructed.

In August 1979 a  Youth Center letter to the Packard Foundation saying the price of today’s activity house and 1 1⁄4 acres between youth center and school was $115,000 and owned by Mrs. Sherrill Conway who wanted to sell. On September 12, 1979 a  $11,500 loan from the Packard Foundation was received to get the purchase started.

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors on April 29, 1980, approved in principle the allocation of $30,000 for the Carmel Valley Youth Center acquisition project and further designated all in-lieu recreation fees collected in the Carmel Valley Area until June 30, 1982, towards the project. The Monterey County Subdivision Ordinance requires that under specified circumstances in lieu recreation fees be paid by the subdivider upon the filing of a tentative, final, or parcel map.

In addition to the original $30,000, an additional $10,000 to help with solar heating development for the swimming pool and an additional $20,000 collected in in-lieu fees were then allocated to Carmel Valley Youth Center project.

The Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District agreed to assist Carmel Valley Youth Center with an acquisition project and solar heating system for the pool. To be done with MPRPD Funds but County to provide funds in the same $60,000 amount for use at Garland Park.

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors on September 30, 1980, approved direction for Parks Director and County Counsel to draft a joint powers agreement with the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District (MPRPD)  to provide for a $60,000 conveyance that ultimately would assist with acquisition and development of the Carmel Valley Youth Center.

In March 1981, MPRPD approved the purchase of 1.4 acres for $147,500 and property to be leased to the youth center for use as a park. The property was purchased from Youth Center which had been unsuccessful in buying property and had borrowed money to finance interim ownership. MPRPD compensated by a 50% ($73,000) Land and Water Conservation federal grant, $53,180 in in-lieu recreation fees and $40,000 from the special district funds. There was $19,000 left after purchasing for site improvements.

In January 1983 a Monterey County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) memo regarding the continued public hearing on the formation of a County Service Area (CSA 70) for the Carmel Valley Village Area was released. The memo explains that members of Carmel Valley Village Improvement Committee (CVVIC) had requested the Board of Supervisors initiate an application for the formation of a Carmel Valley Village County Service Area and the Board made application to LAFCO in late October 1982. The primary reason would be for a system of uniform and balanced street lighting. The proposal as conceptualized was a user assessment equaling $5.80 per parcel per year throughout the Carmel Valley Fire Protection District’s boundaries. County Counsel expressed the opinion that there could be problems in spreading the lighting assessment over the entire Fire District as the charges must be assessed on each parcel benefited and difficult to conceive of a significant benefit to land on top of Robles del Rio from street lights in the village. Memo references interest expressed by Carmel Valley Community Center Board and Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District Board for LAFCO to consider community parks as the primary function of the proposed CSA. More time needed for the study.

Community Park Grand Opening – May 15, 1983

For any kind of public funding through tax assessments to work for funding ongoing maintenance and improvements, MPRPD either had to keep and administer the 1.4 acres it had purchased from Youth Center or it had to give to the property to another public agency, hence the reason for the formation of the Carmel Valley Recreation and Park District (CVRPD).

Resolution 85-259 adopted by Board of Supervisors on April 16, 1985, proposing the formation of CVRPD with boundaries same as Carmel Valley Fire District, with the reason for formation being to provide recreational and park services to the Carmel Valley Community, with three main conditions in the Resolution being (d) CVRPD shall have an elected five-member board of directors, (e) District shall have all powers of a recreation and park district excluding power of eminent domain as indicated in Section 5790 of the Public Resources Code, and (f) the District shall be formed with a benefit assessment as outlined in attached Exhibit B to Resolution. Basically $24 for a single-family residence and $12 for vacant single-family parcel and no sunset clause on the collection of benefit assessment.

In a May 1985 County staff report to the Board of Supervisors was a recommendation to adopt a Resolution initiating proceedings for proposed formation of CVRPD. LAFCO approved the formation and authorized the Board of Supervisors to act as the conducting authority for the formation.

An election was set by the Board of Supervisors for August 20, 1985, on the proposed formation of the Park District.

A mail ballot with wording “Shall the order adopted on May 14, 1985, by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Monterey ordering the formation of a recreation and park district with a benefit assessment under the provisions of the Public Resources Code chapter commencing with Section 5780 be confirmed?"  Two candidates were on the ballot.

The argument in favor of the District in the Voter’s pamphlet states regarding the benefit assessment “...this amount would be locked in for five years and after 5 years the assessment would again be presented for voter approval.”  No mention of five year period and require future voter approval was in either the impartial analysis statement or in Resolution 85-259 and its Exhibit B.

The ballot measure passed and the effective date of District formation was August 28, 1985.

The portion of today’s park between the Village Green Condominium Community and the PSTS/Commercial Service Center before it was acquired by the Park District was a vacant 5.277-acre parcel that was purchased by Michael Marquard in December of 1986. Both the Youth Center and the Board of Directors of the newly formed Park District had pursued the purchase of the property but were unable to act before Mike Marquard’s purchase. Shortly after purchasing the property, Michael Marquard announced plans to develop a mini-storage facility on a portion of the property and he expressed a willingness to sell the remaining four acres to the Park District. In 1989, the Park District purchased four acres from Michael Marquard for $170,000.

In October 1991, the Carmel Valley Community Park was dedicated.

By Resolution 92-2 approved on August 12, 1992, the Park District leased the park properties and Schwartz Park to the Youth Center for $1 a year and term for five years with an option to renew. The properties were to be operated and maintained by Youth Center including utilities and insurance with reimbursement by Park District for all upon proof of payment by Youth Center.

The original Gazebo was built in 1992 with a $24,000 donation from the Joseph Sampson Foundation.

In 1993, the Park District made an application for a Transportation Enhancement Activities grant for $387,200 with a match of $52,800 for a total of $440,000 to purchase the 1.44 parcel owned by Michael Marquard. The application was also made in November of 1993 for a State Resources Agency Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program Grant in the amount of $400,000 with a 10% $40,000 Park District match. Neither grant was approved.

In December of 1994, LAFCO approved the addition of 3,920 acres to the District to match areas that had been added to the Carmel Valley Fire District and portions of Garland Park that weren’t in the Fire District. The addition included portions of Hitchcock Canyon and Garland Park and Sleepy Hollow.

In 2000, CVVIC purchased the 1.44-acre parcel from Michael Marquard for $440,000. Michael Marquard had approvals for a mini-storage facility on the property but did not proceed with the project. In a Grant Deed recorded on May 26, 2000, CVVIC gifted the property to the Park District. CVVIC over four years raised the funds including a bequest of $100,000, a gift of $50,000 and assorted fundraising activities.

A new bathroom building near the group picnic area was built in 2003. $55,000 from a State Parks 2000 Per Capita Grant Program and $55,000 from Park District Programs and Projects fund.

The original Gazebo was replaced in 2005 with a $13,269 State parks Roberti—Z’berg- Harris Block Grant.

Sometime in the 2006-2008 timeframe, the Youth Center (former board member Nick Craft indicates Youth Center board president Tom Crow was the lead) made the decision not to renew the lease. An unsigned lease in the file shows that the 1.277 acres added in 1994 were included and that the Park District was responsible for utilities and all rental income retained by Park District. But this lease was never signed and the Park District and Youth Center were therefore each on their own regarding maintenance, utilities, and insurance for their respective properties.

During 2008-2010 Park District replaced pathways ($54,000), constructed a new 28 space parking lot ($110,000), graded and chip sealed the dirt parking lot ($36,000), and constructed new pathways around the Activity House ($12,000) with funds coming from a 2002 State Parks $220,000 Per Capita Grant.

In early 2022, the District received notice of receiving two California State Parks grants funded by Proposition 68 in the amounts of $250,000 (RIRE grant) and $177,952 (Per Capita Grant) respectively.  These state grants are intended to support the renovation, repair, and/or replacement of park district facilities.

A smaller project was completed in December 2022 - renovation of the outdoor stage,  with material supplied by the District and the substantial labor of a local Eagle Scout Troop.

After evaluating several approaches to improvements to the park's Activity House, the Park District Board approved a phased approach to that work to ensure completion of each phase within the State Proposition 68 grants funding envelope.  Rehabilitation of the Activity House roof, addition of insulation, and other exterior improvements (painting, new lighting, new gutters) will begin in September 2023 and were completed in December 2023.

Additional work phases to address windows, HVAC improvements, and kitchen renovation are in the planning phase with estimated completion in the first quarter of 2024.