CALEXICO — As Calexico focuses its attentions on building out Cordova and Heber parks to possibly make them community jewels, tiny Legion Park could be on the chopping block.
Located near Fifth Street
and Cesar Chavez Boulevard, it is home to American Legion Field, a pair of
dusty ball diamonds.
The Calexico City Council on March 4 is expected to consider a resolution recording the final map on a swath of city-owned land near the water treatment plant and city shop. That would carve the 45-acre parcel into several smaller parcels right at Legion Park.
The meeting was to be
held after this newspaper’s deadline.
The move could bring the
city some revenue if the smaller parcels can be sold to private entities on the
open market, a city Planning Department report states.
activity to the area could also leverage investment in the multi-million-dollar
expansion of Cesar Chavez Boulevard completed in 2019. Additionally, the city
has more ballfields planned for Cordova Park and other areas that would
mitigate the loss of Legion Park.
The proposed parceling
was nearly completed in fall 2018 when the matter went through a public hearing
and environmental-review process. However, it was never completed and must be
reconsidered due to the addition of a small parcel, according to the report and
map prepared by planning consultant Christopher Velasco.
In 2018, the five parcels
totaling about five acres, four of which directly face Cesar Chavez and one of
which faces Pierce Avenue, were cut away from the larger city-owned lot on
which the water plant and city shop are located.
Pierce runs between the five
smaller parcels along Cesar Chavez and the water plant and shop. The five
smaller parcels are zoned for “industrial rail,” apparently to take advantage
of the Union Pacific Railroad that runs parallel to much of Cesar Chavez
The staff report states
no one spoke in opposition of the project, which directly affects Legion Park
and its two baseball diamonds, during a public hearing on Oct. 8, 2018.
“This final map
subdivision will legally separate the water plant and city shop from the
remaining acreage and will be open to the market as future industrial/commercial
development along Cesar Chavez Boulevard,” according to staff reports.
The west side of Cesar
Chavez (the railroad runs along the east) from Highway 98 to Second Street is a
mix of commercial and light industrial developments on mostly private properties.
It appears Legion Park
and American Legion Field, which in some instances on Facebook is also known as
Water Park-American Legion Field, is used for adult and girls’ softball. In November
2019 it was the site of the 30th annual Calexico Turkey Bowl Classic,
an all-day event involving Calexico High School alumni and organized by the
graduating class of 1989.
Streets Project Completed
In other city business
March 4, the council was expected to be asked to authorize the city manager to
sign off on the completion of a 2019 streets project. The $5.29 million effort
involved the rehabilitation of about 50 city streets.
It is one of several upgrades
the city has undertaken over the past year as it catches up on infrastructure
improvements. The streets project was completed by Aggregate Products Inc. of
Pico Rivera in December.