By Susan Motander
The Monrovia City Council took further steps on Tuesday night in the process of opening the Wilderness Preserve. They voted to keep the area as a preserve rather than reclassifying it as a park. They also established the hours for operation of the park, and put in place a “pilot permit-parking program on certain streets in Monrovia.”
The staff report initially recommended that the Preserve be classified with the other city parks, but at the suggestion and urging of Council Member Gloria Crudgington, the preserve will remain just that and not be lumped in with the city’s parks.
“We never wanted this to be a park, but a preserve,” she said. Crudgington and her husband, Cleve, were the chairs campaign for Measures A and B that established the preserve and authorized the funding for the purchase of the properties necessary. They were also instrumental in working with the city to set up the Resource Management Plan for the preserve.
The balance of the council concurred with Crudgington on this issue. “Let nature be as it is. It was not our desire to make this into a park” Mayor Tom Adams remarked.
After some discussion regarding the appropriate hours for the operation of the park, the Council voted to establish the hours as 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
As a part of the process of opening the preserve, permit parking will be initiated on the following streets:
– On Ridgeside Drive between Briarcliff Drive and Oakglade Drive
– On Cloverleaf Drive between North Alta Vista Avenue and Hidden Valley Avenue
– On Hidden Valley Avenue from Cloverleaf Drive to the terminus of Hidden Valley Avenue
At the suggestion of the council and as a part of the motion regarding the rules, the hours for the park opening, the success of the permit parking, and other issues regarding the park will be reviewed by the council on a quarterly basis.
Brad Hogart, a resident in one of the areas near the preserve, praised the city staff especially City Manager Oliver Chi and Community Services Director Tina Cherry, and for the work they have done with the community to prepare for the opening of the Wilderness Preserve.
In the course of the discussion regarding the preserve, Crudgington noted, “There have been a flurry of emails about this.” She suggested that the council consider establishing a speed limit in the preserve.
“I think we need to worry about the cars going up there cars hitting hikers and bikers,” she added and suggested the City’s Traffic Engineer review this before the next review in three months.
Chi assured that this and the other issues raised by the council would be monitored in an