Solution for Mission Viejo team tennis facility expansion


MV tennis courts

Mission Viejo Tennis Courts.

For the past few years there has been an effort by “special interests” to add a single tennis court to the existing seven found at the Marguerite Parkway complex at the main entrance to Casta del Sol. This complex is closed for several hours every weekday, and as covered previously, is not the only city owned courts in Mission Viejo that they are welcome to use.

This CIP has expanded from adding a court to new lighting, remodel of the existing clubhouse and additional parking with a starting cost of $3.7 million dollars.

According to city recreation center usage reports we have approximately 250 local residents using these courts.

While the city council has taken a lot of heat relating to this large expenditure during a devastating recession and when revenue is declining let me offer a solution.

Back in Oct 2004 a few thousand north Mission Viejo homeowners were forced to vote on a “special assessment.” This assessment related to our appeal to the honorable Kim Malcolm, Administrative Law Judge, CA PUC, to force SC Edison to bury new 66kV electrical lines and new towers by our homes due to our concern for exposure to electro-magnetic fields (EMF) if these lines were installed above ground.

Having lost that appeal on a 3-2 vote the city council offered us another way to achieve our objective.

Those living in the surrounding area, based on distance from the potential site, were sent an OFFICIAL ASSESSMENT BALLOT from the city. That ballot contained our Assessment Number, Assessor’s Parcel Number, Parcel Address and Benefit zone.

The ballot was rather simple. We were asked to impose an assessment on our homes of a few thousand dollars to “bury the lines.”

Yes, I am IN FAVOR of Assessment District No. 2004-1

No, I am OPPOSED to Assessment District No. 2004-1

My copy of that document was dated Oct 15, 2004. The vast majority voted no.

If team tennis and other users are so driven to spend over $3.5 million for their project, and whereas they are lesser in number than our NOPE members, my recommendation is for the city council to offer a similar opportunity to these members. Put your money where your mouth is or drop the project.

With 100,000 residents in Mission Viejo, many of whom do not play tennis, this is truly a “special interest” request that should be recognized as such and dealt with in the same compassion from city hall as we received.

While the city supported our initial appeal to Edison at the end of the day the ball was in our court and we punted. The same option should be extended to team tennis.

About Larry Gilbert