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To the City Council:

First, thank you for your service to our community.  Many of us have come tonight to raise our concerns for ParkHill and the city property adjunct to the park.  This summer the neighborhood became aware of our R-4 rezoning.  In checking out the zoning map it was noticed that some of the city’s property has been re-zoned R-4 as well. While many of us appreciate the local need for multi residential housing, ParkHill is not an appropriate space for it. The top of ParkHill should be secured for future generations as some form of public or open space.  With the gradual shift of city services returning to 5th St.  the buildings up there may soon be vacant. Whether any of the structures are candidates for re-purpose or demolition, this land should be preserved as public, not sold off to R4.

Vacant structures will bring in trouble and the neighbors and myself would like to work with you to mitigate any deterioration of our neighborhood while promoting open space.  While I appreciate the lack of funding for such projects in these economic hard times, prosperity will someday return.  Then to make it a place our whole city can enjoy.

In my research of the many different federal, state, and local public agencies to have utilized the the site, I found the compound was built by the CCC (civilian conservation corp ) in the late 30’s as part of FDR’s back to work programs,  But the information I found most interesting was the San Justo Homestead Assoc. Map of 1870, the town of Hollister street layout.  The parcels “for sale” where on the flat land, and the hill left un-parcelled.  It almost looks like they were planning for open space, even when it was nothing but open space. In the decades to come ParkHill should remain a open/public space.

In a 1923 newspaper article Parkhill was an Auto Campground, with the city’s  renewed embrace of the Rally, it might be profitable to considering reviving it for the weekend, many a rider as a self contained RV not far away.

Lastly, while I worked with the city to make the master plan for ParkHill I asked for only two things, in the “big dream,” their words not mine; to include the compound in the plan, which was soundly shut down. And a return of the stairway from 3 rd  st. to the top of the hill, to promote people getting to the park as a form of exercise.   Since the majority of the play equipments removal, a decade ago, families no longer make Park Hill a destination. We must remedy this.  Park Hill should be included in the downtown historical district, not excluded, for it’s history is as long as the city’s itself.

Thank you for hearing us,

Robin Pollard