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Wilderness Park heads full agenda at next council meeting Tuesday

The Claremont City Council will discuss an amended plan to the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park lot expansion and proposed parking fees at its next regular meeting Tuesday, March 27, at 6:30 p.m.

The revised project will implement a $2 parking fee for all users of the lot, regardless of residency. A $50 parking pass will also be available. Fees are being implemented to help recoup costs of expanding and maintaining the parking lots, as well as the possible expansion of the south lot.

The council approved the first phase of parking expansions in early December, replacing the park's existing north lot located at Mills Avenue. Currently designed with 20 parking spaces, the lot will expand to hold an additional 137 spaces and span 1.45 acres. Asphalt will also be added to an area west of Mills Avenue to accommodate paid parking along the street. The rest of Mills Avenue and adjacent streets will have parking restrictions.

The new lot was approved to address complaints of noise and traffic congestion in the neighborhoods surrounding the park and the Thompson Creek Trail that has come with increasing popularity.

Parking spaces within the lot will be metered. Two meters—ranging from $11,000 to $15,000 each—will be added to the new north lot and one to the existing south lot. The original decision has been revised from the previous approval of free parking passes for Claremont residents and a $3 charge for every 4 hours of lot use for non-Claremont residents. The amendment calls for all users to be charged for parking.

The first phase will cost an estimated $350,000. A grant from the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District will cover $150,000 of this project. The remaining $200,000 will be borrowed from the city's general fund and reimbursed by money accumulated from the parking meters.

The council will also address reorganization on Tuesday and receive the report on community input from the city’s budget surveys.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at 225 N. Second St. To view the full agenda visit www.ci.claremont.ca.us.

—Beth Hartnett

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