CIVIC CENTER — When it comes to naming the multi-million-dollar park currently under construction across from City Hall, residents seem unable to come to a consensus.
Following an exhaustive process to solicit input, city officials say residents did not give a single, clear preference for names put on a short list by the City Council in October, but instead submitted 166 new suggestions ranging from the obvious (Civic Center Park) to the whimsical (Sandcastle Park and Endless Summer Garden) and even the politically charged (New Bum Park).
That has led city planners to recommend sticking with the original moniker coined during the initial planning process — Palisades Garden Walk.
The council is expected to debate the issue at its regularly-scheduled meeting set for Feb. 12.
The council’s short list of names includes Arroyo Park or Santa Monica Arroyo Park to honor the design theme: a wash, dry creak or stream bed gulch that temporarily or seasonally fills and flows after sufficient rain; Tongva Park or Santa Monica Tongva park, to pay tribute to the indigenous people who once inhabited much of present day Los Angeles County; Parque Del Sol, which is Spanish for Park of the Sun; and Santa Monica Commons, as in belonging equally to the entire community.
In a survey circulated at several community meetings and posted on City Hall’s website, Tongva received 128 votes. That was followed by Commons with 111 votes, Arroyo with 90 votes and Parque with 80. The “other” option received the most with 141.
Of the input received, 291 people (53 percent) gave a Santa Monica zip code, 149 (27 percent) provided a zip code outside of Santa Monica and 110 people (20 percent) provided no zip, according to a city staff report.
“Public input shows that none of the short-listed names resonated loudly with the majority of participants,” the report states. “Since none of the short list of park names garnered clear support in relation to each other and other suggestions, staff believes that there is merit to returning to the name ‘Palisades Garden Walk.’ This name emerged during the Civic Center Specific Plan process adopted in 2005 … .”
City officials say Palisades Garden Walk embodies the description of the park, and furthermore the park was recently designated by the council as a botanical garden because its design “emphasizes native, locally adapted and extraordinary plantings.”
“Therefore, establishing Palisades Garden Walk as the permanent name for the park would be reasonable and enduring.”
Construction on the 6-acre park began in spring of 2012 and is estimated to be completed in late August 2013, city officials said.
For a complete list of names suggested, visit http://www.smgov.net and click on the tab “Council Agendas/Minutes” and select the Feb. 12 agenda.
Spaceship Adventure Park has a nice ring to it.