Residents gathered at l Tuesday night to debate the future of . On one side, officials championed a proposal to install an outdoor gym in the green space. On the other, residents argued that the so-called "parcourse" could disrupt the area's quiet ambience and bring crime to the neighborhood.
Moderator , district director for Los Angeles , struck a balance between existing plans to revamp the park with concerns that the proposed 12 pieces of exercise equipment would produce too large a footprint and attract a criminal element to the small neighborhood park.
Louisa Santarelli, who lives across from the park on Elmer Street, initially stopped the construction by throwing herself in front of a bulldozer. She voiced her concerns: "Woodbridge Park is one of the last bastions of open space," she said. "This is huge, bulky, obtrusive equipment that could be considered an eyesore."
Rita C. Villa who represents 21 residents of a home owners association headquartered at 11306 Moorpark, also expressed reservations: "None of my constituents support this."
Park Advisory Board Chariman addressed concerns that the new gear could draw a criminal element around children.
"This excercise equipment attracts old fogies like me," he half-joked. "Above all, we want to enhance the values and use of the park to make it more enjoyable and safer. This equipement actually puts eyeballs on the area."
By meeting's end, a compromise was hammered out. The exercise gear would be substantially reduced. The five biggest installations would be placed in the northeast corner of the park. Two smaller pieces—the air walker and the sit up bench—would be situated on the west side of the pathway.
The agreement also rules out the placement of equipment near the children's playground.
Moderator Carroll concluded, "People feel very attached to their parks. I understand the connection people have with their parks. Woodbridge is a peaceful park. We want to preserve that."