The city’s long-range plans to build two modern recreation centers on the west mesa of Balboa Park along Sixth Avenue — to replace two decrepit facilities — is drawing fierce opposition from stakeholders including park preservationists, community groups and Bankers Hill residents.
Plans for the two rec centers are detailed in the proposed update of the Uptown Community Plan, listed under the draft of the Recreation Element. The proposal has been up for public review since June, and the Uptown Planners were scheduled to review the proposal and hear public comments at a special meeting called for Thursday night, Nov. 19, at the Balboa Park Club.
The deadline for final public comments is Dec. 1, as city planners are expected to present a final version of the proposed update in January. A community plan is a crucial policy guideline for local growth and development over the next 25 years.
The proposed Uptown Recreation Center would expand or replace the underused Balboa Club building located on Sixth Avenue between Juniper and Ivy streets. The Chess Club and the Horseshoe Club would likely be incorporated into the new complex, which would be 17,000 square feet and include a gymnasium, fitness rooms, and space for community meetings, arts and crafts, and other activities. The proposal also calls for a reconfiguration of the site to accommodate the relocated horseshoe courts as well as other active recreational activities, such as a children’s playground.