As a mother and grandmother, I am deeply concerned about the City’s plan to use the playground at the Boys and Girls Club for parking. The plan is for 67 spaces and with turnover it will mean approximately 200 vehicles a day. A look at the parking spaces in the front lot and the frontage road is an indication of what the playground will look like. Motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, etc. These are all contaminants. Brake dust contains asbestos! Asphalt is porous; no amount of clean-up will eradicate these toxins. The playground will be permanently contaminated.
This area is used Monday through Friday by tiny preschoolers who ride trikes, bounce balls and run around. When a child picks up a ball that has rolled through this stuff it will easily transfer to their mouth, eyes, skin and hair. These can be especially dangerous for kids with asthma when inhaled into their tiny lungs. Elementary and middle schoolers play basketball and soccer and ride skateboards there. The risk of slip and fall injuries will skyrocket.
This plan would never fly or even be considered at Top of the World or El Morro School. No notification or signs have been posted. Why? Parents need to be informed in both English and Spanish as the pre-school program is used by our Hispanic community. Parents have an expectation that their children are in an environmentally safe atmosphere. The city planners, in their quest to provide summer parking, have thought of everything except the kids.
I urge all parents to contact both the Boy and Girls Club and City Council to express their concerns about this potentially dangerous plan.
Cathy Hallinan, Laguna Beach
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