The beginnings of a plan for the Rodgers Senior Center/17th Street Park (or whatever name you prefer) may finally be in the works.
A plan to gauge community opinion will be rolled out next month, with a conceptual plan for the two-acre site at Orange Ave. and 17th Street coming a few months later, according to Chris Slama, CSC interim director.
The news came during the Huntington Beach Community Services Commission (CSC) meeting April 10.
Area residents have been waiting for something to happen with the site since 2016, when the new Senior Center in Central Park was opened. Since then, the Rodgers center has seen limited recreational activities and some use by HBPD and the American Legion, but final status on the aging building and the property has been a budgetary hot potato in recent years. In 2015, the City Council voted 5-2 to enter into negotiations with a developer for sale of the Rodgers/17th Street Park, with proceeds promised for other City parks, but the developer pulled out in the face of community opposition. Several residents at the April 10 meeting complained that when voters in 2006 approved building the new senior center in Central Park, the City promised to preserve the Rodgers site as a park–a use Slama confirmed was the preferred option by residents.
Whatever the City ultimately decides, don’t expect a park or facility improvements any time soon. The City as yet has no money budgeted for such a project, a process that some CSC members noted could take a decade.