Park to honor Portuguese community despite critics

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POINT LOMA -- Plans for a park honoring Point Loma’s longtime Portuguese community are finally materializing.

“There would be a statute of a fisherman overlooking the channel,” said community organizer Jon Linney, who’s leading the efforts to transform a long-standing dirt lot at the end of Avenida de Potugal into a historic landmark.

“It would honor a 100 years of the Portuguese community’s history in Point Loma,” said Linney who’s also a member of the Peninsula Community Planning Board.

“Point Loma is really low in the number of parks,” he said.

The piece of land, which is city owned, has never been developed.

“It’s been an eyesore forever,” said Don Sevrens, a resident of Point Loma and fellow member of the planning board.

The park’s plan is still in it’s very beginning stages but it has plenty of support from residents, including members of cultural organizations like the United Portuguese S.E.S. in Point Loma.

“It will have drought tolerant plants, areas where parents and their children can enjoy the view,” said Linney who earlier this year had members of the private sector and volunteers clean up the site’s abandoned and unattended landscape.

The idea for the park has been on the table since the 80’s but Linney and other board members have only recently generated enough support to get the ball rolling.

A small group of residents have raised concern however over the extra foot and vehicle traffic the park could generate in this quiet part of town.

Another concern is what effects a park could have on traffic along the infamous Cañon street which runs close to the lot.

“I like my privacy and I just hope it doesn’t attract the wrong type of people,” said one neighbor who asked not to be identified.

The park is expected to cost around $100,000 which will be paid for through community donations.

Community leaders hope they can get through the red-tape and break-ground by 2016.

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