Less than two years since its creation in 2022, Great Park‘s resident task force is dissolving.
The task force, an ad-hoc committee composed of 15 appointed residents who represent the Great Park Neighborhoods, was meant only to run through the remainder of 2023, said city spokesperson Kristina Perrigoue.
First proposed in May 2022 by Councilmembers Tammy Kim and Mike Carroll, the task force in April was extended through the end of December at the request of Carroll, who chairs the Great Park Board. The goal of the proposed task force was to get a diverse sampling of Great Park residents’ opinions about various projects happening at or coming into the area.
“The genesis of the Great Park Task Force was to have residents weigh in as we were building out the Great Park framework,” Kim said. “The task force was set to end, but since the framework was not completed, the council voted to extend the duration of the task force until the end of the year. Since we have already approved the Great Park framework, the task force completed its mission. I really appreciate the work they put in.”
But what might the lack of an official, board-appointed group that voices residents’ thoughts and concerns on issues that affect them mean for the Great Park Neighborhoods, especially as the Great Park is undergoing development?
Parisa Yazdani, co-chair of the task force, said not having a task force means that residents will have to rely on each other to get information about things happening in the neighborhoods and “trust that they’re getting that information in a timely manner.”
“When we had the task forcett, we were meeting with city staff once a month and being let known, ‘hey, this is what’s happening,’” Yazdani said. “And then we were able to funnel that to residents rather than us having to go look for information. If there were any questions, we were getting direct lines versus now people will have to go pay attention to council meetings, call the city and hopefully reach someone who knows what’s going on. And a lot of us don’t have that time.”
“There’s going to be a lot less access,” she said.
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But that doesn’t mean residents won’t get involved.
Yazdani and David Lingerfelt, another Great Park Neighborhoods resident, created a club within the homeowners’ association that is independent of the task force. Lingerfelt said the thought behind the group, which has more than 60 members, was to encourage involvement from more residents.
A task force isn’t required for residents to give their feedback, Lingerfelt said, as long as the city prioritizes residents’ comments.
“Speaking for myself, it’s hard to silence me,” Lingerfelt said. “I gave feedback before the task force (was created) and will continue to do so without it.”
Developer Almquist, the company tapped to plan and develop a community commercial retail center at the Great Park has been good with resident outreach, Lingerfelt said, and the new club has already met with city staff and Almquist representatives to discuss retail plans.