The column below was written by Hollywood Park Resident Greg Brown and was originally posted in The Land Park News (Valley Community Newspapers, Inc.)
When Capitol Nursery, the popular fixture on Freeport Blvd since 1931, vacated their property last August they left a deserted lot with gobs of property. The land was scooped up by Raley’s Supermarket and that’s when the rumors started to fly. Some folks in the neighborhood as well as some Raley’s employees were pontificating that Raley’s would move to the former Capital Nursery location. The rumor was that Raley’s would move from their present location, which is leased, and move it on over to the Capitol Nursery property that they now own. A new state of the art Super-Raley’s! I spoke with Raley’s media representative John Sagali and he said there are “no plans for Raley’s to move from its present location“. He said they “have not decided on a plan for the Capitol Nursery location yet“. He also mentioned the fact they didn’t want another grocer to move in on their territory and that’s why they purchased the plot of land from Capital Nursery. He compared it to the game show Hollywood Squares. Paul Lynde for the block!
Another speculative rumor was Green Acres Nursery would take over the Raley’s spot once it moved to the Capitol Nursery location. Another local rumor that is “completely false” according to Kellie Natoli, a representative from Green Acres. “We have no interest in having a store in that location.” So what will become of the coveted spot? So far the only one using it is The King Of Curls. He’s got his yellow and red promotional truck parked in the lot on a daily basis. He’s the King Of Free Promotion.
Soccer Planet is a new premier indoor soccer facility in Sacramento that is causing some uproar in the Hollywood Park neighborhood. The goal of Soccer Planet is to make it the “Disneyland of Soccer”. Unfortunately, some of the neighbors don’t think it’s the “Happiest Place On Earth”. In fact, some are downright grumpy about the family friendly facility.
At the Hollywood Park Neighborhood Association meeting recently there were a few outraged vocal residents who were unhappy about Soccer Planet. Soccer Planet does not have enough parking spaces on-site to accommodate their patrons; the cars overflow onto Haldis Way and 25th street. This happens mainly on weekends and evenings disrupting the quiet neighborhood. I spoke to a few of the neighbors who did not want their names used for this article. One HP resident I spoke with said he likes the soccer facility because it gives kids something to do during the summer instead of sitting in front of a TV all day. He spoke to me in hushed tones because his next door neighbor is vociferously opposed to Soccer Planet and the overflow of vehicles. This issue is actually pitting neighbors against neighbors. Some want permit parking, others do not. Another resident on Haldis stated he would like it if they “brought back Johnson/Butler rugs“. Sounds like a party! One neighbor, who didn’t want his name used, mentioned he had a few words with a patron who parked in front of his house and the next day he noticed his Honda Accord had been keyed.
There is also a “Neighborhood Manifesto” being passed around that advises residents how to report any and all violations by Soccer Planet. There are names and numbers of the Fire Marshall, Supervisor of parking enforcement, even the head of the Alcohol Beverage Control. The neighborhood manifesto encourages residents to “keep a watchful eye on Soccer Planet and report capacity violations to the fire marshal” which creates fines for the business. The fines get greater each time they are reported and found not complying to the 61 person capacity. The manifesto also suggests nearby residents “keep a diary and take photos of any and all violations“. Reporting Soccer Planet and it’s alleged violations sounds like a full time job!
There are some valid points made in the “neighborhood manifesto“. 24th street can be dangerous to cross on foot…especially at dusk. It’s a four lane street with no speed limit signs and No Parking signs. Suggestions included getting a crosswalk and a flashing light for patrons and installing 35 mph speed limit signs. Another solution for the parking problem could be change the street from 4 lanes to 2 lanes and have parking and a bike lane. Similar to what they are planning on Freeport BLVD which is much busier. Unfortunately the two lane street is also not in the plans right now.
Another piece of literature is a mysterious, sarcastic flier that was mailed out to residents in the neighborhood with the Soccer Planet logo. It says things like “With summer quickly approaching you will be happy to know that Soccer Planet will be going strong night and day 7 days a week as soon as school lets out“. Another section states, “Thank you and please keep the parking spaces available in front of your homes. It will probably be a lot more livelier (sp) for you all soon; beer and wine are on the way”. This is all in bold letters. (Soccer Planet has applied for a Beer And Wine license.) Maybe not the best way to get peace in the neighborhood. Perhaps some communication between residents and Soccer Planet management would be a better plan rather than inflammatory ill-conceived fliers that only create more of a rift between neighbors and businesses. What is it that Rodney King said? A board member from the neighborhood association is getting involved and trying his best to alleviate the concerns of the neighbors and keeping peace in Hollywood Park.
Another issue is Soccer Planet is in an EA3 Overlay zone which means it is in the flight path of the Executive Airport. The threshold of persons per acre allowed on an EA3 overlay zone is 50 persons per acre and Soccer Planet is on 1.29 acres. There is a current investigation with code enforcement in regards to this. The City Council would have to vote to give Soccer Planet an exemption to the overlay zone law. One resident at the HPNA meeting mentioned the tragic Farrell’s Ice Cream plane accident that occurred at an air show in 1972 as well as the government sequestration that will affect air traffic control.
Perhaps Soccer Planet could move to the former Capital Nursery location and everybody could live happily ever after.