Jul 31, 2023
3 mins read

Vista approves land purchase for future park near Vale View

The Vista City Council has approved a land purchase near the Vale View neighborhood that will be home to a future park.

Vista approves land purchase for future park near Vale View

VISTA — Years after residents blocked a proposed hotel on a vacant parcel along Matagual Drive near the Vale View neighborhood, the City Council on June 27 opted to buy the land with plans to build a public park on the 2.5-acre lot.

The city agreed to purchase the property at 536 Matagual Drive for $2.1 million from Thomas, Julian and Selena Shadle, who accepted the city’s discounted offer after initially asking $3 million.

The deal was contingent upon the land being used as a park, allowing kids to play and the public to enjoy and beautify the area.

“People just really wanted to make sure that I knew that they really wanted to turn it into a park or something more beneficial to the city or community as a whole,” Councilman Dan O’Donnell said. “I told them I couldn’t make any promises, but I would try really hard to turn it into a park. I asked them if they would be open to selling it to the city. Julian (Shadle) said, ‘A long time ago, my dad said this would be a beautiful spot for a park.’”

The deal is expected to close in August. At that time, the city will hire a consultant for community outreach efforts to determine the park’s amenities, given the sizeable slope on the property’s back end. O’Donnell also noted the park’s design and amenities must not interfere with the residents living in homes adjacent to the lot.

City Manager John Conley said the goal is for city staff to initiate a planning process to bring back in spring 2024 and put the project out to bid. Conley said construction could start late next year if all goes according to plan.

In 2019, residents in the Vale View neighborhood pushed back against a proposed hotel at 536 Matagual Drive, along Hacienda Drive east of Vista Village Drive and south of state Route 78.

Vista resident Lonna Leghart, one of the residents who fought against the hotel, said a developer later abandoned another proposal for a townhome project after residents said they would oppose it.

“They wanted to put 42, three-story townhomes on that property,” Leghart said. “Where were people going to park? That was one of our huge issues (with the hotel).”

Across the street from the future park are several restaurants, including Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, Panera Bread and the Habit Burger Grill. Residents’ attempts to block that development were unsuccessful, but they were able to exclude a proposed car wash at the strip mall.