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Chula Vista residents rally to reopen Harborside Park ahead of city council meeting

Harborside Park.jpg
Posted at 6:03 PM, Dec 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-10 00:07:18-05

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — A group of residents gathered early Saturday morning for a rally to save Harborside Park, which has been closed since August 2022 due to concerns over homelessness, drug use, and prostitution.

RELATED: Supporters of reopening Harborside Park wonder about future amid Cardenas allegations

“This was my park before, and some other friends, and also when I was homeless for 15 months, I came here after school with my children," said Leticia Lares who participated the rally.

She marched nearly a mile from the nearest open park, Lauderbach Park, to Harborside Park.

“It’s really sad to see that it’s closed, especially during the summer." she said. "It’s just sad for the families— for the children because now they spend more time indoors."

WATCH: Anchor Wale Aliyu talks Harborside Park's future with Chula Vista mayor, community members

The rally took place ahead of an upcoming city council meeting where the future of Harborside Park is set to be discussed once again.

“I hope that we can come together— work collaboratively to be able to open the park. We need to reopen the park,” said John McCann, the mayor of Chula Vista.

The focus will be on Councilwoman Andrea Cardenas, who proposed to transform the park into affordable housing with more than 160 units and a recreational facility.

Her proposal follows the rejection in May of a $900,000 revitalization plan, including fencing and park rangers, which aimed to address issues like individuals in the park after dark.

READ MORE: Chula Vista councilwoman pleads not guilty to fraud, money laundering charges

Mayor MccCann said the plan to reopen the park is not abandoned. “We’re going to bring it back again on Tuesday at the council meeting and I hope we can get some support to open the park," he said.

The Chula Vista City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday.