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Council Candidates: Rispin Mansion Plans

The Rispin Mansion has sat idly under the ownership of the city for decades, but the candidates for Capitola City Council hope to see that change.

One of the longest conundrums the city of Capitola has faced over the last two-plus decades has been the Rispin Mansion.

Repeated renovations, protections, sales and purchases of the property have yielded no official use for the huge and picturesque land, but much money has been spent in the process.

Last week we asked the three men running for two spots on the Capitola City Council what should finally happen with the property. See their responses below:

Ed Bottorff: 

The city is actually very close to opening the area as a public park. The only discussion on the table is the level of safety and ADA improvements that will be funded and installed to allow it to be opened safely without enormous liability issues. 

There have been inquiries from private investors who are proposing to have weddings, small classical concerts or other small gathering at that site. This is a win-win situation for the city as it would be possible to open the park to the public, have someone else take care of the maintenance, and with constant public traffic, drive the undesirable population out of the area. With the exception of possibly providing restrooms, I would support the buildings that exist remaining as they are with no more funds being invested in them.

Jacques Bertrand:

Something will happen to the Rispin Mansion. I see it becoming a wonderful park hopefully, with community involvement, such as we did at Jade Street Park. This effort will take about $0.5 million, so it will be waiting behind other projects. However, if it became a community project, it would come to fruition much faster.

Dennis Norton: 

The Rispin is not a burden to the City. First we take the fences down, open the property to the public. and make it a passive open space/walk-through park. Then we let the next generation decide what they want to do with it. This community is in dire need of open space and this contributes.

So everyone wants a park. Bottorff seems more confident than Bertrand that it will happen soon. Meanwhile, Norton wants the next generation to take responsibility for the park's future. Where do you stand? Who are you voting for? Tell us in the comments!

Rachell S. October 23, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Doesn't Dennis Norton want to get elected? What kind of answer is that??- "Wait for the next generation to decide what to do with it." Perhaps there was more to his answer? And what generation is he talking about? I would like to see something happen in my generation. Rispin has just been sitting there for as long as I can remember. Taking the fence down would be an improvement but only if there were some protection against vandalism. The other two candidates seem to have some good ideas to at least explore in this generation.
Rachell S. October 23, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Just a follow up to my comment. I didn't mean to imply any criticism over the fact the mansion has just been sitting for so many years. I didn't mean that no one has even tried to come up with a solution for it. I'm well aware of the history of it and that the city council has worked through all the red tape of who actually owns it. I applaud all that perseverance. I also appreciate that there have been many ideas of how to use the mansion and none have come to fruition. Now is the time to come up with more ideas until we find one that works is what I really was trying to say.
Maryanne Porter October 25, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I think making it accesible to the public is a great idea! Something positive needs to come of the place and many people would like to enjoy the historical features from up close........hopefully it happens sooner than later. Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters

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