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:
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.
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.
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!