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The Planning Commission on Tuesday accepted the gift of 3.6 acres of vacant land near Sylvan Boulevard and Lincoln Street in northeast Redlands that could become a public park near three other new parks along the Zanja Trail.

Commission unanimously accepted the gift from a private donor, who was not named. Laramie Park is about 200 feet to the southwest, Sylvan Park is a mile away to the west and Crafton Park is seven-tenths of a mile to the east. All four parks are near the Zanja, a ditch dug 200 years ago to irrigate the Redlands area.  

The gift conforms to the 2035 General Plan that calls for expanding recreational facilities and activities throughout the city. The plan also calls for saving money in acquisition of land and seeks to offer equal distribution of recreational facilities to all residents.

Future development proposed on the subject property may be subject to the California Environmental Quality Act, according to the staff report.

The City Council will decide whether to allow construction of a structure.  For now, plans to add some benches are on the table.  

The commission also approved unanimously to consider a commercial landscape maintenance facility to be built on a 5 acre vacant site on the south side of Sessums Drive near Wabash Avenue.

According to city staff, the proposed commercial landscape maintenance facility would be operated by American Landscape and Maintenance between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. It would be staffed with three employees.

The land has been known to be home of the San Bernardino kangaroo rat, a federally protected species. However, an environmental report that included using traps resulted in no animal being caught, added city staff. The operation would consist of staging approximately 12 landscape maintenance vehicles, including a forklift, service of vehicles and equipment, storage of PVC pipe and fittings, storage of trees and shrubs, and storage of bulk materials such as bark, gravel and decomposed granite.