Commission delays vote on controversial archery range
By André Coleman 12/05/2013
The battle over how the Lower Arroyo in West Pasadena should be used came to another standstill Tuesday, with the Recreation and Parks Commission delaying a vote on whether an archery range on the property should continue operations.
The 78-year-old range has been used in several movies, including 2009’s “Avatar” and “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” starring Errol Flynn, in 1938. In September, the City Council was asked by the commission to decide whether the site should continue being used as an archery range. However, the council did not do that, sending the matter back to city staff to study details of a deal previously approved by the commission. That proposed agreement would allow the range to continue operating under the management of the group Pasadena Roving Archers (PRA).
According to the staff proposal, the Department of Public Works recommends that a path that bisects the archery range be removed, that a natural barrier be erected and that all PRA members attend mandatory safety classes. The proposal would also require the PRA to hand over to the city 30 percent of fees that the organization collects from its members.
On Tuesday, the commission agreed to delay a vote on the proposal, although some members said they favor having the range on the property.
Though a number of residents have complained about finding arrows outside the perimeter of the range and have said the club presents a danger to people wishing to use the land for other purposes, such as hiking, Commissioner Thom Mrozek, who favors the range, said shared use of the space will not work.
“We’re here discussing this thing and have been for three years because people in that neighborhood have said shared use does not work,” Mrozek said. “The only logical conclusion, it seems, the only way to do it, is to say, like we do with the casting pond, like we do at Brookside Golf Course, the facility is designed for one use and one use only.
Particularly like at Brookside, which, by the way, is fenced to keep people out because it’s dangerous. You shouldn’t be walking there.”
The archers have been feuding for three years with a group of residents living in the area, who claim there have been a number of close encounters between archers and hikers. Some claimed to have found arrows in their backyards.
“The exclusive use of the land in the Lower Arroyo is by the archers unconscionable,” said local resident Tom Seifert. “We have other citizens who live here who would enjoy the benefit of walking freely in the Lower Arroyo.”
Pasadena police Lt. Tom Delgado told the Weekly in September that there were only two complaints on file regarding the archery range. Delgado also said that arrows found on private property were broken, oxidized and years old and appeared to have been recovered from the brush and not private property.