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Santa Monica is planning a big expansion to its airport park

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12 acres of athletic fields and community garden space

Plane at Santa Monica Airport geoman56 | creative commons

Santa Monica officials have been trying for the better part of a decade to close the city’s airport and replace it with a large public park. In January, the city made progress on the former goal, cutting a deal with the Federal Aviation Administration that will allow the airport to close by 2028.

Now, the city is moving forward with a major expansion to the four acres of park space that already exist beside the airport.

As Urbanize LA notes, the 12 acres of new park land will be developed on a site that, until last year, was a parking area for planes. Last week the city released a notice of preparation indicating that an environmental review of the project will soon begin.

The document reveals that the city has decided on a design for the park. Much of the new territory will be taken up by a pair of regulation size soccer fields, to go along with the multipurpose sports field in the existing park.

There will also be a new 128-space parking lot, 60 community garden plots, a grassy recreational area, a sports track, fitness equipment, table tennis tables, and three pickleball courts. The park would be surrounded by a looping path.

The city will be holding a public hearing to discuss plans further on Tuesday, March 21, at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, local activists including nonprofit foundation Airport2Park continue to push for a truly expansive park area to eventually replace most of the land now occupied by the airport.

Plans for new airport park in Santa Monica Santa Monica City Planning Division