The controversy over a new roller hockey rink planned for the proposed Civic Center Park continues.
The owners of Worldwide Roller Hockey Inc. are considering an appeal of additional parking requirements imposed Thursday night by the Planning Commission.
A divided City Council last month narrowly approved a lease to the Canadian-based company over objections that the deal amounted to unfair competition. Irvine Hockey Club owner Bruce Silverman said the lease rates are unfairly low and could threaten the future of his business, which is located less than a mile from the site.
The irregularly shaped, 4.5-acre site is on Barranca Parkway between the San Diego Creek and Peters Canyon Channel.
Planning Commissioner Dave Christensen persuaded the commission to reverse a decision by the city's zoning administrator, which had granted Worldwide a variance from city parking requirements.
Company representatives told commissioners they can provide the required 186 parking spaces by using 66 spaces in a nearby lot. But they object to making the requirement a condition of the lease.
"Worldwide Roller Hockey voluntarily made a good-faith effort to provide additional off-site parking, which was not required by the Transportation Commission or the Zoning Commission," company President Shael Wilder said Friday. "There's a difference between that voluntary action on the one part and converting that business arrangement into a permanent regulatory requirement."
The new hockey area will include three rinks, a pro shop and practice facilities, in addition to a McDonald's restaurant. Construction will begin in two weeks, with completion expected early next year.
"I felt it was entirely inappropriate to put a facility of that magnitude on that property," Christensen said. "It's basically landlocked."