|PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
June 27, 2002 at 7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers
734 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Jan Melloni at 7:05 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Chairperson Melloni asked for roll call. In addition to the Chairperson, Commissioners Karen Rarey, Lanny Brown, and Ernie Rodrigues were present. Commissioner Jeff Cowling was absent at roll call. Others present were Parks and Recreation Director Craig Bronzan, Janet Hansen, Park Planner, and Tammy Homan, Administrative Secretary.
Craig Bronzan, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department reported that the City Council passed a proclamation declaring July as Parks and Recreation Month. He then requested the time to give a PowerPoint presentation that had been given to the City Council by the Natural Heritage Institute. This is information on a study by the UC Berkeley students on Marsh Creek. Director Bronzan then described and showed the presentation which centered around Marsh Creek watershed, including Dry Creek, Sand Creek and Deer Creek. He explained that between the Delta Science Center, the Watershed Planning Group, the City of Brentwood, and a lot of other people working together they are finalists for approximately 4.2 million dollars in various grants to restore parts of the creek. All the Commissioners will eventually be given complete colorized copies of the report. Objectives of the project include improving the corridor width, enhancing the creek, increasing flood protection and other environmental issues. There was also a citizen’s survey and reports of working graduate students of U.C. Berkeley. He discussed visions of the projections of how the watershed would be enhanced. The response from the citizen’s survey was also discussed, negative and positive opinions. Future plans for restoring the creeks and how it would impact future developer’s plan. Commissioners discussed the report and also Ms. Hansen gave a report on the work she has been doing on her current proposals.
AGENDA REVIEW: No changes or additions.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None. However three members of the LMC Political Science Class were there to take notes and observe “politics in action”, and were welcomed by the Chairperson.
Item No. 1. Approve minutes of regular meeting of May 23, 2002.
Item No. 2. Approve minutes of special meeting of May 30, 2002.
Item No. 3. Accept staff report from Parks Division (K. DeSilva/K. Byrd/B. Margesson/J. Hansen)
Item No. 4. Accept staff report from Recreation Services Supervisors (S. Barry/P. Scherff/M. Kaiser).
Item No. 5. Accept Urban Forest Guidelines - to be distributed at meeting (C. Bronzan).
Commissioner Rarey had a correction on Item No. 1, so she requested that item be pulled from the Consent Calendar. Commissioner Brown requested to pull Items No. 2 and 5. Commissioner Rodrigues moved to approve Items 3 and 4 on the Consent Calendar. Commissioner Brown seconded the motion carried unanimously.
On Item No. 1, Commissioner Rarey stated that on the very last page, just before the request for future agenda items, it stated that Commissioner Rarey commented that she can hear sounds from swim meets at her house. She corrected this to read “from the Orchard houses. With that correction, Commissioner Rarey moved to accept Item No. 1. Motion seconded by Commissioner Rodrigues and motion carried unanimously.
Item No. 2 was pulled because Commissioner Brown was not at the meeting, and since without his vote there was not a quorum for a vote the item was tabled to be brought back at the next meeting.
Item No. 5 was pulled by Chairperson Melloni since she questioned what it was about. Director Bronzan asked Ms. Homan, Administrative Secretary to distribute the copies of the Urban Forest Guidelines. Mr. Bronzan said that they had final approval and wished the Commissioners to view them and formally accept them. Commissioner Rarey moved the acceptance of Item No. 5, Commissioner Brown seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.
Item No. 6. Discussion of having Kathy Leighton of the Historical Society on Park Naming Subcommittee (K. Rarey)
Commissioner Rarey said that she had an opportunity to speak to Kathy Leighton of the Historical Society on the subject and Ms. Leighton was very favorable to the suggestion. So that is why she is asking the Commission to approve bringing Ms. Leighton onto the Park Naming Subcommittee. All Commissioners thought it was a good idea. Commissioner Rarey then moved that they accept Kathy Leighton onto the Park Naming Subcommittee. Commissioner Brown seconded the motion, and motion carried unanimously.
At this time Commissioner Rarey also suggested that the Commission send Ms. Leighton a letter informing her of their decision. It was agreed and a letter will be sent to Ms. Leighton.
Item No. 7. Discussion of grand opening of Orchard Park (B. Margesson).
Since Mr. Margesson was not able to attend the meeting, Director Bronzan gave the report. He felt the Grand Opening went well and KB did a good job supporting the opening of the park. Rose Pierce was invited and the public was invited to bring non-perishable food items for the Community Chest. KB Homes also made a $500 donation to the Community Chest. He asked for the Commissioners opinions and observations of the event, especially as to the music, food , etc. and what suggestions they might have for future park openings since there are a number of them coming up soon. The next will be Pulte’s on August 10 and may have Miwok Park also very soon. Commissioner Brown felt one of the reasons for the lower turnout at the Orchard Park Grand Opening is that a lot of the homes are not occupied there as yet. Commissioner Brown would have like barbecue or something more substantial that the snow cones, etc. Commissioner Melloni thought the music is important and tends to keep people there, plus a little more advertising. Commissioner Rarey commented that she could put it in the upcoming events at the newspaper so all the community will be informed. Ms. Homan said she did hear it being advertised on radio.
Item No. 8. Discussion of play equipment for Brentwood Parks (J. Hansen).
Ms. Hansen referred to the update on the dog park/play equipment tour which was included in her monthly report. She reported that it turned out to be more of a dog park tour with Commissioner Melloni and Cowling’s well behaved dogs along. Felt they have a good idea of what to be looking for in dog park as a result. They did look at some play equipment, but this still leaves the Commission with the play equipment decisions left to be made. She said that there has been a lot of interest expressed in expanding the vision for play equipment and she is especially looking now for some direction from the Commission as to what they think would be the most appropriate. She listed some options available to them, one is asking staff to go out and do photos of play equipment from various sites and representatives. Another would be to have a variety of play equipment representatives come and display and explain their equipment for the Commission. She explained the pros and cons of this type of demonstration. Commissioner Rodrigues expressed that in Livermore they have neighborhood gatherings in new parks and especially invite the children to get their input as to what they like and don’t like. He said this is helpful. Commissioner Rarey said that is good, however they are building parks in some neighborhoods that aren’t occupied as yet. She did comment that Pulte did this and said it did work there. Commissioner Melloni suggested getting some input from the Art Commission, because other than the play equipment, they could offer some creative ideas. Might be a good idea to ask what creative things could be done on playgrounds to stimulate the kids play. Commissioner Rarey thought it would be nice to take her children and test out the equipment for how well they liked it and also durability. Ms. Hansen thought that would be a good idea. The ideas was discussed on bringing together several children from the community like they did with the skate park to draw out what they would like to see in a park. Ms. Hansen said they do have some priority parks that are moving forward and will need to make these decisions very quickly, one such park mentioned was Heron Park. She said a good idea would be to get together with 2 or 3 members of the Art Commission, some children and get a consensus of what they like and feel would work. Director Bronzan suggested a story in the local news media that the Parks Commission is looking for input from parents and kids and schedule a day for the suppliers and all to visit various parks recommended by the equipment suppliers. This could be a day trip for all, parents and kids to look at what works and what doesn’t. Also, they could go to the Arts Commission and see if an Art Commissioner would be willing to go along on the trip. He felt it would be very interesting and they have the vans and capability of providing transportation for a fairly large group. Ms. Hansen cited her experience with establishing new parks in other areas, and what she has learned about creating a unique play environment. Ms. Hansen presented the idea of a “play fair” in one park with new equipment displayed for children and parents to observe for a day. Commissioner Rodrigues suggested the need to be prepared for the rapid growth in the community in the next few years. Commissioner Brown commented on discussions with his daughter on the equipment being proposed and suggested an inventory of what is now in the parks and make sure they don’t duplicate it, also bringing in baby sitters and moms to assist in decision making. Commissioner Rarey suggested Brentwood Mom’s Club and play groups.
Commissioner Cowling arrived at 7:59 p.m.
Commissioner Rarey suggested having equipment set up at a site downtown and letting children come and look at the equipment and try it out. This was discussed and one thing Ms. Hansen said was that the equipment could be set up, but kids could not play on it as it would not be anchored securely. Director Bronzan suggested a photographic inventory by parks, Ms. Hansen could send this all the equipment manufacturers explaining that this is all they have currently, and what else do have that is different and where is it located in the Bay Area. The manufacturers could then send photo renditions of other types of things and then based on locations, they could either share those photos with “mother groups” and then narrow down and find out what is new, innovative and different. Commissioner Melloni said she would like also not to focus on just play equipment, she would like to look at the total play environment. Ms. Hansen said she will do an inventory of what is currently in the parks and then talk to the equipment manufacturers. She also said to present a different play environment, the landscape architects would have to work closely with the equipment manufacturers. She suggested then getting together with the mothers clubs, the Art Commission, and have photos and go through all existing inventory and proposed equipment at a Commission meeting. It could be a special meeting on a Saturday or an early meeting and have parents and all interested parties involved. Ms. Hansen’s suggestion was then approved to set up a workshop, and Commissioner Cowling suggested having the meeting in a park. Ms. Hansen suggested getting her information together for them and potentially by the August meeting they could meet in the park. Creekside Park was suggested as a good site for the meeting. Discussion of inviting the Brentwood Mom’s Club as well as Discovery Bay Mom’s Club. This would be a regular scheduled meeting and then workshop for parents and all interested groups. They will send emails and postcards to publicize the event. Commissioner Brown suggested the regular scheduled meeting at 6:00 and do the workshop at 7:00 on that date. Motion was made by Commissioner Brown to change the time of the August 22 meeting to 6:00 p.m. for action items, and 7:00 p.m. for a workshop, to be held at Creekside Park. Workshop to discuss inventory of present play equipment and ideas for new equipment. Commissioner Rodrigues seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.
Item No. 9 Update/discussion of City/LUHSD joint projects (C. Bronzan)
Commissioner Bronzan had previously distributed a staff report that was approved at City Council on June 11 and wanted to update the Commission. He indicated that he will get them copies of the final CIP Budget in the near future. He then listed the four projects that are included in the CIP as follows:
1. Lighting at ball fields at Heritage High School, cost of installing all conduits necessary to light all fields in future. At this point they are lighting 2 softball fields and 1 baseball/soccer field, in addition to the football field which will already be lighted. Cost $95,000. That is a funded project including the scoreboards. This is split over two years, 2003/2004 and 2004/2005.
2. & 3. This is to duplicate at Heritage High what was done with Liberty High School, to build a double wide gym and store and office for the Parks and Recreation Dept. With Liberty High School it was $650,000 and with Heritage it will be $500,000. This, along with a joint-use pool which would enlarge the pool from 25 yards to 50 meters at a cost of $2,000,000. This will give the Parks and Recreation Department stand alone community building that has offices, store room, shower, bathroom, etc. He said this is a mini version of what they have at the Aquatic Complex. This will allow use of the facilities and if there is a meet could have use of both facilities. He discussed the City Council’s feelings on making a commitment at this time since the project does not go out to bid until next May. Therefore the staff is working with the school to see if there are other funding options. The architect will do a 25-yard pool design and also a 50-meter pool and gymnasium; of the $208,000 allocated this will give until next May for the City Council to have a better feeling on where the where the economy is going. School District is willing to cash flow this project until 2009, because they really want to work with the Parks and Recreation Department on this facility. He discussed the need for a 50 meter pool and the draw it would be for the community to host swim meets. At this point the department is working on the design with the architects and will stay in limbo until May of 2003, when they go through the CIP and see what money is available. He discussed projected funds coming in through the next year.
4. Liberty High School wants to renovate their current football field to a sports turf, and they also want to do a complete all weather track, which includes the inside of the area. The anticipated cost for the project is $1,245,000 and they have identified funding for all but $200,000, so they requested the City as a joint partner pay the $200,000. This is in the program and is a funded proposal, $100,000 will be funded this year (2002/2003) and the balance in the next year (2003/2004). This would also accommodate soccer and track. City then can decide if they wish to get into track and soccer programs. Heritage will have an all weather track when they open, as well as Freedom. Commissioner Brown asked how the progress is on the Liberty High School gym, Director Bronzan was not sure just where it was at currently, but promised to bring a report back at the next meeting.
Item No. 10 Update on public hearing by State of California Department of Parks and Recreation on proposed acquisition of Cowell Ranch (C. Bronzan).
Director Bronzan updated the Commissioners on a public hearing that was held by the Department of Parks and Recreation at Liberty High School on June 19. Director Bronzan spoke at this meeting on behalf of the City in support of the project. Evidently some funding has become available at the State level to actually purchase Cowell Ranch, which is about 3600 acres. He has given the Commissoners a copy of the report. The John Marsh House was also discussed and there is money coming in during the coming year from the state ($3,000,000) to stabilize the house, the first step in restoration. Director Bronzan reported that he spoke on behalf of having the California Parks trails matching with the Brentwood Parks trails. Therefore it is on the record that they are looking at joint-use of the facilities.
Item No. 11 Verbal update on Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan (C. Bronzan)
Director Bronzan congratulated the entire Commission for after over two years of work the City Council approved the Parks and Recreation Trails Master Plan and accepted the environmental work to make it a mitigated negative declaration. It is now a document that just requires final corrections. He then showed the Power Point presentation that was shown to the City Council meeting. He briefly went over the goals and objectives and the final document will be produced and colored and given to the Commissioners. He further discussed all of the goals and objectives of the plan, how it will be implemented and the follow up by the department and Commissioners. It was approved unanimously by the four City Council members present at the meeting. Need to bring them to each meeting when the documents are completed and in the Commissioners possession so that they can follow up on all policies and procedures.
One of the visiting students commented that College Park High School has a new all weather track that was dedicated last September. Her husband was the Project Manager on this track. She commented also on the Mountain View project which was funded by private donation.
Director Bronzan had one comment regarding Miwok Park. Although a difficult project to get completed, it is now on maintenance and suggested the Commissioners take a look at the park as it looks very good. Final playground apparatus going in and taking it to City Council on July 9, after final walk through and open on July 10. He asked for a suggested date for a grand opening date. B.A.N.C. may donate some money for the dedication. He suggested may also go to the developer for some funding for the park also. Discussion of dates and possibility of moving August meeting there instead of Creekside. Director Bronzan will contact B.A.N.C. and work on other ideas for the Grand Opening ceremonies for the Miwok Park.
Commissioner Rodrigues thanked Director Bronzan, Ms. Hansen and Ms. Homan for sending email while he was recovering from surgery. It enabled him to keep in touch with what was going on at City Council and other City activities. He complimented the staff as being very outstanding. He then also said he will continue to follow up with the senior group as previously promised. His first meeting with them will be July 2nd. He also felt it would be very helpful for the Commission to plan a workshop in the very near future and work on the scope of what the Commission is really about, this would clarify their job descriptions and concerns and enable them to know what their job is in the community and be able to project that in other community activities. This would be a help also in planning for the future as the community looks to the anticipated growth and related changes. It will be put on the agenda for the next meeting and Director Bronzan will bring materials on how to conduct meetings from the City Council and all other related materials.
The Minutes Recorder then asked if they would like to go back to Item #2 on the Consent Calendar since they now had a quorum and could vote this rather than carry it over until the next meeting. Chairperson Melloni said yes and Item No. 2 to approve the minutes of special meeting of May 30, 2002 was again brought forward for a vote. Commissioner Rarey moved to approve the minutes of the May 30 Special Meeting. Commissioner Cowling seconded the motion and motion carried with Commissioners Rodrigues and Brown abstaining since they were not present at the meeting.
Commissioner Rarey said she had a comment from someone regarding the lap swimming, who said they used to have cones on the lanes for lap swimming, and they haven’t been there lately and wondered if they had been forgotten to be put out and she has been bumped into a few times. She also asked about the downtown concerts, on Wednesday nights, she felt they were a great idea, but wondered where the funding was coming from. Director Bronzan said it was from Redevelopment Funds. There is 20% put aside for programming and activities and the Parks Department had been approached several months ago to look into these concerts. Since other surrounding cities do similar concerts it was decided to put this together for the City. Ms. Poldina Scherff has been coordinating the concerts. Director Bronzan said they are looking that a long term plan may be to have concerts more like the Wednesday night ones, with one or two big concerts during the year. This will see how the businesses cooperate with this plan.
Commissioner Rodrigues asked about a booth at the Cornfest. Director Bronzan said there is a City booth that the Commissioner is welcome to work and be involved with the booth. It will be an information type of booth with maps, etc. If anyone would like to work at the booth they will be put on the list and be very welcome. This is in “Info Alley” and has longer hours this year than in previous years. Commissioner Rodrigues would like to participate. Director Bronzan said he and Ms. Homan will coordinate with him for times he is available.
FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
Report on Liberty High School Gym
ADJOURNMENT: Chairperson Melloni adjourned the meeting at 8:58 p.m.
Betty Jo Whincup
of Brentwood Park and Recreation Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513