|PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
October 28, 2004 at 7 p.m.
City Council Chambers
734 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER:
Present were Vice Chair Tom Jones and Commissioners Jan Melloni and Sandra Myers. Chairperson Lanny Brown and Commissioner Ernie Rodrigues were excused absences. Staff presented included Craig Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation; Tammy Homan, Administrative Secretary; Poldina Scherff, Recreation Services Manager; Ken DeSilva, Park Services Manager; Janet Hansen, Park Planner; and Sue Barry, Recreation Services Supervisor.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: All stood for the pledge of allegiance.
A. PONY Baseball Recap for the 2004 season (Jeff Schults, President of Brentwood PONY Baseball).
Mr. Schults, James Helming and Kirk Applegate were present to speak for the PONY Baseball recap. Mr. Schults did the main part of the presentation. He said that he wanted to say what a great year they had, and that it was the first year as a primary affiliate and in many ways was a difficult year with the Sunset Park under construction and other facilities being used throughout the city. He gave numbers of amounts of money used to improve facilities in the City and surrounding area. He discussed the benefits of being a primary affiliate and use of the National Coach Youth Sports Training program. He said that they had a little over 1,000 kids in the program, 88 teams and supported 19 fields. He said next year, the organizations primary contact will be Kirk Applegate. He said he looks forward to renewing their primary status with the City of Brentwood and will complete all of the forms towards that effort. He again thanked Ms. Scherff for all of her assistance in making sure that all the teams who wished to play baseball had a field. Mr. James Helming is current treasurer and will be incoming Vice President and the following year will be President.
AGENDA REVIEW: No request for changes in the agenda.
Ms. Cathy Wolfe, a resident of Creek Road, was the first citizen to comment. Ms. Wolfe was present to speak on her behalf of her parents, Peter and Jane Wolfe who were unable to attend. She addressed the Commission concerning issues on the southern portion of the Marsh Creek Trail, and its onflow onto Creek Road. She said there is a need to set a curfew on the portion of the trail from Creekside Park to its southern border. She said her neighbor, Randy Christ who is also present at this meeting, has recently been robbed. Her property is located just beyond the trailhead. This, along with the recent influx of people on the trail, she feels increases the chances of their property being robbed. She does not feel citizens should use this unlighted part of the trail after sunset. She wants a sign at the north side of the Creekside Park bridge for traffic headed in the southern direction. She was also concerned after reading minutes of a previous meeting that plans exist for a 5-foot wide pass to adjoin the end of the current trail with the portion of the trail further south. She said that her family has not been consulted with any plan. She said they had previously been consulted regarding construction on the Summerset addition. She felt the City owes them an opportunity to consult with them and get their opinion when the plans affect their property. She said her family has lived along this road for 70 years, and have planted and cared for most of the landscaping along the creek and are knowledgeable about the terrain. She would like to have her family involved in any future planning along this road.
The next citizen was Randy Christ, also a resident of Creek Road, who was present to get an answer to a letter he had written four months ago regarding issues he had with the City and the Parks and Recreation Department. Ms. Hansen, Park Planner for the Parks and Recreation Department was the recipient of the letter and said that she had responded and this was included in the minutes of that meeting. She asked if there was a particular issue that wasn’t addressed and he replied that he felt there were several. He said he had also called several times and had not gotten a return phone call. He again mentioned the fact that they were robbed about a week ago. He said the police and he felt this was a result of the additional exposure of his property since the trail was opened. He also is concerned that the trail is used 24 hours a day. He said his understanding was that trails were to be closed at sunset. He said he is constantly being woken by motorcycles, walking, driving golf carts, etc. He, along with Cathy Wolfe would like the trail closed at night. He would like a response on this issue. He said the bollards he had complained about at the last meeting he attended have been removed, and have been replaced with signs that are now right next to the road, he would like all of that moved out of the road right-of-way, including curbs that create a hazard. This all continues to be a problem and has drastically changed the quality of life in the neighborhood.
Bill Luce, also of Brentwood said that he lives across from Creekside Park and has a lot of concerns about the park. He has lived in this vicinity for about four years. He felt the end of the park was a haven for illegal pursuits and a hangout for kids. He reported when he called the Police Department it takes several hours for them to arrive. He would go to the site and kick people out because his dogs were barking and this has not changed. He wanted to know what will be done about this and felt as the others that this is a dawn to dusk park and wondered
why this is not being enforced. He says he goes to the site armed and wants rules enforced. He also said that Pulte Homes did the contracting work and put in snow fence and this is still there in the creek. Vice Chairperson asked if that was meant as a temporary installation, Mr. Luce replied in the affirmative. Mr. DeSilva, Park Services Manager reported that this is on the punch list for Pulte Homes to take care of and he will follow through on this issue.
Jeff Schults then commented on a recent meeting conducted by Vice Mayor Beckstrand regarding Transplan, for the third section of the Highway Four Bypass. He said there is current discussion about how that trail is slated to go under the Bypass. He was also concerned if 24 hour access is being planned for that area.
Claudia Luce then followed up with comments regarding the skateboarders on the trail. They have had to kick them out several times. They have also had people go down and shoot handguns into the creek. That could be dangerous to them or their dogs. She said they don’t call the police because it does not do any good, she has spent up to 45 minutes on hold trying to get through. She said she has gotten through possibly three dozen times, and only once have they gotten a police officer to show up. Commissioner Melloni said she has had similar problems to get through to the police and has been told it goes through the Antioch Police Department dispatch.
Vice Chairperson Jones suggested calling the Police Department during the day and report the problem. Mrs. Luce said she has and the Police Department has told them to just keep calling and logging the calls. This does not do any good. Vice Chairperson Jones suggested that there may need to have a conversation between staff and someone at the Police department to the fact that this problem goes beyond the neighbors and becomes a inter-departmental cooperation situation. Mr. DeSilva agreed that it would be a good idea to try and set up a meeting between the neighbors, the Police Department and staff and address all of these concerns. Vice Chairperson Jones then asked Ms. Hansen if she had any follow up for the group. She commented that she could give an update, she would prefer to set up a meeting with Ms. Wolfe and her father. She had told him that once they had the lay-out of the trial she would do this, and she will make sure that Ms. Wolfe is included in this meeting. She said they have cut a purchase order with the designer to lay out the trail and have a survey crew coming out to that area the following week. Ms. Wolfe said they were out there the previous day. Ms. Hansen said staff is anxious to move forward with this because of the weather situation and they have some opportunities to make that trail an off-street pedestrian trail connection. This was brought to their attention by Mr. Christ months ago. The signage currently on the site is temporary and advises bicyclists that is the end of the trail and when they reach that point they are to turn around and go back, continuing onto Creek Road puts them at their own risk. Beyond that she recommends that City staff get together, department to department since some of Mr. Christ’s issues involve Engineering, not just the Parks and Recreation Department. His letter was forwarded to the Engineering Department and there was some input from the Engineering Department at one time. Her recommendation is that the Parks and Recreation Department, Engineering Department and the Police Department all get together and review the problems discussed tonight and come up with a plan. Vice Chairperson Jones would like this meeting posted and he personally would like a follow-up on this subject.
Ms. Hansen also added that when the Vineyards project moves forward, that will put another link in the Marsh Creek Trail, which is a regional trail, and will connect up where the staging area is on Concord Avenue presently. Ultimately the Regional Trail is going to run from the north end of Brentwood all the way to the south end of Brentwood, to the city limits. Eventually the trail will extend all the way to Round Valley Regional Park. Question was raised about the hours and Mr. DeSilva said they should be sunrise to sunset. Appropriate posting should be at the sites. Commissioner Myers would also like to be involved as she also lives in that area and as to the playing of tennis at 2:00 a.m. in the morning. She said there should be timers on those lights so that they would not go on past the posted hour. Mr. DeSilva will check into that and will get back to the Commissioners on this issue. Since two of the Commissioners live in the area, they are as concerned as the citizens in getting the problems resolve. The Commission will appreciate a report back on the results of the inter-departmental and citizens meeting at their next regular meeting.
1. Approve minutes of regular meeting of September 23, 2004.
2. Accept staff report from Parks Division (B. Margesson).
3. Accept staff project status report from Recreation Division. (P. Scherff)
4. Accept staff project status report from Facilities Division (M. Merizon).
5. Accept update on status of Veterans Park and Sunset Park Athletic Complex (J. Hansen)
6. Approve letter of support for State Urban Parks and Healthy Communities Program grant
application (P. Scherff).
Commissioner Jan Melloni moved to accept the Consent Calendar, Commissioner Myers seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously.
7. ACTION ITEM Discussion of Moms Club “Crusade for Shade” and approval of co-sponsorship of a fundraising event in 2005. (J. Hansen).
Ms. Hansen said that the Moms Club had made a presentation at the September meeting and that the club has an interest in raising funds to install shade structures in three parks that they have identified. Since Ms. Hansen was not at the meeting she stated that the minutes reflect that the three parks are Balfour-Guthrie Park, Loma Vista Park, and the Orchard Park. Since that time she has been in contact with Abey/Arnold Associates, the Department’s landscape architect consultant, who has put together some boards and they are included in hand outs at the meeting as well as displays in the meeting room. Some shade structure options are depicted and from these they can identify what might be appropriate. She wanted to review these now and talk about what might be appropriate and what the Moms Club is looking for at these parks. After decisions are made, she can have Abey/ Arnold design those shade structures and place them in the play areas through sketch or drawings, and from that then a specific cost can be determined. At this time both the City and Moms Club will have an idea as to what type of funding will be needed so that they can then seek additional options, as well as what is raised by the Moms Club. Ms. Hansen described the options and costs of the covers and other areas where some of these structures are being used in the community. Ms. Hansen also said she would hope that after the first of the year, the Moms Club would return so they could look at the balance of the parks in the City that need shade in the play areas. They can then continue their grant searches as well as any other City options to help fund these types of things. Vice Chairperson Jones asked if most of the shades were canvas, she said most of them for the play areas are canvas type. There followed a discussion between Ms. Hansen, the Commissioners and Mom’s club members as well as the staff as to the location of the shade structures, construction and placement in the parks. Vice Chairperson Jones asked what the Moms Club was looking for in assistance from the Moms Club. They responded that they (the Moms Club) have a fundraising goal and so far have raised $2,400 at a garage sale and plan to do a parking lot sale and would to do this in the Brentwood Family Aquatics Complex parking lot in the spring, if possible. They felt this would be a good location with lots of visibility and traffic. They have completed the application and have been told the facility would be available up until April 16. They have the application completed with them and would like to hold the parking lot sale on April 15, 2005. She said she had been informed it might be possible for the City to co-sponsor this event with them and that in that case the insurance would be covered through the City. This would fall under a new special events procedure the City has recently implemented and would be the first group to utilize it. Commissioner Myers moved that the City of Brentwood co-sponsor along with the Moms Club a fundraising effort in 2005. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Melloni, motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Jones suggested that Ms. Hansen talk to some of the vendors of the types of shades being considered and ask them to demonstrate them at the sale. She said she would be happy to do that, and will contact the park landscape architects for their assistance. Discussion of the Moms Club wishes to set up the night before and have various service clubs or Boys Scouts monitor the area to keep it safe from vandalism. They asked if this would conflict with any of the construction going on and Ms. Hansen felt it would not. Vice Chairperson Jones also said he would like to revisit the planning on the project in a few months as they get closer to the time of the actual event. He also suggested advertising the event in the Activities Guide put out by the Parks and Recreation Department since they would be co-sponsoring it and designate the project as a fundraiser for shade structures in the parks.
8. DISCUSSION of September 7, 2004 playground equipment tour to Danville (S. Myers/K DeSilva/ J. Hansen)
Mr. DeSilva, Park Services Manager showed a PowerPoint display of the various parks they visited in Danville, San Ramon, and other nearby cities. This tour visited water features and play structures in the various parks. Commissioner Myers participated along with Mr. DeSilva, Ms. Hansen, and Commissioner Melloni. Other features such as murals and mosaics, distinctive play equipment were shown and discussed. The Commissioners discussed the possibility of incorporating some of these features in upgrading some of the larger older parks in the City such as Orchard. Some discussion on how to approach this by keeping a list of ideas and preparing them when the CIP projects are planned in the next budget year.
9. DISCUSSION of NPRA Conference in Reno. (P. Scherff/Commissioners)
Ms. Scherff said she put this item back on the agenda to see all of the responses and staff reports from sessions they attended. She said the staff did learn a lot from this conference and the various sessions they attended. She felt it was the best conference she had ever attended in all her years in this profession. She introduced Sue Barry, Recreation Services Supervisor who had some special ideas she brought back from the sessions she attended. Ms. Barry then discussed the obesity problem that was presented by International Food Information Council. One of the quotes she discussed was “childhood obesity today and the future impacts” the Surgeon General says that because of increasing rates of obesity, this may be the first generation that will be less healthy and will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. It is suggested that the Recreation profession as one of the groups of people that could have that partnership with the community. She felt the Parks and Recreation could have a very positive effect in the community in promoting healthy food, exercise at all of the family levels. She suggested the department challenge the community to have a weight loss campaign. Offer activities that could bring people together in trail walking, utilizing the dog park to walk dogs and other sports activities. She wants the department to be in for forefront of this activity. Vice Chairperson Jones asked if there would be input from schools and nutritionists. She would like to work with City Council and have a proclamation by the City to set up three months or certain time frame to make it a city-wide effort, and set a goal of amount of weight lost by all of the citizens.
Ms. Scherff then talked about the dog parks that were discussed from other parts of the state and country. Commissioner Myers commented on one session she attended where they had tracked how much more money the developer makes on property when he includes plans for parks, green belt areas or golf courses into the community. This makes the property more attractive financially both to the purchaser and the seller.
10. UPDATE on Parks and Recreation Survey to be conducted this fall. (P. Scherff/M. Tsutsumi)
Ms. Scherff said that all of the staff of the department has been asked for ideas and what might be missing in programs by Mr. Tsutsumi. He has also asked the Commissioners for any concerns that should be addressed. Mike Tsutsumi, who is an intern for the Department of Parks and Recreation and has done a rough draft of the request for proposal and she will be reviewing this during the following week along with other members of the staff. This should be completed by the first week in December.
11. UPDATE on Apple Hill Trail completion. (K. DeSilva)
Mr. DeSilva gave a presentation showing that the trail is complete and passable and open to the public. This has been a long time in completion and he showed slides of what work had to be done to complete the trail. This is a flood control channel and the trail now runs adjacent to the tunnels. The presentation demonstrated all of the work involved in completing this project. Project is now hydroseeded and green. No other landscaping will be done on the project.
12. UPDATE on tennis courts available for use. (P. Scherff)
Ms. Scherff wanted to give the Commissioners an update on tennis courts usage. She has submitted an application for use of the tennis courts at Liberty High School. She has followed up recently on this application and has had no response. She will continue to follow up on this. Vice Chairperson Jones asked if the people who have appeared before the Commission in the past couple of years regarding tennis courts are informed of the progress. She said she will check back in the minutes in order to contact these people. He also asked that once the facility is available that the information be included in the Activities Guide.
13. UPDATE on City Council action on Park and Recreation Ordinance. (C. Bronzan)
Director Bronzan reported that the proposal of the Parks and Recreation Ordinance that staff and the Commission had been working on for about a year went to the City Council the previous Tuesday night. It had previously been approved after some changes by the Commission, and those changes were in the document presented to the City Council. He discussed how it was received by the Council. Areas that Director Bronzan felt might be of concern were highlighted and discussed at the time of his presentation. This ordinance will be continued until the next meeting on November 9th and some other options will be given regarding heritage trees. Jump houses will be explained to a greater extent and the alcohol at events will be approached from some different options.
14. UPDATE on participation in the Holiday Parade. (P. Scherff)
Ms. Scherff invited all of the Commissioners to be a part of the annual Holiday Parade with the Chamber of Commerce. The event is on November 27, 2004 at 2:00 p.m. The entire Department will have a theme of “Holidays on the Farm” celebrating Brentwood’s history. One of the park maintenance tractors and a wagon will be used for the parade. Participates should wear western attire if possible. The department purchased bandannas and straw hats to accessorize. There will be handouts to distribute to children and families as they walk down the street. Would like to have all of the Commissioners as a part of the parade.
15. ACTION ITEM Approval of Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan Annual Report (C. Bronzan).
Ms. Homan, Administrative Secretary passed copies to all of the Commissioners of the Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan Annual Report for their perusal. Director Bronzan went through the report with the Commissioners and asked them for their comments regarding the report as presented. He discussed the core values of Integrity, Value, Passion, Accountability, Respect, and Quality. These core values are then encompassed in each of the five chapters, which Director Bronzan briefly reviewed these with the Commissioners and asked for questions at the end of each chapter. Vice Chairperson Jones said he would like them to take time at various times throughout the year to go over these documents for review, rather than have it put on the shelf. Director Bronzan said that they will start this in January 2005, chapter by chapter. Commissioner Myers moved to accept the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Trails Report, Commissioner Melloni seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously.
CITZENS COMMENTS: None
Ms. Scherff wanted to know if the Commissioners know if they will be attending the CPRS conference taking place in March in Sacramento. They want to know in advance so rooms can be reserved. The conference will be held March 10-12, 2005. This will be the last conference for the Commissioners in this fiscal year. Commissioners will check their calendars and confirm with Ms. Scherff.
Ms. Hansen reported that they have set dates for the dedication for the Veterans Park and Sports Complex. The date is Saturday, February 5, 2005 for the Veterans Park and Sunset Sports Complex is scheduled for Saturday, March 5, 2005.
COMMISSIONER COMMENTS: None
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
Report on Marsh Creek Trail
Update on tennis courts
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned by Vice Chairperson Jones at 9:40 p.m.
Betty Jo Whincup
of Brentwood Park and Recreation Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513