|PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
March 24, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER: Chairperson Tom Jones called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Commissioners present as follows: Chairperson Tom Jones, Vice Chairperson Ernie Rodrigues, Lanny Brown, Sandra Myers and Jan Melloni. Staff present were Craig Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation; Ken De Silva, Park Services Manager; Tammy Homan, Administrative Secretary; Poldina Scherff, Recreation Services Manager; Tina Clark, Accountant II; Lisa Smith, Administrative Assistant; Lynn Spatz, Park Planning Technician; Tom Burt, Recreation Services Supervisor; and Pam Ehler, Director of Finance and Information Systems.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: The Pledge was recited by all.
A. Chairperson Jones introduced City Manager Donna Landeros and welcomed her to the meeting. Ms. Landeros said that she was delighted to be there. She made comments on her history working with Parks and Recreation Departments and is very excited about Brentwood Parks and Recreation.
AGENDA REVIEW: No changes or additions.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None.
1. Approve minutes of regular meeting of October 28, 2004.
2. Approve minutes of regular meeting of January 27, 2004
3. Approve minutes of regular meeting of February 24, 2005
4. Accept staff report from Parks Division. (B. Margesson)
5. Accept staff project status report from Recreation Division. (P. Scherff)
6. Accept staff project status report from Facilities Division. (M. Merizon)
7. Approve affiliation agreements with Aquaknights, Dolphins, and Terrapins swim clubs. (P. Scherff)
Chairperson Jones asked for approval of the Consent Calendar. It was noted that minutes of the previous meetings of October and January could not be approved previously since there was not full attendance of the Commissioners. Motion by Commissioner Brown to approve the Consent Calendar Items 3,4,5,6 and 7. Motion seconded by Commissioner Rodrigues and carried unanimously.
Motion made by Commissioner Myers to approve the minutes of the October 28, 2004 meeting. Motion seconded by Commissioner Melloni and carried.
Motion by Commissioner Myers to approve the minutes of the January 27, 2005 meeting. Motion seconded by Commissioner Rodrigues and motion carried.
8. ACTION ITEM Approve the priorities of projects for recommendation to City Council for consideration in the Capital Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2005/2006 - 2009/2010. (C. Bronzan/P. Ehler)
Director Bronzan presented the item and explained the review of the Capital Improvement Program for the past fiscal years and discussed items that had been changed. He stated that they are requesting the Commissioners to look at projects and revenue projections and decide which items will given priority and in what order. The Commissioners were given information as to what projects had been funded and which are currently unfunded. Director Bronzan went through the program as presented to the Commissioners page by page and explained each item and the status of funding at this time of these items. This is based on a five year plan. He also explained which items park development funds could be used and which could not. Discussion of various projects in the plans, but not recommended at this time were also discussed.
Other projects discussed were the Aquatics Complex concession building, the recreation facility and the parking lot near the Aquatics Complex and connecting to Veterans Park. Staff is recommending not to consider the concession stand or the recreation facility at this time, but to consider doing the hardscape and the parking lot. Others to be considered are Blackhawk Park, Empire Avenue Park, and Sand Creek Park. Also to be considered was the trails project which is partially funded. Commissioner Rodrigues was concerned of what would happen if the construction of the Vineyards does not get completed. Director Bronzan said that his understanding was that design and construction was to begin in 2006/07, so the park should be designed also in 2006/07 and constructed in 2007/08. Director Bronzan said that the Commissioners can now take this information and prioritize it to take to the City Council for consideration in the funding category with the approximately 3.2 million dollars available. He gave the estimated costs at this time of these projects. The City Council will receive these recommendations April 12, 2005 at a workshop from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Commissioner Melloni asked how the trails project could be prioritized. She is concerned about a connection from the new staging area at Sunset to Marsh Creek. Director Bronzan said this will be done as a part of the Solid Waste Transfer Station project. Commissioner Melloni expressed concern about the trails. Mr. DeSilva advised that there will be a representative of the East Bay Regional Parks that will come to the May 26, 2005 Park and Recreation Commission meeting, and June 22, 2005 the East Bay Regional Park District Board will be meeting and all Commissioners will be advised of this meeting. Commissioner Brown expressed concern about the Blackhawk Park. He wondered if it is budgeted for about 2 million dollars, and if so, it is two years away at least, how much will it cost to build it then? Director Bronzan said they try to factor these costs in, however sometimes there are unexpected increases. Question on why the difference in the costs for Blackhawk as presented at the previous meeting to those presented at this meeting. Commissioner Myers suggested a way to look at the plans, suggested that they fund the bottom three as presented and come at the limit of the 3.2 million, then consider Blackhawk when the developer has moved forward with the construction. Chairperson Jones said that this then would be the Empire Avenue Park, Trails Project and modified recreation concession at the Aquatics Complex. Director Bronzan said that they need to remember these plans are for the next five years and need to include everything that they intend to be funded in that time period.
At this time Pam Ehler, Director of Finance and Information Services came forward and explained that what they are working on at this meeting is to prioritize the projects, not a timeline, but a prioritization of the ones that are unfunded, what are the most important, and then proceed from there. After more discussion and questions regarding funding of the projects the Commissioners decided to move on the subject. Commissioner Myers moved that the four projects be prioritized as follows: 1) trails 2) Aquatics Complex Concession; 3) Empire Avenue Park; and 4) Blackhawk Park. Motion seconded by Commissioner Rodrigues and carried unanimously.
9. ACTION ITEM Review and approve 1-acre park concept plan for S & S Farms/Terrano Project, Subdivisions #8788 and #8789 by Lennar Communities. (J. Hansen)
Since Ms. Hansen was not available, Lynn Spatz, Park Planning Technician presented this item. She explained the location of the park. Steve Jones of Lennar Communities and Andrea Swanson of Thomas Baak & Associates described the park and design. This is a 1-acre park near the 4-acre park discussed at the previous meeting. Ms. Swanson described the design plan of the park with a railroad theme, with tricycle or small bike path and a small tot swing area. She described the planned train theme play structures, benches and shade areas. Discussion of a possible small water spout for the sand play area. One point of discussion whether to have sand or bark cover near the play structures. Commissioners preferred sand so that children crawling don’t get splinters. Commissioner Myers moved to approve the design. Commissioner Melloni seconded the motion, and motion carried unanimously.
10. ACTION ITEM Approve park regulation signs. (K. DeSilva)
Mr. DeSilva presented the new sign designed for the Brentwood Parks system. All Commissioners liked the new concept for the signs. Commissioner Rodrigues moved the approval of the sign, Commissioner Brown seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously. Mr. DeSilva said they would add the logo and re-sign all of the parks and will also print signs in Spanish.
11. DISCUSSION AND PRESENTATION “Strengthening Community During Out-of-School Hours”. (Tom Burt)
Commissioner Rodrigues complimented the staff on their professionalism at the Sacramento conference. Mr. Burt presented a video program on the “After the Bell” program which was a result of the merging of the PAL (Police Activities League) Program with the City’s Park and Recreation Department. Mr. Burt gave a presentation describing where the “After the Bell” sites are located and the average number of middle school students attending in these schools, which is from 100 to 150. He described the collaborations with the school districts, the police department and other local entities. The have added homework assistance to the program this year. Mr. Burt then showed the video which described the beginning of the PAL Program in the City of Brentwood. Various members of the community, schools, police department, etc. described their roles in the PAL Program. Commissioner Melloni asked if this program could be considered to be extended to the high school as she felt there is a need there as well. Mr. Burt replied that it has been considered and that they do a Karate program at Liberty High School with Police Officers being involved. He said that they are always trying to do more. Mr. Burt said that the vision is to eventually have the program at all of the schools. Chairperson Jones complimented Mr. Burt on the great presentation and information presented. Commissioners felt it should be shown to all PTAs and service clubs.
12. DISCUSSION Sunset Park Athletic Complex Dedication. (P. Scherff/T. Homan)
Ms. Homan said she felt the event was very well attended and wanted to know how the Commissioners felt about it. Chairperson asked if there would be a similar type of dedication for the Veterans Park, Ms. Homan thought this would be on a smaller scale than the Sunset Park dedication. All Commissioners thought it was very well presented by the hard working staff and thought all staff deserved a big thanks. Hand written thank you notes were written to all sponsors.
13. DISCUSSION Hours and types of use at Sunset Park Athletic Complex. (K. DeSilva/P. Scherff
Ms. Scherff said that she wished to bring forth some of the feedback that they have received immediately following the opening of the park. Mr. DeSilva said that after the dedication event there were a lot of people showing up at the park wishing to use the park during the day. He reminded all that the facility is closed except for when there are activities scheduled there. This was to control the facility from vandalism as well as the fact that the facility uses waste water from the treatment plant across the street and the permit with the Department of Health Services states that it cannot be irrigated if there is any public there. All of the employees have to go through a training program to operate the facility using the reclaimed water and it cannot be irrigated when the public is present. Mr. DeSilva said this information was for the Commissioners if they get questions from the public regarding it being closed.
14. DISCUSSION Practice use of City Parks. (P. Scherff)
With the opening of Sunset Park Athletic Complex, the intention is to move as much activity as possible to Sunset and away from Balfour-Guthrie Park and Oak Meadow Park (both of which are lit and heavily utilized). There will be a huge transition in the beginning of April, when all games schedules are in full swing. Schedules have already been put together. There are only small pockets of time available and as the time goes by, they continue to get more requests for use of the Sunset facility. Some other groups have expressed feeling that they are not being fairly accommodated. Ms. Scherff referred to her staff report on this item that was included in the Commissioner’s packets. This report offered three potential avenues that could be pursued in establishing use of the facilities for practices (not games). She feels the fee structure is considerably less than those she has researched in the area. She gave further explanation of these proposed options. Questions were asked about actual use of the facility for games and the order of applications accepted. Commissioner Brown expressed concerns he has been made aware from potential users of the Sunset facilities. Ms. Scherff asked for recommendations from the Commission. Discussion of posting the scheduled practice times and if the teams do not show up to practice, others could use the field for a pick-up game or practice. This would have to be posted and updated every week. Chairperson Jones requested Ms. Scherff monitor the affiliates use of the fields they have scheduled to see if they are being used as scheduled and not unnecessarily precluding others to use the fields for practice. This information would then be used at the time of reviewing with the affiliates for renewal of their contract with the City. The Commissioners said that for the present the current standards should be continued; however, after monitoring use for the balance of the season, or however long it takes to review how scheduled times are being used.
15. DISCUSSION California Park and Recreation Society Annual Conference (Commissioners)
Commissioner Myers thought it easier to get to see all the exhibits than at the National Conference in Reno. She felt they made a lot of contacts. All felt it was a great conference.
CITIZENS COMMENTS: None
Mr. DeSilva reported that KB Homes has basically stopped maintenance at Oak Meadow Park and the City has mowed the park because parents were complaining about the tall grass. Commissioner Brown asked if the KB Homes had informed the City that they were going to discontinue the park maintenance. Mr. DeSilva said that no, they had not. Mr. DeSilva said they are slowly taking over maintenance of this park. He said there are also other areas that maintenance has stopped, on Foothill, Eagle Rock and other streetscaping in these areas. He has received complaints from the neighbors. He has been in discussion with the City Engineer and at CIP meetings regarding this subject. He said by next week the City will start the streetscaping those areas.
Mr. DeSilva said he will also inform the Commissioners when the East Bay Regional Parks Board meeting is scheduled. Commissioner Melloni said she would like them to be agendized for an upcoming meeting.
Ms. Scherff said the survey of the residents has been completed by a contractor and the final draft will be presented to the Commission at an upcoming meeting, probably in April.
Commissioner Rodrigues reported on a recent meeting with the veterans regarding the Veterans Park. He said it was a difficult meeting, some are upset with the Commission and some are particularly disturbed by the City in the past. He said the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and the Summerset Veterans are going forward with the plan. The American Legion is not currently willing to go forward with the project.
Commissioner Brown asked Mr. DeSilva about a report of a child who broke his arm at a park. Mr. DeSilva said that the day prior to the accident that a meeting was held with KB Homes who is responsible for the park, and they had certified that the equipment was safe. The child later slipped on a curved plastic climbing platform and evidently had put his hand down and broke his arm. Since the risk management people have since looked at the equipment and felt that possibly that one amenity should be taken off of the play equipment. The manufacturer’s representative also came out and looked at the equipment. It was installed correctly and is used a lot. Currently the structure is covered and not in use. It is not City property at this time and has not been turned over from KB Homes. No claim has been received at this point. Mr. DeSilva said they have certification that it was installed correctly. Commissioners discussed the fact that parents are also responsible for supervising their children when using the equipment in the parks. Commissioners also felt that equipment that is certified safe should not be removed on the basis of a complaint, especially if the equipment has been properly installed and certified safe for the age group using the equipment. Possibly some signage could alleviate the problem. Mr. DeSilva will check with the City Attorney on this issue.
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
Survey of residents
Review policy on mini parks (pocket parks with Director Bronzan)
Vineyards at Marsh Creek project
Arts Manager Rebekah Burr-Siegel
ADJOURNMENT: Chairperson Jones adjourned the meeting at 10:22 p.m.
Betty Jo Whincup, Minutes Recorder
of Brentwood Park and Recreation Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513