|PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
May 26, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER: Chairperson Tom Jones called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Commissioners present as follows: Chairperson Tom Jones, Vice Chair Ernie Rodrigues, and Commissioners Lanny Brown, Jan Melloni, and Sandra Myers. Staff members present were Craig Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation; Ken DeSilva, Park Services Manager; Janet Hansen, Park Planner; Lynn Spatz, Park Planning Technician; Poldina Scherff, Recreation Services Manager; and Rebekah Burr-Siegel, Arts Manager.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.
AGENDA REVIEW: No changes.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
1. Approve minutes of regular meeting of April 28, 2005.
2. Accept staff report from Parks Division. (B. Margesson)
3. Accept staff project status report from Recreation Division. (P. Scherff)
6. Accept updated subcommittee matrix. (T. Homan)
Commissioner Lanny Brown requested pulling #4 and #5 from the consent calendar. Motion was made then by Commissioner Brown to accept the Consent Calendar with the exception items #4 and #5. Motion seconded by Commissioner Myers, motion carried unanimously.
4. Accept update on the request for Affiliated Organization status by Brentwood Oakley Youth Football League. (P. Scherff)
Ms. Scherff reported that staff had been directed by the Commission to organize a meeting with the football organization. The meeting was held with Commissioners Jones and Melloni in attendance. She said that they met with all three of the groups and she had summarized the minutes in a memo to Director Bronzan addressing the issues and the needs of the group. It was determined to go forward with another meeting with Liberty Union High School District and also with Nancy Kaiser, Director of the Oakley Parks and Recreation Department. This will be the next step before they make a recommendation to the Commission. Motion was made by Commissioner Brown to accept the report, seconded by Commissioner Melloni. Motion carried with one abstention from Commissioner Rodrigues.
5. Accept update on consideration of allowing BMX bicycles at the Brentwood Skate Park. (P. Scherff)
Ms. Scherff reported that staff had been directed to do some research on this subject. Steve Mattson was also directed to do some homework on the subject. Mr. Mattson was to locate skate parks that allow use of BMX and skate boarders in the same facility. Ms. Scherff brought back a letter from Land Image (designer of the Brentwood Skate Park) with points regarding its design and what their recommendations are on the subject. She also included the results of her contacting Risk Management and their concerns were included in the report of Ms. Scherff. She also said that Mr. DeSilva, Park Services Manager had some concerns as far as maintenance concerns if BMX riders use the park. Ms. Scherff said that her recommendation to the Commission is that the Commission appoint a subcommittee with Commissioners, staff and Steve Mattson to discuss this matter further.
Mr. Mattson came forward and reported that he has found sixteen more parks with detailed information that he has printed out and brought to the Commission.
Commissioner Brown asked Mr. Mattson how many of the parks he had actually visited. Mr. Mattson said none, since he has just gotten his driving permit. He was asked if there were any special rules. He said mostly just normal skate park etiquette, no fighting, no illegal substances or anything like that. For some, there are specific times and days that they can be used by the BMX riders. Chairperson Jones asked if there were any Commissioners that would like to serve on a subcommittee on this issue. Commissioners Rodrigues and Melloni said they would be interested in this issue. Commissioner Brown moved the acceptance of the staff report and formation of the subcommittee of Commissioners Rodrigues and Melloni, with the expectation of a report at the next meeting. Motion seconded by Commissioner Myers and motion carried unanimously.
7. VERBAL UPDATE on the Crusade for Shade. (J. Hansen and Brentwood Mom’s Club representative)
Ms. Hansen reported that just prior to this meeting she had met with Toni Hay and another representative of the Mom’s Club. They have been working on the Crusade for Shade for about a year. They have completed all of their major fundraisers and also applied for a grant through a grant program at the City. With the potential of the $10,000 grant, they have a total of $38,000 that they are ready to move forward on prioritizing the shade structures within the three parks that they have selected. Ms. Hansen has met with Abey Arnold and they have designs for those three parks. There will be more than one shade structure at each park. The Mom’s Club representatives took copies of the designs to present at their board meeting next week. These will be reviewed and prioritized and will come back to Ms. Hansen with their recommendations. They would also then like to meet with the representative of Abey Arnold and a local awning company who has an interest in sponsoring them and has committed to one free structure, and if he gets the order he will do one more. They will meet with him and Abey Arnold and Ms. Hansen. Ms. Hansen said they will make sure that all design standards are met. She said that the City has identified a CIP project that will potentially match the funds that the Mom’s Club has raised. They have developed the CIP project with $50,000 of funding. This money will not be available until fiscal year 2006-2007. The Mom’s Club is still also discussing this matter with developers and others who might potentially make some additional donations. They want to move ahead with the funds they now have so that they can see results by the end of the summer or early fall. The balance of the shade structures will then be planned, based on their priorities, for the 2006-2007 fiscal year.
8. ACTION ITEM Review and approve park and trail concept plan for the Cox Property Project, Subdivision #8781 by Blackhawk-Nunn (J. Hansen/Rick Gallo of Randall Planning & Design, Inc.)
Ms. Hansen introduced the item by describing the property and the person who was to present the project, Mr. Rick Gallo. She also described the type of park project which is projected for this development along with the trail access planned. A complete description including maps was also included in each Commissioner’s packet. She reported that this project is not a park acreage that is reimbursable, so the developer is not being reimbursed for the improvements, including the landscaping along the trail. The only reimbursable portion in the project is the hardscape of the trail. At this time Ms. Hansen planned to turn the presentation over to Mr. Gallo. He was not present in the meeting room and therefore the item was postponed until later in the evening. At this point Commissioner Myers asked a question as to where the trail depicted on the map of the project went, did it end there? Ms. Hansen said that it continued on and connected the adjoining property and tied into the Berkshire Park at Shadow Lake. She also described where there would be access to Balfour Road and across to the John Muir project.
9. DISCUSSION of regional trail issues with Jim Townsend of East Bay Regional Parks District. (K. DeSilva)
Mr. Townsend came forward and introduced himself, giving a brief description of his position and thanked the Commission for inviting him to give a brief update of what the Park District is doing in the Brentwood area, and also in the Eastern Contra Costa County area. He then talked about the projects going on currently in the area that the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) would like help from the Brentwood Parks and Recreation Commission and Department. He described the area of the Vasco Caves and the plans for this property which they had recently acquired from the Sousa family. This property will essentially double the size of the Vasco Caves property. Although this is currently encumbered by a wind farms lease for about another ten years, it gives EBRPD a long-term planning period. He also said that there is a potential for another property south of this property that is held by a local development group that would increase the size of the Vasco Caves Park. He said that they are nearly complete with the naturalist planning process of the programs they will provide for the public and provide access for school children. New staging areas will provide turnaround areas for buses. The cave area is a very sensitive area with 1,000 year old cave art and every endangered species listed in the state of California, such as salamanders, frogs, etc. They are planning an adult service center and wildlife viewing center. They are planning arranged visits from groups such as the Commission, which the Commission immediately expressed a strong desire to participate in as soon as possible. Mr. Townsend described another project which is the Delta Science Center which is located along the delta shoreline near Brentwood. The Adult Viewing Pier and plans are ongoing for the construction of the Adult Science Center. There will be a delta access launch ramp for non-motorized water craft and an interpretive center which will be a valuable resource and will include picnic areas.
Mr. DeSilva then mentioned that on June 22, 2005 when the EBRPD Board meets, there will be a tour of that site and a luncheon. Mr. Townsend agreed and Mr. DeSilva said a letter had been sent to the Board and the Commission is hoping to host a social with the board at that time.
Mr. Townsend then discussed the Round Valley Trail completion along the Marsh Creek Trail. He also said that they are working on completing the Dutch Slough extension and working on raising money for this project. He described a new staging area as a part of the Delta Lakes Project, which would provide parking area for some of these trails and parks. This will be right off Main Street in Oakley and will be paved and patrolled and will include a pedestrian crossing. This project is mostly funded by KB Homes and is currently under construction. He described the overnight camping area in Round Valley. This has been a priority of the District and is a $100,000 project. Mr. Townsend discussed the need for funds to complete these projects after the land has been acquired, and also the maintenance of the projects. He discussed another project which is being partnered with the Liberty Union High School District to acquire a 320-acre parcel which will make a connection to the Black Diamond Mines and down to Marsh Creek Road, Clayton Ranch and to the state park. He described the partnership with the Superintendent of Liberty Union High School District which resulted in nearly one million dollars in funding, which included rehabilitation and restoration of the salamander habitat.
Mr. Townsend then said projects that the EBRPD would like assistance with is the Marsh Creek Trail extension through the Vineyards development to Round Valley. They would really like to see this project completed. He discussed these projects and need for funding sources as well as indicating their location on the map. A safe crossing of Marsh Creek Road is one of the projects planned as well as a crossing of the aqueduct and Highway 4 bypass and a trail completion to Discovery Bay, which is a long-term project. They have already purchased an asparagus farm near Orwood to be developed as a public access to the delta. They would like the trail system access along with this along the aqueduct. He then completed his report and was able to respond to questions from the Commissioners. Commissioner Rodrigues said he had personally worked with Mr. Townsend in the past and welcomed him to the meeting. Mr. Townsend said he had reviewed the Parks and Recreation Trails and Master Plan and felt that possibly the department could teach the state a few things as it is really a quality document. Mr. DeSilva commented on the fact that there used to be some type of regular meeting with the EBRPD and the City, he wondered if it was possible to re-establish something like this to assist in the coordination of some of the agencies that are around Brentwood. Mr. Townsend felt this a strong possibility. Commissioner Myers commented on meetings she had attended about a year ago where this was in the planning stages. These were hosted by former Supervisor Millie Greenberg. Mr. Townsend then presented each of the Commissioners with a copy of his maps of the various projects discussed during his presentation. Mr. DeSilva then corrected the times of the EBRPD Board meeting as 6:00 p.m., and the social will be held at 5:00 p.m., to meet with the board members, staff, Commissioners and the Park and Recreation Department staff. He wanted to get a head count of how many would be able to attend. All of the Commissioners said they would attend these events.
Mr. Townsend said in his final comment that the Round Valley Trail and Marsh Creek Trail is also planned to be the main corridor in this area to the DeAnza National Historical Trail which starts in southern Arizona and ends at the Presidio in San Francisco. This is overseen by the National Park Service and commemorates the 1777 Juan Beautista DeAnza expedition from Mexico where 150 people and 1000 cattle were brought to San Francisco.
8. ACTION ITEM Review and approve park and trail concept plan for the Cox Property Project, Subdivision #8781 by Blackhawk-Nunn (J. Hansen/Rick Gallo of Randall Planning & Design, Inc.)
This item was again then returned to the agenda with the presence of Mr. Rick Gallo. Mr. Gallo apologized for his tardiness as he had been in traffic on Highway 4. Ms. Hansen refreshed the Commissioners on the project and then turned the meeting over to Mr. Gallo of Randall Planning and Design, Inc. He described the property with the use of a map and reiterated what the development consists of in single family housing with shared driveways, senior apartment housing and some commercial properties. He described the trail system which runs along the ECCID. There were questions as to play structures in the park. Mr. Gallo described the bike and pedestrian trail along Cortona Way. Ms. Hansen reiterated that there is no re-imbursement to the developer on this property, therefore they are creating an upgraded environment. She said that typically they don’t landscape the trails and this is an extra the developer is providing. Mr. Gallo continued his description of the park and trail area describing the bench seating area, low fenced area and other amenities. In response to Commissioner Brown’s question regarding parking on Cortona, Mr. Gallo indicated there was no parking allowed on that street. Ms. Hansen will check this matter out for sure. Mr. Gallo referred to two play structure options depicted on the maps enclosed in the packets. Commissioner Myers asked if they would have an opportunity to look at these two structures and Ms. Hansen said yes, however bearing in mind that this is a very small park and will have fairly small structures. This can be handled through the subcommittee as is usually done. Commissioner Brown asked about drinking fountains. This was not planned for the trail or pocket parks and the Commissioners felt this should be considered. Ms. Hansen said this could be looked at for the most appropriate place, she said mutt mits are standard. Fountains will have to be placed where potable water is available. Mr. Gallo will check into the fountain issue. Since there had not as yet been a Commissioner assigned to this park, Commissioner Brown volunteered to work with staff and the developer on this park. Commissioner Rodrigues moved to accept the Cox Property concept plan, Commissioner Brown seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously.
10. INFORMATIONAL ITEM Public art element for the Granville Estates project, Subdivision#8724 by D. R. Horton. (R. Burr-Siegel)
Ms. Burr-Siegel, Arts Manager presented this item. It was an informational item only to describe the public art element passed by the Arts Commission and the City Council for the Granville Estates project. She added that the art element for the Cox Property will be coming before the Commission soon also. She introduced a representative of the D. R. Horton firm and the artist Scott Runion who was present to describe the art element. Mr. Runion quoted his philosophy for creating sculpture which was “place of play”. He described for the Commission the area where the sculpture would be located in the park as at a dividing area between the two park areas and would serve as a uniting factor in the park. He passed around a model of the monkey sculpture which he plans to put on a trellis structure, each monkey being slightly different. He also discussed the type of materials used in the trellis and sculptures. He felt the monkeys would be symbolic of play and would be intriguing to children. He said they would be solidly built and felt would integrate with the growing trees in the park. Questions were asked about the stability of the structures and whether or not it could be considered a hazard if children tried to climb up to the structure. Mr. Runion explained the precautions that have been taken to prevent these problems. After a short discussion of the structure and the park with the Commissioners, Mr. Runion completed his presentation.
11. DISCUSSION of the Public Art Program. (R. Burr-Siegel)
Ms. Burr-Siegel then discussed the public art program for the Commissioners. She explained how the fee program works, and she said there are two different elements in the program, one is municipal construction and the other is private residential construction. The portion for the municipal is 1% of the construction budget, the residential is 4/10ths of 1% of the construction budget. Or, the developer can opt to buy out of the program for 5/10ths of 1%. So far, there has not been a developer that has chosen to buy out of the program. The 4/10ths of 1% is again split into 20% and 80% values, 20% goes for administration cost of the staffing of the Arts Commission office and the balance 80% goes towards the art work. She further explained the municipal projects application was only for projects over $100,000. Commissioner Melloni had some questions regarding the program that were responded to by both Ms. Burr-Siegel and Director Bronzan. Ms. Burr-Siegel described how they perform their outreach and stated that they have no formal selection process for the artist. They will be doing an arts master plan in the future, but presently are done by the Public Arts Committee of the Arts Commission and the Public Arts subcommittee. They select the artist from recommendations from Bill Weber, the Art Curator or Ms. Burr-Siegel. There is currently a project out on a competitive bid. Those involved in selecting the art are the developer, Ms. Burr-Siegel and artists. In the current proposal, three different artists are working on proposals that could either be separate or combined and all will present their proposals at the same time on the same day. Discussion of possibility of emerging artists being involved in the process. She also discussed how they decide which areas receive the public art. She said this depends on such factors as the amount of money involved and areas that could display the art. Ms. Burr-Siegel explained some of the upcoming projects and where they are located.
Discussion of what types art will be displayed and if there will be a survey of public taste, and the process of approval prior to coming before the City Council and ultimately to the Parks and Recreation Commission for informational purposes.
12. DISCUSSION of Park and Recreation Commission Annual Tour. (K. DeSilva/C. Bronzan)
Mr. DeSilva said from what he has heard from the Commissioners they would like to tour Vasco Caves and the John Marsh home. There was a discussion of whether they could tour outside the city limits. Director Bronzan will talk to the City Attorney for direction in the matter. A time frame was discussed for the tour. All seemed to agree that anytime after September 10, 2005 would be a good time for all of the Commissioners. They would also like to have the Los Vaqueros reservoir included in the tour.
13. DISCUSSION of park sizes and locations. (C. Bronzan)
Director Bronzan had a very extensive written report included in each of the Commissioners’ packets. He then went through his report with the Commissioners starting with the background of the parks systems and how they are developed as to size. The fee program was explained.
He explained the Parks Master Plan and said if changes were wished to be implemented to this plan by the Commissioners, this could be accomplished by working with staff and the Commissioners. This would be an update to the Master Plan that could be done through a subcommittee and then after approval of the City Attorney could be done as annual update. Some Commissioners felt park sizes were too small and inadequate in some recent parks.
Director Bronzan explained the background of the parks system in Brentwood and the creation of the Parks Master Plan. He felt it would be helpful to have some of the Commissioners involved in the meetings with the developers when planning the setting aside of park areas. The standard rule has been for every 300 homes, which is believed to generate an increase in population of 1,000 people, a 5-acre park should be set aside. Commissioner Rodrigues asked about the time factor required in creating a park. He is discouraged at the length of time it is taking to complete the park in his area. Director Bronzan responded to this and explained what has happened in the past, prior to 1999 and what is now the procedure.
Discussion of setting up a subcommittee to work with Director Bronzan and Janet Hansen, Park Planner. Director Bronzan said it should consist of two Commissioners. Commissioners Melloni, Rodrigues and Myers all volunteered. Commissioner Myers then deferred and the Chairperson then appointed Commissioners Melloni and Rodrigues to meet with staff listed above on this issue. Commissioner Myers felt one of the Commissioners should be meeting with the Planning Commission on upcoming projects. Director Bronzan said that Ms. Hansen attends all Planning Commission meetings since she writes all conditions of approval. He explained that it would be better to meet with Ms. Hansen whenever a new project comes up, which is prior to going to the Planning Commission. Director Bronzan will make a calling list of the Commissioners, working with the Chairperson and whenever a new project comes up a Commissioner will be called in to work with Ms. Hansen on a rotation basis. Chairperson Jones also suggested if someone has a more particular interest in an area they may be called out of the rotation plan. Director Bronzan said after hearing the issues of the Commissioners they will start talking of parks in two and three acres in size if possible.
14. DISCUSSION of Park and Recreation Commission meeting procedures. (K. DeSilva/C. Bronzan)
Chairperson Jones then discussed the issue of how to better control the length of the meetings in the future. Suggesting setting a time limit on speakers and have asked staff to assist them in the meeting procedures. DeSilva said that staff felt that assigning a length of time to each speaker on the items in the agenda. There would have to be a plan on when to extend the time, whether this would be by vote, etc. Another thought would be to adjourn any meeting at 11:00 p.m., which is what the Planning Commission does at this time. Mr. DeSilva also suggested calling staff if there are specific questions on an item prior to the meeting and may shorten discussion time at the meeting. Director Bronzan suggested when packets are received, questions could be emailed to staff by noon the day of the meeting. Staff will then respond to the questions by email. This procedure is followed by the City Council. Mr. DeSilva reminded them that in park approval issues, it is for conceptual plans only, not small details, as there are subcommittees set up for those smaller detail issues. Staff will provide more information prior to meetings, with large area maps and more history associated and anything that might become a discussion item. He suggested that some of the Commissioners attend a Planning Commission meeting to see how they structure their meetings. Staff should try to get information in a consent item so it will not unnecessarily extend the meetings. Presentations should also be limited in time. Chairperson Jones also said some presentations have often gone on far too long. Commissioner Myers said when people speak to items not on the agenda their remarks should be limited to 3-5 minutes, and if they go on beyond that time frame the Chairperson should interrupt them and say that they will have to stop at this point, possibly to come back at another time. Director Bronzan said a timing system is being installed that will count down the time for five minutes. Commissioner Rodrigues agreed it is important to talk to staff prior to the meetings when they have questions. Director Bronzan will email Commissioners after City Council meetings to update them also. Commissioner Brown felt there are sometimes too many items on the agenda, there being 19 the previous month. If necessary, he would prefer two, 2-hour meetings in a month, than one, 4-hour meeting. The result was that Commissioner Rodrigues said the Chairperson should control the speakers when necessary, and see if other Commissioners would like to shorten or eliminate some agenda items if not of immediate importance. Speakers should be forewarned of time constraints. Chairperson Jones will do this verbally the five minute rule on Citizen Comments. Chairperson Jones will confer with staff and present some kind of procedural notes that all can agree and vote on for future meetings. Commissioner Melloni said she would prefer all pertinent information prior to the meeting if possible. Commissioner Myers said if some meetings are anticipated to run 3-4 hours, then on the second Thursday a Special Meeting should be called. After further discussion among the Commissioners, Chairperson Jones said he will put together a package that can be voted on the following month.
CITIZENS COMMENTS: None.
Ms. Hansen reported that Veterans Park opens the following morning. The fence is down and all can go and check out the bocce courts, horseshoe courts, etc. The shade structures do not have roofs over the picnic area. The columns that had been installed have been removed. There are contract issues to be resolved on these shade structures. The contract with the contractor is remaining in force at this time, however the City is taking over the maintenance since the park is being opened to the public. The contractor is still obligated to complete the shade structures and any punchlist items that are outstanding. This will be a soft opening and the formal dedication is currently planned for later in July.
Commissioner Rodrigues apologized that he has a conflict with the proposed July 9th date, but has a real passion to be at the formal opening of the park. He would like to see this date moved. He said his deadline for getting the Veterans element into the park is November 11, 2005. Director Bronzan explained the reasoning for picking the date. Consideration requested by Director Bronzan of the 1st and 2nd weekend of August for the opening ceremonies. He also suggested an evening time of 7 p.m. instead of the morning if the dates in August are not workable or the 16 or 23rd of July. Director Bronzan said he will work on this with staff and return with another date at the next meeting. Commissioner Rodrigues asked Ms. Hansen about grants for the veterans group. She said they do have a grant administrator who works with the city and she would be happy to forward the request to her to look for available grants to apply for.
Director Bronzan said that a meeting was held with Peter Arnold, the Wolfe family and the Christ family about the design and Ms. Hansen has talked with them. Ms. Hansen said there is very little room to put the trail in and are trying to put as little impact as possible on them and feels that since that have seen the design they realize that. One outstanding issue is the curve where they have the tightest space up above and they would prefer a painted line, so there is no elevation change. She will be discussing this issue with the Engineering Department. There will be another meeting with the designer and then will go to bids when the construction documents are completed.
Director Bronzan has arranged for a tour of the new Heritage High School facilities on Tuesday, June 14th at 3 p.m. He wondered if anyone was interested in going on this tour. He has space for 12. All Commissioners except Chairperson Jones would like to go. The balance of space will be filled in with staff.
Commissioner Brown asked if they would be doing the Cornfest this year, and Director Bronzan said yes, and their department was coordinating the City booth for this event.
Commissioner Myers thanked Director Bronzan for taking time to meet with her on an issue. She also said she loves the 4-year old swimming lessons at the Aquatics Complex. She said the kids and parents love it, lifeguard are great as well.
Commissioner Rodrigues commented on the CAPRCBM meeting at Ontario. There will be a workshop on September 10th, which includes the Northern California and District 3 Board and Commissioners. The meeting will be in Brentwood on September 10, 2005 and he hopes to get all Commissioners involved in this event. He also has been appointed to give a session at the next CPRS conference on board members and commissioners and the responsibility of commissioners. There will be a mock session. Complaints and pertinent issues will be addressed at this session.
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS: None given at this time
ADJOURNMENT: Chairperson Jones adjourned the meeting at 9:55 p.m.
Betty Jo Whincup
of Brentwood Park and Recreation Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513