|PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
August 25, 2005 at 7 p.m.
City Council Chambers
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER: Chairperson Tom Jones called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Commissioners present as follows: Chairperson Tom Jones, Commissioners Lanny Brown, Jan Melloni, and Ernie Rodrigues. Commissioner Sandra Myers was absent and excused. Staff members present were Ken DeSilva, Landscape/Facilities Manager; Olivia Ruiz, Recreation Supervisor, Craig Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation, Poldina Scherff, Recreation Manager; and Lynn Spatz, Park Planning Technician.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: The Pledge was recited by all.
Overview of the Fall/Winter Activities Guide. (O. Ruiz)
Ms. Ruiz gave out copies of the new Fall/Winter Activities Guide. She said that the new Activities Guide is focused on promoting a healthy community. The magazine will provide resource and information in an innovative method to improve the health and wellness of the community. This is intended to reduce the obesity rates in the community which has become a very real health problem throughout the country. She discussed some of the new classes which will be provided this year. Ms. Scherff then also gave some information to the Commissioners on Ms. Ruiz’s position with the Park and Recreation Department and her responsibilities, including compiling this issue of the Activities Guide.
AGENDA REVIEW: No additions or changes.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
1. Approve minutes of regular meeting of July 28, 2005.
2. Accept staff report from Parks Division. (B. Margesson)
3. Accept staff report from Recreation Division. (P. Scherff)
4. Accept staff report from Arts Division. (R. Burr-Siegel)
5. Accept Ellis facility audit results from the Brentwood Family Aquatics Complex. (P. Scherff)
6. Accept reminder of September 22, 2005 regular meeting to be held at Veterans Park. (K. DeSilva)
Motion by Commissioner Rodrigues to accept the Consent Calendar. Motion seconded by Commissioner Brown and carried unanimously.
7. ACTION ITEM Establish a Tennis Subcommittee to discuss tennis courts and programs in Brentwood. (P. Scherff )
Ms. Scherff reported that she had put together a report regarding an email from John Bahns on some concerns expressed by him on the condition and limited number of tennis courts in Brentwood. She wondered if the Commissioners would like to put together a subcommittee to work on the concerns of the community regarding tennis courts and related problems. Chairperson Jones asked if there was any interest in the Commissioners in serving on such subcommittee to address these problems. He indicated interest in serving on the committee, as well as Commissioner Brown. They will then form the subcommittee. Mr. Bahns who wrote the emails to Ms. Scherff regarding these conditions was present in the audience. Ms. Scherff asked him if he would like to address the issue. He said that he would, and said that he represents a group of about 10-15 couples who try to play tennis in the area on a regular basis. He commented that the City of Oakley is moving much faster on this issue than is Brentwood. He felt that a city the size of Brentwood should have more lighted facilities. He wanted to know what priority the City of Brentwood is giving to the tennis courts, especially lighted tennis courts. He wondered what had happened to a grant request from the USTA. Ms. Scherff said the request did not come out of the Parks and Recreation office. Ms. Scherff said they are planning for more youth programs in early Spring and can plan for adult programs also. She said she will need feedback on what type of adult programs they would like. Chairperson Jones said that they will want to come back for input for the subcommittee regarding recommendations they may have for the Commission. There was some further discussion on the crowded conditions at Creekside and what type of rotation for players is being utilized.
There was some discussion and questions about what is being planned in the future at this time by the Parks and Recreation Department for tennis courts. Director Bronzan said there is nothing planned at this time for the immediate future. He discussed some of the parks that are still in the planning stage that could possibly have some design included for tennis courts. Chairperson Jones said that will be where the subcommittee could have some input and would like input from citizens and requested that Ms. Scherff be a part of the subcommittee as well. She said that both she and Ken DeSilva, Landscape/Facilities Manager will also work with her on this subcommittee. Mr. Bahns was thanked for his attendance and input into the issue.
8. ACTION ITEM Consideration of recommendations regarding standards for size of neighborhood parks.
Director Bronzan referred to the discussion of this issue in May. Immediately after that discussion they have involved Commissioners in all planning of parks meetings with the developers. They have had three projects come forward and three Commissioners have been involved in these discussions. He discussed the issues involved in planning these parks and what determines the size of the parks. Commissioners Melloni and Rodrigues were involved in these discussions. Currently there are not a lot of large subdivisions left to be built out, unless the Urban Limit Line is changed. His recommendation to the Commissioners at this meeting was that as the annual report is done, which will be brought to the Commissioners at the next meeting, they would put in a recommendation that neighborhood parks could be 3 to 7 acres. This would be instead of the current ruling that they need to be between 5-7 acres. This could give them a little more flexibility in planning the parks. Commissioner Brown commented on the city parks and fees that were discussed at the recent conference in Monterey. He wondered if some of these fees will be increased. Director Bronzan said the Master Plan will not update the fees, the Development Fee Program will update these fees. He also commented on the rezoning of some property from office to residential will add about 10 acres for parks. There is also consideration of mixed retail and residential when the Highway 4 Bypass is completed and Brentwood Boulevard becomes a city street, rather than a highway. This would create some high density neighborhoods and a need for parks in that area. This would require revising the development fee program. He said that there is still about 25% of the City left to be built.
Director Bronzan explained some considerations the Commissioners could require of developers where a developer may not be able to do a 3-acre park and conditions that could be implemented. He mentioned the conditions that could be considered and asked the Commissioners to add others they could think of that would need to be included. These conditions were included in Director Bronzan’s report included in each Commissioner’s packet.
Commissioner Rodrgues moved to make the recommendations presented to the Commissioners to staff to include this as a recommendation to City Council in the Annual Report to be included in the next update. Commissioner Melloni seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously.
9. DISCUSSION Use of Veterans Park. (E. Rodrigues - 15 minutes)
Commissioner Rodrigues mentioned an email received regarding a memorial for firemen and policemen along with the veteran’s memorial. After some discussions with Director Bronzan and Mr. DeSilva, he said that could not be done since it was designated as a Veterans Park only. He also reported that if she wanted to follow up further she could bring her concerns to a Commission meeting. He has heard nothing since. He also received another email regarding whether the flag pole will carry a flag for the Merchant Marine and found that it does carry a flag from the Merchant Marines.
He also has talked to a representative from the Brentwood Press regarding getting an article in the Brentwood Press discussing the brochure and with a tear-out that could be used for those wishing to donate to the memorial. There have been two excellent articles and another will be coming out soon. He thanked Commissioner Melloni for giving the first $500 donation. He doesn’t have a recent accounting of what has been donated at this time. He also reported that Commissioner Melloni has sent out over 400 brochures on the Veterans Park memorial.
He said he has requests for priority for use of the park for “special moments”, such as Memorial Day, Veterans Day, July 4th, 9-11 etc. by the veterans groups. He feels those are special days and he has no problem with granting these groups two hours for these special times. He said another request was for these groups to have priority for use and costs of using these parks. He asked for comments of the other Commissioners. He said he was against special privileges for these groups for anything other than the two hours for commemorative ceremonies on the holidays listed above.
For other events they would have to go through the regular channels with staff as any other organization; however, they would pay the non-profit rate.
Director Bronzan said that as he understands the issue, staff would work with the veterans groups to find out what are their special days on an annual basis and work with them to book them for these times. These would be public ceremonies and the park could not be reserved and not let anyone else in for these ceremonies. If these groups wish to block off the flag area, that would be all right. But for the picnic areas, these would have to be rented at non-profit rate. The request would have to be given at a reasonable amount of advance time. Director Bronzan reiterated that he would prefer that these memorial events in the flag area be booked well in advance, even a year at a time if possible. Ms. Scherff commented that all of the parks are on a “first come, first serve” basis and working on formulating fees for all of the parks. There are some very nice group shelters in some of the parks, areas that they know people want to reserve and use. There is a document going to the City Council on September 13, which is the cost allocation program. In that document will be listed all of the fees in all of the rental locations. Veterans Park is one of those on the list. If these fees are approved on September 13, it will be 60 days before they go into effect, which will be November 13. Until that time all is still “first come, first serve”.
10. DISCUSSION Comments regarding the League of California Cities Conference. (L. Brown/E. Rodrigues)
Commissioner Brown said that it was a very good conference and that he thoroughly enjoyed it. It was good to see what others cities are doing in development fees, some charging considerably more than Brentwood. He discussed a downtown facility in Monterey that had greatly impressed him.
Commissioner Rodrigues said he attended all of the sessions with Commissioner Brown. He enjoyed them also.
CITIZENS COMMENTS: None.
Ms. Scherff gave an update on the BMX situation. She has sent an email to the representative that had brought the subject to the Commission and copied the Commissioners on this email. She has heard nothing in response at this time. She wondered what the Commissioners’ recommendation was to her at this point. She can continue to pursue him by phone and email if they wish. Chairperson Jones wondered if any other names had been received as had been promised. Nothing further according to Mr. DeSilva and Ms. Scherff. At the last meeting, Mr. DeSilva said they had given him a couple of choices of future parks to look at and have heard nothing since. Chairperson Jones said it looks to him that it is up to the potential users now to come back to staff or the Commission. Commissioner Melloni said maybe send one more email and say that if no further response, then will do nothing further at this time on this issue. The Commission wants them to know they are open to hearing further from regarding the future parks planning process for this type of facility.
Mr. DeSilva reminded the Commissioners that the September meeting will be held at Veterans Park with the public will be invited. This will start at 6:00 p.m. Food and soft drinks will be provided.
He also said that September 17 is the Annual Marsh Creek Cleanup day. He would like any Commissioners who could to come out and assist, primarily with registration. Volunteers need to meet at Creekside Park.
Mr. DeSilva said there have been some emails going back and forth from a Ross Pittman, regarding Orchard Park. He is concerned with vagrants hanging out around the basketball court there. It has been investigated by the police and an officer has been assigned to the area. He has also emailed Mr. Pittman a couple of times regarding the situation and he responded that what the police have been doing has helped with the problem.
Commissioner Rodrigues has talked with the City Manager of Livermore regarding a tour of their new facilities. He was given the dates of October 4, 5, 6 and 12 that would be available for the Commissioners and staff to tour the new Livermore facilities. He asked that the Commissioners check their calendars and set a date. Time of day could be either morning or afternoon. Commissioner Brown said he has already toured them and that they are beautiful. His tour was with the facilities committee that he is working with on plans for the City of Brentwood. Commissioner Rodrigues discussed being on the planning of these facilities while still a resident of Livermore.
Director Bronzan suggested bringing this back for discussion and decision at the September meeting. This will be agendized for the September meeting.
Commissioner Brown asked about a park near the Catholic Church, he asked why the park is fenced. Mr. DeSilva said it is fenced because it has not been turned over to the city yet, when it is completed and turned over to the city then city will maintain it and fence will come down.
Commissioner Melloni announced that there is a fundraiser sponsored by the Arts Society on September 10 at the Bristow’s home. Funds are raised from this event for art in the schools. Tickets are $75 or a table for $500.
Chairperson Jones asked where the staff is at regarding the Pop Warner ball clubs that had previously appeared before the Commission requesting more parks for their use. They are using Balfour-Guthrie Park and are doing a good job of getting along with the neighborhood. This is only used for practice. They are playing their games at Liberty High School. A brief discussion of a problem at the City Park near the library. Director Bronzan said it has been reported to the Chief of Police and they are monitoring the situation. Two of the offenders have already been handcuffed and removed.
Commissioner Brown discussed a problem with lights going out for Pony Baseball games. Director Bronzan said that this has been corrected.
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
Tour of Livermore facilities
Chairperson Jones requested a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Brown moved to adjourn the meeting, motion seconded by Commissioner Melloni, motion carried unanimously. Meeting adjourned at des
Betty Jo Whincup,
of Brentwood Park and Recreation Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513