PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
October 27, 2005
City Council Chambers
734 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER: Chairperson Tom Jones called the meeting to order at 7:00 p. m.
ROLL CALL: Commissioners present as follows: Chairperson Tom Jones, Commissioners Lanny Brown, Jan Melloni, Sandra Myers and Ernie Rodrigues. Staff members present were Ken DeSilva, Landscape/Facilities Manager; Poldina Scherff, Recreation Manager; Tammy Homan, Administrative Supervisor, Mac Kaiser, Recreation Supervisor; and Craig Bronzan, Director of the Parks and Recreation. Berenice Arteaga of the Code Enforcement Division was also present from the City Staff.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: The pledge was given by all present
- Recognition of Bocce Tournament sponsors
Mr. Mac Kaiser announced these awards to the tournament sponsors from the Second Annual Bocce Tournament. Awards were presented by Chairperson Jones. Since the Bocce game is
an Italian game that theme was carried out by the sponsors. David Navarrette is the owner of the Brentwood Olive Oil Company and Bruce Blair is the owner of Caravelli’s Italian Deli.
- Code Enforcement Division (Berenice Arteaga)
Ms. Arteaga was introduced by Mr. Ken DeSilva, Landscape/Facilities Manager. She was assisted by Mr. DeSilva in giving the Commissioners a graphic PowerPoint review of the Code Enforcement Division’s rules and how they are carried out within the City limits. Ms. Arteaga explained the process of the fines levied against property owners for violation of the rules. Ms. Arteaga said that some changes will be made in the enforcement codes in 2006.
- Recognition from Regasso Soccer League. (P. Scherff)
Ms. Scherff passed around a plaque of appreciation she had received from the Regasso Soccer League in appreciation of use of the services provided at Sunset Park Athletic Complex.
CITIZENS COMMENTS: None.
AGENDA REVIEW: No additions or changes.
- Approve minutes of regular meeting of September 22, 2005
- Accept staff report from Parks Division. (B. Margesson)
- Accept staff project status report from Recreation Division (P. Scherff)
- Accept staff report from Arts Division (R. Burr-Siegel)
- Accept letter from California Association of Park & Recreation Commissioners & Board members. (C. Bronzan)
- Accept staff report from Engineering Department regarding East Contra Costa County Bikeway Plan. (Teresa Wooten) Commissioner Myers requested pulling Item #6 from the Consent Calendar. Commissioner Rodrigues moved the acceptance of items 1-5 on the Consent Calendar. Commissioner Melloni seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously.
- Accept staff report from Engineering Department regarding East Contra Costa County Bikeway Plan. (Teresa Wooten) Commissioner Myers questioned where crosswalks are being installed with no standard signal light. Her concern that traffic may not stop for an in-pavement lighted crosswalk. Director Branzan said that these areas will have to be approved by the traffic engineer, and they would not allow these in an area that would require a stop light. These would be in lighter traffic areas and in neighborhoods. These walks will be solar powered and/or hard-wired systems for use primarily in school or trail connection crossings. Commissioner Brown moved the acceptance of Item #6, Commissioner Rodrigues seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously.
- ACTION ITEM Project overview and review and approve park concept plans for Palmilla Project, Subdivision #8729 by Pinn Bros. (K. DeSilva)
Mr. DeSilva introduced this item, and explained that this was formerly the Marseilles Project and is now the Palmilla Project. The Pinn Brothers representatives are Janet Hansen and Robert Mowat. Janet Hansen presented the first segment, which is Park #2. Commissioners assigned to this project are Jan Melloni and Lanny Brown. This has previously come before the Commissioners and has returned with the suggested design changes requested by the Commissioners at a previous meeting. These proposed changes were included in each of the Commissioners changes, the first involving the two-stage channel running along Marsh Creek in this project. She reported that they have met with the Park District, NHI, East Bay Regional Park District and the Engineering Department along with the Parks and Recreation staff and others. She then introduced Robert Mowat, of Robert Mowat Associates who is doing the landscape design. He is responsible for the park design in both phases two and three. Park #1 has already been approved. Mr. Mowat described the themes and elements of each park which had previously been presented to the Commissioners. The proposed changes requested by Commissioners, staff and other interested citizens have been incorporated in these changes and described by Mr. Mowat. Shade trees and elements, restrooms, tables, benches and sports areas and equipment were all outlined. All will be accessible for people with disabilities. He mentioned he will be meeting again with Commissioners Melloni and Brown to discuss the playground elements
For Park #3, Mr. Mowat then displayed concepts for the Commissioners and described the theme of this park. This park will feature a creek educational area with exhibits and an art piece, a full basketball court, gymnastic agility area and barbecue and drinking fountains. There will be a large lawn area and shaded benches. Bike racks and a possible mirrored dance wall are among the ideas projected for this park. This park is planned for a varied age group and embracing the creek with a new bridge built to accommodate this park. Ms. Hansen has met with the Arts Manager from the Art Commission to develop ideas for the exhibit and art area of the park. There were some further comments regarding the park and suggestions by the Commissioners. Commissioner Myers stressed the need for shade and benches near or under shade for parents and equipment shaded as well so it can be utilized in hot weather.
At this time speakers from the citizens attending the meeting and had requested an opportunity to speak to the subject were introduced. The first speaker was Sarah Beamish-Puckett, representing the Natural Heritage Institute (NHI) and Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed. She stressed that this is the longest stretch of Marsh Creek that is currently undeveloped and has no trees or habitat for birds or fish between Brentwood and the Delta. She commented on a large fish kill in the creek in September and the Department of Fish and Game’s conclusion that it was lack of oxygen than caused the fish to die. She stressed the need for tree planting into the creek to shade the creek and excavate the channel to also allow for the necessary flood control. She would like to see the channel widened to accommodate planting of the trees in the channel. She complimented what has been done to enhance the creek to this point by the Pinn Brothers and the City of Brentwood. She then referred to the City of Brentwood’s Master Plan, Appendix 9, which one of the objectives is to “promote and coordinate the siting of schools and parks adjacent to the creek courses with the Brentwood School District and the Brentwood Parks and Recreation District, this will allow for periodic expanding of the channel and open space width, yet limit the maintenance and path to manageable levels”. She states that she has now learned that excavating the channels in the park areas was not allowed and feels that this decreases the enhancement and tree planting opportunities along the Marsh Creek from l900 linear feet to about a 1000 linear feet. She says she still has a disagreement with the Parks and Recreation Department even after several meetings and this is with the interpretation with Section 7.7 in the 2002 Parks and Recreation Master Plan. She is referring to the interpretation of detention or retention basins may not be used to facilitate land dedications. She agrees with this, however does not agree that Marsh Creek is a detention basin or should be referred to as such. She said Marsh Creek is a natural creek that flows 30 miles from Mt. Diablo to the delta. A detention basin holds urban storm water based on a state requirement due to commercial and residential development. She wishes to continue this discussion further outside of the Commission meeting. She is hoping to work with the City and Department of Parks and Recreation to increase the enjoyment of the parks and Marsh Creek. She wished to leave three points for consideration, the first 1) she thinks the new design has done a good job highlighting the creek, and appreciated the hard work done by the developers and the City of Brentwood to create eco-zones and an education center. 2). Her group would like to urge the City to approve the two parks as they are currently designed with the condition that Marsh Creek may be incorporated into the park after the discussion with the subcommittee.
She was asked for clarification on this point by Chairperson Jones. She felt that since Marsh Creek is described as a detention basin and therefore cannot be excavated the way her group would like to accommodate tree planting for protection of the fish and local habitat. She would like the channel eased out wider at the riparian portion at the end where it enters into the park. She would like to see the creek widened at both ends where it enters into the park area. Mr. DeSilva also commented and asked if the NHI and Friends of Marsh Creek watershed are just looking for shade with trees planted in the channel. She said that at this time Flood Control does not want any trees planted in the channel. Ms. Hansen has comments also on this issue. Ms. Puckett said what the group is ultimately requesting is to consider widening the channel in the park area. There was considerable further discussion on this issue with Ms. Puckett and the Commissioners. Ms. Puckett then said she did not have a third issue at this time.
Another Brentwood citizen, Holly Hartman, simply stated that she was present not to speak, but to support Ms. Puckett’s comments regarding this development.
Mr. Pat Sotelo, also a resident spoke thanking the City of Brentwood and Pinn Brothers in embracing the two stage design, to create a more natural corridor and allow for shade. He feels it is a wonderful design and expressed his long enjoyment, as well as his children, of Marsh Creek. He was concerned about where the trail enters the park and feels this takes away from the two stage channel. He described the types of wildlife he has observed there and feels the creek is park land. He would like the two stage channel continued into the park, and feels strongly about this. He hopes this will be considered in the next meeting of the subcommittee. He also does not feel that Marsh Creek is a detention basin.
Director Bronzan then spoke and noted his appreciation of the comments and appreciation of his staff in these comments. He explained that there is no reimbursement going to the developer for widening of the creek. This is not a condition of the Contra Costa Flood Control District. This is not a capacity issue. If it were a capacity issue it would be handled in a different manner. If it were, then there would be reimbursement to the developers for what was requested by the City. He explained the process which would be involved if the developer lost some land, possibly a half acre in this development, they would be entitled to recover that and would probably return to the Planning Commission on an approved development and revisit the lot issue. He suggested a compromise that in the original plan at both ends where the creek ended and the park stopped, it was squared off, that those ends be tapered off. He said he was comfortable with Ms. Puckett’s second request, if it is shade, that once the park is turned over to the City to maintain, as long as it does not affect the flood capacity, the Parks and Recreation Department could landscape and accommodate trees for shade. They have a new agreement with flood control and the responsibility will then be to the Parks and Recreation Department. He described what could be done when final design of the entire park is completed. He mentioned issues such as a manhole cover that cannot be moved. Ms Hansen said that Pinn Brothers does not have control of all of the property, only that shown for the park site and a portion of the property involved in the expansion of the channel. The channel itself is Contra Costa County Flood Control and they have complete and total of control of this at this time. Any tree planting, the two stage channel all have to be approved by Contra Costa County Flood Control. She stated that even with the agreement Director Bronzan was suggesting they would check the hydrology, all the statistics that involve that channel. She also said that their (Pinn Brothers) agreement with the City could be affected if there are any further changes or requests made in the original approval for the development. She mentioned other agencies that they are working with and that are involved in anything in and around the creek. She is also a resident of Brentwood and loves the creek as well and feels her company has gone above and beyond in maximizing the natural areas within the park and making it an appropriate transition. They are looking for approval for parks two and three. Project entitlements are tied to these approvals. The two stage channel does not have an approval process outlined in the conditions that requires anything more than they meet the satisfactions of the Parks and Recreation Director and the Engineering Department.
Ms. Hansen had further comments that it is imperative action be taken on this matter in a timely fashion so they can meet all construction schedules. Commissioner Lanny Brown had some further questions on how the “tapering” of the two stage construction would be handled and after further explanation from Mr. DeSilva and Ms. Hansen, said that he was pleased with the park designs and hoped to continue working with the designer, developer and subcommittee.
Commissioner Brown moved to approve Parks #2 and #3 and that they continue to work with staff and subcommittee. Commissioner Melloni seconded this motion, motion carried.
- ACTION ITEM Develop subcommittee to discuss Master Plan standards as it relates to areas that may
hold water. (C. Bronzan)
Director Bronzan then said that he was recommending that the Commission assign one or two Commissioners to work with staff and Ms. Puckett and any other members of Friends of Marsh Creek to go back and look at those sections of the Parks and Recreation Trail Master Plan that refer to park standards. Chairperson Jones suggested that the two Commissioners already assigned to this specific plan be the most appropriate to deal with the overall Master Plan. Both Commissioners agreed to this suggestion. Motion by Commissioner Brown that he and Commissioner Melloni serve on this subcommittee. Motion seconded by Commissioner Rodrigues, motion carried. Director Bronzan said that these considerations will be brought back to the Commission for approval.
- DISCUSSION ITEM NRPA Conference in San Antonio, Texas. (L. Brown/J. Melloni)
Both Commissioners said it was a great conference and a wonderful location. The comments on the Riverwalk and entire conference, reservations and exhibits all very positive. Exhibit hall not quite as large as a few years ago, but well planned. Information will be forthcoming on new playground equipment and apparatus. Commissioner Melloni said she took a lot of notes on a lecture on park design.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
Mr. DeSilva reminded the Commissioners and staff that due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, the next meeting will be November 17, 2005.
Poldina Scherff, Recreation Manager, passed around the glow-in-the-dark bracelets that will be given out to the public at the Hometown Halloween. This will be in lieu of candy and serves as a safety caution for those kids going trick and treating. Youth Commission will be involved in this project from 5 to 8 p.m.
Commissioner Rodrigues commented on the meeting of CPRS District #3 at Livermore at the new Center on November 17, 2005 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. He would like to see all of the Commissioners in attendance.
Commissioner Myers passed out pictures of material ordered for park apparatus for park at Fairview and Balfour. This is a Frontier theme and she and Chairperson Jones are assigned to this park. She also asked about an email she had received regarding a park that is still not open to the public near the new Catholic Church at Fairview and Central. This park has not been turned over to the City yet by the developer according to Mr. DeSilva as landscaping has not been completed at this time. It is at the developer’s discretion regarding the liability issue at this stage of completion.
Commissioner Melloni asked about the dog park which is not open yet, Mr. DeSilva said he has met with developer and City Attorney and there is not a set date for opening. Director Bronzan commented that he and Mr. DeSilva are working on this problem with the developer. Mr. DeSilva will email all of the Commissioners on any new developments. Mr. DeSilva gave the Commissioners the phone number of Braddock & Logan, the developer responsible for the dog park.
Chairperson Jones asked about having a Christmas tree located at the Veterans Park. He has been approached by a Council Member for this idea to be seen by all the traffic on Balfour Road. The Council Member had said that he would chip in on the light bill for this project if approved. This would be for the Veterans that are home for the holidays to show appreciation. Director Bronzan said that staff would look into this idea. A new tree will be ordered for the City Park, it will then be planted after the holidays. He said this will be more like a traditional tree. He suggested some group taking the responsibility to decorate the tree. Chairperson Jones will work on this with Director Bronzan. He also asked about a social event for the Commissioners during the holidays. Chairperson Jones will pursue this with staff and make sure any event would be posted and agree with all requirements of the Brown Act.
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
Veterans Park Christmas Tree
ADJOURNMENT: Chairperson Jones adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m.
Betty Jo Whincup, Minutes Recorder