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November 29, 2001 at 7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers
734 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513

CALL TO ORDER: Meeting was called to order by Chairperson Karen Rarey at 7:02 p.m.

ROLL CALL: Present were Chairperson Karen Rarey, Vice Chairperson Jan Melloni, and Commissioners Lanny Brown, and Jeffrey Cowling. Others present were Tammy Homan, Administrative Secretary, Craig Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation, Janet Hansen, Park Planner, and Ken DeSilva, Parks Services Manager. 


Item No. 1. Approve minutes of regular meeting of October 25, 2001.
Item No. 2. Accept staff report from Parks Division ( Ken DeSilva/B. Margesson/J. Hansen)
Item No. 3. Accept staff report from Recreation Services Supervisors ((S. Barry/ P Scherff/O. Ruiz)
Item No. 4. Accept 50+ and Having Fun Newsletter (M. Kaiser).
Item No. 5. Accept information from California Association of Commissioners & Board Members (C. Bronzan)
Item No. 6. Approve holiday schedule for Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex (S. Barry).
Item No. 7. Accept progress report from Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex users group (S. Barry/R. Shatting).
Item No. 8. Approve 2002 meeting date calendar (C. Bronzan)

Chairperson Rarey pulled items 1, 3, and 7. Commissioner Brown moved to approve items 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8. Commissioner Melloni seconded and motion carried unanimously.

Item No. 1. Approve minutes of regular meeting of October 25, 2001.
Commissioner Cowling commented that he was not at the previous meeting, but wished to make some comments regarding the property owned by Centex and the Montelena park concept. He commented on views expressed by Ms. Herder and the survey they had done referencing percentages of buyers, wherein she had stated that 60% of the buyers have children up to 9 years old, and then a gap and then another are families with teenagers. So they have concentrated more on toddlers and younger children. While that might be a good marketing strategy, for a developer, he feels that the Commission’s responsibility as a Commission is to make sure that they have a balanced neighborhood, parks and recreation equipment. He felt they should not focus on the best marketing for Centex, but what will be best for the community as they grow up. Chairperson Rarey had a comment on Page 3, Item No. 10, at the bottom of the page where she expressed concerns for the shape and design of the parks. She would like to have it go a little further and state “due to safety issues”. Chairperson Rarey asked for a motion to approve Item #1. Vice Chairperson Melloni moved to approve Item No. 1 with comments and corrections. Commissioner Brown seconded and motion carried with Commissioner Cowling abstaining.

Item No. 3. Accept staff report from Recreation Services Supervisors (S. Barry/ P Scherff/O. Ruiz)
Chairperson Rarey expressed concern on Item No. 3, the staff report from Recreation Services Supervisors by S. Barry, P. Scherff and O. Ruiz. The Concerts in the Park had a $5,700.00 deficit, and last year it was a lot larger deficit, and also the previous year prior to that. She stated that even with money put in by developers and other businesses within the city to help absorb some of the costs, it is still running at a deficit. City Council gives $50,000 to Corn Fest, is there any way that they can assist in this event? She doesn’t like to see it keep coming out of Park and Recreation’s funding.

Director Bronzan said he was glad that Chairperson Rarey brought this subject up because a letter has recently been sent by the City Manager to the developers and others involved in fund raising that the City Manager has set a goal in behalf of Concerts in the Park and Snow Day of $50,000. That was his commitment to the Parks and Recreation Department since he does not want to see it in the red anymore. Director Bronzan further stated that they will run concerts as much as they have money for, but will not run in the red anymore. The City Manager was supportive of that goal. Vice Chairperson Melloni also added that the Art Commission is also working on a lot of ideas to raise funds and make expenses less, one item being the purchase of a stage so it will not have to be rented in the future. Chairperson Rarey moved to accept Item No.3. Commissioner Brown seconded the motion and motion carried. 

Item No. 7. Accept progress report from Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex users group (S. Barry/R. Shatting).
Chairperson Rarey reported that the evening before the meeting she was approached by a member of the Aqua Knights who was concerned that they are being left out in the cold as far as use of the Aquatic Complex and they are concerned that the Terrapins are monopolizing a lot of the time. They feel they have been in the city and Oakley and Knightsen for thirty years and that they should be given more time or at least equal amount of time at the center. Vice Chairperson Melloni said that the Aqua Knights board members have been working on this schedule. Director Bronzan said their only request had been for swim meets, and they got everything they requested. He reported that they requested input from all of the swim clubs in September, everybody put in their requests for swim meets and the league meets for the high school, and they dealt with all the requests for practices. He stated that his understanding was in attending many of the meetings, that all had an opportunity to put in their dates and all were satisfied with what they had. The only request from the Aqua Knights was for swim meets. Director Bronzan also commented that the school district is honoring the Aquatic Complex’s rental rates at their pool when the high school is not in the pool, they are offering these hours to all of these groups at the same rate which is considerably cheaper than they normally charge. Chairperson Rarey will report this information back to the concerned person who had approached her on the subject. Chairperson Rarey then moved to approve Item No. 7. Commissioner Brown seconded the motion and motion carried.

Item No. 9. Review and discuss community and landscape plan for Pulte Rose Garden (J. Hansen)
Ms. Hansen said that tonight they had the opportunity to review a proposed community in the northwest part of the City. In the agenda packet for each Commissioner there were three colorized versions, one is the Community Plan, one is the Landscape Plan and then there is a Plant Palette Booklet. Representatives of Pulte Homes and VanderToolen Associates, Inc., Landscape Architects were present. She explained that Pulte Homes has previously had many meetings with various departments within the city, Engineering Department, Planning Department as well as Parks and Recreation to put this community together and she feels that it is one of the more well planned communities that they have had the opportunity to have. Their approach to the open space is more unique than traditional five-acre parks. After they have presented their open and green space layout to the Commissioners and received their input, the firmed up concept will be brought back to the Commission when they are in a more final state. She then presented Mr. John Johnson of Pulte Homes to proceed with their presentation. He introduced himself as John Johnson, Vice President of Land, Pulte Home Corporation, 7031 Koll Center Parkway, Suite 150, Pleasanton, CA 94514. He said that when Pulte Homes started on this project they wanted to incorporate some of the unique features that they were beginning to see around the country. This is an attempt to try to focus and bring together the features that they were hearing that were desired by other homeowners. There also is an attempt to do more for the pedestrian and bring the pedestrian more in the planning process. This plan is focused more on parents not being required to drive children to all of their school and other activities. More trails to make it more feasible to walk or ride bikes throughout the community without using vehicles. Safety issues also stressed in parks by having homes facing parks. There are many traffic calming devices throughout the area, changing sidewalk widths and street widths as well. Rose concept carried all through the complex, including in the individual homes. Much attention given to types of trees to create shade since Brentwood is a very warm climate in the summer months. At the completion of his presentation and that of the slide presentation he would like to come out with a strong recommendation of approval for the Planning Commission for what they have designed.

Director Bronzan asked if the Planning Commission has seen this proposal and Mr. Johnson said yes, they have. He said they have also met with the Housing Sub committee and had a workshop with the Planning Commission, and had a lot of strong support to this point. Commissioner Cowling asked if this is a maximum of 12 units per acre, noting there are 3,500 square foot lots in the plan also. Mr. Johnson said there are 133 acres and a total of 512 units. This fits into the General Plan that was just approved. It does meet the maximum density requirements, shown on colored map to Commissioners. Chairperson Rarey expressed concern where there were no sidewalks at all. Mr. Johnson said with the trails and other features, they felt these features complimented the areas. Mr. Johnson said in reality they are trying to make the parks and streets a part of the house, encouraging people to be in the streets, that is why they are slowing the traffic, and bring people to the front of their homes, rather than everyone to the backyards. He agreed it is a quite different concept, but one quite popular in newer communities. 

Mr. Johnson then introduced Mr. Phil Vandertoolen, 955 Franklin Street, Napa, CA. He presented graphics from the book in the Commissioner’s handout. He presented the components of the parks, such as playground equipment etc. He then showed the components that would create a sense of place, such as gazebos, rose garden, shade canopy, picnic features, etc. All would have trees and shade structures as well. He then presented different types of play equipment for all ages. He described play surfaces and explained that they would comply with ADA standards. He said there would be no sand, all would be Fibar material or rubberized play surface. Commissioner Cowling asked about the ADA compliance, he wondered what extent the handicapped person could use the equipment. Mr. Vandertoolen explained various ways the equipment could be utilized by wheel chair or disabled persons. He also explained what is required to comply with ADA guidelines and Ms. Hansen further explained specifics and that people on staff have gone through these elements and when plan checking are watching to make sure equipment meets the specifications. She said the language is that you need to provide equipment for children of all abilities. 

He continued and explained that they will be providing benches slatted for ventilation, picnic tables, rubberized and also slatted for cleaning and colored mix and match, drinking fountains, bike racks, trash receptacles, and pet stations. All colored to mix and blend with other equipment. Mr. Vandertoolen said the whole idea was to make it a friendly and very accessible community. Lots of trail and pedestrian elements along with parks, making all areas very accessible with bikes or as pedestrian. Director Bronzan then commented on the possibility of a new elementary school, which would be situated directly to the right of this project. He is hopeful that the elementary school would be situated so that it fronted this project. These plans of the Pulte community will be shared with the school district. Chairperson Rarey said she very much liked the pop-out corners, and that it does make a difference in slowing traffic. Vice Chairperson Melloni asked about the chain link fence around the trails. Pulte said it will be a colored vinyl clad fence - not a raw chain link fence, but similar to others in Brentwood parks. She also asked questions about the pet stations, she hoped they would be centrally located for ease of those walking their dogs. Pulte replied that this will come later in the design program. 

Commissioner Cowling asked about the maintenance of the project, since it seemed to be very maintenance intensive. Discussion of maintenance of roses selected, rose gardening and possibility of community getting involved in maintenance. The rose design concept will be carried forward into the individual home designs in the front yards and entry arches into parks. Brochures will be given out to homeowners with respect to caring for roses. 

Director Bronzan then said if the Commission is pleased with the layout, at least as how it lays out as to green spaces and parks, and wished to make a recommendation to the Planning Commission along with staff reports from Parks and Recreation and comment that they have looked at the layout and like the way it is done, this would assist to move the project along. He stated that this is their chance as a Commission to advise the Planning Commission whether or not this is a good plan. 

Commissioner Cowling made a motion to support this concept for this development and for future developments for parks and the development. Commissioner Melloni seconded the motion and motion carried with Chairperson Rarey voting no.

Director Bronzan then requested a brief break while the Pulte people gathered up their materials, and also requested that Item # 11 be next in the agenda and Items 10 and 12 together since they will both be presented by RRM Design Group. This was approved.

Director Bronzan also asked to go back and assign either one or two Commissioners to the above park as they have with each new park. Commissioner Rarey she would do this park, and Commissioner Cowling said he would also work with Commissioner Rarey on this project.

Item No. 11. Review and discuss concept for Deer Ridge Park (J. Hansen).
Ms. Hansen then proceeded to introduce the subject which is a park commissioned by SunCal development in the southwest part of the city. She indicated that staff has met with the landscape architect, John Nicol & Associates that SunCal has contracted with to do the initial design work. She gave a brief history of the park and then introduced John Nicol and Frank Kluber who have reviewed guidelines for this type of park with staff and have been taking notes and now will discuss and walk the Commission through the preliminary park concept. Once this is developed it will then come back to the Commission for approval before the developer moves forward with construction documents. The park is 9.8 acres. Development will back up to park on the left, elementary school to the south and there is a dedicated trail from Balfour Road to the park. Golf courses and Muir Medical facilities also adjacent to the area. Since it is a large park it could be a ball park with parking available and additional parking may be available from school. Director Bronzan gave an overview, described locations and adjoining properties use. He also suggested that since the elementary school would have activities for those age levels, the thought was to have something for older age groups as well. He suggested that this might be a good location for a lighted field. He also described parking and spectator seating availability. With grade differential a retainer wall will have to be built and seating could be built into retaining wall. Other suggestions for the park would be for play equipment, picnic tables interspersed near parking lot. The grading of the park will provide two large flat spaces. Chairperson Rarey suggested some type of hard court area such as basketball court, other suggestions of tennis courts, handball walls and racquet ball courts. Director Bronzan also said they need to check with school district to see what accessibility the public will have to elementary school facilities. He also said that just to the other side of development will be the newest high school. This will house a pool and other sports activity centers. Director Bronzan asked for Commissioners that would be interested in working with this project. Commissioner Brown indicated he would like to and also Vice Chairperson Melloni, so they will be assigned this park. Another suggestion was Frisbee golf. This seemed to received well also. Director Bronzan said they will then take those comments and start working on a design to be presented to the Commission at a later date. Nicol & Associates recapped that as they understood the Commission’s desires for the park in order of preference were as follows; ball field, outdoor racquetball or Frisbee golf, tennis court, hard courts and fitness course (fitness course being on the perimeter).

Item No. 10. Discussion and recommendation regarding revised Parks, Trails and Recreation Draft Master Plan Figure 8.1.1. Action Plan Flow Chart (RRM Design Group).
Director Bronzan introduced this subject saying that as a result of the workshop with City Council will be going through the document where there are word changes or other types of things, and what they really needed to work on was the very last page of the Master Plan, so he has invited the RRM to present a revised flow chart that would define authority on decisions. Warren McClung and Nicol Rister of RRM Design of Oakdale, CA then presented their version of the revised flow chart. Mr. McClung presented a slide presentation showing his revision, dividing it into three segments, the first being the Action Plan/Inventory, second being Acquisition Plan and the third being Economic - how to get design review and development quality standards. He stressed this is where the second phase of the action plan needs to kick in and need to know the quality desired in new development. There needs to be a set of standards that are applied consistently throughout the review of the parks. Types of standards will affect costs and action plan is to evaluate costs. He felt both the action plans Phase 1 at the top and Phase 2 at the bottom when complete would go to the Commission for approval and City Council does not have to be involved in every phase since the Commission is given a budget on an annual basis and it is their responsibility to live within that budget. 

He presented a revised chart. Commissioners made several suggestions to the flow chart. Commissioner Brown and Vice Chairperson Melloni suggested changes in arrow flowing from City Council Budget Direction to Park and Recreation Commission Approval to be a two-way arrow flowing both ways. Director Bronzan had suggestions also under flow of Design Review and Development Standards, citing that changes requested by the Commission do not go directly to the City Council, but instead to the City Engineer. The Design Review and the Design Review processes go to the Planning Commission. He felt that you could look at this and anything that has economics on it, instead of having a two-way arrow on it, really needs to come from the Park and Recreation Commission to the City Council and then the Commission would react to whatever action the City Council takes. Director Bronzan feels problems are only in clarity. 

Discussion of moving the box for City Council Budget Direction to above Economic Action Plan and eliminate it from far right hand side. Then all four in second right column move toward Park and Recreation Commission Approval and to Annual Report. 

Suggestion of presenting flow chart as presented to the City Council and let them make revisions as they wish. Also suggestion to take return arrow out of Annual Report to Park and Recreation Commission Approval. 

Mr. McClung then said he would make the recommended changes and then bring it back to them for approval. He then asked for the plan for taking it to City Council. Director Bronzan asked if they would like to see the summary of all of the changes that got taken care in the text and this before sending to City Council. Vice Chairperson Melloni said she would like to see that. Director Bronzan said he would pass out a draft of the Summary of Comments that Mr. McClung has and then Commissioners could look them over and if they have any comments, get them to the staff. Then a revised flow chart with comments, which will remain like this unless staff hears otherwise, back to the Commission for the December 20 meeting for approval. It will then be taken on to City Council on January 22nd. 

Item No. 12. Review of landscape details/trees for roadways and medians (K. DeSilva).
Mr. DeSilva introduced his presentation of a review of Tree Planting Standards and trying to make sure that the proper trees are planted for each area within the city, and guidelines for proper planting and correct trees in each situation. He discussed previous problems experienced with improper planting. Mr. McClung of RRM Design Associates presented a PowerPoint presentation of different scenarios and handouts of these scenarios were given to each Commissioner. He explained that the presentation shows the suggestions for changes, conditions that must be met for specific requirements. The presentation showed various species of trees, growth to be expected and amount of care required for each tree. General characteristics of each type of tree and shrub and where they are best suited for planting. Commissioners asked some questions regarding some of the trees depicted and where they are best located in the city. This presentation will ultimately go to the Planning Commission for them to understand spaces needed for various types of trees and shrubs. Should also be very helpful to developers in planning landscaping. Suggestion by Commissioner Cowling that certain conditions required should be added to the chart. Mr. McClung felt this could be added as a separate column to the current chart. He then said he would like input into this since this is a first draft and looking for comments. Commissioner Brown said he would like to see a copy sent to the local garden clubs and civil engineering groups. Twenty copies will be made and given to Director Bronzan for distribution. Mr. DeSilva said the tree list is meant to be a living list that can be changed from time to time as new varieties come along or pests or bugs endanger some species.

Item No. 13. Discussion of fall/winter landscape work projects (K.DeSilva).
Mr. DeSilva said that this was a list for information to the Commission as to what they look for when they go out on inspection. These documents are broken up in different areas, budget areas to give information as whether vandalism has occurred or whatever the issues are that require work of some sort. This is a list to be factored into their list to make sure that these issues are taken care of by them. Mr. DeSilva also said that he doesn’t always get to all the areas as quickly as might be necessary to solve problems, such as irrigation, weeds, etc. so if any of the staff or Commissioners encounter these situations to be sure and let him or his staff know about them. 

Item No. 14. Verbal update on Skate Park (C. Bronzan)
Director Bronzan reported that City Council had ordered the Park and Recreation Department to close the Skate Park and not to reopen it until they got supervision and wanted the safe environment of the Skate Park brought back under control. There were some very aggressive personalities that needed to be dealt with in the Skate Park. He was able to hire two individuals and reopened last Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Police Department provided a uniformed officer on site, visible the entire Friday. The idea was not to have the Police Department enforcing the rules, the purpose of the Police Department was that if the two supervisors were met with resistance then they would escort them to the police officers who would then deal with them. There were no incidents with the police officers, as a result the police officers did not come back on Saturday and Sunday. This seemed to impress on the users of the park that the rules would be enforced, and they either follow the rules or leave. He will be reporting back to City Council with an update and were shut down over the weekend, but will reopen and remain open at least through Christmas vacation supervising the park. He said the hours would be Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Mondays through Fridays, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. On weekdays there will be one supervisor and two on weekends. Once the kids go on Christmas break on December 21 they will be there every day during the week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Then he will go back to City Council on January 8th to tell them what is happening. Costs to supervise the park from the time it was shut down and then reopened it through and including January 13, will be just a little over $6,000. So he is currently doing budget adjustments for the year and working with the Finance Department to see how they pay for this added expense. He will need to be able to project costs through June at the next City Council meeting. He does not believe that they can stop supervising the park or problems will reoccur. Some of the options are if they keep the hours during the week to strictly after school hours, and after five weeks the kids understand that they are serious, they may be an opportunity during the week to not have to supervise if they can get the Police Department to stop by on the condition that anyone out of compliance just gets a serious fine. They could still supervise on the weekends. Issue is how much do they want it supervised, what hours do they want to supervise and stay open and what the expenses are. Suggestions for a membership card or charge $2.00 each time if not member. Chairperson Rarey had a suggestion that parents who come down and supervise their children would not have to pay, and those parents who don’t spend time in coming to the facility and supervising it, their children would have to pay. Liability issues were also discussed. Commissioner Cowling also suggested that when there were supervisors present, they could sell or rent out safety equipment, which could also bring in revenue. Director Bronzan asked if one or two of the Commissioners would be willing to work with the staff in resolving this issue. Chairperson Rarey said she would be willing to assist. Commissioners related how other skate parks they have visited have handled renting equipment and pay memberships, also release forms have to be signed by the parents at some of these parks. 

Director Bronzan said that he wanted to take this opportunity to tell the Commissioners that he has just received the information on the dates of the April CPRS conference. Dates are April 3-6, 2002. The conference will be held in downtown Los Angeles, and anyone interested in going to this conference needs to let Ms. Homan know by Friday so that she can make the reservations. The conference will be at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Commissioners Cowling and Brown will go. Commissioner Melloni interested and both she and Chairperson Rarey indicated they would let Ms. Homan know later.

Chairperson Rarey asked about applications for the open position, Director Bronzan said there are four other applications since the last meeting, and the Mayor is reviewing them and will make the decision who the next Commissioner will be. Director Bronzan said that he expects that Commissioner Brown will be reappointed and the new commissioner will be appointed on December 11, and brought back to the January 8 meeting to be actually sworn in to the Commission. 

Commissioner Brown asked about the fees for the gym use at Edna Hill School. Director Bronzan explained that City Council approves all of the fees and it takes upward of 45 days for the process of having the public hearing and approving the fees, and an additional 30 days before they go into effect. New set of fees came into effect October 1, use of gymnasiums is now $30 per hour, whether at Bristow or Edna Hill. City Council approved that if it is a youth event, they pay half the fee, and if it is an adult event they pay three quarters of the fee. This then would be a charge of $22.50 for adult programs, formerly the charge was $10 or $12 per hour. The only way to make up the difference was to take the City Council approved hourly rate and Parks and Recreation Department approved program fee, so when they get to the bottom line, there will be an outstanding fee to pay and that next year when the fee is calculated, there will be just the one fee.

Chairperson Rarey said she was surprised to learn at the recent City Council meeting that the Developer’s Fees were reduced. Director Bronzan said that in 1999 when City Council approved fees from 1999 to 2004 they were accelerated to a five-year plan with the consent of the developers who understood that they were trying to catch up on a lot of facilities, such as the pool, parks and other projects. Fees then went from $3,300, to $5,700 and then to $7,000. Now times are not good and the developers said they would like to go off the accelerated program as the City Council had promised to go to build out. That is why it was brought back to City Council for consideration. It passed on a 4-1 vote. City Council then directed staff to go back and in January to look again at the CIP and bring back an updated CIP. The City Manager has agreed that the Sunset Park and the park behind the pool are a top priority, so this will be discussed and taken up at the January meeting. Park fees have gone to just over $7,000, to just under $5,500, according to Director Bronzan. 

Discussion of the possibility of a youth center somewhere in East Contra Costa County. Location ideas discussed for this type of center. The Mayor would like it to be in Brentwood and has asked Director Bronzan to look at possibilities and report back. Several options discussed.

Request that it be a short agenda for the December 20th meeting. An updated summary from RRM Design Group to be on the agenda. Discussion of a Christmas party and date set for December 14 at Chairperson Rarey’s home. Time will be at 7:00 p.m. Commissioners will bring appetizers. The Art Commission will also be invited. Ms. Homan said she would supply labels and envelopes and send them out for Chairperson Rarey. 

ADJOURNMENT: Chairperson Rarey adjourned the meeting at 10:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Betty Jo Whincup
Minutes Recorder

City of Brentwood Park and Recreation Commission
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Brentwood, CA 94513
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