PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
April 24, 2003 at 7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers
734 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Vice Chairperson Ernie Rodrigues at 7:01 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Roll was called by Minutes Recorder. Commissioners present as follows: Commissioners Jan Melloni, Lanny Brown, Tom Jones, and Vice Chairperson Ernie Rodriguess. Chairperson Jeff Cowling was not present and his letter of resignation was given to the Minutes Recorder.
Others present were Craig Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation; Janet Hansen, Park Planner; Poldina Scherff, Recreation Services Manager; and Mac Kaiser, Recreation Services Supervisor.
Announcement of Fun Run (M. Kaiser)
Mr. Kaiser presented each of the Commissioners with a “Spring to Life” t-shirt and announced the 6th annual event to take place on April 26th. The event will start at City Hall and will start with the 5K run starting at 8:30 a.m. and one mile at 9:30 a.m. There will be no 10K this year. Proceeds will go to the Brentwood Youth Commission and to the Educational Foundation for Liberty Union High School. He would welcome all the Commissioners to either run or come out and help with the run.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: All stood for the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Vice Chairperson Ernie Rodrigues announced the resignation of Chairperson Jeff Cowling. Letter of resignation from Mr. Cowling was handed to the Minutes Recorder by the Director Bronzan.
AGENDA REVIEW: No changes or additions.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None.
Item No. 1 Approve minutes of regular meeting of March 27, 2003.
Item No. 2 Accept staff report/project status reports from Parks Division (K. DeSilva/K. Byrd/J. Hansen).
Item No. 3 Accept staff project status report from Recreation Services Manager (P. Scherff).
Item No. 4 Accept project status report from Facilities Division (M. Merizon).
Item No. 5 Accept flyer for Miwok Park dedication (K. DeSilva).
Item No. 6 Accept report/update on Brookfield Homes’ parks dedications (K. DeSilva).
Item No. 7 Accept CAPRCBM Guidelines - Winter 2003 (P. Scherff).
Item No. 8 Accept Youth Basketball Evaluation Results - (P. Scherff).
Item No. 9 Accept Biddy Basketball Evaluation Results - (P. Scherff).
Item No. 10 Discussion of Creek Road trail issue (J. Hansen).
Ms. Hansen referred the Commissioners to their packets and the Staff Report with reference to a previous meeting wherein a city resident came forward with some concerns on the trail that the Pulte Active Community had been conditioned to install along with a bridge across the ECCID main canal. This is a link in the Marsh Creek Trail which is the Regional Trail and part of the East Bay Regional Park Regional Park District, and overall part of the City’s Trail Master Plan. The Staff has been working with the resident and had a meeting to discuss in more detail his concerns. Since that time, she has also met with the Planning Department and the City Engineer and the Engineering Department. There was a missing link in the trail and they were working on methods of how to resolve the issue. The Staff Report gives an overview of the conditions placed on the developer for that project and the timing associated with those conditions of approval. She gave a brief summary of those conditions. She discussed this schedule with the Commissioners and the timeline involved. The only property not involved in the development is the Wolfe property. She reported the right-of-way issue has been researched in completing the trail and the bridge to bring the trail users across to the connecting trail. She had a proposed solution for the Commissioners to review as to the trail link. The staff is proposing that the City utilize its 50-foot right-of-way on the road which is 12 to 14 feet wide. She said there would be enough room on the west side of the road that the City can install a five 5-foot asphalt pedestrian trail. This is what staff is proposing for the Commission to look at and discuss at this meeting. This connection would link the trail as it crosses the ECCID bridge to the other section of trail, north of Concord Avenue. Ms. Hansen indicated the property owner, Randy Christ, and Brian Bornstein of the Engineering Department were both present at the meeting. She also reported that she and Mr. Christ and Mr. Bornstein had met previously to discuss the possibility of whether the City had any interest in giving up that piece of road that fronts Mr. Christ’s property. Since that time Mr. Bornstein has done additional research and has made some additional contact with the agencies. Ms. Hansen said that the City Engineer feels that the City needs to maintain access on that road for a number of reasons, including maintenance for storm drains, sewers and the bridge itself. Mr. Bornstein said Ms. Hansen had pretty much covered the issue, but added that he had discussed further with the City Engineer the issue of the roadway that was dedicated to the City a long time ago. He added that in talking with the Police Department they would like the road kept open as they like to be able to go to the end of the road and inspect the back side of the Creekside Park. He also talked to the ECCID, and they from time to time use that road to access the canal. He also mentioned that PG&E has power lines which they need to access. There are storm drain and sewer systems that drain the Summerset site and the City crews do need access for this as well. He did talk with the City Attorney regarding putting a gate up and was referenced to the Vehicle Code, Section 21106.6, that states that local authorities may not place gates or selective devices on a street which deny or restrict the access of certain members of the public to the street, while permitting others unrestricted access to the streets.
Ms. Hansen asked for input from the Commission on this issue. Whether or not they make that trail connection so that they are providing the complete link for pedestrians off of Creek Road, which would resolve one of the issues that Mr. Christ has brought forward. If that is what is desired by the Commission then they will be meeting with the other resident and then pursuing the costs involved, and ultimately hope to negotiate with Pulte to do that work in conjunction with the work that they are doing on that site. There is trail funding identified in the CIP program for the next fiscal year.
Mr. Christ addressed the issue of fencing, and if the City fenced their side of the property. Ms. Hansen said staff was not in favor of fencing or gating the area. Mr. Christ then asked about fencing on his side of the property and Ms. Hansen said the owner could certainly fence his property on his side of the road. Ms. Hansen said if the City were to fence one area then they would have to consider fencing all the area along Creek Road to Concord Avenue.
Mr. Christ expressed that he has been dealing with this issue for over 10 years and that the last three days he has been the most upset he has ever been in his life. He has had many discussions with various members of the City staff, Planning, Engineering and Parks and Recreation and has been totally frustrated. He was happy to be able to express himself to the Commissioners at this meeting. He wanted to know if the trail coming down off the bridge would be paved and when this was confirmed he expressed much concern about skateboarders. He expressed his concern about privacy and his concern for fencing. He stated there is existing fence now on the west side of the road and he indicated this on the map. It is an old existing barb wire fence, he hopes that a recommendation from the Commissioners would get that improved. He said that there are a lot of old oak trees in that area and hopes that if this fencing is improved, those oak trees would be preserved, some shown on the map. He has been dealing with people cutting through fences, numerous police calls, almost weekly; people cutting through the fence to get onto ECCID property. He cited windows being broken in trucks on his property, rocks thrown at buildings and feels this will increase as bridge is completed. He has had people come on dirt bikes, mopeds and otherwise vandalize his property. Commissioners asked questions about how people get into his property and how people get through existing fence. He said some even use bolt cutters to get onto property. Vice Chairperson Rodrigues expressed what he felt were the concerns expressed by Mr. Christ and asked a few questions as to what his biggest concerns were. Mr. Christ felt he had not been dealt fairly by the City staff in past ten years. Commissioner Jones asked his best hope for how the situation could be resolved. He would like to be able to fence off the road and put a gate on it since the road ends at his driveway. He indicated this area on the map, and also said he would like the City to fence their side of the road on the east side down to the ECCID, he would then fence his side down to Mr. Wolfe’s property. He would like to see something to keep people on the trail and out of his property and equipment. He would then work with traffic and engineering about the gate and what would need to be done. He has organic apples and people have come out and picked his apples. Vice Chairperson Rodrigues summed up the issues and asked for further information from Director Bronzan. Director Bronzan said they need to look at the area and make sure only people on foot or on bikes use the trail. Vice Chairperson Rodrigues said he would like more time to look at the area and make sure they make the right decision for the property and the owner. Commissioner Melloni asked about the funding that is set aside for the trail. Ms. Hansen responded to the concerns and said she will try to get together and work on these issues and especially the fencing on the east side. There was some discussion as to the types of fencing and landscaping that could be utilized. Vice Chairperson Rodrigues said he felt the Commission should continue to look into the matter, work with the City ( Mr. Christ should and said he would also continue to work with the City Engineering Department, ) and they will follow up on the questions. This issue should be given priority and also ask Pulte Homes what they can do to assist in the problems. Director Bronzan said he will direct staff to work with the developer. Commissioner Jones moved to direct staff to continue in this direction and further seek out Pulte’s assistance and work with the property owner and with the City’s Engineering Department. Commissioner Melloni seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously. Commission also expressed a desire to go out to the property again to assess the concerns. Mr. Christ indicated he would like to know when they are coming so he can meet with them. He also cited oak trees that had been destroyed and were only replaced with a few small seedlings that are now dead. He would like these replaced. Mr. Christ thanked the Commissioners for their attention and interest in his situation. Commissioners Jones and Rodrigues will work with staff on this issue.
Item No. 11 Update and discussion of the Recreation Division (P. Scherff).
Ms. Scherff presented a PowerPoint overview of the structure of the Parks and Recreation staff. The presentation not only showed the structure, but reviewed each position and who they report to as well as their respective duties. The Commissioners complimented her on the excellent organizational chart. She asked if anyone had questions and discussed plans for the future of the department such as eMotion presented at the previous meeting. Commissioner Jones said this is a great organizational chart and asked if they could have it on paper. Director Bronzan said it will be printed out and given to each Commissioner in color.
Item No. 12 Follow-up discussion of April 6th retreat (C. Bronzan/Commissioners).
Director Bronzan showed a PowerPoint presentation of the recent retreat and tour taken by the Commissioners and staff. Pictures taken by Ken DeSilva, Parks Manager and points discussed at the tour were reviewed.
Item No. 13 Review/discuss goals #3, #4, and #5 of Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan (C. Bronzan).
Since Goal #3 was not in anyone’s packet, Director Bronzan omitted that at this time and started with Goal #4. He then reviewed Goals #4 and #5 and read through them with the Commissioners. Each had not only received this material in the Master Plan but copies of the above goals were a part of the packets for this meeting. Questions were asked at appropriate times throughout the review. Director Bronzan discussed the history of setting these goals and objectives and how the Master Plan evolved. He stressed the wish that the Commissioners would continue to study and work with this plan and update it as necessary through the years. Discussions included reviewing maps and value of keeping these up to date. Standards were discussed those which are more or less universal and those that are unique to Brentwood.
Trail systems, equestrian and bike trails discussed. The new equestrian trail system south end
of Sunset Park with a staging area was discussed along with what is now available in the city. Director Bronzan said one of issues that is being addressed is how to get from north side of Brentwood to the south side, also having some trails that are exclusively for equestrian, either decomposed granite or dirt. Other staging areas will be planned in the future. Director Bronzan discussed current plans that trails need to be planned and in place prior to completion of the development. He also mentioned the grants that are secured by the grant writer. Trails system predicated on a 1 mile per thousand population. Open space discussed by Director Bronzan and the Commissioners and what all is included in the “open space” terminology.
Jeff Cowling, former Chairperson commented that it had been a pleasure working with everyone and he will try to stay in touch and attend some of the meetings. He will also make himself available for subcommittees that they might like him to serve on. Commissioners all said he will be missed and that they enjoyed working with him.
Bicycle Subcommittee Update (J. Hansen)
Ms. Hansen said that there was not a full discussion at the last meeting since there was no Parks and Recreation Commission representative at the meeting, since Jeff Cowling was no longer on the Commission and Commissioner Brown was ill. They did have a meeting, but did not have a discussion of the goals and policies, so that will be scheduled for the next meeting. They are going to discuss the goals and direction that the subcommittee would like to go. They would like more input from local residents. She said they do have a policeman and a representative from the Engineering Department on the subcommittee. They may also have representative from the Planning Department soon. They do not have funding but have been successful in getting grants. She also passed out flyers on the Bicycle Rodeo sponsored by the Delta Pedalers Bicycle Club at the Safety Fair on Saturday, April 26, 2003, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This will be held at the Brentwood Elementary School. They will do bicycle inspections and kids get their helmets fitted properly, and will have some helmets to give away. The person in charge is Mike Thomas and his phone number is 634-5730. The next bicycle event is in May since that is National Bike Month. Ms. Hansen will take the proclamation to City Council. Bike to Work Day is the 15th of May, and there will be energizer stations at Brentwood City Park (corner of Oak & 2nd) and at the Marsh Creek Trail Staging Area on Central Boulevard. Flyers will be in employee pay checks and at the schools. Vice Chairperson Rodrigues asked Commissioner Jones if he would be interested in serving as the second person on the Bicycle Subcommittee from the Commission. He was not interested.
Director Bronzan announced that the City Council on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 approved a workshop to be held with the East Bay Regional Park District Board. The Parks and Recreation Commission has been invited to be a part of that workshop. He encouraged them to attend, since the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors comes out once a year to adopt their lighting and landscaping overlay for East Contra Costa County so they will be in Brentwood June 18, 2003 at 7 p.m. Working with EBRPD staff, the idea was raised that it would be a good opportunity for their Board, the Parks and Recreation Department and the City Council to have a workshop here in the City Council Chambers and staff will present a history of what they have done in the past and what they want to do in the future together. This will be a staff and Commissioners workshop and food will be served.
Commissioner Tom Jones commended the staff on all the promotion material on the eMotion project. He feels it is very clever and a job well done.
Vice Chairperson Rodrigues wanted to complement Director Bronzan on giving a session at the Special Districts and he is looking forward to that. He also wanted the Commission and the staff to know that the dedication for his softball complex in Livermore is scheduled for Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 7 p.m. and they will be receiving invitations.
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
Skate Park Update (two weeks notice will be sent out in advance of the meeting.)
Vice Chairperson Ernie Rodrigues adjourned the meeting at 9:24 p.m.
Betty Jo Whincup
of Brentwood Park and Recreation Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513