|PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
AUGUST 26, 2004
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
734 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER: Chairperson Lanny Brown called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Present were Chairperson Lanny Brown, Jan Melloni, and Sandra Myers. Commissioner Ernie Rodrigues was on vacation and excused. Commissioner Tom Jones was absent at roll call. Others present were Poldina Scherff, Recreation Services Manager; Tammy Homan, Administrative Secretary; Ken DeSilva, Park Services Manager; and Janet Hansen, Park Planner.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: All stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.
AGENDA REVIEW: No request for changes in the agenda.
Mr. Randy Christ, 550 Creek Road, Brentwood, reported that he was present to check up on a couple of matters of concern to him regarding Creek Trail. He noted that he had sent a letter to Ms. Hansen a couple of weeks ago. He is concerned about an area on the south end of Creek Road, near Concord Avenue, that the construction has been constricting traffic on the roadway where Creek Road attaches to Concord Avenue. He has called the City Traffic Engineer and Ms. Hansen regarding the matter. He said the City Traffic Engineer and the Parks Services Manager did respond. They consulted maps and discovered that the improvements for Creek Road had been built on the right-of-way for the road. He was concerned about this since it constricts traffic and is causing concern due to the heavy traffic in this area now. He said the fence and pavement are in the road right-of-way of the trail. He felt this is a dangerous situation. He feels the curb should be built at least 5 feet back. Chairperson Brown said this matter had come up at the previous Bike Safety meeting and some of the bikers had complained that this is quite a dangerous situation. Ms. Hansen said that the Traffic Engineering Department has been to the site and looked at it and they are working on a solution to the problem. She did not know or could not commit to what those changes would be at this time. She said that the Parks and Recreation Department is working to make sure that there is a good solution for all concerned.
Mr. Christ is concerned about three bollards that were on the site, and Ms. Hansen said that they will be removed. She further stated that in the staff report in the Commissioner’s packet for the meeting, a report that Peter Arnold of Abey/Arnold Associates is working on a trail design to link up the two trail portions that are currently installed. She said they did meet with Mr. Wolfe and had a very good discussion and work is being implemented to install a five-foot asphalt section on the west side of the road to link those two trails in the City’s right-of-way. This is currently in design and anticipate the trail connection to be made in the next few months. She further reported striping will be done and the bollards removed along with appropriate signs to be installed.
Commissioner Jones arrived at 7:12 p.m.
Mr. Christ said further that he has had to call the Police Department to come out at least two to three times a week for things that are going on in the vicinity. He reported that on a strip of land between where the trail meets the road and Mr. Wolfe’s property, of about 100 feet there were many oak trees, and they were bulldozed out, he did save one by parking his pickup truck across it and the tractor to make them stop. These were supposed to be replanted and nothing has been done other than putting in a fire hydrant and sprinkler apparatus. No landscaping has been done. He would like it treated in the same manner as the area around Pulte Homes, or at least the Creek Trail. He mows the weeds so that the fire hydrant is visible. Ms. Hansen asked for a description of the location he was referring to and he said it is where the trail comes to the road, basically the side of the road. He said Mr. Wolfe has received the property on one side and has planted and irrigated that portion. Ms. Hansen said they will take a look at that along with the five-foot trail. He also said that his son and he were accosted by someone trespassing the previous Saturday, and that the police did a good job of responding immediately. He has noticed kids scaling the bridge on the outside of the railing and skate boarding on the top of the 12-inch railing and now are on the outside.
His final item was that he almost had a collision with a biker coming out of the trail going very fast, and there needs to be something there, such as a turnstile where bikers would have to slow down or go around, something to make them stop before entering the roadway. Ms. Hansen said there will be a complete signage directing cyclists off and directing pedestrians in one direction and cyclists onto the road, and wording that it is a roadway and that they need to observe all roadway rules and that there is vehicle traffic on the roadway. She did discuss other things that may have to be done to create more of a slow-down. She said when the striping is done, there will be a stop bar painted on the trail prior to the cyclists entering the road. She also said they are currently working on some temporary signage with the Public Works Department. These should be installed within the next two weeks.
Chairperson Brown asked Ms. Hansen to keep the Commissioners informed either with a staff report or an email.
The next speaker was Greg Enholm, Chairperson of Ambrose Recreation and Park District, headquarters 3105 Willow Pass Road, Bay Point, CA. His reason for appearing at the meeting was to promote cooperation among the areas Recreation and Park Commissions and Districts. He feels the Brentwood, Antioch, Pittsburg, Bay Point, Concord and Martinez are going to be far more challenged from a Park and Recreation standpoint in the next twenty years than in the last twenty years. Some of the areas are losing opportunities for large facilities in the next twenty years. There is a need for large soccer fields as well as other types of recreational parks and facilities. He spoke to the issue of the Naval Weapons Stations at Concord which will be fully decommissioned in the future as he sees it. He feels this would be an enormous opportunity for a large sports complex. He spoke to this issue and said he will be coming back in the future to discuss the issue.
1. Approve minutes of regular meeting of July 22, 2004.
2. Accept staff report from Parks Division. (B. Margesson)
3. Accept staff project status report from Recreation Division. (P. Scherff)
4. Accept staff project status report from Facilities Manager. (M. Merizon)
5. Accept staff report from Director concerning Commission liaison. (C. Bronzan)
6. Accept update on Creek Road pedestrian trail extension. (J. Hansen)
7. Accept update on Tennis Courts in Brentwood. (P. Scherff)
Commissioner Tom Jones moved the approval of the Consent Calendar. Motion seconded by Commissioner Sandra Myers, motion carried unanimously.
8. DISCUSSION regarding request from a student for more bike and scooter trails. (C. Bronzan)
Mr. Ken DeSilva referred to a letter received from a student in Brentwood to the Parks and Recreation Department. A copy of the letter was in each of the Commissioner’s packets. Ms. Hansen commented since she had information regarding the history of the letter. She said this letter was a result of an assignment at the Edna Hill Middle School. The letter came to her attention and she was requesting discussion of the letter at the meeting and then as a result she would respond to the writer. After some discussion, some of the Commissioners felt there should be provision for the motorized scooters and bikes, such as special trails which was the first point discussed in the letter. The mixed use on the trails of pedestrians, horses, motorized scooters and carts was discussed. Commissioner Melloni said she would like the issue brought back to the Commission at a future meeting as an agenda item. Commissioner Jones thought there should be designated trails designed with signage. Mr. DeSilva suggested waiting until the park trail master plan is up for review. Commissioner Jones suggested writing the student a letter stating that these trails are under review and that the Commission has taken her letter under consideration. Mr. DeSilva responded to the next item addressed in her letter regarding more water slides, in that there are new features in the zero entry pool, but not for more water slides. The Aquatic Center was built with plans for only the two water slides. Commissioner Melloni said that with the added pool facilities at the new Heritage High School that should alleviate some of the problems with the Aquatic Center. Ms. Scherff will assist Ms. Hansen in providing answers in the response letter.
9. ACTION ITEM: Review and approve pocket park conceptual plan for Amber Park, Mission Peak Subdivision #8470. (J. Hansen)
Ms. Hansen said that the Amber Park subdivision pocket park was back to the Commission, referred back after the previous meeting in July. Mr. Terry Camp of Camp & Camp Associates was present to go through the pocket park designs and referred the Commissioners to the design included in their packets. Mr. Camp explained the plans for the Parcel A and B pocket parks. Prior to his addressing the Commissioners, Ms. Hansen gave out some of the play equipment options that were not included in their packets. She would like them to review the play equipment options at this meeting and give some specific direction. She explained that the project has been in plan check for some time, and they are about ready to approve the construction documents so would like to be able to move forward at this time.
Mr. Camp put up the conceptual plans in color for all of the Commissioners to follow along as he spoke. He spoke to the plans for both A and B and also the pass through/trail plan for the Mission Peak Company, Amber Park. He again gave a thorough description of the location of the areas under discussion. He then asked if there were any questions from the Commissioners which he would take back to his staff. He responded to questions regarding the size of the pocket parks, height of the sound walls and other size questions. Commissioner Myers would like to see more play equipment and probably some to be focused on some of the older children as well as toddlers. She also would like a shade structure over the play equipment. She would also like to see some types of water features and picnic tables. She felt the water features would be more appropriate for the second park (Parcel B). Chairperson Brown and Commissioner Melloni agreed with her suggestions. Ms. Hansen again reminded the Commissioners that these parks were planned prior to the current system of developers providing the parks at their expense. In this case, the developer will be reimbursed by the City for the equipment. Commissioner Jones asked if this would be a budgetary problem. Ms. Hansen then explained further the developer fee program. Suggestion of having a sand and water feature. Ms. Hansen said no one was assigned to this park as yet. Commissioner Myers said she would have the time and would be very interested in working with these parks, and especially to oversee the tot areas. Commissioner Jones moved that the Commission approve the pocket park conceptual plan, with the admonition that shade be provided over play equipment and addition of picnic tables. He further moved that Commissioner Myers work with Ms. Hansen and the developer to finalize the selection of play equipment. Chairperson Brown seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.
Chairperson Brown had a question regarding Pocket Park B, asked if the layout was about three years old and Ms. Hansen and Mr. Camp said that it was. Chairperson Brown said he did not want to vote on Parcel B until he saw an updated configuration of the parcel. Mr. Camp asked for a little more direction on Parcel B. Commissioners wanted to keep the picnic tables and add some spring toys and a sand and water element, along with shade. Commissioner Myers gave Mr. Camp her card and meetings will be set up through Ms. Hansen. Chairperson Brown will also work on this project with Commissioner Myers.
10. ACTION ITEM Discuss part-time Recreation Specialist position and make recommendation to City Council. (P. Scherff)
Ms. Scherff, Recreation Services Manager proposed a new part-time temporary category. Currently there are part-time hourly seasonal wage tables and listed those for the Commissioners. She would like to move forward with new categories of Recreation Specialists I, II, and III and presented the job descriptions and salary scales, which she felt would bring a more professional atmosphere to the positions. She is seeking more professional people who have certificates or degrees and who are willing to come back and work after hours to perform services that they have an expertise in and meet the qualifications of the job description. Commissioner Jones asked if there had been a salary survey for these specialties in the area. She responded that they had done some research that these titles are receiving as to pay scale and job description. She also gave instances where they have had people with long time experience, but it is currently difficult to keep them on part-time at the pay scale now being offered. Commissioner Jones asked how many total people would be employed in these categories over the next year? Ms. Scherff said there would be five to eight at this time and would hope this scale would attract more since they are having difficulty filling those positions currently. Commissioner Jones moved that the Commission recommend to City Council the Recreational Specialist positions, job descriptions and pay scale. Motion seconded by Commissioner Myers, motion carried unanimously.
11. ACTION ITEM Approve recommendation to City Council for approval of Amendment to License Agreement with East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) to operate Marsh Creek Trail. (K. DeSilva).
Mr. DeSilva referred the Commissioners to the new Agreement Amendment from East Bay Regional Parks and the Parks and Recreation Department of Brentwood. He included in the packet the previous agreement. He discussed the changes since the original agreement. He delineated the responsibilities of each agency involved in the agreement. A motion was made by Commissioner Myers that the Commission request the City Council to approve the Amendment to the License Agreement with the East Bay Regional Parks District. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Jones and carried unanimously.
Director Craig Bronzan arrived at the meeting at 8:12 p.m.
12. ACTION ITEM. Appoint subcommittee to work with Park Planner and Parks Services Manager to meet and initiate project design of Summerset Park. (C. Bronzan)
Director Bronzan reported that Blackhawk Park in the CIP is an unfunded 10-acre park. However, in fairness to the Summerset Communities which are nearly completed, they need to start planning the design of the Summerset Park. He described the area and felt there should be a subcommittee formed to start working on the park design. He felt some of the community members would be willing to work on the subcommittee. Director Bronzan recommended Commissioner Rodrigues as someone who should be on this committee and asked if there is another Commissioner who would like to work with staff on this project. He would like the subcommittee to go out to the Summerset community and meet with staff and Abey/Arnold and Associates to work on design of the park. Commissioner Jones volunteered to work with Commissioner Rodrigues and the staff on this project. Commissioner Melloni moved that Commissioners Rodrigues and Jones be appointed to this subcommittee to initiate project design of Summerset Park. Commissioner Myers seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously.
13. ACTION ITEM Pick date, time, and location for September community meeting. (C. Bronzan).
Director Bronzan referred to the previous suggestion that the Commission would like to hold a meeting in the community. Chairperson Brown suggested to hold it at Balfour-Guthrie Park. Different locations were discussed and Chairperson moved that the September meeting be held at Balfour-Guthrie Park. Discussion of lighting and the suggestion to meet on the ballfield. The lights would be on, but there would be a ball game that night, but Director Bronzan felt the lights should reflect onto the structure. He will have someone check to make sure there is a place and lights for the meeting. The suggestion was then that the public input and workshop be held at 6:00 p.m. and then go into their regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. Chairperson Brown amended his motion to state that the regular September meeting be held at Balfour-Guthrie Park, with a public input workshop at 6:00 p.m. and the regular meeting following at 7:00 p.m. Commissioner Melloni seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously.
14. ACTION ITEM Prioritize phasing of City Park re-design. (J. Hansen).
Ms. Hansen commented that a couple of months ago the overall Master Plan of City Park was brought before the Commission with the understanding that the project would be done in phases. The first phase is now complete. They are now setting up the second phase of redevelopment and there are per capita grants funds from Prop 40 that the Grants Administrator is working on currently securing for this phase. She did not have the exact amounts available at this time, but feels it will be between $300,000 and $350,000. She has had Abey/Arnold put together some figures for phase two. Ms. Hansen then passed out informational materials for the Commissioners to assist her in the planning, with preliminary opinions of probable installation costs for this phase. There was also an email that included the total estimated costs. The current estimate for the overall project is $255,775. Discussions on the various parts of the redevelopment of the park, costs and size of the park with the changes for the stage area and other planned changes were discussed. Ms. Hansen recommended going to the gazebo area for incorporation into the phase 2 area to complete the entire area along with the play area already completed. Ms. Hansen asked the Commissioners to look over the map and planned changes along with estimated costs and asked the Commissioners then based on that information to make decisions on what items they would like to go forward with in the next phase of the retrofitting of the park. Commissioner Jones asked about the event sign that the Chamber of Commerce wants to put at the entry plaza and if it is incorporated into the plans at this time. Ms. Hansen said she is aware of this signage and that it is not incorporated at this time. She said that is another item that needs to be worked into the plan. Ms. Hansen said she would be happy to set up a meeting between Commissioner Jones, Chris Becnel of the Chamber of Commerce, herself and Abey/Arnold to work on this project. Interpretive areas were discussed and the possibility that some that had been planned for phase three, may be moved into phase two. Discussion of which trees will be replaced and which will be taken out. Mr. DeSilva said they have had several meetings with the general public to see how attached people were to some of the trees and also working with an arborist. The rose element, not necessarily those currently in place is something the public would like maintained. Ms. Hansen said also that there may be a possibility of obtaining other funds beyond the Prop 40 money and she would like to see the park completed in two phases if possible. Her recommendation was gazebo area first, then orchard interpretive area next. Commissioner Melloni felt they should work from the back forward so as to not disturb work already completed. Commissioner Myers asked about memorial funds for memorial benches, etc. Ms. Hansen said Mr. DeSilva has this type of project nearly established. This could supply benches from organizations such as Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Soroptimist and others. Other suggestions were offered for bricks and pavers as memorials. Ms. Hansen proposed after listening to the discussion and recommendations that a more detailed proposal be brought back to the Commission for review and recommendation for the second phase with solid costs. She will bring this more detailed phase two plan, based on priorities established at this meeting, and the amount of the Prop 40 funds and with a request to then go to the City Council to allocate the Prop 40 funds to the second phase of the City Park.
Commissioner Jones moved to accept the staff report on the prioritizing including the gazebo into phase two and ask staff to return with updated costs at the next meeting. Commissioner Melloni added that if there is enough money from Prop 40 funds to include the interpretive area as well. Commissioner Jones accepted this to his motion. Commissioner Myers seconded the motion with the amendment, motion carried unanimously.
At this point Director Bronzan requested to interrupt the order of the meeting to introduce two people in the audience. He then introduced John Stevenson, City Manager and Craig Cheslog, District Representative of Senator Torlakson’s office. Mr. Bronzan then announced that the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and their citizens board member branch has an awards program. They give awards to outstanding commissions with an outstanding record of cooperation, support and innovation planning in the field of parks and recreation. He had submitted the Brentwood Parks and Recreation Commission for an award. Three awards are given nationally based on different population categories. Monday he received a letter informing him that his nomination of the Brentwood Parks and Recreation has received an award from the NRPA as the outstanding Commission in the 25,000 to 75,000 nationwide. This award will be presented at the NRPA Conference in October. He said that those who had not decided to go, could still make reservations through Ms. Homan to attend the conference. The NRPA Congress event is Friday, October 15, 2004 and will be held in Reno. The Commissioners were thrilled and thanked Director Bronzan for nominating them. Copies of the application and award details were passed out to the Commissioners.
15. DISCUSSION Review of City’s water conservation ordinance. (K. DeSilva
Mr. DeSilva gave a brief history of the water conservation efforts at Summerset III and IV. The Contra Costa County Water Conservation was also asked to work with the City on this project. He reminded them that the City has had an ordinance, (No. 523) regarding water conservation. A copy of this 1992 ordinance was included in the Commissioners’ packets. Mr. DeSilva went over the ordinance with the Commissioners and discussed areas of concern or possible change. Mr. DeSilva said these ordinances can also be changed if the Commissioners wish to make revisions.
Mr. DeSilva accepted all suggestions and will go through the ordinance with staff as well. He will return with the item sometime in the future.
16. DISCUSSION and demonstration of Open Space Management on G.I.S. (K. DeSilva)
Mr. DeSilva indicated on a map the open space areas. He estimated that the City has approximately 60 acres of open space. He handed out prior to the meeting the current open space management program and discussed with the Commissioners the bulleted items on this handout. He verbally explained how the department maintains all of these areas by disc, weed abatement and occasionally in some areas use of chemical treatment of weeds. Mr. DeSilva explained what plans he has for future weed abatement and other issues and asked for more questions.
17. DISCUSSION of Dog Park rules and regulations. (J. Hansen)
Ms. Hansen referred to the newspaper article and other information included in the Commissioner’ packet regarding dog parks. She also referred to a recent dog park fatality that occurred in Danville. She felt since there is a dog park in the planning and nearly to the construction stage in Brentwood, she wanted to discuss this with the Commissioners. Ms. Hansen has done research on what other cities have done with their dog parks and will give an overview of this information as well. She did find an award-winning dog park on the website. She does not feel the dog park that is being planned for Brentwood at this time is large enough to plan for a large and small dog separate areas. One suggestion was to set up separate times for the large dogs and another for the small dogs. Commissioner Jones commented on his experience with dog parks, he did not feel it is necessary to separate the small from the large dogs, especially in an area as small the planned park will be. Commissioner Melloni agreed. Ms. Hansen had considerable other information with her on dog parks which she was willing to share with the Commissioners. Commissioners were not in favor of dividing the park or restricting the hours for types of dogs. Commissioner Myers suggested looking for another area later on that could provide another, possibly larger dog park. Director Bronzan said staff will put together ideas and work to bring back to another meeting at a later date. Ms. Hansen asked Commissioner Jones if he would be willing to work with her on the planning of the dog park. Commissioner Melloni will also work on this committee.
18. UPDATE Creek Clean-up and Family Fun Day. (K. DeSilva/P. Scherff)
Mr. DeSilva said he is requesting assistance on Creek Clean-Up Day. He feels there is going to be a large turnout for the clean-up and will need people to help with registration and handing out materials. He also needs someone to take photographs of the workers. He described what ideas have been put forth for the day and all of the volunteers and companies who are donating materials and lunches, etc. Commissioners Melloni and Jones volunteered to help.
Ms. Scherff explained that there will be a Family Fun Day in conjunction with the clean-up, so that children will have something to do while parents work. She said it is also a great educational opportunity for the children. She said flyers are going out to the schools and also to the PAL Board, also a good opportunity for community service hours.
19. UPDATE on Veterans Memorial at Veterans Park. (J. Hansen)
Ms. Hansen reported on the Veterans element for the Veterans Park. She was hoping for a date, but as yet not able to establish one. The park experienced 90 rain days and eventually had to pump water out of the site, however they are not behind schedule and completion date is set for October 5, 2005. Discussion of whether the dedication will be able to take place November 11, 2005. The Arts Commission is also working on art work in the park as well as the veterans group and their element.
CITIZENS COMMENTS: No citizens comments at this time
Ms. Scherff presented the Activities Guide for Fall and Winter which will go into mail the following day. She commented on the pictures in the Activities Guide which included local employees of the department and Commissioners. The book was produced by Rob Shatting in assistance with Tom Burt.
Commissioners discussed with Ms. Homan on making arrangements for travel to the NRPA Conference.
Commissioner Myers reported on the League of California Conference and said that she really enjoyed it. She said there were some great sessions on subjects such as child obesity, volunteerism and others. She had wished there were booths and said Director Bronzan did a great job as MC. She met with Pulte this week and is very excited about the Rose Garden. Commissioner Jones spoke to that and said she did a great job in getting a water element.
Commissioner Melloni asked that the scooter issue on the trails be put on as a future agenda item.
Chairperson Brown asked about the personnel at the Village Drive Resource Center, Olivia Ruiz and Laura Andrade, if they will stay at the Resource Center? Director Bronzan said they will be coming back into the Parks and Recreation Department, Olivia as a Recreation Supervisor and Laura Andrade will be a Recreational Services Coordinator. He explained that the 7-year grant from the City is now complete and another City director is being named as a liaison. Ms. Scherff said that Laura Andrade will be stationed at Bristow Middle School and will be assisting Tom Burt in the PAL After the Bell program. Olivia Ruiz will be handling the special interest classes. Ms. Scherff has reconstructed the components for all of the Supervisors and shifting some of the duties around. Sue Barry will now be Adult Sports, Kerry Salisbury stays with Youth Sports Programs, Mac Kaiser will have the Seniors and Aquatics, and Olivia Ruiz will have special classes.
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS: None.
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned by Chairperson Brown at 9:50 p.m.
Betty Jo Whincup
of Brentwood Park and Recreation Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513