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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 26


Meeting Date: May 22, 2001

Subject/Title: Discussion regarding Park and Recreation Commission recommendation for Priority Use of Fields/Facilities

Submitted by: Craig Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation
Prepared by: Ken De Silva, Park Services Manager

Approved by: Jon Elam, City Manager



RECOMMENDATION 
Discuss the recommended Park and Recreation Commission policy regarding use of field/facility by Brentwood residents.

PREVIOUS ACTION
At the January 9, 2001 City Council meeting, Council member Wade Gomes requested a future agenda item to consider a recommendation from the Park and Recreation Commission related to how to provide Brentwood residents first use of City facilities.

BACKGROUND
The issue brought to the Park and Recreation Commission was whether or not, and how, the Parks and Recreation Department could assure that Brentwood residents are programmed to utilize our facilities before non-residents. This has become an issue because Brentwood residents pay a citywide park maintenance tax for the up keep of park facilities, and due to the shortage of facilities, do not always get first use of those facilities. This situation is further complicated as the two largest youth serving sport organizations are independent of the City and have service areas that are much larger than the City limits.

A subcommittee was established at the January 25, 2001 Park and Recreation Commission meeting to look at options to recommend for City Council discussion. The subcommittee consisted of Park and Recreation Vice Chairperson Jan Melloni, Commissioner Scott Shepherd, and staff members Ken DeSilva (Park Services Manager), Sue Barry and Poldina Scherff (Recreation Services Supervisors). Members of the subcommittee met with PONY Baseball, East Diablo Youth Soccer, and local swim teams to get their input and recommendations.

Based on the information and recommendations received, the Park and Recreation Commission discussed, at its March 29th meeting, several options regarding the assignment of facilities for non-City sponsored Teams/Leagues and City based programs. The options discussed were:

For Non-City Sponsored Leagues/Teams:

1. Donít make any changes. The current situation is temporary in nature. The City needs to continue to meet the citizensí demands for future growth and continue to plan and build new facilities.

2. Establish a rating system that is based on points: those organizations that provide proof of participantsí residency are assigned a point value per participant. The organization with the highest point rating would be allowed first use of facilities.

3. Request that user groups self-enforce facility use assignments: strongly urge the schedulers to assign Brentwood residentsí participation at Brentwood facilities.

For City Programs:

1. Donít make any changes.

2. Suggest to coaches, as we currently do, that they utilize City facilities only. Because it is difficult to find good coaches, some programs may not be provided.

3. Offer early registration for Brentwood residents, possibly the first week of the existing registration period.

After discussion the Park and Recreation Commission suggested implementing option three (3) for both non-sponsored Leagues/Teams and City programs. City staff has had very few complaints concerning City program participants, and does not receive complaints from youth sport organization parents. As a result, it was felt that options three (3) should help as a short-term solution until additional fields are developed. With the many neighborhood parks coming on line this year, there should be plenty of space for local residents to practice. Scheduled games will see a positive improvement when additional sport fields come on-line at Sunset and Sand Creek or other availability occurs.

Staff is requesting direction/approval of this recommended policy for use of facilities. Staff is confident that allowing Brentwood residents a ďpriority registration periodĒ will increase our ability to have Brentwood residents use Brentwood facilities. Staff has requested representatives from East Diablo Youth Soccer and PONY Baseball to attend the meeting in case there are questions regarding how their leagues operate. 

Attachments: Park and Recreation Commission staff report


STAFF REPORT

DATE: March 23, 2001

TO: Park and Recreation Commissioners

FROM: Ken DeSilva, Park Services Manager

RE: Update on Priority Use of Fields Subcommittee


Action: 
Discuss the options provided below and make a recommendation to City Council.

Background:
The question was raised as to whether or not, and how, the Parks and Recreation Department can try to make certain Brentwood residents are programmed to utilize our facilities. Some of the concerns expressed have related to residents having to use facilities outside of Brentwood.

A subcommittee was established at the January 25, 2001 Park and Recreation Commission meeting. The subcommittee consists of Park and Recreation Vice Chairperson Jan Melloni, Commissioner Scott Shepherd, and staff members Ken DeSilva (Park Services Manager), Sue Barry and Poldina Scherff (Recreation Services Supervisors).

Discussion:
One problem associated with this concern relates to the present lack of facilities for our current population. As a City, we are expanding our facilities at a rapid rate. Currently, there are seven parks, a Skate Park and one joint gymnasium under construction. The City completed the City of Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex last year and has had excellent attendance. We currently have four additional parks in the design phase and have established subcommittees to offer suggestions for the design of our City trails, the Sports Park on Sunset and equestrian facilities in our City.

Staff recently met with several user groups (Pony League, East Diablo Soccer League, East Diablo Tournament Association) to discuss issues of facility use and their program growth. The major focus of these meetings was to determine how we could accommodate their current and future needs. Staff also discussed the current status of our programs and future program growth.

All of the outside programs (those not run by the City of Brentwood) are regional in nature and therefore, according to their bylaws, cannot discriminate as to where their users live. This relates to groups using the parks and also includes the Terrapins, Dolphins and Aquaknights who use our Aquatic Complex.

It is difficult to find local coaches for some programs. This is true for outside organizations as well as City programs. Most coaches offer practices close to where they live.

One of the concerns of staff is the programming of our Aquatic Complex. Because of its popularity, we are finding it difficult to accommodate the needs of everyone. One of our regular users is the Liberty Union High School District. Staff is hopeful we will experience some relief when Freedom High Schoolís pool opens.

Recommendations:

For Non-Sponsored Leagues/Teams:

4. Donít make any changes. The current situation is temporary in nature. The City needs to continue to meet the citizensí demands for future growth and continue to plan and build new facilities.

5. Establish a rating system that is based on a point system. Those organizations that provide proof of participantsí residency are assigned a point value per participant. The organization with the highest point rating is allowed the first registration period of our facilities.

6. Request that user groups self-enforce facility use assignments. Strongly urge the schedulers to assign Brentwood residentsí participation at Brentwood facilities.

For City Programs:

4. Donít make any changes.

5. Suggest to coaches, as we currently do, that they utilize City facilities only. Because it is difficult to find good coaches, some programs may not be provided.

6. Offer early registration for Brentwood residents, possibly the first week of the existing registration period.

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