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Central Park Gazebo

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 17

Meeting Date: May 14, 2002

Subject/Title: Update on Apple Hill Trail connection under Apple Hill Drive Bridge

Submitted by: Craig D. Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager

RECOMMENDATION
Provide direction to staff as to how to proceed.

PREVIOUS ACTION
This item was requested by Council member Beckstrand to be brought to the May 14, 2002 City Council meeting as an update for discussion.

BACKGROUND
The Apple Hill Trail was intended to run from the south, off Central Boulevard at Apple Hill Park, to the north along Deer Creek, under Apple Hill Drive, and connect to the Contra Costa County Flood Control District’s Deer Creek detention basin. The trail was first mentioned in the Planning Commission Resolution No. 89-52 (approved August 1, 1989). The resolution describes “19 acres for park and linear trail purposes” but does not provide any specifics about the trail.

Planning Commission resolution No. 90-16, passed on June 19, 1990, includes the following condition, G6: “If Parcel B has not been acquired by the City of Brentwood or Contra Costa County Flood Control District at the time of consideration of the initial final map, the map and improvement plans shall include dedication, trial improvements and landscaping along Deer Creek. These plans shall be subject to review and approval by the Planning Commission”.

Apple Hill Trail became identified as Parcel B on the Apple Hill Estates Phase II Subdivision No. 7642 in 1994. The Planning Commission approved Resolution No. 94-11 on March 1, 1994 that approved the design for landscape and trail improvements along Deer Creek. Apple Hill Trail was then constructed and landscaped with the exception of 200 feet that go under the Apple Hill Drive bridge over Deer Creek.

A memorandum from Mike Porto, Planning Consultant to the City of Brentwood, to City staff dated July 2, 1996 identified the lack of connection under Apple Hill Drive and that complaints were starting to be made by people who were out on the trail. Without the under bridge connection, trail users were walking in to the Apple Hill community to cross Apple Hill Drive and back down the other side to the trail. The connection under the bridge was not made at that time because the gabion drop structure in the Deer Creek detention basin had not been completed. Once installed, the drop structure would lower the water level in the creek, allowing for the trail section to be completed. It would only be during high water flows that the trail connection would not be usable. Mr. Porto suggested an interim solution to divert low flow water while the trail connection was completed. This proposal was forwarded to Blackhawk but we can find no documentation that anything was done.

City representatives did a field inspection of the trail on December 4, 1996, which resulted in a punch list dated January 4, 1997 for Blackhawk to complete for trail acceptance. A site visit was also conducted by Contra Costa County Flood Control District on January 28, 1997, which produced a punch list dated January 30, 1997. We cannot find any record in our files that anything was done by Blackhawk regarding completing the items.

City Staff sent another punch list to Blackhawk on September 25, 1998. In working toward a compromise whereby the City would assume maintenance of the linear park in Apple Hill, Blackhawk representatives state:

“Blackhawk/Nunn will address and correct all items on the punch list prepared by Public Services, dated September 25, 1998. Blackhawk/Nunn will commence this work when we receive from you a letter acknowledging the City’s acceptance immediately upon completion of the punch list items. Therefore, until such time that we are in receipt of this letter, no further maintenance will be performed on this park. Further, Blackhawk/Nunn agrees to complete the pedestrian path under the Apple Hill culvert in conjunction with the Deer Creek Detention Basin work”. We cannot find any record in our files that anything was done by Blackhawk regarding these punch lists, and to the best of our knowledge, the City has never accepted the linear park. The City is however, currently providing maintenance on the trail section through the 94-1 Lighting and Landscape District.”

There is a letter dated October 11, 1999, from Contra Costa County Flood Control District to the City concerning a punch list of the creek that will need to be completed prior to acceptance by CCCFCD. In speaking to Paul Detjens of CCCFCD on May 7, 2002, they have never accepted the creek, as the punch list items were never completed.

There is also a copy of a letter in our files dated October 8, 1998 from CCCFCD to Blackhawk Corporation. This letter was a result of a September 24, 1998 meeting to discuss the final phase of construction in the Deer Creek Detention Basin, which was to include construction of a new gabion drop and required mitigation plantings. This work, which was to be completed through a reimbursement agreement between Blackhawk and CCCFCD, was never completed according to Paul Detjens.

Finally, the City of Brentwood City Manager sent a letter to Blackhawk on November 17, 1999 which in part states: “Blackhawk agrees that the City will complete the necessary modifications to the Apple Hill Trail and under crossing. The City will reduce your reimbursable credits by the actual costs incurred for the completion of that project.” Blackhawk has since sold the development to Pulte Homes and the City has no legal rights to reduce their reimbursable credits.

The Parks and Recreation Department became involved with this project in July 2000 when landscape maintenance functions were merged in to the Parks and Recreation Department from the Public Works Department. Since that time, Department staff has been working with CCCFCD to try and complete the trail work and the gabion drop since the two projects are related. City staff worked at the request of CCCFCD, to get a proposal from an engineering firm to develop the necessary design and environmental permits. A proposal was completed in February 2001, which was reviewed by CCCFCD staff who were concerned that the costs were too high.

As a result, City staff worked to get a second proposal from a number of engineering firms. A second proposal was received in September 2001, in which the City and CCCFCD have made comments for a final revised copy. In a conversation with Paul Detjens of CCCFCD, they are now prepared to move forward with the project in conjunction with the City on the revised proposal. This will require a joint agreement between the City of Brentwood and CCCFCD to move the proposal forward.

Staff has also been in contact with Nicole Kozicki of the Department of Fish and Game who will require a permit to be pulled for this project. Nicole has indicated she has meet with CCCFCD and has an understanding of the proposed project. She has offered to work with both agencies once the permit has been pulled and the environmental work is completed.

Staff has scheduled a meeting with Paul Detjens of CCCFCD on Tuesday, May 14th in an effort to move this project forward. Staff will be able to provide City Council with an additional update at the City Council meeting as a result of this meeting.

FISCAL IMPACT
Still to be determined.