WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26, 2006
ROBERT LIVERMORE COMMUNITY CENTER
4444 EAST AVENUE, LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA
CRESTA BLANCA BALLROOM
Meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Director Turner. Roll was taken and all Directors were present except Chair Kamena..
2.1 CULTURAL ARTS COMMISSI0N UPDATE
Gloria Retzlaff Taylor made a presentation to the Board regarding the past year’s activity of the Cultural Arts Commission. Ms. Taylor distributed information to the Directors.
Chair Kamena arrived at 7:10 p.m.
Director Turner stated that the Commission has accomplished a remarkable amount in a short amount of time. Chair Kamena thanked the Commission for its work, noting that it has a lot of work ahead of it.
3. PUBLIC FORUM
Chair Kamena invited public comment on any item not on the agenda.
No public comment was received.
4. CONSENT AGENDA:
4.1 BOARD MINUTES
4.1.1 Meeting of April 12, 2006.
4.2.1 Letter from LARPD General Manager Barry to State Senator Don Perata registering LARPD’s opposition to Senate Bill 1317.
4.3.1 Extension of temporary assignment of a Senior Recreation Supervisor to the higher duties of Landscape Architect/Project Manager.
On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Turner, approved the Consent Agenda, passing 5-0.
5. CONSENT AGENDA: RESOLUTIONS: None.
6. BIDS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS: None.
7. OLD BUSINESS:
7.1 RECONSIDERATION OF CAYETANO PARK MASTER PLAN
Chair Kamena gave background information on the two master plans that have been presented for the Cayetano Park Master Plan. The park is to be developed by Shea Homes, who will be building a housing development in the area of the park.
Dave Best of Shea Homes made a presentation of three different versions of the park. Mr. Best explained that the first master plan had a parking lot in the southeast corner of the lot. The new master plan has the parking lot in the center of the park, at the request of LARPD staff and Directors, who had expressed an interest in the parking lot being closer to the baseball fields and dog park. The entrance to the parking lot has been modified because of the former entrance’s proximity to an intersection. Other details were presented by Martha Lee of Nicol & Associates. Shea Homes is requesting a time extension in the development agreement with the City, due to the time lost in the re-designing process.
Director Furst asked about the softball/baseball area being raised above the parking lot, and whether it is ADA compliant. The response was that it is. Chair Kamena asked about the number of parking stalls. There are 90, of which 5 are for disabled persons. Director Faltings complimented Shea Homes and Nicol & Associates on changing the design. She thanked the Board for reconsidering it, and feels it is a much better design.
On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Turner, approved the second draft of the Cayetano Park Master Plan, passing 5-0.
Chair Kamena asked for public comment. No public comment was received. Director Goodman stated that he appreciates the fact that the developer put in the extra effort to redesign the plan.
8. NEW BUSINESS:
8.1 PROPOSED SPORTS PARK
Ponderosa Homes presented to the Board two possible options for a proposed sports park east of Greenville Road.
Chair Kamena stated that a comprehensive proposal has been submitted to the City by Ponderosa Homes which wishes to build a housing development. The proposal involves moving the Urban Growth Boundary, and includes a sports park, which would be owned and operated by LARPD. Both plans have been considered by the Sports Park Committee. Approval of the proposed development and sports park is something that will be determined by the City of Livermore, not LARPD. Chair Kamena stated that LARPD is being presented with two concepts of a sports park that have been designed by Beals Alliance, as contracted by Ponderosa Homes.
Jeff Schroeder of Ponderosa Homes stated he is present tonight to start a process that may bring a park to LARPD. The process for this started quite a while back, and experienced some delays. The area is between I-580 and the south bay aqueduct where it meets Greenville Road, and is outside the Urban Growth Boundary. This area is geographically defined, unlike the north Livermore area previously considered for a park (by Pardee Homes). This new area is adjacent to a lot of existing development, and there is infrastructure in the area. This area was previously selected by the Sports Park Committee as a desirable area for a sports park, when the issue was initially brought up. The two park ideas are based upon input from LARPD staff. Mr. Schroeder introduced Derek McKee and Cheri Tafel of Beals Alliance, who presented and described maps showing the location of the proposed park, and two park concepts. Concept 1 is 64 acres. Concept 2 is 355 acres. The presenters gave details about each of the two concepts.
General Manager Barry and the Directors asked for, and received clarification on the following: amount of undeveloped area that is flat enough to be developed in the future for fields; the opportunity for trails to connect activity areas; developed acres in each concept; possible realignment of activity areas; public entry points to each parch concept; lighting; the number of employees that would be needed to maintain a park of this size; ease of maintenance for each concept; clarification of the meeting’s procedure for this agenda item; the fact that LARPD has no land use authority, and that Directors are not endorsing anything except concept 1 or 2; the Sports Park Committee endorses concept 2; and cost differences between the concepts.
Chair Kamena opened public comment.
1) Bob Baltzer, 944 El Caminito, Livermore, spoke against the placement of a sports park in the area under discussion.
2) Beth Wilson, Bluebell Court, Livermore, stated that Livermore does need sports parks. However, she is concerned about the placement of them. She stated she is concerned about the maintenance and the cost for maintenance, the policing of them, and the location of them.
3) Bob Weber, 2446 Broadmoor Street, stated that Livermore residents have made it clear that the Urban Growth Boundary is not for sale, nor should it be bartered away, piece by piece. He stated that we should look for alternatives not involving development.
4) Jeff Williams, 755 Hazel Street, Livermore stated he feels a sports park should be near where the population is, not on the edge of town. He stated that new homes should also go in town, with amenities/parks located near these homes. He asked if there is really a need. How much of the costs are covered by user groups, and how much by taxpayers, he asked. He asked about replacing vacant commercial areas with parks, as these areas are eyesores..
5) Michal Lea, 1219 Regent Place, stated she concurred with previous speaker. Suggests asking for zoning changes from City to use areas within the City. She feels the Board should not be voting on any of the concepts. She stated she feels this serves to develop a perception that LARPD supports the developer. She stated she feels LARPD should maintain neutrality in this issue.
6) Corey Nelson, 1403 Aspen Court, President of the Livermore Youth Soccer League, stated that she supports all parks. She stated she prefers Concept 1, because park users can play different sports at the same time, or one sport can use the entire park. She stated she feels Concept 1 accommodates families with kids who attend sporting events. She stated that she appreciates the Sports Park Committee for talking about the issue. She stated that the concept of a park is widely accepted and supported.
7) Eileen, representing Tri-Valley Cares, questioned whether this is a good location for a sports park, given that an earthquake fault has been discovered under Greenville Road, and that the site is close the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
8) Paul Weiss, 396 Adele Street, stated he would support a sports park in this area if BART comes to Livermore. He stated he feels the community should not entertain any further development unless the promises made in the 1960’s are fulfilled, such as BART in this areas. He stated he feels it would be reasonable to exchange 580 transportation relief for more traffic inside the city. He stated he would like to see Ponderosa use their influence in this matter.
9) Valerie Raymond, Buena Vista Avenue, Livermore, stated that the District’s estimation of maintenance staff needed for the park proposed by Ponderosa Homes appears inconsistent with the estimation the District made for the proposed Pardee Homes sports park project.
10) Josh Sherman, 5563 Anita Court, stated he seconded the previous speakers’ comments, and stated that he wonders about the need for another sports park at this time. He noted that that Bill Payne Park seems underutilized, and that he rarely sees activity there. He stated that the Board should not make a decision on the concepts tonight, as it implies Board support of the park. He stated he felt that maps should be made available to the public. He cited traffic concerns. Mr. Sherman suggested that the costs projected for sports parks are overstated, and need to be looked at before any decisions are made.
11) Lee Buzby, 4382 Cornell Way, stated he is grateful for the work of the Board. He said that he worked hard against the passage of Measure D. He stated he likes the idea of a sports park, that it is good for our children. He said we should budget for it, and plan for it, not treat it as a free thing, a give-away. He said that working with the Urban Growth Boundary requires public and private cooperation. He asked the Board to investigate all avenues that could lead to public and private funding of a sports park, and that the Board work within the Urban Growth Boundary.
12) Thomas Jefferson, Sorrento Place, Livermore, stated that there is nothing but two maps in the Board packet. He said he feels no decision can be made without more information, that no numbers were provided. He said it is premature for any decision to be made.
13) Tamara Royce, 5870 Felicia Avenue, stated that she echoes sentiments of some of the other speakers. She said she has seen a large increase in traffic from relatively small new recent developments. If there is a sports park, she stated, there will be homes, generating traffic. She voiced concerns about the proximity of the project to the LLNL, the fact that security concerns of the lab may affect traffic in the future, as it has already, by closing off portions of East Avenue. She stated there was no mention of long-term concerns about water supply and groundwater. She stated she feels it is premature to make any decision tonight, and that there is value to the open space in Livermore.
14) Tom O’Neill, 1372 Spring Valley Common, Livermore, stated he feels this project will not happen, and that he is disturbed at all the energy going into making this happen. He stated that he worked to defeat the Pardee Homes proposition, and that the opposition opinions he heard from others had everything to do with the Urban Growth Boundary. He stated that the people of Livermore have plans that are incompatible with the plans of Ponderosa. He stated he hopes the Board does not move quickly on this matter.
15) Harriet Cole, Vice Chair of Friends of the Vineyards, stated that her board hopes that LARPD would not endorse any sports parks developments that come packaged with development outside the Urban Growth Boundary. Her group hopes the LARPD Board will respect the fact that 72% of residents supported the Urban Growth Boundary with the Pardee vote. She stated she supports a sports park, but with a proper design to minimize maintenance, etc., and that will work well for the District and the City. She stated that Friends of the Vineyards is concerned about a large development at the gateway to the wine country. She stated that it is important not to encourage or confuse a developer, that the developer should not have the support of our park district.
16) Jean King, 4205 Colgate Way, Livermore, stated that she supports parks, and that the entire city should be involved in this, perhaps with a bond issue. She stated that she does not believe the city sill support this. She stated that we must look at LARPD’s finances. She urged LARPD not to take a stand and to remain neutral.
17) Steven Delledera, 1560 San Remo Court, Livermore, asked that the Board take a risk and be independent, and use its ability to act independently and build a sports park. He stated that, whether it takes a bond measure or an entitlement, it must be done. He said it is time to move forward.
Counsel Kyle suggested the Board do what it is being asked to do tonight, which is to focus on choosing a design concept. The decision on a preferred design concept follows the assumption that the project is first approved by the City of Livermore.
On a motion by Chair Kamena, seconded by Director Turner, approved Design Concept 2, passing 4-0, with Director Faltings dissenting in favor of Design Concept 1.
Chair Kamena stated that he fought against Measure D, and that this is difficult tonight. He stated that, yes, we do need a sports park, that there are too few fields. In 2004 the conclusion of an 8-month study determined that Livermore does need another park. He stated there are new leagues now, including Lacrosse, cricket, roller hockey and frisbee. Chair Kamena stated that Livermore has the least square footage of field space per person than any city in the area. He stated that the District is, indeed, exploring other opportunities. He spoke about how the City can make a decision without LARPD’s input. He stated that we have very little information on the Ponderosa project, and that Ponderosa is going to submit a request to the city, without an initiative. He stated he does not feel strongly about either concept, but that he endorses Concept 2.
Director Furst stated that there is, indeed a need for more fields, and a sports park is the most efficient way to do so. He said that the LARPD master plan is being developed now. Director Furst asked staff to include questions about sports parks in the survey portion of the master plan, as he feels it will help us gauge the feelings of Livermore citizens in an organized way.
Director Faltings stated that there is little detail because this is conceptual only. She stated it is not LARPD’s business to take a stance against something that is outside its jurisdiction, by not endorsing a concept. It is not our business to endorse or not endorse a land use plan. She stated that the District is not supporting, endorsing, or accepting anything tonight, just choosing one design over another.
Director Goodman stated that we do need a sports park, whether it is this one or not. There are costs associated with any new facility, he stated; it is the price of doing business. Director Goodman stated he applauds those who are here tonight. He said he wished people would show the same kind of passion with the issue of the state of California taking our tax revenue. He stated the Livermore tax dollars are leaving Livermore. He stated that he prefers Concept 2 because it has expansion potential, with sports use and open space and trail use.
Director Turner stated that yes, this is a conceptual issue tonight. He stated he feels Ponderosa Homes is doing what it anticipates the City will ask it to do in terms of seeing what LARPD would like if this project were to come to pass, and that Pardee Homes never did this. Director Turner stated that LARPD is not in a position of endorsing this project. He stated he prefers Concept 2, also, and reiterated that the District is not taking any position on any housing development in the city of Livermore.
Chair Kamena thanked everyone for attending. He stated he feels the activism of Livermore citizens is wonderful.
The meeting recessed from 9:00- 9:10 p.m.
9. ORAL REPORTS
9.1 Director Faltings reported on her attendance at the March CPRS Conference, and distributed informational materials to the Directors and the General Manager.
10. MATTERS INITIATED BY THE DIRECTORS
1) Director Goodman stated that he received a call from a concerned citizen that thought the cost of renovating the Denton House into a Ranger Station might be more expensive than new construction. General Manager Barry confirmed that renovation is less expensive.
2) Director Faltings stated that she has been approached by members of the Livermore Cultural Arts Council, asking if LARPD would agree to hang pictures in the RLCC hallways as a revolving art exhibit of local art works. General Manager Barry stated it has been our intent to do that. Mr. Barry said that Assistant Community Director Sheryl Hardin is the contact for this matter. Director Turner asked if LARPD had a policy on what type of art can be hung here. Director Goodman stated that we need to have an agreement regarding LARPD’s liability. Director Furst asked if this issue would go before the Facilities Committee. General Manager Barry responded that the issue will go before the Facilities Committee, and that staff will form policies. Director Furst requested that like an arts policy be placed on the agenda for the June Facilities Committee meeting.
3) Director Furst stated that he attended the Earth Day event last weekend, and wanted to compliment our staff, especially Volunteer Coordinator Joey Benjamin. He also recognized the Ranger staff and the set-up staff, as well as City organizing staff.
4) Director Furst stated he would like to encourage staff to put a trail map, with detail of different areas, on the District web site that the public can download.
5) Chair Kamena stated he would like the Program Committee to consider purchasing a portable stage, as LARPD has a number of occasions when it has to rent stages. He asked that staff investigate the expense and revenue potential. General Manager Barry stated that the Budget Committee will look at it as an equipment line item.
General Manager Barry stated that Director Faltings will be installed as President of the California Association of Recreation and Park Districts (CARPD) at that organization’s May 4-6, 2006 conference.
Mr. Barry asked Directors if they would like to participate in the June 10 Rodeo Parade. Chair Kamena and Director Faltings, expressed interest.
The meeting adjourned at 9:21 p.m.
Chair, Board of Directors
General Manager and ex-officio
Clerk to the Board of Director