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Board Meeting Minutes

LIVERMORE AREA RECREATION AND PARK DISTRICT
71 TREVARNO ROAD
LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA 94551-4931

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SPECIAL BOARD MEETING

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
5:45 p.m., Council Chambers
3575 Pacific Avenue
Livermore, California

MINUTES

LARPD BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: David Furst, Dale Turner, Maryalice Faltings, Steve Goodman, and Scott Kamena (5)

LARPD BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: None

STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT: Tim Barry, Pat Kasberg, Lora Cohen, Brian Tibbetts, and Felix Errico

 

CITY CONTRACT STAFF PRESENT: Eric Brown and Cheri Sheets

 

1. CALL TO ORDER—ROLL CALL—PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Meeting was called to order at 5:47 p.m. by Chair Furst, who led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Director Faltings was present at the time of roll call, but left at 7:15 p.m.

2. SPECIAL ITEM

 

Chair Furst introduced and welcomed Michele Walker to the Personnel Commission. Chair Furst expressed the Board’s appreciation to Ms. Walker for donating her time to the park district.  Ms. Walker informed the Board of her extensive background in human resources and stated she is looking forward to serving on the Personnel Commission.

 

3. CONSENT AGENDA

 

3.1 Board Minutes

3.1.1  Regular meeting of April 13, 2005.

 

On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Kamena, approved the Consent Agenda, passing 5-0. Director Faltings pointed out that Joan Seppula’s name is spelled incorrectly on page 5 of the minutes.

 

4. NEW BUSINESS

 

4.1 2004-2005 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BUDGET REVISIONS

General Manager Barry reported that there is a need to revise the 2004-2005 Capital Improvement Budget. When staff completed an in-depth review of the Capital Improvement Plan and Budget Revenues and Expenditures they discovered a miscalculation of $400,000 when a revision approved by the Board in June 2004 wasn’t included in a revised budget spreadsheet. In addition, the park in-lieu fees revenue projected by the city of $5,897,835 did not take into account the Creekside Developmentin North Livermore where the developer built and dedicated Northfront Park in lieu of paying fees. Therefore, the revised Fiscal Year 2004/2005 projection of park in-lieu fee revenue is $2,000,000, not $4,000,000 as previously budgeted, and $4,400,000 for Fiscal Year 2005-2006 which does not include fees for the Shea Homes development, as thedeveloper will be building the park in lieu of paying fees.

 

General Manager Barry stated that these factors necessitate a major shift of projects into the next fiscal year, and possibly beyond, in order to balance the FY 2004/05 capital budget.

 

In response to a question by Director Kamena about who is responsible for projecting in-lieu fees from developers, Cheri Sheets, City Engineer, commented that it is the city’s obligation to project revenues from in-lieu fees, and they take full responsibility for the mistake and apologize for it.

 

Director Kamena inquired if there has been any progress on the Bothwell Center park

re-design.General Manager Barry stated that he has sent a letter to several landscape architects asking for their qualifications and the selection process will begin soon.

 

Director Faltings asked for clarification on two points: 1) Is it LARPD’s choice if a park is developed by LARPD or by the developer; and 2) Does the Creekside Park alone reduce the in-lieu fees by $2,000,000.

 

Cheri Sheets, City Planning Engineer, stated that, 1) The decision on whether a park is developed by LARPD or the developer is decided on by the City and LARPD; and 2) The total amount for the Creekside Park in-lieu fees is not $2,000,000 but is well over a $1,000,000.The remaining amount of the shortage from projections is other in-lieu fees that didn’t come in as fast as projected. She stated that projecting in-lieu fees is a guessing game in terms of how quickly the developers are going through the process to build the homes that they are projecting.

 

Director Turner asked who compiled the list of the nineteen 2004/05 capital projects shifted to the 2005/06 budget. General Manager Barry stated that he and Administrative Assistant Cohen generated the list and it was reviewed by other key staff members, then the Board Budget Committee met and received the report.

 

With concurrence by the Board, Chair Furst set aside Agenda Item 4.1 and moved to Agenda Item 5.1, Robertson Park Equestrian Center Show Arena Cover. He stated the arena cover is on the list of capital projects to shift to FY 2005/06 and needs to be discussed before a decision on the list is made by the Board.

 

5. BIDS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

5.1  ROBERTSON PARK EQUESTRIAN CENTER SHOW ARENA COVER       

General Manager Barry reported that bids have been received for the construction of the arena cover at Robertson Park. There were four bids and Diede Construction was the low bidder at a bid of $792,000. The District’s budget for this project is $745,000 and the low bid exceeds the budget by $47,000. Due to a lack of funds, staff recommends rejection of bids. The project can bid again in the future when funds are available, depending upon Board approval.

 

Chair Furst opened public comment.

 

Carolyn Hendrickson, 20857 Hansen Way, Tracy, California, a representative of the California State Horseman’s Association for this region, addressed the Board.Ms. Hendrickson stated that she sympathizes about the budget problems and understands about moving the budget item from the 04/05 budget to the 05/06 budget. She would like to see the funding remain earmarked for the arena cover because every year the price goes up.Ms. Hendrickson stated that Livermore is a traditional rodeo town and it is important to keep equestrian events here, and in view of the problems with the arena cover situation she would like to recommend that the District Equestrian Committee meet to explore options to help get the arena cover constructed.

 

No other public comment was received. Chair Furst closed public comment.

 

Director Faltings reported that she spoke to some equestrian folks today and she has been assured that the user groups are ready, willing and able to fundraise to cover the difference between the low bid and the line item. Director Faltings supports asking the user groups to pitch in with extra help, money, labor, or whatever. That makes the facilities belong to the people even more.

 

Director Goodman suggested having the equestrian groups meet and brainstorm other alternatives or modifications for constructing the arena cover that could be less costly.

 

Resolution

On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Faltings, approved Resolution No. 1956, accepting the staff recommendation to reject the bids for construction of the show arena cover at Robertson Park Equestrian Center.

AYES:Directors Faltings, Kamena, Goodman, Turner, and Chair Furst (5)

NOES:None (0)

ABSENT:None (0)

 

4.1 2004-2005 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BUDGET REVISIONS CONTINUED

Chair Furst opened public comment. No public comment was received. Chair Furst closed public comment.

 

Chair Furst referred to item #19, the Ravenswood Monument Sign, and stated that it is his understanding that the quote is $10,000, not $25,000, and he would like that project cost corrected. General Manager Barry indicated this project can be completed this fiscal year and does not need to be shifted to FY 2005/06.

 

On a motion by Director Kamena, seconded by Director Faltings approved removing item#19 from the list of capital projects to be shifted to the FY 2005/06 budget.

 

Director Turner stated he would like the list to remain intact and not cause staff an extra burden searching for the money to balance the deficit.

 

The Board unanimously agreed with Director Turner and the motion failed 4-1.

 

Resolution

On a motion by Director Kamena, seconded by Director Faltings, approved Resolution No. 1957, accepting the staff recommendation to revise the Capital Improvement Budget for 2004/05, by the following roll call vote:

AYES:Directors Goodman, Turner, Faltings, Kamena, and Chair Furst (5)

NOES:None (0)

ABSENT:None (0)

 

 

 

 4.2 LETTER TO MISSION VALLEY PROPERTIES FOR ARROYO CROSSING PROPOSAL

General Manager Barry reported that staff has developed a letter to the Mission Valley Properties regarding the Arroyo Crossing Development at the corner of Arroyo Road and Robertson Park Road. Mission Valley Properties has made a proposal for parks and recreation provisions for the development. The development proposal is undergoing city review, and proposals for parks and recreation features have been reviewed by LARPD staff and contracted city staff and at recent meetings with the developer.Director Kamena, LARPD staff and contracted city staff has generated the latest set of features for consideration. Staff was not able to address all the elements requested by Mission Valley Properties, however, the draft letter prepared by staff represents the results of those discussions, and is presented for Board review and approval. The District will review and approve planting and construction plans for improvements on Robertson Park property and Robertson Park Road, and will work with city staff in preparing necessary documents in the future to execute the direction this letter provides. Staff recommends approval of this letter which addresses the following:

 

1)The developer will pay in-lieu fees and only the value of additional improvements `above and beyond the trail and dedication of land along Robertson Park road, frontage improvements, tot lot, and the sports park contribution will be creditable against these fees.

2)The developer will construct a tot lot in accordance with LARPD standards, the cost of which will be borne by the developer and is not included in the $200,000 developer contribution. Construction related costs in excess of $200,000 are creditable against the applicable park facilities fee. The tot lot is to be constructed prior to occupancy of the first residential unit.

3)In general, LARPD is in agreement with the developer proposal relating to pedestrian connectivity. The developer is proposing a paved, landscaped trail contiguous to the property along Robertson Park Road, and a walkway crossing to Robertson Park Road.

4)Edge treatments to the park and Robertson Park Road are still under review in conjunction with the arborist reports and comments which will be forthcoming. While it is understood that several eucalyptus trees will likely be removed due to their poor condition, both the City and LARPD want to maximize the preservation of trees, including eucalyptus. The developer has a plan for planting native species trees to replace the trees that are taken out.

5)The exact location, configuration of dedications, and easements needed is still under review.

6) A Landscape Maintenance District is anticipated to serve the project. The City will take the lead in establishing one LMD to serve multiple frontages of the project and the tot lot. The developer will need to develop an estimate of annual maintenance costs for these areas, which will be subject to review and approval by LARPD and the City, which will administer the LMD.

7)The proposal by the developer to contribute an additional $1 million to the Sports Park is acceptable and would be included in the Development Agreement for the project.

 

The Board expressed concern on the location of the tot lot. General Manager Barry stated that it is the intent of the District to locate a tot lot near the housing development for use by the new residents and a playground by the soccer fields is also a good idea and the in-lieu fees could go toward that as well as a picnic area and other improvements.

 

Director Goodman asked if the eucalyptus trees are dangerous. Eric Brown, City Planning Manager, stated that they are reviewing the arborists’ reports from the city and the developer and so far indications are that more than half of the trees need to be removed.

 

Director Faltings stated she is not in favor of replacing healthy eucalyptus trees with native trees and that the eucalyptus trees give the park entrance at Arroyo Road character all of its own. She realizes that some are diseased but does not want them condemned out of hand and wishes to save all that we can.

 

Chair Furst asked for clarification on where the new trail will start and if it meets LARPD standards. Eric Brown, City Planning Manager, stated that the trail begins at Arroyo Road. General Manager Barry stated that the trail does not meet District standards of 25-feet wide. It is a narrower width because of the residential edge and trailer park. Mr. Brown stated that if the trail is constructed on the north side then the District’s trail standards will be very closely met.

 

Director Faltings stated she is concerned about how the development is going to change the look of the park entrance and wants staff to stay involved and keep the Board informed on what the entrance will look like. General Manager Barry stated he has spoken to the developer, and will include it in the proposed letter, that the District requests the developer to pay for an entry sign that will identify the park and rodeo grounds and include the park sign with the new development signs at the corner.

 

Director Faltings inquired if the people who buy the new houses will understand what type of facility Robertson Park is and that big events happen there. General Manager Barry stated that they will receive full disclosure.

 

Chair Furst stated he is very encouraged by the development and commended Director Kamena for the work he’s put into this project for the past several years.

 

Chair Furst opened public comment.

 

Steve Riter, Mission Valley Properties, addressed the Board. Mr. Riter stated he has been working on the project for several years and is happy to have it come to a point where there is general agreement. In summary, what they are proposing in this agreement is to give one and three quarter million dollars in-lieu fees that will be collected as the project is developed. They are also dedicating frontage area within their property to LARPD to create the width that is necessary to create the right-of-way and sections that are needed for a 15-foot pedestrian corridor which will have a class one 8-foot wide bike trail. Those improvements will run along Robertson Park Road for about 1,100 feet and then they would come back at Arroyo and Robertson Road along the development frontage to an entrance. In addition, they are providing a 6-foot wide pathway from the project on the north end of Robertson Road into Robertson Park. The developer will also provide a million dollars for use at the sports park and another $200,000 for construction of a tot lot.Mr. Riter requested that the payment for the tot lot occur on the commencement of the third phase of the development. Every effort is being made to save the eucalyptus trees for their scenic quality but other considerations are how to resolve the geotechnical issues and the potential liability to life and property. One of their biggest issues surrounding the trees is who takes responsibility for the liability of the trees that are on or off their property that may fall as a result of the excavating and grading associated with the construction of the new development.

 

Mr. Riter introduced Eric Keller from the O’Brien Group, the partner home builder, who gave a presentation with overhead projections, describing and summarizing the development phasing and geotechnical concerns that surround the trees. Mr. Keller stated that his group will be working with LARPD and City staffs to determine which trees can be preserved, and how to deal with the liability of those trees in the long term

 

because they are trees that are susceptible to falling down. Trees of that size located near a residential community present a lot of risk and they as homebuilders are not willing to accept this particular risk.

 

Chair Furst closed public comment.

 

Chair Furst stated he likes eucalyptus trees and understands they can be dangerous, but he feels if properly managed they can exist.

 

Director Kamena stated it is his preference that if only one tot lot is built that it be constructed adjacent to the development; and he is in favor of removing all of the eucalyptus trees and replacing them with trees native to the area.

 

On a motion by Director Kamena, seconded by Director Turner, approved the proposed staff letter to Mission Valley Properties for the Arroyo Crossing Development,

passing 4-0.

 

4.3 REQUEST FOR PASS THROUGH BY HORSES THROUGH HAGEMANN PARK FROM HAGEMANN FARMS

General Manager Barry reported that the District was contacted by Carl Holm, owner of Hagemann Farm LLC, requesting the passage of horses, from his boarding operation adjacent to Hagemann Park, through the park to the Murrieta Meadows trail for trail riding. This would provide a shortcut to the trail and bypass the current route, whereby the horses are currently ridden along Olivina Avenue through the neighborhood, and around to the trail exposing the horses to more traffic and people. The owners of the farm have created a gate in their fence that borders the park in anticipation of approval of this request. The District would not normally consider such a request, as horses are not allowed on the District’s neighborhood parks. This request is being made in the context that this is perhaps the only operating horse stables within the city, and the farm’s ability to continue operating is enhanced by the use of the trail. In addition, the park is named for the Hagemann family who used to own the land. If approved, the District would be making a finding that is a special circumstance, and is not a precedent for replication in other neighborhood parks. This is the only farm contiguous to a neighborhood park in the District’s park system.

 

General Manager Barry stated that the Facilities Committee considered the request and was concerned about wear and tear on the park, conflicts between park users and horses, clean up after the horses, and how neighbors adjacent to the park and Hagemann Farm would feel about horses traveling behind their homes along the park to the trail. With this information, Mr. Holm re-submitted his request and secured the neighbors’ support for the permit. They also clarified that the path of the horses on the park would end at the cul-de-sac at Turnstone, without interfering with park activities such as the soccer field.

 

General Manager Barry stated that the permit would include requirements such as mandatory daily clean-up of horse droppings on the park, path delineation at the permitee’s expense and located by LARPD staff approval, required repair to turf and irrigation if there is damage caused through the permit, and repairs if damage occur to the path the horses take from Daisyfield Avenue down to the trail. Appropriate liability waiver language will be included to protect the District’s interests. The permit could be revoked if the terms are not adhered to, or if a pubic nuisance is caused by the use of the permit. The applicants have agreed to these terms, and are seeking approval.

 

At the April 4, 2005 Facilities Committee meeting, the staff and the Committee recommended approval of a temporary permit for a period of six months (June-December 2005) with an evaluation by District staff to follow in January 2006. A new permit may be issued if the first permit has been executed satisfactorily.

 

Director Turner stated that he spoke with representatives from Hagemann Farm at a Facilities Committee meeting and they understand their responsibility and that the agreement is for a trial period. Director Turner feels comfortable that they will abide by the agreement that states the horses will not have contact with people using the park or living in the area, especially children. Director Turner feels that they are professional and responsible and recommends the Board approve their request on a trial basis.

 

Chair Furst opened public comment.

 

Christian Holm, Stable Master at Hagemann Farm, addressed the Board.Mr. Holm stated that they are very committed to making sure that this is as transparent as possible. The riders understand they are responsible for picking up after the horses and reporting any damage that is done to the park. They will be checking this daily and the gate will continuously be locked and the only people with a key will be the Stable Master and certain trusted members who run the trail rides. They are very concerned with the safety of their borders, the community around the Farm, and the safety of the animals. They want to maintain a good relationship with LARPD and do not want to impact the use of Hagemann Park.

 

Carolyn Hendrickson, 20857 Hansen Way, Tracy, California, representative of the California State Horseman’s Association for this region, addressed the Board.Ms. Hendrickson stated she is very happy to see that the staff recommendation is moving forward with a trial period and that she supports their efforts.

 

Chair Furst closed public comment.

 

On a motion by Director Goodman, seconded by Director Turner, approved a permit for the passage of horses from Hagemann Farm through a prescribed path on Hagemann Park for a trial period of six months, under the terms of the permit, with District evaluation in January 2006, passing 4-0.

 

4.4 POLICY FOR LARPD EVENTS WITH CIRCUS ANIMALS

General Manager Barry reported that the Board has received a request from Mary Beth Binder asking the District to ban exotic animals at circuses that use LARPD facilities. Ms. Binder made a presentation at a Facilities Committee meeting. Staff researched the issue and made its recommendation to the Facilities Committee and the Committee agreed with the following proposed policy:

 

Events/Activities Involving Exotic Animals

LARPD will review each application for an event where exotic animals are present and determine if the operator has shown humane treatment of the exotic animals. Applicants must meet all requirements and regulations of the California Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA, as well as local laws and ordinances. Staff will ensure that educational animal programs fit within the scope of acceptable activities conducted by LARPD.

 

Chair Furst opened public comment.

 

Mary Beth Binder, 764-C Hayes Avenue, Livermore, addressed the Board. Ms. Binder thanked the Facilities Committee and the Board for considering this measure. Ms. Binder stated that reviewing USDA records of operators who want to bring large dangerous wild animals to town is a good common sense public safety policy.

 

Chair Furst closed public comment.

 

Chair Furst stated he would like staff to clarify the language of the policy by defining the term “exotic animals”.

 

On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Kamena, adopted the recommended policy concerning exotic animals at events at LARPD facilities,

passing 4-0.

 

6. ADJOURNMENT:

 

Meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                                                    APPROVED:

 

 

 

            _____________________________________         

            Chair, Board of Directors

ATTEST:

 

 

 

______________________________________

General Manager and ex-officio

Clerk to the Board of Directors

Livermore Area Recreation and Park District
4444 East Ave.

Livermore, California 94550-5053
(925) 373-5700

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