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Board Meeting Minutes

LIVERMORE AREA RECREATION AND PARK DISTRICT
4444 EAST AVENUE
LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA 94550-5053

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
REGULAR BOARD MEETING

Wednesday, July 13, 2005
7:00 p.m.
 Robert Livermore Community Center
4444 East Avenue
Livermore, California

MINUTES

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

LARPD BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: None (0)

STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT: Tim Barry, Michael Kyle, Pat Kasberg, Jim Carlson, and Sharon Grant

 

CITY CONTRACT STAFF PRESENT: Cheri Sheets, Eric Brown, Harjit Sidhu and Susan Frost

1. CALL TO ORDER-ROLL-PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m. by Chair Furst who led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Director Kamena was absent at the time of roll call.

 

2. PUBLIC FORUM

 

Chair Furst asked for public comment for any item not on the agenda. No public comment was received. Chair Furst closed public comment.

 

3. CONSENT AGENDA

 

3.1 Board Minutes

3.1.1  Special meeting of June 29, 2005.

3.2 Communications:

3.2.1  A letter from Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty regarding the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. 

3.2.2  A letter from Kellie and Daniel Biltz regarding Summit Park.

3.2.3  A letter from Clarence Hoenig in response to the letter from Pardee Homes.

3.2.4  A letter from Hans and Karen Zumbach requesting naming Trail Segment I-2 “Lewis E. Lawson Trail”.      

3.3 General Manager’s Monthly Report (#57/12).

3.4 Payroll and Claims.

 

At the request of Director Faltings, item 3.1.1 was removed from the Consent Agenda. Chair Furst opened public comment on the Consent Agenda.

 

On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Faltings, approved the Consent Agenda items, minus item 3.1.1, passing 4-0. Director Faltings referred to page 6, item 7, “Report of action taken in Executive Session”, stating that when action is taken during closed session the Brown Act now requires that the vote of each Director be recorded by name.

 

Director Kamena arrived at 7:12 p.m.

Legal Counsel Kyle stated that the minutes are correct because the motion was done during open session. Director Kamena stated that the motion was approved during closed session and then done over during open session. Director Goodman stated that is also his recollection. Director Faltings withdrew her motion. On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Turner, approved the minutes of the Special meeting of June 29, 2005, passing 5-0.

 

4. CONSENT AGENDA:  RESOLUTIONS:  None

 

5. BIDS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

 

6. OLD BUSINESS:

 

6.1 OAK GROVE NATURE RESERVE

General Manager Barry introduced Harjit Sidhu, City Engineer, who has headed up this project, and will give a presentation and introduce the consultant who designed the work.

 

Mr. Sidhu gave a background report on the Oak Grove Nature Reserve, stating that a master plan process, jointly-funded by LARPD and the City of Livermore, has been underway for the Oak Grove Nature Reserve, a 16-acre area south of College Avenue and along the Arroyo Mocho Trail. A committee, made up of park advocates, city staff, District staff, two City Council members and two LARPD Directors has met several times in the past year to plan the park and held several public meetings to discuss design concepts. The landscape architect, Bruce Jett, has provided design direction and drawings that have been reviewed by the staff and public. It is now time for final review, public comment, and approval of a master plan for the park. The park is intended to be a passive park area with memorial trees planted in such a way as to honor those who have passed away and provide a reflective setting for their family members and friends. The Facilities Committee approved the design at their June 6, 2005 meeting. Mr. Sidhu introduced Bruce Jett, the consultant who designed the park. Mr. Jett gave a presentation with drawings and explained the design of the park.

 

Director Faltings asked where the ADA access is provided in the park. Mr. Jett said the ramps will be by the stairs coming down from College Avenue.

 

Director Kamena asked how vehicles involved in construction and maintenance will access the site. Mr. Jett said the access would be from College Avenue near the ramps and stairs.

 

Director Turner asked where buses dropping off park users will park. Mr. Jett said there will be a turnout off College Avenue where buses can safely drop off and pickup passengers. The idea for parking was in conflict with the desire to have a more natural and green setting in this upper College Avenue area so the green, natural setting won out over the parking.

 

Director Turner asked what level of increase for daily traffic is anticipated for an area like this. Mr. Jett said that with the occasional buses that may be involved with bringing people to the park for educational purposes, he does not anticipate a great deal of increase. It is not a destination park in the sense of people coming for an activity. It’s a park where people who already know about it will walk there using the very accessible bike trail. People coming by car would be required to park on College Avenue. Director Turner asked if the park will have barbecues, picnic tables, or things like that. Mr. Jett stated that exact amenities of the park have yet to be addressed, but that the overall design concept is not intended for sports field activities or barbecues.

 

Director Kamena stated that he was pleased that there would be a memorial grove in the park. The District has received requests for such an area where money can be donated to plant trees in memory of residents who have passed away, especially children. This will give families and friends a reflective setting where they can go to honor their loved ones who have passed away.

 

Director Goodman asked where the funding for this park fits into the LARPD budget. General Manager Barry stated that there is no money allocated in this year’s capital plan. The staff and Board will have to establish a dollar amount for it. Staff views this as a volunteer assisted park development. Mr. Jett has been asked to put in his plan a phasing and how volunteers can be utilized and go where the interest of the community is in developing this park over time. The District capital budget has been strained for several years and the District is playing catch up with a number of projects this year so it would have to get in line with the other priorities in the capital program to allocate some funding for it. General Manager Barry stated the District likes the concept of working with the community to develop this park phase by phase.

 

Chair Furst opened public comment.

 

Kathy Chase, McGlinchey Drive in Forest Glades, addressed the Board. Ms. Chase stated that she has no objection to the overall development and principles that are shown in the plan. However, she is extremely disappointed that this is the third time that she has come before the LARPD Board and looked at the drawings and the things that the residents of Forest Glades are asking for have not been done. Ms. Chase stated that what the Forest Glades residents are asking for is that the memorial grove and grove of learning be moved west closer to the middle of the park to alleviate any future parking problems in their area. Parking is very, very limited in Forest Glades. There is only parking on one side of the street and if the groves are left at that end of the park there will be people parking on McGlinchey, Creek Road, and the emergency road. If the groves are placed in the center of the development, it will force people to park all around the area so that one area in particular will not be impacted by the parking.

 

Linda Mendoza, 505 South “S” Street, addressed the Board. Ms. Mendoza stated that the trail is very widely used at any given time and she is concerned about parking on “S” Street. Ms. Mendoza is very happy that the area is going to be developed and used but she is concerned that there is going to be a parking issue and recommends building a parking lot.

 

Bruce Jett addressed the Board. Mr. Jett stated that there will be more opportunities for community input before the final park plans are approved. There will be a more detailed study regarding the parking issue.

 

Chair Furst closed public comment.

 

Director Turner asked when the location of the memorial grove will receive final approval. Mr. Jett stated that after the master plan is identified there are more processes that include data gathering, additional work on appropriation, maintenance, management, the parking issue and location of the grove.

 

Chair Furst stated that the City of Livermore is the owner of the land and will decide what will be in the park and the LARPD Board is now considering whether to accept the master plan as received here. If the Board accepts it, it then goes to the city design review, goes up through their process and eventually to the city council and they will have the final say on the timing of funding and the actual location of the grove. Since the city owns the park, it starts with LARPD but ends with the City process.

 

Cheri Sheet, City Engineer, addressed the Board. Ms. Sheets stated that the City side of the process does not include going to the planning commission. This goes directly to the City Council and it is scheduled for July 25th.

 

Director Kamena asked if the committee considered putting parking in the access point.

Chair Furst stated that at the on-site meeting with the neighbors some wanted a parking lot and some were opposed to a parking lot. What won out was limited parking on the street and an access for maintenance vehicles. He said the members of the community were not of one voice on the parking issue. The drawings show what was agreed on as the best possible solution given the fact that there was not a unanimous decision on parking.

 

Director Faltings stated she supports the plan conceptually but would like the master plan document to be updated. It seems to have things in it that were done many months ago that decisions have been made not to do and yet they’re still there, like the amphitheater. She feels uncomfortable approving something that is not up to date.

 

Director Kamena stated that it appears to him that having a parking lot seems to address everyone’s concerns. It reduces the impact to the neighbors in Forest Glades and on “S” Street.

 

Director Kamena made a motion to approve the Oak Grove Nature Reserve master plan. The motion died for lack of a second.

 

On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Chair Furst, approved the conceptual master plan for the Oak Grove Nature Reserve, with changes: 1) update maps and correct the spelling of the District’s name on the front cover and inside title page of the report; 2) request that the City Council consider moving the memorial grove and grove of learning area west closer to the center of the park to provide a sound buffer to the neighbors to the north and east of the park; and 3) request that the City Council consider the parking and traffic safety issues on South “S” Street and consider an off-street parking lot at the park’s entrance on College Avenue, passing 3-2 (Ayes: Furst, Turner and Goodman; Noes: Kamena and Faltings).

 

7. NEW BUSINESS

 

7.1 PARKS, RECREATION AND TRAILS MASTER PLAN

General Manager Barry stated that over the past several months, District staff has discussed with the Master Plan Committee and Facilities Committee, the costs and possibilities of creating a new Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan for the District. This project has been in the District capital projects budget for the past couple of years, and is currently funded at $230,000 for FY 2005/06. The District has needed to update its 1995 Master Plan as it is outdated and is hard pressed to comply with AB 1600requirements for the park-in-lieu funding nexus between future projects and the District’s Master Plan.

 

Since entering into our agreement with the City of Livermore Planning Services in September 2004, staff asked the city for a proposal to conduct such a study and develop a new master plan. The cost proposal for the scope of work desired by staff was $156,500. This is well within the budget amount in our capital projects budget and there is enough to cover unanticipated costs and printing of the final document. The city plans to utilize existing city staff in addition to contracted consultants as necessary.

 

Staff solicited other cost proposals from a couple of other firms and received verbal estimates from Royston, Hanamoto, Alley & Abey ($278,000) and RJM Design Group($265,000). As these were higher, and the city has built-in economies in their planning and engineering knowledge of District facilities and trails, staff and the Facilities Committee recommend approval of an amendment to the city planning contract to write the District’s Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan. If approved, the amendment will be prepared and presented for approval at a subsequent Board meeting.

 

General Manager Barry introduced Principal Planner Susan Frost who will be the city’s point person for this project and Eric Brown, Planning Manager. Ms. Frost gave a brief overview of the project and the city contract staff’s proposed role in LARPD’s Master Plan update which will involve project management of the public input process and project management and preparation of the draft administrative, public review draft and final plan. The work project will update and combine both the LARPD 1995 Master Plan and 1991 Trail Master Plan into one comprehensive, updated 2005 Master Plan. The major work components of the project include: 1) A community survey; 2) A series of community workshops; and 3) Preparation of updated 2005 Master Plan including sections on a) Goals and Policies; b) Parks; c) Multi-Use Trails; and d) Recreational Programs.

 

Director Faltings stated she would like a fifth category added :“Special Use and Historical Sites”. Director Faltings also suggested adding to item 2.1 Workshop 1 under 2.1.2 Meeting Facilitation, “contract staff in tandem with LARPD staff”.

 

No public comment was received.

 

On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Faltings, approved an amendment to the contract with the City of Livermore to write the District’s Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan, passing 5-0.

 

7.2 COMMUNITY CENTER POOL RENTAL FEES

Sr. Recreation Supervisor Carlson stated that the RLCC pools are scheduled to operate this year from March 28th through November 20th. Because the pool is in its first season, staff has only an estimate of monthly utility costs derived from a consultant several years ago. In order to determine rental charges, staff has compared the facility to other similar facilities in Pleasanton, San Ramon, and Dublin. Staff has determined philosophically the revenue produced while renting out the pool must be more than the value of the recreational swim revenue that would be realized if the pool were to be open to the general public. Staff believes it would not be in the best interest for LARPD to close the RLCC pools on a weekend day in June, July or August due to high public demand. Due to staff scheduling, swim meets in September-November will not conflict with recreational swim time.

 

No public comment was received.

 

Resolution:

On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Kamena, adopted Resolution No. 1968, approving the fee schedule for the Robert Livermore Community Center Lap Pool, by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: None (0)

ABSENT: None (0)

 

7.3 FUNDRAISING FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE ROBERTSON PARK EQUESTRIAN CENTER ARENA COVER

General Manager Barry stated that staff and Equestrian Committee met with Elliot Levin from Partnership Resources Group and discussed possible funding sources to supplement the District’s budget for the construction of the Robertson Park Equestrian Center arena cover. Mr. Levin offered three ways to accomplish our goals to raise $230,000 which staff has determined is the amount needed in addition to the $745,000 in the FY 2005/06 budget to construct the arena cover. Mr. Levin’s suggestions were: 1) a Voluntary Campaign; 2) a Matching Funds Campaign; and 3) a Challenge Campaign. Mr. Levin feels that the Challenge Campaign is the best way to proceed with raising the funds. A Challenge Campaign is all or nothing, if the money isn’t raise, the project doesn’t get built. The group and committee discussed the three campaign options and agreed to recommend to the Board approving the Challenge Campaign for fundraising to supplement the District’s budget for the construction of the Robertson Park Equestrian Center arena cover.

 

No public comment was received.

 

On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Kamena, approved the Challenge Campaign for fundraising for $230,000 to supplement the District’s budget for the construction of the Robertson Park Equestrian Center arena cover, passing 5-0.

 

General Manager Barry suggested that the Equestrian Committee meet and develop a plan with a timeframe and report back to the Board.

 

8. ORAL REPORTS:

 

8.1  LEGAL COUNSEL’S REPORT OF ACTIVITIES

a.  Amended the Legal Counsel’s contract to include the requirement to be licensed.

b.  Amended the General Manager’s contract consistent with what was reported out in terms of a pay raise.

c.  Continues to coordinate with the City of Livermore in the area of getting paperwork set up for the various portions of the trail system that are continuing to come through.

d.  Met with the Alameda County Legal Counsel to discuss the District establishing banking services.

 

9. COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

Board received reports on the nine committee meetings attended since the Adjourned Regular Board meeting of June 15, 2005, as follows:Facilities, Program, Budget, Personnel, Community Gardens, Equestrian, Downtown, Inc., Alameda County Special District Association, and Intergovernmental.

 

Director Faltings reported that the Alameda County Special District Association’s annual dinner is scheduled for March 30, 2006 at the Crown Plaza in Pleasanton.

 

10. MATTERS INITIATED BY THE DIRECTORS

 

a.  Director Turner would like staff to look into improving the microphone system.

b.  Director Goodman commented that he had attended the Tri Valley Commissioners’ and Board Members’ Annual Dinner hosted by LARPD and commended staff for organizing a good event.

c.  Chair Furst listed three agenda items for a future Facilities Committee meeting:  1) trail connectors to Pleasanton; 2) the trail from Veterans Park to Del Valle Park; and 3) the trail at the Wetmore entrance connecting to an East Bay trail or an LARPD trail.

d.  Chair Furst thanked the staff for the work they did at the 4th of July celebration. It was very well organized and well attended. A lot of hard work went into it and he complimented staff for doing a good job.

 

11.  MATTERS INITIATED BY THE GENERAL MANAGER

 

a.  General Manager Barry stated that District received a new cost estimate from the City          staff on the construction of a restroom in a neighborhood park and it is twice as much money as what is in the budget. He will make a report to the Budget Committee. The Board will be approving the final budget in August and at that time the Directors can discuss the capital program and talk about that project.

 

12. ADJOURNMENT:  Meeting adjourned at 9:06 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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