Feb 7 2016

School capital improvement program to be considered by Board of Education.

At the Piedmont Unified School District Board meeting Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, the Board will consider finalizing a School Facilities Master Plan. Funding sources and the total cost are not known at this time.

The Facilities Master Plan process combines the goals of PUSD’s Education Specifications and the information collected by the design team (including facility assessments) into a comprehensive plan for the schools of the Piedmont Unified School District. District staff and Quattrocchi Kwok Architects will present the PUSD Facilities Master Plan for review by the Board of Education.

The meeting will be broadcast live on Cable Channel 27 and on the City website.  The meeting is open for public participation.


The Facilities Master Plan process combines the goals of PUSD’s Education Specifications and the information collected by the design team (including facility assessments) into a comprehensive plan for the schools of the Piedmont Unified School District. The main product of the facility needs assessment and Facilities Master Plan is a detailed proposal for renovations and/or additions to be made at each school campus.

The facilities master planning process takes into account all of the information on the District’s facilities, the needs and desires of faculty, staff and the community and projections about future District needs and creates a comprehensive plan for each campus that addresses these issues. The plan looks at issues holistically and creatively to find unique and inventive solutions that fit the specific needs of each campus and community.

The final Facilities Master Plan document provides a clear narrative and graphic summary of the proposed facilities improvements for each campus and also provides the detailed information necessary to successfully plan and implement the improvements.

View the proposed plan here.

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Feb 7 2016
At the February 3, 2016  Park Commission meeting, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve the Subcommittee Report recommendations along with the new off leash map, while asking that additional off leash space be incorporated in the area under the trees near Dracena Avenue.   Some Commissioners expressed interest in revising the plan to improve the wooded seating area and the ivy area adjacent to the benches to become off leash.  Staff was asked to devise a plan to accommodate this issue.

The lawn loop would be 50/50 on leash and off leash.

At the start of the meeting, Commissioner Jonathan Levine gave a summary of the Subcommittee report and Chairwoman Patty Siskind told speakers that their questions would be compiled during the public portion of the meeting and answered after the public portion was closed.  There were no direct exchanges with Commissioners.

Based on Commissioner Levine’s comments, the basis for the new plan is an error in the City Code that describes the current off leash areas of the park.  According to the Commissioner, the code says that the off leash area is the “pathway” from Arutna to Dracena,  that means there is one linear off leash trail, the ravine or lower trial, that runs from Dracena to Artuna.  Therefore, he concluded that the current off leash trails designated by city signage are not in compliance with city code and are invalid.   Commissioner Levine also said that the Piedmont Animal Control officer indicated the dog run signs were wrong. He did not address a question about how a Council-approved 2000 modification to the City Code that adopted the current trail designations related to the subcommittee’s finding on the City Code.

A major determinant of support for the recommendation by Commissioners seems to be the need to establish a buffer zone for the Dracena Avenue neighbors, a concept neighbors stated was the basis for the 1993 consensus that established the current trail designations. Minutes from the 1993 Park Commission hearings contain no reference to this concept.

Neighbors have been concerned that the grassy area will be overrun by off leash dogs leaving only dirt and dog messes.  Others expressed a desire for the area to continue to be available for free play by children.

Most speakers asked that the current lawn loop remain off leash, some citing that this flat area is the only off leash trail in Piedmont on which they can walk their dogs. 
Others were concerned that the reduction of the off leash area around the seating area will impact the socialization that occurs there.  Several asked that hours remain as they are or possibly be extended citing their work schedules.
Many speakers criticized the staff analysis claim that 31% of Piedmont parks are off leash dog areas. For instance, Blair Park was included, ramping up the percentage, although the park is little used and is unfenced along Moraga Avenue.  Commissioner Levine acknowledged that this analysis was not a factor in his decision.


The Park Commission proposed changes to the Dracena Park dog area:

  • Addition of an OFF-leash 10-20 foot swath of lawn from the oak tree to the pathway leading to the seating area.
  • A stone wall to define the transition from OFF to ON leash lawn (CHANGE).
  • OFF-leash allowed on the pathways leading to the lawn from Artuna (NO CHANGE).
  •  ON-leash required for dogs entering from Blair Avenue and passing through to the seating area and visa versa.
  • The lawn loop will be 50/50 OFF and ON leash, the section nearest Dracena Avenue will be ON leash, the lower portion OFF leash.
  • Gates at two points along the loop to define the transitions.
  • Owners not allowed to walk their dog OFF leash entirely around the loop.  (reduced OFF-leash area around the seating area in the woods.)
  • All understory from the pathway to Dracena Avenue ON leash – no dogs in the ivy.
  • Benches turned around to face the woods.
  • Reduced hours of use – 7:00am – 8:00pm on weekdays, 8:00am – 8:00pm weekends
  • Possible addition of dog fountain.
 Recommendations are predicated on the conclusion that:
  • Current OFF leash area and signage as defined in City Code is incorrect
  • Piedmont Parks are 31% OFF-lease to dogs already. That number is arrived at by adding up all the off-leash areas in Linda, Piedmont, Dracena and Blair parks, irregardless of slope. In particular, Blair Park is considered 100% acceptable as an OFF-leash dog run.

Staff did know when the City Council would take up the Park Commission’s recommendations.

Send questions and comments to Nancy Kent, City Park and Projects Manager, nkent@ci.piedmont.ca.us  or to the City Council via City Clerk John Tulloch at jtulloch@ci.piedmont.ca.us.

 Read the staff report and committee recommendations here.

Feb 7 2016

Piedmont Players Presents:

  February 26th through March 6th

Performances – Friday, Saturday & Sunday

(Fri 2/26 & Sat 2/27 @ 8pm, Sun 2/28 @ 7 PM, Fri Mar 4 & Sat Mar 5 @ 8pm and Sun Mar 6 @ 2pm & 7pm)

 Piedmont Center for the Arts

801 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611

“Other Desert Cities” tells the story of the fictional Wyeth family — a clan led at the top by a mother and father highly regarded in old Hollywood circles and admired by Republicans for their service to and friendship with Ronald and Nancy Reagan in their heyday. The play explores the dark family secrets that threaten to destroy external and internal perceptions about the life the members lead.

Family drama is well-traversed territory, but Baitz has laced the story with humor and wit, political commentary (setting it in 2004 after the Iraq War is underway), sharp dialogue and an affecting premise: The grown daughter, Brooke, a writer who has suffered a nervous breakdown, has just written a memoir about her life, her parents and their role in the tragic loss of her brother. But she has not told her parents, Polly and Lyman, of her plans to publish the memoir until the publication date nears while on a Christmas visit back home.

Director: Michael French

Directors Carter Dunlap & Nancy Lehrkind


Polly: Mary Gibboney

Lyman:  Lawrence Hecht *

Silda: Laura Long *

Brooke: Sarah Nowicki

Trip:  Joshua Selesnick

* member of Actors Equity Association –  AEA 

For tickets go online: www.ticketpeak.com/piedmontplayers

More information, Please visit

Piedmont Players website: www.piedmontplayers.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1733651320201700/

Piedmont Center for the Arts is a non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation.

Feb 7 2016

Open to the public!

League of Women Voters of Piedmont

Study on California Public Higher Education

Wednesday, February 24, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

131 La Salle Avenue, Piedmont

The League of Women Voters of Piedmont invites the community to participate in a lively discussion and study of public higher education in California. The program will focus on crucial questions the state faces concerning equitable access and excellence for UC, Cal State and community colleges.

California’s disinvestment in public higher education has shifted costs to students and families, limiting access at a time when demographic and economic changes call for more four year graduates. The Master Plan currently limits UC admission to the top 12.5% of high school graduates and Cal State to the top 33%.

With background material provided by the League of Women Voters of California, the meeting will formulate the local chapter’s position on consensus questions.

Combined with responses from all state chapters, this will generate significant clout for the League of Women Voters of California on state policies and ballot measures affecting higher public education.

To RSVP and review background material for the event, please contact Dale Marshall at dalermarshall@comcast.net.

Other members of the study committee are: Mary Ann Benson, Claudia Harrison, Tam Hege, Susan Penrod and Andrea Swenson.

Feb 6 2016

Meeting on City capital expenditures

CIP Review Committee Agenda for Monday, February 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Conference Room, 120 Vista Avenue

How the City spends its available capital dollars is considered by the CIP Review Committee composed of:

Ryan Gilbert – Term Expires 6/16

Susan Herrick – Term Expires 6/18

Bobbe Stehr – Term Expires 6/17

Jamie Totsubo – Term Expires 6/17

President of the Piedmont Beautification Foundation (PBF) Deborah Van Nest

Park Commission Chair Patty Siskind

Recreation Commission Chair Stephen Mills


  • 1. Introduction of Committee Members and Election of Chair
  • 2. Presentation by Councilmember Bob McBain on the Current and Future Direction of the CIP Review Committee
  • 3. Review of Proposed Work Schedule for the CIP Review Committee for Fiscal Year 2016-2017
  • 4. Review of Solicitation Methods for Public Input on Potential CIP Projects
  • 5. Presentation on Current CIP Projects and CIP Wish List

The meeting is open to the public for participation.  No broadcast or recording of the meeting will be available.  Meeting materials can be obtained at the meeting or potentially prior to the meeting by contacting the City.

Feb 6 2016

The developers of the 408 Linda Avenue condominium project have asked that their request to eliminate utility undergrounding of overhead utilities serving the properties across Linda Avenue not be considered at the Monday, February 8, 2016, the Planning Commission meeting.  The condominiums are under construction on the site of the former PG&E building site next to the Oakland Avenue bridge.  In the past, the issue has proven to be controversial.

The agenda had listed the item as:


408 Linda Avenue

“An application for Minor Amendments to an Approved Tentative Map has been submitted by Piedmont Station LLC, project developers of the Piedmont Station Townhouse development proposed at 408 Linda Avenue (the site of a former PG&E Substation). The Application seeks to modify the utility plan of the approved Vesting Tentative Map so that overhead utilities serving the properties across Linda Avenue remain in place on the project’s Linda Avenue street frontage, and to modify Condition SUB-5 placed on the approval of Vesting Tentative Map (Application #11-0062).”

The Planning Commission meeting is an open public meeting and broadcast live on Cable Channel 27 and live streamed on the City website.

The Planning Commission annually presents design awards to selected projects constructed during the prior year.

The Regular Session  of the Commission will start at 5 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers and will be suspended for a “Special Session,” open to the public, in the City Hall Conference Room at approximately 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. during the time when the Commission takes their dinner break. During their break, the Commission will review projects completed in 2015 for the City’s annual Design Awards program, and will select winners for the March 14th Design Awards Presentation and Reception.

The “Special Session” will not be recorded or broadcast.  The Regular Session will resume immediately after the Special Session dinner break.


Feb 6 2016

The Piedmont City / School Liaison Committee will consider topical subjects impacting both the City and School District.  Consensus is frequently reached in an open exchange of information. Decisions are not finalized during the meeting, as they must be referred to the appropriate elected body for action.  Individuals interested in the subjects can participate at the meeting.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

4:00 p.m.

City Hall Conference Room, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

The meeting is open to the public.  The meeting will not be broadcast or recorded for future viewing. Agenda:

  • 1. Update on the PUSD Facilities Master Planning Process
  •  2. Discussion of City Parcel Tax on the June 7 Presidential Primary Election Ballot
  •   3. Discussion of Pick-Up / Drop-Off Zone at High School and Middle School
  •   4. Discussion of Plans for Full Day Kindergarten and its Impact to Schoolmates and Opportunities for Cooperation 

Materials for the meeting have not been publicly disseminated, however they can be obtained at the meeting or prior to the meeting through the City or the Piedmont Unified School District.

Feb 1 2016

The Piedmont Park Commission will meet on Wednesday, February 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.

The Commission will discuss the issue of the Dracena Park off-leash dog area and make a recommendation to the City Council.  To date there have been differing opinions on how the upper grassy area and redwood dell of Dracena Park should be used.

The public is invited to contribute to the discussion.

February 3 Agenda:

Public Hearing on Dracena Park off-leash dog area

Update on Crocker Park Garage Pool Equipment Relocation

Update on Hampton Park, Brick Donation Fund Raising

Update on Crocker Park Garage

Update on Highland Garden Walk

The meeting will be broadcast live on Cable Channel 27 and via the City of Piedmont website. < click

Read detailed Dracena Park staff report and history here. 

Read previous article on Dracena Park off-leash dog area here.


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Jan 31 2016

At the February 1, 2016  Council meeting starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, the Council will hold a second reading of the ballot proposal for renewal of the parcel tax with a 30% increase on the June Primary Election. The ballot argument process and procedural matters for the ballot proposal will be considered at the meeting.

Last on the agenda is an update on the implementation of the Grand Avenue pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements that the City Council adopted in 2014 as part of the Pedestrian/Bicycle Master Plan. Piedmont’s implementation will occur in two phases, not yet scheduled. Oakland will soon replace four travel lanes on Grand Avenue with two travel lanes plus bike lanes and a two-way center turn lane.

Agenda staff reports:

The meeting is open to the public and will be broadcast live via cable channel 27 and on the City website.

Jan 31 2016

2016 Arthur Hecht Award

Nominations are being accepted for the 2016 Arthur Hecht Volunteer of the Year Award.  The Award was established eighteen years ago by the Piedmont Board of Education in honor of  late Piedmont community member Arthur Hecht. This award is presented annually to individuals who have volunteered their efforts over a period of time and made a difference because of their involvement and commitment to Piedmont’s youth. Staff, students and community members are invited to submit a nomination. The deadline for nominations is Monday, March 14th by 4:30 p.m.

More information

Nomination Form