Feb 16 2011

Story Poles for Blair Park Development are up!

Kate Black, Piedmont’s City Planner, hosted a site tour of the proposed Blair Park sports complex on February 15.  As cars whizzed by on the perimeter of the site, local media and interested Piedmonters were led into the park.  Blustery winds blew pollen through the air from the many flowering trees.  Underfoot the soil was mushy from the recent rains.

Black displayed a plot plan and explained the poles were installed according to the proposed plan which received an approved Environmental Impact Report by the Piedmont City Council in December of 2010.  Since that time there have been alternative plans submitted to the City including plans by Blackwell alternative, Clarence Mamuyac,  Al Peters and Mountain View Cemetery.  All the plans include at least one play field. These alternative plans, as well as extensive background information on the progression of the development, are on the City of Piedmont website The next hearing on Blair Park will be February 17 by the Park Commission in the City Council Chamber at 5:30 p.m.

The story poles have been installed to assist the Planning Commission at their February 24 hearing at 6:30 p.m. in making recommendations to the City Council on the proposed development.  The agenda for the hearing has been posted.  It is required of those applying for Planning Commission approval to have poles erected to allow interested individuals to have a clearer idea of proposed project scope.

Seeing the poles from Moraga Avenue is not easy as many of the poles are hidden behind the abundant number of trees.  Poles painted green indicate an earthen berm; white indicates a retaining wall or fence structure.  There are no poles to indicate the rest room location or concession stand.  Stakes and ribbons are used to show driveway cuts and walls.  A pole is placed near the entrance to Coaches Field and the Scout Tree lot to indicate the proposed overhead bridge and elevator.  This is also near the entrance to the Piedmont Corporation Yard.

In January when the Recreation Commission considered the project and made recommendations to the City Council, the poles had not yet been installed.  However, the Park Commissioners will have had benefit of the poles prior to their consideration of the development on Thursday, February 17.

Black referred inquiries regarding the specifics of cutting into the surrounding hillside to Mr. Mamuyac, designer and President of Piedmont Recreation Facilities Organization, about what he plans. She frequently reminded those on the tour that the measurements and poles had been placed according to the EIR approved plan, not alternatives.  The specifics of project development such as soil testing, drainage controls, EBMUD pipe lines running under the site, telephone poles, traffic controls, signals, funding, maintenance, lighting,  security, water run off,  and sewer lines are not part of this review. If the City Council approves a project,  these items would be a part of the building and approval process.

More information can be found on the website of proponents, www.blairpark.org, and the website of opponents. www.moragacanyon.org,
The latter includes a narrated story pole video.  The City websites noted above provide further details of the proposal.

Photos taken on the February 15, 2011 project tour:

Piedmonters' view the story poles

Story pole showing height

Story pole Story pole with green at the bottom indicating earthen berm and white indicating fencing

Story pole next to Moraga Avenue showing height of field and fence

Rock as seen in Blair Park near construction markers

Green ribbon above car indicates height of earthen berm

Interior of Blair Park

Interior of Blair Park

Moraga Avenue next to Blair Park with story pole in background showing height of construction and proximity to roadway

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