Apr 22 2013

Use of 801 Magnolia East Wing: May 6 Council Meeting

Childcare Facility Or Adults’ Room of Their Own?

The use of the Piedmont Arts Center east wing use will be considered at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6, 2013, by the City Council.  The Piedmont Recreation Department has proposed use of the former Sunday School section of 801 Magnolia Avenue as a childcare facility.  Objections to that use induced the City Council to allow time for proposals other than the City’s childcare proposal.  Objections to the childcare facility appeared to center around incompatibility of use and need for an adult facility.

After the Recreation Department developed plans for a childcare facility in the building, the Council invited residents to come forward with their own plans and costs. The City Council authorized Recreation Director Mark Delventhal to further develop the childcare plan but did not direct the City staff to come up with alternative plans for the facility, relying on the public to initiate and develop independent plans.  The Council is expected to evaluate the business plans of residents’ alternative use proposals compared with the Recreation Department childcare proposal.  Presumably, the childcare proposal would provide City employees with free service, as with Schoolmates.

Residents urging that the facility be for adult activities pointed out no recreational building in Piedmont has been established for adults.  Further, the City currently has a number of buildings and spaces dedicated to childcare: pre-school at Hampton Field, several rooms in the Piedmont Recreation Department building, Schoolmates facilities at Wildwood, Beach, and Havens Elementary Schools, basement of the Piedmont Community Center.  Some have noted existing childcare facilities are not fully utilized.

The 2010 census shows a high percentage of seniors and adults without children residing in Piedmont, while the City has no recreational facility set aside for this population.   A growing emphasis on seniors aging in place, has led to questions about what Piedmont is doing for this group.  Adult facilities in other cities frequently provide reading areas, table games, book reviews, travel programs, information groups, classes, and a place to gather.

The Piedmont Planning Commission charged with reviewing Conditional Use Permits and other matters related to land use, has not been scheduled to consider any use as compliant with Piedmont land use ordinances.  The Commission regularly examines proposals for neighborhood compatibility, lighting, access, parking, structural changes, hours of usage, and noise factors.  A neighbor of the  Piedmont Arts Center recently brought noise problems to the attention of the Center.

Following is the official announcement by the the City:

At 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6, 2013, the Piedmont City Council will consider proposals received for the use of the east wing (former Sunday school portion) of the City’s property at 801 Magnolia Avenue. This meeting will be held in the City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont.

In 2011, the City Council approved a lease of and later an additional use agreement for portions of the property at 801 Magnolia Avenue to the Piedmont Center for the Arts. A separate portion, known as the east wing or Sunday school area of the property was reserved for later public uses and remains under the management of the City of Piedmont. At its meeting on January 22, 2013, the City Council invited interested parties to submit proposals to the City regarding possible uses of the east wing and set a hearing date for  by May 1st on those proposals.  At their May 6th meeting, the Council will hear all proposals submitted by the published deadline of Wednesday, May 1st at 12:00 noon. After hearing the proposals, the Council will deliberate on them and may select a proposal with which to move forward.

You are invited to attend this meeting to express your opinion. You may choose to write to the Piedmont City Council, c/o City Clerk, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611 or by sending an email to jtulloch@ci.piedmont.ca.us.

The staff report for this matter will be available on the city web site Friday, May 3, 2013.

This meeting will be televised live on KCOM-TV, Channel 27, the city’s government TV station and will be available through streaming video on the city’s web site www.ci.piedmont.ca.us.

For further information, please contact City Clerk John O. Tulloch at 420-3040.

John O. Tulloch, City Clerk

April 15, 2013

Prior PCA articles:




One Response to “Use of 801 Magnolia East Wing: May 6 Council Meeting”

  1. The Arts Center, in only 18 months, has filled a long-held need in this town for a true adult community place–and it just keeps coming at us! We are already busting at the seams with more user groups, artists, musicians, speakers, performers than we can accommodate in basically one big room. Everyone loves being there! Our Board would love to keep going in fulfilling our mission and expanding programs, adding an East Wing Senior Clubhouse two days a week, adult art & dance classes, rehearsal space for a community orchestra, permanent display space for Piedmont Historical documents and paintings, a first-rate film screening room, an ongoing photography workshop and reception space for post-concert gatherings. In 18 months we have learned how to organize and manage many multi-users of our space. It is a city building and should be used by as many people as possible! We would like to expand program and activities in the East Wing! Please write to the City Council in support of having Piedmont Center For The Arts, Inc. lease the East Wing in order to expand their arts programming and create a Senior Clubhouse!

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