Jun 28 2014

CIP Committee Hears Citizen and Staff Proposals for Capital Projects

Proposals for the $507,000 WW Bond Funds will be the immediate focus of CIP Review Committee in order to meet EBRPD deadlines.  –

At its June 26 meeting, the CIP Review Committee (CIPRC) elected John Cooper as its Chair. Cooper invited the citizens in attendance to present their project ideas.

Former Council member Garrett Keating provided the CIPRC with photo montages illustrating his proposal of a 300 by 150 foot multi-purpose sports field, expanding Coaches Field into the existing parking area. In order to replace lost parking, Keating showed a section of Blair Park converted to a parking lot that could be accessed via a traffic circle with pedestrian operated signal. Keating emphasized the pressing need for more sports fields for the youth.

Long time Piedmont resident, Pat Markovich-Treece said the City had repeatedly focused on sports fields and neglected the members of the population who would use other kinds of recreational parks. She mentioned the shortfall in quality of life for citizens who prefer non-organized sports in their outdoor recreational activities. For example, she called for passive park environments such as Blair Park could become.

Last year, the Council approved a plan for Blair Park improvements and directed the CIPRC to include funding consideration in the Capital Improvement Projects assessment. A Committee member pointed to the Restoration Design Group Blair Park plan on the list (see below) as a passive recreation project.

Despite numerous public statements and information asking for use of the locked and vacant large room in the Piedmont Arts Center as a Senior Center, the Recreation Department did not add this to their wish list.  The prior City administration would not allow the Piedmont Center for the Arts to assume responsibility for the room and instead advocated that the facility be used for childcare.  The result has been no use of the room. 

WW funds are specifically authorized to be used for Senior Centers. Piedmont is unique in the region in not offering a facility for seniors. Some have found it unusual that Piedmont, with the largest percentage of seniors in Alameda County, offers few programs for this group of residents.

Three residents from the Kingston/Linda/Rose neighborhood advocated safety measures for the intersection. Crosswalks from Rose Ave. and Kingston Ave. across Linda Ave. and a stop sign on southeast bound Linda at Rose were suggested to reduce speeding traffic coming from Piedmont Ave. Mark Feldkamp, City staff liaison to the CIPRC, assured residents that there will be a traffic safety study in the Fall and the triangle median he is designing will include lighting to improve safety at night. “It is a great project and we’re pushing it very hard.” In the Spring, the Piedmont Beautification Foundation will raise money to contribute to the cost of constructing the triangle.

However, Cooper pointed out that the Kingston/Linda/Rose triangle does not qualify for WW funds. Feldkamp concurred, saying he had specifically asked about the project and Jeff Rasmussen of the East Bay Regional Park District said the triangle would not qualify.

Although resident William Blackwell was not present at the meeting to present it, his proposal for an expanded sports field in Coaches Field was included in one of the staff lists.

The meeting was designed to urgently emphasize use of WW funds prior to their expiration, yet some of the projects found on the Recreation Department and Park Department lists would not qualify for WW funds.  Which ever project or projects are chosen, stringent requirements including compliance with California’s Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) will be faced.  Given the restricted time line and requirements, some of the proposed projects will be eliminated. 

The CIPRC heard the Recreation Department wish list:

Hampton Field renovation, including tennis courts

Renovation of the Recreation Department building, moving registration and main office downstairs

Rehabilitation of Community Hall

New aquatics facility, includes new pools and locker rooms

Repair current pools and also build a new aquatic facility at another location

New draperies for the Community Hall, maybe new painting and wallpaper plan

Deck expansion off the back of the Community Hall

Redo Amphitheater area in Main Park

Replace the bleachers next to Recreation Department and pool

New play structure in Recreation Department tot lot

New play structure in Main Park tot lot

Redo benches around Main Park tot lot damaged by sand and stain

New picnic tables and BBQ pit next to Recreation Department tot lot

Re-surface basketball courts between tennis courts and pool

Recreation Department/Carriage House parking lot re-surface, including removal of pine tree

Removal or repair of large metal storage unit located behind BBQ area next to Recreation Department

Feldkamp provided an additional CIP wish list generated by the Park Department:

Piedmont Park Community Hall Plaza renovation $150,000 to $200,000

Piedmont Main Park Amphitheater renovation $250,000 to $300,000

Rear terrace Community Hall Piedmont Park renovation $300,000 $350,000

Hampton Park improvement (Harris Plan) $1,900,000 to $2,000,000

Linda/Kingston triangle $175,000 to $200,000

Coaches Field improvements (Blackwell Plan) $900,000 to $1,000,000

Dracena new entry at Park Way & Dracena Avenue $300,000 to $350,000

Blair Park improvements (RDG Plan) $800,000 to $900,000

Howard Avenue entrance to Linda-Beach Field $1,500,000 to $2,000,000

Crocker Park renovation $250,000 to $300,000

Piedmont Park Exedra Plaza Phase IV $500,000 to $600,000

Aquatic Center improvements $200,000 to $250,000

Veterans Hall improvements  $150,000 to $200,000

Residents may suggest other ideas on how Piedmont should spend the $575,000 in WW bond funds and help prioritize expenditures for future Capital Improvement Projects.  Send correspondence to:

CIP Review Committee c/o mfeldkamp@ci.piedmont.ca.us

Questions may be addressed to Mark Feldkamp (W) 420-3064


One Response to “CIP Committee Hears Citizen and Staff Proposals for Capital Projects”

  1. This timely PCA article raises the ongoing issue of the complete lack of senior facilities in Piedmont. Paralleling this is the Piedmont School tax which is unique amongst the top ranked school districts in the state in not having a senior exemption. The Piedmont School Parcel tax is easily the most expensive school parcel tax in the state by a factor of over double to 100 times other school taxes. Most School Districts with a parcel tax have simply an age requirement to qualify for senior exemption; locally Orinda, Moraga, Oakland and Berkeley have a very low income-based senior exemption. Last year members of the Piedmont School Board opined that an income-based senior exemption was illegal and opted for a “compassionate” SSI exemption. In 2013-2014 only two individuals qualified for this exemption and information has not been released indicating that either is a senior.

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