Jul 12 2014

Hampton, Blair, Coaches, Community Hall, Veterans Hall, Pool, Crocker, Dracena, Linda, Kingston Triangle Tour

On Monday, July 14, the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Review Committee will gather at 9:00 a.m. in the Council Conference Room, City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue. The purpose of the meetings is to tour sites proposed for improvement using $575,000 of WW bond funds and the City’s Capital Improvement Projects Fund.  The CIP Review Committee has been tasked with making recommendations to the City Council.

The tour and meeting is open to the public.

– CIP Review Committee Agenda –

1. Tour of Sites to be Considered for Possible CIP Funding

a. Piedmont Park; Community Hall Plaza, Amphitheater, and Terraces

b. Veterans Hall

c. Piedmont Community Pool

d. Dracena Park (Entry Way at Park Way & Dracena Avenue)

e. Coaches Field / Blair Park

f. Linda Beach Playfield (Howard Avenue Entrance)

g. Linda/Kingston Triangle

h. Crocker Park

i. Hampton Field

The sites will be visited in the order listed above. Each site visit will take approximately 15 minutes.

2. Working Lunch at Piedmont Park Tea House (Open to the public)

 There will be no public broadcast of the tour or the later CIP Review Committee discussion held over lunch at Piedmont’s Main Park Tea House. To learn about the issues, individuals should plan to attend the meeting and tour. Transportation from site to site has not been announced.

To date, none of the CIP meetings have been publicly broadcast.

The Brown Act precludes the committee members from holding discussions amongst themselves prior to reconvening in a meeting at the Tea House when consideration of the various sites will take place.   This will allow all committee members and the public to hear the deliberations.  During the tour, inquiries made to staff for a better understanding of issues and plans are permissible.

Given the complicated hoops to be jumped through to receive WW funds, the Council is likely to pursue one project rather than several. Two primary projects recently discussed by the City Council are:

– Renovation of Hampton Field’s grass playfield and tennis courts –

The City has invested in Beach Playfield, Coaches’ Field, Havens Playground, Witter Field, Hampton Field and Dracena Park.  All of which provide space for youthful activities.  Hampton Field, however, has not held up well over the years.  During wet weather, drainage is very poor significantly restricting playfield usage and causing debris to flow to a street surface.  The ever problematic tennis courts at Hampton have for decades been vulnerable to cracking with drifting sand creating hazards for players.  The City has an approved environmental document on record for Hampton Field and has recently acted to obtain construction documents to make the necessary improvements.

– Council approved enhancements and clean up of Blair Park –

Blair Park built on fill land was for generations used as a dumping ground for leaves and chipped trees. Invasive plants have damage trees and left much of the park area unusable.  The City recently took an emergency action to remove some unhealthy trees and branches that presented hazards to vehicles and park users.  Many remaining trees need attention to maintain their overall viability.  A sidewalk inside and along the roadway has been suggested as a way to enhance the park and encourage use while maintaining its open space character.  The City Council has approved a plan for Blair Park.  The park is a major gateway to Piedmont passed daily by thousands of individuals.

There are many desired projects, however some would not meet the criteria and timing required for WW bond funding.

Updated 7/14/14

One Response to “Hampton, Blair, Coaches, Community Hall, Veterans Hall, Pool, Crocker, Dracena, Linda, Kingston Triangle Tour”

  1. Council has recently discussed Hampton Field and Blair Park but has always prefaced its discussion with the comment that it has not decided what project(s) will receive the WW funding. Hopefully CIP members will not be influenced by these discussions and will conduct an objective review of the project list. Cost and timing are raised as criteria but the deadline for WW expenditure is 4 years away and few of the projects have solid cost estimates. It would be best for CIP to leave those concerns to Council and evaluate what projects fill the greatest need for Piedmont. While Hampton needs some improvements, the $2M project as proposed would not provide as much increase in hours of use as Coaches Field expansion. Likewise, Blair Park needs some TLC but the $0.6M landscape plan does not include a way for pedestrians to get to the park or off-street parking. The top priority for the CIP committee should be to determine which proposal(s) will make the best use of these one-time funds.

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