May 4 2016

What should Piedmont Fund?

Tour open to the public Saturday,

May 7 at 8 a.m. starting at the Tea House.

On Saturday, May 7, the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Review Committee will meet at  8:00 a.m. at the Tea House in Piedmont Main Park to tour and view various proposed projects to potentially be funded through the Piedmont budget process.  The public is welcome to participate in the entire meeting, tour, and discussions.  Individuals attending are encouraged to provide their own transportation.  Lunch will be served at the Tea House following the tour. 

 A tour schedule, detailed list of projects, information, and agenda can be obtained through:

Parks and Project Manager Nancy Kent at 420-3064 or nkent@ci.piedmont.ca.us 

 There will be no recordings made of the tour. 

Feb 28 2016

On Monday, February 29th, the City of Piedmont will continue the removal of aging and beetle infested Monterey Pine trees from Blair Park that began on Friday.  An arborist identified the 22 trees selected for removal, as the third of three phases of tree removal in the park. Blair Park will be closed while this work is being conducted.

Questions regarding the project may be addressed to the Public Works Department at (510) 420-3050.

 

Aug 31 2015

The Piedmont Park Commission will meet on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue to consider setting a “neighborhood meeting” in October to discuss Dracena Park’s off-leash area, signage, and permission for off-leash dog usage of the upper grassy area.

The issue was brought to the attention of the Park Commission by neighbors concerned about unclear signage and the desirability of allowing dogs to run on the grassy area next to Dracena Avenue.

Bordered by tall redwood trees, Dracena Park’s canyon area between Dracena Avenue and Artuna Avenue has for decades been designated an off-leash area for licensed dogs under human command.

At the June Park Commission meeting a petition signed by 107 Piedmonters was presented noting inconsistent and confusing signage indicating on and off-leash areas.   Permission for off-leashed dogs to play at designated times on the upper grass area of Dracena Park was requested.

Dogs are sometimes seen catching frisbees or playing with other dogs on the upper grass area of Dracena Park; however, this is technically not an off-leash area.  If an animal control officer catches a dog on the grass, according to testimony, the fine is $300.

Commissioners requested more information on the issue, including a map of Dracena Park, potential issues, and availability of other off-leash dog areas in Piedmont.  One commissioner remarked that where dogs are allowed to run freely in a limited space, the result can be bare dirt.

Dog owners often schedule their trips to the various off-leash areas  to be with friends while exercising themselves and their dogs. Trips to the dog parks represent an important part of many Piedmonters physical and social activity.

Piedmont’s off-leash areas for dogs are limited to the dog park near Linda Beach Playgound, Main Park near the creek, Dracena Park canyon, and Blair Park on Moraga Avenue.

Blair Park on Moraga Avenue long designated as an off-leash area for dogs, receives limited use because of remoteness and lack of a fence to protect dogs from going into the heavily trafficked adjacent roadway.

The September 2 Park Commission meeting will be broadcast, on KCOM Comcast Channel 27 and live streamed through the City website. The meeting is open to the public for comment.

To view the June 2015 meeting when the Park Commission previously discussed the issue, go to the video record of the meeting here and start at the 40 minute point.

May 7 2015

Friends of Moraga Canyon will hold its third Blair Park work day on

Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Everyone over age 12 is welcome to come and help clean ivy off of oak trees and weed around the base of trees at the foot of the hillside.

Wear work gloves, and bring clippers and rakes if you have them. Refreshments and snacks will be provided. Street parking is available on Moraga Ave. at the east (upper) end of Blair Park.

The appearance of the park has improved in recent months, largely due to the cleanup work by dedicated volunteers. The diseased and dying Monterey pines on Moraga Avenue are scheduled to be cut down by the city of Piedmont in May or by June 30.

For more information on the workday, email marjb@sbcglobal.net

Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
May 2 2015

– Two Committees Discuss City Spending on

Tuesday, May 5

While the Capital Improvement Projects Review Committee (CIP) is meeting at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Conference Room, the Budget and Financial Planning Committee will meet from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Police Department Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Both meetings are on Tuesday, May 5.

Neither meeting will be broadcast or recorded. Citizens interested in the City’s finances are welcome to attend one of the meetings.

Apr 23 2015

You are invited to join a tour with city staff, committee and community members to view proposals for city expenditure of tax dollars on capital improvement projects.  A lunch open to the public will follow the tour.

The Capital Improvement Project Review Committee (CIPRC) and staff have organized a tour of proposed projects on Saturday, April 25, 2015 starting at 9:00 a.m. in the City Hall Conference Room, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA. Each site visit will take approximately 15 minutes. Broadcast and recordings of the meeting will not be produced.  To hear discussion and recommendations to the City Council requires interested individuals to be present.  Minutes of the CIPRC meetings are not kept.

The proposed sites will be viewed in the following order:

a. Piedmont Community Pool

b. Piedmont Community Hall & Plaza

c. Linda/Kingston Triangle

d. Pedestrian Crossing to Blair Park (Coaches Field)

e. Oakland Avenue Lighted Crosswalks (El Cerrito Avenue / Jerome Avenue)

f. Pedestrian Crossing for Wildwood School (Wildwood Avenue at Prospect Ave)

g. Dracena Park Entry (Park Way & Dracena Ave)

h. Corporation Yard 

Following the tour, the public is included in the City Hall working lunch.

Read the agenda.

Mar 30 2015

The following is an announcement from Friends of Moraga Canyon:

Friends of Moraga Canyon will hold two more Community Work Days to pull weeds and strip ivy off of oak trees in Blair Park on Saturday, April 4, and Saturday, April 11, from 10 a.m. to Noon, in Piedmont’s Blair Park. Everyone over age 12 is welcome. Wear work gloves, and bring clippers and rakes if you have them.

Refreshments provided. Great exercise and good fun!

PCA 315 Blair ivy-smothered oak tree in Blair Park

Ivy growing on an oak tree in Blair Park

Mar 17 2015

Report on the Park Commission Meeting of March 4 by High School student Quinn Burnett:

On Wednesday, March 4, the Piedmont Park Commission held a meeting to discuss various issues concerning local parks and gardens. Due to the fact that Arbor Day is on the horizon, a main topic of discussion was over the various public plans for that particular day of celebration.

After the minutes were approved by the Commission, Chair Sue Herrick opened the floor to the public forum. I spoke first about my concept to go back to having fewer 10 minute parking spaces in the Community Center parking lot, as the reduced parking increases traffic on Highland Avenue and takes away spots from students and creates spots that are rarely used. The Commission agreed that the 10 minute spots allowed an easier means for parents to drop off their children at the nearby preschool and did not seem to desire to make the change that I was hoping for. Following my address to the Commission, Arash Parsa and Parker Phillips spoke about the issues of speeding on Scenic Avenue and the trimming of shrubs on Mesa Avenue, respectively.

After the public forum, the President of the Piedmont Garden Club donated three thousand dollars for Arbor Day and specifically for improvements in Dracena Park for the upcoming event that would be held there on Arbor Day. The check was accepted by the Staff Liaison Mark Feldkamp and he and the President of the Garden Club capitalized on a nice photo opportunity.

Following this donation, the head of publicity on the Park Commission, John Lenahan, took some time to talk about his efforts in the monthly newsletter, as well as additional publicity for the Arbor Day event at Dracena Park. Although there did not seem to be too many pressing matters on the agenda on March 4, Commissioner Nancy Kent, reported on a new plan to further water conservation to combat the ensuing California drought, and her outlook was quite positive as Piedmont seemed to be on top of every requirement for the plan.

Before the meeting began, I had the opportunity to speak with one of very few attending audience members, Patty Reed. Reed’s main concern was a plan that began almost a year ago called the Linda Kingston Triangle. The triangle will ideally be located on Linda Avenue, a block from Beach Elementary School and will cost almost $200,000. She told me that this project will be funded by the Piedmont Garden Club, private neighborhood partisans, and publicly by the CIP [Capital Improvement Projects]. Reed also shared with me that there had been an extensive traffic study, which concluded that traffic would be significantly reduced and safety increased, and this aspect resonated well with the Commission, which favored the project heavily in general as well.

Personally, I agreed with the motive of the Linda Kingston Triangle project, to promote safety, and I am glad to see a positive plan gain momentum as I feel that often projects like these are generally stifled by neigh-saying residents, as was the case for the infamous Blair Park project.

Finally, one representative, whose specific position I did not identify, gave a report on the general condition of the parks and streets. His summary was very positive, exuding the impression that, generally, “things are good!” He also mentioned that roughly one hundred trees were pruned this month and that if anyone wanted their street to be swept, all they would have to do is call and the street sweepers would be happy to come.

Summarily, I viewed the Commission as an efficient and positively run government body.  I also acknowledge the great amount of effort and attention to detail it takes to run such an organization successfully.

Quinn Burnett

Editors’ Note:  The opinions expressed are those of the author.
Mar 4 2015

Press release from Recreation Department ~

The Piedmont Recreation Department (PRD) is seeking broad-based community input on current and future programming. The PRD is seeking feedback from ALL community members, regardless of whether you currently participate in PRD activities.

Your input is invited in a number of ways:

Online Survey: An online survey will be available from March 4 to March 31, 2015 at the following web address: http://catalystmr.com/piedmont You can also access the link from the  <click

City of Piedmont website: http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/  <click

For those who would like to participate in the online survey but do not have access to a computer, we will have computers and assistance available at the Community Hall on Wednesday March 11 between 10:00 a.m. and noon. Please contact Cora Wood (420-3070) to reserve a space on March 11 or to schedule an appointment to complete the survey over the phone or in person.

Town Hall Meetings: Recreation Director Sara Lillevand will host two Town Hall meetings at the Piedmont Community Hall in Main Park. These events are interactive and open to all.

–  March 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

– March 25 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  

Please RSVP with the date you plan to attend: PRD@ci.piedmont.ca.us

Email Feedback: The PRD has a dedicated email address for sending feedback about current programming and ideas about future programming. The email address is:

PRDFeedback@ci.piedmont.ca.us

Feedback by US Mail: You are welcome to send comments via U.S. Mail to PRD Feedback c/o Piedmont Recreation Department, 358 Hillside Ave., Piedmont, CA 94611.

Questions ? – Contact Recreation Director Sara Lillevand at 510/420-3070

Mar 3 2015

Volunteers gathered on February 28 to clean up Blair Park removing invasive ivy from trees and cutting back brush.

Group-Blair Park workday

“Some of the Piedmont and Oakland crew who worked in Blair Park. The artwork is a professional rendering of what Blair Park could look like if Phase 1 of the landscape plan approved by the Piedmont City Council were implemented.”

“Nearly 30 friends and neighbors of Blair Park took part in a Community Work Day on Saturday, February 28, to clean ivy off of oak and fruit trees in the park. Piedmont and Oakland residents of all ages came armed with their work gloves, clippers, rakes and enthusiasm to do battle with ivy and blackberries that are strangling the trees. Two hours of hard work produced large piles of clippings to be hauled away on Monday by the Piedmont Department of Public Works.

“Everyone was so enthusiastic about the event, which was organized by Friends of Moraga Canyon, another work day is planned for next month.”