Chair Russell called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.
Chair Russell led the flag salute.
Present:Shawna Adam, Sueling Chen, Kathleen Dasney, Craig Russell, Kathleen Shanfield, Nancy Spencer and Scott Stanford
Staff:Parks and Recreation Director Joe Felz, Parks and Recreation Managers Grace Carroll Lowe, Alice Loya, and Dannielle Mauk; Recreation Supervisor John Clements; Events Specialist Ashley Glass, Landscape Superintendent Dennis Quinlivan, Building and Facilities Superintendent Lyman Otley, Engineering Director Don Hoppe
Katie Dalton, 200 No. Cornell Ave. - Expressed appreciation for Director Joe Felz’ appointment.She also spoke about the recent City Council meeting where smoke-free parks were discussed.She encouraged the City to pursue this issue due to the many cigarette butts on streets and in tot lots.
Vice Chair Dasney asked Superintendent Quinlivan if installation of the no-smoking signs in parks, noted in his monthly report, was complete.He said he didn’t know if they were all installed yet or which parks they were put in; however, he said they have been installed at RichmanPark, Fullerton Sports Complex, and BastanchuryPark.Administrative Manager Alice Loya said the City’s intent is to put signs in all its tot lots, noting that State law bans smoking within 25 feet of tot lots.
Director Felz added that a citizen’s group has asked about a total no-smoking ban at LagunaLake which, if the Commission so desires, can be brought to Commission for discussion.He said he would ask for the City Attorney’s input on this item as well.Vice Chair Dasney said San DiegoCounty’s beaches have special containers near doggie dispensers to deposit cigarette butts.
Vice Chair Dasney asked for and received clarification on how the monthly Landscape and Building and Facilities reports were dated and listed on the agenda.She also complimented Superintendent Otley on his report, and was especially pleased to hear about the improvements to the Red Cross building.
CONSENT ITEMS (Items 1 - 3)
Chair Russell requested a motion to approve the Consent Calendar items.Vice Chair Dasney MADE A MOTION and Commissioner Spencer SECONDED the motion to approve the Consent Calendar items.
1.MINUTES OF THE OCTOBER 29, 2007 SPECIAL COMMISSION MEETING
Recommendation to approve the Minutes of the October 29, 2007 Special Commission Meeting.
2.LANDSCAPE DIVISION MONTHLY REPORTS FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2007
Recommendation to receive and file the Landscape Division October and November 2007 Monthly Reports.
3.BUILDING AND FACILITIES DIVISION MONTHLY REPORTS FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2007
Recommendation to receive and file the Building and Facilities Division October and November 2007 Monthly Reports.
REGULAR BUSINESS (Items 4 - 9)
4.APPOINTMENT OF A COMMISSIONER TO THE POOCHPARK AD HOC COMMITTEE
With Commissioner Shanfield’s consent, the Commission, in an informal vote, voted unanimously to appoint her to the Pooch Park Ad Hoc Committee.
5.FIRST NIGHT PREVIEW
Cultural and Events Division staff, Manager Dannielle Mauk and Events Specialist Ashley Glass, provided a verbal preview of First Night Fullerton 2008 activities with Manager Mauk complimenting Specialist Glass on some new and exciting entertainment.
The First Night Power Point presentation provided photos and listings of the entertainment planned throughout the various sites, children’s activities and food vendors, with a fireworks finale.Manager Mauk said VIP parking permits for the commissioners would be mailed soon, and there would be refreshments at the Museum for them.She said, besides the usual publicity, flyers would be distributed to some private schools.
Commissioner Chen asked if there would be any classical performances.Manager Mauk said staff had tried classical music in the past, but that it was not popular, adding that Night in Fullerton has been a better venue for classical performers.Vice Chair Dasney said First Night entertainment tends to be more interactive, and Manager Mauk agreed.
6.LIONS FIELD RENOVATION PROJECT
Director Felz introduced the Lions Field renovation project, saying the project had been a long time in coming. He said he was very excited to bring the project forward because this would be the third premier sports park for Fullerton and would help add field space for youth leagues.He added that the concept plan would address the slopes, field use and parking issues, with consideration being given to later improvements at HillcrestPark next door. He introduced Director of Engineering Don Hoppe, saying Director Hoppe would talk a little later about a different method for managing the project, which should help it move more quickly.
Pat Hirsch, Landscape Architect for Hirsch & Associates, provided a Power Point presentation, saying that he began working on the Lions Field project in 2001.He showed a plan with both the current configuration and planned improvements at the park:The duck pond will stay but the traffic flow at the park and on Brea Boulevard will be changed.160 parking spaces will be added where the current maintenance storage is.Near the parking lot, there will be a batting cage as well as walkways to ensure that people don’t have to walk through the parking lot.
Besides a football field with two goal posts and softball fields in different configurations, there will be new meetings rooms, concession stands, restrooms, walkways, and home and visitor grandstands with storage underneath. There will also be a maintenance area with a drop-off area.A retaining wall will allow for more space for the fields with a more economic wire mesh and gunnite wall.The main entrance to the park will be on Brea Boulevard with new curbs and red curbs to keep most cars off of Brea Boulevard.
Mr. Hirsch then opened the meeting up to questions.Commissioner Spencer asked Mr. Hirsch what type of retaining wall would be used, and he said it was called a “soil nail” wall.He provided details on the installation and said it would be covered with a decorative wall.
Vice Chair Dasney asked how many feet the wall would be going into the slope, and was told about 30 feet.Commissioner Adam asked about drainage, and Mr. Hirsch said there will be a drainage system on the wall.When asked aboutfield drainage, he said there weren’t specific plans because they were only at the concept stage, but he provided a brief description of the planned drainage improvements, noting that the current drainage is very poor which sometimes causes flooding at the club house.
Commissioner Spencer asked about landscaping at the retaining wall, and he said they would probably maintain most of the current landscaping, add a watering system, and some additional landscaping.Commissioner Shanfield asked about the highest point of the walls and was told they would be about 10 to 12 feet high and taper down.
Commissioner Adam asked about the lighting on the field and Mr. Hirsch said there will be four stanchions on the football field and four at each of the softball fields, too.And unlike the current lighting, only those lights needed can be turned on, saving electricity with five different configurations for lighting which will be computer programmed.
Commissioner Adam asked about the parking on Brea Boulevard and if there would be an opening for pedestrians to get into the field. Mr. Hirsch indicated an opening to the east of the parking entrance, saying it was also for emergency access, and that there would be some parking on the street between the red curbs.Director Felz said circulation would be much easier with a safe drop-off area in the parking lot for youth.Commissioner Adam said she wanted to make sure it would be easy for those having to stock the concession stand to deliver their items.
Commissioner Stanford asked about kicking field goals on the north end near Brea Boulevard and Mr. Hirsch said there would be netting that could be erected as needed. Commissioner Stanford also asked if it was necessary to have three different snack stands since the sports are seasonal.Director Felz said the small snack stand is incidental, and the other spaces were not just for snacks, but for electrical and maintenance purposes, too, i.e., concessions weren’t driving the need for the stands.He noted that having more snack stands was for safety reasons, too, so children don’t have to cross through areas where balls might hit them.He also acknowledged the field user representatives from Pop Warner and Fullerton Hills Softball at tonight’s meeting.Mr. Hirsch said the restrooms were configured to serve different ball fields, which would limit the distance people would have to walk.
Commissioner Stanford asked if the uses were strictly for football and softball, and Director Felz said it is currently configured only for those uses, but could be used for other purposes in the future.Director Felz then noted the presence of Kathleen and Tom Dalton, of Fullerton Heritage, saying the City will be taking HillcrestPark into consideration when renovating Lions Field to maintain the integrity of HillcrestPark.
Vice Chair Dasney asked about circulation, and if there would be a signal at the exit from the parking lot on Brea Boulevard.Director Felz said that was considered, but it would have been too close to Lemon and created traffic issues there.Instead, with the extensive red-zoned curbs planned on Brea Boulevard, there will be a long sight line to make a safe exit from the parking lot easier.
Commissioner Adam had concerns that people from the parking area near the duck pond would use the main entrance exit for left turns, causing a lot of traffic.Commissioner Shanfield asked about prohibiting left turns during peak hours, and Director Felz said while there might be difficulties with enforcement, this idea was worth looking into.
Director Felz spoke on the new type of management planned for the project, called “construction management at-risk.”He said Director of Engineering Don Hoppe would interview companies and select one that could take the project from ground breaking through ribbon cutting.After about 25% of the project is completed, the construction manager would then provide a cost for completing the project, and the company would take all the risk for completing the project.He said this process should speed up the project and provide more control over the price.
Commissioner Stanford asked whether this type of contract could more easily allow a company to bring in lower quality equipment, but was told that good quality products would be in the specifications and that any changes would have to be negotiated through the Director of Engineering in consultation with Parks and Recreation.
Director Felz said the funding will be coming through the Capital Improvement Program with $2.8 million in reserves, and that after getting the budget estimates (probably about $9 million), the project would then go to Council for approval.He added that staff may need to recommend/seek additional funds for the project, but Council was made aware of this during the budget hearings.When Commissioner Stanford asked, he agreed that Council could take funding from other projects for cost overruns, but staff would not recommend this.
Engineering Director Don Hoppe came to the podium to answer commissioner questions.Commissioner Chen asked Director Hoppe about parking and whether there would be congestion.He replied that if there’s a major event, there would be some congestion, but ordinarily, there shouldn’t be.Regarding a previous suggestion to disallow left turns onto Brea Boulevard, Director Hoppe said cars would then tend to go through the Lemon residential area, which the homeowners wouldn’t like.
Regarding slopes, drainage, and parking, Director Hoppe said the contractor will work on the project until it’s about 25% complete, and would then provide a cost for the remainder of the project.He said preliminary plans weren’t available yet, so staff will have to provide more information when the project is at that stage.When Commissioner Chen asked about whether square footage and room usage had been planned for the meeting rooms, Director Hoppe said there have been some plans made, but those could still be adjusted.
Commissioner Chen asked about monument signs and was told there would be two so drivers could see them going both north and south on Brea Boulevard.She asked about parking lot lighting and was told there was no specific plan right now, but that there would be sufficient lighting.
Commissioner Shanfield asked if it’s possible to phase the plan in case there’s a lack of funding. Director Hoppe said it was possible but most of the money would be used in the fields and grading, and that he believed City Council wanted to see the whole project completed.Director Felz concurred, saying the project was well overdue and Council would likely want to get this project completed.
Commissioner Shanfield asked, if the project were approved tomorrow, how long it would take to complete the project, and Director Hoppe provided a rough estimate of 18 to 24 months, saying this was at least a year less time than what a regular contract would take to complete.
Commissioner Stanford asked if other cities have used combined football and baseball fields, and Director Felz and Mr. Hirsch said Glendora has football, soccer and girls’ softball on their fields.Commissioner Stanford also asked about the life span of the field, and Mr. Hirsch said in Beverly Hills, there is a 17-year old park to which his firm is adding features and replacing the irrigation, but overall it has held up well.
Chair Russell asked the field user representatives, Steve Cone and Jimbo Wright of Fullerton Pop Warner Football and Ruben Castillo of Fullerton Hills Girls’ Softball, to come to the podium so he could ask some questions. He asked if they were thoroughly happy about the plan, and they agreed they were.He then asked if the restrooms were close enough because he wanted to ensure that the leagues don’t put in porta-potties later.Mr. Castillo said he was satisfied with the restroom placement because of their safety, cleanliness and up-to-date equipment.
Chair Russell asked about meeting space, and Mr. Castillo said Mr. Hirsch met with the leagues and responded to their needs for meeting space, so they’re satisfied.Chair Russell asked about the softball fields, and Mr. Castillo said they will be losing a t-ball area, but they could probably use a corner of the football field, and won’t be losing any major field area.
Chair Russell asked if the practice football fields would be used for games, and Mr. Wright said those can be used for games for some of the younger players.He said some of the bigger players will use fields at high schools while the project is being completed.
Mr. Cone remarked that the concept plan presented was the best plan so far, and that Fullerton Pop Warner would have the premier field among all Pop Warner leagues instead of the worst.He said the snack bars are necessary because of the large numbers of players and families, and further commented that he was excited about having two goal posts instead of only one.
Chair Russell asked if the boards of the leagues should provide something in writing that states they have approved the plans in order to protect the City.Director Felz said this hasn’t been done before, but they could do this.Commissioner Stanford thought there shouldn’t be any changes in needs so perhaps that wouldn’t be necessary; Director Felz agreed, and the field user representatives assured the commissioners they had their boards’ approval.
Mr. Castillo said all the areas of concern had been reviewed and approved by his board.Chair Russell had concerns about a possible two-year time period during construction where the leagues would have to find space elsewhere and if the field users might have other objections about the new fields later.Commissioners Dasney and Spencer said the minutes of the meeting would record the approval of the leagues. Mr. Castillo expressed his passion for the project, saying the fields could be used for other events, too, e.g. high school or other sporting events, which would enhance the whole city and businesses in the area.
Mr. Castillo added that there’s a disconnect between the high schools and the leagues with the schools often being uncooperative even though the same kids would be using both fields; the improved fields will provide leverage for the leagues.Chair Russell thanked the field user representatives for their comments and attendance.
Commissioner Chen asked whether the PoochPark was temporary or permanent and was told it is currently temporary.Director Felz said the pooch park advisory group is assisting with the management of the park, and would want to make its recommendation when it is being considered for permanent status in about a year and a half.
Chair Russell asked if there was any discussion on the proposed Lions Field renovation project.Commissioner Stanford noted the Little League District 56 tournaments at Fullerton’s other sports parks have received compliments, and that an improved Lions Field will help the City’s image and surrounding businesses. Chair Russell noted that the park is a high visibility area besides being a nice home for the leagues.He provided a brief history of the project, noting that it had gone from the top of the project list to the bottom, and has now returned slowly to the top, and that it should be approved by the City Council.
Commissioner Chen said she realized sports is very important, as it is at USC, and that sports can bring a lot of spirit, pride and financial support to an organization.Commissioner Spencer said she was happy to hear Lions Field was part of the HillcrestPark plan.
Commissioner Stanford MADE A MOTION to recommend approval of the Lions Field concept plan to City Council. Commissioner Dasney SECONDED the motion.
Chair Russell asked when the concept plan would go to Council for approval, and was told probably February 2008.
7.REPORT ON CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS
Director Felz said there was a Closed Session Council item December 4, 2007 regarding Orange County Flyers, a minor league baseball team currently at Cal State University Fullerton.He said the Flyers are considering relocating to Amerige Field, and that discussions were in the preliminary conversational stage; however, the City was very clear in wanting to protect the uses of the current users.If this project were to happen, he said it could be on either a temporary or permanent basis and would be three to four months down the road. Commissioner Stanford asked if there would be any disruption in field use, and Director Felz said there was strong direction from City Council that discussions could continue only if there was no disruption to the leagues currently using the field.Director Felz confirmed with Commissioner Stanford that any concrete discussions would return to Commission for review.Commissioner Shanfield asked why the Flyers wanted to move from CSUF, and Director Felz said minor league teams are recognizing the potential of going to better, more permanent and historical venues.
Commissioner Adam noted that with the change in name from Fullerton Flyers to Orange County Flyers, the Flyers could go to any city in OrangeCounty, and Director Felz agreed, saying the name change was a marketing move.Commissioner Stanford asked, in jest, if the Flyers could be called the Orange County Flyers of Fullerton.Chair Russell also noted that the Flyers might find a stronger identity away from CSUF which has a nationally-recognized baseball team.
Director Felz reported on the following:
The Parks Project Manager position has been filled, and the new manager will begin on Monday, December 17.
The capital projects at the three neighborhood parks, Adlena, Byerrum and Valencia, are going smoothly, and will be completed in late January 2008.
Regarding the neighborhood meetings, there will be an agenda item on LagunaLake improvements going to Council on December 18th.The City must meet funding deadlines, so if the project is approved by Council, construction will begin in February 2008 for a $250,000 project, to be completed by April or May 2008.
A neighborhood meeting for GilmanPark is planned on December 17th.An update will be provided to the neighbors on a more realistic plan.
The Hillcrest 1996 Master Plan will be reviewed and will go back to Commission in January.HillcrestPark will need to be added to the list of Commission sub-committees.
Commissioner Stanford commented that with the improvements, ByerrumPark looks like a nice, inviting park, and that the project has changed the face of the park.Director Felz complimented previous Parks Manager Randy McDaniel and the Engineering Department for their work there.Chair Russell said the project has had minimal impact on traffic and pedestrians; however it seems to have stopped at a certain stage.Director Felz said that was part of the deal with a three-project contractor as the contractor might have to concentrate his efforts at one of the other projects for a certain period of time.However, the project was expected to be completed on time.
Commissioner Shanfield said Kay Miller provided a wonderful tour of HillcrestPark with a great history through Fullerton Heritage.She recommended that the Commission take the same tour prior to any improvements.
Commissioner Adam said she attended the museum opening of the Gold Fever:Untold Stories of the California Gold Rush exhibit, said it was great and wanted to encourage the local schools to take the tour.
She also said she sat in on her first Public Art Committee meeting, would be reviewing the mural project for the Capri Shoes wall, and found this exciting.She added that well-known local artist Katherine England was chosen for the Fender wall, which would be a mosaic, a very tactile and interactive experience.
Commissioner Dasney agreed with Commissioner Adam’s comments on the Gold Fever tour and the museum, and she also complimented the museum on its collaborations which include funding by All the Arts for All the Kids so each school child could attend the exhibit.
Commissioner Shanfield wished everyone a Happy Holiday and A Happy New Year, a sentiment echoed by the other commissioners.
Commissioner Spencer MADE A MOTION to adjourn the meeting, and commissioners Chen and Adam SECONDED the motion.The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.