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Parks and Recreation Commission Minutes

 CITY OF FULLERTON

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

SPECIAL GENERAL PLAN COMMUNITY MEETING

MINUTES

 

City Council Chamber

Monday, October 29, 2007

6:30 p.m.

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

Chair Russell called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.

  

FLAG SALUTE

 

Chair Russell led the flag salute.


ROLL CALL

 

Present:          Shawna Adam, Sueling Chen, Kathleen Dasney, Craig Russell, Kathleen Shanfield, Nancy Spencer and Scott Stanford

 

Absent:           None

 

Staff:               Parks and Recreation Director Joe Felz, Parks and Recreation Managers Grace Carroll Lowe, Alice Loya, and Judy Peterson; Family and Senior Services Supervisor Eloisa Espinoza; Recreation Supervisor John Clements; Building and Facilities Superintendent Lyman Otley; Landscape Superintendent Dennis Quinlivan; Director of Engineering Don Hoppe, Community Development Director John Godlewski; Senior Planner Bob St. Paul

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

None.

 

CONSENT ITEMS (Item 1)

 

Chair Russell requested a motion to remove Item #2 from the Consent Calendar and approve the remaining Consent Calendar Item #1.  Vice-Chair Dasney MADE A MOTION and Commissioner Adam SECONDED the motion to remove Item #2 and approve Consent Calendar Item #1.

                                                                                                       

            AYES:             Adam, Chen, Dasney, Russell, Shanfield, Spencer, Stanford

            NOES:            None

            ABSENT:       None

 

The MOTION PASSED unanimously.

 
1.         MINUTES OF THE OCTOBER 8, 2007 COMMISSION MEETING

           

Recommendation to approve the Minutes of the October 8, 2007 Commission Meeting.

 

REGULAR BUSINESS (Items 2 - 6)

 

2.         REVISION TO APPOINTMENT OF TREASURER AND SECRETARY TO THE DOG PARK AD HOC COMMITTEE

 

Item #2 was moved from Consent Items to Regular Business as requested by Parks and Recreation Director Felz due to a change on the item.  Staff had recommended that the Commission appoint Johanna Svensson as Treasurer and Christine Friemel as Secretary to the Pooch Park Ad Hoc Committee to rectify appointments made incorrectly at the October 8, 2007 Commission meeting due to a clerical error.  However, Director Felz reported that Christine Friemel had resigned from the Ad Hoc Committee; thus, it was recommended that Dee Pierce be nominated as Secretary instead and Johanna Svensson as Treasurer.

 

Vice-Chair Dasney MADE A MOTION and Commissioner Stanford SECONDED the motion to approve the nomination of Dee Pierce as Secretary and Johanna Svensson as Treasurer of the Pooch Park Ad hoc Committee.

                                                                                                       

            AYES:             Adam, Chen, Dasney, Russell, Shanfield, Spencer, Stanford

            NOES:            None

            ABSENT:       None

 

The MOTION PASSED unanimously.

 

3.         UPDATE ON THE GENERAL PLAN PROCESS

 

Chair Russell noted that the main reason for the Special Meeting tonight was an update on the City’s General Plan process, and introduced Senior Planner Bob St. Paul from the Community Development Department.  Planner St. Paul reminded the commissioners of the update staff provided at the August 13, 2007 Commission meeting on the General Plan process and outreach program.  He said staff had conducted several workshops and “charrettes” to elicit community input, then submitted this information to the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) which included the themes and topics posted on the wall tonight (and included in commissioner materials).

 

Planner St. Paul said that at the August Commission meeting, the commissioners had expressed interest not only in the update, but also in wanting to be involved in the process, hence tonight’s meeting.  With the Commission’s permission, staff and consultants would conduct a workshop tonight, and the information received would be forwarded to the General Plan Advisory Committee meeting on November 5, 2007.

 

Planner St. Paul introduced Dave Barquist of RBF Consulting, the City’s General Plan Update consultants, saying he would conduct the workshop.

 

Mr. Barquist also mentioned the General Plan presentation at the August 2007 Commission meeting and provided an outline of the goals for tonight’s meeting including a review of the General Plan elements (also posted on the wall), a review of the community visioning that occurred and the results of those meetings, and the opportunity for commissioners to provide additional comment and direction for the GPAC and, ultimately, for the decision makers in the City.

 

Mr. Barquist noted the seven elements required by State of California law:  Land use, housing, circulation, noise, safety, conservation, and open space, with specific items required for each element although elements could be combined.  Cities could also adopt optional elements, e.g., community vision, implementation, community services, and active living. 

 

Regional mandates such as South Coast Air Quality Management District, Regulation 15 and Measure M must also be included to address air quality, growth management and waste management issues.

 

Mr. Barquist pointed to the Power Point presentation showing Fullerton’s existing General Plan chapters on the left and the State requirements on the right, saying that a city could have any number of elements but must be able to implement and manage those elements.  The City’s existing elements include:

 

Vision Element - The overall goals and visions for the future of Fullerton emerging out of the community workshops, open houses, and other means of community input.

 

Land Use Element - Describes Fullerton’s built environment and will include policies and maps identifying land use designations and population estimates.

 

Circulation Element - Focuses on traffic and circulation, including roadways, transit routes, and alternative modes of transportation.

 

Resource Management Element - Focuses on water, air, biological, land, energy, mineral, and historic and scenic resources in Fullerton.

 

Community Health and Safety Element - Includes policies to protect the community from natural and manmade disasters, such as floods, drainage, noise, hazardous materials, fire, and crime.

 

Community Services Element - Describes future needs for services including water, sewer, drainage, solid waste facilities, and public facilities and buildings.

 

Regional Coordination Element - Addresses regional issues and coordination efforts with local, county, and regional bodies.

 

Implementation and Public Participation Element - Describes how to implement the proposed policies of the General Plan and includes public participation methods for making planning decisions.

 

Mr. Barquist also provided a calendar starting in February 2007 of General Plan process events including introductory “road shows” and visioning workshops or “charrettes” with various neighborhoods and groups such as Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Sports Field Users, Bicycle Users Subcommittee, and youth.  The workshops were on cable TV and a presentation was made at City Council.  They also met with the GPAC and conducted one-on-one interviews with key people. There was also a public agency forum with OCTA, federal and other jurisdictions, and a productive impromptu workshop at the Richman Park dedication in October.  An upcoming open house summarizing all of the community meetings and input is also scheduled.

 

Pointing to the General Plan bubble diagram posted on the wall, Mr. Barquist explained that this was a summary of community themes. He said a visioning report or summary of community input could be found on the City’s website, noting that, rather than interpreting what the community said, the report organizes the input into a more understandable format.

 

He further explained that the larger bubbles on the poster represented nine basic elements (Economic Development and Vitality; Open Space, Parks and Sustainability; Cultural Resources and Community Activities; Sense of Community and Character; Community Design; Community Health and Safety; Mobility; Community Services; Growth Management and Density) and were developed by soliciting input from the community on what it believed were the City’s “treasures and challenges” or positives and negatives, the “hot button” issues that needed to be addressed, and their vision of Fullerton’s future.  This information was brought to the GPAC, and from that meeting, 13 themes (smaller bubbles) were then developed:  Economic Development; Sustainability; Open Spaces and Natural Resources; Community Activities; Cultural Resources; Sense of Community; Community Design; Historic Resources; Community Safety; Community Health, Mobility, Community Services; and Community Development. 

 

Mr. Barquist invited the commissioners, using color-coded dots (green:  Parks and Recreation issues; yellow:  related to Parks and Recreation) and post-it notes for additional comments, to mark areas of importance on the large theme poster hanging on the wall of the Council Chamber.  A summary created by the consultants of the poster, commissioners’ color-coded dots and comments is attached.

 

Commissioner Spencer said some terms were fairly broad so she wasn’t sure where some categories would be placed, e.g. city landscaping.  Mr. Barquist said that was part of the challenge; however, it was most important to get the ideas and thoughts down, and these items could be refined later.

 

Commissioner Spencer said the last General Plan didn’t have a vision statement which made it difficult to develop a street tree master plan when the City couldn’t tell them what its vision for the look of the City was.  Mr. Barquist agreed and said they would be forming a vision statement through the General Plan Advisory Committee in the next couple of months, based on the community input it has received so far.

 

Vice-Chair Dasney suggested that rather than putting in specific names, e.g. Coyote Hills, one should just say open space and that Coyote Hills might be a Planning Commission issue, rather than a General Plan issue.

 

After the placement of dots, Mr. Barquist asked for discussion on the themes which had commissioner dots on them, noting that nearly all the areas had relevance to Parks and Recreation.  Commissioners commented on the themes as follows:

 

Element:  Economic Development and Vitality

 

Theme:  Sustainability - Would require open space to achieve sustainability in terms of watersheds, trees offsetting carbon dioxide, etc. (Shanfield) 

 

Element:  Open Space, Parks and Sustainability

 

Theme:  Open Space and Natural Resources - Regarding bike and pedestrian trails, their importance should be rated very high.  Passive parks such as Panorama Park, Gilman, Tree Park and many other areas should be considered open space, too, which is why Coyote Hills should not be named specifically (Dasney).  Coyote Hills was listed because it’s a theme that keeps coming up and it’s the last bit of open space in the City, and should be addressed in the General Plan (Shanfield).  Coyote Hills is important but is a political and Planning Commission issue, and shouldn’t be under the purview of a General Plan which has higher-level goals (Dasney).  Coyote Hills could be addressed in the ‘Development’ theme (Shanfield and Dasney). This theme should cover all age groups so everyone could enjoy the resources, and educational programs for young people should be added (Chen).  The different parks - neighborhood parks, sports parks, historic parks - should be distinguished from each other based on uses although another subset might not be advisable (Russell).

 

Theme:  Community Activities – Parks and recreational facilities should have separate bullet points as they are “equal endeavors;” and fields, trails, and hikes as well as classes should be specified (Dasney).  

 

Theme:  Cultural Resources – The Library, “very noticeably absent,” should be added (Chen, Shanfield, and Dasney) and noted in several element/theme areas.  Ethnic diversity understanding, learning and promotion would bring the ethnically diverse city together (Chen).

 

Element:  Sense of Community and Character – User groups “are essential” (Dasney).   This is connected with ethnic learning (Barquist).  A community center, also noted in Community Services, would strengthen the City’s sense of community and character (Russell).  Preventing vandalism, picking up trash, and policing the neighborhood, could also increase one’s ‘Sense of Community’ (Stanford).

 

Theme:  Civic Participation - Important in Fullerton and goes along with public/private partnerships and with the community non- and for-profits.  There is a strong tradition of volunteerism; opportunities for volunteerism are important, especially with diminishing funds for non-profits (Shanfield).  Parks and Recreation’s partnership with the school district should be noted; there isn’t anything about elementary, middle school and high school students and the district’s relationship with the City.  Enhancing this relationship should be part of the ten-year plan (Russell with concurrence by Dasney - “should get a couple of greens.”)  Commissioners were told school districts were part of the visioning process through workshops, and staff will be contacting the PTA’s.  Could include preventing vandalism and picking up trash at the parks, and policing the neighborhood (Stanford).

Element:  Community Design

 

Theme:  Community Design – Community Landscaping should be included here (Spencer)

 

Theme:  Historic Resources -  A landmark Tree Policy for historic trees is underway and should be included (Spencer).  Hillcrest Park should be included, too (Dasney).

 

Element:  Community Health and Safety

 

Theme:  Community Safety - Real and perceived safety and cleanliness in parks is very important (Stanford).  Given the recent fires, decreasing fire risk should be considered in parks as well as developments (Shanfield).  Drug and alcohol use in parks (Barquist) and infrastructure maintenance should be placed here, too (Chen).

 

Theme:  Community Health – The Library should be included because of the programs and possibilities for dissemination of information (Dasney).  Preventative health activities through youth sports, the trails, and Parks and Recreation  programs should be listed (Stanford) as well as sports and activities for all ages (Shanfield and Barquist).  All ages” should be emphasized and there should be active living programs in areas where the Senior Center is not easily accessible, e.g. Gilbert Park (Dasney).  Trees should be included because they assist in breathing (Chen).  Fostering a healthy environment might be advisable to list so that if a wider smoking ban is considered, it could be referred to (Dasney).  More shade structures in play areas (Dasney).

 

The question of restrooms in parks should be addressed (Russell); “mandatory” (Dasney); “and clean” (Stanford).

 

“Drugs and Alcohol” should be addressed in parks as well as Downtown (Dasney).  Rather than just education, would prefer drug and alcohol abuse prevention (Dasney).  Commissioner Adam asked about alcohol in parks, and Director Felz said there are permits allowed for certain facilities.  Commissioner Dasney said there’s no enforcement without a specific complaint.  Mr. Barquist said this issue would be in both safety and health. 

 

Element:  Mobility – Many people use the trails as a method of transportation, even as a short cut, thus pedestrians, equestrians and bicyclists must cooperate (Shanfield).  Commissioner Spencer asked if ‘transportation options’ would cover the proposed trolleys and was told “yes.”  There should be a yellow dot next to ‘parking’ as it was an issue with parks (Russell). Under ‘transportation options,’ wants to emphasize needs of seniors or immigrants who don’t have cars for day-to-day needs (Chen).

 

Vice-Chair Dasney asked what kind of van is used by OCTA, and Commissioner Shanfield said it’s called Access for the disabled, and that one has to apply, but it’s not income-based.  Commissioner Chen asked about non-disabled and was told there was something called FIES for medical appointment transportation, but there wasn’t much.   Commissioner Stanford asked if this was a Parks and Recreation issue, and Commissioner Chen said it was just a general mobility issue to help the community.  Vice Chair Dasney said it would affect one’s ability to access the Senior Center or Parks and Recreation classes and facilities.

 

Vice-Chair Dasney said, based on her personal experience, participation in youth sports could be made much easier if youth without rides were picked up at home and taken to the sports fields. 

 

Element:  Community Services – The Library should be included here as well (Shanfield and Barquist).  A large, comprehensive community center with a pool, accessed by seniors and everyone, with many classes and rooms, could benefit everyone, and would be a single point in the community, making transportation access easier (Stanford).  Parks should be kept for open space instead of building facilities on them; instead, consider renting an existing building in a shopping center (Shanfield with concurrence by Russell).  There should be prioritization and an understanding of community service needs, what programs should be self-sustaining given funding issues, i.e., who can pay for services and who can’t, given their income and needs (Chen). 

Public/private partnerships might be better than putting buildings on park property, or perhaps buying property or facilities (Russell); this item could be placed in-between Community Services and Growth Management.   Maintaining infrastructure is also a public safety issue (Russell and Chen). All City facilities, parks, structures need infrastructure maintenance, and the City should focus on that more in the budget (Russell on behalf of all commissioners).  The City also loses control when maintenance is the responsibility of lessees who sometimes pay $1/year (Spencer and Russell).  Enforcing maintenance procedures is important (Adam).

 

Maintenance issues at parks such as preventing vandalism, picking up trash, and policing the neighborhood, i.e., “sweat equity” and “ownership,” could also be put under ‘Civic Participation’ and ‘Sense of Community’  (Stanford and  Spencer).

 

Element:  Growth Management and Density

 

Theme:  Community Development - Maintenance needs to be a part of this issue.  Growth is fine but the maintenance needs to be budgeted within this growth (Chen). Is it possible to have a goal of a population versus open space ratio, which some cities have (Shanfield)?  Would like to see this broken down into sectors of the City to more accurately reflect that some sectors have much more open space than others (Russell).

 

Mr. Barquist said the consultants would summarize the items and have the commissioners review the draft.  Commissioner Stanford thanked staff for the larger version of the elements chart and Vice-Chair Dasney thanked Senior Planner St. Paul and Mr. Barquist for the opportunity to provide input.

 

Chair Russell opened up the meeting to public comments but there were none.  Senior Planner St. Paul thanked the commissioners and said the GPAC will have plenty to think about, noting a few GPAC members in the audience including Chairman Joe Stopper.  He said staff will do a quick turnaround, and make a presentation on November 5th, and he invited the commissioners to attend the meeting. Chair Russell thanked the General Plan staff for coming out, and thanked Director Felz for his assistance.  Senior Planner St. Paul encouraged everyone to view the information on the City’s website.

 

4.         REPORT ON CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS

 

Director Felz reported on the following City Council items:

 

·        The emergency light replacements at the Tennis Center were approved at a cost of approximately $150,000.  All eleven affected light poles have been taken down, with six weeks for delivery and two weeks for installation.  Director Felz confirmed for Commissioner Stanford that the lighting repairs would not affect the Tennis Center renovations, and that the lighting repairs are coming out of Brea Dam reserve funds.  The building plans are almost approved and will be put out to bid soon with the bid awarded by Council.  Cost estimates seem fairly accurate and any shortfall in funding would come out of park dwelling or Brea Dam funds.

 

·        Funding for the roof replacement at Brea Dam facilities Child Guidance and Fullerton Community Nursery School, was approved with a $70,000 budget.  Bids are being sought, and staff is in negotiations with the lessees for renewal of their contract and how to make further improvements.

·        The final Richman Field Lighting Agreement was approved with an eight to eleven month timeline due to State approval which is expected to take up to five months.

·        Memorandums of Understanding for the Fall 2007 Adopt-A-Park were approved with the Troy High School Key Club adopting Richman Park.

 

5.   DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

 

·        Construction at the three neighborhood parks is progressing well, with just a small glitch due to the water feature; however, it’s expected to be completed on time and the contractor is performing well.  Commissioner Stanford said he’s seeing good progress, too.

 

·        The final draft of the Lions Field concept plan was received and staff is meeting with the football and softball leagues to review it.  The engineers’ work on the retaining wall has been completed with the good news that fewer massive sections will be needed, and that some areas will use two separate, shorter walls with landscaping in-between. The Parks and Recreation Commission will review and make comments on the plan, then forward them to Council whose approval will be needed for both the concept plan and to send a bid out for a “construction management at-risk” contract.  Commissioner Stanford asked if the company would cover future problems and Director Felz said because this is the first time the City is doing this, he wasn’t familiar with everything but that with multi-million dollar projects, companies will take on the risk and manage the contract from concept to the completed project.  He said the City sees this as a model and plans on using this for a parking structure as well, and when asked, said that Irvine and other cities have used this model and that $4 million seems to be the minimum for this type of contract.

 

·        The City is working with the County supervisors to fund the $200,000 Tri-City Park Master Plan and this should be on the county’s agenda soon.

 

·        The Civic Center Master Plan is moving forward, with the Library as the most active part of the plan.  For Parks and Recreation facilities, a “step back” from the conceptual master plan has been taken for the community center under consideration, to address how to use existing spaces jointly and efficiently with the Senior Center and Boys and Girls Club, to look at future needs, and to create access across Commonwealth.  Those plans should be completed within the next four to six weeks.

 

·        The Fullerton Market just ended and there was a Teen Resource Fair at Richman Park.   First Night (New Year’s Eve) will be the next big community event.

 

·        The next Commission meeting is scheduled for December 10, 2007.

 

6.         COMMISSIONER COMMENTS


Commissioner Chen thanked Director Felz for his e-mails, and asked about more details on closing Parks and Recreation facilities due to air quality issues from the fires.  Director Felz said Recreation Division staff gets notices from AQMD and then notifies field users.  Manager Grace Carroll Lowe said field closures have been ongoing for a week, and that staff is still sending out AQMD cautionary notices today for sensitive individuals, i.e., youth or elderly.  When Chair Russell asked, she said Bastanchury and the Sports Complex were closed, and everyone else was highly recommended not to play, with 98% compliance.  Chair Russell asked if a private organization wanted to play on the parks during a recommended closure, whether the City could close the parks.  Director Felz said the City controls access to the park, and that there was probably some small print that allowed the City to close the park if there were health and safety issues involved.

 

Commissioner Stanford asked about assistance in getting rogue leagues to stop playing on fields impacted by rain as they create a lot of damage.  Manager Lowe said coaches should call the park rangers as soon as possible.

 

Vice-Chair Dasney noted it was the Premier League playing on Richman after a short rain, and the ground was pretty much dirt.  Manager Lowe said it was a permitted league and that the turf was in bad shape.  Director Felz said part of the improvements with the Richman lights includes improving the turf.

 

Commissioner Stanford MADE A MOTION to adjourn the meeting, and Commissioner Spencer SECONDED the motion.  Chair Russell adjourned the meeting at 8:25 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

           

Joe Felz, Secretary

 

Attachment:  Commission Theme Chart Post-it Comments and Dots of General Plan

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