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Parks and Recreation Commission Minutes

Parks and Recreation Commission Minutes





City Council Chamber

Monday, September 11, 2006

6:30 p.m.





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



Vice-Chair Dalton led the flag salute.



Present:          Kathleen Baier-Dalton, Kathleen Dasney, Craig Russell, Nancy Spencer


Absent:           Neil Swanson


Staff:               Ron Molendyk, Parks and Recreation Director; Parks and Recreation Managers Alice Loya, Dave Alkema, Grace Carroll Lowe, and Dannielle Mauk; Landscape Superintendent Dennis Quinlivan, Landscape Supervisor Phil Kisor






CONSENT ITEMS (Items 1 - 3)


Commissioner Dasney MADE A MOTION and Vice-Chair Dalton SECONDED THE MOTION to approve the Consent Calendar items as written.


AYES:             Dalton, Dasney, Russell, Spencer

NOES:            None

ABSENT:       Swanson


The MOTION PASSED unanimously.

1.         MINUTES OF THE AUGUST 14, 2006 REGULAR MEETING          


            Recommendation to approve the Minutes of the August 14, 2006 regular meeting.





            Recommendation to receive and file the Landscape Division August 2006 Monthly Report.




            Recommendation to receive and file the Building and Facilities Division August 2006 Monthly Report.






Manager Alkema, noting that Parks and Recreation was approved for approximately $5.6 million in new project funds, in addition to approximately $7.8 million in existing funds, provided information on the following projects with input from Director Molendyk:




Lions Field – The RFP should be done the first of October 2006, the design completed in November or December and the construction bidding process should begin late Spring/early Summer 2007, with construction in late Summer/early Fall.


Athletic Field Lighting at School SitesRichman School will be first on the list of sites receiving lighting.  There is $1.2 million for the school sites with the project expected to go out to bid in Spring 2007 and completion in Fall 2007.  A discussion ensued on the priorities of the three schools, Richman, Ladera Vista and Commonwealth, receiving field lighting, and that Richman has the best chance of being completed because of community support for it. Director Molendyk said the Council also considers Richman School a priority and there should be a sufficient budget for all three projects.


The drainage/irrigation problem at Richman School was discussed. Vice-Chair Dalton asked if the School District agreement ensured that the City has a right to use the field in perpetuity, and was told that staff is working to place that in the agreement.


Tri-City Park – The Commission tour last week was noted, and lake, turf, irrigation issues, and overall deterioration of facilities was described with a need for a master plan.  The City has money to support Tri-City, but will be seeking grants which require a Master Plan before grant funds are given. The Authority has set aside money for a master plan. 


Rolling Hills Park Parking Lot – The parking lot proposed by the Traffic Division is needed due to safety reasons because an additional lane is being added to Bastanchury Road.   A public workshop with a traffic engineer will be held in the next month or two.  It was confirmed that the parking lot would be in a spacious turf area, would not abut any homes, and that access from Bastanchury would be closed, other than a pedestrian walkway.  Vice-Chair Dalton expressed concern about taking away green space, and wondered if a new parking lot was necessary given the existing back parking area.


Fern Drive Park Playground – $45,000 in improvements are planned.  Manager Alkema said there was only light use, because it was “extremely boring” and the sand is nearly “rock hard;” thus, improvements would increase use.


Independence Park Master Plan – The intent is to have an architectural firm evaluate all park features and more recreational opportunities with grading, filling, lighting and picnic areas, with a plan to have a shade structure on the pool complex, an additional covered pool, and large spray grounds.  The Council is supporting the improvements and Laing Homes, which will be building 70 condominiums next to the park, is willing to participate in the park development.  The Wednesday Farmers Market may also move to the park.


Amerige Park Master Plan – The plan has been turned into a Civic Center Master Plan including Amerige Park, the Civic Center, Senior Center, Library and Boys and Girls Club, overseen by the Redevelopment Agency.   Staff is looking at ways to unify these elements, linking the two sides of the street together safely. Staff is meeting with the firm, LPA, to develop concepts.  Council indicated they want the Parks Commission involved in the near future.  A related meeting is scheduled September 26th from 6 – 8 p.m. at Council Chambers.  (Note:  Meeting is actually scheduled to start 6:30 p.m.)


Hillcrest Park Master Plan – Staff is reviewing the prior Master Plan, and will be looking at any features that may need to be added.  Manager Alkema said the City Manager wants the development starting from Harbor Boulevard to the back of the park.  $200,000 is budgeted for the Master Plan, but some of that may be used to make the fountain operational.  Weed abatement is being done in the area, and removal of dead trees and hydro-seeding of slopes is planned for Fall.  Other improvements include completion of the reservoir, putting the channel near Harbor Boulevard in a boxed culvert, the duck pond reactivated as a water feature, and additional parking.


Phase IB and the upper playground were discussed, which were on hold due to the other elements being considered, e.g. Lions Field, which was prioritized by the Commission, and the development at Harbor Boulevard.  Vice-Chair Dalton and Commissioner Spencer expressed concern about the Master Plan process. Chair Russell said the Master Plan information recently received included Lions Field, yet those users weren’t consulted.  Director Molendyk acknowledged the concerns, but said staff was asked to re-evaluate the plan and that, based on input from the community and Commission, Lions Field had come out as the top priority.


West Hiltscher Park Trail – The improvement project was initiated due to an encroachment which Council wants removed.  Manager Alkema said the trail is dangerous and has a parking lot with a large amount of debris, so a well-graded trail and staging area is proposed with approximately $250,000 budgeted. 




Laguna Lake – Staff is meeting tomorrow with the Laguna Lake Committee and the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy to tour the lake.  There are two new Committee members, one active with the Fullerton Rec Riders and the other the Director of the Fullerton Arboretum, with more being recruited.  Trail alignment is planned to provide handicapped access and appropriate plantings.  Commissioners were welcome to join.


Richman Park – The design is virtually complete, and will be out to bid in the next 30 - 60 days.  The antennae problem was resolved, and the damaged turf has been repaired.  St. Jude will have an Open House for the clinic September 30 at 10:30 a.m.


Adlena, Byerrum and Valencia Parks – The park bond project plans are almost complete.  Manager Alkema said there will be an additional meeting regarding the  Adlena spray pool because of new information on added costs for staffing and construction.  He said the spray pool would be a “bid alternate” so it would be optional in the plan. Director Molendyk said the Health Department got involved with recommendations, so the cost and complexity of the spray grounds and maintenance had increased considerably.  Because of this, another public hearing and Commission input would be required.  However, the spray pool issue would not delay plan check or construction of the other two parks.


Independence Park Locker Room - Staff noted the delay in construction which should  have been completed in early 2006.  State public works law says the contract must go to the lowest bidder, which creates problems.  There are 70 items on the punch list, but FAST will get an occupancy permit tomorrow because the items are minor and can be fixed while occupied.


Vista Park Gazebo and Landscape Renovation – Manager Alkema said the Summit House is the largest tax-paying restaurant in town so the City wants to support it in its renovations.  Staff will replace the gazebo in January, then simplify and replace the landscaping.  The parking lots were recently slurry-sealed by Maintenance.


Tennis Center Renovations – Staff is working with Architect Rick Crane on a plan that is usable, affordable and will serve the needs of the tennis users.  Changes had to be made to the plan to meet the budget.


Sports Complex Scoreboard and Playground Improvements – The scoreboard has been moved and is ready for use.  A purchase requisition has been submitted for a large shade structure for the tot lot.


Park Facilities Replacement and Rehabilitation – This project covers multiple parks and items including monument signs, playground improvements, and a possible dog park, community garden and trail improvements, as well as a Gilbert Park recreation center in an area where there aren’t a lot of services.  There was discussion on possible solutions to the Hunt Branch Library’s homeless population and drug use problem.


Sports Complex - Director Molendyk noted a lack of parking and poor working conditions in the snack bar at Sports Complex, so these would have to be looked at.


Lemon Park Restroom – Staff is looking at combining a pre-fab restroom with other improvements for this highly-used park such as more parking, walkways, more covered picnic areas, and playground improvements.


Downtown Plaza Safety Improvements – Would be designed to provide safety at the market place to prevent cars hitting market goers.  It was noted that bollards that are “rated for crash” are very expensive.


Recreational Trails Improvements and Expansion – Staff toured the trails a week ago, which revealed a need for repair and a support system, from the Fire Station near Rosecrans to the Somerset and Somerset area.  The trail encroachments and various possible improvements were discussed.


Bastanchury Park and Greenbelt Improvements – The account is still open due to some bills that haven’t come in yet, but the park has been open for a while and is being enjoyed by the public.


Bastanchury Road Landscape Improvements – Maintenance staff is working on this rather than having it contracted out because there was insufficient funding; however, it was coming along nicely. When he asked, Chair Russell was told those road landscaping improvements were under the purview of Parks and Recreation because funding is coming from the Brea Dam account.  Right-of-way improvements from the Bastanchury Park project were also partially funded with Brea Dam fund.


Museum Air Conditioning – Per Manager Dannielle Mauk, the project is scheduled to be completed Monday, but is not expected to actually happen.  Fines are starting on Tuesday.  When asked, she said the “Golden States of Grace” exhibit would open September 30th regardless.


Muckenthaler Cultural Center – The historical elements, the railing and façade near the front door, need repair but the job is too small or perhaps too difficult, so it’s been difficult to find a craftsman who is willing and able to do the work.




Director Molendyk reiterated the Civic Center study meeting at the City Council Chamber on September 26th, and the St. Jude clinic Open House on September 30th.


Manager Grace Lowe spoke on the new Fall brochure and the new “Get Outdoors” section.  She said Outdoor Coordinator Yvonne Pedersen is organizing trail hikes and children’s and adult fishing programs, and has spearheaded the involvement of the Rec Riders in teaching horseback riding in two classes.  She is also taking over the Haunted Hike and Snow Day.  Director Molendyk said the Rec Riders are interested in expanding their facilities, so staff will be talking with them on that. 


Commissioner Spencer asked about the Fullerton classes being held at Brea Community Center, and Manager Lowe said the joint classes have been going on since the Brea Center was built because Fullerton doesn’t have a real community center.


Audience member Dick Waltz asked when Union Pacific Park would be opened up.  Director Molendyk said City is still in litigation with Sempra Energy to come to an agreement so he couldn’t give a date.  Mr. Waltz also spoke about graffiti in the park, the restrooms not being open, and the plastic railings in disrepair, and Superintendent Quinlivan provided his business card and said he would look into these items. 



Director Molendyk provided information on the amended agreements for on-call architects approved for projects $100,000 or less to expedite small projects.  Previously, the agreements had been for $40,000 or less.


In a related matter, he said he would provide a report or memo to Commission on an upcoming meeting with Engineering to try to align Parks and Recreation Department priorities with them.  He said his Department wants to take the lead on projects, such as the Tennis Center, to share the responsibility. He further explained that raising the ceiling on professional services to $100,000 without needing Council approval or to go through a bidding process would provide more flexibility and timely completion of projects.




Vice-Chair Dalton asked if Director Molendyk had been appointed permanently, and Director Molendyk said he was still technically acting, and that the City Manager wants him to work through some objectives before recruiting for a permanent position.


Commissioner Dasney said she had a prior commitment so she couldn’t attend the Richman clinic opening.  When she asked, Superintendent Quinlivan said the chips used for the tot lot were safe, refined chips designed for tot lots.  She also asked about and received information on the County Jail work crews.


Commissioner Dasney asked about comments on George Miller’s resignation from Commission, and if there were any efforts to fill the position, and was told it would be the Council’s call, and that there would probably be no efforts until after the election. When asked about Pam Keller’s old Commission position and the next Council meeting, Director Molendyk said the next Council meeting would be September 19th and that, as far as he knew, there would be no appointments until after the election.


Commissioner Spencer MADE A MOTION to adjourn the meeting, Commissioner Dasney SECONDED THE MOTION, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:20.


Respectfully submitted,




Ron Molendyk, Secretary