Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 18-0418   
Type: Report to Board/Commission Status: Passed
Meeting Body: Parks and Recreation Commission
On agenda: 9/12/2018
Title: Recommend to City Council Approval of the Conceptual Design for the Fair Oaks Park Renovation Project
Attachments: 1. Reserved for Report to Council, 2. Community Outreach Meeting #1 Report Summary dated March 12, 2018, 3. Community Outreach Meeting #2 Report Summary dated March 23, 2018, 4. Community Outreach Meeting #3 Report Summary dated April 30, 2018, 5. Design options, 6. Preferred Site Plan.pdf

REPORT TO PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

SUBJECT

Title

Recommend to City Council Approval of the Conceptual Design for the Fair Oaks Park Renovation Project

 

Report

REPORT IN BRIEF

 

BACKGROUND

Fair Oaks Park is a 15-acre community park originally built in 1969. It is centrally located within the City and includes multi-use fields, large picnic areas, basketball courts, a volleyball court, playground, and a skate park. The proposed project objective is to provide a major renovation to the park and ensure its sustainability for the future by enhancing recreational usability, increasing attractiveness, and improving accessibility for all potential park users. Additionally, this project includes replacement of the athletic fields with the City’s first synthetic turf field, renovation of the picnic areas and park amenities, upgrades to existing lighting, ADA improvements, replacement of the water play feature with a more water efficient feature, replacement of basketball courts, installation of a new restroom facility, and a new parking lot.

 

Moreover, this project will incorporate an all-inclusive playground designed by the Magical Bridge Foundation approved by Council for both conceptual design and funding on June 14, 2017 and July 11, 2017, respectively (RTC Nos. 17-0328 and 17-0671). This playground is a separate Capital Project (832780).

 

Verde Design Inc., an architecture firm, was awarded a contract for design and construction support services for the Fair Oaks Park Renovation project on December 19, 2017 (RTC No. 17-1049). City Council approval of a preferred conceptual design will initiate the development of the detailed design and construction documents that will be used as part of the invitation to bid process for construction of the project. It is likely that some features of the final project may vary slightly from the selected concept as the project evolves through the detailed design process.

 

An extensive community outreach process for the project was performed to review the objectives of the project and receive input on desired design features for the new park facility. In the spring of 2018, three community outreach meetings, an online survey, and a park “pop-up” event was held to gather community input.

 

City staff, Verde Design, and the Magical Bridge Foundation presented jointly at the public meetings. Verde Design is the architect for the Fair Oaks Park Renovation project, and the Magical Bridge Foundation is designing the playground separately. As the project architect for the Fair Oaks Park Renovation project, Verde Design is responsible for incorporating the Magical Bridge playground design into the Fair Oaks Park Renovation project construction documents. The final project will be bid out as one large project. The preferred conceptual design presented for approval (See Attachment 6 - Preferred Site Plan dated September 12, 2018) is based on a combination of feedback from the community, input from City staff that will operate and maintain the facility, and the goals of the City Council-approved Capital Project.

 

The City Council is scheduled to consider this item on October 16, 2018.

 

EXISTING POLICY

General Plan, Chapter 3, Land Use and Transportation - Open Space, Goal LT-8

The City strives to provide and maintain adequate and balanced open space and recreation facilities for the benefit of maintaining a healthy community based on community needs and the ability of the City to finance, construct, maintain, and operate these facilities now and in the future.

 

General Plan, Chapter 4, Community Character - Recreation, Goal CC-11

Prioritization for Recreation Programming:  The City strives to ensure equal opportunities for participation and to provide for a range of structured and unstructured uses, and a variety of general and special interest uses in parks and facilities. The City also provides a wide range of program choices, open space, amenities and facility offerings to meet the recreational needs of a diverse and changing population, including identified subgroups and special populations. Policies related to acquiring and/or developing open space facilities and amenities are also included here. Competing interests and finite resources, however, require the City to set some priorities (Previously Open Space and Recreation Goal 2.2.D./ Adopted in 2006).

                     Policy CC-11.1 Give priority to the following services, facilities and amenities that (Previously Open Space and Recreation Policies 2.2.D.1. through D.5, D.7):

1.                     Are not readily available through other providers within or near Sunnyvale.

2.                     Benefiting under-served populations as identified in the US Census and through community input.

3.                     Fulfill a basic need or teach basic skills (e.g., non-competitive, developmental sports instruction such as learn to swim given priority over competitive sports programming). 

4.                     In which the community demonstrates interest.

5.                     Benefit a greater number of residents.

6.                     Can be used by multiple users or serve multiple purposes.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

The actions being considered are exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15262 as the actions relate to the authorization of a feasibility and planning study for possible future actions that the City Council has not approved, adopted or funded.

 

If a conceptual design for the Fair Oaks Park Renovation Project is approved, the full scope of the project and any potential impacts will need to be reviewed. It is anticipated that an Initial Study leading to a Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) will be required for CEQA compliance for this project. The CEQA determination will be brought to the City Council for approval concurrent with the award of the construction contract for the project.

 

DISCUSSION

The architect and City staff hosted three public meetings to gather input on desired design features and to select a preferred plan. Additionally, an online survey was posted on the City website and a Saturday “pop-up” event was held at the park where park users were surveyed. The information from the survey and “pop-up” event was presented at the second and third public meetings.

 

The first public meeting was held on Wednesday March 7, 2018 at the Fair Oaks Park

Community Building and was attended by approximately 40 people. The goal of the meeting was to inform the public of the project background and receive public input about the existing facility. The architect asked the public to comment on the individual park elements and features, and how the park could be improved. Comments included recommendations to:  increase the number of restrooms, add lighting throughout the park, increase parking, add a cricket pitch, add warm up areas, batting cages, and spread out picnic areas. A break-out session was held in which groups were asked to mark up an aerial of the park site.  The report summary for this meeting is included as Attachment 2 - Community Outreach Meeting #1 Report Summary dated March 12, 2018.

 

The second public meeting was held on March 21, 2018 at the Fair Oaks Park Community Building and was attended by approximately 20 people. Results from the first public meeting were discussed, in addition to results from the online survey and the park “pop-up” event. The architect presented three conceptual designs that were developed based on feedback from the previous meeting. The general layout and site configuration was similar for all three conceptual designs (Attachment 3). Option A included a synthetic turf field within the existing field footprint, one dog park, and a tennis court; Option B included an expanded synthetic field footprint by relocating lights along the western edge of the fields, two dog parks (big and small dogs), and a tennis court, and; Option C included a further expanded synthetic turf field based on the relocation of lights around the existing footprint, and a larger parking area. The public was divided into groups and asked to provide feedback on what they liked and disliked on each option. Generally, the public liked the larger expanded footprint of the synthetic turf field and the larger parking space of Option C. The report summary for this meeting is included as Attachment 3 - Community Outreach Meeting #2 Report Summary dated March 23, 2018.

 

The third public meeting was held on April 25, 2018 at the Fair Oaks Park Community Building and was attended by approximately 10 people (See Attachment 4 - Community Outreach Meeting #3 Report Summary dated April 30, 2018). Results from previous meetings were discussed and two conceptual designs were presented for discussion. The pros and cons for each option were thoroughly discussed by the group. Generally, the public was in favor of expanded parking, a drop-off area, and more trees. A couple of members from the audience voiced their concerns over converting the natural grass fields to synthetic turf. The architect and City staff provided reasoning behind consideration of synthetic turf for the multi-use fields and the benefits to the community.

 

Following the third public meeting and utilizing all the public input received to date, the architect prepared a preferred design that addresses most of the public’s requests. The plan also meets the needs of the City from an operation, programming and maintenance standpoint. There is an expanded parking lot; expanded multi-use field footprint; modified basketball court configuration to preserve existing redwoods; a tree-lined walkway connecting the south parking lot to the new Magical Bridge Playground; expanded dumpster/recycling area; and updated restroom location. Several items desired by the public including two dog parks, picnic areas, and landscaping areas, were omitted from the preferred design due to budget constraints. These items were chosen for omission because space is available in the park for some of them, such as a dog park, and they can be added relatively easily after this project should funding become available.

 

 The conceptual design presented for approval is based on a combination of feedback from the community, input from City staff that will operate and maintain the facility, and the goals of the City Council approved Capital Project.

 

FISCAL IMPACT

City Council previously approved a budget of $12,000,000 for design and construction of the Fair Oaks Park Renovation Project (project number 830340). A second project, All Inclusive Playground (project number 832780 budgeted funds of $4,188,650) will also be used for the funding of the playground component and related features. 

 

A design contract with a 10% contingency in the amount of $1,189,662 was awarded to Verde Design on December 19, 2017. Initial estimates for the preferred site plan, exclusive of the playground, are at $11.7 million and include an escalation factor reflecting current economic conditions. The City has entered into an agreement with the Magical Bridge Foundation which obligates the City to pay for $1.8 million towards the inclusive playground costs; costs above this amount will be fund raised by the foundation.  Approximately $1.6 million in improvements to enhance use of the new Magical Bridge Playground such as accessible parking, pathways with lighting and updated restrooms will be paid for from the remaining budgeted funds in the All Inclusive Playground project.

 

Based on conceptual level estimates, there is adequate funding between the two projects listed above to fund the project, including construction contingency and other soft costs.  As the project progresses further into design and estimates are refined to reflect the current economic conditions for construction activity, modifications may be necessary to keep within the project budget. A future Report to Council will be presented requesting award of a construction contract after the project is competitively bid. Operating costs and revenues will be adjusted during the next operating budget review cycle.

 

PUBLIC CONTACT

Public contact was made through posting of the Parks and Recreation Commission agenda on the City’s official-notice bulletin board, on the City’s website, and the availability of the agenda and report in the Office of the City Clerk.

 

The three public meetings for the project were conducted by City staff and Verde Design at the Fair Oaks Park Community Building on March 7, 2018, March 21, 2018, and April 25, 2018. Notification of these meetings was provided through mail delivery to neighbors that live within 1,000 feet of the project and advertising via the City’s Facebook page, and the City website. Those that attended any of the meetings and provided contact information received additional notification of scheduled meetings on this subject. An online survey for the project was also created on the City website from February 16, 2018 through March 13, 2018. Thirty-eight responses were received.

 

Additionally, the City held a “pop-up” event at Fair Oaks park on Saturday March 10, 2018, where the project team solicited feedback from park users. Approximately six groups stopped by to provide input.

 

ALTERNATIVES

1. Recommend that City Council Approve the Preferred Site Plan as shown on Attachment 6.

2. Provide other direction to staff as City Council deems appropriate.

 

RECOMMENDATION

Recommendation

Alternative 1: Recommend that City Council Approve the Preferred Site Plan as shown on Attachment 6 of the report.

 

Staff

Prepared by: Nathan Scribner, Assistant City Engineer

Reviewed by: Chip Taylor, Director, Public Works

Reviewed by: Cynthia E. Bojorquez, Director, Library and Community Services

Reviewed by: Teri Silva, Assistant City Manager

Approved by: Kent Steffens, City Manager

ATTACHMENTS

1. Reserved for Report to Council

2. Community Outreach Meeting #1 Report Summary dated March 12, 2018

3. Community Outreach Meeting #2 Report Summary dated March 23, 2018

4. Community Outreach Meeting #3 Report Summary dated April 30, 2018

5. Design Options

6. Preferred Site Plan