Park District & County Reach Agreement

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Joint Statement by the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District, Contra Costa County, and the City of Pleasant Hill
April 18, 2017
Contact: Cliff Glickman- (925) 979-5404

Park District and County reach agreement
Sets stage for potential recreational fields and new library

The Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District, Contra Costa County, and the City of Pleasant Hill are pleased to announce that County-owned land in the City can now potentially be used for park and recreation uses and a new City library. This has been made possible because the District and the County have reached an agreement that will provide land for these potential new uses.

The County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the agreement at today’s Board meeting. The Recreation and Park District, which is a special district independent of the City of Pleasant Hill, voted to approve the agreement at its last Board of Directors’ meeting on April 13th.

The agreement provides an option through the end of 2019 for the Recreation and Park District to purchase a five-acre site (1750 Oak Park Boulevard) from the County for potential future recreational uses.

The five-acre site is home to the current Pleasant Hill Library and a vacant administration building. The library will continue to operate in its existing location until a new one is available, at which time the Recreation and Park District will transition the site into new recreational space.

The Recreation and Park District believes that this agreement is an important step in addressing a substantial identified need to provide additional recreational field space for children and families to participate in healthy outdoor activities.

“With few vacant parcels left in Pleasant Hill, the District is committed to acquire and develop parkland when opportunities present themselves,” said Zac Shess, chairman of the District’s Board of Directors. “The District is thrilled to add this acreage, and we look forward to working with the community to develop another beautiful recreational facility that serves people of all ages.”

The City and the County can now move forward on an agreement for the transfer of approximately three acres at 1700 Oak Park Boulevard (the vacant property across Monticello Avenue from the current library building) for the new library location.  

Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, who represents the area at the County, said she was very appreciative that the District agreed to keep the existing library operational while the new one is under construction.

“Pleasant Hill needs a new library to keep up with increased demand and new technologies,” Mitchoff said. “This is a great example of three public agencies working together to find a solution where everyone wins.”

Concurrent with the City and County discussions, the City can move forward with plans for the design and construction of the new library. The next step for the project is for the City to hire an architectural firm to begin the design of the building and landscaping improvements. The library process will involve extensive community outreach and engagement through workshops and public hearings.

“This is wonderful news for our community.  Our residents are going to be delighted with their new library and new recreational fields,” said Pleasant Hill Mayor Michael Harris.  "When the residents of Pleasant Hill overwhelmingly supported Measure K in the last election, they clearly indicated that they wanted a new community library and better streets. We intend to fulfill our promises to the voters by investing in these improvements for them and their children.”

You can find more information about the projects at:

www.pleasanthillca.org/library

www.pleasanthillrec.com

www.cccounty.us/Mitchoff


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Frequently Asked Questions
1700 and 1750 Oak Park Boulevard Properties

Is there a current agreement on how to use this land?

The Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District and Contra Costa County have reached an agreement that will provide land for potential new recreational fields for the community. The agreement does not require approval of the City of Pleasant Hill; however, the City will ultimately vote on the specific projects that will be developed on the land.

What is the agreement?

The agreement between the District and the County provides the District an option (through December 31, 2019) to purchase a five-acre site, 1750 Oak Park Boulevard, from the County for $3 million for potential future recreation and park uses.

What does this mean for the new Community Library?

The City and the County can now move forward on an agreement for the transfer of approximately three acres at 1700 Oak Park Boulevard for the new City of Pleasant Hill Community Library. The property fronts on Oak Park Boulevard just across Monticello Avenue to the east of the existing library.  The location was one of the candidate sites that the Pleasant Hill Library Task Force identified for a new library. The City Council endorsed this location in 2016.

What is currently at the two locations?

1700 Oak Park Boulevard is a vacant parcel at the northeast corner of Oak Park Boulevard and Monticello Avenue. 1750 Oak Park Boulevard is home to the existing Pleasant Hill Library and a vacant administration building.

What will the 10-acre site at 1700 Oak Park Blvd. be used for?

The new City of Pleasant Hill Community Library will be constructed on approximately three acres fronting on Oak Park Boulevard, on the south side of the County owned 10-acre vacant parcel. The remaining seven acres that the County owns can possibly be used for housing; however, no application has been submitted yet. The land is designated as a mixed-use property, including housing, in the City’s General Plan.

What could the 5-acre site at 1750 Oak Park Blvd. be used for?

The Recreation and Park District has not developed plans for the site, but would like to address identified significant recreation and park needs for the community.  

What are the next steps for the potential recreation and park land, and when will the public have an opportunity to comment?

The Recreation and Park District will begin its public input process for planning potential future recreation and park uses in early summer. After the Board of Directors approves a conceptual plan, the District will then submit a use permit application to the City of Pleasant Hill.

The District is anticipated to begin discussing development of the property at its regular meetings this summer. The Board of Directors meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 7 pm, at 147 Gregory Lane. Agendas are posted 72 hours in advance. Members of the public are encouraged to check the District’s website at www.pleasanthillrec.com for additional information.

What are the next steps for the new library, and when will the public have an opportunity to comment?

The City is in the process of issuing a Request for Proposals from architectural firms to oversee the design of the library. The City anticipates that the chosen architect will begin the design phase in the fall of 2017. This process will involve extensive community outreach and engagement through workshops and public hearings.

What other improvements could be made in these locations?

The City, in partnership with the County and Recreation & Park District expect to explore possible improvements to Monticello Avenue and Oak Park Boulevard in the vicinity of the projects. These could include new bike lanes, sidewalks, street resurfacing and signal improvements at the intersection of the two streets.

Will the current library remain open until the new library is available?

The Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District has committed to allowing the current library facility to remain open until a new library is available. If the District exercises its option to purchase the 1750 Oak Park Boulevard property prior to the County vacating the library building, then the District will lease the building to the County through April 1, 2021 so that the library will remain open.

How will the City fund the construction of the new library?

The City will use a portion of the new revenue provided by Measure K to fund the library construction. Measure K, a one-half cent sales tax increase, took effect on April 1, 2017 and is expected to provide more than $4 million in revenue annually to the City for the next 20 years. Measure K revenue will also be used to fund infrastructure improvements, including streets, storm drains and sidewalks.

Why is the City responsible for building a new library if the current one is owned and operated by the County?

Contra Costa County Library provides library services only. The County has not built any new libraries since the mid-1970’s. All new libraries have been funded by the cities in which they are located.

How much will a new library cost to build?

The total cost for the design and construction of the library depends on a number of factors, including the size and scope of the building, technology, parking, and landscaping improvements. At this time, the construction cost is estimated to be between $15 and $20 million. The estimated size of the building ranges from 20,000 to 25,000 square feet. There will be extensive community outreach and engagement to involve the public, which will help determine what the final project will include.

What is the status of a flood detention basin in South Pleasant Hill?

Location and funding of a flood detention basin in South Pleasant Hill has been the topic of several studies over the last twenty years. Large flood protection facilities, such as detention basins, are planned and built by the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the federal government provides the majority of funding. The Corps process includes a feasibility study and economic cost/benefit analysis to determine if the project meets these requirements. This process was performed twice by the Corps, and both times the project did not meet minimum requirements for federal funding. The City and the County Flood Control District could not afford the project without federal funding. At the conclusion of the last Corps process, the City and the Flood Control District accepted that a detention basin in South Pleasant Hill would likely never qualify for federal funding. The City and the Flood Control District are now working to identify improvements to local drainage problems, using the over $1 million in local funds that could be redirected to local drainage improvements.