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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL
FROM: DIRECTOR OF RECREATION AND PARKS
DATE: JANUARY 20, 2004
SUBJECT: PROPOSED CONCEPTUAL PLAN FOR UPPER POINT VICENTE PARK AND OPEN SPACE PLANNING AND RECREATION & PARKS TASK FORCE UPDATE (CONTINUED FROM DECEMBER 16, 2003)
Staff Coordinator: Matt Waters, Administrative Analyst
This item was first presented to City Council on December 16, 2003. Due to the complexity of the issues presented and the overall importance of the public properties involved, the Council continued this item to tonight’s meeting and asked that no other significant items be included on the agenda so that the Council could concentrate on this particular item.
The staff report from the December 16, 2003 meeting is attached to this report for the Council’s reference. In addition, several items have surfaced since the December meeting, which require clarification and/or further discussion. The following is a discussion of these items for the Council’s consideration:
Additional Information regarding the Program of Utilization for Upper Point Vicente Park
On pages 8 and 9 of the December 16, 2003 report, staff indicated that the City’s copy of the Program of Utilization (POU) of the Upper Point Vicente site was missing an important map (Figure 6), which shows the boundaries between the 6.6 acre active use area and the remaining passive open spaces area on the deed restricted portion of the property, as approved by the federal government in 1976. After the publication of the staff report, a member of the public provided the City with a copy of the POU that included the missing map (see attached). The map indicates that the active use area is in fact the portion of the site that takes access from Palos Verdes Drive West, adjacent to the Villa Capri condominium complex and St. Paul’s Church property.
However, this area has been designated to become part of the City’s Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) preserve area that is slated for restoration with Coastal Sage Scrub habitat. If the City Council is interested in expanding the active use area in and around the 8.25 acres Institutionally zoned property, as suggested by the Task Force, the City could request an amendment to the POU to relocate the 6.6 acres of active use area to the upper portion of the site. Or, the City could amend the POU for Upper Point Vicente to remove the 6.6-acre active use area from the site entirely.
RRM Design Group’s Summary Report on Public Outreach and Needs Assessment Process
The City’s consultant, RRM Design Group, recently completed a Summary Report (see attached) on the results of the public outreach and needs assessment process. The outreach effort was undertaken last year to gauge the community’s feelings about park and recreational issues and to assist the Task Force in updating the City’s Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan. Of particular interest is the Executive Summary presented on pages 1 and 2 of the report. Overall, there is very strong support in the community for the preservation of open space and expanding the amount of land in the City that should be devoted to open space uses, particularly in the Portuguese Bend area. Upper Point Vicente Park, along with Ladera Linda, are the only two locations in the City that received strong support for new active use recreational facilities. And although there is acreage that could be made available to expand active recreational uses at Lower Point Vicente and Lower Hesse Park, there is neighborhood and some community opposition to this concept. In addition, there is strong division in the community regarding the future of Lower Point Vicente Park. To date, the community has resisted any compromise to develop the site with a combination of active recreation facilities and open space uses.
Parkland Acreage Standards
One issue that emerged during the consultant’s public outreach effort that requires some clarification is how well the City is currently providing for the parkland needs of its residents, based on its own standards, as well as national standards.
With regard to local standards, the City’s General Plan includes the following policy on page 99: "Establish ordinances to require builders and developers to provide lands and/or funds for acquisition and development of land for recreational use. These lands and/or funds shall be based on a standard or providing 4 acres of local park land per 1000 population." This policy is implemented in Section 16.20.100c of the City’s Municipal Code (a.k.a. state Quimby Act). With a population of 41,145 reported in the 2000 U.S. Census, the park acreage standard of 4 acres per thousand of population yields a goal of approximately 165 acres for the City Rancho Palos Verdes. The City’s current park acreage of 334.75 acres (not including open space areas like the Forrestal Nature Preserve and the Barkentine property) well exceeds this goal.
However, as part of a preliminary analysis presented at the September 24, 2003 public workshop, RRM Design Group indicating that the City’s standard required these 4 acres to be active use parklands, i.e. ball fields, community centers and play lots. RRM Design Group calculated that the City currently has approximately 65 acres of active parklands, which would imply that the City is falling 100 acres short of its own four-acre per thousand standard. However, staff’s review of the General Plan, Municipal Code and state law found no reference to an active use requirement. Staff has discussed this issue with the consultant, who will correct this reference in all future documents produced for the Task Force.
The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) has developed generally accepted national parkland and recreational facilities standards. The NRPA guidelines are divided into the following six categories: play lots, neighborhood playgrounds, neighborhood parks, community playfields, major community parks, and open space/urban green space (see attached descriptions). The NRPA standards establish an acreage range for each of the six park types. The chart on the following page lists the City’s developed and undeveloped park sites, their acreage and what NRPA category they would fall into. City’s open space holdings, such as the Forrestal and Barkentine Nature Preserves, Ocean Front Estates, and the Archery Range are not included in this chart.
The table below is a comparison between the acreage of City parkland within the six identified parkland categories and the standards (acreage ranges) developed by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).
Overall, the City’s park holdings are within the NPRA’s total acreage recommendation of 7 to11 acres per thousand of population. In addition, the City is exceeding the NPRA’s standard for Neighborhood Parks and Open Space/Urban Greenspace. As noted previously, the calculation of open space acreage does not even include the City’s major open space holdings, which would increase this ratio significantly. However, the City is below the NPRA’s standards for Neighborhood Playgrounds and Major Community Parks. Although the City does not have any freestanding playlots, as defined in the NPRA standards, the City does have four existing play lots that are embedded in larger park sites: Hesse Park, Ryan Park, Ladera Linda Community Center and Eastview Park. Because the exact acreage of these play lots is not known, staff was unable to determine conclusively if we met this standard or not.
Clarification of the Task Force’s Recommendation regarding Upper Point Vicente Park.
At its meeting held on January 14, 2004, the Task Force passed a motion revising its previous recommendation regarding the proposed development of Upper Point Vicente Park. The new language is indicated in bold text:
Rancho Palos Verdes City Council approves, in concept, the tentative plan for the development of the flat "City Hall" portion of Upper Point Vicente Park. The recreational aspects of the plan, shown in Figure 1, are contemplated to include a joint venture between the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and the San Pedro YMCA, Zenith Aquatic Program or other individuals or entities. This approval is not a commitment to move forward with the tentative plan as presented or as it may later be modified. Nor is this approval a commitment to move forward with a joint venture with the San Pedro YMCA, Zenith Aquatic Program or other individuals or entities. It is merely recognition by City Council that this is a plan it would consider for Upper Point Vicente Park. The City Council has no objection to the YMCA, Zenith Aquatic Program or other individuals or entities proposal to bring a more detailed project plan to the Task Force and the City Council in the future.
In approving the motion, the Task Force also adopted a revised Conceptual Plan for Upper Point Vicente Park (see attached), which eliminated the dry farming area adjacent to the Villa Capri condominium complex and all of the public trails that encroached into the area of the property proposed for inclusion in the NCCP preserve area.
GIRLS SOFTBALL FIELD LOCATIONS
The Open Space Planning and Recreation & Parks Task Force discussed various possible locations for use by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Girls Softball League at its January 14, 2004 meeting (see attached). Todd Anderson, representing Girls Softball, spoke at the meeting and reiterated his preference for a sports complex at Lower Point Vicente. Task Force Vice-Chair Jim Knight recommended that Girls Softball examine the sites that are detailed in Vice- Chair Knight’s attached report for feasibility. Chairman Kevin Yourman encouraged the Maintenance and Improvement and Athletic Facilities Subcommittees to look at these and other potential sites.
This staff report provides additional information for the Council’s consideration in conjunction with the staff report previously presented to the City Council on December 16, 2003.
Director of Recreation and Parks
Assistant City Manager
Exhibit 6 from the Upper Point Vicente Program of Utilization
"Public Outreach and Needs Assessment Process: Summary Report on Results"
prepared by RRM Design Group dated January 12, 2004.
National Recreation and Parks Association Park Classification Definitions
Additional Public Correspondence received since December 16, 2003
Field Sites for PVP Girls Softball League
Softball Field Presentation (Palos Verdes Peninsula Girls Softball League)
Upper Point Vicente Conceptual Design (revised)
Upper Point Vicente Subcommittee Report (revised)
December 16, 2003 Staff Report and Attachments