MARCH 29, 2005 GIRLS’ SOFTBALL FIELDS MARCH 29, 2005 GIRLS’ SOFTBALL FIELDS

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER/CITY CLERK

DATE: MARCH 29, 2005

SUBJECT: GIRLS’ SOFTBALL FIELDS

RECOMMENDATION

1) Approve the development of two girls’ softball fields at Upper Hesse Park; 2) Decide to leave Ryan Park in its current configuration to accommodate some of the recreation uses displaced from Upper Hesse Park; and 3) Direct staff to negotiate financing arrangements with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Girls Softball League to construct the fields at Upper Hesse Park.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In June 2004, City Council directed staff to complete preliminary construction design drawings and cost estimates to construct two girls’ softball fields at Upper Hesse Park and Ryan Park and to study the impact the development of one or both of these sites would have on existing recreational uses. The work has been completed and the results indicated that it will cost $486,200 to build two girls’ softball fields at Upper Hesse Park and $823,296 to build similar facilities at Ryan Park. Staff has also studied the potential impact to existing active recreational uses at both sites and determined that development of both parks for girls’ softball will result in significant adverse impacts to other existing sports leagues that currently use these two sites. However, if only one of the park sites is converted for girls’ softball, some of the displaced sports leagues can be moved to the other park, thereby maintaining some balance between the competing demands for public sports facilities. Taking the overall design elements, characteristics of each site and the cost of development into consideration, staff recommends that two girls’ softball fields be provided at Upper Hesse Park and that Ryan Park be retained in its current configuration to accommodate some of the uses that will be displaced by the new girls’ softball fields.

BACKGROUND

On January 20, 2004, the City Council directed staff to conduct a study of available sites for girls’ softball fields in Rancho Palos Verdes, other than Lower Point Vicente Park. On May 4, 2004, staff presented its findings to the City Council and Council continued the matter in order to conduct site visits to each of the five park sites identified in the study. On June 5, 2004, the Council conducted a site visit to the identified park sites: Eastview Park, Grandview Park, Hesse Park, Ryan Park and Upper Point Vicente Park. On June 29, 2004, the City Council conducted a public workshop and narrowed the feasibility study to two sites: Upper Hesse Park and Ryan Park, and directed staff to prepare preliminary construction design drawings and more detailed cost estimates for each of these two sites. Based on this direction, the City’s consulting team, RBF Consulting (landscape architecture) and DMc Engineering (civil engineering), has completed Development Design Plans and construction cost estimates, which are presented in detail later in this report.

It should be noted that while staff was not directed to move forward with further design plans for Upper Point Vicente Park and Eastview Park, the Council has not eliminated these two sites from future consideration for girls’ softball. Subsequent to the June 29th workshop, Mayor Clark and City Manager Evans met with Jim Stahl, General Manager of the Los Angeles County Sanitation District to discuss the possibility of providing fields at Eastview Park. Mr. Stahl indicated that although the District has plans to construct a new sewage outfall through this property and/or use it as a construction staging area within the next three to five years, the District may be willing to allow the City and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Girls’ Softball League to construct new fields at this location, with the clear understanding that the use would need to be discontinued and some of the improvements may be removed during construction.

INTRODUCTION

When this item was first presented to the City Council in May 2004, the concept discussed for both Upper Hesse Park and Ryan Park was to make minor modifications to the existing single ball fields to comply with the standard dimensions and features required for girls’ softball and to construct one new softball field at each location. The design for Upper Hesse Park also included the construction of an auxiliary 15-space off-street parking lot. In June 2004, the Council directed staff to proceed to the next level of design development for these two sites, but to eliminate the new parking lot at Upper Hesse Park.

In the course of preparing Development Design Plans for each site, the design team determined that both of the existing ball fields have design deficiencies, such as inadequate drainage, poor layouts and outdated backstops. As a result, staff and the design team decided to recommend that, rather than retrofitting the existing field and building one new field at each location, it would be better to build two new girls’ softball fields at each park location. The rationale was that where two fields are located side by side, they should match in terms of quality and design, not only to provide equivalent, regulation size facilities for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Girls’ Softball League, but to also maintain the attractiveness of the City’s park site as a whole.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

The matrix presented below summarizes the finding of this phase of the study:

 

UPPER HESSE PARK

RYAN PARK

Construction Cost

Least expensive: ($486,200)

Most expensive: ($823,296)

Grading

Least grading (2,200 cubic yards total; 1,800 cubic yards of import)

Most grading (15,000 cubic yards; 9,000 cubic yards of import)

Parking

Most on-site parking available (104 spaces), with opportunity to increase the amount of parking in the future.

Least on-site parking available (45 spaces), with only limited opportunity to increase the amount of parking in the future.

Configuration

Home plates are not adjacent

Home plates are not adjacent

Restrooms

Available in Community Building, but not located immediately adjacent to fields

Available in Park Building, but not located immediately adjacent to fields

Snack Shack

Location available adjacent to fields

No location identified

Equipment Storage

No storage available, would need to be combined with future snack shack

Storage space available in existing maintenance area

Shared Uses

Some shared active use: preserves existing soccer field

No shared active use

Character

The portion of the park proposed for girls’ softball was originally designed for two ball fields (active recreation)

The portion of the park proposed for the second girls’ softball field was originally designed for passive recreational activities

Displaced Uses

Most displacement of existing active recreational programs: Complete displacement for Silver Spur Little League, substantial displacement for AYSO Soccer, modest displacement for Lacrosse Summer Program, Pintsize (Soccer) Sports Camp and Peninsula Sports (Soccer) Camps

Least displacement of existing active recreation programs: Substantial impact to U.S. Youth Volleyball League and PVPHS Girls Lacrosse Team, and modest impact to Soccer Camps

Ability for Displaced Uses to Move to the Other Park

With the exception of AYSO Soccer, most of the displaced uses could be accommodated at Ryan Park. However, in order for Silver Spur Little League to move to Ryan Park, PVPGSL would have to discontinue to use Ryan Park as a practice field.

Most of the displaced uses could not be accommodated at Hesse Park

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

1. Upper Hesse Park

Upper Hesse Park is a fully developed community park that covers 10.04 acres of the larger 28.32-acre site. Existing park improvements include an off-street parking lot with 101 standard and 3 handicapped spaces, a large community building with public restrooms, a tot lot and children’s playground areas, picnic areas with barbecues, walking/jogging path, an existing baseball diamond and a non-regulation size soccer field. Upper Hesse Park is very popular and heavily used by the public.

The Design Development Plan for this site includes rebuilding the existing baseball field as a girls’ softball field and constructing a second new girls’ softball field in the southwest corner of the open grass area opposite the existing baseball field. An aerial view of Upper Hesse Park identifying the property boundaries with Hawthorne Boulevard and the proposed layout of the new girls softball fields are attached for reference.

Proposed improvements at Upper Hesse Park to accommodate the two new girls’ softball fields include demolition of the sidewalk adjacent to the existing ball field (allowing the existing field to be regraded to girls’ softball league standards) and demolition of the existing backstop and fencing ($23,563). Grading of the future fields involves almost 200 cubic yards of cut and 2,000 cubic yards of fill ($23,161). All proposed fills and cuts within Upper Hesse Park are minimal and are no more than 1 foot in depth.

Landscaping construction will include construction of: new concrete paving adjacent to both fields, new sidewalk linking existing sidewalk with a future concession stand pad, decomposed granite infield mix, new baseball backstops, new 8 foot high chain link fencing, new 12 foot high dug-out chain link fencing, 2 new bleachers, home plates, bases and pitching rubbers, 4 new player benches and bat racks, 6 new trash receptacles, relocation of the existing drinking fountain and bike rack and 1 new bike rack ($149,508). Irrigation modifications ($88,523) and planting which includes 13 new trees located behind the eastern softball field and the future concession stand, as well as new shrubs ($40,780) complete the improvements at Upper Hesse Park. The landscaping was included in the plan design to help screen the complex from the residences across the street on Locklenna Lane.

2. Ryan Park

The oldest park in the City, Ryan Park is a fully developed community park that is 11.61 acres in size. Existing improvements on the site consist of a main off-street parking lot with 42 spaces and a small parking lot with 3 handicapped spaces, a community building with public restrooms and a small activity room, a maintenance building and storage yard, 1 basketball court, a tot lot and playground that were both recently renovated, picnic areas with barbecues, a large open grassy area and a baseball field. Like Hesse Park, Ryan Park is an active and popular recreational facility.

The Design Development Plan for this site includes the conversion of the existing baseball field into a girls’ softball field and the construction of a new girls’ softball field in the open grass area below the tot lot and playground area. An aerial view of Ryan Park identifying the property boundaries with Los Verdes Golf Course, Hawthorne Boulevard and Vallon Drive residences and the proposed layout of the new girls’ softball fields are attached for the Council’s reference.

Proposed improvements at Ryan Park to accommodate the two new PVP Girl’s Softball League fields include demolition of: the drainage v-ditches, the westernmost play pod, the sidewalk adjacent to the existing ball field, the existing backstop and fencing and 25 trees; construction of: a retaining wall around the eastern field (allowing a wider players bench and bleachers area), toe and brow v gutters, 12" and 24" storm drains and 4 catch basins ($125,454). Grading of the future fields involves almost 3,000 cubic yards of cut and 12,000 cubic yards of fill ($111,392). All proposed fills and cuts within Ryan Park are 2:1 in steepness or less and are up to a maximum of 15 feet in height. The required grading to construct the west softball field at Ryan Park consists of a 9-foot high 2:1 cut behind home plate and a 16-foot high 3:1 fill slope to the south between outfield and the rear of the residences on Vallon Drive. The location of this 2:1 cut slope behind home plate limits the access to the treed picnic area on the west side of the park to a 6 foot passageway between the top of the 2:1 slope and the golf course fence.

Landscaping construction will include new ADA accessible concrete sidewalk and ramp with hand railing connecting the existing ADA ramp (leading from the ADA parking lot accessible walk) to the new sidewalk adjacent to the new fields, decomposed granite infield mix, new baseball backstops, new 8 foot high chain link fencing, new 12 foot high dug-out chain link fencing, 2 new bleachers, home plates, bases and pitching rubbers, 4 new player benches and bat racks, 6 new trash receptacles and expansion of the existing eastern tot lot ($190,698). Irrigation modifications ($106,875) and planting including 14 new trees (forming a buffer between the children’s’ playground and the new fields) and 1,721 new shrubs ($50,169), complete the improvements at Ryan Park.

DISPLACEMENT IMPACTS

1. Upper Hesse Park

Rebuilding the existing ball field at Upper Hesse Park and installing an additional softball field will affect future usage of the park. Traditionally, the existing ball field at Hesse Park has been multi-use, with a number of different athletic groups using the facility. City staff coordinates the usage and scheduling of the various sports leagues and teams. When organized sports groups are not playing, many park patrons utilize the field for informal recreational activities. The walking path surrounding the existing field area is very popular with residents, park neighbors, and other visitors.

Currently, five groups use the Hesse Park field area on a recurring basis for organized sports activities, including Silver Spur Little League, AYSO, the Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Boys Lacrosse team, a lacrosse summer program, and two summer soccer camps (see table below). During 2004, 233 outside sports events occurred in the Hesse Park field area, including 541 hours of practices and games in which 8,818 people participated.

While the exact impact on other leagues is difficult to gauge, field availability will decrease for other organized sports groups and for drop-in use while girls’ softball utilizes one or both fields for weekday practices and weekend games. Estimated displacement impact is detailed in the charts below. The PVP Girls’ Softball League estimates that it will utilize the field during ten months out of every year, February through November, with Winter ball (February-May) being their busiest season.

Silver Spur Little League would be completely displaced during Winter season. AYSO soccer teams that currently practice and play at Hesse Park will incur substantial reductions in available times during their busy Fall season. According to PVPGSL use projections, AYSO would be able to utilize the overlaid soccer field for some practice weekdays and for games on Sunday, but the field would not be available for Saturday games. There would be a much more modest impact during AYSO’s brief Summer session. Several soccer and sports camps would be impacted as well. There would be little to no impact on existing Peninsula Boys Lacrosse.

Upper Hesse Park Field Use By Organized Sports Groups During 2004

Date

Event Type

# of Meetings

# of People

# of Hours

Anticipated Displacement

Dec. 9 '03 - Feb.12 '04

PVPHS Boys Lacrosse practices

32

1,920

64

No displacement

Feb. 2 - May 28

Silver Spur Little League practices

85

850

127

Complete displacement

June 15 - July 24

Lacrosse Summer Program

18

900

48

Modest displacement

June 21 - July 15

Pintsize (Soccer) Sports Camp

4

28

12

Modest displacement

July 19 - Sept.3

Peninsula Sports (Soccer) Camps

20

1,500

60

Modest displacement

Aug. 30 - Nov. 21

AYSO Soccer

74

3,620

230

Substantial displacement

233

8,818

541

 

If the Council decides to develop Upper Hesse Park for girls’ softball, Ryan Park could absorb some of the displaced sports activities.  Silver Spur Little League could relocate to Ryan Park, however PVPGSL uses the existing field at Ryan Park for practices and the League has expressed its desire to continue utilizing that field, even if two softball fields are built at Hesse Park. Due to the lack of full size regulation soccer fields at Ryan Park, AYSO and large-scale soccer camps could not be relocated there.  The Lacrosse Summer Program and Pintsize Soccer Sports Camps that currently take place during the summer at Hesse Park could be moved to Ryan Park, if necessary. As mentioned previously, Peninsula Boys Lacrosse would be able to continue to use Upper Hesse Park even if girls’ softball fields are developed on this site.

2. Ryan Park

Similar to the softball field proposal for Upper Hesse Park, upgrading the existing softball field at Ryan Park and installing an additional softball field could affect future usage of the park. Historically, the field at Ryan Park has been multi-use, with a number of different athletic groups using the grassy area. Recently, three local sports groups have used the field for practices and games; the U.S. Youth Volleyball League, Palos Verdes Peninsula Girls’ Softball League (PVPGSL), and the PVPHS Girls Lacrosse team. Daytime sports classes for young children have taken place intermittently on weekdays and summer soccer camps also take place at Ryan Park. During 2004, 68 outside sports events occurred in the Ryan Park field area, including 150 hours of practices and games in which 2,616 people participated.

Many park patrons utilize the field for informal recreational activities. Newer tot lot equipment draws families with young children and a basketball court, picnic tables, barbeque grills, and large grassy area attract people looking to spend a casual day in the park. Ryan Park is particularly busy on the weekends. The layout of the proposed softball fields and accompanying fences would inhibit the use of the lower park area for drop-in use and informal activities.

If the proposed softball fields are built at Ryan Park, there will be significant impact on other athletic groups' use of the park and on drop-in use by park patrons.  Most sports groups that currently use the park will be significantly impacted and others will be completely displaced.  U.S. Youth Volleyball League, which uses the field area at Ryan Park almost six months out of the year, would be completely displaced by PVPGSL.  Likewise, PVPHS Girls Lacrosse's Fall practices (from September to December) will be impacted during PVPGSL's Fall Ball season (September through December).  Small-scale Summer sports camps and the Fit N' Fun classes, which require less space, might be affected by the decrease in grass area but could possibly remain at Ryan Park.

Ryan Park Field Use By Organized Sports Groups During 2004

Date

Event Type

# of Meetings

# of People

# of Hours

Anticipated Displacement

Feb. 2 - Aug.26

Fit N'Fun

192

1,920

576

Modest impact

Feb. 6 - May 7

PVP Girls Softball League

12

96

30

No impact

March 25 - June 12

U.S. Youth Volleyball League

16

800

32

Substantial impact

June 21 - July 15

Soccer Camps

8

120

24

Modest impact

Sept.12 - Dec.4

PVPHS Girls Lacrosse Team

16

800

32

Substantial impact

Sept. - Nov.

U.S. Youth Volleyball League

16

800

32

Substantial impact

68

2,616

150

 

While Hesse Park could absorb some of the displaced sports activities, it could not accommodate all of them.  With AYSO's intense use of the Hesse Park field during the Fall (late August through late November), PVPHS Girls Lacrosse Team and the U.S. Youth Volleyball League, which have overlapping Fall seasons, could not utilize Hesse Park.  U.S. Youth Volleyball League's Spring season (late March through mid-June) could not be accommodated due to Silver Spur Little League's current use of Hesse Park.

3. Current PVPGSL Activities

Currently, PVPGSL games and practices take place in eleven different locations in the Peninsula area.  During its regular season (February through June), PVPGSL uses five fields for games and practices at three locations, including three undersized fields at Cornerstone Elementary School, one field at Ridgecrest, and a fifth field at Highridge Park.  The League also utilizes two fields at Peninsula High, one field at Ryan Park, and grassy areas at six other locations to accommodate softball practices.  The League does not use all of the practice and game fields during its summer All Stars season or its Winter Ball season (September through December) and some fields are shared with other sports leagues and school athletic teams.

Game Fields

Cornerstone (3 fields; undersized, no fences)

Ridgecrest (1 field; regulation size)

Highridge Park (1 field)

Practice Fields

Cornerstone School (3 fields; undersized, no fences)

Highridge Park (1 field)

Miraleste Intermediate (backstop and grass)

Mira Catalina School (backstop and grass)

Monte Malaga School (backstop and grass)

Peninsula High (2 fields, one of regulation size)

Rancho Vista School (backstop and grass)

Ridgecrest (1 field; regulation size)

Ryan Park (one field, does not meet regulations)

Silver Spur School (backstop and grass)

Vista Grande School (backstop and grass)

CONSTRUCTION COSTS

In May 2005, the preliminary feasibility study estimates the cost to be $471,769 to provide two girls’ softball fields at Upper Hesse Park and $291,574 to provide similar facilities at Ryan Park. These preliminary cost estimates included 15% for consultant, 10% for City project administration and a 25% contingency. New cost estimates have been prepared based on the latest Design Development Plans and are presented in the chart below:

UPPR HESSE PARK

RYAN PARK

Construction

   

Demolition

$ 23,563

$125,454

Grading

$ 23,161

$111,392

Landscape Construction

$149,508

$190,698

Electrical

$ 1,500

$ 1,500

Irrigation

$ 88,523

$106,875

Planting

$ 40,780

$ 50,169

Contingency

$ 49,055

$ 87,913

Construction Subtotal

$376,090

$674,001

     

Preparation of Final Plans

$65,910

$74,450

Project Administration (10%)

$44,200

$74,845

     

PROJECT TOTAL:

$486,200

$823,296

It should be noted that these construction cost estimates could be revised after additional studies are completed. For example, if the Council decides to proceed, both sites will require a hydrology study and Ryan Park will require a geotechnical study, due to its topography and unknown soil conditions (this park was originally developed prior to incorporation by Los Angeles County). Hesse Park is not expected to require a geotechnical investigation, due to the existing level topography of the site and the limited amount of grading required. These studies will be undertaken during the construction document phase of the project.

The current cost estimate for Upper Hesse Park ($486,200) is approximately the same as the estimate prepared in May 2004 ($471,769). Although some savings were realized by eliminating the 14-space auxiliary parking lot at this stage of the project, the need to re-grade the field so it drains away from home plate and the decision to reconstruct the existing ball field to match the new softball field, made up the difference.

The cost estimate for Ryan Park ($823,296) increased dramatically compared to the estimate presented to Council in May 2004 ($823,296). The cost increase is due to a number of factors:

CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE

In June 2004, when Council directed staff to conduct further studies of Upper Hesse Park and Ryan Park, it also asked staff to determine if the fields could be constructed and ready for the 2006 Regular season (February through June). Based on the current project schedule, if the Council authorized construction and fully funded the project, the fields would not be ready until May 2006, at the earliest. At this time, it seems that having the fields available for the 2006 Winter Ball season (September through December) is a more realistic target.

FISCAL IMPACT

A funding source to develop new girls’ softball fields has not been identified at this time. The PVPGSL has indicated that if the City were to provide a location for new fields, it could make a significant financial contribution to the construction of the improvements. In addition, PVPGSL has indicated that it would be responsible for all maintenance of the infield areas and the City would maintain the outfield, irrigation system and fencing.

In an effort to obtain funding for new girls softball fields in the community, the City submitted a grant application for the California State Urban Parks and Healthy Communities program in November 2004.   The grant application was for two girls’ softball fields at Upper Hesse Park because this site was expected to have the least amount of design challenges and lowest cost to develop. Staff requested $287,911 in grant funds for the fields that, if awarded, would require an additional 25 percent match ($95,970), for a total project cost estimate of $383,881.  Representatives of the California Department of Parks and Recreation are scheduled to visit selected applicants' project sites in late March 2005 and announce grant awards in June 2005.

Respectfully submitted:

 

Carolynn Petru

Assistant City Manager

Reviewed:

 

Les Evans

City Manager

Attachments:

Aerial Photos

Project Site Plans

Conceptual Construction Schedule

Public Correspondence