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  Minutes of February 8, 2013, EBRPD/City of Richmond Liaison Meeting
March 2, 2013

Meeting Summary
City of Richmond/East Bay Regional Park District
Liaison Committee
February 8, 2013

City of Richmond:  Mayor McLaughlin, Chris Chamberlain, Bill Lindsay, Joel Camacho,
Nicole Valentino, Richard Mitchell
East Bay Regional Park District:  Board Members Ted Radke and Whitney Dotson,
Mike Anderson, Patti Zierman, Kevin Takei, Diane Althoff, Brian Wiese, Michelle Julene
Guests:  Bruce Beyaert, Trails for Richmond Action Committee (TRAC)
              Sue Fritzke, National Park Service, Rosie the Riveter
              Gretchen Stromberg, National Park Service, Rosie the Riveter
A meeting of the City of Richmond/EBRPD Liaison Committee was held February 8, 2013 City Manager’s Conference Room, Richmond City Hall.   Mayor McLaughlin acted as chairperson for the meeting.  The following is a summary of the items discussed.

The meeting was called to order at 12:24 pm.         

  • Introductions

Round robin introductions were made.

  • Public Comment

TRAC representative Bruce Beyaert handed out the Bay Trail in Richmond New Year 2013 Report which highlights major accomplishments for 2012 and the plans for 2013.  Plans for 2013 include closing three gaps in the Ferry Point Trail.  EBRPD has plans underway to link Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline to the Bay trail system and is working with the City to connect Pt. Molate and the San Pablo Peninsula to the Bay Trail.

  • Agenda Approval

The Agenda was approved as submitted. 

  • Approval of Draft Meeting Summary from September 7 2012

A motion to approve the meeting summary from September 7, 2012 as submitted was made by Ted Radke and seconded by Mayor McLaughlin.

  • Wildcat Creek Trail Crossing the Richmond Parkway

Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay said $6 million of Measure J funds are available for Richmond Parkway related improvements; however, it is not available until 2016.  It was originally to be used to upgrade the Parkway to Caltrans standards, but that project was cancelled. Assistant General Manager Mike Anderson gave a brief update on the history of this project.  He said since the Wildcat Creek Trail underpass has failed, a temporary at-grade detour is being pursued by the City and there is a proposal to have a traffic signal installed on the adjacent property when that area is developed, which the County thinks is the solution to crossing the Parkway.   Because of the concern for safety when crossing the Parkway, there is a strong desire in this group for an overcrossing rather than an at-grade crossing.  Associate Civil Engineer Joel Camacho said the detour can be put into place once he has been directed to do so, and perhaps he can use safety fund money to pay for it.  Bill Lindsay said the County’s Richmond North Specific Plan included a new access to the Richmond Parkway at this location; however, the Parkway by design, and maybe even City Council Policy, is not to have any new access points.  Adding a signal would not be consistent with the City’s policy but the County is not convinced that it should not be able to enter the Parkway at this point.  The City can become more involved when discussions begin regarding development proposals in the area.  Mayor McLaughlin asked when, or if, the Richmond North Specific plan is going to continue because the City can perhaps still comment on the Plan.  Director of Planning and Building Services Richard Mitchell will follow up on the status of the Plan. Board Member Whitney Dotson thinks if the County had responsibility for the underpass, it will also have responsibility for an overpass.

Bill Lindsay said if there is an interest in developing an overcrossing, the search for funding should start now and it will most likely be found in pieces of money through grants, Measure J, transportation funds, a developer, etc.  Whitney Dodson agreed that this is the approach of choice and that all the parties involved (County, City, Park District, TRAC) could create some synergy to find sources of funding. 

  • EBRPD Master Plan Update

Mike Anderson reported that District has been working on updating its Master Plan for the last couple of years. The process was thorough and there were very few negative comments, mostly just tweaks to text.  Six public meetings were held and over 1,300 comments were received.  The majority of the comments can be broken down into four categories:

  • The inclusion of the Tesla property, which belongs to the State and is part of the Carnegie Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park on the Master Plan Map: OHV users are upset because they want to keep this property for OHV use and they want the District to provide more places for OHV recreation.
  • Dog owners: The District is being sued over an EIR for a restoration at Albany Beach because off-leash dogs were not considered as having a negative impact on the environment.  Also, dog owners want to make sure their “off-leash” rights are protected.
  • Mountain bikers:  They want access to narrow trails. The District is looking into a way to split the trail system up to prevent trail conflicts.
  • The treatment of Native American sites and Native Americans in general by the Park District:  Concerns ranged from a desire that there be more control by Native Americans on land use around sacred sites to the expectation that a Native American should be put on the Board of Directors. 


The Response to Comments for the plan is finished and a redraft of the updated Plan will go to a Board workshop this month.  It will then go to the Board in March to see if it is ready to go out as a final draft. The redraft will go to the Park Advisory Committee, the Executive Committee and several processes that are related more to the District’s infrastructure, and then back to the Board in April for a final decision. 

Mayor McLaughlin said there is a strong Native American community in Richmond and after the Master Plan Update public meeting, she was asked to meet with them.  Whitney Dotson, Nicole Valentino and Mayor McLaughlin met with a group of local Native Americans to talk about their comments.  Whitney Dotson explained the various committee meetings at EBRPD to the Native American group. It was suggested to them that they may want to come to the Richmond/EBRPD Liaison Committee meeting and give a presentation.  Mayor McLaughlin believes their biggest issue is to make sure their history is protected.  Whitney Dotson said apparently Federal legislation requires certain over-site be setup to address sacred sites and they want to be a part of that type of committee.  Mike Anderson explained that the Federal legislation does not apply to the District or tribes not recognized by the Federal government, so the District has an alternative process.  Whitney Dotson said they realize this but they would like to have some type of input.  Mayor McLaughlin encouraged the District to communicate with them because the City believes in honoring the first citizens of this land.  She will keep encouraging them to go through the District’s process.  Chief of Planning Brian Wiese said the District received a large number of comments from Native Americans because big steps were taken to include them in the process and to include them in the text of the Master Plan.  There will be at least two more opportunities for the public to give input on the Plan before it is adopted.

  • Goodrick Avenue Bay Trail Planning Study

TRAC representative Bruce Beyaert reported that EBRPD will be connecting the southern part of Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline to the Bay Trail.  On a Bay Trail map, he pointed out a dotted line just south of Pt. Pinole that leads to Goodrick Ave. He said he thinks next year the District will plan for a staging area at the north end of Goodrick.  At the South end of Goodrick there are plans for a trail to go to the Plunge.  Mr. Beyaert said he and acting Director of Engineering Services Al Wolkin think it is time to start a planning study and schematic design of this area, similar to the one that was done for Shipyard 3, to see how the Bay Trail will look.  At the same time, the City can see what improvements are needed on the road along the trail.  Chris Chamberlain asked if there are any known land tenure issues.  Mr. Beyaert said he assumes the pavement belongs to the City and the planning study will include figuring out the land issues. Mike Anderson asked if there are prospects for development in the area.  Per Richard Mitchell, the area still has an underlying land use designation that could support development but it is a difficult area to develop.  Bruce Beyaert asked if a planning study and schematic design should be completed now, or later.  Bill Lindsay said the City should do some research on ownership, alignments and zoning first.  Richard Mitchell said he was notified that the Nolesco property is available and he forwarded the information to Mike Anderson. He could not tell on the map provided if that property is in the area being discussed.

  • Plans Surrounding Ferry Point and Miller/Knox

Park Planner Michelle Julene reported that she is preparing a Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA) for Miller Knox Regional Shoreline which will include Ferry Point and the Bray property. Key elements of the amendment are:

  • Providing a better connection between Keller Beach and Ferry Point Beach
  • Providing connection along the bay shore trail area to the lagoon area at Miller Knox; the trail is currently very narrow
  • Integrating the Bray property
  • Integrating the lagoon project.  A consultant is currently analyzing different alternatives for tidal action between the lagoon and the Bay
  • Improving and providing paths and gates to integrate all sections of the park to one another
  • Promoting interpretation of historical, cultural and natural resources in the area 
  • Considering adding a few picnic tables at Ferry Point and additional visitor amenities prior to the LUPA process if there is sufficient staff to maintain it.

The hydrological feasibility study for the lagoon will somewhat dictate the schedule for the LUPA.  Public scoping will begin this summer.  Instead of having an indoor meeting, an event will be held at the park on a weekend at talk to the regular park users. 

Ms. Julene met with Eric Zell specifically about Ferry Point.  She is working with Andrew Butt to get some ideas for the historical buildings and she is aware that David Vincent desires to have one of the buildings serve as an interpretive center.  Bruce Beyaert suggested having the in park meeting on Easter Sunday or the proceeding Saturday because a lot of users will be in the park.  Joel Camacho suggested offering a website where people can post comments because bar codes that can be read by cell phones can be put on the project sign that will take a park user directly to the website where they can post comments.  Chief of Planning and GIS Brian Wiese said the District is trying to assess the market value of the buildings for commercial use, so the District would appreciate receiving any contacts the City might have.

  • Uncompleted Bay Trail Segments, Planning/Under Construction

Associate Civil Engineer Joel Camacho said he is finishing permits, plans and specs for two segments in the Brickyard Cove/Shipyard 3 trail segment.   He is also working on a short 300 foot segment between Cutting Blvd. and the Dornan Dr. tunnel next to the Plunge to upgrade the sidewalk to be wide enough to share with bikes and cars and to look like the rest of the Bay Trail.  The consultants will wrap up the plans in a week or so then he will work on permits.  Construction is anticipated to begin in April or early summer and be completed sometime between July and September.  On a long segment of trail from Pt. Richmond to the Richmond San Rafael Bridge, Caltrans had a snag with the signed contract and it had to be re-signed.  It’s an agreement between the City and Caltrans saying Caltrans will review and sign off on Richmond’s plans for this segment.  The ball is now in Caltrans court.

  • Update on Atlas Road Bridge Project

Chief of Design and Construction, Diane Althoff said the Atlas Road bridge project dates back to the early 1990s Pt. Pinole Business Park Improvement Plan.  The City had an assessment district to fund the extension into Pt. Pinole Park and for the utilities.  Unfortunately the City was not able to complete the project so the Park District stepped in with a cooperative funding agreement.  She said the Park District has worked very closely with the City to implement the project because an entrance to Pt. Pinole Regional Park at this location would  provide better regional access and be good for the community.  She has kept City staff up-to-date during the process and has posted bulletins at the park site, and on the District website, to inform public about the project.  The bridge will go over train tracks into the park to where there will eventually be a visitor center.  Trees have been removed, the area has been cleared, a significant amount of fill has been put in place and the approach is in.  She said the bridge won’t be visible to someone going under it on a train.  The project is planned to go out to bid in March, estimated start of construction is June 2013 and project completion will be in the fall of 2014.

Ms. Althoff said that receiving the $1.4 million from the City for the project has been very important, however, the cost estimate for the bridge has gone from $1.4 million to close to $3 million for just the bridge alone, not including the improvements for the approach.  Therefore project budget is very tight.  She said she was surprised to hear that the project needed to go through the City’s design review process when the project is already this far along.  Richard Mitchell said next Wednesday at the design review meeting people can give their comments and suggestions.  He asked why there is now going to be a chain link fence with a curved section.  Ms. Althoff said the railroad requires it to prevent people from throwing things onto the track.  The railroad also requires the bridge to handle a triple stack train, which doesn’t even exist, and that the bridge must be built long enough to handle another track in the future. 

Bruce Beyaert said from the plans it looks like there are a number of places where the trail doesn’t meet Bay Trail or Richmond’s guidelines for a class 1 trail.  For example, on the side of the bridge is only 10 feet wide instead of 14 feet wide.  On the bridge, the trail is very constrained because it’s only nine feet wide and the chain link fence curves over 4.5 feet of the trail so you can’t walk on that part of the trail.  The City requires three feet on each side of the trail and as it is being built you can’t bike or walk over it.  There are many types of users and the trail needs to be wider.  He’s said the roadway is 14 feet wide on each side, and Richmond only requires 11 feet.  He asked if there is a way to make the road 11 feet wide.

Mike Anderson said the District has been working with the City on this project for three or four years and the bridge will belong to the City once it is finished.  He does not understand why the City didn’t inform the District if the bridge did not meet City requirements and he said the City setup the requirements for the bridge.   He said he can’t imagine the bridge roadway was designed at 14 feet for no reason and will go back and find out why it was planned at that width.   Joel Camacho said he cannot think of a reason for the road to be 14 feet wide.  He will contact the designers that have left the City to ask them why it was designed to be that wide.  Mr. Anderson stated that if there has to be a change in the design; the District will need a financial contribution from the City.   Mayor McLaughlin asked why the District is building the bridge when it’s the City’s bridge.  Mr. Anderson explained that the District had waited many years for the City to do the project, so people could get access to Pt. Pinole.  The District picked up the project, and added money, on the City’s behalf to move it along. 

  • Invasive Exotic Plant Abatement

There was no update on this item.

  • Agenda Building

Remove Plans Surrounding Ferry Point and Miller Knox - temporarily
Add follow up on Nolesco property
Remove Master Plan if it is finished

The meeting adjourned at 1:37 p.m.