Pittsburg residents don'tt want sports complex in City Park
By Paul Burgarino
East County Times


June 20, 2008

PITTSBURG — Residents at a workshop this week said elected officials should reconsider plans to make City Park an enclosed, sports-oriented facility, suggesting that an athletic complex be built elsewhere.

About three dozen residents attended a city-sponsored workshop Thursday night to voice concerns about plans for the long-term design of Pittsburg's oldest park.

Proposed plans call for relocation of several ball fields with all-weather field turf, the addition of an 8-foot wrought-iron fence around the fields, a playground, and a half-court basketball court outside the fence. The plans also call for the removal of large, aging eucalyptus trees.

The park at Civic and Railroad avenues, established in the 1920s, was a social center that included a gazebo, picnic areas, merry-go-rounds, an aviary and a petting zoo. Over the years, the park "has become a sports complex," said Bill Harris of Harris Landscaping Design, a consultant hired by the city for the plans. The proposed plans would retain the park as a sports complex, he said.

Many said the plans cram too many activities into City Park, while others said that enclosing the park would keep out not only vagrants but also children. The planned fencing would allow people into the park at just one entrance point.

Vacant land on Range Road or near the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station would make ideal spots for a sports complex, resident Rick Cendejas said.

Another location would give the city a chance "to build something magnificent," said the Rev. Gregory Osorio, another resident. Residents involved in Pittsburg baseball and softball leagues in attendance agreed to a possible location change.

Most called for Pittsburg leaders to reconsider charging fees for admission to the park. Language in the City Park Master Plan suggests charging visitors a nominal fee to discourage loitering and promote a secure environment.

The aim is to keep the aging park from falling apart by improving its security, amenities and appearance for the next 50 years, according to the plan.

A list of concerns raised by residents will be posted on the city Web site, www.ci.pittsburg.ca.us, some time next week, city officials said. A draft of the plan is also available on the Web site. The City Council will receive a copy of the concerns when considering approval of the plan at a later date.

Anyone with questions about the City Park Master Plan should call Maria Aliotti at 925-252-4044.

Paul Burgarino covers Pittsburg and Bay Point. Reach him at 925-779-7164 or pburgarino@bayareanewsgroup.com
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COMMENTS

ACCOUNTABILITY

City officials are out of control. At their City Of Pittsburg Address they Failed to explain how the city is going to deal with future effects of nearly $52 million in cuts passed last month for East Contra Costa County, empty residential and commercial buildings downtown and uptown. We have not seeing the beginning of the economic downturn.

The City is having problems already not being able to re-finance loans used to build all those new homes and commercial buildings. Watch them vacant for years to come. All in the name of PROGRESS for whom?

Look at our property, we lost over $200K on our home value within the past two months. Our neighborhood alone has now 8 out of 40 homes abandoned because owners couldn't keep up with their payments and failed to refinance in time. At the meantime Section 8 is creeping up in our neighborhoods. Of the 32 homes 4-5 are Section 8 or some kind of low-income housing. You should see how our neighborhood looks now.

Our City officials have an endless list of projects they continue to silently pass without accountability to it's people.

Progress without accountability? Interesting...

As far as this "Major Industrial Expansion", "City Park Master plan", and other "Master Plans" are more unfinished projects. In addition the City Coulcil approves this year to give 462+ Thousand for Marketing and Promotions. Is this "Marketing and Promotions" working at all? The construction workers are bringing more money downtown then those club parties. Last year the City Council approved thousands of dollars to purchase art??? they are not thinking of our future. Our young ones are the ones who are going to have to deal with this mess.

We oppose City Council Progress without accountability?

danielopez

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