Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee
September 15, 1998
Riverbend Elementary Commons Area
The meeting started at 7:06 p.m. with Catherine Fritz facilitating. The regular PRAC meeting followed.
I. Roll Call
Members Present: Ken Dean (Acting Chair), Alex Lukshin, Glen Alt, Kay Gouyton,
Paul Grossi arrived at 7:40 p.m.
Members Absent: Dan King, Tim Kelly, Jim King, Nancy Waterman
Staff Present: Kim Kiefer, Parks and Recreation Director, Catherine Fritz, Engineering Department, Carol McCabe, Juneau Public Library, Pearl Johnson, Friends of the Library, Bob Grochow, Parks and Landscape Superintendent, Monique Hickey, Secretary
Ex-Officio: Timi Hough, University of Alaska Southeast
II. Public Testimony on Non-Agenda Items
There were no testimony on non-agenda items.
III. Approval of Meeting Minutes
Alex Lukshin made a correction under the Skate Park motion on page 4 stating that the PRAC will wait another six months, then make a recommendation regarding the Pipeline Skate Park.
A motion to approve the minutes with the change was passed unanimously.
IV. Action Items
A. DIMOND PARK MASTER PLAN DRAFT
Catherine Fritz from the CBJ Engineering Department presented a brief background on the Dimond Community Complex Master Plan and compared the 1988 plan with the 1998 plan. Public comment was then taken.
Tracy Rivera, P.O. Box 020193. Tracy stated he is concerned that there are not plans for a track at Dimond Park. He feels that the city desperately needs an 8-lane track. He stated that the track at Adair Kennedy is heavily used from 2:30-5:00 p.m. He compared Juneau with Anchorage and Palmer, stating that the secondary schools in these cities have more adequate track facilities. He submitted a letter from Atlas Track & Tennis quoting a price for a rubber-surfaced track. He also stated that he is worried about the injuries due to the hard surface of the track at Adair Kennedy. PRAC members asked Tracy how long the track at Adair Kennedy is, how the "field" events work out at Adair Kennedy, and if the multi-purpose fields planned for in the Dimond Community Complex would be sufficient for track "field" events. Tracy replied that the track is a 400 meter loop, he stated that the "field" events area is heavily used by other groups as well as the track team, and that the multipurpose fields at Dimond Park would be perfect for the "field" events.
Catherine Fritz stated that track facilities take a tremendous amount of space. The track was not brought up as a priority from previous meetings regarding the Dimond Community Complex, as well as from the School District, and was therefore dropped from the planning process.
Kevin Hamrick, 8937 Haffner Court. He believes that a track would fit on the Dimond Community Complex and that there is a need for a stadium, since Juneau weather is not always conducive to spectators. He feels that a track and stadium should be automatic components of a high school.
Tom McLaughlin, 136 Behrends Avenue. He also stated that he supports a track for the Dimond Community Complex and that he believes a track would fit. He stated that there would also have to be permanent structures built to accommodate certain events, for instance, long jump would need a pit. He also stated his concerns for the lack of cross country trails in the city.
Guy Thibodeau, 3875 Seaview Street. He stated his concerns for cross country facilities, as well as a track. He stated that cross country runners need some kind of natural surface to run on in order to wear some kind of spiked footwear. He is concerned about the surface of the 200 ft. bridge. If its paved, there needs to be some kind of carpet rollover available, which is expensive, as well as a space needed for storing the rollover. Guy stated that a high school distance of 5 kilometers is needed, and a 2.5 kilometer clover-leaf loop design would work. He is concerned that with the facilities that Juneau currently has, we cannot host a State Championship Cross Country meet. When asked if cross country trails would be suitable on the other side of the river, Guy replied that there is not room for a start field.
Jamie Parsons, 9218 Emily Way. He also agrees that a track should be built on the Dimond Community Complex. He is concerned that the Elementary School has infringed on the park. We are trying to cram too much onto this piece of land and there seems to be less space available every time there is a meeting (in part due to the river eroding the banks). He feels that there are basic elements of a high school, and that every high school in America should have a track. He feels that a library and pool can stand alone and could be built somewhere else in the city. Since too much land is being allowed for parking, the library should be built near the mall, where there is already ample parking available. He feels that a lot of space is being taken up by paved road and parking. He also feels that the fields are too close and could present safety issues.
Ken Dean commented on the inadequate handicapped accessible routes on the complex, and is concerned about the ADA Committee supposedly signing off on it.
Catherine Fritz commented that a track would take out one entire field and infringe on another 350 ft. high school baseball field, which was a priority for the School District. The track does not have the flexibility for multi-purpose use, the way that open areas do. No areas will be dedicated for a single use. The new fields at the Dimond Community Complex will hopefully free up some field use at Adair Kennedy. The track has not been part of the plan since 1988. Comments are appreciated and will be considered. The track doesnt fit without serious compromise to the other priorities.
Kim Kiefer stated that the feedback from prior meetings was that the city needed more fields and that field space is in great demand. Fixed structures, such as a track/stadium, loses the flexibility of multi-purpose use.
Cheryl Hull, 9210 Gee Street. She is a member of the ADA Committee and is concerned that, supposedly, someone from the committee signed off on the Dimond Community Complex Master Plan, but nobody remembers any presentation being addressed to them. She is concerned about the parking. Also, as an employee of SAIL (Southeast Alaska Independent Living), concerned that nobody on the Dimond Park planning committee approached SAIL. She has concerned for individuals with disabilities in the community. She feels that handicapped people should have easy access to what non-handicapped people have access to. In the future, please consult the handicap organizations and use them because they have plentiful resources that could help when planning community areas.
Catherine Fritz commented that she has extensive notes from previous meetings and that she would be glad to give a presentation to the current ADA Committee. Keep in mind that the map is not fully detailed. It does not show all the plans for paved surfaces, this is just a broad master plan. These organizations will be contacted when we move into the specifics.
Perry Shipman, 9394 Rivercourt Way. He believes that athletics is what pulls a high school together. He believes that a block of land was originally intended for education, and it now looks like education has secondary importance to sports & recreation. This is a windy area and he is concerned about blowdown in the Greenbelt area and it becoming a safety issue. Will the city address the stability of the trees along the Greenbelt and what will the city liability be? He would like to see some reprioritizing of the plan.
Ken Post, 9355 Rivercourt Way. He too is concerned about the Greenbelt and blowdown, especially if more trees are cut down for parking. He is not sure that the 65ft buffer that is on the plan is adequate. He came this evening because he wanted to talk about the Greenbelt. However, after hearing what has been said this evening, he too believes that a track should be included on the Dimond Community Complex. He believes that there is too much emphasis placed on soccer. He is concerned about the parking and would like to see condensed parking in the plans, such as the parking garage on the downtown waterfront. The plan seems to take up a lot of land for parking.
George Rogers, 1790 Evergreen. He feels that the Dimond Community Complex Master Plan is trying to crowd too much into this space. He too prefers to see the library at the shopping mall. He is also in favor of building a track on the complex. He feels that if the parking was consolidated, there would be room for a stadium. He feels that the city should rethink the plan.
Catherine Fritz clarified that Dimond Park has always been seen as a combination education component and community center, both with equal value. Its not to be viewed as a high school with some community resources added to it. She read the sales tax ballot from 1983 that was offered to voters for purchasing the 50-60 acre park. She wanted to give a historical perspective, but stated that this doesnt mean that it cannot change.
Bud Jaeger, 3451 Meander Way. He feels that if a school is built on the complex, then we need to keep the kids in mind, then the adult community. The kids need room to roam. He also supports a track and feels that he assumed if a high school was built, that it would have a track and a ballfield facility. He feels that the trade off of building the track will be worth it. He too is concerned about the plans for preventing the Mendenhall River taking the land, as well as preserving this land. He thinks that the pool and library should be removed from the Dimond Community Complex since there are other places for them, and maybe a rec center can be added later.
Catherine Fritz concluded by stating that the Assembly has the final say on the Dimond Community Complex Master Plan. She came tonight to elicit specific comments as to what could be amended. The plan may be pulled from the Committee of the Whole agenda until some of these issues get resolved. She stated that a hydrology study is going on, and we need to keep in mind areas of the park that can be afforded to be lost to erosion or flooding (parking). There are physical limitations that need to be kept in mind from the central area of land having stumps that go down 60 ft deep to the significant elevation change. There is not a lot of area that is suitable and affordable to build on. What has been heard tonight is that people want to know if this is a school site or a community park and that is something that the Assembly has to decide.
End of Public Testimony
PRAC meeting - Ken Dean, Acting Chair
Continuation of Action Item: DIMOND PARK MASTER PLAN
After listening to Catherine Fritz, Glen Alt stated that he was under the impression that the Dimond Community Complex Master Plan was a done deal. Kim Kiefer stated that this was the final review of the Final Draft of the plan. It is our hope to move the plan forward to the Committee of the Whole. Alex Lukshin asked Kim Kiefer if she expected the PRAC to make a motion for the Committee of the Whole. Kim stated that she would like a recommendation to go forward with to the COW. PRAC members discussed their concern that the original plan and 1983 ballot focused on park space and all of a sudden it has changed to a school. Concerned about lawsuit since the public voted for one purpose, but now purpose has changed. Kim stated that the Law Department will review this. After extensive discussion the PRAC made a motion to:
RECOMMENDATION TO ENDORSE THE AUGUST 1998 DIMOND COMMUNITY COMPLEX MASTER PLAN FINAL DRAFT WITH THE CAVEAT THAT THE SPORTS FIELD AREA BE LEFT FLEXIBLE SO THAT IF OTHER NEEDS ARE IDENTIFIED, THEY CAN BE ADAPTED, SUCH AS A TRACK OR OTHER SPORTS & RECREATION ACTIVITY.
MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY
B. FOOD VENDING REGULATIONS
Since the field numbering changed at Savikko Park, the new field numbers were incorporated into the regulations. Also, it was recommended that "specific" locations within the parks not be sited in the regulations.
MOTION TO APPROVE WAS UNANIMOUS
V. Review and Discussion Items
VI. Chair Report
VII. Director Report
Kim stated that the nominations for the TRAAK program (Surface Transportation Enhancement) are now open. Told PRAC members to let her know as soon as possible if they have specific projects.
Announced that Wendie Marriott, from the Zach Gordon Youth Center, will be at the November 17th PRAC meeting to present results of the Youth Surveys.
PRAC Member Comments: Glen Alt commented that he went by the Pipeline Skate Park and the kids were not wearing helmets.
IX. Ex-Officio Report
The meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.