More Turf

I’m sure alot of you have taken advantage of the turf that’s been applied to some of FC’s parks in the last few years. There’s more of it coming since the city has decided to use about 3 million in redevelopment funds to add to Sea Cloud Park and to include Port Royal Park in the wonderful world of turf for soccer playing. This type of surface is significantly cost effective in the long term and will ultimately save Foster City a bundle. It’s also a prime opportunity to use these redevelopment monies as the State of California has it’s eye on this cash to fill it’s own coffers.

Blog friend and superman Steve Toler, Foster City’s finance director, offered to contribute to this piece  with the following comments:

“The City views these fields as not only providing a great amenity to the soccer and baseball players in our community (rain or shine!), but these fields will allow us to conserve up to an additional 2 million gallons of water every year, and will reduce our maintenance costs as we take steps to solve our budget deficit over the next few years. More importantly, I think it’s important to note that Foster City has a ‘pay as you go’ philosophy with its capital improvement projects. While most other cities would have to borrow money at 5-7% interest, we have these funds available now from redevelopment funds over the years, plus park-in-lieu fees from the Pilgrim-Triton development project.  The economy is taking its toll on City finances, but we are managing our money wisely as we continue to weather this economic storm.”

Makes sense to me! Anyway, here’s a link to the SM Daily Journal piece about this:

FosterCity earmarks millions for field fixes

Dog Park…Danger Zone?

Who would have thought the Foster City Dog Park/Boat Park could be a local trouble spot? Turns out it’s been an issue in the past few months some concern exists that it might be temporarily closed so that folks can get their acts together…so to speak.

A couple of weeks ago a 69 year old woman got into an altercation with 37 year old man and actually bit him in the process. “Woman Bites Man at Dog Park” could be the headline, that is if somebody published such arcana (other than me of course). On top of that, and a couple of weeks earlier, another man got bit by his own dog after his pooch and another one got into a fight.

The city seems to be somewhat concerned that the people using this park have been a little goofy lately and would like to see the situation calm down. It would appear that some folks are not complying with the 3 dog rule as well as rules about keeping dogs on leashes in the parking lot.

I have no doubt that this’ll all blow over. Wouldn’t you think?  Here’s a link to the Mercury News Story from earlier this week:

Ugly Incidents At Dog Park Worry Foster City Officials

Plan B

fork_road

Well, the City Council slammed the door pretty well on the whole issue of a fourth public school being developed on park land in Foster City the other night. Tons of folks showed up too to express themselves in the process. The idea of Boothbay Park, Port Royal Park and the 15 acre site being used for a new school wasn’t suitable, the council decided. Here’s the Daily Journal acticle on this topic:

ParksBrouhaha

It would appear that the location the City would like the discussion moved toward is the area on the south side of Beach Park at Halibut, but there also seems to be quite a large number of issues that need to be overcome before that site becomes “the one”. I’m thinking the School District isn’t going to be too high on this site for all the reasons mentioned in this Daily Journal piece and I’m thinking the alternative ideas of adding square footage to the existing schools is going to get a whole lot more traction going forward. It’ll probably be the fastest fix too. It’s definitely a fork in the road for the 4th school.

The Plot Thickens

boothbay1

The 25 page agenda packet has been released for the big pow wow scheduled for Monday in which a fourth elementary school will be discussed. It’s kind of tortuous to get through all 25 pages but there’s some interesting stuff there.

The attorney has rendered an opinion that “the sale of Boothbay Park to the School District is prohibited by Government Code Section 37111.1″ because “transfer of this park land to the District would not represent use for a ‘municipal’ purpose” and because “the City has not, within the last 3 years, acquired or developed an equal or greater amount of land for park purposes” that could replace the park.  It’s also indicated that Port Royal Park might be restricted based upon the dedication that was made by the original developer in that section of town.

Further, it’s also opined that giving the land away would be a gift of public funds, which is prohibited under the Government Code. As such, the District would have to pay “fair value” based on an independent appraiser.

Hmmm…pretty interesting. Especially if you’re fighting to save Boothbay Park. It also sure would seem to put pressure onto the 15 acre/Parkview Plaza site again, doesn’t it? At any rate it sure will be an interesting meeting on Monday!

School Daze

audobon

Many of you have been really aware of the problem of overcrowding in the local schools, exacerbated by the economic slump that’s forcing plenty of families to move kids from private schools to public out of financial necessity. What we now have is a problem…way too many kids for the existing schools, particularly the elementary schools.

The solution from the school board seems to be the creation of a fourth elementary school in one of four proposed locations, on part of the 15 acre site, at Port Royal Park, on 3.9 acres at the end of Halibut at Beach Park and at Boothbay Park. A big city council meeting is planned on August 31 to discuss the planned sites and, interestingly, there’s folks who are quite passionate about these choices. Particularly Boothbay Park, which has a ground swell of local neighbors who are opposed to developing this location.  They’ve created a website to fight this battle, saveboothbaypark.com and will certainly provide some interesting dialog at that meeting on the 31st.

All this without the usual debate about a High School. Schools are, with good reason, a very hot topic and in Foster City where the quality of education and the test scores are consistantly so high it’s not a surprise how passionate folks are. The interesting thing here is how passionate they are about the parks as well!

Sea Cloud Park

seasocseabase

Finally! The grand daddy of them all! Sea Cloud Park. 23.90 acres of just about everything. 8 baseball/softball diamonds and as many soccer fields. It has batting cages, snack shack, lawn area, FC Sports Hall of Fame and restrooms. It’s arguably the best park on the Peninsula. Here’s a map:

SeaCloudParkMap

Boat Park

Now this may very well be the most popular park in town! Every time I’ve been there it’s been busy…people and dogs running amok (so to speak). I’m not sure who came up with this idea but it was a great one! Plus the park is also the home of a boat launching area, thus the official name, but most peolpe call this the “Dog Park”. In addition to the dogs and boats, there’s also a picnic area on it’s 3.2 acre site. Here’s a map:

BoatParkMap

Leo Ryan Park

It’s one of the big ones, that’s for sure. Almost 21 acres of just about everything, Leo Ryan Park boasts a wonderful amphitheater, a gorgeous waterfront, lot’s of open green grass, a terrific central location, bocce courts, the community center, a boat launch, and the soon to be “Vibe” teen center. It’s an impressive place and it’s located right on E. Hillsdale across from the Metro Center between Edgewater and Shell. Here’s a map:

LeoRyanParkMap

Pompano Park

It’s just a little park, but because we’ve got some good friends that live on this street and we’ve spent plenty of time over the years either picnicing or playing games here, I thought it was worth including. This park is only 0.56 acres and is located in the middle of the big circle that is Pompano. It’s actually a pretty good space for touch football. Here’s a map:

PompanoMap

Killdeer Park

Killdeer Park is a very busy one almost everyday, thanks to the fact that it’s located right next to Audobon School. It’s located between Sandpiper Ct, Killdeer Ct and Stilt Ct. It has this kind of unique sandpit with a fish sculture in it that’s pretty interesting. Nice large open grass area too. Here’s a map link:

KilldeerMapLink