Archive for the ‘Parks’ Category

Save Mount Diablo purchases Krane Pond property option in North Peak’s “Missing Mile”

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

The Krane Pond property is directly adjacent to Mount Diablo State Park and harbors a large pond that is essential for wildlife. Photo: Sean Burke

Save Mount Diablo has secured an option agreement to purchase the Krane Pond property, a 6.69-acre parcel directly adjacent to Clayton and Mount Diablo State Park. The property is part of the “Missing Mile,” a square mile of private land on the slopes of North Peak and Save Mount Diablo’s fourth acquisition project there. The Krane Pond property has been a priority for 50 years, includes a large spring-fed pond that is very important for wildlife, and is adjacent to Mount Diablo State Park. In addition, an on-site building pad, neighboring subdivision, and fragmented ranchette landscape nearby all indicate what might take place if the property isn’t protected.

Map of the location of the Krane Pond property in the “Missing Mile” on the north slopes of Mount Diablo’s North Peak. Source: Save Mount Diablo

The Krane family. Photo courtesy Roseann Krane

“Last May 2021, Walt passed away from leukemia. I thought that the best way to honor Walt’s memory and love of the outdoors, was having our open space preserved by Save Mount Diablo, and eventually be part of the state park system.”

The Krane Pond property is part of North Peak’s Young Canyon and is bordered by a small spur ridge. Its ecological significance eclipses its size. The property includes one of the largest ponds on the north side of Mount Diablo and is critically important for Mount Diablo’s wildlife. It can help sustain a multitude of species from ground squirrels to mountain lions and even rarer endangered species such as California red-legged frogs and Alameda whipsnakes.

The Krane Pond property. Photo: Scott Hein

Development has carved its way into Diablo’s foothills below the property’s border. Krane was threatened by Clayton’s Marsh Creek Specific Plan 30 years ago while a neighboring parcel was developed into the Oakwood Estates subdivision. Save Mount Diablo helped shrink the specific plan, and the county and Clayton’s Urban Limit Lines gained strength over the years. Krane is adjacent to the Clayton city limits but just outside the Urban Limit Line.

Had developers acquired this property, they would have graded the ridge and developed much of the acreage. Protecting this property halts development in its tracks, saving more of Mount Diablo’s open space.

Beginning in 1971 SMD’s co-founder, botanist Mary Bowerman, began creating acquisition priority lists based on her decades of research on the mountain. The Missing Mile properties, including Krane, were high on the list.

During the fundraising period for the $500,000, Save Mount Diablo will survey the property boundaries, which will be necessary for work on property fencing and dam repair. If fundraising is successful, initial stewardship will include fence repair and maintenance of the pond’s earthen dam.

Save Mt Diablo staff at the Krane Pond property. Photo – Scott Hein

Save Mount Diablo

Save Mount Diablo is a nationally accredited, nonprofit land trust founded in 1971 with a mission to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, watersheds, and connection to the Diablo Range through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide educational and recreational opportunities consistent with protection of natural resources. To learn more, please visit www.savemountdiablo.org.

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Take a tour of the Vasco Caves Regional Preserve in October

Friday, September 30th, 2022

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Antioch Council to consider leasing homeless motel, RV parking, hiring firm to design Rivertown event center, rent stabilization Tuesday night

Monday, July 25th, 2022

The council will consider leasing with the option to purchase the Executive Inn on E. 18th Street for transitional housing and support services for the homeless. Herald file photo.

Two-year motel lease agreement includes option to purchase

By Allen D. Payton

During their meeting Tuesday night, July 26, 2022, the Antioch City Council will consider four major issues including approving a master lease with option to purchase of the Executive Inn for transitional housing for the homeless, a contract with a non-profit organization to operate the housing program at the motel, amending the ordinance on parking RV’s and boats on residential property, hiring a firm to design the proposed Rivertown park and event center on the former lumber company lot and rent stabilization. The latter will be dealt with during a study session before the regular meeting.

Another item of interest on the agenda is the approval of a new gas station, convenience store and car wash on Lone Tree Way at the corner of Vista Grande Drive across from the Cross Pointe Apartment complex.

See complete council meeting agenda by clicking here.

Rivertown Town Square rendering. Source: Save The Yard

Rivertown Park & Event Center

Consent Calendar – Item M. RIVERTOWN COMMUNITY SPACE (P.W. 514-7) Recommended Action: It is recommended that the City Council adopt a resolution: 1) Approving a Consulting Services Agreement with RHAA for the Rivertown Community Space Project in the amount of $350,000 for design of the former Antioch Lumber Company lot located between W. 2nd, W. 3rd and E Streets in historic downtown.

Homeless Motel Lease with Option to Purchase

Item 7. – UNHOUSED RESIDENT SERVICES – NON-CONGREGATE BRIDGE HOUSING SITE AT EXECUTIVE INN. The City Council will consider approving a master lease with Rudram LLC for the Executive Inn located at 515 East 18th Street with an option to purchase.

The two-year lease is estimated at $1,168,000 per year for a total not to exceed value of $2,336,000, to be paid from the allocation of $2.6M in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA funds) specified for this purpose by the City Council on April 12, 2022.

Support Services at Homeless Motel

Item 8. – UNHOUSED RESIDENT SERVICES – SUPPORTIVE SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF ANTIOCH’S NON-CONGREGATE BRIDGE HOUSING PROGRAM LOCATED AT 515 EAST 18TH STREET. The City Council will consider authorizing the City to enter into an agreement with Bay Area Community Services (BACS) for supportive services associated with the City’s Non -Congregate Bridge Housing Program located at 515 East 18th Street.

The goals of the program are to 1) provide participants with a safe place to stay; 2) connect participants with community, mainstream, and personal resources based on individual need; and 3) assist participants in transitioning to more stable or permanent housing.

The total contract is not to exceed $2,563,990 over a two-year period to be paid from $3.1M in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA funds) for support services allocated by the City Council on April 12, 2022.

Amendment to RV and Boat Parking Ordinance

Item 5. – PROPOSED ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ANTIOCH MUNICIPAL CODE REGARDING THE PARKING OF MOTOR VEHICLES, INCLUDING RECREATIONAL VEHICLES, ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY Recommended Action: It is recommended that the City Council introduce, waive the first reading, and read by title only the proposed amendment to the City’s Municipal Code regarding parking motor vehicles, including Recreational Vehicles, on residential property.

Rent Stabilization Study Session

Before the regular meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. the council will hold a Rent Stabilization Study Session at 5:30 p.m. The City Council will receive a presentation on rent stabilization and provide feedback and direction to staff.

According to the staff report, at the June 14 and June 28, 2022, City Council Study Sessions, extensive public comment was received in support for tenant protection policies including an anti-harassment ordinance, a just cause eviction ordinance and rent control policies. At the conclusion of public comment, the City Council expressed support to modify the “Tenant Protections” policy in the draft Housing Element.

The draft Housing Element proposes the following to address tenant protections: 5.1.9 Tenant Protections. Pursue the development of citywide tenant protection policies for consideration by the City Council. These policies would address, but not necessarily be limited to, anti-harassment, just cause eviction, Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) and rent stabilization. The process would include inclusive public outreach with tenants, community-based organizations, landlords and other interested community members. The goal of this effort is to prepare and present an implementing ordinance for City Council consideration.

New gas station Site Plan from council presentation.

New Gas Station, Convenience Store and Car Wash

Finally, under Item 6. the council will consider approving a Chevron Gas Station at 5200 Lone Tree Way on the corner of Vista Grande Drive across from the Cross Pointe Apartments. The location is currently the site of an old barn and buildings remaining from Antioch’s farming days, and a home which will be demolished as part of the construction.

According to the staff report, the project site is approximately two acres and approximately one-third of the site to the west will remain undeveloped at this time. Additionally, the proposed project would include the widening of Lone Tree Way to accommodate a 270-foot deceleration lane taper along eastbound Lone Tree Way to the proposed 30-foot driveway.

The site for the proposed new gas station on Lone Tree Way at Vista Grande Drive. Source: City of Antioch.

The project requires approval of a General Plan Amendment to change the land use designation for the project site from Commercial Office to Convenience Commercial.

Public Comments

The public has the opportunity to address the City Council on each agenda item. No one may speak more than once on an agenda item or during “Public Comments”. Members of the public wishing to provide public comments, may do so in one of the following ways (#2 pertains to the Zoom Webinar Platform):

  1. IN PERSON – Fill out a Speaker Request Form, available near the entrance doors, and place in the Speaker Card Tray near the City Clerk before the City Council Meeting begins.
  2. VIRTUAL – To provide oral public comments during the meeting, please click the following link to register in advance to access the meeting via Zoom Webinar: https://www.antiochca.gov/speakers

▪ You will be asked to enter an email address and a name. Your email address will not be disclosed to the public. After registering, you will receive an email with instructions on how to connect to the meeting.

▪ When the Mayor announces public comments, click the “raise hand” feature in Zoom. For instructions on using the “raise hand” feature in Zoom, visit: https://www.antiochca.gov/raise_hand.

When calling into the meeting using the Zoom Webinar telephone number, press *9 on your telephone keypad to “raise your hand”. Please ensure your Zoom client is updated so staff can enable your microphone when it is your turn to speak.

Speakers will be notified shortly before they are called to speak. When you are called to speak, please limit your comments to the time allotted (350 words, up to 3 minutes, at the discretion of the Mayor). The City cannot guarantee that its network and/or the site will be uninterrupted.

  1. WRITTEN PUBLIC COMMENT – If you wish to provide a written public comment, you may do so in one of the following ways by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting:

(1) Fill out an online speaker card, located at https://www.antiochca.gov/speaker_card, or

(2) Email the City Clerk’s Department at cityclerk@ci.antioch.ca.us.

Please note: Written public comments received by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting will be shared with the City Council before the meeting, entered into the public record, retained on file by the City Clerk’s Office, and available to the public upon request. Written public comments will not be read during the City Council Meeting.

Viewing Meeting

Antioch City Council meetings are held inside the Council Chambers at City Hall at 200 H Street. They are televised live on Comcast channel 24, AT&T U-verse channel 99, or via live stream at www.antiochca.gov/government/city-council-meetings/live/.

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California State Park Adventure Pass available for 4th graders and families

Saturday, July 9th, 2022

Visit 19 state parks!

By California State Parks

Hey, fourth graders! Are you ready for an adventure?

The California State Park Adventure Pass is just for you. See how you can visit some of the most amazing parks in the country with your family and friends—for free.

What?

In partnership with the First Partner’s Office and the Natural Resources Agency, the California State Park Adventure Pass provides free entry for fourth graders and their families at 19 amazing state parks throughout the state. Mountains, deserts, forests, rivers … the choice of where to visit is yours.

Who?

You (a fourth grader from California), your family (up to three adults and other kids) and friends (everyone in your car) can enjoy all sorts of adventures at 19 state parks during your whole fourth grade year—and the summer after, too. (So, it’s good this summer for those going into fifth grade).

How?

Have your parent or guardian go to ReserveCalifornia.com or call (800) 444-7275. All they have to do is set up a profile by providing their name, address, phone number and email address, and we’ll send them your free California State Park Adventure Pass to their email right away!  For individuals that do not have access to a smartphone, computer or printer and/or do not have an email address to use when applying online, they can still apply for a pass by visiting a State Parks Pass Sales Office. Click here for a list of locations.

Where?

Once you have your Pass, you can use it by either printing it out or keeping it on your phone to show a uniformed state park staffer at one of these 19 state parks.

Recreate Responsibly

Getting into the outdoors is the perfect way to connect with nature, family and friends but it is important to do so responsibly. Please protect yourself and your family by learning about the park you are visiting before heading out, wearing appropriate clothing, staying prepared by bringing the essentials like enough food and water, and knowing your comfort level to avoid injuries. For additional safety tips, click here.

Your Parents Speak Spanish?

¿Tus padres hablan español? Tenemos personal que les pueden ayudar en su idioma. Diles a tus padres que nos llamen por teléfono al 1-800-444-7275 o nos visiten en ReserveCalifornia.com

Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov/AdventurePass

 

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East Bay Parks offer Free Park Day for Juneteenth Sunday

Friday, June 17th, 2022

Hike of Celebration and Reflection at Thurgood Marshall Regional Park in Concord

By Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor, East Bay Regional Park District

The Park District is celebrating Juneteenth this year with a Free Park Day in recognition of the date when enslaved Black Americans in Texas were notified of their freedom, two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. While Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to U.S.  General Ulysses S. Grant in April 1865, fighting continued in Texas for nearly two months. On June 2, 1865, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith finally surrendered. A few weeks later, on June 19, U.S. troops landed in Galveston, Texas, confirming the end of the Civil War and slavery in Texas. Today, the abolition of slavery and emancipation of Black Americans in Texas is celebrated on June 19 annually as Juneteenth.

The Park District is committed to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and making our parks and agency more welcoming and reflective of the communities we serve. Park District fees waived on Juneteenth include park entrance, parking, dogs, horses, boat launching, and fishing. However, the fee waiver does not apply to swimming, camping, reservable picnic facilities (due to capacity limits), District concessions, and state fees for fishing licenses, and watercraft inspections for invasive mussels.

The Park District is celebrating Juneteenth with several naturalist-led programs, including a Hike of Celebration and Reflection at Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50.

For more information about Juneteenth, visit www.ebparks.org/Juneteenth.

 

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CA State Parks Week: Weeding for Biodiversity on Mt. Diablo Friday, June 17

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

Diablo Overlook. Panorama photo by Elise McFarland. Source: CA State Parks

9:00 am FREE

As part of Stewardship Day during California State Parks Week, learn about the amazing variety of plant life at Mount Diablo State Park which includes species that are only found here. Threatening this rich diversity are some species that can turn an area with many types of plants into an area where there is only one. You can help as we pitch in with our park biologist to remove one of these invasive plants from an area of the park. Reservations required. Group size limited to 15.

Meet at 2675 Mt Diablo Scenic Blvd. in Danville.

For reservations and information email sharon.peterson@parks.ca.gov or visit castateparksweek.org/event/weeding-for-biodiversity/.

There are more opportunities to participate in State Parks Week on Friday and during Partnership Day / Volunteer Day on Saturday, June 18. Enjoy the over 279 park units, from the redwood forests on the North Coast to the sunny beaches in Southern California, that preserve and protect the best of California’s natural and cultural history, from natural features and ecosystems to historic structures and cultural resources.

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Limited swim facilities available at regional parks for Memorial Day Weekend, 2022 Swim Season

Friday, May 27th, 2022

Cull Canyon Swim Complex in Castro Valley. Photo by Jennifer Vanya. Source: EBRPD

Contra Loma Swim Lagoon in Antioch closed this weekend and for swim season due to required but delayed maintenance and safety repairs

All regional parks in the East Bay will be open this Memorial Day for annual holiday gatherings and celebratory festivities. Parks are anticipated to be busy and some at full capacity early, so park staff recommend arriving early to secure first-come, first-served, non-reservable picnic sites.

Many lifeguarded swim areas will also be open for visitors, including Castle Rock Pool at Diablo Foothills in Walnut Creek, Cull Canyon in Castro Valley, Don Castro in Hayward, and Lake Temescal in Oakland. Non-life-guarded beaches include Keller Beach at Miller Knox Regional Park in Richmond and Robert Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda. Unfortunately, many of the Park District’s most popular swim areas, including Del Valle, Shadow Cliffs, and Lake Anza will be closed due to water quality, low water conditions, or construction and maintenance repairs.

“We regret the inconvenience and limitations on the public’s use of all of our swim facilities,” said Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor.

Park District swim facilities face ongoing challenges related to climate change, including cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and low water levels. Water quality is tested regularly during the swim season to ensure it is safe for the public. Visitors should check the status of swim facilities before they go by visiting www.ebparks.org/swimming.

Open Swim Facilities for Memorial Day Weekend are:

  • Castle Rock Pool– OPENING May 28
  • Cull Canyon Swim Lagoon – OPEN
  • Don Castro Swim Lagoon – OPENING May 28
  • Lake Temescal Swim Beach – OPENING May 28

Swim areas that are Closed for Memorial Day Weekend are:

  • Contra Loma Swim Lagoon – CLOSED for swim season due to required maintenance and safety repairs.
  • Lake Anza Swim Beach – CLOSED due to scheduled maintenance and ongoing water quality uncertainty.
  • Del Valle Swim Beach – CLOSED due to Blue-Green Algae.
  • Quarry Lakes Swim Beach – CLOSED due to Blue-Green Algae.
  • Roberts Pool– CLOSED for renovation and new pool facility construction.
  • Shadow Cliffs Swim Beach – CLOSED due to extreme drought and low water levels.

UPDATE: Parks Staff Explain Delay in Repairs

Mason and Park District Ward 7 Director Colin Coffey, who represents Antioch, were asked why the Contra Loma Swim Lagoon wasn’t repaired during the off-season so it could be open this summer.

In response, Lisa Goorjian, Chief of Design and Construction said, “it’s important to remember safety is our number one priority. For the lagoon to operate properly, it needs repairs. The delay was two-fold. It’s a complex lagoon. We’ve been working on a waterproofing seal. It’s specialized and it’s been difficult to secure due to the global supply chain issues. It’s been challenging to identify the right product. The lagoon is different than a swimming pool because it has sand. So, it makes it difficult to find something that will work with the sand and not have the seal fail.”

“We’ve been working with our contractor who is working with a supplier to identify the material,” she continued. “The lagoon original material was coming to the end of its life and when we initially made repairs in 2020, we used a new material. The original material is no longer available. We found out our conditions were such that the new material was not successful.”

“We understand that it’s a disappointment and we’re working hard to get it fixed,” Goorjian added. “We are working with our regional partners to provide swimming in eastern Contra Costa County to accommodate swim needs.”

“It is very distressing as Contra Loma is the backyard pool to so many in the area,” Coffey responded. “I asked Lisa to talk to you given she has been overseeing the project. I know it was planned to be completed by swim season.  I am hoping we are able to expand hours at another swim facility, like Ambrose, with placement of our lifeguards and covering overhead.  Staff is working on that.  Have a good holiday weekend.”

Swimming fees vary by facility. However, swimming is free for Regional Parks Foundation members. For information about becoming a Regional Parks Foundation member, visit regionalparksfoundation.org.

Walk-ins for all open locations will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached. Cull Canyon and Don Castro also offer optional swim entry registration on weekends and holidays to guarantee admission. To reserve your all-day swim entry, register at www.bit.ly/3NtZnLk.

The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch Sesquicentennial: Enjoy Black Diamond Day Saturday, May 21

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Join Us May 21st 10am – 4pm for a Fun Day with Live Music, Food, Free Coal Mine Tours, Performances and Great Exploring! There will be a Free Shuttle from Somersville Towne Center Mall to The Park that Will Allow Free Entry to the Park! Come Join the Fun and Explore One of Antioch’s Most Historic Hidden Gems! The Park is located at 5175 Somersville Road.

Parking is very limited, so we encourage you to use the Free Shuttle. The Shuttle Runs every 20 Minutes with Free Parking from Somersville Towne Center Mall to Black Diamond Mines Regional Park. Somersville Towne Center Mall is Located at 2556 Somersville Road.

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