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Davey Glen Park to Take Precedence Over Belmont Sports Complex

The Belmont Parks and Recreation Department has its sights set on Davey Glen Park, followed by the Belmont Sports Complex.

The and the city of Belmont have recently taken a giant step forward in the design and development of the Davey Glen Park project, which has been in the works for close to two decades.

But some Belmont residents are worried that another important project may have been leap-frogged in the process.

The , comprised of three separate sports fields, each receiving huge amounts of traffic from local youngsters, is in significant need of new turf, as the current turfing has declined drastically since the Complex’s conception in the late 80s.

Parks and Recreations Director Jonathan Gervais said preliminary steps have been taken in the process to upgrade the complex in the form of .

“We’ve selected a firm to help us design the Sports Complex turf project,” Gervais said. “City council gave us permission to select a firm to decide how are we going to do this, what’s the drainage system going to look like, how are we going to rebuild the field; so we’re going to start moving ahead with that process of designing it.”

“That’s the main update, that we’ve gotten through that first hurdle,” he added.

According to Gervais, however, at the top of the priority list remains Davey Glen Park.

“Our department’s planning has been to move along with Davey Glen first, and then move on with the Complex, understanding that Davey Glen is a lot further in the design process and the Complex is just starting the design process,” Gervais said.

Just this past week, Gervais’ department, in conjunction with the Belmont City Council, settled upon the .

Three options were proposed to the council, each coming in at a different cost, but all above the park budget of $450,000. The final verdict was to begin raising extra funds to build Option Two, which would cost a little more than $630,000. But, if fundraising seems to be looking up, officials will aim for Option One, which is more than $800,000.

In the meantime, Gervais said the Sports Complex will be the next big project his department will undertake.

“What we’re trying to do is build a project pipeline, where we keep projects in the cycle,” Gervais explained. “One is going, such as Davey Glen, where the design is probably between 60 or 70 percent done, and the Complex is about zero to 10 percent. So we’re keeping things moving along on a path.”

“The Sports Complex does get the most visitors, there’s no doubt about it,” Gervais said. “The amount of use at the Sports Complex is incredible, and it’s a high priority for us.”

Money is another large reason why Davey Glen has taken precedent over the Sports Complex.

Currently, the $450,000 set aside for Davey Glen Park is in the Parks Department's account while the rest of the money is still attempting to be raised.

As far as the Sports Complex, Gervais estimates that re-turfing the field will exceed the $2 million mark, a mark the city is nowhere near approaching.

“The money to build the Sports Complex we don’t have sitting in an account,” Gervais said. “We’ll have to evaluate funding sources as the design comes along.”

Moreover, Gervais insists the city of Belmont is “underserved” as far as park space goes, and that the two decades worth of planning for Davey Glen Park is a plan that needs to come to fruition.

“Davey Glen has been in the works for a long time, beginning in 1992 with our master plan, which clearly stated that this was a priority,” Gervais said. “It’s been pretty much a city commitment for about 20 years.”

“In our minds, that’s a commitment that we need to be working on and we need to honor,” he said.

Bob Cancilla June 21, 2011 at 07:58 PM
Well written article, nice update to your previous article. It is great to see that the City of Belmont continues to be committed to improving their park system. For Davey Glen Park, I hope they settle on Option #1. Bob Cancilla Belmont
Steve Hayes June 21, 2011 at 08:14 PM
This is just a matter of setting the right priorities. Things have changed since 1992 and Belmont needs to reevaluate what are the most important priorites. Based on the response to the last story about DG Park I would say there is not overwhelming support for spending $450K on that park- even from the immediate neighbors. I know some families with very young children will like that DG park but kids grow quickly and the vast majority of Belmont kids will benefit much more by getting increased utilization out of the Sports Complex. We are spending $10 million to build a bridge to the Sports Complex but the fields are inadequate for the use they get. It would be nice to have more fields but we don't so we might as well get the most out of the ones we have.
Kevin Sullivan June 22, 2011 at 02:16 PM
Steve, The responses on this site on the last article regarding Davey Glen Park DO NOT at all reflect the overall support from the greater neighborhood for this park. The city got dozens of emails and responses from neighbors and parents from throughout the Central Neighborhood urging the city to create a place there where they can bring their kids to play. Its very easy to say no to things like this but that doesn't make it the right thing to do. The comments on the earlier article stating "nobody wants this park" are simply not true. It is true that the very first survey of homes just 300ft from park came back with negative response. Once the larger neighborhood was brought in it became mixed between no park, a passive/natural park and an active park. The split was almost even with one third for each view. Throughout the process, the design has developed to reflect the values of the community and the support for the park has continued to grow. In addition the example of the park at Semeria makes it clear that when you build a park well, people flock to it. Finally, the Bike Bridge is not being built simply to get people to the sports complex, it is being built to create safe access to the east side of the freeway for ALL citizens. There was county wide support for building safe bike access to the Bay Trail. The bridge is going to be heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists alike when it opens since crossing the freeway on Ralston is a death defying exercise.
anon June 22, 2011 at 03:46 PM
You may not have noticed but crossing Davey Glen road, proposed site of partly unwanted park, is also a death defying experience. It is also common for homeless, but not carless people, to sleep in their vehicles parked on Davey Glen overnight which might bother some early morning park users (although they usually park further down the hill, and I am not implying they are a social hazard)
Steve Hayes June 22, 2011 at 03:49 PM
Just to be clear, I am not against the park. I just think we should reconfirm the set of priorities. I know some people (all important people) will benefit from the DG Park, but many more people will benefit from Turf at the Sports Complex. We do not have $450K to spend on projects all of the time so we need to make sure to spend it on the right project. Understandably, the Turf project will cost much more than $450K but it is better to start with $450K than Zero. I worry if we do not kick start the Turf project it will not happen for another 10-15 years and it was really needed 10 years ago. Perhaps the Central area should be sent another survey with several options - passive park, active park, Central School upgrades/Turf at Sports Complex. As I see it Central School (offering many park like amenities) is nearly in the same place as the new park and with a few trees and picnic tables (NE corner) along with a back entrance access trail from the proposed park space it would be even better than it is today. BTW - thanks for coordinating the trail work at Water Dog!
Kevin Sullivan June 22, 2011 at 05:17 PM
Steve, I agree with you as well that we do need to make sure priorities are in the right order. I also agree the sports complex deserves an upgrade and I plan to help support that process as well. You may know the council recently agreed to fund the design development phase for the fields so that better numbers can be put to a potential build budget. I think the "City" generally strives to listen to the community even if we may disagree with outcomes on certain matters. I believe there are many more people who will benefit from Davey Glen Park than even realize its a possibility. As you know, most people are unaware of things happening in the city until something visible happens. The sports complex has a built in active interest group since play there is by definition "Active." This is great and should be supported but also in my opinion possibly skews the perception of interest for other areas. Thanks for the props on Waterdog. We've been getting good response from this site and adding to the group of park users coming out to help. We're making good progress on maintenance and plan to continue through the summer as well as building the Lake Loop.
margaret davis June 22, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Belmont Sports Complex should get top priority. The City has already sunk a lot of money into this and it needs to do whatever it can to update these fields. This will ultimately benefit far more kids than completing one individual park (Davey Glen). The $450,000 may not be all that is needed, but it is a fair chunk of it.
Ron June 23, 2011 at 02:42 AM
Let me get this straight....we're going to invest half a million dollars into a new park that will benefit a few, instead of putting it into upgrading the fields that are used by thousands of residents night and day, nearly 365 days a year? Are you kidding me? Don't get me wrong...I wish there were funds to build a park by Davey Glen, but there aren't. So we need to use the limited in funds that create the greatest benefit. This is so obvious it makes me angry, once again, at the knuckleheads who run Belmont. Good grief.
anon June 23, 2011 at 09:02 PM
funny how the trucks and saws arrived in Davey Glen Park today. This project is now urgent perhaps..... Wow, I have never seen the city of Belmont act so quick as when someone says, hey hang on, show us the data that says we even asked for this park. Next day, the diggers and saws are in, amazing.
B. Serious June 23, 2011 at 09:47 PM
joe, Ranting on a website is not asking for information. its just ranting. From what I hear, there has been a long and detailed public process for this. All of the information is available to you via minutes of the many public meetings that have taken place where strong support was given for this park. Just because you have some sort of grudge against this park doesn't mean you know what you are talking about. Ron, Since when are your baseball age kids the only ones that matter in this city? How about people with smaller kids that need a place to play during the week. Central School is not an option, it is owned by the School district and closed to the public when school is in session. Go by Semeria Park any day or afternoon and see how many people are using that park. Just because nobody is currently using an overgrown hillside (Davey Glen) does not mean people won't use a well designed and built public park. Good Government looks after the interests of ALL the people, not just the loudest ones.
4-Belmont June 25, 2011 at 12:40 AM
Joe: Its appears that you are searching for any and every reason to portray the city and it's staff as the bad people for trying to give residents something they could enjoy and be proud of. You previously stated that there is no information available about the public process to build this park. I did a quick search and found many incidences of public meetings and correspondences. I even looked further and found information where our elected officials and city staff have been prioritizing things that improve our quality of life in Belmont. I saw the trucks at the future park site and inquired what work was taking place. Did you know that the city was taking on an effort to reduce fire fuels to protect property owners against a wildland fire, like they have done in prior years. That is a pro-active department and city in my eyes. Be grateful and recognize the good things this city does for us. Look around at other communities and compare, which you and I have done and is the reason we choose to live in Belmont. Come on Joe, quit trying to find any reason to not give this community something they can be proud of. I can make weak statements like, it's too steep, deer live there, there's no parking, it will be loud, increase traffic, were all these things considered when they built our homes in this neighborhood? We impacted all of those things but please don't bring it up!!!! Proud Belmont Resident and Supporter!!!
anon June 25, 2011 at 03:18 PM
4 belmont, it sounds like you are just looking for an argument. This is about discussion and accountable officials. If you are having a bad day I am sorry, but please refrain from insulting other Belmonters. Get a hobby/ walk your dog instead.
B. Serious June 25, 2011 at 04:14 PM
JOE, Read your own comments. You call out the city, you make false statements and you basically rant with some sort of grudge but no actual information. 4 Belmont seems to have actually looked into the information you claim to want and presented facts showing you to be just a bunch of hot air with a keyboard. Since you seem to be so afraid of putting in a park I was thinking you are the one who needs a hobby. If you want a discussion with the city officials, its easy, all meetings are public and posted, you can go to any of them and actually participate instead of sitting hidden by your keyboard. If you want to talk about facts please try to get them straight.
Forrest Durham June 29, 2011 at 07:57 AM
I hate to disagree with you 4-Belmont but as far as the city maintaining this property over the years in regards to fire prevention that is not true. I have lived right above where the park is going to be for several years and every year the weeds grow about two to three feet tall, then they die in the late Spring and early Summer. Nobody ever comes and removes them including the eucalyptus bark that lays all around the trees This is a very dangerous situation. It gets quite windy in that canyon at times and if there where ever a small fire started at the time it is windy (which is most days after 3:00 pm. the canyon would be engulfed in flames in a mater of minutes. I have been concerned over the years and have called the Fire Department a couple of times but they have done nothing. Now that the City wants this park all of a sudden there are trucks, several men and chippers cleaning up the property. Just last week I was home for awhile watching what they where doing and within 10 minutes I saw them cut down three eucalyptus trees. These trees where not even on the parks property they where on Dr. Lee's property. I'm not quite sure what's going on but I guess there determined to clean up the property. I just hope they don't plan on CUTTING DOWN all the trees.
anon June 29, 2011 at 02:55 PM
yes they spring into action for anything related to a photo op all right. This is not about a park, which is itself supposed to be about kids. It's about political desire, photo op's and the "I have to win" mentality of our local leaders. Like I said, Davey Glen is a priority all of a sudden...why? because they want to get well started before everyone realizes there is no parking, dangerous traffic, unspoiled nature and a lack of transparency/accountability on this project. Like nobody was actually in charge.
anon June 29, 2011 at 02:58 PM
I understand a neighbor has plans to film the work crew whenever they are there, in fear that they chop down more trees, and then say ooops.

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