Former Oak Park School Site Update
Feb 04, 2016 05:31PM
● By Jennifer Neys
In front of a packed chamber during public comment at the January 25 city council meeting, Pleasant Hill residents took an opportunity to address the council and voice their opinions in favor of a partnership between the City of Pleasant Hill and the PHRPD to acquire the 10-acre county parcel adjacent to Pleasant Hill Middle School and the Pleasant Hill Library. Rec and Park and county representatives shared appraisals on the property last December, and they continue to meet to discuss the site.
Citizens want to see the land used for open space, ball fields, a possible new library, and detention basins, built for flood protection. Pleasant Hill resident David De Boer said, “I want to express my strong support to keep that space as open space for the community. I think having that space as fields for soccer or potentially developed for the library is important to the community going forward. If that space gets developed, it’s truly lost to the public as a resource for the future.”
Former mayor Kim Brandt said, “Pleasant Hill stands again at the crossroads of doing something spectacular, something historic, and something future generations will look back on. We are here to ask that you join the Recreation and Park district and their effort to buy the Oak Park Elementary school site from Contra Costa County. We need you to work this out for us, for our kids, and for our seniors because it’s the right thing to do.”
Hand carried petitions for “Statement of Support to the Rec and Park District” and “Advisory Petition to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors” have been circulating throughout the Pleasant Hill community over the past several months, and 547 signatures on the “Statement of Support” have been submitted to the Recreation and Park District. A total of 947 signatures have been collected so far.
Additionally, the Change.org, KeepPleasant Hill Pleasant! petition has reached beyond 2,000 signatures. Anyone in Contra Costa County can still sign the Change.org petition to show they care about this issue.
Mayor Noack responded to the comments by saying, “On January 4, the Rec and Park did come to city council to ask us for their support, and I have met with two members of their board twice for about four hours to discuss this item. It has not been forgotten; I have been talking to them, and we will have further conversations so that I can inform the rest of the city council about plans and projects.” On January 26, the Board of Directors of the Recreation and Park District met in closed session.