JUNE 8, 2010




JUNE 8, 2010

7:00 P.M.

The regular meeting of the Livingston Planning Commission was held in the City Hall Conference Room on Tuesday, June 8, 2010.  The meeting was called to order by Chair Soria at 7:05 p.m.

Commissioners Present:          Chair Roy Soria, Vice‑Chair Kaye Greeley, Commissioner Luis Enrique Flores, Commissioner Alex Gonzalez, Commissioner Hugo Salgado, and Alternate Commissioner Manoj Bains.

Commissioners Absent:          None

Staff Present:                          Administrative Assistant Filomena Arredondo, Community Development Director Donna Kenney, and Assistant City Attorney Jeffrey Massey.

Others Present:                                    Council Liaison Martha Nateras, Katherine Schell-Rodriguez; John Courtney – RJM Design Group, Inc.; Brian Moore, Site Design Group; Hays Hitzing – Spohn Ranch, Inc.; Joe Ciaglia – California Skateparks; Brian DaSilva, Julie Reynoso, Sareena Anaya, and others in the audience.


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.



Motion by Commissioner Flores, seconded by Commissioner Greeley, to approve the minutes from the regular meeting of May 11, 2010. Motion carried 5-0.


Members of the Audience




Copies of skatepark proposals were distributed to the Planning Commission in their regular May 11, 2010, agenda packets.  A site visit to see several nearby skateparks, public noticed as a Special Meeting, was held on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, from 3 pm – 6 pm.  This item is to interview four consultants, take public comment, and recommend two consultants to the City Council for the design of a skatepark in the City of Livingston.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney noted that one of the consultants, Wally Hollyday Design, from Aliso Viejo, California, had called three hours before the meeting to inform City staff that he was stuck in traffic and was not going to make it in time for the interview. He wished the City luck in its selection process.

Presentation by RJM Design Group

John Courtney, Principal of RJM Design Group, Inc., and Brian Moore, President of Site Design Group, made the PowerPoint presentation.

John Courtney stated he has been a landscape architecture for 22 years and RJM Design Group has been a company for 24 years. They specialize in designing parks, particularly skateparks, along with Brian Moore and Site Design Group. They are particularly interested in projects involving community input processes.

They work with two other firms which are also listed on their proposal packet – Psomas, a civil engineering firm, and Glumac, an electrical and mechanical engineering firm.

Brian Moore, President of Site Design Group from San Diego, California, stated he would be the project manager for the skatepark project. He has been in this industry for over 13 years and has been skating for over 20 years. He presented a map of several skatepark designs that they have done across the country. He mentioned that they have also designed projects all over the world.

John Courtney explained that the planning process is very important and is the strength of their team. The site selection process is very important. They have done some research and visited some of the sites under consideration. He went over the criteria that they would use for evaluating the different sites. He would strongly suggest that a workshop be conducted to discuss the possible sites with not only kids, but also adults because adults might be a little more in tune with some of the processes of site selection. He added that it is also important that the skatepark is compatible with the neighborhood.

Mr. Moore explained that parents typically attend the design workshops because they are more concerned about the supported amenities such as bathrooms, bleachers, and shade structures.

Mr. Courtney showed the Planning Commission a video of a typical skatepark workshop. He explained the approval process for selecting the site and the planning and design process for the skatepark. They come up with the conceptual plan based on all the input that they get on the workshop. At a second workshop, the people who attended the first workshop view the results of the first workshop and then go to the Planning Commission and City Council for approval of the skatepark plan, the budget, and the recommended site. Then they go into working drawings so they can be ready to apply for funding grants. He added that their firm has written several grants and can help City staff with grant writing.

Mr. Courtney said that one of the big CEQA issues that they will have to address is going to be noise impact because skateparks can be a noisier park activity.

Mr. Courtney stated that they do a plan of all potential sites. Basically it’s an analysis, so it’s a graphic that they put on the wall. They also do a test bubble diagram for each site.

He added that they studied Livingston’s six potential sites:

·         Parkside Park – It is raw land and there are no utilities there, so it is going to cost a bit more and there may be flooding issues. It looks like a drainage basin, so maybe part of the site is not usable.

·         Arakalian Park – 236,000 sq. ft. (5.43 acres). It has a little bit of open space and the center of it could be a possibility. What’s good about this site is that they have existing amenities.

·         Memorial Park – 258,980 sq. ft (5.9 acres). It has a nice row of Sycamore trees and some would have to be removed so they could build the skatepark, so that could be an issue.

Mr. Moore mentioned that they could also design skateboard pathways running through them.  He added that the nice thing about Memorial Park is that it is close to the high school. The average ages of kids at skateparks are between 12 and 14.

·         Sports Complex – 570,767 sq. ft. (13 acres). Not sure how flexible the site plan is for it. You would have to look at the site plan and start from what is lowest on the priority list on that site so they could convert something into a skatepark if that is the preferred site.

·         Lucero Park – 53,684 sq. ft. (1.23 acres). This is a small park, but there is an access and it has parking. However, it has adjacent residences, so that may be a concern.

·         Open space B – 86,782 sq. ft. (2.5 acres).  It is a basin and the problem with a basin is that they would have to bring the grade up so the skatepark is up above the water.

Brian Moore showed some projects they designed.

·         DC Skate Plaza – Kettering, OH, 41,000 sq. ft.

·         Hollywood Skatepark, Las Vegas, NV. 23,000 sq. ft. and Manhattan, NY – 15,400 sq. ft.

·         Etnies Skatepark, Lake Forest, CA. – It has parking and a roundabout for drop off. Lots of competitions are held at this location every year.

·         Santa Clarita, CA, 33,000 sq. ft. – It has good street elements as well as bowls and transitions. It is comparable to what Livingston is looking at. They allow both bikes and skateboards on the park.

·         BMX Bike Park, Chandler, AZ – This is the first BMX bike park that does not allow skateboards in it.

·         El Dorado Hills Skatepark – They went through site selection and they did workshops. It has monorail ramps. It’s great for the younger age and more of the novice skaters, but it was good for this community because they wanted to have the flexibility to change it around.

John Courtney explained the Community Design Process:

·         Part 1 – Site analysis.

·         Part 2 – Site tours or virtual site tours.

·         Part 3 – Group Exercises. Discuss likes/dislikes about each of the sites, program and amenities, actual components of skating, character issues. A charette will design the park.

·         Part 4 – Wrap it all up with conclusion and consensus. Then they place it up in the internet so they can see their work in action.

John Courtney said they design everything to be sustainable. They use crushed aggregates and recyclables. They have in-house plan check professionals and they have very low change orders. He added that he follows the projects all the way through and he goes to all the workshops.

John Courtney said that they really want to do this project with the City. They are experienced to do it and have the desire to do it. They offer that sweet spot between professionalism and community based outreach. They want to have valuable input from the people so they can feel they are part owners of the project because they help design it and they will respect it and take care of it.

Brian Moore said he has worked with John Courtney and his company on several projects and they work well together. He is able to handle all the younger kids who skate and translate whatever they say to City officials so they understand exactly what the kids want. He can also put their needs and wants on paper and design a great skatepark. He hopes to help design this skatepark in Livingston. He reiterated that he would be the project manager. He would handle the public workshops and both he and John Courtney will be following the project all the way through.

Commissioners’ Questions and Comments:


·         Questioned if the average age group was really 12-14 year olds. He thought it would be older.

Brian Moore responded 12-14 is the average across the country although you will get some older guys that work during the day who go skating after 5:00 p.m.

·         Really appreciates that they did a lot of research into this small town. He added that Livingston is very multi-lingual (English, Spanish, and Punjabi). He asked if they have bilingual staff.

            John Courtney said they only have Spanish speakers on staff, but will get translators if necessary.

·         Asked what do they see as the evolution of skatepark design in the next 20 years.

            Brian Moore responded it’s getting a lot more creative. These kids ride all different types of obstacles and they can get bored pretty fast, so you want to make sure your design is cutting edge and will last ten to twenty years. What they are seeing that will last is more of this urban street style cut design, because the kids are going to skate the street regardless and they are going to skate in these types of obstacles, but it is good if you can replicate it and put it within the park and mediate that problem of damaging private property.

            John Courtney said he thinks the turn is going to be a multi-purpose kind. He thinks you are going to see more of the combination of wheels – BMXing. Cities want to try to gather as much as they can because dollars are limited, so they build more urban type parks where you have picnics and people to watch. Maybe there is an amphitheater worked into the design so you could actually have performances or music going on and the spectator aspect works very well for a multi-use product. That’s kind of the trend.

·         Asked Brian Moore if there has been any European or Asian influence brought into their designs in the United States.

            Mr. Moore responded that they have actually taken the U.S. influence to Europe because U.S. is the backyard of skateboarding. He added that they can incorporate some global influence such as color, themes, and artwork into the park to show a little bit more sense of ownership.

John Courtney stated that a lot of that goes on in the workshop process. In Fort Bragg, it was the kids that came up with the idea of putting marine life concepts into the skatepark, so there is a whale tail there and the murals that go around to give it color and interest, so they are taking their ideas and putting them into action on the skateparks.


·         She liked their presentation. She has compared all of the proposals and studied skateparks and then went to look at some.

·         She noticed their fees are much higher than the others and she wondered about that.

John Courtney responded that fees are negotiable. What he would recommend is that they select the firm based on qualifications and then they can work on the fees later. Once they know a little bit more about the project, fees can change because civil and electrical engineers may not be needed, so they can save some money there.

·         She thinks they look flexible as far as skatepark styles. She saw a winding path skatepark in a book and she was fascinated with it.

·         Asked if they knew how big was the skatepark they are building in Patterson and added it has a nice design.

Mr. Courtney responded it was about 10,000 sq. ft. and added that even in a small site, there is a way to make it work.


·         Asked if they knew the square footage on the El Dorado Hills Skatepark.

John Courtney responded it is 14,400 sq. ft. (the same square footage as two tennis courts put together). There is fencing all the way around it.

·         Questioned if they had started from scratch with utilities and all.

            John Courtney responded, “Yes,” and added that they had utilities nearby, but they wanted the ultimate flexibility, so they programmed their park to be basically two tennis courts side by side. If skating is not very popular, they can convert it to tennis.

·         Asked if it was more urban or if it had a lot of poles and things.

Brian Moore responded that it was more of above ground ramps, like quarter pipes, fun boxes, and rails. Typically these days a lot more kids are gearing more toward street plazas or other transitions. He added that the above ground ramps will cause a little bit more maintenance in the long run than the concrete.


·         He enjoyed the presentation. They seem very qualified.


·         He really liked their presentation, especially the vamped skateparks they made such as the one in Las Vegas.

·         He likes that Brian Moore is the project manager and has experience in skating.


·         He enjoyed the presentation. He saw a slide where at one of the parks they incorporated a water view and he was wondering if they could incorporate that in the Livingston park to not just to accommodate the skaters, but other folks and other children, too.

Director Kenney

·         Asked if they collect any feedback as to the amount of bad accidents or severe injuries they have either at a park or a feature in a park.

            Brian Moore responded that sometimes the insurance gets involved with that.

           John Courtney said the City is normally part of a risk pool and they recognize that there are accidents in skateparks. It is covered under that umbrella because skateparks are very popular and insurances realize that they are not going to go away. We have to kind of strike that balance; It is an extreme sport. The whole idea is to come up with a new trick harder for everybody else to do, so inherently there are going to be accidents, but designing it correctly is important and then posting that “it is a skating at your own risk” kind of an environment is a good idea, but accidents do happen at every skatepark. It is part of the nature of the activity.  

Skater Brian Da Silva said a lot of skaters in Livingston grew up around the high school, so most likely it will be a lot of street skate. There are some who like to ride bowlers too. He added that the Santa Cruz Wave Skatepark is amazing.

John Courtney distributed sample copies of a summary of the process and the results. This would be a similar process for Livingston.

Brian Moore added that they did some research on the local parks around the Livingston area and they noted that Ripon, Modesto, and Ceres were designed by two different designers and built by different people, so the good thing about the Livingston skatepark is that it is going to get a different flavor.  

Council Member Liaison Martha Nateras asked if they knew who built the skatepark in Madera.  

Brian said it looks like it was build by a general contractor and not by a skatepark professional.

Presentation by Spohn Ranch, Inc.

Hays Hitzing, Director of Skatepark Dedevelopment for Spohn Ranch, Inc., made a PowerPoint presentation on behalf of Aaron Spohn, Founder and President of the company.  

He thanked the Planning Commission for selecting them for an interview. They are one of the first skatepark builders. They have done quite a bit of work in California.

Mr. Hitzing stated that before they get started with anything, they need to know what purpose the City wants the skatepark to serve. Skatepark developers use an equation that takes the areas population and determines how large the skatepark facility has to be to serve the community.  He thinks that to service Livingston’s community, the park would have to be somewhere between 7,500-10,000 sq. ft. A 7,500 sq. ft. park could be completed within a year.

From what he learned in speaking to the City Manager, 20,000-25,000 sq. ft. is the City’s figure for the whole project, including landscaping, seating, and a drop off area. 

Establishing a budget early on is very important.

Mr. Hitzing said he has been a skater for many years and has been with Spohn Ranch for three years. He went to visit skateparks in the area. He did some research on the skateparks in the area, including Ripon, Fresno, Modesto, and Ceres. Ripon’s park is older and regular usage is low. It is an older design, so it has much of the same thing over and over. There is not a single stair on the whole park and you cannot get a lot of speed.

Commissioner Greeley agreed. She does not skate, but she thinks it looks boring.

Mr. Hitzing said Modesto is better and it is the kind of park that is coming back in style. If the snake-on feature was more extreme, you could get more people to like it. Modesto is also not AST compliant due to a 4-foot ledge, which can cause some liability issues if anyone got injured on it. Some of the skate elements are placed too closely together, which can be hazardous.

Ceres was packed because it has the stairs and the ledges, it has the rails that the skaters want, but it has a big wedding-cake looking thing where you could easily jump eight feet and that is a hazard. It is packed with skaters and BMX.

Commissioner Greeley said they talked to some of the kids during their park tour and they loved it.

Why would the Planning Commission choose Spohn Ranch Design?

All three companies are a good choice and in some projects, they work together so they have a relationship.  It comes down to who will be the best partner for the City of Livingston.

Spohn Ranch has a dedicated, innovative design team that has developed hundreds of projects all over the world.  Aaron and Hays also visit 200-500 skateparks a year.  They use a systematic approach that does not waste time or money.  The worst fear that they have on a project is that due to the cost, a project that is near ready to be constructed is put on the shelf and is not completed.   

He went over critical differences: Pioneering History, precise 3D drawings, public involvement specialists. Through experience and 3D modeling, Spohn Ranch can accurately estimate such things as how much concrete will be needed for each skate element and total material estimates.

Public involvement was invented by them. Aaron was the first person to go to trade shows. He would convince them to build the skatepark.  

Like the other consultants, they have the industry’s recognition. They have done a lot of skateparks. A lot of them have gotten awards. They do good work and they do it nationwide and it shows.

They are the most corporate of the core of skater companies and they are the most skater of the corporate companies.

They developed a risk management system that helped underwriters start writing insurance. They have really good relationship throughout the insurance industry in proper risk management insurance. They have $11 Million liability insurance.

Their cost estimate is really second to none.

Spohn Ranch also assesses the economical climate of the project and determines the type of market we will be in when costs are involved.  They also get input from skater kids.

Spohn Ranch is a very versatile company; they are compliant with regulations and safety codes; they use cost estimations for their projects; and they are also a good coherent team.  They work out of their office in the City of Industry just outside of Los Angeles.  They also manage and operate skateparks all over the country.  They work with pro skaters, such as Paul Rodriguez, to develop public skateparks and to do commercial event work. 

What sets them apart from other skatepark companies is that they have the experience of developing little skate spots and big destination parks, both with the same quality and dedication. They use precast concrete and have overall good organization which allows them to develop a wide range of parks.

They work with the community to make it work within their budget.

They do parks where there are three to four pieces that they set in place and that becomes a skate spot that services the kids of that area. They design with every single piece of material that they can design with and they always try to figure out what is the best material for each application. He said modular ramps will probably not be the best for Livingston.  

They design in all styles – plaza, bowl, or ramp. That is dictated by the skaters. The most important thing is to get input from skaters.

Overview of the Design Process:

·         Establish Project values and wish list.

·         Site assessment and technical studies.

·         Public involvement with the whole community – skaters and non-skaters.

·         Establish budget subtractions and additions, then put it together in a packet. You can often get local contractors involved and get them to donate their time.

·         Schematic footprint designs – 2D design.

·         Conceptual design.

·         Refining of preferred design and GMP.

·         Master plan approval.

·         Construction documents.

Assessment Technical Studies:

·         Public involvement – engaging with City officials, community skateboarders and local businesses.

·         Conceptual Design.

·         Technical Design with cost estimating and budgeting.

·         Figuring out who the users are. Are you going to be accommodating people riding BMX bikes?

·         If various disabled users, the park needs to be ADA accessible in some way.

Project design:

·         Engaging with all park users.

·         Parks needs to be ADA accessible.

·         Establishing job conditions and non-physical constraints.

·         Refining the definition of project success.

·         Enhancing the City’s relationship with local skaters through social medial and public meetings.

·         Creating a priority list of the skate elements and the amenities that you want.

Site assessment:  

They use Site Assessment to figure out the location of the park and what kind of design will be used.  Arakelian Park seems to be the leading contender. In many ways, that is a very good location. Visibility is good and if it is located in the basin area, drainage has already been dealt with the construction of a concrete culvert that drains. Mr. Hitzing also pointed out that you have to take into consideration the kind of population you will be serving.  A large Indian population frequents this park. How are they going to be negatively impacted by the skatepark? They also have to look at the different activities or uses of the park, such as disc golf and youth playground.  The point is that community involvement is going to be the key in making a park that will accommodate and satisfy a wide range of people and uses.  In some cases, such as with the Indian population, active outreach must be done to get their involvement in the design process.  Part of this outreach is through social media – Facebook, Twitter and U-tube.

The Conceptual Design:

The first thing they do is Schematic Designs which are 2D planned views. Once they establish where the park is going and the overall footprint, then they start designing different skate elements within that footprint. It is less cost and a quicker way if skaters can look at 3, 5, or even 10 different concepts and really get down to one before allotted money and time has been invested in the 3D drawing. 

Creating an integrated public space for the community includes options such as:

·         Seating

·         Shade structures

·         Pedestrian access

·         Public art

·         Lighting  

Mr. Hitzing discussed the use of skateable art to make a park beautiful.  If they see nice images with art work, people will more likely support it. 

Through environmental design, crime can be prevented. For example, the Ceres park is well used, but it is in an area that has low visibility and some shade structures could be used as gathering points for illicit activities.  This can be prevented by putting the skatepark in a highly visible area so that these activities are less likely to happen.  Spohn Ranch is well aware of the design guidelines that reduce the possibility of crime.

Mr. Hitzing discussed the options for development.  A city can choose to use the money already raised to purchase construction documents (including design, feasibility, etc.) so that it is ready for construction when all the money is there, or they can raise the rest of the money and figure out what to do from there.  Construction documents take around two months to get and are expensive, so waiting is a better option and it also may be good in case you get a grant.  Instead of being forced into a design that was already done, you can expand the project.  Or you can scale back the project if the money falls short. 

Technical Designs:

Storm water management is very crucial in a park project.  You would want to recycle the water and be sustainable in doing so.  Mr. Hitzing said that Spohn Ranch collaborates with a company out of Modesto called MVE Civil Solution, and they would bring them in as late design consultants to assess the storm water management design.  This will ensure that the design is satisfactory by expert standards and would save the City money.

Spohn Ranch’s number one goal is to design and construct the skatepark with the highest standards. They have excellent work ethics and dedication. They make sure that what is designed is exactly what gets built and they take an aerial photo after construction gets done.

.Mr. Hitzing added that Mark Bradford, CEO and Co-Owner of Spohn Ranch, Inc. will supervise the project if they construct it.  He has overseen over 200 skateparks and knows what to look for.

Commissioners’ Questions and Comments:


·         Thanked Mr. Hitzing for his presentation. She said she likes their project in Utah. It’s beautiful.

·         Their fees are pretty comparable, so that makes her feel good. 

·         She was impressed with the “Schedule and Budget Summary” included in their proposal which shows a time line on how the process should proceed.


·         Asked who is supervising the project.

Mr. Hitzing responded that Aaron Spohn, Founder and President, would be doing the public involvement and he would be leading the design process.  Mark Bradford, COO, will be doing the construction observation.


·         He really appreciated Spohn Ranch’s presentation and them taking the time to actually research Livingston.

·         He enjoyed the concept mentioned about skateable art.

·         Asked about the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba project.

            Mr. Hitzing said they were contracted by the Navy. They had an existing very small flat slab skatepark at Guantanamo Bay for use by their troops and their families and they wanted to build a bowl there. Their time frame was very tight, so they used precast pieces and shipped them over instead of doing all the work onsite and they were able to install the bowl in five days.


·         Asked if their focus is on open skateparks rather than enclosed skateparks.

Mr. Hitzing responded they do prefer open skateparks to integrate the skaters with the community. Often times they will go above-ground rather than in-ground because there are more problems below the ground than above the ground.


·         Asked Mr. Hitzing how they manage the projects in Daytona Beach, Florida.

      Mr. Hitzing explained they hire local staff and they control access to the parks and program what goes on there. They sell concessions, hold events, camps, lessons, barbecues, and school functions. They host at least one major competition a year and several smaller ones. It makes the skatepark really active and vibrant and they create a more positive environment where it is more about physical fitness and personal developments of skateboarding.

·         Asked how many employees they hire and if they hire them locally.

Mr. Hitzing responded they hire a manager to work in the skatepark and all of the daily employees are hired locally.


·         He enjoyed Spohn Ranch’s presentation. He knows the Madera skatepark is fenced in. He assumes the purpose for that is they want to control it more.

Mr. Hitzing said some cities fence their skateparks and have a Parks and Recreation staff member at the park to supervise it.

The Planning Commission took a short recess at 8:52 p.m.

Chair Soria reconvened the meeting at 9:00 p.m.

Presentation by California Skateparks

Joe Ciaglia, President of California Skateparks, made the PowerPoint presentation. He has been doing design and construction for about 20 years. Eleven years ago, he started getting involved with skateparks. He has built a lot of skateparks, both large and small.

California Skateparks was founded and incorporated in 1990. They have provided the design and construction for a diverse range of public and private skateparks, plazas, skate spots, bowls and landscape projects.

He introduced his company’s team members:

Joseph Ciaglia, Jr. CEO/President

Scott Rice, ASLA LEED AP – Project Manager, Landscape Architect

Colby Carter – Professional Skateboarder/Lead Skate Designer

Lance Mountain – Professional Skateboarder/Skate Designer

Jose Garcia – Landscape Designer

Mr. Ciaglia talked about their background and stated that they like to get involved with the Community. They want to keep good relationships with everybody. They will ensure the skatepark design integrates tactfully with the existing landscape and addresses the flow of users engaging in the neighboring facilities.

Site selection and visibility of where the skatepark is located is very important. 

They can do a variation of things to incorporate the three concepts that Livingston is looking for. They can do bowls and streets, all streets, or they can really mix it up.

They did a research on Livingston so they are familiar with the proposed sites.

They have done a lot of massive planning throughout the area developing skateparks.

He explained their design process.

When they do a site selection, they take the concept to a 3D drawing.

He showed some of the skatepark projects they have done including one at Moorpark, CA, with a skateable bowl and the skate plaza at Stoner Park in Los Angeles, CA.

They have experience designing for events as well as permanent parks. They work with all the professional skaters.

Mr. Ciaglia went over Livingston’s possible sites. He thinks the two best locations for a skatepark would be the Sports Center and by the high school. He thinks those sites are good visibility wise.

He understands there’s a lot of activity at the Sports Center which is kind of nice. He thinks a skatepark there could also get utilized by the community for parties.

Another thing they evaluate is proximity. Essentially within the first one-mile radius is probably the best place for a skatepark.

They also do a cost analysis/estimate. They break down each feature and fee. It is very important to make sure that you have a detailed and accurate cost estimate and understand true cost.

Another thing to think about too is protection and maintenance of the park. – Security (fencing/lighting); edging; BMX protection, concrete protection, graffiti removal, park maintenance manual.

They want to make sure they have enough time to build a quality job. It’s important to have a realistic schedule.

They also think it’s important to have the right color for color matching when covering graffiti.

They also provide a park maintenance manual to know what is typical, what is hazardous, as well as a general check list to keep the City safe from liability.

They participate in grand openings and events.

He showed various other projects that they have designed.

·         Star Skatepark in Los Angeles – Integration of color, a nice plaza fill and good integration.

·         Showed Pacoima Skate Plaza.

·         Beijing, China Skate Plaza – a job they designed in China for a hotel.

·         Watts Skate Plaza – landscape park experience, good integration.

Commissioners’ Questions and Comments:


·         Really like the notion of public art. He asked him to speak about the importance of the environment and how environment reflects design.

           Mr. Ciaglia said environment is very important with the integration of the park. Basically what he would do is once they go out to evaluate the sites, they would watch the drainage and if and how they are disturbing the trees. They use a green basic product replacing cement and recycled rebar. A lot of materials that they use on their sites actually help the environment.

·         He asked what is the smallest size town that he worked for since they cannot really compare Beijing with Livingston.

           Mr. Ciaglia responded that unfortunately in California, there is a big push for skateparks and it’s expanding, so they have to sometimes look elsewhere, but as far as small projects, they have done a lot.

·         Asked what does he see the evolution of skatepark design in the next 20 years.

Mr. Ciaglia responded he thinks what will actually keep skateparks for a long time is basically simple things – simple ledges, simple stairs, simple rails. The common regular things will never go away. State of the art is a good thing, but you don’t want to take it too far. The most important thing is to give the skaters something that works consistently.


·         Asked what would be his recommendation. Obviously they want the urban, the rails, and the simple stuff, but what about the bowl?

            Mr. Ciaglia responded it would be a good mix. Spectators really enjoy it. It’s important to create a multi-use environment and have a lot of shade and benches to sit on. With skating, kids meet other kids. It really changes the sense of environment. It’s for the whole community. Having community activities really helps.

·         Gonzalez asked what is his approach on what goes into the park with the design process.

Mr. Ciaglia responded he likes the combination. He added that the most important thing is looking at the community. First go to the City, evaluate the site, see what makes the most sense in this City, but whoever is using the park is the most important thing because you want to listen to what they want and what the City wants in the community. It balances out. If there is a bowl, it may be segregated a little bit and maybe put a guard rail on it. Their goal is to try to create it so that it is an open environment.

·         Ask if there would be different proposals or just one.

Mr. Ciaglia said the idea was giving three design concepts as the City requested. He explained their cost estimate. They broke down their time in detail. They offered more time (400 hours) than anybody else to basically allow for the design phases and they have over 100 hours of construction management. They actually included all of their subconsultants that they have worked with in the past. They put a budget together and they put it as a “not to exceed” number knowing that they may require these things and depending on what site they get, one might be more than the other. He said the most important thing is to look at a site and evaluate the things that you need to do before you start designing the park. He added that their hourly fees are also lower than some of the other consultants’ fees.


·         Asked about the travel time since they are coming from southern California. 

            Mr. Ciaglia said it is very common to travel around so that is not really a problem and it’s not too far.

·         He mentioned a good location would be near the high school.

Mr. Ciaglia said that would be a good location and another good location is the Sports Complex.

·         Asked if he thinks a sport combination works good.

Mr. Ciaglia said it is better and it is more family oriented. When there are more activities, there are going to be fewer problems.

·         The only concern she has is that the Sports Complex is on the other side of town, but that is certainly something to consider.

·         She likes their designs and the artwork concept.


·         Asked if his partner Safe Spot Skatepark works exclusively with him.

            Mr. Ciaglia responded that they pretty much work exclusively with California Skateparks.

            Mr. Ciaglia added that he is the owner of California Skateparks and he really loves what he does and he gets personally involved with every design and goes out to the sites. That is important to him.


·         Thanked him for his presentation. 

·         Asked how they get input from the community.

            Mr. Ciaglia responded that they try to get participation through the design meeting. They also do advertisements to get people excited to attend the meetings. Sometimes they get kids out there by doing small giveaways such as skateboards or hats or things that might relate to skateboarding. That helps to encourage them to go out to the meetings. If you show the community that you support skateboarding, you are going to get a lot of excitement and participation from the kids.

·         Asked if they help with funding to get sponsors and grants.

Mr. Ciaglia responded that they do. They have a good record of getting vendor participation. He added that more and more people are getting involved with skateboarding. He thinks our community would be good for a skatepark.

Director Kenney asked the skaters in the audience to sign-in their names and addresses to make sure they get invited to the next meeting.

Brian DaSilva, 13196 W. Rose Avenue, Livingston, thinks that if the money is there, then they should make it look good for the community. A lot of towns get the stereotypes that skateparks are bad places and bad things happen in skateparks, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have a nice looking skatepark and if they mix it up with the bowls and the street, something pretty simple, but fun, it will be used by the community. He added that it’s amazing to see how far this project has already moved forward from the day the skaters approached the City Council. He added that whatever skatepark they get, they will be happy and he knows it will be used quite a bit and it will probably bring a lot more people to Livingston.

Commissioner Greeley asked Brian DaSilva if he likes the idea of a stretched out skatepark, something more than just in one spot. 

Brian DaSilva responded that he likes the skatepark in Ceres. That size of a skatepark will be good for Livingston. It’s all about getting lines and getting flow. He also thinks that a good location for the skatepark would be near the high school.

Mr. Ciaglia explained that sometimes younger kids can get a little intimidated if they are in a crowd, but if the skatepark is stretched out, it may be better.


·         Thanked Mr. Ciaglia for his presentation.

Director Kenney explained that the Planning Commission is to select two consultants to pass on to the City Council. The two consultants selected by the Planning Commission will then be interviewed by the City Council at their June 15th or July 6th regular meeting.


·         It’s a hard decision. All three consultants were great, but he personally liked California Skateparks and RJM Design Group.


·         He wishes they had a little bit more opinion from the audience. It’s kind of sad that the decision of these three great companies is put on them with the little skating experience that they have. His vote goes to California Skateparks and RJM Design Group.


·         He really liked Spohn Ranch and RJM Design Group.


·         She thinks all three consultants are wonderful. She picked Spohn Ranch because she really likes the winding park they did and she would like Livingston to incorporate some of that and also California Skateparks because she likes their fees a little better.


·         He thinks all three are great. He voted for RJM Design Group and California Skateparks.

Director Kenney noted that CA Skateparks and RJM Design Group were the two consultants with the majority votes. They will move on to the City Council meeting of June 15, 2010, or July 6, 2010.

Council Liaison Martha Nateras encouraged the skaters in the audience to get more skaters to attend the Council meeting.


Planning Commission


·         Nothing to report.


·         Informed all young folks to attend the June 15, 2010, City Council meeting for the selection of the skatepark consultant. Their presence is really important.

            Brian DaSilva said he brought a group of skaters to a previous Council meeting, but he was the only one that spoke because they were all very nervous.


·         Thanked the folks who came out from Los Angeles and from New York yesterday.

·         Attended the Riverbank festival and spoke with somebody who informed him about a possible ballot measure that could affect the Planning Commission. Every time land goes from Agricultural to Residential, it would need the vote of the citizens so that is something to look out for. They were going to verify the signatures today (6/8/10) to see if they could put it on the ballot.


·         She went to the Riverbank’s Festival too and it was wonderful. She picked all kinds of cherries and blueberries. Her dad said he could not believe that he was walking along picking cherries off the tree and eating them as fast as he could pick them. It was a great festival.

·          Thanked all three consultants for coming out and giving the Planning Commission such wonderful presentation. She appreciates it very much. She wishes she could pick all three of them because they were excellent.


·         Thanked everybody for coming to the Planning Commission meeting.

·         Stated that they held their fourth CIB basketball tournament this weekend at Livingston High School. They had a good turnout. CIB is the Central Indian Basketball League. It has been around for approximately 10 years. They have basketball tournaments throughout California. They started hosting their tournaments four years ago, so this is their fourth annual tournament. They also created the Livingston’s Sports Club Committee. It will be a non-profit organization and they are going to try to do more flag football and more basketball tournaments in the community to raise money for youth baseball and for scholarships for high school kids.


·         Asked if it was possible for staff to distribute flyers at the middle school and high school for the June 15th Council meeting so that skaters know that it is true that a skatepark is coming to Livingston.

      Director Kenney responded that City staff sent a copy over to the high school and middle school for the Planning Meeting and will do the same for the Council Meeting; however, kids are out of school and summer school has not yet started. Staff will also post a flyer at the Library and at Memorial Park.


·         Nothing to report.

City Staff

Community Development Director Kenney

·         Nothing to report.

Administrative Assistant Arredondo

·         Nothing to report.

Council Liaison Martha Nateras

·         She is excited about the skatepark coming to Livingston.

Assistant City Attorney Massey

·         Nothing to report.


The regular meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:55 p.m.

APPROVED:  July 13, 2010

 _____________________________                        _______________________________

Chair, ROY SORIA                                                   Secretary of the Planning Commission,

                                                                                    DONNA M. KENNEY


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s