Soccer fields, bike lanes, land disposition policy on the council agenda tonight

Soccer fields, bike lanes, land disposition policy on the council agenda tonight
Wendell Park is currently used as a practice field for the Richmond soccer community. The park has the potential to provide one U13 field in conjunction with a softball/baseball field. Photo/ Linda Hemmila

The Richmond City Council will ponder new soccer fields and a bike lane project, review the mid-year budget, and establish a land disposition policy tonight.

The council will receive a draft of the Soccer Field and Park Amenities Assessment presentation. Staff recommends using $4.2 million in ARPA funds to implement soccer fields and other park-related improvements to city parks.

According to a needs assessment by CSW|ST2, community conversations have revealed a growing need for soccer fields. 

Majority race by area
As the city’s population has increased, its demographics have also shifted, and the types of recreational opportunities desired and used have also changed.

Staff recommends addressing Richmond’s field deficit by prioritizing under-served districts with the greatest opportunities to build on existing funds and design work to improve or create fields for competition and practice play.

The North and East’s Wendell Park, located in District 1, was recommended as a pilot project for delivering one new U13 field by allocating $1.8 million in ARPA funding. 

For residents throughout the city, improvements to restrooms, courts, lighting, play areas, and other adjacent field areas are essential for accessibility, especially during winter and evening hours.

Mid-year budget presentation

Back on the agenda is the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Mid-Year budget presentation held over from the last meeting.

Richmond City Council to assess mid-year budget, receive crime report
At the Richmond City Council meeting Tuesday, staff will present a mid-year budget report, discuss recent settlements with Chevron and Martinez Refining Company, and an initiative to transition neighborhoods off natural gas. On the consent calendar is a crime report detailing recent violent crimes, including shootings and a stabbing in

Another beautiful bike lane

The council will consider a resolution authorizing a preliminary engineer agreement with Burlingame North Santa Fe for the $5 million Richmond Communities Clean Collaborative 7th Street Bike Lane Project. 

Funding comes from the Caltrans Clean California Grant Fund approved by the Richmond City Council on October 18, 2022. Staff says the bike lane will enhance pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to foster safer passage, improve vehicle visibility on curve turns, and strengthen connectivity between the Central Richmond and North Richmond communities.

The project location is on 7th Street between Hensley Street and Lincoln Avenue, positioned at the north end of the Iron Triangle.

Staff says the bike lane will enhance pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to foster safer passage and strengthen connectivity between Central and North Richmond.

Key improvements include the construction of new concrete sidewalks, driveways, curbs, and gutters, as well as installing new signage and striping. These enhancements are designed to bridge existing sidewalk gaps and extend bike lane improvements, facilitating a future class III bike route on 7th Street. 

3,728,965 ways to love

On the consent calendar is another contract amendment with Way2Love. The amendment would increase the contract amount by $709,422, for a total of $3,728,965.26 for sheltering resources.

Public land disposition policy 

Also on the consent calendar is a resolution establishing the city’s Equitable Public Land Disposition Policy. 

In 2021, the city of Richmond and RichmondLAND sought a Breakthrough Grant from the Partnership for the Bay’s Future. The grant’s objective was to support strategies that would aid community land trusts in acquiring public land, create an inventory of vacant and blighted properties, and establish a public land policy package to encourage and make it easier to produce permanently affordable housing.

Staff says the disposition policies can maximize public good by selling or leasing the land at below-market prices to reduce development costs and improve the financial feasibility of public good investments, such as the affordability of housing.

The housing policy fellow worked with City staff in the Community Development Department and RichmondLAND staff to co-develop policy goals and objectives to meet the priorities set out in the Breakthrough Grant. The disposition policy is one of the grant’s key policy objectives.

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