Pleasanton Weekly

News - April 15, 2011

Park District to vote Tuesday on Shadow Cliffs

Plans have been tweaked in response to comments

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

After 45 days of public review, the new land use plan for Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area will be voted on Tuesday by the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors.

The Shadow Cliffs review began after the California Splash Water Park project to expand the waterslides was dropped, in 2008. Now the goals are to create a more natural landscape in areas that were once quarries.

Park District staff gathered questions and comments at four meetings earlier this year plus received another 38 in emails and letters, which, in some cases, resulted in revisions to the plan.

The new plans call for phasing out the existing waterslides, which were opened in the early 1980s.

"The waterslides have provided approximately 50 jobs seasonally to high school and college kids for more than 30 years. It would be a shame to let them go," one person commented.

"The District acknowledges that the waterslides provide an attractive activity and jobs for area youth and, in fact, District staff supported the expansion of the waterslide concession during the 2002 LUPA (Land Use Plan Amendment) process," the district responded. "Without the California Splash project, however, District staff believes that the existing waterslide is not sustainable, in the long term, as a part of Shadow Cliffs' future."

"This does not mean that the waterslides would necessarily close in the short term," the report said, adding that the waterslides may continue to operate until the District implements grading and other improvements.

The district Board of Directors will make a separate decision on any operating agreement with the waterslides concessionaire.

Other comments asked about parking.

"Why no additional parking if park users continue to park (illegally) on Stanley Blvd. on peak days?" said one.

"Shadow Cliffs has three main lots, providing approximately 1,140 parking spaces. With the anticipated fencing of the beach area and the eventual removal of the waterslide concession, the District does not anticipate a long-term demand for additional parking on peak days," was the reply.

In response to public input about trails, the recommendations were revised to acknowledge Shadow Cliffs as a regional trail hub and to develop a centralized area adjacent to parking and restrooms that could include, among other things, regional trail information.

The board's public hearing to consider approval of the Land Use Plan Amendment and environmental studies will take place at 2 p.m. April 19 at EBRPD headquarters, 2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. Call (510) 544-2351.

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