Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Letter presented to Marinwood CSD Board on the Marinwood Maintenance Compound (tonight at 7:30 pm)

Letter presented to Marinwood CSD Board and Staff :  September 11, 2018

The Maintenance Facility is not ready for approval tonight. There are too many unanswered questions and too few people know about the size, scope and cost of the design proposal.

Why should a major building proposal for Marinwood Park, whose expected lifespan will be measured in decades, be rushed through for approval without adequate vetting from the people who pay for the park and enjoy its beauty?

In April 2017, the Parks and Recreation commission, in concert with the Marinwood CSD board presented a scoping session where 4 alternative design proposals were suggested.  Although consensus, was not achieved that evening Jeff Naylor, Marinwood CSD director promised to consider the suggestions and more public meetings would be held.
In February 2018, an unnamed architect was hired to create design ideas for consideration.  A local architect presented a proposal based on one of the four options.  He estimated his fees would be $13,800 for the entire project including an $8000 fee based on $100,000 construction cost.  He was rejected despite many years of public works experience and a competitive cost.  

Instead, the board chose the unnamed architect for a “per hour” consulting fee with total costs estimated by Eric Driekosen, Marinwood CSD manager “not to exceed $12,000”.    The board agreed but did not disclose a clear conflict of interest since the architect hired was former CSD director Bill Hansell who had hired Mr. Dreikosen in 2014. 

Instead of receiving several design proposals based on Options 1-4, Mr Hansell presented a brand new proposal in late April 2018 to the parks and recreation commission.   The public was not alerted to this presentation in the agenda.  Only five people from the community received detailed invitations to attend the meeting.  It was by chance, that I attended and recorded the proceedings but I am not an official videographer for the district and do not have the outreach capability of a public agency.

The public was told there will be more opportunities to speak to the proposal prior to submittal to the county but that promise has not been kept.   Instead, public inquiry was thwarted and not until June 30th was the public aware that a site plan and Negative Declaration was being submitted based upon the single plan offered by HansellDesign. 

The Hansell Design doubles the footprint of the existing shed and its awkward layout creates a huge footprint and access issues requiring parking and storage outside of the facility.  It is roughly twice the size of neighboring homes and covers about four average building lots.  It violates the Stream Conservation Ordinance and blocks access to the park which treasured by so many on a daily basis.
Option 3 proposal offered in 2017 maximizes space for the workers, respects the park and is the environmentally preferred option.  We did not see a design for this option. Instead, we receive a brand new secret plan that is double the square footage.
The community supports building a new maintenance facility.  It appears that Option 3 proposed in 2017 offers the most advantages with the least impact to the park.  It is a long, narrow side access garage with accessory storage.

This is the proposal, that I believe was offered by Marinwood CSD Director, Irv Schwartz, a longtime civil engineer and developer with decades of building experience.  It makes sense because it is of the proper scale and will not impede the recreational use of the park and maintains viewscapes.  It is also the farthest away from Miller Creek stream bank. 

The fact that Marinwood CSD has not even announced the proposed budget for this project is cause for alarm.  Architects fees for Hansell design are $11,800 as of May 2018 and are likely double by now.   The Hansell project requires custom fabrication and expensive materials not discussed.  It may require special ventilation systems for worker safety, increased power and water supply and landscaping. 

In other words, the board is being asked to approve a project that has not met essential criteria of vetting.  1.) What are the range of possible designs?  2.) What design most efficiently meets the needs of the workers and the public? 4.) What design respects the core function of a recreational park ? 5.) Which design is most environmentally preferable? 6. ) How much does it cost and how will it be paid for?

Marinwood is not ready to approval the Hansell design tonight.  Let’s consider alternative plans, first.  It may confirm the Hansell plan or the community may decide a different plan.  The Hansell plan may work better as a community room or other use.   In any event, the community will receive a better plan.

Why not do what is best for the community and let democracy do its work?  This is a chance to establish a new positive era for Marinwood.  Let’s do our best to work together.

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