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Second Hearing on Beach Playfield Tonight

The Piedmont Recreation Commission will hold the second of two public hearings on use of the Beach Playfield today at 7:30 p.m.

The Piedmont Recreation Commission will hold the second of two public hearings on use of the Beach Playfield today at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 120 Vista Ave., with an eye to controlling frequent use of the field by an informal group of adult soccer players.

The first public hearing was held July 18.

Neighbors and families with children have complained for several years about the adult players who show up regularly, especially on pleasant Saturday and Sunday afternoons, for vigorous soccer games.

In February 2008, the Piedmont City Council approved new rules limiting adult use of the playfield by groups of 12 or more persons 21 years of age or older concurrently participating in the same activity or game, including substitutes or alternatives but excluding coaches or spectators.

After more discussion in 2010 and 2011, recreation commissioners decided to leave the situation as it was, pending the results of a park monitoring program.

However, City Councilmember Garrett Keating says, "The use restrictions we previously adopted were ignored by a group of adult players and have proven problematic for the Police Department to enforce. The field monitor worked for awhile but the group returned after that program ended.

"The proposal coming forward will allow adult games on half of the field while leaving the other half available for kids and families. Seems like a good way to share the field."

The public is invited to comment in person tonight. Written comments may be directed to Dick Hunt, Chairman, Piedmont Recreation Commission, 358 Hillside Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611 or by email to mdelventhal@ci.piedmont.ca.us.

Are you concerned about the adult soccer players at Beach Playfield? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Tom Nemeth September 19, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Maybe they could pay to use the field for a set amount of time. It would be simple to enforce, too.
Rick Schiller September 19, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Piedmont residents are taxed at a very high rate already, user fees for casual pickup games by a group of soccer playing local mothers seems exorbitant. I am hopeful some type of solution can be reached tonight that will allow resident group use and protect children from the aggressive "pick-up" games that appear to be non-resident users. These groups of young adults play at a high energy level but unfortunately are not policing themselves in terms of allowing other users access and do not have proper safety concerns for local families that also wish to use the field.
garrett Keating September 20, 2012 at 06:05 AM
Tom, Based on the discussion at tonight's meeting, it sounds like that is what the Commission is going to recommend - Saturday and Sunday hours set aside for adult play wih reservations required. All other times, adults will be allowed on the field only in the company of children. It is important to remember that scheduled field use at Beach was prohibited on Sundays to provide the neighborhood with some down time. Now it appears that the large adult game that occurs there on Sundays will be accomodated. A new draft policy will be presented at the next Commission meeting.
Rick Schiller September 20, 2012 at 06:22 PM
There was conflicting information heard last night at the meeting. The City monitor stated there were no issues on Sunday. Commissioner King then described the aggressive adult only game seen just a week and a half ago during the Sunday Beach pancake breakfast.

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