PITTSBURG -- Plans to build a children's activity pool to replace an aging lap pool at Ambrose Park have been delayed as result of an appeal of the Planning Commission's approval of the project's design.
Ambrose Park, located near Highway 4 and Bailey Road, is within Pittsburg city limits, but the park is owned and maintained by Bay Point's Ambrose Recreation and Park District, which previously held public meetings that resulted in the adoption of a master plan for the pool project and other improvements to the park; Pittsburg is acting as the project manager, while the park district has final approvals for the new pool.
The existing eight-lane lap pool was closed in 2008 for safety reasons.
Some Bay Point residents have pushed for rebuilding the existing pool or having the new pool be a lap pool instead of the 18-inch deep, irregularly shaped children's pool called for in the master plan. Children's pools bring in more revenue and are less expensive to operate than lap pools, say district officials.
As a result of the appeal filed by Bay Point resident Michael Kerr, City Council members on Monday continued until Nov. 19 a decision to award a construction contract for the new pool that would have cleared the way for the project to move forward.
The two public workshops the district had in 2009 amounted to "brainstorming sessions," and people did not have a chance weigh in on a master plan that was developed later, Kerr said.
"They are trying to get rid of the pool in Ambrose Park and replace it with a water playground," he said.
"We were never given the opportunity to discuss the master plan that was developed in the worskhops."
Steve Hoagland, chairman of the district's board of directors, said the public hearing process was adequate.
"Every citizen has a right to file an appeal if they are not happy. The problem is the reason they are giving -- that is wasn't vetted through our agency -- is factually wrong," he said.
The original timeline called for the new pool to open as early as July 2013.
Filing the appeal will lead to several months of project delays, he said. If the city had taken action on Monday, the district would have taken action at its Thursday meeting that would allow it to open bids very soon so that construction could start. It is possible a four-lane lap pool could be included in the project, which also includes restrooms, an office, a snack bar and pool equipment building, if the bid amount for the children's pool comes in lower than expected.
The Ambrose pool replacement project is estimated to cost $2.3 million. Project funding comes from $1.13 million from the East Bay Regional Park District's Measure WW, a voter-approved bond measure; $600,000 in park fees paid by city developers; $98,000 from the district; and $473,000 in county developer fees. The county fees were turned over to the district from a lawsuit settlement to help the district pay for the new pool.
In other action, council members approved a sales tax-sharing proposal to help offset remodeling costs to bring a new Ford dealership to the Century Auto Mall at the site where Mazzei's former Pontiac, Cadillac and GMC dealerships were located before closing three years ago.
The vacant dealership was later vandalized and is in need of repairs.
The proposal calls for Thomas Nokes, owner of Antioch Auto Center, to move the Diablo Ford dealership he purchased on Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg over to the auto mall. The new dealership would be called All-Star Ford.
Under the proposal, Pittsburg will share with All-Star Ford one-fourth of sales tax revenues the city receives from the dealership's car sales for up to a 10-year period, with the total amount not to exceed $1.85 million over 10 years.
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.