February 22, 2023 Update: In November 2022, the Parks Recreational Advisory Committee (PRAC) gave full support in recommending the DRAFT San Antonio Park Master Plan (SAPMP) to City Council. Currently, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) analysis is being prepared; City staff anticipates the following schedule for continued public review of the draft:
- Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board/Planning Commission - Summer 2023
- City Council - TBD (pending above)
Why create a Master Plan?
San Antonio Sports Fields Park has for decades been one of Oakland’s gathering points for festivals, recreational activities and the enjoyment of nature. A parks and facilities master plan provides an overall framework to guide the provision of parks, recreation and related quality of life services in the community. The current Parks and Facilities Master Plan was created in 2003 but was not formally adopted by Oakland City Council. Adoption of an updated, comprehensive Master Plan allows City staff to seek funding from a variety of sources that require an Adopted Park Master Plan as a condition of approval. The majority of components of the 2003 plan have not been completed and require re-assessment to ensure that those components comply with current code and meet the needs of the community.
The 2022 San Antonio Parks Master Plan includes a multi-year plan that prioritizes parks and recreation related capital projects that are needed to maintain existing amenities and respond to community requests for enhanced opportunities. After much input and analysis, this updated plan focuses on improving the existing assets of San Antonio Park such as refurbishing courts, expanding the community gardens and picnic areas, improvements to circulation, accessibility and lighting, and addition of a dog park. A new all-inclusive playground will replace the existing playground. There is strong community interest in expanding Oakland’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Development programs at an improved, and possibly expanded, community center.
Initially, the City wished to consider the feasibility of relocating Fire Station 4 to a corner of San Antonio Park. Due to the constraints of the General Plan’s Open Space Conservation and Recreation (OSCAR) Element as well as community resistance, the City elected not to pursue this option. Consideration for relocating the Fire Station was a major component of the community outreach process, and although it is not included in the Final Master Plan, the data developed is included. The Plan does not include the Environmental Analysis, which is currently underway.
Community Engagement Process
The public input process for the update was conducted over several months. The process followed an industry best practices approach of public meeting for general information gathering and independent surveys, followed by meeting again to communicate the results and present a variety of options for feedback. This second stage also included a second independent survey. Finally, all the feedback and data culminates in a preferred option which is presented to the community for feedback. Normally, this process would be conducted in a public venue and include break-out groups for particular areas of interest. Due to restrictions on in-person events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these meetings were held virtually with both ZOOM and phone options. The meetings were conducted with language interpretation for the predominately primary languages of area residents and held on different days of the week and at different times to accommodate all interested participants. The City notified local community-based organizations (127) and residents within a 1-mile radius (+8,000 addresses) of the master plan’s engagement process and schedule. Community based organizations were requested to inform their constituencies, thus broadening the reach of the information. All City of Oakland social media channels were utilized for regular updates. Surveys were conducted utilizing an independent vendor, Survey Monkey, which also tabulated the results. Additionally, a community-based effort, led by Friends of San Antonio Park (FOSAP) conducted a community engagement process focused on families and neighborhood youth, with in-person events at San Antonio Park during the Fall of 2021. All materials, presentations, reports, and background information were also available through the project’s dedicated website with individual inquiries answered in a Frequently Asked Questions format. Concerted and attentive effort was made to offer equitable and inclusive outreach to a broad range of residents, interest groups, and civic organizations.
Priorities for Improvement
The data collected from community participants has established the highest priorities for facilities and infrastructure improvements.
SAFETY & SECURITY: Better lighting, clear circulation with good visibility, improved facilities leading to higher level of use, more people, and a more secure environment.
IMPROVE PLAYGROUND AREA: Create an all-inclusive playground area that is located more centrally within the park.
IMPROVE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES: This includes refurbished sports courts, better lighting at soccer and basketball facilities and programs administered from Recreation Center. Initially, there was interest in establishing a skate park and a large contingent in favor of converting all tennis courts to pickle ball. As it was determined that those favoring pickle ball were largely from outside the San Antonio Park service area, these survey responses were given less weight (by zip code). Ultimately, a new dog play area was preferred by more respondents than a skate park.
EXPANDED COMMUNITY CENTER & LIBRARY: The FOSAP report includes recommendation for a new, larger community center and library complex capable of a wide variety of offerings. These ideas warrant additional consideration, especially with regard to feasibility within the constraints of the General Plan’s Open Space Conservation and Recreation (OSCAR) Element. The Master Plan recommends the City conduct a feasibility study for an expanded Community Center and other community programs such as a library.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ's)
Who received notification about the San Antonio Park Master Plan process? A compiled list of organizations/contacts from the City's Departments of Parks Recreation and Youth Development, Human Services (related to Head Start programming), and Council Office, along with all addresses within a 1-mile radius of San Antonio Park (+8000) was used for notification in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and English. An informational flyer (in envelope) was sent for Community Engagement Meeting Series 1 with instructions on how to participate and how and when to access the survey. A similar flyer was sent for Community Engagement Meeting Series 2 as well as a reminder postcard for Survey #2. A similar postcard was sent for Community Engagement Meeting Series 3, in addition to ongoing communications through the City’s public information media channels. Over 100 community-based organizations such as civic groups, churches, schools, family and children service organizations, and special interest groups receive ongoing communications via email with a request to share information with constituents. The two surveys were conducted online with the option to provide a zip code so it could be determined how much response was from the surrounding area. Both surveys were open for responses for approximately 2 weeks and dates listed on the announcement flyers, Community Engagement Meeting presentations, project webpage, and other City media sites. Both surveys were extended by 2-3 days to accommodate additional distributions. All requests for hard copies were mailed out with self-addressed, stamped return envelopes and responses tabulated along with online results. Details of the survey results are included in the Community Engagement Meeting presentations in the "Documents" section below. There were over 250 participants in the Community Engagement Meetings over the three series, with specific questions or comments of broad interest addressed in this FAQ section.
I wasn't able to attend the community engagement meetings - how can I participate in the master planning process? Presentation slides of the meetings can be found in the "Documents" section below in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese. Also, the Project Webpage will continue to be updated with upcoming public meeting information as well as other project-related documents.
How much Measure KK funding is available for San Antonio Park? Currently, approximately $1M is available, and a portion of that amount will be used for the master planning process and the remainder will be applied toward identified park renovations and improvements.
Why spend money on a new Master Plan? The investment in a new Master Plan that outlines both the needed improvements and associated rough costs, will enable OPRYD (Oakland Parks Recreation and Youth Development) to more readily seek funding. This is especially true for state grants which often require an adopted Master Plan of sorts that has been developed through a robust community engagement process demonstrating diversity, equity, and inclusion; the old 2003 Master Plan is a schematic drawing that was never adopted by City Council nor identifies cost estimates or a clear community engagement process.
What about the maintenance needs already identified in the old 2003 Master Plan that have yet to be addressed? These will carry over into the new San Antonio Park Master Plan in a defined section along with associated rough cost estimates so that funding gaps/needs are clear - an important element in requesting future funding and in applying for future grants.