Say goodbye to the water slides at Shadow Cliffs? Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Feb 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm
The East Bay Regional Park District will hold a public meeting Wednesday on its plans to tear down the waterslides at Shadow Cliffs and create a more natural landscape in an area that long ago was a quarry surrounded by wetlands and wildlife habitat.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, February 20, 2011, 7:53 AM
Posted by Boo Hiss, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on Feb 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm
There are so few fun activities in this area. c'mon who doesn't like the water slides? An interpretive center? ugh! Guess it's off to LA for summer fun...Pleasanton is a ghost town already on the weekends! We can't all have summer homes and cabins elsewhere. Let's make something fun for the locals that live here!
Posted by Born and Raised in Ptown, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm
Hey local.... How often did you go to the waterslides? Unfortunately they were overpriced and outdated. They were never expanded or upgraded. It is a waste to keep them when they can do something else with the space. Anything would be better!
Ghost town? There are so many things going on in town every weekend just look around!
Posted by Anonymous, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Feb 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm
I don't personally care about keeping the slides because my kids are older now, but I think it's nice to have them. When the kids were younger they went quite often in summer. I frequently found 2 for 1 coupons in mailers and we brought our own food, so it wasn't very expensive at all (especially considering that we didn't have to *drive* far to them). There isn't a lot around here for young children to do other than the playgrounds & aquatic center. You have to drive to places like the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Exploratorium, Oakland or SF Zoos, Academy of Sciences, etc. etc. I say keep the slides! I do like the idea of an off leash dog park though. Currently we go to Dublin for that.
Posted by Boo Hiss, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Feb 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm
Dear born & raised, I actually took my kids quite frequently to the water slides. They don't need the latest and greatest hi-tech experience to have a good time. It is a little pricey but like the other commentator said you can bring in your own food and drinks and its reasonable. And yes, I do go downtown quite frequently and always find a parking spot on Main St. That's the good and bad news. Have you seen the empty store fronts? If you like high priced restaurants or Wine-y events, then I guess there is a lot to do in Pleasanton. There is no bowling alley, no movie theater or other entertainment for kids in Pleasanton. We are always heading out of Pleasanton to go do things with our middle schoolers. That's just how I see it; you are certainly welcome to your own opinions.
Posted by Concerned Californian, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Feb 20, 2011 at 8:37 pm
There are a lot of old and retired people who don't understand that Pleasanton thrives because it is a family town. Kill the youth activities, flood the schools with children from low-income housing - they don't give a damn because it doesn't affect them.
Posted by Arroyo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:05 am
I understand that the slides will be replaced by a maintenance yard. Ugh! How about a tastefully landscaped overflow parking lot for those nice weather weekends when the existing parking lot is full; and families are looking for an inexpensive place to spend the day.
While I'm on the subject, why isn't parking allowed on Stanley on weekends? I understand "no parking" on weekdays. But, wouldn't it be civilized to allow parking on Weekends and Holidays?
Posted by reasonable, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:12 am
The slides are awesome! Since you pay by the hour it is not an all-day commitment, so it is easy and inexpensive enough to take your kids with their friends. Yes, they are not the newest and most hi-tech attraction, but that is part of the charm. It is a small, family-oriented fun spot -- that is all it is and all it needs to be. It will be real loss to the community to lose them, and why on earth do we need to tear them down in order to make other improvements?
It won't save money to tear them down, and there is plenty of space in the park for trails, shade structures, a dog park (all of which sound good) AND the slides!
We love to hike around shadow cliffs with our dog, but frankly it is not a great summer destination except for the slides. The swimming area is small, the beach is dirty and crowded and there is not much else for kids to do there. KEEP THE SLIDES!!
Posted by A Mom, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:40 am
We take our kids there all the time...our Church's youth group goes there. As for overpriced...try heading up to WC or Modesto for a waterslide. What is so great about the ones at Shadow Cliffs is they are close, you can do a 1/2 day, without having to do a whole day trip. My older kid and husband bike over. As for upgrading - the owners tried to upgrade, but the NIMBY's here held it up in City Council so long that he lost his investors. Pleasanton resident's need to think about what we have lost by hindering certain businesses. We'll let a large Safeway, or strip mall (Stanley & Bernal/Valley) but won't welcome a waterslide expansion. Now the EBRPD is going to close it. What will be here for the teens? Yes, there are lots of "family" activities, but the waterslide was something the teens can do without parents, and they hired teens for the summer. There goes more summer jobs for teens. Not providing jobs and activities for teens creates an environment for bored teens hanging at malls and parks. Think about what happens in a town that has bored teens.....
Posted by Arroyo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:53 am
You hit the nail on the head with your comments about the NIMBY's holding up the expansion of the slides. The City cut back on the design from something that would attract more visitors to something that would've made the expansion financially dubious. He lost his health and his investors.
As for the Slides - Fix them up, improve them, and keep them as part of Shadow Cliffs.
Posted by Jocelyn Combs, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2011 at 10:34 am
I support the waterslides. I think it is important to find a balance between healthy recreational activities and passive uses. Pleasanton and the Park District were able to negotiate having the BMX park on Park District property. Pleasanton and the Park District were able to negotiate putting Shadow Cliffs within the City's limits to accommodate sewer lines to the park. Pleasanton and the Park District can resolve this issue too. My kids loved the slides and I hope my granddaughter will have the opportunity to use them in the future. Jocelyn Combs, former member of the East Park Regional Park District Board of Directors
Posted by Maja7, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on Feb 21, 2011 at 10:56 am
Sounds like this is part of beautifying Stanley Blvd! How about providing entertainment opportunities for P-town families so that we don't have to spend our money out-of-town at the Livermore or Dublin cinemas, bowling alleys, etc. Come to think of it...it sounds like P-town officials think that those types of entertainment are not high-class enough for Pleasantonians to partake of. Come on P-town, the snobby thing is wearing thin.
Posted by Dolores Bengtson, a resident of the Rosepointe neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm
I am a user and supporter of Shadow Cliffs and an active member of Friends of Shadow cliffs. Our group supports a Land Use Plan Amendment that would increase the opportunity for year-round use of the park by adding:group all-weather pavilion;young-child's/youth activity area;an interpretive feature that would serve families, individudals and schools;a trail hub - all with adjacencies to parking and rest-rooms. Such an activity area would be located away from the beach and summer use area.We believe Shadow Cliffs would be an excellent place to take classes for outdoor education. Shadow Cliffs offers an unique and close-at-hand out-door laboratory to study geology, hydology, local history (gravel-mining, brick making), man-made land changes and reclamation as well as the sciences related to flora and fauna. With our schools striving to provide outdoor education on a limited budget, encouraging a plan that would make conveniently located and affordable Shadow Cliffs more user-friendly to schools would be great. Contacts: www.FriendsOfShadowCliffs.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most of all,attend the meeting of Wed., Feb. 23rd., 7 - 9 p.m. at the Vets. Bldg., 301 Main Street Pleasanton.
Posted by P-town Resident, a resident of the Southeast Pleasanton neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm
It looks like the meeting is this week -- Wednesday, February 23. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Building on Main Street in Pleasanton. Note the location - it isn't at City Hall.
Posted by Inge, a resident of the Rosepointe neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm
My children and I have enjoyed the water slides a lot. They are close and not too expensive (compared to other similar activities). They also provide employment opportunities for our teenagers! I will be going to this meeting to show my support.
Posted by Diana, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Feb 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm
Dolores, I know your background and you have been a very valuable advocate for parks and trails but I believe you and everyone involved in this plan have lost sight of the needs of our kids/teens. Our kids need to be active and play when they are not in school. I think the park/dairy is unappealing to children and not worth more than one visit. My kids have wanted to hike/bike/walk to the slides and BMX hundreds of times.
Posted by Dolores Bengtson, a resident of the Rosepointe neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm
So many people are commenting about the water slides that I wanted to make the position of Friends of Shadow Cliffs clear. About a year ago we put out a brochure that outlined our interests in improvments to Shadow Cliffs. Our statement on the water slides was "we do not support expansion of the water slide but remain neutral on improvements to and continued use of the existing water slide". At the Shadow Cliffs Land Use Plan scoping meeting of 2009, the owner/operator of the water slides spoke stating his interest in improving the water slides. In the months after that meeting, I and others in our group, made several efforts to contact the spokesman for the water slide but recieved no response to our emails or telephone calls. We were genuinely interested in finding out more about what was proposed in order to determine our level of support or non-support. Since the owner/operator did not respond to our effort to find out more of the plans for the water slide, the best we could do was remain neutral.
According to the East Bay Regional Park District Shadow Cliff Land Use Plan Amendment they will phase out the water slides when the owner/operator can no longer maintain or operate them. It is unfortunate, but the sad truth is many water slide businesses have not been profitable enough to be sustained and have closed. I am sypathetic to the District having to plan for the future of the park recognizing the economics of the seasonal water slide operation does not provide the owner/operator the necessary income to support and maintain the business in the long haul. The District cannot be faulted for the unfortunate economics of the water slide business.
Ihe water slides have provided all of us,our children and grandchidren, a welcome recreational option while employing many of our young adults in meaningful employment. When they are phased out, they will be missed.
Posted by Diana, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Feb 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm
Thanks for your insight.
Friends of Shadow Cliff was born from the opposition to the proposal to improve the waterslides. That same opposition worked against the BMX park which is now much used by the youth of this community.
The plan developed by FoSC is passive and does not attempt to replace the need that is currently met by the waterslides. The FoSC agenda is trails and passive activity and does not respect the needs of our youth.
Posted by Dolores Bengtson, a resident of the Rosepointe neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2011 at 2:07 am
I believe there is a misunderstanding about Friends of shadow Cliffs. "Friends" were not an organized group until May, 2009, the beginning of the process to develop the Land Use Plan Amendment now under consideration. As a matter of fact, some in our group were fans of the water slide expansion, others were not. Contrary to a statement by another writer, "Friends" did not oppose the BMX project nor were they organized at the time the BMX facility was being considered. I have always been a fan of the BMX facility and believe it is a great addition to the community and the region.
When the District announced they were undertaking the current Land Use Plan Amendment for the park, a number of us organized to try and encourage amenities in the park that would encourage year-round use as well as support interpretive programs. As printed in our 2010 flyer (keep in mind that until the District released the Land Use Plan last month we didn't know they were recommending phasing out the existing water slide) we have a neutral position on the water slide.
If you do not support the recommendations of "Friends", that's O.K. I certainly understand "Friends" enthusiasm for interpretive programs and a year-round family/group activity area may fall far short of the excitment of the water related summer programs in the eyes of many people. Most importantly, please attend the coming meeting and let the District know your thoughts. "Friends" submitted articles regarding the meeting to the newspapers not to push our agenda but to make sure you knew you had an opportunity to be heard on this important issue.
Posted by Sally, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2011 at 5:50 am
Arroyo, you are incorrect. The city did not cut back on any supposed California Splash plans. The rumor that was circulating at the time that the plan that went to the City Council in 2004 was a scaled down version of the one that the Planning Commission rejected was false. It was the same plan, the city approved it in a 3-2 vote, but the operator decided to not build it.
Roughly a year or so later, Six Flags divested itself of California Waterword because it was not making money in Concord because the company was spending too much money on security, it was not attracting families, and became a financial liability.
Posted by Arroyo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2011 at 5:57 am
If the EBRPD can support boat rentals, camping facilities, etc., at many of their properties, they should be able to maintain the Water Slides and retain a concessionaire for the benefit and enjoyment of our local youth.
I believe that the goals and vision of "Friends," should be able to coexist with the water slides. However, I also believe that the stated opposition by "Friends" to expansion of the Water Slides, and the political sway they enjoy, may have been the death knell for this facility.
If you want to retain the Water Slides, show up at the meeting on Wednesday evening to voice your opinion, and write letters to EBRPD during the public comment period.
Posted by pay for the use, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2011 at 7:59 am
I have never used the park or the slides and do not care either way how it goes. But I will say that if the slides do not make enough money to operate then one of two things needs to happen. Either charge more so that the users support the cost or shut them down. I don't know why anyone would want the liability of operating them considering the things that can go wrong. Consider the No. Cal slides where the girl was killed because so many kids (in complete violation of the rules) climbed onto the slide. Then her family sued the park and won! With those kinds of problems who needs the liability?
For "A Mom" -- ("Not providing jobs and activities for teens creates an environment for bored teens hanging at malls and parks. Think about what happens in a town that has bored teens.....") Do not make the mistake of thinking that I am reponsible for providing activies at my cost in order to keep your kids from getting into trouble. That's your job, please do it.
Posted by Anonymous, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Feb 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm
I don't consider anyone else responsible for my teenagers. However, I can't afford to be home all day, nor can my husband. It is easier to "do our job" with our kids when the community supports having options for them to enjoy or work for them to do.
Posted by Lardog, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2011 at 10:40 pm
Please don't remove the water slides - they are great! The owner should do a bit more marketing and it could be a more profitable enterprise. I would suggest offering season passes for local residents, better coupons in mailers and papers and a better snack bar. There is enough room west of the water slides for other ameneties like an interpretive center, no need to remove the slides. I was all for the expansion plans but if its difficult to get funding, just add a bit more shade, season passes and a better snack bar and keep the local kids (and their parents) happy during the heat of the summer.
And can someone enlighten me why Stanley is getting relandscaped when we are cutting back teachers in the Pleasanton school district? Does this come from a different bucket of money?
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2011 at 9:21 am
Lets face it. P-town claims to be a family town but it really isn't. Sure lots of families live here. Great schools, very pretty but other than that-not much to do. We have a boring downtown with absolutely no family dining. Sure lots of Italian Rest but lets get something where families can enjoy some good food, sports games while the kids are running around having fun. I'm still amazed how downtown Pleasanton will protest against certain stores/establishments(god forbid there's outdoor entertainment) but they will OK a cigarette store, massage parlors(anyone else curious about these massage parlors popping up)
Posted by Laura, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2011 at 10:13 am
The kids love the water slides and the lake. It is a great way to stay in town and play. It would be hard to lose this fun activity! I like that is smaller and much cleaner than the other big water parks. I hope they don't get ride of them!
Posted by jerri, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2011 at 10:33 am
Stanley is getting an overhaul because 580 is getting an overhaul. Stanley will be traveled mare than usual to accommodate for this. I think Stanley is getting a few more lanes ...hence the new landscaping?
Is BART going into Livermore eventually? A new Bart station off the freeway. I think that's what's going on. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Whatever happened to the Stoneridge Extension? That would have come in handy right about now.
Posted by Alameda County Native, a resident of the Foothill Farms neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2011 at 10:40 am
I'm one of the "Old & Retired People" who supposedly, is not capable of understanding that Pleasanton is a family town. If this is a family town, where is the family entertainment? If I were 16 I would be bored out of my skull. Even at my age it's difficult to find entertainment if you don't drink and are not willing to spend $100 for dinner each night. So please tell me, what is there for kids to do in this town? Some of you say it's not your responsibility to entertain the children at your expense. But if the city does not provide some entertainment facility for these kids you will end up paying for any crime or vandalism committed by bored teenagers. These kids don't want to be entertained but do want some place to go. There are no movies, bowling alleys,no youth center and an education center sure as hell won't appeal to kids on summer vacation. So what would you have them do?
Posted by Ted, a resident of the Canyon Oaks neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm
Where can teens gather?? In all of those suggestions there is no place indoors that is for teens without spending money. They are told to leave the library. The police are called if they sit at the coffee shops, or loiter at 7/11.
At a city council meeting they proposed using money that could be used for a teen center for unfunded pension liability.
The firehouse was originally proposed to be a cafe youth center.....
Posted by Chris, a resident of Livermore, on Feb 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm
How does the Park District intend on replacing the 45 to 50 seasonal jobs that the waterslides produce every year for the past 30 years to High school students and returning home college students?This is not all about jobs, though it should be in this economy.What about the tradition? Many of the parents who take there children there went there as a children themselves.Also dozens of local schools take graduating classes and class trips to the waterslides,returning year after year because it is much more affordable than taking the whole school to Great America or Disneyland both over 50$ per person and you can buy there expensive food too instead of bringing your own.Its there and fun why spend more money the park district does not have to tear it down?
Or we could just put in another winery where it sits,we could deffinently use another one of those!!!
Posted by Anonymous, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Feb 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm
Sally, you do give some good suggestions for activities, but I don't know if I'd call it "plenty to do". I agree that the parks are a good idea, especially if walking distance. A lot of the activities on your list would require most to need a ride though. Is there a bus system that runs all day in Pleasanton, let alone to Dublin & Livermore at convenient times? I honestly don't know. Not all 16 year old Pleasanton teens have licenses and cars. I'm interested to know what other arcades/recreation centers there are. Super Franks looks geared to pre-teens or very young teens. There's Boomers...oh wait, that's in Livermore too! The library? Most teens need to be active and noisy.
HotSam, your list is more about chores than "activities". While I'm totally with you on the teens doing jobs, c'mon, we can't count those as activities that would engage most teenagers.
Let's be honest, this is a boring place for teenagers, especially older ones and especially older ones who grew up here and have done the bowling, parks, and trails ad nauseum. Really, it's a boring place for most of us who can't afford to eat out every night. The difference between adults and teenagers though, is that adults generally (not always :) deal with boredom better than their younger counterparts.
Posted by pay for the use, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2011 at 11:16 am
"The police are called if they sit at the coffee shops"
Not even a little bit true. The police are called when the kids ride skateboards on the brick planters or steps in front of Tully's -- in spite of the no skateboard signs. If they want to sit and drink coffee or eat ice cream that is never a problem. When they think they should be allowed to shout at eachother with every other word being "eff this or eff that" then what should the other patrons do? Not all of us think that kind of behavior is OK whether by kids or adults.
A teen center would be nice, who should pay for it? Should the taxpayers, many of whom have no kids, be forced to pay for it under threat of bored teens damaging property otherwise? What kind of activities should the taxpayers fund so that your kids can be persuaded not to damage my property just because they are bored?
I really don't think the waterslides are such a problem but if they are not paid for by user fees, who should pay for that? We don't have excess money sitting around at the city level and taxpayers are tired of being forced to come up with more. So I ask again, how much should we have to pay to ensure that your bored kids will not damage our property just because you choose not to restrain them?
Posted by Parent, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Feb 24, 2011 at 11:47 am
We all share the expense for community services that we may not personally use. You may say you never use the library, senior center or the Firehouse Arts Center but they are valuable assets to the community. A youth/community center is the same.
The police do tell the students to leave, to turn over the seats for other customers, but I agree that they should have a place that is more suited to the youth culture.
The waterslides are pay for use. Eastbay regional makes money off the slides each year and it is acreage that they do not have to pay to maintain.
Eastbay regional is squeezing out this local amenity. Last night they said they will continue to do so without public support for the slides.
Posted by Meghan, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on Feb 24, 2011 at 11:50 am
So, I didn't hear about this meeting until this morning and have obviously missed being able to attend (anybody know how EBRPD publicized the meeting?)... Who was able to attend? Was there a decent turn-out? What was the general sentiment? Did the District say whether the slides were profitable or not?
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2011 at 1:14 pm
I did attend the meeting, I learned of it from this forum I am sure it was in all of the local papers. The meeting was attended by about thirty citizens most did not address the slides. Myself and a couple of others did speak in support of the slides. From beginning comments from the facilitator of the meeting it seemed clear a decision has been made to faze out the slides. When I asked what could be done to save the slides the response I heard was people had better become involved.
Representative from the slides made clear that there is a willingness to continue to operate the slides but the park district will only give them a year to year lease which does not justify investing in improvements.
I am sure there will be an article soon that will better cover the meeting but if anyone would like to talk about supporting the slides please contact me.
EBRPD has provided for a 45-day public review period for this project, which begins February 4 and concludes at 5:00 p.m., Monday, March 21, 2011. All written comments must be received by this time at: EBRPD, Planning & Stewardship Department (attention: Shadow Cliffs), 2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, CA 94605; or emailed to: email@example.com.
If you want the Waterslides to stay or have other comments about Shadow Cliffs, don't just write in this forum; direct your comments to EBRPD by mail, email or in person.
visit EBRPD’s Web site at www.ebparks.org or call (510) 544-2300.
Posted by Bob Richards, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm
Have tried e-mailing ERPD to express my displeasure (and my grandkids, ages 5 thru 12) over closing the waterslides. "firstname.lastname@example.org." gets rejected every time. It was printed that way in the Weekly but they do not respond to requests for the correct address. Perhaps they also want another interpretive center which kids will not visit on their own.