Holiday ice rink moved back to Civic Center lot

Delucchi Park proves too controversial for November opening

Pleasanton's outdoor ice skating rink planned for the coming holiday season has been moved from Delucchi Park on First Street back to a portion of the Civic Center and public library parking lots along Old Bernal Avenue.

City Manager Nelson Fialho said the move was made to avoid delays in obtaining new City Council approvals that might have been required after homeowners on the east side of First Street complained about possible noise and traffic congestion at Delucchi, which is located close to their homes.

The ice rink, to be installed and operated by San Jose Arena Management (SJAM), a subsidiary of the San Jose Sharks, will be placed on a platform to be built on top of the parking lanes closest to Old Bernal Avenue. SJAM will pay all costs of building and operating the rink with the city contributing about $20,000 for added power and lighting, costs that will be reimbursed from SJAM profits from ticket sales and sponsorships.

The rink is scheduled to open the weekend before Thanksgiving and close in early January. It would be open to skaters from noon to 10 p.m. daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. School and corporate groups could also reserve ice time in the morning.

Fialho said that when SJAM first approached the city about operating an outdoor ice skating rink in Pleasanton, his hopes were to put the rink in the parking lot next to Round Table Pizza or in another lot next to the now-vacant Domus store, both on Main Street. However, the property owners rejected the request and SJAM, Fialho and his staff started looking at other options.

Although the Civic Center parking lot is farther from centrally-located downtown stores than Delucchi Park, Fialho said it's a suitable site for the first year of the rink. The city and SJAM have signed a five-year contract for a holiday rink and Fialho hopes to persuade Domus or Round Table property owners to allow the rink on one of their parking lots next year.

"The Civic Center was a last choice location, doable," Fialho said, "but not preferred from the standpoint of being less centrally located and visible.

Although the Delucchi Park site was preferred by Fialho and many downtown merchants, several on the City Council indicated they would insist on public hearings and possibly an environmental impact report before agreeing to the park site. Fialho said that could have taken too long to get the ice rink built and operating this year, so he moved the site back to the Civic Center which the council had already approved.

A downtown merchants group has indicated it will sponsor horse-drawn carriage rides from their stores to the ice rink. An estimated 20,000-25,000 skaters and their families are expected to make use of the ice skating rink during the 60-day period it's open. More than 40,000 signed on for skating last year at a similar rink in downtown Walnut Creek.

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Posted by Timothy T
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 4, 2009 at 9:26 am

Only in Pleasanton could something as simple as a tiny, temporary ice rink become a Battle Royale!

You keep it up your crazy Pleasantonians (rhymes with Draconian)! Pleasanton Weekly couldn't run a business without ya!

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Posted by 2ME4U
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 4, 2009 at 11:43 am

As long as it's not gone all together. My favorite part though was that Delucchi Park was called a "normally quiet" neighborhood by some downtown residents and in one of the articles. If true where is a not normally quiet hood here in Pleasanton? I'd say with concerts, cut through traffic, farmers Market, parades and Main Street it is one of the busiest, and loud areas in town. If they don't want to add to the congestion and noise that's valid but making it sound like a normally sleepy area is just moronic.

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Posted by Bobby
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2009 at 11:49 am

I'm curious, did the Library commission or residents around this location have any input? Where are all the library customers going to park? How much is this costing? Wouldn't a contribution to our schools be a better use of SJAM's goodwill?

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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 4, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Yes the library people did have a chance to comment, there were public hearings where that location was approved. There was no such opportunity regarding Fialho's unilateral descision to put the rink in the park. The up front cost to the city is about $20,000, which is supposed to be reimbursed from SJAM, right, don't hold your breath. Had the rink been put over the grass in the park the cost to Pleasanton would have been tens of thousands more dollars to repair the park, none of that was to have been paid by SJAM.
The merchants and the PDA pushed for this rink. And, yes, I do think the money would have been better spent on the schools.

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Posted by Amazing
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2009 at 12:32 pm

What's so amazing to me - both with the Ice Rink and the Barone's blank check approval - is all the hostility aimed toward citizens exercising their rights. How dare they speak out against the All Powerful Business Community in Pleasanton! Don't they know that government - even in Pleasanton, unfortunately - exists to reinforce the power of the corporate state and the elected elite? Cook-Kallio's dismissal of the public as "small pockets of objectors" as a means of dismissing their legitimacy in a democracy is stunning - especially from a "Constitutional Scholar"!

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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 4, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Amen to that, Amazing.
That has been my point from the beginning. If I wanted to add 2 inches to my fence I would have to spend thousands of dollars and months of my time getting it approved. Yet the city manager tries to ram the "rink in the park" down the throats of the residents without so much as a "are there any questions or objections?" BTW, just what does he do that earns him a quarter million a year and 3 full time assistants (at least) at a cost of 150K each? This rink fiasco should make someone look pretty hard at the necessity of spending that much of our money for such poor management.
I have lived here a long time and have seen some ridiculous arguments to prevent restaurants, etc, but I have also seen arguments that have enough merit to treat them seriously. A blanket approval for alcohol and music for 19 hours per day, with no recourse for the neighbors if it gets too loud, is not in the best interest of anyone. Have the PDA and the merchants taken over this town to the point that any citizen who questions anything will be shouted down as an infidel or worse? A little compromise from both sides would be nice. I hope that the Barone's are considerate and do not cause the neighbors excessive difficulties. But if they are not, what then?
As Amazed said, in a democracy everyone gets a say. No one deserves to be dismissed as irrelevant simply to expedite someone else's agenda.

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Posted by So Disgusted!
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 4, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Once again I am ashamed to be a home owner in Downtown Pleasanton! When is the City going to stand up to these old hags that continue to put a stop to the future growth in our town. Don't you want Ptown to be a desirable place to live, don't you want real estate to maintain or have growth?????????!!!!!!!! Come on... move the heck to Tracy and stop ruining our great downtown for your own selfish satisfaction!! I live on 1st Street so I will not tolerate the comments that I don't understand the noise or that I don't live downtown; I probably live closer than most of you hags complaining. I purchased a home in downtown for the, oh hello, the DOWNTOWN living (imagine that!) And to the Domus and Round Table pizza owners.. what are you thinking??!!! $$$$$$ would have been spent at your locations, Round Table, by the ice skaters - complete Stupidity!!!!!!!!! The City should be ashamed to allow this small group of negative complainers to influence a decision that affects the entire city. You will all regret when Ptown is no longer desirable but a ghost town.

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Posted by Kate
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Yeah, I just love the new downtown. At the last Wednesday night street party I really loved watching all the drunk 25 year olds and "hot Pleasanton Moms" strut their stuff. Can't wait to see the high-schoolers at the ice rink with Schnapps in their thermos' and the hot P-Town Moms all dolled up in their scarves and berets. Yeah, the people that frequent these events are just so representative of the direction I want this town to go in.

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 4, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Kate- so what is your issue with "hot Pleasanton Moms"? Do you hate Moms in general, just the hot ones, or just the hot ones who live in Pleasanton? If a Mom does not wear a beret, does she still qualify as a HPM?

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Posted by Wait & See - Free Bridge?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Moving the Skating Rink back to the library parking lot, where it was already approved seems like a good move for now. That will tell whether it works or not, without ruining the grass in the park. But, if it's on the parking lot, where do the people who want to skate, and the people who want to use the library park? I probably use the Library more than I ice skate. There's already an indoor rink in Dublin, if it is still in business. Would it have made sense to be on the Alameda County Fairgrounds, or those parking lots? If it is temporary, what happens next year? Why is ice skating seasonal when it is in this part of California?

Nice of the Sharks (SJAM) to want to provide this, but you have to be careful with sports clubs: This may be all about PR, and getting what they want.
Let's just hope the Sharks deal for the skating arena near Staples Ranch doesn't turn out like sports deals in Oakland- where the gullible public is still paying Million$ every year, despite being assured up front of how that would be a good deal, and would make them money.
The Bridge will eventually be free, once it is paid off: Yeah, sure...
From what we've heard there are still a lot of questions about the Staples Ranch give away: Nearly free land- Why? Why don't the fees to Pleasanton go up in later years if it makes a lot of money? What happens if they don't make money? What, if any, consideration do Pleasanton residents and Pleasanton schools get? Can the Sharks sell the buildings on our land or their lease without Pleasanton's approval? MAybe then they should give it back. - In Oakland the Hyatt Hotels sold their 66 year lease, and the "flagship" building next to the Convention Center became an unknown name hotel.
Hope Pleasanton's lawyers were smarter this time than the ones dealing with the developer who failed to honor a commitment to build a school, then sued and won damages from us!

Like this comment
Posted by RainMan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm

National Weather Service is reporting above average water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.
This is a sign of an El Nino weather pattern that will dump record rainfalls this winter.
No one skates outdoors in the rain.

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