News

Two new courts open at Tennis Park

Ribbon-cutting marks completion of years-long effort to bring court count to 12

Pleasanton officials and tennis enthusiasts celebrated the grand opening of two new lighted courts at the city's Tennis and Community Park last week.

Constructed over the past half-year, the nearly $1 million effort increased the park's court count to one dozen, a total envisioned by the city for three decades and formally prioritized by the City Council in 2014 but then put on hold and reconfigured two years ago after neighbors protested the original location eyed for courts Nos. 11 and 12.

"Many of us doubted this day of two new courts would ever come, but it came indeed, and it was wonderful," Councilwoman Karla Brown, an avid tennis player, said in an email interview Wednesday afternoon.

Brown joined Mayor Jerry Thorne, council members Kathy Narum and Arne Olson and local tennis players earlier that morning for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the park located at the Valley Avenue-Hopyard Road intersection.

The two new courts, sitting atop what used to be part of a horseshoe-shaped grass area between Tennis Park's two parking lots, serve to help address a shortage of available space for tennis players and complete the long-term vision at the park, according to city officials.

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"Tennis is a very popular sport in Pleasanton with high school and youth players competing with adult players and leagues to play on our public courts," Brown said. "About four years ago, Pleasanton completed a Parks and Rec Master Plan, listing a shortage of tennis courts in town as a top priority."

"Now more residents can enjoy the sport played in Pleasanton by tennis players of all ages and skill levels," she added.

The effort was years in the making to bring the final two tennis courts to the public park at 5801 Valley Ave.

The Tennis Park's original master plan from 1985 envisioned 12 tennis courts, but the count had stayed at 10 since the mid-1990s. The city's Parks and Recreation Master Plan update in 2014 identified the need for more tennis courts in town, and the council that year prioritized two more courts at Tennis Park and set aside capital improvement program (CIP) funds for the project.

The city had a nearly $500,000 contract in place in June 2016 with a construction firm to build the two courts, but those plans were scuttled after ensuing community protests over the new courts' location.

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Dozens of residents, many saying they had no idea about the expansion until seeing construction fences up at the park, opposed the 2016 design, arguing the new courts would be too close to their homes and take away grass areas the public used. They voiced their disapproval in protests at the park in July 2016 and turnout in the council chambers.

The council debated the project and in December 2016 endorsed a new court placement that offered less grading, lower price and a location farther away from neighboring homes but still centrally positioned within the park, compared to other alternatives presented. The final location did remove 16 parking spots from the park's lots as well as six trees, including one designated by the city as a heritage tree.

The council approved the final project costs last May, which came out to $83,000 for design and $860,000 for construction -- in addition to nearly $145,000 in expenditures to that point for previous work for the project, according to city officials.

Construction started early last summer.

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Two new courts open at Tennis Park

Ribbon-cutting marks completion of years-long effort to bring court count to 12

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 4:02 pm

Pleasanton officials and tennis enthusiasts celebrated the grand opening of two new lighted courts at the city's Tennis and Community Park last week.

Constructed over the past half-year, the nearly $1 million effort increased the park's court count to one dozen, a total envisioned by the city for three decades and formally prioritized by the City Council in 2014 but then put on hold and reconfigured two years ago after neighbors protested the original location eyed for courts Nos. 11 and 12.

"Many of us doubted this day of two new courts would ever come, but it came indeed, and it was wonderful," Councilwoman Karla Brown, an avid tennis player, said in an email interview Wednesday afternoon.

Brown joined Mayor Jerry Thorne, council members Kathy Narum and Arne Olson and local tennis players earlier that morning for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the park located at the Valley Avenue-Hopyard Road intersection.

The two new courts, sitting atop what used to be part of a horseshoe-shaped grass area between Tennis Park's two parking lots, serve to help address a shortage of available space for tennis players and complete the long-term vision at the park, according to city officials.

"Tennis is a very popular sport in Pleasanton with high school and youth players competing with adult players and leagues to play on our public courts," Brown said. "About four years ago, Pleasanton completed a Parks and Rec Master Plan, listing a shortage of tennis courts in town as a top priority."

"Now more residents can enjoy the sport played in Pleasanton by tennis players of all ages and skill levels," she added.

The effort was years in the making to bring the final two tennis courts to the public park at 5801 Valley Ave.

The Tennis Park's original master plan from 1985 envisioned 12 tennis courts, but the count had stayed at 10 since the mid-1990s. The city's Parks and Recreation Master Plan update in 2014 identified the need for more tennis courts in town, and the council that year prioritized two more courts at Tennis Park and set aside capital improvement program (CIP) funds for the project.

The city had a nearly $500,000 contract in place in June 2016 with a construction firm to build the two courts, but those plans were scuttled after ensuing community protests over the new courts' location.

Dozens of residents, many saying they had no idea about the expansion until seeing construction fences up at the park, opposed the 2016 design, arguing the new courts would be too close to their homes and take away grass areas the public used. They voiced their disapproval in protests at the park in July 2016 and turnout in the council chambers.

The council debated the project and in December 2016 endorsed a new court placement that offered less grading, lower price and a location farther away from neighboring homes but still centrally positioned within the park, compared to other alternatives presented. The final location did remove 16 parking spots from the park's lots as well as six trees, including one designated by the city as a heritage tree.

The council approved the final project costs last May, which came out to $83,000 for design and $860,000 for construction -- in addition to nearly $145,000 in expenditures to that point for previous work for the project, according to city officials.

Construction started early last summer.

Comments

Curious
Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Jan 24, 2018 at 11:14 am
Curious, Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Jan 24, 2018 at 11:14 am

How does the City justify charging Pleasanton residents to use these courts? We paid for the courts with tax payer dollars, we should not have to pay to use the courts. I hope out of town users are at least charged a premium and Pleasanton residents are given priority when reserving the courts.


Spudly
Laguna Oaks
on Jan 24, 2018 at 11:33 am
Spudly, Laguna Oaks
on Jan 24, 2018 at 11:33 am

Here is another example of your tax dollars at work...the courts at Foothill High are locked and off limits to the public. No different to me than the Fire dept. charging to respond and provide service at a call. Wouldn't taxes already cover their service? Would a private fire department be less expensive?


DelPrado Nester
Del Prado
on Jan 24, 2018 at 12:28 pm
DelPrado Nester, Del Prado
on Jan 24, 2018 at 12:28 pm

Curious - my understanding is the funds for courts #11 & 12 were set aside a very long time ago as part of the general plan. This was an anticipated city park expansion going back to 1985. And yes, Pleasanton residents do get 'perks' including discounted court rates.

Spudly - there's likely a lot of moving parts (insurance, non-supervision, safety issues) as to why the FHS courts are not generally available to the public. The tennis park is run by a private group (LifetimeTennis) and they seem to do a good job of managing court availability, running youth camps. I see it being used all the time, I think the facility is a great asset to the city.

Some might recall our neighborhood protest about the placement of the new twin courts. Originally the 'plan' called for tearing up the big grassy area towards the residential area of the tennis park. Summer 2016, City leaders proved very approachable, long story short the re-placement towards Hopyard & Valley eventually made expansion a win-win for everyone. I tip my hat to the Mayor & Karla Brown for amending the general plan placement based on civic usage of our park.


Grumpy
Vineyard Avenue
on Jan 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm
Grumpy, Vineyard Avenue
on Jan 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm

I’m not grumpy about the location of the new courts. Good use problem solving skills to find useless space between two parking lots rather than tear out a really useful lawn.

Now if they could only use these same brain cells when planning parking for streets like Owens (Hobby horse time!), we’d be happy.


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm

Love seeing investment in outdoor activities, I know Pleasanton does not own the ridge, but would love to see investment here for hikers and bikers.


Jim
Parkside
on Jan 27, 2018 at 8:09 pm
Jim, Parkside
on Jan 27, 2018 at 8:09 pm

This is great news..Instead of 10 empty tennis courts, we now have 12! And it only cost $1 Million..Good job


Long Time Resident
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2018 at 1:30 pm
Long Time Resident, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2018 at 1:30 pm

A couple of comments to the negative people:
1) Thes courts have been planned for decades to support the tennis community. The area left open in the park was due to not wanting to cut down trees when the city had the money to build them. The out of touch neighbors caused the project cost to balloon due to their complaints. If left alone, the project would have cost mush less. I see the current open space people free most of the time.
2) I see acres and acres of empty sports fields most of the time during a normal week. Should we also conclude that these fields have been a huge waste of tax dollars? I don't think so.

Pleasanton has grown into a city with some of the most selfish, self centered people I have every seen. It is always "ME FIRST" and forget everyone else.

You are all an embarrassment to the point that after living here 45 years I no longer tell people I live here. I do not want to be judged by being seen as part of this grossly selfish and snobbish city.


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