File #: 2021-0166   
Type: Consent Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 2/17/2021 In control: Regional Parks
On agenda: 3/23/2021 Final action:
Title: Larson Park Renovation Statewide Park Program Grant
Department or Agency Name(s): Regional Parks
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. Resolution

To: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

Department or Agency Name(s): Sonoma County Regional Parks

Staff Name and Phone Number: Elizabeth Tyree, 565-2575

Vote Requirement: Majority

Supervisorial District(s): First




Larson Park Renovation Statewide Park Program Grant



Recommended Action:

Recommended action

Adopt a resolution authorizing the Director of Regional Parks to apply for the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program in the amount of $3.606 million for Larson Park Renovation and to execute all documents which may be necessary to carry out and administer the grant. (First District)



Executive Summary:

Regional Parks is seeking $3.606 million for Larson Park improvements identified by the community through the Larson Park Master Plan process. The proposed Master Plan recommends a significant renovation project with goals of the aging infrastructure, improving the play value of the recreational features, enhancing safety and community connections, and protecting the natural resources of this cherished neighborhood park. The total estimated project cost is $4.3 million. Regional Parks will contribute matching funds including $500,000 Parks for All Measure M category 2, $100,000 Community Service Area 41, and $20,000 from the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation. State Parks requires a resolution authorizing a position to apply for grant funds and to execute all documents which may be necessary to carry out and administer the grant.



Regional Parks is requesting the Board's support to apply for $3.606 million from State Parks' Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program (Statewide Park Program). Regional Parks is currently completing the Master Planning process for Larson Park, proposing renovations and new park features based on feedback from the community. This Master Plan is anticipated for presentation to this Board in April 2021.


The total estimated cost of improvements proposed in the Master Plan is approximately $4.3 million. Currently, $620,000 in local funds has been identified for these improvements with $500,000 from Parks Measure M Category 2, $20,000 from the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation, and $100,000 from County Service Area 41. Local funding would complete only a portion of the renovation work recommended and Regional Parks is seeking sufficient funding to complete most of the major elements described in the pending Master Plan.


Based on feedback from the community and various stakeholders during the Master Plan process, the site improvements at Larson Park would include upgrading, replacing or otherwise renovating nearly all of the existing facilities. The project proposes a renovated soccer field, renovated baseball field, a new and enlarged children's play area, renovated tennis courts and new pickle ball courts, renovated basketball court, improved parking and vehicle circulation, improved pedestrian circulation, community garden improvements, new group picnic area, and a new restroom. The project also proposes protecting and restoring the creek corridors, including removing invasive plants and revegetating with native plants.


At this time, the Statewide Park Program offers $395 million statewide in competitive grant funding. The goal of this grant program is to create new parks and new recreation opportunities in critically underserved communities. Critically underserved communities are defined as an area with less than 3 acres of park space per 1,000 residents or a median household income below $56,982. This grant will only fund ready to go projects for creating a new park, expanding an existing park, or renovating an existing park. The demographics of Sonoma County offer few areas within the household income threshold, but none overlap with shovel ready park development projects. Larson Park meets the shortage of park space requirement and would be ready for construction if grant funding was awarded late summer of this calendar year. Grant applications, including an authorizing resolution, are due in March. Should funding be awarded, this grant program requires applicants to certify that adequate funding will be available to complete the project and to operate and maintain the project. Regional Parks would contribute $620,000 in matching funds. Regional Parks will continue maintaining this park with no change to the operating budget. The increased cost for maintaining the improved facility will reduce maintenance requirements.


This is the fourth round of the Statewide Park Program. With Board support, Regional Parks submitted an application for Larson Renovation during the third round of this grant program but was not successful. The program was heavily oversubscribed with $2.3 billion requested for the $255 million available. Following feedback from State Parks, Regional Parks expanded community engagement to better demonstrate community support and interest in this proposed park renovation.


Should this funding be awarded, construction is anticipated to be complete in 2022 or early 2023. Following construction, ongoing Larson Park operations are not anticipated to increase, while maintenance costs are expected to decrease. Regional Parks would continue managing this County park facility.


Prior Board Actions:

September 1, 2020 received the County of Sonoma Capital Project Plan 2020-2025, including subject Larson Park project.


August 6, 2019 by Resolution No. 19-0317 approved application for Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Grant Funds, round three.


Fiscal Summary


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FY21-22 Projected

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Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

There is no fiscal impact to this item. If the grant application is approved, this funding and the related expenditures will be included in the FY 2021-2022 budget. Matching funds include $500,000 Parks for All Measure M category 2, $100,000 Community Service Area 41, and $20,000 from the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation.


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Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board: