Piedmonters Unsettled On Blair Park

Piedmont political leaders seem a little unsettled about Blair Park development, in Moraga Canyon.  Since we all live nearby, Piedmonters and Oaklanders should hear about the upcoming city reviews.  We thought that sports field plans were effectively iced – but apparently that’s not correct.

The Piedmont City Council has placed Blair Park on their September 8th agenda, as part of the “EIR For Moraga Canyon Sports Fields.” There will be an environmental impact review of synthetic turf and lighting plans for Blair Park and Coaches Playfield.

Blair Park's Turkey Family

Piedmont and Oakland residents united to push back development earlier this year, when Piedmont’s school district considered placing portable classrooms at Blair Park.  At that time, talk turned to installing retaining walls, permanent playing fields, parking lots and an overhead walkway across Moraga Avenue.

Last March, Today in Montclair ran a survey to gauge opinions about playing fields and alternatives.  We asked whether Blair was the answer and more than 60 percent of survey-takers were against building soccer fields there.

We also asked about alternatives to solving the field shortage in the hills.  Over 70 percent of respondents said that local school and college fields could be used more often – and that city-owned fields could improve their schedules, too.

As the summer wraps up, it seems like what was settled is still unsettled.  Some sort of slow-moving force is pushing the Blair Park fields development by the Piedmont City Council.  Even without a clear funding path, there’s an important assessment scheduled right after Labor Day.

We don’t have details for this latest Blair Park review, because “the staff report for this matter will be available on the city web site by Thursday, September 3, 2009.”  You should be able to click here for more details.

In the meantime, we know that showing up is part of the battle.  Like before, we expect concerned hills residents to attend the Piedmont meeting – on Tuesday, September 8th at 7:30pm, in city chambers (map).  The future of Blair Park is still at stake.