Yucaipa

The pickleball courts will be located at Yucaipa Community Park on Oak Glen Road.

The Yucaipa pickleball community will be excited to hear of new courts that are being planned by the city. At the Yucaipa City Council meeting on Dec. 13 the council voted to approve the $66,925 project. Public Works Analyst Todd Gutjahr said, “Since 2002, the city council has been steadily working on increasing the city’s parks and recreation opportunities within the city.” Since 2012, the city has gone through significant changes due to residential and commercial development, as well as park development. As a result, additional recreational needs have been identified and capacity requirements for recreational opportunities have become apparent through community feedback and assessments completed by staff. City council voted to update the Master Plan in April of 2014 and it was completed in 2016. The update provided both a snapshot of the supply of recreational facilities available to residents, including an assessment of current conditions, quality, capacity and functionality for each recreational facility and the community needs into the future. The facility inventory matrix was updated to catalog the number of facilities by type and the amenities associated with each facility, including indoor and outdoor facilities, facility size and facility attributes (game/practice, overlay/design use, field size, adult/youth facility, lighting and play surface). Staff also consulted with local youth and adult sports organizations to identify under and over-utilized facilities and the reasons for their lack of or excess use as part of the update. The council accepted the new Master Plan in 2016 and at that time, there was no indication of the demand for a pickleball facility. Since then, this sport has grown in popularity nationwide. Over the last several years, many residents have taken up the sport and begun to play at various locations throughout the city. “In the fall of 2018, the city along with the USA Pickleball Association Ambassador discussed the use of the Seventh Street Park pickleball court as a site for temporary pickleball use,” said Gutjahr. Currently there are no facilities established within the city of Yucaipa for exclusive pickleball use and temporary pickleball courts (delineated with permanent pickleball court striping on existing tennis/basketball courts) have been implemented at Avenue I Park, Seventh Street Park and the Community Center. As part of the FY 2021/2022 budget adoption process, city council prioritized the development of a permanent, exclusive pickleball facility and authorized the amount of $400,000 for the Yucaipa Pickleball Court design and construction at the Yucaipa Community Park. Gutjahr said, “At the Yucaipa Community Park, the proposed pickleball courts are going to be on the west side of the park just northwest of the parking lot. They will be on a slope.” Gutjahr ex-plained that part of the property is owned by the County of San Bernardino while the other part is owned by the city. Since the city area could be used for overflow parking, which has been done in the past, staff decided to move the site up higher on the slope to also give it a better vantage point from Oak Glen Road. “The conceptual plan, developed by one of the pickleball association members, consists of 11 courts,” said Gutjahr. The three middle courts have a larger area and will be called the “Center Court” with permanent bleacher seating. Three of the courts “will allow wheelchair access for wheelchair pickleball which the Pickleball Association said they would like to see that for future use in regard to their programming. The proposal is going to include the development for the courts to have lighting, as well as shade structures but again when we come to the construction aspect, that may vary depending on the costs,” said Gutjahr. Working with a slope, the plans contain different levels of retaining walls and Gutjahr said they liked this idea versus one large flat wall that would be necessary if it were not a tiered structure. He said he was hoping this would be more cost effective and like most of the other brick work within the city, it will be cut stone and graffiti coated so that any graffiti will be able to be hosed off and cleaned up. Three firms submitted professional engineering and design services proposals for the project. After the development services department staff reviewed and evaluated the submittals, RHA was chosen to be the preferred firm to provide the requested services for the project. This determination was based on their qualifications, experience, proposed scope of work, identification of the project constraints, options to address issues and previous work on other city projects. In a proposal letter by RHA Landscape Architects-Planners, Inc., President Doug Grove stated, “We are excited about the project and believe that we can provide the city with the most creative and comprehensive design that will best serve the city and the pickleball community.” RHA was awarded with the $66,925 contract for a total design project costing $71,925. This will leave approximately $322,000 for the construction of the pickleball facility.

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