ALAMEDA -- The Planning Board will host a public hearing on the master plan proposed for the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park when it meets Monday, when the board will also consider recommending the City Council approve the plan.

The plan shows that most places for active use at the 22-acre park will be located at the outer edges, while the majority of the center will be open space with trails for walking and cycling.

A community garden, frog pond, an outdoor classroom and a butterfly garden are also proposed, as well as a gazebo, a picnic pavilion and other amenities. Picnic tables and benches will be scatted throughout the the former railroad property, which is bordered by Constitution Way, Atlantic Avenue and Sherman Street.

"Once the master plan conceptual design is approved, it will then serve as the road map for fundraising, final design and park development," Amy Wooldridge, executive director of the Alameda Recreation and Park Department, said in a background report for the board. "The park is currently unfunded, although there is pending funds through state grant applications and developer fees. Timeline for detailed design and construction are dependent upon securing funding."

Construction of the park is expected to cost $8 million.

Tim Lewis Communities, the developer working to transform the former Del Monte warehouse on nearby Buena Vista Avenue into housing, would provide $2 million toward the park as part of open space for its project, which the Planning Board will also review on Monday.


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The future park is named after Jean Sweeney, a longtime Alameda resident who died in November 2011. Sweeney campaigned to preserve the former Alameda Beltline property as a park when many dismissed the idea as too expensive and facing too many legal hurdles.

Sweeney unearthed the 1924 contract between the city of Alameda and the railroad company that contained a clause allowing the city to buy back the property for the original $30,000 price, plus the cost of any investments or improvement that the railroad had made over the decades.

The contract cleared the way for the city to eventually purchase the property for just less than $1 million in a deal that was wrapped up in October 2012. The site's current market value is about $20 million.

The Cross Alameda Trail, a City Council-approved pedestrian and bicycle trail running the length of the Island, will be located on the northern edge of the future park.

The council reviewed a draft of the master plan in May 2013.

Among those which have also reviewed the draft are the Commission on Disability Issues, the Housing Authority and the Recreation and Park Commission, which recommended the council approve the master plan on April 10.

The changes made to the draft plan include at the community garden, which will now have 1-acre fenced plots and 1-acre of demonstration gardens, plus an urban orchard. The frog pond is smaller and a dry creek will extend through the property from east to west, serving as a retention basin for storm drainage.

A bike park that was initially proposed has been removed and replaced with a bike skills loop. Parking lots with a total of 120 spaces will be located at each edge of the park under the plan, which was developed pro bono by Planning Board member and architect Kristoffer Koster of KKDesign.

Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.

If you go
The Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave.