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Parks & Community Services Commission:

The San Ramon Parks & Community Services Commission to Conduct a Public Meeting to Receive Input on New Proposed Fireworks Location

San Ramon, CA – The San Ramon Parks & Community Services Commission will conduct two (2) Public Meetings on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:00pm and Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 10:00am. Both meeting will be held at the Dougherty Station Community Center, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Rd.

Since 2011, the City has been reviewing the annual Independence Day (July 4th) event priorities and goals as part of assessing the past events and future event considerations.

The analysis of the event which includes all of the background material gathered in 2011 and updated through December 2013 is available on the City’s website.

A team consisting of Police, San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, Engineering Services, Public Services, Parks and Community Services and a Pyrotechnical Expert was formed to research alternative locations within the City.  This investigative team reviewed various sites throughout the City using the following criteria:

    1. Safety                                                                                      
    2. Security (for public access)
    3. Traffic Control (including necessary road closures)
    4. Emergency Access
    5. Crowd control
    6. Affected property ownership and regulatory restrictions
    7. View-ability for residents from neighborhoods
    8. Maximum fireworks height (shell size) and drop zone
    9. Overall Fireworks show rating

For purposes of this review, there are three terms that sometimes are interchangeable, but are separate and distinct concepts.  They are:

  1. Event location:  Previously an event, including an aerial fireworks display and viewing of the display was held in San Ramon Central Park. It is not proposed that Old Ranch Park site be an event location.
  2. Viewing location(s): Sites throughout the City where the aerial fireworks display can be viewed. Previously, San Ramon Central Park was a viewing location due to its size and its proximity to the shoot site as well as available parking. As identified from San Ramon residents, other viewing locations were Memorial Park, Valley View Park, Canyon Lakes area, Iron Horse Trail, various parks and neighborhoods along Alcosta Blvd, Davona Drive, Broadmoor, Bollinger Canyon Road. Many residents expressed that they did not attend the event in Central Park but viewed the fireworks from their homes or neighborhoods. It is not proposed that Old Ranch Park or adjacent neighborhoods in Old Ranch Estates, Summit View Estates, or Bent Creek be viewing locations for the general public.
  3. Shoot Site Location:  A location that is highly secured and only contains the fireworks personnel and other safety personnel including police and fire, and where the fireworks are shot from.  It is proposed that Old Ranch Park be a shoot site location only.

After thorough review of the criteria above, the investigative team narrowed the list of possible sites to use as a shoot site location only at Old Ranch Park/Summit View Trails. The investigative team concluded that Old Ranch Park/Summit View Trails provides the best opportunity for excellent views from both sides of the City which meets the goals of the 4th of July Committee.  It is a location where Old Ranch Road can be secured from the east and west during the fireworks aerial display with limited impact on traffic flow.  The property within the radius of the shoot site is owned by the City.  The team considers this site to provide the most ideal opportunity for dispersed viewing areas throughout the City rather than a concentrated viewing area such as Central Park. 

The City recognizes that there will be questions and concerns about this proposal and we want to provide as much information as we can to address comments, questions and concerns. If you cannot attend the meetings, the City will post the information, FAQ’s and updates to the process on the city website at www.sanramon.ca.gov/fireworks.

Residents can also email questions and comments to Fireworks@sanramon.ca.gov.  Comments will be provided to the Parks & Community Services Commission at the public meetings and your email address will be included in the email list to receive ongoing information about this proposal and the process.
City Council:

Additional Information:

The San Ramon City Council Asks for Citizen Input as they Consider Options for the Future of the Annual 4th of July Fireworks Show

San Ramon, CA – The San Ramon City Council will consider options and make a determination as to the immediate future of the annual San Ramon 4th of July fireworks show during their regular meeting on February 14, 2012 located at 2226 Camino Ramon. The Council is asking all San Ramon residents to provide input into this decision by either attending the meeting or by submitting their input in writing.

The City of San Ramon has provided an aerial fireworks display annually on the 4th of July since 1985. The event has been very successful to date and has brought recognition to the City. However, due to the economic slowdown, many other cities in the region have canceled their fireworks leaving San Ramon as one of the only aerial fireworks locations between Concord, Berkeley, Manteca and Milpitas. This has shifted the event from a local community focused event to a regional event with large crowds coming into the City from the greater Bay Area.

In 2011, the City was greatly impacted by the record crowds, causing gridlock due to increased pedestrian, vehicular traffic and parking build-up in the areas surrounding Central Park between 8:00pm and 11:00pm prohibiting emergency vehicle movement. Numerous serious incidents occurred in the surrounding commercial properties, parks and neighborhoods that required San Ramon Valley Fire and San Ramon Police response.

This increase in attendance in the Central Park area caused overloaded restrooms, garbage and made movement through the parks pathways very difficult. Increased use of prohibited portable BBQs contributed to several small fires being started and City staff has seen an increase in alcohol in the park, which is also prohibited. Finally, there was an increase in property damage throughout Bishop Ranch Business Park and the other surrounding commercial properties.

San Ramon Police, Public Services and Parks & Community Services have nearly all personnel on-duty during the morning fitness race and evening fireworks event. The need to provide safety and security in the park, shoot site, parking lots and surrounding areas while simultaneously providing safe traffic control measures and pedestrian access has stretched current City resources to the limit.

City staff has outlined for the City Council what additional resources will need to be allocated to provide an event that addresses these safety concerns. In 2011 the budget for the event was approximately $175,000 in expenditures. In order to secure the additional necessary equipment, contractors and personnel to provide a safe 2012 event, City staff estimates increasing the budget to $318,000.

 “Public safety and the protection of San Ramon neighborhoods is the City of San Ramon’s number one priority” said San Ramon Police Chief Scott Holder. “The City’s current resources are stretched thin and our goal is to provide a safe, secure event.”

The Parks & Community Service Commission deliberated this item at their December 2011 meeting. The Commission recommended that the fireworks be cancelled in order for the event to be reorganized in a future year, as a smaller, community focused program.

The San Ramon City Council is seeking input from all San Ramon residents by either attending the meeting, or taking a few minutes prior to the meeting on February 14, 2012 to submit their input for the future of the July 4th fireworks event. Residents who cannot attend the meeting can send comments via email to fireworks@sanramon.ca.gov, or submit them in person at City Hall (located at 2226 Camino Ramon, Attn: City Clerk). All comments received by the City Clerk’s office prior to 3:00 pm on the February 14, 2012 will be included in the evenings meeting and reviewed by the Council. Residents are encouraged to review the staff report and assessment, available on the City website, outlining the history of the event and identified concerns prior to the meeting.

“It is very important that we hear directly from residents to determine the future of this event” said Mayor Bill Clarkson. “It will require a significant City investment during lean years to provide a safe, quality event. The Council wants to make a decision that is truly reflective of our resident’s priorities.”


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