Fairmont Park Background Information

Fairmont Park is approximately 78,000 square feet in size, includes areas along the Ohlone Greenway, at Eureka Avenue and Liberty Street and borders the El Cerrito Senior Center, Library, Fairmont Elementary School and predominantly residential neighborhood near San Pablo Avenue and the Stockton Avenue commercial area. The park is located one block east of San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan area, specifically the Midtown district, which is envisioned as a civic and community-oriented zone with two neighborhood-scale commercial nodes at Stockton Avenue and Moeser Avenue. Characterized by longer blocks next to BART tracks, the district has both recent and planned mixed-use and residential investment. The area has strong potential to attract additional mixed-use residential development with enhanced pedestrian and bicycle connectivity.

The park is home to a “pop-up” community garden project constructed during Earth Day in 2013 and maintained by the El Cerrito Community Garden Network, and which serves as an informal gathering space and dog park for residents of the surrounding medium density neighborhoods and Ohlone Greenway users. A group of Tai Chi practitioners meets in the park daily and local community groups maintain habitat along the recessed areas at the base of the retaining wall on the east side of the Ohlone Greenway.

The park’s existing design and furniture was originated by the landscape architecture firm Royston, Hanamoto, Mayes & Beck in 1965 and include elements that have been identified as important to the community, including a stone statue of a turtle near the playground and steps and field-stone walls classic of the firm’s design. Fairmont Park receives a fair amount of foot and bicycle traffic, despite its aging infrastructure, due to its proximity to various community facilities.

Phase I of the Project will upgrade a portion of Fairmont Park (approximately 16,000 square feet of area at the south portion nearest Eureka Avenue). Improvement elements that have been previously identified to be included in this area are listed below.

• New entry plaza – welcome kiosk, seating, gateway signage, and group exercise area
• New path network - accessible paths with emergency and maintenance vehicle access;
• Enhanced gathering spaces - passive and active recreational areas with new site amenities;
• Consideration of future art (such as mural) opportunities and locations;
• Improved children’s play area;
• Improved landscaping and lighting.

Fairmont Park was identified as an important community project and was advanced as one of four Pilot Projects in the City’s Urban Greening Plan (Adopted in December 2015). The elements listed above will need to be confirmed and refined as part of the public outreach process and based on the cost analysis. In addition, they must complement the development of a future Fairmont Park Phase II Improvements Project.

The project is funded by East Bay Regional Parks Measure WW funds.

A Request for Proposal for design consultants was issued in January 2017. The design including public outreach efforts will begin in Spring 2017.