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Los Gatos Oak Meadow Park Improvements on the Way

Upgrades being considered include restroom expansion, parking lot improvements, among others.

Los Gatos planners tonight are expected to recommend to the Town Council several improvements to , considered the "gem" of local open spaces and located on Blossom Hill Road.

The Parks and Public Works Department is seeking a conditional-use permit to begin the 12-acre recreational oasis' master plan on property zoned resource conservation.

Some of the upgrades include restroom expansion by at least four stalls, parking lot improvements that include expanding its kiosk, installation of a shade structure and solar panels, installation of a playground shade structure, bocce ball court overhang and reserve areas renovation and the identification of a special events area, according to a staff report.

None of the proposed improvements will intensify the use of the park, meaning the upgrades aren't expected to increase the number of local residents who use it on a regular basis during the week and on weekends.

In June of 2008, the Council approved a report and recommendations regarding needed community and youth sports facilities and the disposition of town land within Vasona Lake County Park.

At that time, staff committed to Council a master plan for town parks, which documents current conditions and uses at the local recreational facilities and proposed improvements.

The Oak Meadow Park master plan, presented to the Los Gatos Parks Commission on Aug. 14, was unanimously approved by its members.

The park currently contains playground equipment, a decommissioned USAF T-33 Jet airplane, two bocce ball courts, nine picnic facilities, the popular Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad, W.E. Bill Mason Carousal, access to Vasona Lake County Park, and the Los Gatos Creek Trail.

During July and August, the Festival Theatre Ensemble uses the west side of the park for its annual Shakespeare in the Park festival, which attracts about 2,400 people, according to staff.

Opened in 1958, it's estimated that more than 100,000 people visit the park annually and is considered the most used recreational spot in Los Gatos due to its proximity to Vasona County Lake Park, planners said.

Sheila Sanchez September 13, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Thanks for all these great historical facts, John! I think people wonder why the two parks aren't one when they're so close together. The second commenter on this thread, Mike Calahan, was just curious about their proximity. Thanks again!
Esmée St James September 13, 2012 at 01:21 AM
I'm looking forward to the bocci ball court!
Jeanne Rajabzadeh September 13, 2012 at 04:09 AM
It would be nice if the two parks where one, but I don't think it will happen anytime soon. Vasona is a Santa Clara County park and the money they make from the Christmas lights program is used to in the general fund for all of the county parks. This is a big money maker for them, so I don't think they would give it to the town.
Rob Rennie September 13, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Actually oak meadow is not the 1st it is the next. There is continual upgrade of the parks over time as budget allows. A few years ago the play ground was upgraded at belgatos then the tennis courts were resurfaced along with other work at blossomhill. Work is currently being done at live oak and now they are asking for budget approval for this work at oak meadow. Bachman is actually in quit good shape compared to before those other improvements were made at those other parks. Bachman maybe can be considered for next in line. A correction on the parks commission: they were unanimous in agreeing to approval of most of the elements recommended but did reject some elements including reducing some turf area and requesting the new shade structure be estheticly consistent with the rest of the park including hiding the solar panels.
Linda Marie Lovison September 14, 2012 at 06:53 AM
I'm way up in northern Washington state now, but, oh, the hours my children played in the children's play area at Oak Meadow. Do they still have the jet and the fire truck? My children are all grown and now I have grandkids. How time flies!

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