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					                                                               ITEM NUMBER:         A - 17
                                                               DATE:               08/09/05

Atascadero City Council
Staff Report – Public Works Department

                    Bench Style and Designation for the
                   Sunken Gardens Enhancement Project


Parks and Recreation Commission recommends Council approve the recommended
alternate bench style for the Sunken Gardens project and designate the bench sites
identified on the Sunken Gardens Conceptual Plan for sponsorship opportunities .


The Atascadero Community Redevelopment Agency recently awarded a contract for the
Sunken Gardens Streetscape Enhancement Project. This improvement project will add
sidewalks, street lamps, benches and other amenities to the Sunken Gardens and
surrounding pedestrian areas. The design elements and amenities such as pavers,
lamp posts and benches selected for this project were approved by the City Council on
May 10th and will be consistent with the recently completed El Camino Real Streetscape
Enhancement project near the Carlton Hotel.

Staff is requesting a change in the selection of the bench style for the upcoming Sunken
Gardens Enhancement Project.          Staff is also requesting that the City Council
recommend approval of the bench sites identified on the Sunken Gardens Conceptual
Plan as approved locations for future sponsorship opportunities.

The current style of bench is a wood slat bench. It is more susceptible to vandalism and
requires more frequent maintenance. The wood slates on the benches in the first phase
of the streetscape project already require re-staining. In addition, the type and
frequency of public use in the Sunken Gardens leads staff to believe that there will be a
potential for carving and graffiti on the wood slats. The currently approved wood bench
is shown in Figure #1. Staff is recommending a metal bench, similar to the bench
shown in Figure #2.
#1. Currently approved Downtown bench style      #2. Recommended bench style for the Sunken Gardens

The Atascadero Main Street Design Committee has reviewed and recommended the
change in bench selection. The Atascadero Parks and Recreation Commission has
also reviewed, and unanimously approved the alternate bench style.

In addition to selecting this alternate style of bench, staff is recommending that these
benches be available for sponsorship opportunities. A similar program for memorial
benches at Atascadero Lake Park has been quite successful. All previously designated
locations for Memorial Benches at Atascadero Lake have been allocated. To continue
this program, additional bench sites will need to be designated. The bench sites
identified on the Sunken Gardens Conceptual Plan would provide approximately 14-18
additional locations for sponsorship by local businesses and/or individuals. In addition,
the project cost will be reduced because the sponsoring family or organization covers
the entire cost to purchase and install the benches. The purchase and installation cost
will be approximately $1,500.00 per bench.

The designation of the sites for sponsorship is consistent with the City’s policy. The
Policy on the Naming of Public Buildings, Parks and Other Public Facilities includes a
provision to be followed by staff for the recognition of individuals.

        SECTION II, E.

        “In addition to the naming of public facilities by using the criteria established
        above, the City can provide for the recognition of individuals, either deceased or
        living, by the placement of memorial objects (symbols); such as living trees,
        public benches, rocks, memorial flagpoles, sculptures, etc., in public facilities.
        The placement and identification of these recognition symbols will be at the
        discretion of the Parks and Recreation Commission and the City Council on a
        case-by-case basis.”

Staff recommends that the City Council approve the recommended ornamental metal
bench style for benches in the Sunken Gardens and designate the bench sites identified
on the Sunken Gardens Conceptual Plan as approved locations for future sponsorship

Approval of this recommendation could result in the generation of $15,000.00 –
$18,000.00 in revenue to cover the cost of the purchase and installation of benches for
the Sunken Gardens Enhancement Project.


1.    City Council retain the wood slated benches for the Sunken Gardens project.


Attachment # 1-     Sunken Gardens Project Map