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Food, pickleball proposals headed to GRF Board

Planning Committee advances recommendations for food-service consultant, pickleball facility design

By Sam Richards

Staff writer

(Friday, June 9): The GRF Planning Committee on Thursday approved two notable recommendations to the full GRF Board – the final design for the pickleball courts structure near the Event Center, and a document detailing what questions should be asked and what information is wanted from a consulting company’s evaluation of options for increasing food service and delivery within Rossmoor.

Both the food service consultant search and the pickleball building design are expected to be on the GRF Board’s June 29 meeting agenda.

Before the Planning Committee approved specific language for a “request for proposals” (RFP) document for prospective consulting firms regarding food service, Community Services Director Ann Mottola told the Planning Committee that GRF officials want to understand the market in Rossmoor for various food-related services, and Rossmoor’s capacity to accommodate various levels of service.

On May 11, the Planning Committee told GRF General Manager Jeff Matheson to start formulating a draft RFP for consultants who would, among other things:

  • Survey Rossmoor residents about what food and beverage services they want and would support, and whether they’re pleased with the existing options;
  • Research whether it would make sense to bring more providers into Rossmoor;
  • Determine whether a vendor that may exclusively offer catering services at all GRF facilities (perhaps including residences) is practical or even wanted;
  • Determine, if more food options are desired, whether one operator should administer all of them or whether multiple operators would be preferable;
  • Consider the pros and cons of making food and beverage services an in-house department;
  • Analyze how Rossmoor could get the biggest bang for its buck with whatever food service operates in the valley.
  • Evaluate the lease agreement for the Creekside restaurant space, where the Creekside Grill currently operates.
  • Engage the Rossmoor community in the process through community workshops, a resident survey and a presentation to the GRF Board.

Presently, Creekside Grill and Bar is the only restaurant within Rossmoor (the visiting food trucks notwithstanding), and it is leased by GRF to an outside operator.

The Waterford has its own food service. Rossmoor has four other public spaces with one level or other of kitchen or food-preparation facility:

  • Gateway hosts a serving kitchen in the Fireside Room and a small bar and serving line in the Redwood Room;
  • The Event Center has a production kitchen that can accommodate dining events for up to 400 people;
  • Hillside Clubhouse has a commercial stove/oven within a small serving kitchen;
  • Dollar Clubhouse has a small serving kitchen.

Pickleball facility design

The Planning Committee on Thursday approved recommending to the full GRF Board the final pickleball structure design – allowing for changes or small tweaks, if the Board wants to make them.

Most of the “final” designs shown to the Planning Committee by Mottola and Fred Ponce, contract project manager for the pickleball project, were shown to the 125 or so attendees at a June 2 town hall meeting led by Matheson, Mottola and Ponce. There were some minor changes in what Planning Committee members saw June 8, reflecting some comments and suggestions made by residents at the June 2 town hall.

At their May 11 meeting, Planning Committee members asked staff for alternative designs for the pickleball building’s front roof overhang. And a week later, staff met with Pickleball Club President Frank Reynolds to verify dimensions of the interior of the facility, including overhead clearances and distances between courts, to ensure appropriate clearances for safe play.

Ponce said plans for landscaping around the pickleball building have not yet been finalized, and noted that the lack of landscaping depicted in the schematic drawings shown to the public had its own purpose.

“There’s still work to do with that,” Ponce said. “Really, these (depictions) are all about the design of the building” and not the landscaping.