New park planned for Richmond’s Hilltop Village

New park planned for Richmond's Hilltop Village
Park rendering courtesy of City of Richmond documents.

A new park may be coming to Richmond’s Hilltop Village neighborhood.

The Hilltop Village Owners Association is requesting Design Review for construction of a
new park on 65,000 square feet of open space located along San Pablo Avenue and west of Hilltop Mall. Park plans include walking paths, playground structures, a basketball half court, picnic tables, benches, trash receptacles, dog waste station, two vegetated swales, an ADA-compliant parking lot and associated landscaping, according to city documents. The park would open from sunrise to sunset with no additional lighting.

Existing site.

The site, which can be accessed from a parking lot entrance at the end of Branchwood Court, is shielded from view on San Pablo Avenue by a concrete wall topped by metal fencing. It is mostly open space aside from a parking lot in the northern corner, a dilapidated basketball half-court, a group of medium sized trees in the southwestern comer and a row of Eucalyptus trees along the eastern edge, the latter of which would be preserved in the park plans.

“Currently, the Hilltop Village lacks play structures for ages 5-12, and has only one existing play structure for ages 2-5,” city staff said.

Project plans

This park would add about 5,000 square feet of play area and includes swings, a play structure for ages 2-5 and another play structure for ages 5-12. An 8,000 square-foot lawn alongside the playground provides additional activity space.

“The park adds vegetation through low-water trees and shrubs and includes a section of the park planted with only native vegetation,” city documents state. “The plant palette includes a variety of plants with vibrant, seasonal color. The plants are a mix of evergreen and deciduous, which provides seasonality while still offering year-around green vegetation.”

Also part of the project plans are decomposed granite walking paths lined with medium-sized trees for shade in some areas, preservation of the large Eucalyptus trees along the eastern edge of the site and about 12 small live oak trees. Two vegetated swales provide drainage for the adjacent playground and central lawn, the city said.

City staff finds the project plans to be “well designed” and added the park will provide “a needed outdoor and recreational space for the Hilltop Village community.”

The City’s Design Review Board is set to review the plans at its Jan. 12 meeting. See the agenda here.