Backyard Brief header - A monthly newsletter from the Dublin City Manager (on grass)

March 2022

In honor of the City of Dublin's St. Patrick's Day Celebration, I wish you Sláinte Mhaith (pronounced, "slan-cha vah,"), which means, "good health," in Gaelic. I hope many of you will be able to come out to enjoy many of the fun events taking place March 11 - 13 in our city. In addition to details about the St. Patrick's Day Celebration, this edition of Backyard Brief features information about the City's move to District Elections; the Preferred Plan for the SCS Property; registration for the Dublin Police Citizens' Academy; the One City, One Book program; how to support the family of a recently deceased Dublin Police Deputy; and more.

Photograph of Dublin Police Officer Aubrey Phillips, who passed away on February 12, 2022.

City of Dublin Establishes a Fallen Officers Fund With Three Valleys Community Foundation

The City of Dublin and Dublin Police Services are still in mourning over the sudden and tragic passing of 36-year-old Dublin Police Deputy Aubrey Phillips, a five-year veteran of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, and a resident of Dublin. Phillips suffered a severe medical emergency while working on patrol in the early morning hours of February 12, 2022.


Deputy Phillips was rushed by ambulance to Stanford Valley Care Hospital in Pleasanton and then later transported to John Muir Medical Center. Sadly, doctors were unable to save her. As a registered organ donor, she donated her organs to others in need.


"We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Deputy Phillips. Our hearts go out to Dublin Police Services, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, and to her family, especially to her husband and her three children. They are part of the Dublin community and, as fellow community members, we need to come together and support them through this unimaginable tragedy," said Mayor Melissa Hernandez.


Deputy Phillips had been working as a Dublin Police Deputy for the past seven months. She and her husband, another Dublin Police Deputy, have three children. Deputy Phillips was also the daughter of a retired Alameda County Deputy Sheriff.

In response to Deputy Phillips' tragic passing, the City of Dublin partnered with the Three Valleys Community Foundation to establish a Fallen Officer Fund. The establishment of the Fund allows community members from Dublin and throughout the Tri-Valley to make contributions online, and the funds will be provided to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office’s Charitable Foundation in her name. Establishing this fund will ensure that the greatest number of people who want to help can do so.


Donations can be made at Dublin Fallen Officers Fund - Three Valleys Community Foundation. All donations to the Fallen Officer Fund are tax-deductible. Contributions will be sent to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office Charitable Foundation, which will then be distributed to the Phillips Family.

Man dressed all in green, wearing shamrock beads and a leprechaun hat.
Two men in kilts playing guitar at the St. Patrick's Day Festival.
Woman wearing a green and white t-shirt and lime green tutu for the Shamrock 5K Fun Run.

Join the City of Dublin at the 38th St. Patrick's Day Festival and Celebration!

We are excited to announce the return of the City's biggest weekend celebration! The St. Patrick's Day Festival will take place March 12 - 13, at the Dublin Civic Center (100 Civic Plaza). The two-day festival will be accompanied by a new Shamrock Gala on Friday, March 11, at The Wave; the Firefighters Local 55 Pancake Breakfast; the Dublin Lions Club St. Patrick’s Day Parade; and the Shamrock 5K Fun Run and Walk.


The Shamrock Gala, will help kick off the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. The Gala will be held at The Wave (4201 Central Parkway), hosted by the Dublin Historical Society in collaboration with the City of Dublin. This is an event for adults, 21 and older, and will include hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, music, and dancing. Cocktail attire is encouraged. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased here.


On Saturday, March 12, revelers can start their morning beginning at 7:00 a.m. with a big stack of hot “green” pancakes served fresh off the griddle at the Annual Firefighter’s Pancake Breakfast at Fire Station #16 (7494 Donohue Drive). Breakfast also includes eggs, sausage, juice, and coffee. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $5 per person. All proceeds benefit the Alameda County Firefighters Association - Local 55 Charity Fund, which supports local non-profit and community-based organizations.


Following the pancake breakfast, bring your lawn chairs and grab a spot along the route of the annual Dublin Lions Club St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at Dublin Boulevard and Amador Plaza Road, traveling east on Dublin Boulevard, north on Village Parkway, and west on Amador Valley Boulevard, ending near the Dublin Senior Center. While there is bleacher seating near the corner of Amador Plaza Road and Village Parkway, guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to watch from the sidelines along the parade route. The parade features more than 80 entries including festive marching bands and floats; Irish bagpipes; Irish Wolfhound and Irish Setter rescue groups; and equestrian riders.


The two-day St. Patrick's Day Festival will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Dublin Civic Center (100 Civic Plaza). At the Festival, you'll enjoy three stages of Irish music and dance; carnival rides; over 250 craft and commercial vendors, including an Irish Marketplace; and an Irish Tea Cottage serving freshly brewed tea, plus shortbread and scones. The Food Court will feature expanded Irish menus with traditional favorites, such as corned beef sliders; bangers and mash; fish and chips; Guinness-marinated tri-tip on soda bread; and boxty (Irish potato pancakes). Traditional festival favorites, kettle corn and corn dogs, will also be served, as well as international selections such as Teriyaki chicken and beef kabobs. Authentic Guinness, Harp, and Smithwick’s beer will be served on tap, and featured desserts include green shamrock-shaped funnel cakes.


The annual Shamrock 5K Fun Run & Walk will be held on Sunday, March 13. The race begins at 8:30 a.m. along Dublin Boulevard near the Civic Center, and winds its way through town, finishing at the festival with live music, awards, and giveaways for participants. The top three finishers in each division will win a medallion and gift certificate from race sponsor Dick’s Sporting Goods. Register online at dublinstpats.com. For race information, please call (925) 556-4500.


Festival admission is free, and free parking will also be available in designated lots and on nearby streets. Accessible parking for those with disabilities are available in the Sports Grounds parking lot on Dublin Boulevard for both the Shamrock 5K Race and for the festival. A free festival shuttle will be provided to transport guests from the Zeiss Innovation Center parking lot (5300 Central Parkway) directly to the festival entry.


The City of Dublin will abide by all State and County public health requirements to ensure a safe and enjoyable celebration for all. While masks are not required at these outdoor events, City staff will have masks available for patrons, if requested; hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the festival grounds; and high-touch areas will be sanitized regularly.


For more information, visit dublinstpats.com.

Dublin to Transition to District-Based Election System

The City of Dublin currently has an at-large election system, whereby all voters in the city elect each of the four City Councilmembers and Mayor. A district-based election system is where the City is divided into separate districts of equal population. Each district would then be represented by one Councilmember who resides in and is chosen by voters residing in that same district. The office of Mayor remains elected at-large by all voters even under a district-based election system.


On February 15, 2022, the City Council adopted a Resolution declaring its intent to transition to district-based elections.


The City of Dublin plans to conduct extensive public outreach in the next two months to explain the districting process and encourage public participation. Several public hearings will then be held from April through September in order to give the community an opportunity to provide input on the composition for the districts and the content of the draft maps. An introduction and adoption of an ordinance establishing the district-based elections and final maps will likely take place this fall. District-based elections would then be used for the City's General Municipal Election beginning with the November 2024 election.

Official ballot drop box.
A graphic of the East Ranch Project, featuring six neighborhoods, two parks, and open space.

City of Dublin Develops Frequently Asked Questions Webpage for the East Ranch Project

Webpage Helps to Explain the Project, Referendum Process, and Related Housing Laws

The City of Dublin has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the East Ranch project, approved by the Dublin City Council on December 21, 2021. This residential project, to be built by Trumark Homes, is located north of I-580, along Croak Road, and east of the Jordan Ranch development. East Ranch includes 573 units (primarily single family), and these units were already identified in the City’s General Plan and Eastern Dublin Specific Plan.


A referendum was submitted to overturn the Dublin City Council’s decision on the Stage 2 Development Plan. This is a process under State law that allows the City’s voters to reconsider a legislative decision of the City Council through a petition. In the case of a qualified petition, the City Council would determine whether to repeal the ordinance for Stage 2 Development Plan or call an election.


The FAQs help to explain the project, the referendum process, as well as make the community aware of housing laws that limit (or restrict) changes to the use of the land.


To view the East Ranch Project FAQs, visit www.dublin.ca.gov/EastRanchFAQ.

In the last year, the City has been engaging in a robust community process to help assist in defining the future for the SCS Property. The SCS Property is a vacant 76.9-acre property located north of I-580 between Tassajara Road and Brannigan Street, extending just north of Gleason Drive. At a meeting of the City Council in February of this year, the City Council approved the concept plan, referred to as the “Preferred Plan” for the site.


The Preferred Plan seeks to develop two types of retail experiences to address the needs of the adjacent residents and the community. The first is a more neighborhood main street experience called Finnian Square. This area can accommodate up to 40,000 square feet of small retail shops along an extended Finnan Way spine, which would then connect to the Shops at Waterford. To the south is the more regional retail experience, focused on entertainment uses. This area is called Tassajara Place. This area can accommodate between 155,000 – 360,000 square feet of uses. In total, under the Preferred Plan, the site could accommodate between 195,000 and 400,000 square feet of commercial/retail uses.


In terms of housing, the Plan calls for a variety of housing types, including affordable housing, and housing for entry-level buyers, and it seeks to limit the amount of market rate housing to around 550 units. The existing residential land uses for the site allow for up to 472 units, mostly in the higher density ranges and for approximately 900,000 square feet of general commercial.


The Preferred Plan also seeks to create connectivity between the future neighborhood and the surrounding areas. This is achieved through the creation of a Grand Paseo, which would run the length of the properties north of Dublin Boulevard. The Paseo widens its view in the north with fantastic sight lines of Mt. Diablo. As it moves south, it narrows to create a sense of arrival at Finnan Square.


The next step for the property owner and/or developer is to prepare a development application to implement the Preferred Plan. Although a development application is not required to follow the Preferred Plan, City Staff and the consultant team have worked closely with the property owner’s representatives through this process and it is anticipated that the development application will utilize the efforts and goals of the Preferred Plan.


For more information about the Preferred Plan and the outreach process, visit https://courbanize.com/projects/scsproperty/information.

A Few Spots Still Remain for the Dublin Police Services' 2022 Citizens Academy

Registration is now open for Dublin Police Services’ 2022 Citizens Academy. The program runs each Wednesday, 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., for ten weeks, beginning March 30, with a graduation ceremony to be held on June 1. Participants must be at least 18 years old and live or work in Dublin. The goal of the Citizens Academy is to teach the public about law enforcement operations; foster kinship between the community and law enforcement; and promote community policing by supporting and encouraging citizen involvement. The deadline to complete the application is Friday, March 4, at 11:59 p.m. However, the application period may close earlier, as sessions are limited to 25 participants on a first-come, first-served basis.


Experienced law enforcement staff will educate participants on subjects such as:


* Crime Scene/Evidence Collection

* Gangs and Drugs

* Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

* Traffic and Radio Operations

* Auto Burglaries and Residential Burglaries

Dublin Police Officer demonstrating the use of a drone to Citizens Academy participants.

Other activities include a tour of Santa Rita Jail (the fifth largest jail in the nation), and a taste of officer training at the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC).


Potential participants must successfully complete a background investigations check, sign waiver forms, and be approved by the Chief of Police. Felony convictions or serious criminal arrests are cause for dismissing an applicant.


Instructors plan to host the academy in person this year, but will continue to monitor the COVID situation and alter the program, as restrictions allow.

City of Dublin's "Nature in Our Backyard" Photography Contest Now Open!

Show your "view" of our community by participating in Dublin's "Nature in Our Backyard" photography contest. Submit your creek, wildlife, or nature photo taken in Dublin to be entered to win.


Contest Guidelines:

• Photographer does not need to be a Dublin resident, but the submission must be a photograph taken in Dublin, CA.

• Location of where the photograph was taken must be included.

• Photographs should represent the scene that is photographed; no removal or insertion of objects using software is allowed. It is acceptable to change the exposure or use software to highlight various parts of a photograph.

• Photographs must have been taken within the last 12 months (no earlier than April 1, 2021).

• Limit of five (5) entries per individual. One form submission is required for each photograph.


The deadline to submit pictures is no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, 2022.

Hummingbird with pink crown of feathers sitting on a wire fence.

Winners will receive gift certificates to Mike's Camera. The Grand Prize winner will receive a $200 gift certificate; the First Place winner will receive a $100 gift certificate; the Second Place winner will receive a $50 certificate; and the Third Place winner will receive a $25 gift certificate. In addition, all of the top four winners will receive Certificates of Recognition from the City of Dublin at a City Council meeting; be featured on the City of Dublin website; receive a metal print of their picture from Mike's Camera in Dublin; and their photographs will be displayed in the lobby of City Hall. Pictured, above: 2021 Grand Prize winner, "Hummingbird," by Rahul Guha Ray.

A utility box painted with a rainbow and hands sharing a shamrock.

City of Dublin Invites Designs for New Utility Box Art

The City of Dublin's Utility Box Art Program, which began in 2017, has added color and character to Dublin’s streets, while deterring graffiti and other forms of vandalism. Dublin currently has over 30 painted utility boxes spread throughout the city.


Dublin City Council recently approved the program for a fifth year. Qualified professional artists, or high school student artists working under the supervision of an art teacher or art professional, are invited to submit designs for painted utility boxes, now through April 22, 2022. All painted utility boxes are City-owned traffic signal boxes. Selected artists will be paid a $1,000 stipend per utility box painted.


2022 Theme:

In honor of Dublin celebrating its 40th anniversary of incorporation, the City is seeking proposals that illustrate events, milestones, landmarks, and/or Dublin’s diversity since its incorporation in 1982. In addition to the theme, proposing artists are encouraged to review the existing utility box art collection and develop proposals that are unique and unlike anything the City already has featured throughout town.


All proposals must be received by Heritage and Cultural Arts Supervisor Tyler Phillips by Friday, April 22, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.


View the CALL FOR ARTISTS application.


Pictured, left: "Spreading Love," by Cindy Zhou (2020)

Join the City of Dublin and Dublin Unified School District in Celebrating Literacy Through the "One City, One Book" and "Books in the Park" Programs

During the month of March, Dublin will be celebrating literacy with two projects, "One City, One Book" and "Books in the Park."


Beginning Wednesday, March 2, all Dublin schools, both public and private, will be reading the award-winning book, Watercress, by Andrea Yang, and then connecting with each other through a variety of activities as part of the "One City, One Book" project. Residents throughout Dublin are encouraged to participate by reading the book.


For the second program, "Books in the Park," one book will be hidden in each of the City's 24 parks for families to find, read together, and then re-hide in the same park for other families to discover. The project runs through the end of March.


The goals of both literacy projects are to bring our community together over shared reading experiences, to educate our community on the value of picture books for everyone, and to learn about the importance of reading aloud.


Both projects are fully funded by Dublin-owned businesses and organizations, and are supported by the Dublin Unified School District and the City of Dublin.

Cover of Watercress book by Andrea Wang; pictures by Jason Chin

Coronavirus Updates

Effective March 1, 2022, the State of California requirement for unvaccinated persons to mask in indoor public settings and businesses is being replaced by a strong recommendation that all persons, regardless of vaccination status, continue to mask while in most indoor public settings and businesses. Alameda County Public Health Department is aligned with the State’s guidance in this case, amid decreasing community transmission of the coronavirus in Alameda County. Indoor masking will still be required by the State for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, on public transportation and in health care settings, and in congregate settings such as correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and long-term care facilities.


COVID-19 Testing Continues Weekly at the Dublin Senior Center

Curative, Inc., continues to operate a COVID-19 testing site in the parking lot of the Dublin Senior Center (7600 Amador Valley Blvd.) each Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Appointments are not necessary, and the service is open to all ages. Identification is required for adults; however, children may get tested without ID as long as they are accompanied by a parent/guardian. Proof of insurance is not required.


The COVID-19 test is a shallow nasal swab test. Results of tests are available within 48 hours. This free, weekly testing operation will continue until the service is determined to no longer be needed.


To learn more, visit https://curative.com/sites/31104.

Dublin, California logo with graphic of grass and links to social media sites