Contra Costa Co. supes, city supervisors agree on plans for new Pleasant Hill library

Artist's rendering courtesy of the city of Pleasant Hill.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the transfer of two parcels of county land as part of a plan for a new Pleasant Hill library and 34 new two-story houses.

The supervisors voted to turn over a 3.65-acre section of that 
land, north of Oak Road west of Interstate Highway 680 in Pleasant Hill, to the city of Pleasant Hill - at no cost - to be the home of the new Pleasant Hill library. The new library is tentatively scheduled to open in June 2022. 

The old library, the Contra Costa Library System's largest and busiest, is set to close June 3.

At the same time, the supervisors approved the sale of another 
segment of the 15-acre property to the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District, which eventually will build sports fields there. The park district will pay $4 million for that land. Also, during a special meeting Monday night, the Pleasant Hill City Council approved the entitlements and conditions of approval for the development of the 34-unit subdivision.

These property moves are part of a four-way plan to knock down the old library and build 34 two-story houses on that land, and build the library and sports fields nearby. The Mount Diablo Unified School District is conveying ownership of about 2 acres it owns near the old library to the city, also at no cost, to become part of the site for the new library.

"It's going to be a wonderful project," county Supervisor Karen Mitchoff from Concord said of the $27 million new library.

On March 10, the supervisors authorized a request for proposals 
for sale of the northernmost 5 acres of the 15-acre property. As of Tuesday, the city had received proposals from 11 builders, offering anywhere from $10 million to $13.6 million for the land. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors authorized the county's public works director to evaluate the proposals and select proposals for further negotiation.

The plan to demolish the old library before the new one opens had 
been opposed by a local group, but the supervisors voted in March to stick with the plan to close the old library in June. Supervisors said keeping the old library open longer would be prohibitively costly, and would disrupt the plan between the county, city, park district and school district.

Mitchoff said there will likely be plans for a "virtual celebration" of the old library, built in 1961. The celebration will be 
virtual as public gatherings such as would otherwise be held for the old library cannot be held amid the coronavirus pandemic.