Mudd's property in San Ramon vandalized

City staff seeking input for how to best utilize Mudd's site

The former Mudd’s Restaurant property in San Ramon has been mostly abandoned and become a popular target for vandalism, according to officials with the city, which now owns the once-popular eating destination.

Most recently, during a routine inspection, city staff found that unidentified vandals had broken into the storage shed on the west side of the restaurant, resulting in the door and door-frame being “damaged beyond repair,” according to a staff report by parks program manager Sandy Martin.

Staff have reinstalled plywood over the door in an effort to keep animals and the weather from damaging the site further, but damages are estimated to cost $1,800. In addition to the destroyed storage shed door, the double glass doors on the south side of old Mudd’s Fireside Room were broken and have since been covered with plywood.

Parks program manager Matt Early said that the property sometimes receives ongoing vandalism throughout the year.

The 2.2-acre parcel is located at 10 Boardwalk Place, adjacent to the Crow Canyon Community Gardens and the San Catanio Creek. It was officially purchased by the city October 2017 for $1 after an engineering analysis revealed that the excessively high cost of creek mitigation meant development would have no real commercial value.

Since that time, the property has been used as an extension of the adjoining Crow Canyon Community Gardens, but recent community interest in the utilization of the property has re-emerged as the city writes its 10-year Parks, Open Space, Trails and Recreation Master Plan.

“It’s an issue that the community has been very involved in and very passionate about, and that (has) been great to have,” said Will Doerlich, 2019 chair of the city’s Parks and Community Services Commission. “Right now were still reaching out to the public and gathering information as a commission.”

The master plan rewrite will guide the city in how it utilizes its parks and public lands to best reflect the needs and desires of the community.

When talks first began about the purchase of Mudd's, more than 2,000 community members signed a petition to preserve the property as a natural park for the community -- an option that isn’t impossible according to Doerlich, but one that would require rezoning of the area.

“All options are on the table right now. There are no decisions that have been made,” he said. “There are a lot of moving parts … but no (options) are off of the table.”

City staff have created an online survey for residents in order to gather information on how city property can best be utilized for San Ramon’s parks master plan.

The next public Parks and Community Services Commission meeting is scheduled to occur 7 p.m. on Jan. 23 in the City Hall Council Chambers, 7000 Bollinger Canyon Road. Residents are invited to learn about the process and have their opinions heard.

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4 people like this
Posted by Franette Armstrong
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 11, 2019 at 10:07 pm

Actually the city report read that the glass wasn’t penetrated all the way through—only on the outside pane. I am up there many times a week and I can tell you that vandalism is rare, not constant or frequent. Most of the damage that has been done to the inside of the building-/of which there is very little—was done by our police force which used this site for shooting drills. The beautiful ceilings and hand plastered walls are still intact and gorgeous. The restaurant and the outbuildings represent about 6000 ft.² that we can put to use as a wonderful nature-based Community center for a new, nearly 10-acre San Ramon Nature Park. We are hoping to work closely with the parks commission and the city’s parks and recreation department to bring something completely new to the city that will become an attraction for the entire TriValley area. Activities that are not available anywhere else in San Ramon (like overnight camp sites for youth groups) are part of our plan for this park.

Our concept is to fund this new park using corporate and citizen donations, grant funding, volunteers, and special fundraising events that will be fun for everyone. Ongoing activities, classes and events will provide funds for maintenance. We hope to have a complete commercial kitchen that will be used for cooking classes and demonstrations by local chefs as well as catering for events.

If we can picture all this we can make it happen and there is nowhere else in San Ramon that is so beautiful, so wild, surrounded on two sides by creeks and one block off of Crow Canyon Road near Home Depot. All of the candidates from San Ramon running for any office in the last election support combining Crow Canyon Gardens and the site of the famous Mudd’s restaurant into a wonderful a park for everyone. I can’t wait for all of it to materialize.

6 people like this
Posted by Franette Armstrong
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 13, 2019 at 5:18 pm

I forgot to add: it has been extremely cold, wet and windy since early December. A number of homeless people, who have nowhere to go for shelter in San Ramon, use the Crow Canyon Gardens restrooms, right next door to Mudd's during the daylight hours they are open. They sleep in their cars. I know several of these people and they mean no harm. A few times I have had to ask them to stop doing something that would physically harm the facilities (like sticking aluminum cans in the hingers of the restroom doors because the restrooms are so hot in the summer with doors closed). Mudd's restaurant is quite protected the way the buildings are built so sometimes they sleep inside the courtyard since the property isn't being used. It is very hard to blame them for wanting better shelter when the weather turns against them. At some point we, as a city, are going to have to find a humane and better way to help these people during inclimate weather. Livermore has their Open Heart Kitchen program that is run by a collective of churches and we need something like this here.

Like this comment
Posted by Dreamers
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 25, 2019 at 11:33 am

Franette your comments are very gregarious and out reaching for the community. However they are blue sky ideas and would cost kazilllions of dollars. Where are you proposing this money come from? Grants and donations from interested community residents would only provide minimal amounts for this mega project. In addition, for any habitable building, the creekbanks would need to be stabilized.

Great thoughts though

Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 28, 2019 at 12:34 am

Thanks so much for writing about the importance of Crow Canyon Gardens and the Mudd's Restaurant building. I don't know why it took so long for residents of San Ramon to recognize the historic and architectural importance of the Mudd's building, but I'm glad it is finally being given the respect it deserves.

The reason the windows are dual pane is because the building was built to Gov. Jerry Brown's energy efficient "green guidelines" that he proposed during his first term as Governor back in 1974. Mudd's is an important landmark in the history of California and San Ramon.


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