February 8, 2016
1. CALL TO ORDER CALL TO ORDER- The meeting of the City Council was called to order by Mayor John Marchand at 7:04 pm, in the City Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore, California.
1.01 ROLL CALL - Present: Mayor John Marchand, Vice Mayor Stewart Gary, and Council Members Steven Spedowfski, Laureen Turner, and Bob Woerner.
1.02 PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
2. PROCLAMATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS- None.
3. CITIZENS FORUM CITIZENS FORUM
Donna Mapes, Livermore, spoke regarding paving and tree removal on El Caminito.
Brian OReilly, Livermore, spoke regarding Interfaith Housing and the need for affordable housing for seniors.
Jason Bezis, Lafayette, called for resignation from the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) by Mayor John Marchand unless he took immediate action to address his allegations of corruption at the ACTC.
Don Meeker, Livermore, spoke regarding the February 7, 1916 Council meeting minutes.
4. CONSENT CALENDAR CONSENT CALENDAR
Item 4.01 Jason Bezis, Livermore, stated he wanted the January 25, 2016, minutes to reflect that he was denied his right to address the Council on Item 6.01 at the January 25, 2016 City Council meeting.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, City Attorney Jason Alcala said there was no action to be taken before the Council for January 25, 2016, Item 6.01. He said the appropriate time and place to address the Council on matters within its general jurisdiction was during Citizens Forum.
Item 4.01 CM Woerner said he would abstain from voting on Item 4.01 as he did not attend the January 25, 2016, City Council meeting.
ON THE MOTION OF CM TURNER, SECONDED BY VM GARY AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE CONSENT CALENDAR WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ITEM 4.01, CARRIED ON A 4-0-1 VOTE, CM WOERNER ABSTAINING.
4.01 Approval of Minutes - January 25, 2016 regular City Council meeting.
4.02 Adoption of Ordinance 2035 amending Municipal Code Chapters 2.43 and 12.51 to update the role and procedures for the Commission for the Arts.
4.03 Resolution 2016-009 authorizing allocation of Housing Trust Funds in the amount of $130,000 to refinance the Lily House, a home for six developmentally disabled adults; and authorizing execution of all related documents with Tri-Valley Reach, Inc.
4.04 Resolution 2016-010 of intention to form Community Facilities District No. 2016-1, Sage Maintenance (CFD), and setting the public hearing date for March 14, 2016, to consider formation of the CFD.
5. PUBLIC HEARINGS - None.
6. MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
6.01 Discussion and direction regarding City Council appointments to Intergovernmental Agencies. None.
Mayor Marchand said there was no business for discussion and the City Council would not be accepting public comment.
Jason Bezis, Lafayette, entered a protest for not being given the opportunity to speak on this item and said it was a Brown Act violation. He requested the City Attorney provide his legal reasoning for denying him the opportunity to speak on this item.
6.02 Discussion and direction regarding responses to the Request for Proposals for the marketing, sale, and development of Downtown Specific Plan catalyst sites.
Recommendation: Staff recommended the City Council select two finalists for both the hotel project and residential/commercial project and provide direction to further refine applicable proposals for subsequent review and selection by the Council at a future public meeting.
Community and Economic Development Director Stephan Kiefer presented an overview of the process for presentations, public comment, and staff recommendation for the selection of finalists.
Planning Manager Paul Spence reviewed the supplemental materials that were presented to the Council that evening.
Senior Planner Steve Stewart presented the staff report.
Presentations were made by the selected applicants followed by questions from the City Council Members.
Alliance Residential Company - Residential/Commercial Project.
Presented by Peter Solar, Managing Director and William Duncanson, Project Designer.
In response to questions by CM Turner, Mr. Solar confirmed the three storied townhomes had stairways; the garden homes and wrap-arounds were single level. He said the wrapped buildings would have elevators.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Mr. Solar said there was approximately 5,000 square feet of retail. Mr. Duncanson said this was a preliminary site plan and Alliance was open to comments and suggestions by the Council and community. He said L Street would be ideally suited for retail and a potential hotel across the street. He said the access to and the backside to the businesses on First Street would be a flush-less curb, more pedestrian-centric space. He said the Alliance proposal included a paved crosswalk that would connect with the proposed hotel. Mr. Duncanson said there would be a parallel process in the development to create a formal relationship.
In response to questions by CM Spedowfski, Mr. Duncanson identified the variety of north-south running access pedestrian points with several destination points along the way. Mr. Solar said Alliance was proposing to have affordable units on site. He said Alliance recently opened its office in Northern California and the closest project was built in Sacramento about ten years ago.
In response to questions by VM Gary, Mr. Solar said downtown Livermore was a great location. He was inspired by the energy and vibe and the huge economic driver that 200 housing units would generate. He said the timing pro-forma was a normal time frame.
He said they anticipated the parking garage would be started first. He said they would use third party capital for equity and debt, and also co-invest in the capital side and about 5-10% of the co-invest on the equity side. He said they would guarantee construction completion and loan repayment.
Lennar Multifamily/The Compass Project - Hotel and Residential Project
Presented by Alex Waterbury, Northern California President; Jerry Hunt, Managing Partner, Quattro Realty Group; Dina Winder, Hospitality Consultant, The Compass Project; and Ron Metzker, Designer, PLAS Architecture + Design.
In response to questions by VM Gary, Ms. Winder said Lennar and The Compass Project had agreed to go through the process together and would select a hotel developer and brand in conjunction with that process. She said they could work simultaneously with the residential project and as fast as the City wanted to. Mr. Waterbury estimated a project start date in one year and said the project would be self-funded. He said Lennar had the resourcefulness to see completion of the project and noted there had been a chronic undersupply of housing in the Bay Area for thirty years.
In response to questions by CM Spedowfski, Mr. Waterbury said there were many opportunities to reconfigure the site for more public access space and they could reconfigure the density. He said the retail area was basically next to the hotel. He identified projects in Mountain View and Redwood City as sample projects.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Mr. Waterbury confirmed they would not just do the hotel alone. Mr. Metzker responded to several design questions, saying the design would be presented in three dimensions. Mr. Waterbury presented examples of brands, features, and amenities of boutique hotels that could include a spa. He said they had focused on the mid-week demand for business travelers and there wasnt a demonstrated demand for weekend visitors.
In response to questions by VM Gary, Ms. Winder said they estimated 125-150 hotel rooms based on the size of the parcel, layout, and type of construction. Mr. Waterbury said sufficient on-site parking would be provided.
In response to questions by CM Spedowfski, Ms. Winder estimated 2,500-5,000 square feet for the meeting space. She said meeting space was key to accommodate the mid-week off peak times.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Ms. Winder said the proposed meeting space would accommodate groups sized from 10 to 150 people.
Mayor Marchand spoke regarding Livermores rich architectural heritage and history.
RSVP Investments - Hotel only
Presented by Ameet Patel and Simi Patel, RSVP Investments.
In response to questions by VM Gary, Ameet Patel said he felt Curio was a great selection for the project due to the size of the footprint. He said they were not bonded with Hilton and had great relations with other brands. He said they were in agreement to build three other hotels, which were already financed and would be ahead of the Livermore project. He said those hotels would be constructed within a two-year time frame.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Mr. Patel said his wife Simi Patel would design the interior; however, the architectural façade would be handled by RYS. He said the Curio brand offered a lot of design flexibility. He said once the three projects previously mentioned were up and running, there would be no difficulty lining up additional capital for this project. He said the target market would be a mix of clientele; and the leisure market was Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The core of the business would be corporate clients Monday through Thursday. He said the feasibility of including a spa may result in reducing the number of rooms.
In response to questions by CM Turner, Mr. Patel said meeting space could accommodate 75 people per 1,000 square feet. He said the ideal number for banquet seating was 250.
In response to questions by CM Spedowfski, Mr. Patel said in regard to parking, they would not be able to accommodate the full capacity of cars necessary. He said perhaps the City could lower the required parking and that, along with corporate clients carpooling and Ubering, could dwindle that number down. He said they have experience with subterranean parking and should be able to squeeze in more parking, but some of the parking could be shifted to the public parking garage or parked by valet.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Mr. Patel clarified that Curio was a step above Canopy brand originally suggested by Hilton Director of Development.
Summerhill Homes/T2 Hospitality - Hotel and Residential Project
Presented by Katia Kamangar, Executive Vice President, Summerhill; Chris Neighbor, Acquisitions, Summerhill; Manny Gonzales, Architect; and Ryan Phelps, Vice President, T2 Hospitality.
In response to questions by VM Gary, Ryan Phelps said the next generation product for Livermore would be bringing in an upscale brand but not overshooting the mark. He said a Homewood Suite would be a home run; a place where people could stay for multiple nights, have free breakfast, and a kitchen. He said the target market would be the corporate business mid-week traveler with weekend business being transient. He said the occupancy rate would average at 70-75 percent.
In response to question by CM Woerner, Mr. Phelps said no spa. He answered several design questions utilizing the PowerPoint presentation, and said being in the core of the downtown there would be corporate government/business travelers mid-week. He said the wine country would provide some demand but not enough to fill the hotel. He said there needed to be an extension beyond the weekend wine country market to make the hotel successful. He said the wine country element was a very nice layer on top of a very strong base.
In response to questions by CM Turner, Mr. Phelps said a Residence Inn was included in the proposal. He said there were new generations of Residence Inn. He said they were totally open to exploring options of brands other than Residents Inn that would be more upscale.
In response to questions by CM Spedowfski, Ms. Kamangar said there were numerous projects to be toured in the area and she would provide the Council with a map of those locations; the mid-block street was just a proposal and they were willing to work on alternatives with city staff. They discussed several features for landscaping, a spa by the pool and an amenity courtyard.
In response to questions by VM Gary, Ms. Kamangar said there should be a lot line adjustment for the parking garage that would enable expediting of the project. The parking garage could be complete by summer 2017. She said the rest of the project was a two-year build cycle for the apartments and retail; two and one-half years to be completely sold out of the townhomes. She said this was a $90 million project with equity of approximately $22 million. The apartment building could be maintained in the company portfolio or sold to institutional investors after the rents stabilized.
Tim Lewis Communities - Residential Project
Presented by Michael OHara, Director of Forward Planning.
In response to questions by CM Spedowfski, Mr. OHara said recent projects were located in Dublin and Fremont. He said the proposed parking met City requirements for retail and residential and would require the use of the parking structure. He utilized the PowerPoint presentation to identify open, meeting, and gathering spaces.
In response to questions by VM Gary, Mr. OHara said they were comfortable with the timelines outlined in the RFP. With regards to equity and financing, he said the company sought out partners, was well capitalized, and worked with well-known institutional capital providers.
Trumark Homes - Residential Project
Presented by Garret Hines, Director of Architecture; David Gates, Landscape Architect; John Thatch, Architect, Dahlin Group; Christ Davenport, Vice President; and Brian Steel, Director of Acquisition.
In response to questions by CM Turner, Mr. Hines said he envisioned a hotel similar to the Healdsburg Hotel for this project.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Mr. Thatch described alternative designs for the parking structure that would accommodate residents and public use. He utilized the PowerPoint presentation to help describe design elements using local artists. Mr. Hines described the use of elevators in the parking garage. He said he did not have hotel experience but had worked collaboratively on other projects in the past.
In response to questions by VM Gary, Mr. Hines said there would be 340 dedicated parking spaces for residential and 550 spaces for city-wide. He said it would be a 4 ½ story parking structure. He said the timing pro-forma presented was realistic and included working with staff, working through conditions of approval, development agreements, environmental, and community outreach. He said the garage would come first. Mr. Steel said Trumark partnered with outside equity and conventional debt, and they had great access to institutional and private equity. Mr. Hines said Trumark front-ended the design work to the vesting tentative map.
In response to the questions by CM Spedowfski, Mr. Hines utilized the PowerPoint to indicate the residential community parking spaces, a carless market space, and a meandering paseo including artwork. Mr. Thatch described working with the connecting neighbors such as Blacksmith Square. He also addressed the trash pickup, delivery service and accessibility for fire trucks.
In response to the questions by Mayor Marchand, Mr. Steel said Trumark could manage the community space or contract with an outside management partner.
Ulferts - Hotel, Residential and Event Center
Presented by Dr. Calvin Kam; Bruce Cousins, AIA, SWORD Integrated Building Solutions; and Steve MacCracken, Architect.
In response to questions by CM Turner, Mr. MacCracken said they were proposing twenty-three live-work units and 280 family residential units which could be apartments and/or flats. He said parking would be below-grade with 1,100 spaces which met the requirement of the RFP.
CM Turner said the RFP did not call for a conference center and there would be a shortage of 1,000 parking spaces; she questioned where the remaining patrons would park. Dr. Kam said they were in the process of a feasibility study and needed to conduct a downtown study for potential parking. He said they were presenting a vision for a celebration of arts and science, and public transit instead of using private cars to attend events.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Mr. Cousins said they were looking at a variety of times in the parking study and the parking across the street was underutilized by 50%. He identified other podium parking and said the parking would be provided in a variety of spaces spread across the site and not in one large structure.
In response to questions by CM Spedowfski, Mr. MacCracken verified there were three entry/exit points to the parking on Railroad Avenue. Dr. Kam said there was no other downtown Livermore to drive by, they were presenting a vision. He identified projects by MacCracken in the downtown, Dublin, and Palo Alto.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Dr. Kam said the vision and a team for the process needed to be established. After the vision is agreed upon, then financial arrangements could be worked on including a public-private partnership and donations.
CM Woerner stated the City was not subsidizing the project. He said Ulferts proposal was the only one that requested subsidization.
In response to questions by VM Gary, Mr. MacCracken said they were proposing a general height of four stories for the outer perimeter of the project. He said it would vary and there would be step-backs to mirror a lower element along the street. He continued to describe the varying heights of buildings proposed. Dr. Kam said this was a partnership lead by Ulferts. He said Ulferts had experience in working in the most terrible economic downturns. He said there needed to be separate developers for each of the projects that would be a partnership. Mr. Cousins said the RFP indicated there was public money for the parking structure, the ad hoc committee said there were donors committed for the conference center, the operating aspect would be added back to the hotel and they still needed to work on that.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Mr. MacCracken said there would be two levels of below grade parking under the hotel for 250 spaces. Dr. Kam said they proposed that the land price would be reduced to compensate for the higher development costs for the project. A representative from the group acknowledged the shortage of parking in their proposal; he stated they really wanted to make this the right size for the site with a pedestrian walkway and plaza. He said parking would detract from the most important mission of the project which was science, the arts, and the pedestrian scale. Dr. Kam and Mr. Cousins were unclear on their answer to the missing reference in the PKF study.
In response to questions by VM Gary, Mr. MacCracken said 1,500 feet of retail space was proposed.
The city council continued the item and adjourned adjournment the meeting at 11:53 pm to the adjourned regular city council meeting on February 9, 2016, at 7:00 pm. Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore.
JOHN P. MARCHAND, MAYOR
SUSAN NEER, CITY CLERK