CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
June 23, 2014
1. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE/ROLL CALL - The meeting of the City Council was called to order by Mayor John Marchand at 7:16 pm, in the City Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore, California.
Mayor Marchand announced that the meeting was being conducted pursuant to California Government Code concerning teleconferencing of meetings. Councilmember Laureen Turner was at the Ibero-American University Puebla, in Puebla, Mexico, and would be participating via tele-video conferencing. In accordance with the Ralph M. Brown Act, the location was identified in the notice and agenda for this meeting. Mayor Marchand confirmed that all members of the Council could clearly hear the proceedings and any vote taken during the tele-video conferenced meeting would be taken by a roll call vote.
1.01 ROLL CALL - Present: Mayor John Marchand, Vice Mayor Bob Woerner, and Councilmembers Stewart Gary, Doug Horner, and Laureen Turner.
1.02 PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
1.03 REPORT OF ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION
City Attorney Jason Alcala said there was no reportable action.
2. PROCLAMATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
2.01 Presentation of the 2014 High School Senior Arts Awards.
Mayor Marchand presented awards to the recipients of the 2014 High School Senior Arts Awards.
2.02 Proclamation honoring Deacon Dave Rezendes - Mayors Special Award for Livermore Community Service.
Mayor Marchand presented the Community Service Award to Deacon Dave Rezendes.
3. CITIZENS FORUM
Helen Nelson, Livermore, Save the Hill group, spoke regarding the hills near her home on Bear Creek Drive. She said the policy did not permit intensive development and expressed concerns regarding present and future use of water by the proposed development.
Pat Ferguson, Livermore, spoke regarding City finances including unfunded pensions and deferred maintenance; and spoke regarding homelessness in Livermore.
Marnie Steele, Livermore, Save the Hill group, spoke regarding the proposed Garaventa Hills development in North Livermore and expressed concerns regarding traffic issues.
Cindy Angers, Livermore, Save the Hill group, spoke regarding the final EIR for the Garaventa Hills project. She expressed concerns regarding traffic, environmental, and hydrological impact, and said the revisions necessitated a public review period.
James Wilk, Livermore, Save the Hill group, spoke regarding the Garaventa Hills project. He expressed concerns regarding impacts to the wetlands and increased traffic, and said there should be a new environmental impact review.
4. CONSENT CALENDAR
Item 4.02 Mayor Marchand spoke regarding services to the homeless and said the Homelessness Street Outreach Team would engage the homeless and direct them towards available services. He said federal resources had been committed to end veteran homelessness, which would free resources for other homeless in the community.
Item 4.01 Pat Ferguson, Livermore, spoke regarding the June 9, 2014 Closed Session, expressing concerns regarding using Altamont Landfill settlement funds for the theater, and said the issue should be voted on.
Item 4.12 Pat Ferguson, Livermore, spoke regarding homelessness in Livermore and said providing services would attract more homeless.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, City Attorney Jason Alcala said the Altamont Landfill funds were not taxes, and were derived from two sources; one through a settlement involving the landfill, and the other through a permit condition involving the second landfill at Vasco. He confirmed the funds were county funds dedicated to the purpose of a community theater.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, City Manager Marc Roberts said the landfill was located on private property in Alameda County and was not within the Citys purview.
Mayor Marchand said the average cost of a homeless person to the community was about $120,000 per person due to emergency room visits, processing through the justice system, and other expenses; he said the housing-first model would save the community about $100,000 per homeless person. He said the issue would not be solved by Livermore alone, and he was working to leverage federal, regional and county resources and coordinate the effort. He said the White House had committed to solve the issue.
VM Woerner said the program would provide information about the actual homeless community in Livermore to help craft solutions.
Mayor Marchand said simply providing jobs would not help the homeless with mental health issues; he said to stabilize people and ensure success, there must be wraparound services and a continuum of care.
Item 4.15 David Wetmore, Livermore, spoke regarding the Little League World Series event and thanked the City Council for their support.
ON THE MOTION OF CM HORNER, SECONDED BY CM GARY, AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE CONSENT CALENDAR.
4.01 Approval of Minutes - June 9, 2014 regular City Council meeting.
4.02 Resolution 2014-075 amending Resolution No. 72-79 to adjust the salary plan for Unclassified and Hourly Salaries, effective June 30, 2014 and December 28, 2015, to reflect increases in the State minimum wage.
4.03 Resolution 2014-076 calling for the November 4, 2014 General Municipal Election.
4.04 Resolution 2014-077 accepting for permanent maintenance and releasing of security for the Traffic Signals Reconstruction, Project No. 2010-21.
4.05 Resolution 2014-078 authorizing execution of an agreement with Motorola Solutions, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $123,000, for maintenance and support of public safety software and related systems.
4.06 Resolution 2014-079 authorizing execution of an agreement with All City Management Services, in the amount of $270,000, to provide crossing guard services at fifteen intersections throughout the City for the period July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016.
4.07 Resolution 2014-080 authorizing execution of an agreement with 4 Leaf, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $140,000, to provide as-needed plan check and inspection services.
4.08 Resolution 2014-081 authorizing execution of agreements with Interwest Consulting Group, SNG Associates, and Gils Consulting, each in an amount not to exceed $100,000, to provide on-call plan check and development engineering review services.
4.09 Resolution 2014-082 authorizing execution of a general services agreement with West Valley Construction, in an amount not to exceed $287,000, for emergency excavation and repair of City water, sewer, and storm drain facilities.
4.10 Resolution 2014-083 authorizing execution of a contract for services with Synagro-WWT, Inc., in the amount of $398,000, for cleaning three anaerobic digesters at the Water Reclamation Plant.
4.11 Resolution 2014-084 authorizing execution of a 35-year Northside Aviation Facility Ground Lease Agreement with Coutches Enterprises, Inc., dba American Aircraft Sales, for aviation-related activities.
4.12 Resolution 2014-085 authorizing appropriation and expenditure of funds in the amount of $79,684 to Abode Services to implement a Homeless Street Outreach Team. (General Funds, Housing Trust Funds and Social Opportunity Endowment Funds)
4.13 Resolution 2014-086 supporting submission of a grant application to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission requesting $359,000 from the Regional Active Transportation Program for the Marylin Avenue Safe Routes to School Project.
4.14 Resolution 2014-087 authorizing a supplemental appropriation of City housing funds, in the amount of $400,000 in Fiscal Year 2014-15, towards the City's Mortgage Assistance Program to provide loans of up to $40,000 to moderate income, first-time homebuyers.
4.15 Resolution 2014-088 supporting the hosting of the 2014 Intermediate Little League World Series in Livermore.
5. PUBLIC HEARINGS
5.01 Hearing to consider a request for approval of a General Plan Amendment to amend the scenic corridor policy as it relates to the subject property. The General Plan Amendment is requested to accommodate an application, which will be considered at a separate hearing, to subdivide the vacant property into four lots for future commercial development, one lot for a previously approved detention basin, and other lots to accommodate 476 attached multi-family residential dwelling units and associated amenities.
Recommendation: The Planning Commission and staff recommended the City Council adopt a resolution approving General Plan Amendment 13-004.
Senior Planner Christine Rodrigues presented the staff report.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Ms. Rodrigues described the open space areas in the overall project including the hillside and along the creek. Community and Economic Development Director Stephan Kiefer said the areas to the east and north of the proposed development were outside the urban grown boundary and were open space as well.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Planning Manager Paul Spence said the approximate heights of the buildings as allowed would not change; however, the grading allowed a difference of about fifteen feet. He said the total height of the buildings was about thirty-eight feet.
Mayor Marchand said he had received comments regarding sky scrapers in Livermore, and he thought people saw the 475-495 feet and perceived that as the building height, rather than the elevation above sea level; the building heights were thirty-five to forty feet.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Ms. Rodrigues said there would be a landscaped berm on the southern end of the site that would hide the about the first story of the three story buildings.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Mr. Spence confirmed the total building height was 38 feet in both cases, and the top of the building was 15 feet higher than it would be otherwise due to the difference in the amount of grading along the front of the project.
AT 8:20 PM, THE TELE-VIDEO CONNECTION WITH CM TURNER WAS LOST. MAYOR MARCHAND CALLED FOR A FIVE-MINUTE RECESS. THE CONNECTION COULD NOT BE REESTABLISHED AND THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER AT 8:25 PM.
David Best, Community Development Manager, Shea Homes, presented the PowerPoint presentation and video.
Mark Day, Principle, Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, presented a report on the proposed architecture.
CM Gary said he understood the need for balance and grading, and asked if some grading would be possible with some export. He said every foot of vertical elevation on the front of the buildings was precious and the buildings should be on slab; and discussed grading the front buildings.
In response to questions by CM Gary, Mr. Best said if the first row of buildings was graded down, the second row of buildings would become visible. He said bringing the first two rows down to the slope line had not been evaluated; he believed doing so would not significantly change the view of the hills.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Mr. Best said in regards to the impact of tall buildings, the berm along the southern edge was proposed so people would experience a two-story building. He said the topography had not been studied to see if a berm could be wrapped with the proximity to the arroyo and the mitigation planting on City property. He said in regards to feasibility, the constraints would have to be evaluated with respect to proximity to the Arroyo Las Positas where grading or habitat impacts could be done, since they had to mitigate for species as well.
Mayor Marchand opened the public hearing.
Paul Weiss, Livermore, spoke regarding aesthetics of the proposed project including implementing basements to stagger roof heights, staggering building and roof lines, the shape of the detention ponds, extending berms, and tree size.
There were no more speakers and the hearing was closed.
VM Woerner said the project had evolved from low-height commercial to relatively high density residential and the next evolution would be even higher. He said when the project came back to Council, he would be looking to see the extent to which the development mitigated the impact of being next to the project.
CM Horner spoke regarding the history of the project including the altered view angles and viewpoints. He said the effect was that the front row of buildings would be about 15 feet higher; the impact would be especially felt given the proximity to the freeway. He said there was a compromise made in 2005 when the Council at that time opted for the practical over the ideal; specifically the relapsation of the scenic corridor provisions were made to secure a land swap allowing for a future BART project. He said the compromise was made at that time by allowing a fairly modest relapsation of the view angle and a significant deal to re-grade the site.
CM Horner said the applicant and staff maintained that because this deal would result in excessive grading, the City Council should accept a further incursion into the scenic corridor. He said that relaxing the current view angle provisions was not consistent with the general plan community character element; not just the scenic corridor, but the visual access to open space. He did not believe a precedent should be set, as no simulation could adequately represent the eventual real-world impacts that would happen along the freeway; he said the allowable impact was defined mathematically by a view angle that can be surveyed and laid out rather than a Photoshop presentation.
CM Horner said increasing the front row of the project by fifteen feet would increase the visual impact to a degree that was unacceptable. He said in 2005, the original impact to this piece of the scenic corridor was unanimously voted down by the Planning Commission. He said the issue was no longer of securing BART or allowing increased density; the issue was grading and developer convenience and he did not believe those were more important to the community than the scenic corridor.
He asked if there was an alternative between a completely balanced site and the massive grading to lessen the impact along the freeway. He said the project would look like a wall of houses and he was not sure the original proposal anticipated that.
CM Gary said he appreciated the history of the project, and said there was a very complicated swapping of land development needs, grading needs in a contiguous area, and mid-density development. He spoke regarding the diesel pollution from export and said the general plan was very land-form sensitive; ideally that kind of cut and export for that number of units would not be allowed. He said if the options were one or the other, he appreciated that Shea had come up with a better project visually from the oblique angles.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, City Manager Marc Roberts clarified the City Council was being asked to change the maximum height of the objects in the proposed areas across the site; he said project approvals were usually bundled so the Council could be more detail-oriented. He said the other option was not making the decision at this time and hearing the whole project in July. He said approval would mean that overall the City Council was comfortable with the front row building height, and the details including roof lines, berms, landscaping would come back at another meeting.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Mr. Kiefer said it would be difficult but not impossible for the applicant to come back with a project addressing some of the grading issues.
Mayor Marchand the history of the project was very helpful; a previous City Council had set the density and put constraints on the property. He said this project had the lowest allowable density, and his feeling was the intent of the ordinance was achieved in the proposed project with a greater view of the hills.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Mr. Best said achieving the low end of the density would be very difficult; the cost of off-haul was a ten million dollar number. He said for the most part the oblique angles would be experienced rather than the ninety-degree angles; he did not think there would be an appreciable difference in the finished product when driving down the freeway.
Mr. Best said if the project was re-bundled, he believed the City Council would see the same project. He said he believed the way the project was proposed was the best solution given all the constraints; to achieve the density, to avoid major off-haul of dirt, and to preserve the views and the general plan intended.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Mr. Kiefer confirmed if the item were approved and came back in a second part, the conversations about the berm and other details would still be in play.
In response to questions by CM Horner and Mayor Marchand, Mr. Roberts said in general, adjusting density through a general plan amendment at the level the Council was discussing would not be considered a taking; however, the applicant would have to agree due to the development agreement locking in the present density. He said in regards to bringing BART and attracting federal money, reducing the density would not make it impossible to hit the numbers needed, but it would make a difficult job that much more difficult.
In response to questions by CM Horner, Mr. Best said lowering the density would be a different project; considerable effort had been spent in meeting the density described in the project.
ON THE MOTION OF CM GARY, SECONDED BY MAYOR MARCHAND AND CARRIED ON A 3-1 VOTE (CM HORNER VOTING NO), THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION:
Resolution 2014-089 amending the Livermore General Plan (General Plan Amendment 13-004.
5.02 Hearing to consider a request to adopt the 2014 Community Services and Infrastructure Report, which assesses the City's capacity to accommodate growth; adopt the 2014 to 2016 Housing Implementation Program (HIP) regulations, which establishes the process for allocating housing units for 2014 to 2016 consistent with existing General Plan residential growth management policies; and amend the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) to continue exempting residential DSP projects from HIP competition.
Recommendation: The Planning Commission and staff recommended the City Council adopt a resolution approving Policy Proposal 13-001 and Specific Plan Amendment 14-001, adopting the 2014 Community Services and Infrastructure Report and the 2014-2016 Housing Implementation Program.
Associate Planner Frank Guido presented the staff report.
In response to questions by CM Gary, City Manager Marc Roberts said basic sources of water were shared with the partner cities; Zone 7 was tasked with governing both the development storage and distribution at the wholesale level for water supplies. He said the discussion needed to happen at the district level and then with the partner cities; if there was a string of dry years and no credible plan, the conversation needed to be dealt with as a valley, not as a city.
Mayor Marchand said Zone 7 had an annual sustainable yield calculation with a five-year projection that looked at available sources; each city had to include in their projections how much water would be used. He said the agreement was not proportional to prevent one City grabbing all the water; Zone 7 had tried to implement that but there was no support at that time.
Mr. Roberts said there was no separation between the retailers as to how much water could be utilized as long as each retailer was within the projections given to Zone 7. He said there was not presently a mechanism for one city to have a moratorium to save its water; that was believed to best be done at the district level.
Mayor Marchand opened the public hearing.
Pat Ferguson, Livermore, spoke regarding water conservation and Livermores economic non-collapse depending on growth; and expressed concerns regarding high density growth in Livermore.
There were no more speakers and the hearing was closed.
ON THE MOTION OF CM GARY, SECONDED BY CM HONER AND CARRIED ON A 4-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION:
Resolution 2014-090 approving Policy Proposal 13-001 and Specific Plan Amendment 14-001, and adopting the 2014 Community Services and Infrastructure Report and the 2014-2016 Housing Implementation Program.
6. MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
6.01 Discussion and direction regarding City Council appointments to Intergovernmental Agencies. None.
6.02 Appointment of Councilmembers to the City Council Subcommittee to conduct Advisory Body interviews from July 1 through December 31, 2014, including the Livermore Area Youth Advisory Commission.
Recommendation: Staff recommended two Councilmembers be appointed to serve on the City Council Subcommittee for Advisory Bodies.
CM GARY AND CM TURNER WERE APPOINTED TO SERVE ON THE CITY COUNCIL SUBCOMMITTEE FOR ADVISORY BODIES THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2014.
6.03 Discussion and direction regarding extension of Chapter 12.51 of the Municipal Code, Art in Public Places Program; and Review of the Public Art In-lieu Fee charged to Development.
Recommendation: Staff recommended the City Council remove this item from the agenda.
THIS ITEM WAS REMOVED FROM THE AGENDA.
6.04 Resolution of intention and introduction of an ordinance authorizing an amendment to the contract between the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the City of Livermore to exclude the classifications of Mayor and Councilmember on a prospective basis.
Recommendation: Staff recommended the City Council adopt the resolution and introduce the ordinance.
ON THE MOTION OF CM GARY, SECONDED BY VM WOERNER AND CARRIED ON A 4-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION AND INTRODUCED THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE:
Resolution 2014-091 of intention to approve an amendment to the contract between the City Council of the City of Livermore and the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees Retirement System.
Introduction of an ordinance authorizing an amendment to the contract between the City Council of the City of Livermore and the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees Retirement System.
6.05 Discussion and direction regarding pending State or Federal legislation. None.
7. COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS AND MATTERS INITIATED BY CITY MANAGER, CITY ATTORNEY, STAFF AND COUNCILMEMBERS
7.01 Council Committee Reports and Matters Initiated by City Manager, City Attorney, Staff, and Councilmembers.
Tri-Valley Transportation Council (TVTC) CM Horner said he attended the meeting on June 19, 2014. He reported that TVTC adopted an adjustment in the transportation development fee; there would be a 25% fee increase July 2015 and 35% July 2016.
Livermore Downtown Inc. CM Gary said he attended the monthly board meeting and reported the Downtown 4th of July Fireworks Celebration was ready.
Arroyo Mocho Fire CM Gary spoke regarding the recent fire in the Arroyo Mocho and requested information from staff on how best to mitigate fire hazards in the arroyo during the drought.
Relay for Life VM Woerner said on June 21, 2014 he welcomed the participants on behalf of the Mayor. He said this was an inspiring fund raising event and said he would participate next year.
Wheels - Livermore Amador Valley Transportation Authority (LAVTA) VM Woerner said on June 23, 2014 he attended the Projects and Services subcommittee meeting. He said the participating cities reaffirmed providing input to the comprehensive operations analysis LAVTA would be conducting in the fall. He said the challenge was getting more people to use Rapid.
Top 100 Businesses Mayor Marchand said on June 10, 2014 there was a reception for the top 100 businesses in Livermore.
Comcast VetNet Mayor Marchand said on June 11, 2014 he spoke at the Comcast VetNet program. Comcast had committed to hire returning veterans.
Mayors Conference Mayor Marchand said on June 11, 2014 he attended the conference in Piedmont. There were discussions on water and the drought.
Livermore Rodeo Mayor Marchand said on June 14, 2014 he attended the Rodeo Parade and the Rodeo.
US Conference of Mayors Mayor Marchand said June 19-23, 2014 he attended the conference in Dallas, Texas. He said there were discussions on community development, quality of life, education, and innovation. He said he co-authored a resolution called Water Infrastructure Financing Innovation Authority (WIFIA) that was passed in May by Congress. He said the conference unanimously adopted a Public Education Government (PEG) funding resolution to allow the usage of PEG funds for the operations of the local government channels.
ADJOURNMENT - at 10:12 pm to a regular City Council meeting on Monday, July 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm, Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore.
JOHN P. MARCHAND, MAYOR
SUSAN NEER, CITY CLERK
SARAH BUNTING, ADMIN TECHNICIAN