Livermore City Council Meeting - April 22, 2019
CALL TO ORDER / PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
PROCLAMATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS AND MATTERS INITIATED
April 22, 2019
CALL TO ORDER / PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The meeting of the City Council was called to order by Mayor John Marchand at 7:00 pm, in the City Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore, California.
1.01 ROLL CALL - Present: Mayor John Marchand, Vice Mayor Robert W. Carling and Council Members Bob Coomber, Trish Munro, and Bob Woerner.
1.02 PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
PROCLAMATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
2.01 Proclaiming April 7-13, 2019 as National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
Mayor Marchand present the proclamation to Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Annie Esposito and Victim Awareness Advocate Lindsay Reynolds.
2.02 Proclaiming May 2019 as Building Safety Month.
Mayor Marchand presented the proclamation to Livermore's Chief Building Official Brent Smith.
2.03 Proclaiming May 2019 as Lupus Awareness Month.
Mayor Marchand presented the proclamation to Shamekka Marty of the Lupus Foundation of Northern California.
2.04 Commission for the Arts Annual Update.
Commission for the Arts Commissioner Cher Wollard presented the annual update.
Greg Scott, Livermore, spoke regarding issues relating to homelessness in Livermore.
Dave Wetmore and Bill Aboumarad, Livermore, spoke regarding the upcoming Little League Baseball world series event in Livermore.
Nancy Bankhead, Livermore, spoke regarding events at the Bankhead Theater; and regarding weeds and graffiti at the North Livermore freeway overpass.
John Stein, Livermore, expressed concerns regarding transit-oriented development and spoke regarding zoning in the Isabel Neighborhood Plan.
Karl Wente spoke regarding good government and getting involved.
Mayor Marchand said that Item 4.03 had been removed from the agenda.
Karl Wente spoke regarding the City Council meeting materials and the process of government.
ON THE MOTION OF CM COOMBER, SECONDED BY VM CARLING, AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE CONSENT CALENDAR, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ITEM 4.03 BEING REMOVED FROM THE AGENDA.
4.01 Approval of draft minutes - April 8, 2019 regular City Council meeting.
4.02 Resolution 2019-045 amending the Planning Commission Rules of Procedure to change the Commission's meeting start time from 7:30 to 7:00 pm.
4.03 Resolution accepting for permanent maintenance and releasing of security for the 2018 Street Resurfacing, Project No. 2018-01, which includes work related to Airport Runway Striping, Project No. 2017-18, and Phase 2 Downtown Temporary Parking, Project No. 2014-37.
ITEM 4.03 WAS REMOVED FROM THE AGENDA.
4.04 Resolution 2019-046 accepting for permanent maintenance and releasing of security for the Isabel Avenue/I-580 Interchange Improvements Off-Site Wetland Mitigation, Project No. 1992-3866.
4.05 Resolution 2019-047 authorizing issuance of a purchase order to National Fleet Auto Group, in an amount not-to-exceed $443,174, for purchase of twelve replacement vehicles throughout the City's fleet; and authorizing appropriation of funds for the purchase.
4.06 Resolution 2019-048 adopting the City of Livermore Salary Plan as of April 29, 2019 in accordance with California Code of Regulations, Title 2, Section 570.5.
5.01 Hearing to receive protests related to the annual weed abatement program and order to abate public nuisances.
Recommendation: Staff recommended City Council consider all protests, and if appropriate, adopt a resolution overruling protests, and direct staff to proceed with necessary weed abatement on all parcels requiring abatement.
Fire Marshal Ryan Rucker presented the staff report.
Mayor Marchand opened the public hearing.
There were no speakers and the hearing was closed.
ON THE MOTION OF CM WOERNER, SECONDED BY VM CARLING AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION:
Resolution 2019-049 overruling protests and ordering the abatement of a public nuisance.
5.02 Hearing to consider a proposed residential subdivision for 44 units, consisting of 38 single-family detached units and 6 duet/couplet units, on an approximately 31.7 acre vacant site located east of North Vasco Road, north of Garaventa Ranch Road/Altamont Creek Drive, and west of Laughlin Road. A proposed westerly extension of Bear Creek Drive would provide access to the internal residential street, and an emergency vehicle access (EVA), pedestrian, and bicycle bridge is proposed at Hawk Street.
. Location: East of North Vasco Road, north of Garaventa Ranch Road/Altamont Creek Drive, and west of Laughlin Road
. Site Area: 31.7± acres
. Applicant: Lafferty Communities
. Application Numbers: Vesting Tentative Tract Map 8094 (SUB13-001) and Site Plan Design Review (SPDR) 13-005
. Public Improvements: Public bicycle, pedestrian, and emergency vehicle access (EVA) bridge at Hawk Street, and public trails.
. Zoning: Planned Unit Development (PUD) No. 115
. General Plan: Urban Low Residential (UL-1)
. Historic Status: None
. CEQA: Re-Issued Final Environmental Impact Report document, together with the Draft EIR published in November 2012 and the Final EIR published in June 2014 (State Clearinghouse Number 2011112045), will be considered for compliance with the provisions of CEQA.
Recommendation: The Planning Commission and staff recommended the City Council:
1. Adopt a resolution certifying the Environmental Impact Report and, after approval of the application, instructing staff to file the Notice of Determination with the Alameda County Clerk;
2. Adopt a resolution approving Vesting Tentative Tract Map 8094 (Subdivision 13-001) and Site Plan Design Review (SPDR) 13-005, authorizing the allocation of 44 Housing Implementation Program (HIP) units for the project, and authorizing the applicant to provide six duet units as proposed and to make a cash payment equivalent to 3.15 affordable units to satisfy the affordable housing obligation.
Planning Manager Steve Stewart, Associate Planner Turhan Sonmez, and consultant Rebecca Auld of Lampier-Gregory presented the staff report. Assistant City Attorney Catrina Fobian summarized the City Council's role in reviewing the project.
In response to questions by CM Munro regarding flood and fire concerns, Mr. Stewart said the project was outside the flood zone and the project had been reviewed by the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department. He said the bridge was designed to be three feet above the 100-year flood level to prevent washing out in floods.
Patrick Tooley, Vice President of Operations, Lafferty Communities, spoke regarding the project on behalf of the applicant; along with other representatives from the applicant's project team.
THE CITY COUNCIL RECESSED FROM 8:45 - 9:00 PM.
Mayor Marchand opened the public hearing.
John Suttora, Livermore, opposed the project, expressing concerns relating to impacts to views, traffic, and levels of municipal service.
Marnie Steele, Livermore, Save the Hill, read comments on behalf of Cindy Anger expressing concerns regarding traffic access points to the development.
Michala Morrow, Livermore, opposed the project, expressing concerns regarding impacts to views and the environment.
Ken Brook, Livermore, opposed the project, expressing concerns regarding access to the proposed development.
Julia Benguigui, Livermore, opposed the project, expressing concerns regarding increased traffic and pollution from additional development.
Karen Crosley, Livermore, opposed the project, questioning why the hills had been zoned for housing.
Ted Crosley, Livermore, opposed the project, saying it did not conform to the General Plan; he expressed concerns regarding ecological sensitivity of the area.
Mary Perner, Livermore, opposed the project.
Mary Anne Rozsa, Livermore, spoke on behalf of the sellers of the property, supporting the project and saying the plan had been revised over several years.
Graham Talaber, Livermore, opposed the project, expressing concerns regarding ecological impacts.
Andrew Barker, Livermore, supported the project, saying housing was needed and less environmental harm would be caused by the development than if people were commuting.
Michelle Mitchell, Livermore, opposed the project and suggested preserving the area as open space, including partnering with others for funding.
Brent Siler, Livermore, opposed the project and suggested preserving the area as open space by selling the property as mitigation land.
Louann Tung, Livermore, Friends of the Arroyos and Center for Biological Diversity, opposed the project, citing concerns such as views and fire danger.
Bianca Covarelli, Livermore, Save the Hill, supported prior comments made in opposition to the project and said the development needed to be reevaluated.
Dennis Kai, Livermore, opposed the project, saying it was not smart development and expressing concerns regarding views and safety.
Greg Scott, Livermore, spoke regarding danger from flooding and impacts on the environment.
Cindy Angers, Livermore, Save the Hill, said the project was flawed and that her group wanted to buy the hill to keep it as open space in perpetuity.
There were no more speakers and the hearing was closed.
In response to questions by CM Coomber regarding community concerns about the project's conformity with the General Plan, Mr. Stewart said the project had been designated as residential for a number of years and staff looked at General Plan goals in their entirety to minimize impacts to natural landforms.
In response to questions by CM Munro, Mr. Stewart said building, fire, and safety codes required construction safety practices to minimize impacts from fire. He said the project had been reviewed by staff and infrastructure was in place to manage a fire with adequate access. He said the project was outside of the Altamont Creek floodplain.
In response to questions by CM Munro regarding the original three hills in the area, Mr. Stewart said the hill differed from the other two in that it was a little higher. City Manager Marc Roberts noted that a fourth hill had been graded and developed.
In response to questions by CM Munro regarding comments that the project would violate Native American territory, Mr. Stewart said spokespersons of recognized tribes had been consulted; he noted that tribes regarded the entire valley as a sacred resource, particularly along creeks, and spoke regarding ongoing efforts to work with tribes on projects. Mr. Roberts said that there had been no unique objections to the project.
In response to questions by CM Munro regarding tiger salamanders and burrowing owls, Ms. Auld said that although species had not been found during the assessment, the assumption was that they were on the site. Mr. Stewart noted that work would be halted by an approved on-site biologist and corrective measures would be taken to avoid harming species if they were found during construction. Mr. Roberts said that the mitigation property would be a higher value habitat for the protected species.
In response to questions by CM Munro regarding the mitigation site, Mr. Stewart confirmed that it was privately held and there were no conservation easements to protect it in perpetuity. He noted that the property was heavily impacted by trespassing and the ongoing damage was significant. He said part of the mitigation would be applying a permanent conservation easement on the property and requiring the developer to provide an endowment to care for the property with a management plan. Community Development Director Paul Spence and Mr. Roberts said that appropriate fencing was a typical prevention method to prevent trespassing.
VM Carling said he had seen the project site being destroyed by bicycles and other trespassers.
In response to questions by VM Carling regarding the road, Mr. Roberts said that placing a road through the immediate west of the site had been analyzed and rejected because although it would improve access, there would be significant environmental impact due to sensitive species in the wetlands.
In response to questions by VM Carling, Mr. Stewart spoke regarding the project's modification in response to public testimony regarding cut-through traffic and creek impacts. He said the community had been concerned about emergency access and the only location that worked was extending a bridge over Hawk Street. Mr. Spence said the emergency vehicle access (EVA) provided police and fire access; emergency personnel would manage the bollards. Mr. Roberts said signs or breakaway options could be used as an alternative to bollards if the City Council had significant concerns.
VM Carling said he had looked at the project for a long time and it was a reasonable solution. He thanked the Save The Hill group and Planning Commission for their work to make the project better than initially proposed.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Mr. Spence confirmed that the fire department had reviewed the emergency vehicle access bridge. Mr. Roberts said the first line of emergency approach would be the open street; however, if that were compromised, secondary access would be used. Mr. Stewart confirmed that while staff had considered both fire and flooding separately, they had not been considered simultaneously.
CM Woerner seconded comments about working together to improve the project, saying he understood the community's desire to not have the project. In response to his questions, Ms. Auld confirmed that evidence that endangered species existed was not sufficient to say the impacts were not mitigated.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Ms. Fobian said the City Council had to evaluate the project before them. She confirmed that the City Council could not change zoning rules after a project was submitted that was consistent with the City's General Plan; and confirmed that if the Save the Hill group were able to raise the funds, they could attempt to buy the property.
Mayor Marchand said the site had been zoned for housing since 1976. He said that people had trespassed on private property and caused significant damage; if the development were approved, there would be ongoing legal access to the site and funds to maintain it.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Mr. Stewart said he was not aware of an offer from the community to buy the property; nor had Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD) looked at buying the property. He confirmed that Altamont Open Space funds had specific requirements and were tied to sites with significant biological diversity and non-motorized uses.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand regarding comments about fire insurance, Mr. Roberts said that due to several factors, the area was a relatively low-risk wildland interface and the fire department had reviewed the project.
CM Coomber noted that LARPD had previously looked at a management plan for the adjoining open space parcel if the development were to be built. He said he remembered when the area was open space and his objections to the amount of habitat that was affected by the Maralisa development and other projects. He spoke regarding his use of the site and support for the species in the area; although he didn't like the plan, he said he would rather have a place for people to live and work in town.
CM Munro spoke regarding her meeting with Save the Hill, saying she appreciated the group's energy and dedication. She said the City Council's job was to decide whether the project followed existing rules; her judgment was that the applicant had worked hard to follow the rules.
CM Woerner said the Save the Hill group had brought concerns forward in a professional manner; he said the project wouldn't be as good without their input.
ON THE MOTION OF VM CARLING, SECONDED BY CM COOMBER AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS:
Resolution 2019-050 certifying the re-issued final Environmental Impact Report and instructing staff to file a Notice of Determination with the Alameda County Clerk for the Garaventa Hills Project (Vesting Tentative Tract Map 8094, Site Plan Design Review 13-005).
Resolution 2019-051 approving Vesting Tentative Tract Map 8094 (Subdivision 13-001) and Site Plan Design Review (SPDR) 13-005, authorizing the allocation of 44 housing implementation program units for the project, and authorizing the applicant to provide six duet units as proposed and to make a cash payment equivalent to 3.15 affordable units to satisfy the affordable housing obligation (Garaventa Hills).
THE CITY COUNCIL RECESSED FROM 10:38 PM TO 10:45 PM.
5.03 Hearing to receive comments regarding the submission of the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Action Plan for the City of Livermore's Community Development Block Grant activity to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Recommendation: Staff recommended the City Council continue the item to May 13, 2019.
THE CITY COUNCIL CONTINUED THE HEARING TO MAY 13, 2019.
6.01 City Council Fiscal Year 2019-21 Goals and Priorities and proposed two-year work plan.
Recommendation: Staff recommended that the City Council receive an update on the Fiscal Year 2017-19 Goals and Priorities and provide direction regarding Fiscal Year 2019-21 Goals and Priorities and the associated proposed two-year work plan.
City Manager Marc Roberts presented the staff report.
In response to questions by CM Woerner regarding the Interfaith Housing Pacific Avenue project, Mr. Roberts confirmed that staff was hoping to have complete plans by spring of 2020 for entitlement.
In response to questions by VM Carling regarding the status of the Sunflower Hill project, Assistant Community Development Director Eric Uranga said the project was underway and would be applying for low-income tax credit in June. He said that the plan had been revised due to rising construction costs; Mr. Roberts confirmed that the changes were minor and would be reviewed by staff.
ON THE MOTION OF CM WOERNER, SECONDED BY CM COOMBER AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL VOTED TO CONTINUE THE MEETING PAST 11:00 PM TO FINISH THE REMAINDER OF ITEMS ON THE AGENDA.
ON THE MOTION OF CM WOERNER, SECONDED BY CM COOMBER AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE TWO-YEAR WORK GOALS AND PRIORITES WORK PLAN.
Mayor Marchand asked if there was sufficient staffing for the work plan, particularly around housing and homelessness; Mr. Roberts said staff would take a closer look and provide information at the May budget workshop regarding whether any changes were necessary.
6.02 Discussion and direction regarding encouraging community activities that celebrate diversity.
Recommendation: Council Member Munro and Council Member Woerner recommended the City Council review and adopt the proclamation supporting a culture of welcome, inclusion, and respect; and provide further direction to staff.
Council Member Munro presented an overview of the proposed proclamation and suggested the City move forward with specific actions such as supporting the Rally for Love.
CM Woerner and CM Coomber expressed support for the proclamation.
Mayor Marchand invited public comment.
Shana Peete, Partners for Change, supported the proclamation; she spoke regarding the Rally for Love and partnering with the City for the event.
Mary Perner, Livermore, supported Ms. Peete's request for the City to partner with the Rally for Love.
Leah Grace, Livermore, spoke regarding her efforts to bridge secular and faith-based communities, including youth involvement with the Rally for Love.
Steve Goodman, Livermore, supported coming together as a community.
Ellen Peete, Livermore, supported the proclamation and offered suggestions for ways the City could support the Rally for Love.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Ms. Shana Peete said donations to the Rally for Love could be made through the Asbury Methodist Church of Livermore.
Mayor Marchand noted that he had spoken at both of the prior Rally for Love events and supported a change in mindset towards community service.
The City Council discussed revisions to the proclamation at length.
ON THE MOTION OF CM WOERNER, SECONDED BY VM CARLING AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE PROCLAMATION AS REVISED.
CM Munro said that Rally for Love was an opportunity to collaborate with an event that was already scheduled; she said discussions that had taken place would include things such as hosting a forum where Council Members could come up with questions around the issues of diversity and inclusion. She said the City could promote events more than it did; and the City Council could either show up to events or could do more.
CM Woerner suggested staff provide a spectrum of recommendations regarding meaningful support for events including City Council participation, staff participation or resources, and potential monetary support.
City Manager Marc Roberts confirmed that although the turnaround would be tight, staff would provide an abbreviated list of options for the May 13, 2019 City Council meeting.
THE CITY COUNCIL DIRECTED STAFF TO RETURN WITH OPTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CITY COUNCIL AND STAFF PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES CELEBRATING DIVERSITY, SUCH AS THE RALLY FOR LOVE.
COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS AND MATTERS INITIATED
7.01 Council Committee Reports and Matters Initiated by City Manager, City Attorney, Staff, and Council Members.
Downtown Construction The City Council directed staff to provide information regarding options for enhancing the appearance of the entrance from Veteran's Way to First Street businesses; including pavement striping and recommendations for free-range dumpsters.
Livermore Area Youth Advisory Commission (LAYAC) The City Council directed staff to work with LAYAC regarding registering high school seniors to vote as a possible project.
East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) The City Council directed staff to prepare an item for future discussion regarding moving City facilities to a revenue-neutral energy tier in the East Bay Community Energy program.
- at 11:44 pm to a regular City Council meeting on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm, Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore.
JOHN P. MARCHAND, MAYOR
SARAH BUNTING, CITY CLERK