JULY 29, 2019
ADJOURNED REGULAR MEETING
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 - NONE
Tamara Reus, Livermore, spoke regarding the need for decorum at City Council meetings.
Jean King, Livermore, spoke regarding her contributions to political campaigns, nonprofits, and other organizations.
Greg Scott and Sue W., Livermore, spoke regarding issues relating to homelessness in Livermore.
Dan Bergmann, Livermore, spoke in support of honoring Livermore's sesquicentennial anniversary.
Michaela Toascas, HE Community Collective, expressed concerns regarding illegal cannabis businesses, saying her legal business was struggling.
Chris Heckler, HE Community Collective, spoke regarding the Collective's efforts to educate the public regarding cannabis.
Mony Nop, Livermore, announced "Welcome to Livermore," a monthly meetup group intended to connect residents with community resources.
Kristie Wong, Livermore, supported Livermore's tobacco ordinance and opposed aggressive and misleading tactics used by signature gatherers.
Jannell Gladen, Livermore, supported Livermore's tobacco ordinance and opposed Juul's efforts to market vaping products to youth.
Mary Perner, Livermore, supported Livermore's tobacco ordinance and invited the community to attend a related rally.
Lisa Tromovitch, Livermore, spoke regarding collaborative efforts with the staff of Bankhead in support of the Downtown.
Kathy Streeter, Livermore, supported Ms. Reus' comments; she expressed concerns regarding potential effects of the central park plan initiative petition.
Sally Dunlop, Livermore, expressed concerns regarding the Mayor calling out individual persons by name during public meetings.
Asa Strout, Livermore, spoke in support of honesty and transparency in discourse, social media, and local media.
Karl Wente spoke regarding civility and expressed concerns regarding the presentation of information reported in The Independent.
Mayor Marchand said people had been called out by name because they were paying signature gatherers to lie about his and the City Council's integrity. He clarified that he had not participated in the Downtown community outreach because members of the Downtown drawing group had asked that he not participate; he had appointed CM Woerner and VM Carling instead.
Mayor Marchand said he had received several petitions regarding a lighted dog park; he reminded the community that dog parks were managed by Livermore Area Recreation and Park District.
In response to questions by CM Woerner regarding rules relating to video recording the activity of paid signature gatherers, City Attorney Jason Alcala said video recording people in public was an evolving area of law but was tolerated by the First Amendment. He noted that signature gatherers were bound by the California Elections Code not to misrepresent information; he encouraged not filming the petition sections, signatures affixed to the petition, or people being solicited to sign the petition. He admonished that the City was not advocating for video recording signature gatherers and did not promote vigilantism.
ON THE MOTION OF CM COOMBER, SECONDED BY CM WOERNER, AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED ITEM 4.02.
In response to questions by CM Woerner regarding Item 4.01, City Attorney Jason Alcala clarified his role in representing the City of Livermore. He confirmed that the City Council could legally act on the development agreement for the hotel and said approving the item was not unconstitutional.
Mayor Marchand invited public comment on Item 4.01.
Tamara Reus, Livermore, Proponent of the Central Park Plan Initiative, opposed adopting Item 4.01 and supported the central park plan initiative.
Johnna Thompson spoke in support of the central park plan initiative.
Jan Brovant, Livermore, spoke in support of The Independent newspaper and its publisher.
Jean King opposed adopting Item 4.01 and supported the central park plan initiative; she noted that a signature gatherer who lied to signers had been fired.
Michael Ferrucci, Livermore, opposed adopting Item 4.01 and supported the central park plan initiative.
Donna Cabanne opposed adopting Item 4.01 and supported the central park plan initiative.
Doris Ryon opposed adopting Item 4.01 and supported the central park plan initiative.
Richard Ryon suggested modifying the hotel development agreement to accommodate either a west or east location.
Sherri Souza, Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce, spoke in support of adopting Item 4.01.
Steve Larranaga spoke in support of adopting Item 4.01.
Dawn Argula, Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce, spoke in support of the existing Downtown plan and adopting Item 4.01.
Doug Mann suggested modifying the hotel development agreement to accommodate either a west or east location.
Anna Lim, Livermore, spoke in support of a west-side hotel and open space based on the community outreach process.
Jeff Kaskey said approval of the development agreement was about subverting the initiative.
Lynn Seppala spoke regarding east- and west-side hotel locations; he supported the west-side location.
Lisa Tromovitch, Livermore Shakespeare Festival, spoke in support of the existing Downtown plan and adopting Item 4.01.
Lynn Naylor, Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group, spoke in support of the existing Downtown plan and adopting Item 4.01.
Asa Strout, Unify Livermore, spoke in support of the existing Downtown plan and adopting Item 4.01.
Denise Leddon supported the central park plan initiative and agreed with comments by previous speakers.
Travis Fisher spoke in support of the existing Downtown plan and adopting Item 4.01.
Evan Branning spoke in support of the existing Downtown plan and adopting Item 4.01.
Jeremy Troupe-Masi, Livermore, spoke in support of the existing Downtown plan and adopting Item 4.01.
Karl Wente spoke in support of the existing Downtown plan and adopting Item 4.01.
Rachael Snedecor said the central park plan initiative was disrespectful towards Downtown businesses.
CM Coomber noted that he counted Joan Seppala and Jean King among his friends; he said it was wrong and misinformed to characterize the City Council as being against the will of the people. He spoke regarding maintaining the City's budget and said he didn't want new assessments for taxpayers. He said no hotelier in the RFP process had wanted a west-side location and he supported moving forward.
In response to questions by VM Carling, Mr. Alcala confirmed that the City Council's actions were not illegal; adopting the item did not impact the outcome of the initiative, as the initiative would not take effect until voted upon; and people would still have the right to vote on the initiative.
VM Carling noted that the City Council had picked elements of a plan through a deliberative process that became the overall approved plan. He said that other than the people in the Council Chamber, he had not heard from a single person in Livermore that didn't support the approved plan. He spoke regarding offensive behavior of paid signature gatherers, clarifying that he was not referring to volunteer circulators. He did not support a parking structure next to the Bankhead Theater, saying he had spoken to professionals who worked in theater and they did not want that. He said he had favored more open space around the housing in the plan in 2018; and said the housing on the Groth Brothers site was market-rate housing and should not be confused with the workforce housing. He supported the approved plan and moving forward.
CM Munro said it bothered her when people identified themselves as homeowners and taxpayers; she contrasted the current cost of housing compared to that of the 1980s, saying people of her generation owed a debt to the next generation. She said instead of talking about health issues or homelessness, the discussion was about a hotel location and she found it troubling. She said what made her interested in running for office was the sense of collaboration and synergy of groups that had come together to make the Downtown plan better. She said the experts on the subject said the east-side hotel location was better; there had been a two-year delay due to the referendum, and she supported moving forward.
CM Woerner agreed with comments by the City Council. He said putting the hotel on the east side provided more room for a bigger park, so he believed the issue was about parking and whether or not it made sense to put it by the Bankhead Theater. He noted that according to Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center's survey, 94% of people were happy with their parking. He said a third parking garage would be a waste of $15 million; he said there was a belief that the parking was needed for the demographic to support ticket sales and there were many better methods of addressing the parking.
Mayor Marchand spoke at length regarding the item and public testimony. He spoke regarding four signature gatherers who he had witnessed lying and noted that maintaining town character was about the preservation of Blacksmith Square. He contrasted the City's outreach process and plan against the drawing in the initiative, said he had not seen public hearings, outreach, traffic analysis, or financial analysis for the drawing. He said he welcomed civil discourse, but comments about the integrity of the City Council were disgusting. He said Livermore was a remarkable community and he wanted to keep it that way; the City Council was here to serve the community and he would serve to the best of his ability.
ON THE MOTION OF CM MUNRO, SECONDED BY VM CARLING, AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED ITEM 4.01.
4.01 Adoption of Ordinance 2089 approving a development agreement with 2205 Railroad Avenue, LLC for the Wine Country Hotel at the Bankhead project (Development Agreement 19-001).
4.02 Resolution 2019-134 accepting the Livermore Downtown Inc. 2018/2019 Annual Report and authorizing execution of a grant agreement with Livermore Downtown Inc., in the amount of $90,000, for services, operating expenses, and downtown promotional expenses.
THE CITY COUNCIL RECESSED FROM 9:20-9:32 PM.
5.01 Hearing to consider adopting a resolution establishing a new fee for the tobacco retailer license. The Tobacco Retailer License permit implements an ordinance introduced by the City Council on June 24, 2019, regulating tobacco product sales, requiring the licensure of tobacco retailers, and amending the Livermore Municipal Code to add a new Chapter 5.50, Tobacco. The second reading of the ordinance occurred on July 8, 2019, and the ordinance will take effect on August 8, 2019. This item was continued from the July 22, 2019 City Council meeting.
. Location: City-wide
. Site Area: Not applicable
. Applicant: City of Livermore
. Application Number: Municipal Code Amendment (MUNI) 19-003
. Public improvements: None
. Zoning: Various
. General Plan: Various
. Historic Status: Not applicable
. CEQA: The establishment of a new fee for the Tobacco Retailer License is not a project subject to the California Environmental Quality Act.
Recommendation: Staff recommended the City Council adopt the resolution.
Special Projects Coordinator Susan Frost and Lieutenant Jason Boberg presented the staff report.
In response to questions by CM Coomber regarding whether the fee would be sequestered or would go into the General Fund, City Manager Marc Roberts said the fee was based on cost-recovery but would flow into the General Fund.
In response to questions by VM Carling regarding the fee calculations, Ms. Frost said the fee had been calculated in coordination with the Police Department and the Finance Division. Mr. Roberts said the fee had been modeled after alcohol enforcement. He said the City Council could lower the fee but not raise it.
Mayor Marchand noted community support for increased tobacco retailer sting operations; he said the fee would fund enforcement efforts but not exceed the cost of enforcement.
In response to questions by CM Munro, Community Development Director Paul Spence said the City Council had asked staff to explore a variety of options and staff believed the recommended approach would be the most effective.
Mayor Marchand opened the public hearing.
Evan Branning spoke in support of the item and thanked the City Council for looking out for the health of the community.
There were no more speakers and the hearing was closed.
ON THE MOTION OF VM CARLING, SECONDED BY CM WOERNER AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION:
Resolution 2019-135 establishing a tobacco retailer license fee.
5.02 Hearing to obtain citizens' views on the approval of the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) whereby the City of Livermore will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the cities of Pleasanton and Dublin to administer and represent the three Cities as the Fiduciary Agent for the Regional County HEAP Funds; enter into a HEAP Services Agreement with the County of Alameda as the Fiduciary Agent for Regional HEAP Funds; enter into a HEAP Services Agreement with the County of Alameda for City of Livermore HEAP Funds; and enter into agreements with providers and community partners to provide identified services. This item was continued from the July 22, 2019 City Council meeting.
Recommendation: Staff and the City Council Subcommittee on Homelessness recommended the City Council adopt a resolution:
1. Authorizing the acceptance and appropriation of the Tri-Valley Regional (Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton) and City of Livermore HEAP funds from Alameda County in the total amount of $1,131,666;
2. Authorizing the City Manager to execute a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cities of Pleasanton and Dublin to administer and represent all three cities as the Fiduciary Agent for the Tri-Valley Regional County HEAP Funds, in substantially the same form as the agreement attached hereto Exhibit A;
3. Authorizing the City Manager to execute the agreement with the County of Alameda, attached hereto as Exhibit B, for Homeless Emergency Aid Program Services as the fiduciary agent for the Tri-Valley Region, and any related documents necessary to effectuate the purpose of this agreement;
4. Authorizes the City Manager to execute an agreement with the County of Alameda for Homeless Emergency Aid Program Services, in substantially the same form as the agreement attached hereto as Exhibit C, and any related documents necessary to effectuate the purpose of this agreement;
5. Directing staff to utilize HEAP funds to implement the program recommendations of the City Council Subcommittee on Homelessness, as articulated in the accompanying staff report; and
6. Authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to sign all documents related to the execution of grant agreements with agencies receiving allocations of funds from the City of Livermore and Tri-Valley Region HEAP allocations, including the selection of and contracting with service providers in amounts exceeding $100,000, consistent with the requirements of the agreements attached hereto as Exhibits B and C, in a total amount not to exceed $1,131,666.
VM Carling and CM Munro introduced the item. Human Services Program Manager Claudia Young and Assistant Community Development Department Director Eric Uranga presented the staff report.
Mayor Marchand opened the public hearing.
Greg Scott said an accurate rate of homelessness increase was needed; he suggested including an outline for a pathway to self-sufficiency and asked for a measurement of results.
Evan Branning said homelessness was one of the major issues in the region and spoke regarding the Human Service Commission's work on the issue.
Darin Lounds, Housing Consortium of the East Bay, spoke in support of the City's efforts to end homelessness.
Heather Greaux, Open Heart Kitchen, spoke regarding her Open Heart Kitchen's efforts in support of Tri-Valley residents.
Brent Siler spoke regarding assisting the homeless community through small donations; he supported Monthly Miracles and monitoring programs for results.
Maxine Brookner, Livermore, emphasized the need to look at creative solutions to homelessness; she said typical approaches were too expensive.
Andrew Barker, Livermore, supported the item and suggested repealing the ordinance prohibiting people from sleeping in vehicles overnight.
Kristina Bethea, Monthly Miracles, spoke regarding Monthly Miracles' efforts to serve the homeless community through small donation.
Dawn Argula, Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce, supported the item on behalf of the Chamber and acknowledged the Council's efforts on the issue.
Len DiGiovanni, CitiServe of the Tri-Valley, spoke regarding CitiServe's efforts across the Tri-Valley in support of the homelessness community.
There were no more speakers and the hearing was closed.
In response to questions from the City Council, Ms. Young described a successful pilot program underway to provide trash units for the homeless community. Regarding the safe parking pilot program, she said staff was estimating an average of 20-30 parking stalls.
Mayor Marchand said the pilot programs could be scaled up as required. He noted that there were five shelters in the Tri-Valley and all five were in Livermore, not because there wasn't need in the other cities, but because Livermore had stepped up to make a difference.
CM Coomber supported the item and shared Mr. Scott's frustrations regarding the issue.
In response to questions by CM Munro regarding the parking solution, Ms. Young described how the program would differ from people sleeping in cars on the streets, such as having an overnight attendant, having an empty stall between each space for safety and privacy, and having restrooms available. City Attorney Jason Alcala said he believed the prohibition against street parking had been removed from the municipal code; he said staff recommended the City not regulate people living in vehicles on the streets. He said if it had not been removed, staff would remove the ordinance.
CM Munro spoke regarding the changing narrative around homelessness; she said the approach of working with all partners did not include judgment.
CM Woerner thanked the subcommittee, staff, community, and service partners for their efforts and supported the item.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Ms. Young said the point in time count was conducted every two years.
Mayor Marchand noted that homelessness in Alameda County had increased by 43% over a two-year period. He applauded efforts to solve the issue and supported monitoring the pilot programs to find what worked. He noted that less than 3% was spent on administration costs for the programs.
In response to questions by VM Carling regarding HEAP funds and the future of homelessness programs, Ms. Young said staff believed additional HEAP funds were coming and would be engaging Pleasanton and Dublin for regional efforts. Community Development Director Paul Spence said staff would continue working with the subcommittee on mid- and long-term options.
ON THE MOTION OF CM MUNRO, SECONDED BY VM CARLING AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION:
Resolution 2019-136 authorizing appropriation of Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funds from Alameda County and implantation of program recommendations from the City Council Subcommittee on Homelessness.
VM CARLING LEFT THE MEETING AT 10:51 PM.
ON THE MOTION BY CM WOERNER, SECONDED BY CM MUNRO AND CARRIED ON A 4-0 VOTE (VM CARLING ABSENT), THE CITY COUNCIL VOTED TO CONTINUE THE ITEM PAST 11:00 PM TO FINISH ITEM 6.01.
THE CITY COUNCIL RECESSED FROM 10:52-10:58 PM. ALL MEMBERS WERE PRESENT UPON RECONVENING.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
6.01 Certification of Petition: "Citizen's Initiative Changing Development Regulations in Downtown Livermore, and Amending Regulations to Allow Housing at the Civic Center."
Recommendation: Staff recommended the City Council the City Council adopt a resolution accepting the City Clerk's certification of sufficiency of signatures on the initiative petition entitled "Citizen's Initiative Changing Development Regulations in Downtown Livermore, and Amending Regulations to Allow Housing at the Civic Center."
Staff also recommended the City Council take one of the following actions as provided by the Elections Code:
A. Adopt a resolution adopting the measure, without alteration;
B. Adopt a resolution directing the preparation of an information report in accordance with section 9212 of the Elections Code and appropriating $100,000 from the General Fund for the report; or
C. Adopt a resolution placing the measure, without alteration, on the ballot for either the November 3, 2020 regular municipal election within the existing budget; or at a special election called not less than 88 days nor more than 103 days from the order of election and appropriating $800,000 from the General Fund for the election.
City Clerk Sarah Bunting presented the staff report.
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 2019-137 accepting certification of the City Clerk as to the sufficiency of signatures on the initiative petition entitled: "Citizens Initiative Changing Development Regulations in Downtown Livermore, and Amending Regulations to Allow Housing at the Civic Center."
CM Woerner supported ordering the 9212 Report so the City Council and community could understand what the initiative was about.
In response to questions by the City Council, City Attorney Jason Alcala outlined California Elections Code section 9212 providing for preparation on an information report on the effects of the measure. City Manager Marc Roberts said the City Council could also request additional information in the report such as traffic, parking, financing, and scheduling impacts.
CM Woerner requested that the 9212 Report include a figure outlining the whole Stockmen's Park, the area that would be named Veterans Park, and any additional space that would be included in the definition of open space as used by the steering committee and outreach, including incremental additions or subtractions according to the central park plan initiative, and tallying up the differences.
VM Carling said the initiative prohibited a hotel facing Livermore avenue but didn't require a parking garage next to the Bankhead. He requested an estimate of the cost to build the other options.
CM Coomber supported ordering the 9212 Report so the community could see what the initiative would cost.
In response to questions by CM Munro, Mr. Roberts said information regarding the impact to funding sources or uses of funds, particularly relating to affordable housing obligations on the site, would be included in the report. CM Woerner said information on the number of units and degradation of quality of the units should be included as well.
Mayor Marchand supported ordering the 9212 report, noting the lack of analysis for the drawing associated with the initiative such as costs, traffic, and other changes.
CM Woerner said a hotel on Railroad Avenue would have implications and to include those implications in the report.
CM Munro said the cost of the 9212 Report was up to $100,000 which could have been used for many other things; however, the City Council had to be diligent and had no other choice.
In response to questions by VM Carling, Mr. Spence confirmed that the developer would pay for the hotel; housing would utilize a variety of funding sources, including the City's affordable housing contribution and leveraging from state and federal sources; the retail would be paid by Red Bear; and the majority of parks and parking would be paid for by the City.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Mr. Roberts said the 9212 Report would not generally include estimates of harm to Downtown businesses from taking away convenient parking; however, differences would be described and estimates on things that had monetary and measureable impacts would be included. Mr. Spence noted that thirty days was a quick turnaround time; he said it was possible that some data would be presented at a subsequent meeting beyond the thirty-day time period. Mr. Roberts said compatibility of adjacent uses, such as entertainment and housing, would be factored in.
ON THE MOTION OF VM CARLING, SECONDED BY CM COOMBER AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION:
Resolution 2019-138 ordering a report pursuant to California Elections Code Section 2912 concerning the impacts of the initiative petition entitled: "Citizens Initiative Changing Development Regulations in Downtown Livermore, and Amending Regulations to Allow Housing at the Civic Center."
COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS AND MATTERS INITIATED
7.01 Council Committee Reports and Matters Initiated by City Manager, City Attorney, Staff, and Council Members.
Community Events VM Carling announced several community events including Livermore Shakespeare Festival's Complete Works production; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Bankhead Theater; and the Little League World Series.
ADJOURNMENT - at 11:20 pm to an adjourned regular City Council meeting on August 26, 2019, 7:00 pm, Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore; and to a regular City Council meeting on September 9, 2019 at 6:30 pm for the Summer Reading Program Awards, immediately followed by the regular City Council business meeting, at the Livermore Civic Center Meeting Hall, 1016 S. Livermore Avenue, Livermore, CA 94550. The August 12, 2019 regular City Council meeting has been cancelled.
JOHN P. MARCHAND, MAYOR
SARAH BUNTING, CITY CLERK