MINUTES OF THE
CITY OF SAN RAMON – COUNCIL MEETING
April 13, 2010
A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held April 13, 2010 at 7:05 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Mayor Wilson presiding.
PRESENT: Councilmembers Hudson, Livingstone, Perkins, Rowley and Mayor Wilson.
STAFF PRESENT: City Manager Herb Moniz, Interim City Attorney Roger Peters, Police Chief Scott Holder, Transportation Division Manager Lisa Bobadilla, Program Manager Kathi Heimann, Deputy City Clerk Renee Beck, Economic Development Director Marc Fontes, and City Clerk Patricia Edwards.
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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Paula Albertson and Janet Pederson led those in attendance in the pledge of allegiance.
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The City Clerk noted that there were no changes or additions to the agenda. The City Clerk noted that there were no changes or additions to the meetings listed on the agenda.
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(#4.1) Recognition of Walt Trembley for his Service to the Transportation Advisory Committee. Introduction by Lisa Bobadilla, Transportation Division Manager. Presentation by Mayor Wilson.
Transportation Division Manager Lisa Bobadilla reported that Walt Trembley served as the Chamber of Commerce representative on the Transportation Advisory Committee for four years. Mayor Wilson presented a certificate to Mr. Trembley thanking him for his service. Mr. Trembley thanked the City and Council for their trust and said he is looking forward to serving on the Economic Development Advisory Committee.
(#4.2) Recognition of Doris Kinsley for her Service to the San Ramon Historic Foundation. Introduction by Charter Member Pat Boom. Presentation by Mayor Wilson.
Former Mayor Pat Boom introduced Doris Kinsley and detailed her contributions to the San Ramon Historic Foundation. Mayor Wilson presented Mrs. Kinsley with a certificate thanking her for her service. Mrs. Kinsley said it was satisfying to begin with the nucleus of an idea for the Foundation and to work with the City and Board to bring it to fruition.
(#4.3) Proclamation Declaring April 2010 as Donate Life California Month. Presented by Mayor Wilson to Janet Pedersen and Jeanie Locklear, California Transplant Donor Network Volunteer Ambassadors.
Mayor Wilson presented the proclamation to Janet Pedersen and Jeanie Locklear. Mrs. Pedersen encouraged residents to register as organ donors when they renew their driver’s licenses. She noted that 90% of organ donors come from DMV records. Mrs. Locklear stated that she is an organ transplant recipient and emphasized the importance of participating in the program which saves lives.
(#4.4) Proclamation Declaring April 2010 as National Poetry Month. Introduction by Kathi Heimann, Program Manager. Presentation by Mayor Wilson to Arts Advisory Committee Chairperson Mike McQuiston.
Mayor Wilson presented the proclamation to Arts Advisory Committee Chairperson Mike McQuiston. Mr. McQuiston thanked the Council for their support of the arts in San Ramon. He invited residents to read the poetry exhibit currently featured at the Library.
(#4.5) Recognition of Pat Perry as San Ramon's First Poet Laureate. Introduction by Kathi Heimann, Program Manager. Presentation by Mayor Wilson.
Program Manager Kathi Heimann introduced Patricia Perry and reviewed her contributions to the City as the first Poet Laureate from 2006-2009. Mayor Wilson presented Ms. Perry with a certificate and flowers and thanked her for her poetry which was a special contribution to many City functions. Ms. Perry thanked the Council for this opportunity to learn, have fun, and to become a better writer.
(#4.6) Recognition of San Ramon Government 101 Graduates: Clifford Alexander, Gary Alpert, Cindy Alpert, Saul Arnold, Jeanne Benedetti, Don Birnbaum, Rick Blakeney, Nicole Blakeney, William Boardman, Bobbie Charvet, Lou Dagen, James Gibbon, Bridget Guzzi, Patty Hoyt, Evelyn Hsia, Dan Johnson, Ron La Russa, Gayle Larson, Marilyn Matosian, Shawnee Maxwell, Guy Meredith, Phyllis Morgan, Michelle Murdoch, Nancy Neto, Lauren Nunes, Guido Palermo, Peter Pay, Michael Pirie, Vijay Polina, Craig Pyle, Ellen Pyle, Affif Siddique, Carol Sawdey, Steve Walfenberger.
Introduction by Patricia Edwards, City Clerk. Presentation by Mayor Wilson.
City Clerk Patricia Edwards explained that the goal of Government 101 is to provide residents the opportunity to learn about their city government. She thanked the City Council and City staff for their participation and class members for their interest. Deputy City Clerk Renee Beck introduced the class members. Mayor Wilson presented each participant with a certificate of class completion. Saul Arnold stated that the class learned a lot about the City and those who work and volunteer in San Ramon. Bridget Guzzi said that it was a wonderful experience and that the staff provided excellent information. Patty Hoyt observed that there is more involved in running the City than she realized. Michael Pirie said that it was inspirational to see people get involved and build the community. Gayle Larson noted that this class is a great way to learn about San Ramon and what a progressive City it is. Mayor Wilson thanked the class members who participated and encouraged interested residents to sign up for the fall class.
(#4.7) Recognition of Police Officer David Roach, Corporal Jason Barnes, and Corporal Rich Persson as Employees of the Month for April 2010. Presented by Mayor Wilson.
Police Chief Scott Holder recognized Officer David Roach and Corporal Jason Barnes for the action which they took to deal with a suicidal teenager and diffuse a volatile situation. Mayor Wilson presented each officer with a certificate and a gold star and thanked them on behalf of the Council. Corporal Persson was unable to attend.
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Mayor Wilson requested a five minute recess at 7:40 p.m. At 7:52 p.m., the meeting reconvened with all Councilmembers in attendance.
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CITY COUNCIL APPOINTMENTS
(#5.1) Transportation Advisory Committee Appointment.
Transportation Division Manager Lisa Bobadilla provided the report. The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has recommended Steve Filson as their representative to the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). Cm. Perkins’ motion to appoint Mr. Filson to the TAC to a term to expire in January 2012 was seconded by Vice Mayor Rowley and passed 5-0.
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The City Clerk noted that there were two requests for public comment.
Margie Graver-Dowd, a member of the Tassajara 4-H Club, reported that the County eliminated all 4-H funding last year. The Club survived with a dedicated group of volunteers. She listed the benefits of 4-H and noted that the 5,900 participants in the State donated 997,440 hours of community service last year. She invited residents to participate in a fund raiser on May15, 2010 at Roddy Ranch Golf Course in Antioch.
Roz Rogoff, resident, asked why the City contracts with the County for animal control. She asked that a study be done to determine whether the City could provide its own animal control and suggested that the City contract with a nonprofit to operate the animal shelter. She requested that the City update its Animal Control Ordinance. She asked that this item be reviewed by the Policy Committee.
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APPROVAL OF MINUTES
(#7.1) Minutes of the March 23, 2010 meeting.
Cm. Perkins’ motion to approve the March 23, 2010 City Council Meeting minutes was seconded by Vice Mayor Rowley and passed 5-0.
(#7.2) Minutes of the April 2, 2010 special meeting.
Cm. Perkins’ motion to approve the April 2, 2010 Special City Council meeting minutes was seconded by Vice Mayor Rowley and passed 5-0.
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(#8.1) Resolution No. 2010-041 – Accepting Certain Roadway Easements and Improvements in Subdivision 8713 for Maintenance (Windemere BLC Land Development Co., LLC).
(#8.2) Resolution No. 2010-042 – Accepting Certain Roadway Easements and Improvements in Subdivision 8714 for Maintenance (Windemere BLC Land Development Co., LLC).
(#8.3) Resolution No. 2010-043 – Accepting Certain Roadway Easements and Improvements in Subdivision 8715 for Maintenance (Windemere BLC Land Development Co., LLC).
(#8.4) Resolution No. 2010-044 – Accepting Certain Roadway Easements and Improvements in Subdivision 8716 for Maintenance (Windemere BLC Land Development Co., LLC).
Cm. Livingstone’s motion to approve items 8.1 through 8.4 was seconded by Cm. Perkins and passed 5-0.
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(#9.1) Purchase of Property at 2401 Crow Canyon Road (APN: 209-240-019).
Economic Development Director Marc Fontes introduced the item which will review the concerns presented by residents and answer their questions. Police Chief Scott Holder reviewed the Police Department’s needs, how relocating the Department will enhance police service, and if the relocation will create an undue burden on residents. Chief Holder discussed the key components to police operations. He reviewed the impact on the neighborhood in terms of staff, operational hours, vehicles, weapons, arrest and booking procedures, canines, SWAT, and traffic. He stated that there are ten police offices and three sheriff’s patrol stations in Contra Costa County which are located adjacent to or near residential neighborhoods.
Residents requested a traffic study to assess the impact of the police station on the neighborhood. City Manager Herb Moniz reported that CHS Consulting Group performed a traffic study and evaluated the impacts of trip generation, work shifts, and access. The report noted that the combination of police department and general office uses compared to general office use only would generate fewer trip during the AM and PM peak periods than if the building was occupied by only general office (the approved land use). The night and weekend analysis estimates a total of 44 trips over a 12 hour shift and is equivalent to two employees per hour leaving the site and returning or two patrol officers returning to the site and leaving. Relocating the south driveway on Creekside Drive to the intersection of Creekside Drive/Cobblestone Drive was recommended to provide better access to Bollinger Canyon Road, a major arterial. The conclusion of the traffic analysis is that the impact would be less than the office use of the building.
Mr. Moniz reported that the City evaluated 100 Park Place and 2560 San Ramon Valley Boulevard (the Ace Auto building). The Ace Auto site is not a viable option because of: the tenant relocation costs; the need for significant building improvements required to make it suitable for a police station; and the higher cost per square foot.
The City also evaluated the building at 100 Park Place. This option was eliminated because it is designed for multiple tenants; the cost of relocating the current tenants; and the estimated amount of tenant improvements needed. Mr. Moniz noted that this site was located next to residential areas and a day care center. Mr. Moniz concluded that the building at 2401 Crow Canyon Road is the best choice for the police station for financial reasons and because the space and building configuration is conducive to a police headquarters and would involve minimum tenant improvements. The building is currently vacant.
Mr. Moniz reported that he received a letter from the Canyon Park Homeowners Association asking for consideration of 13 proposed conditions of approval. He stated that he is confident that the 13 issues can be addressed.
Mayor Wilson asked if there has ever been any quality control issues with evidence in San Ramon. Chief Holder responded that there have been none. Mayor Wilson asked if resident safety has been compromised by the location of the present facility. Chief Holder said no. Mayor Wilson asked if there has been vandalism of police vehicles at the current location. Chief Holder responded that there was some minor vandalism several years ago. Mayor Wilson asked if there have been any problems with booking or finger printing. Chief Holder responded that there have been none. The police department is safe for tours by school children. Mayor Wilson noted that the Police Department received an outstanding evaluation on its recent review.
Mayor Wilson opened the public hearing.
Sandy Wechsler, resident, reported that she did a Google Earth search of the ten police stations in Contra Costa County located in residential areas. She stated that the stations were not located in the middle of residential areas and not within the immediate vicinity of residences, a neighborhood pool, and a day care center. She stated that 100 Park Place is a better location and requested that the Council select the more appropriate site.
Suhas Sudame and Chitoa Sudame, residents, oppose the relocation of the police station and declined to speak.
Matt McGinnis, resident, presented a letter to the Council stating his objections to the purchase of 2401 Crow Canyon Road for the creation of a police station. His concerns include traffic, noise, safety, health, high speed driving, the presence of sex offenders, and the resulting decrease in property values. He supports alternate plans. He suggested that 2401 Crow Canyon be purchased with Redevelopment funds and rezoned for residences similar to the Canyon Park townhomes. He suggested using Redevelopment funds to purchase the blighted 100 Park Place as a more suitable police station. He wants the HOA and the City to work together for a mutually beneficial solution. Cm. Hudson asked Mr. McGinnis for clarification on the proposed City purchases. Mr. McGinnis responded that the City could buy 2401 Crow Canyon and rezone it for residential and purchase 100 Park Place for the police station.
Mike McQuiston, resident, stated that he does not support a particular location for the police station. Using his experience as a police chief, he stated that it would be irresponsible for the City to do nothing about the current Police Department regarding evidence and command staff. He relayed his personal experience with the temporary relocation of a police station for 18 months into a residential neighborhood. He said that initially there was a lot of misunderstanding and concern. The police took steps to mitigate residential concerns which resulted in community appreciation and support for the police. He suggested that San Ramon residents give this relocation a chance.
Helen Brady, resident, stated that she appreciates the Police Department and believes that they deserve a better location and working environment. She questioned if 2401 Crow Canyon Road is the only real location for the station. She questioned if the Council has given serious consideration to alternate sites. She stated that the building has problems with drainage. She believes that the cost of the building and related retrofitting is too expensive. She urged the Council to look at other alternatives.
Andrew Pryfogle, resident, stated that the residents are looking for a win/win situation. He acknowledged the need for the police to have more space but does not support the relocation to 2401 Crow Canyon Road. He stated that the residents’ concerns regarding the relocation’s impact on housing values has not been addressed and that this issue cannot be mitigated by the City. He said that he spoke with ten real estate professionals who believe that locating a police station near a residential area will lower home values. He asked the City to do a third party study of the impact on housing values and asked why it has not been done. He showed photos of the building from various locations in the community. He stated that the issue is about location and that proximity drives perception and perception drives home prices. This proposal will ultimately affect home prices and the tax base. He questioned whether the City really did due diligence in evaluating 100 Park Place for the following reasons: the current price may be less than the stated asking price; there is adequate parking; and the building could generate lease revenue to the City. He suggested that 2401 Crow Canyon Road be rezoned to residential and create a bigger tax base for the City. He asked the Council to reverse its decision to purchase 2401 Crow Canyon Road for the Police Department and to consider rezoning the property. If the Council will not reverse its decision, he asked that the Council comply with the 13 proposed conditions of approval requested by the Canyon Parks Homeowners Association. He stated that the Association believes that the police station is not an appropriate use adjacent to the neighborhood. The Association is attempting to work with the City to insure that its concerns are adequately addressed if the Council proceeds with the purchase of the office building for the police station.
Brian Mulry, attorney with Law Firm of Gagen McCoy, declined to speak.
Mayor Wilson closed the public hearing.
Cm. Hudson explained that the purchase of 2401 Crow Canyon Road is preferred over 100 Park Place because of the land’s potential. He stated that he is not sure that the City could get the leases at 100 Park Place. He noted that the San Ramon Police Department is not a busy administrative police building. He noted that the residents were now recommending that the City purchase the 2401 site but not for use as a police station. He noted that the building would be purchased with Redevelopment Agency funds not City funds and that the eventual sale would put money into the City’s General Fund. He estimated that if the zoning for the 2401 site was changed to residential that nothing would be built until 2013 because of the current economy. He noted that there will be housing near the Police Department in the City Center.
Cm. Perkins asked about sound and mike checks and high speed driving. Chief Holder stated that the officers could do sound and mike checks away from the building and that they infrequently engage in high speed chases. Cm. Perkins asked where the staff who monitor sex offenders are located. Chief Holder stated that the staff is located at the Dougherty Substation. Cm. Perkins asked if the storage facility or the operation would result in compromised evidence. Chief Holder responded that both factors are important in order to maintain control and eliminate errors. Cm. Perkins asked how consolidation would improve police operations. Chief Holder stated that it is better procedure to have the detectives located near patrol officers and the quality control on site.
Vice Mayor Rowley asked the age of the 2401 building. Mr. Moniz replied that it was built in the late 1970’s and retrofitted to comply with earthquake standards in 2000. Vice Mayor Rowley asked what was located across from the building. Mr. Moniz responded that there was a field before the homes were built. The homes were built after the business park was developed.
Mayor Wilson stated his opposition to the purchase. He believes that the market is still weak and questioned whether this is a prudent purchase at this time and at this price. He is concerned that $9 million will be spent and that the City is betting that the market will improve when it sells the building in five years. He emphasized that police evidence has not been compromised and that it is imperative for the police to have adequate work space. If the Council decides to purchase the building, the Council will work with the community to address their concerns and review all options.
Cm. Hudson’s motion to continue with the acquisition of 2401 Crow Canyon Road for the City of San Ramon Police Headquarters and direct the City Manager to continue working on the issues with the neighborhood was seconded by Cm. Perkins. Mayor Wilson requested a roll call vote. Cms. Hudson, Livingstone, Perkins, and Vice Mayor Rowley voted in favor of the motion. Mayor Wilson voted against the motion. The motion carried 4-1.
City Manager Moniz stated that the City is the only current bidder for the 2401 property. He noted that 2001 Crow Canyon Road is approximately 40% leased and may be under contract. Cm. Hudson stated that the issue is not the permitting or the property but control of the property. He believes that this is the best way to use Redevelopment funds to get the result which the City wants. Mayor Wilson asked what Cm. Hudson perceives will happen to this property in five years. Cm. Hudson responded that it is one of the six key sites in the City for future residential growth. Mayor Wilson questioned the amount of the Redevelopment expenditure. Mr. Moniz responded that the purchase price is $7.1 million. The cost of the tenant improvements will depend in part on the cost of providing what the residents are requesting. The total budget is $9 million. Mr. Moniz stated that the total amount of the sale price of the property will revert to the General Fund.
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(#10.1) Contra Costa County Advisory Council on Aging Report.
Maura Connell, San Ramon’s Liaison to the Contra Costa County Advisory Council on Aging (ACA) presented the report. She suggested that the Council consider the impact of the aging San Ramon population in the future and for General Plan 2030. According to a 2005 report by Contra Costa for Every Generation, 92% of older adults want to age in place. She suggested that San Ramon needs to collect more information on its seniors, where they are and what is needed so that the City can plan for the future. She described the key roles of the ACA and discussed the administration of the Older Americans Act Program and the services and programs provided. She stated that federal funds must be matched with state funds. She described the programs and services impacted or potentially impacted by California budget cuts. One alternative is to develop an extensive volunteer program to support the growing need.
Vice Mayor Rowley congratulated Ms. Connell on her dedication and interest and thanked her for keeping the Senior Advisory Committee informed. Ms. Connell stated that San Ramon has a fabulous opportunity for innovation to consider what the community will look like and how to provide for the needs of its seniors. Mayor Wilson and Cm. Livingstone thanked Ms. Connell for her report and her commitment to seniors.
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CITY MANAGER COMMENTS
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Vice Mayor Rowley invited residents to attend the “Cruising Into Spring Fashion Show and Tea” at the Alcosta Senior and Community Center on April 17, 2010.
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MAYOR’S REPORTS AND COMMENTS
Mayor Wilson informed residents that the Farmers Market will open on May 15, 2010. The Grand Opening of the David Glass House will be held on May 15, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. Residents can expect the play structure at Central Park to be completed soon.
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At 10:13 p.m., the Council convened to Closed Session pursuant to Government Code §54957.6 for City Council to meet with its Labor Negotiators, Herb Moniz and Greg Rogers, concerning negotiations with SEIU Local 1021.
At 10:39 p.m., Mayor Wilson reconvened the meeting. All Councilmembers were in attendance. Mayor Wilson reported that the Council met in Closed Session pursuant to Government Code §54957.6 for City Council to meet with its Labor Negotiators, Herb Moniz and Greg Rogers, concerning negotiations with SEIU Local 1021. No action was taken by the Council.
At 10:40 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Wilson adjourned the meeting.
H. Abram Wilson, Mayor
Patricia Edwards, City Clerk
Approved at the April 27, 2010 City Council meeting 5-0.