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March 22, 2011

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held March 22, 2011 at 7:08 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:  Acting City Manager Phil Wong, City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner, Police Lieutenant Liz Gresham, Interim Parks and Community Services Director Karen McNamara, Economic Development Director Marc Fontes, Planning Services Division Manager Debbie Chamberlain, and City Clerk Patricia Edwards.

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Town of Danville Mayor Karen Stepper led those present 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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(#5.1) Recognition of San Ramon Valley Exchange Club in Honor of their 100th Anniversary.  Presented by Mayor Wilson.

Mayor Wilson presented a proclamation commemorating the 100th anniversary of the National Exchange Club to members of the San Ramon Valley Exchange Club.  Club members present included: Donna Kerger, Linda Mannina, Steve Mick, Linda Schardt, Karen Stepper, and Marvin Remmich.  Ms. Stepper thanked the Council for supporting the Exchange Club and its scholarship program.  She invited the community to attend Exchange Club meetings on the second Wednesday at Faz Restaurant in Danville. 

(#5.2) Recognition of John Dickenson and Yvonne Wood for their Service on the Economic Development Advisory Committee.  Presented by Mayor Wilson.

Mayor Wilson presented a proclamation to Yvonne Wood thanking her for her service on the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC).  Ms. Wood said that it was a pleasure to serve on the Committee and work with EDAC.  John Dickenson was unable to attend the Council meeting.  His sons Ian, Miguel, and Mark accepted the proclamation recognizing their father’s contributions and service to EDAC from Mayor Wilson. 

(#5.3) Recognition of Retired City Employee:  Office Specialist Leslie Chase.  Presentation by Mayor Wilson.

Mayor Wilson presented Leslie Chase with a proclamation and thanked her for her service to the City.  Ms. Chase said that she was very fortunate to have worked for the City and that it was a remarkable experience.  She thanked the Council and her fellow staff especially Lisa Bobadilla and Phil Wong for their support.

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(#7.1) Minutes of the February 22, 2011 City Council/Redevelopment Agency Joint Public Hearing.
Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to adopt the February 22, 2011 City Council/Redevelopment Agency Joint Public Hearing minutes was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0. 

(#7.2) Minutes of the March 7, 2011 special meeting.
Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to adopt the March 7, 2011 special meeting minutes was seconded by Cm. Rowley and passed 4-0-1.  Cm. Livingstone abstained. 

(#7.3) Minutes of the March 8, 2011 regular meeting.
Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to adopt the March 7, 2011 special meeting minutes was seconded by Cm. Rowley and passed 4-0-1.  Cm. Livingstone abstained. 

(#7.4) Minutes of the March 9, 2011 special meeting.

Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to adopt the February 21, 2011 special meeting minutes was seconded by Cm. Rowley and passed 3-0-2.  Cms. Hudson and Livingstone abstained. 

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(#8.1) Register of Demands as presented by the City Treasurer (Period ending February 28, 2011).

(#8.2) Minute Order No. 2011-05 – Accepting the Work by Bay Cities Paving & Grading, Inc. for the Construction of the Annual Pavement Management Project (CIP 5449) as Complete and Authorizing the City Clerk to File a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder's Office.

(#8.3) Minute Order No. 2011-06 – Authorizing Total Budgeted Expenditures Not to Exceed $81,733 with Emergency Vehicle Solutions, Inc. for Police Vehicle Upfitting and Repairs.

(#8.4) Minute Order No. 2011-07 – Accepting the Work by Pureplay for the Aquatic Play Pool Structure Renovation – Part of the San Ramon Olympic Pool Equipment Replacement (CIP 5479) as Complete and Authorizing the City Clerk to File Notice of Completion for the Contractor with the County Recorder's Office.

(#8.5) Minute Order No. 2011-08 – Authorizing a $71,715 Budgeted Expenditure from the Vehicle Replacement Fund for the Purchase of Three Replacement Patrol Vehicles.

(#8.6) Resolution No. 2011-030 – Describing New Improvements and Ordering the District Engineer to Prepare and File the Landscaping and Lighting District No. 1984-1 District Engineer's Report for Fiscal Year 2011/12.

(#8.7) Introduction of Resolution No. 2011-XXX (next in line) – Establishing Fees and Charges for Various Municipal Services for Fiscal Year 2011/12 and Repealing Resolution No. 2010-047.

(#8.8) Resolution No. 2011-031 – Authorizing the City Manager to Submit a Grant Application in the Amount of $50,000 to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant Program.

(#8.9) ResolutionNo. 2011-033 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute Amendment   No. 2 to the Existing Agreement with Consolidated Construction Management for Removal and Replacement of the Boiler and Water Heater and Heat Exchanger at 2401 Crow Canyon Road  for the San Ramon Police Headquarters (CIP 5541) in an Amount not to Exceed $135,000.

Cm. Hudson’s motion to adopt items 8.1 through 8.9 was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 5-0.

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(#10.1) Public Hearing: Resolution No. 2011-032 - Certifying to the Governor that No Non-Profit Corporations or Associations are Readily Available in the Service Area to Provide the Service Proposed by the San Ramon Senior Center’s Transportation Program in the March 4, 2011 Application for Transit Funds.

Karen McNamara, Interim Parks and Community Services Director, provided the report.  She stated that adoption of Resolution No. 2011-032 is the final piece required for the grant application for Section 5310 vehicle purchase funds which will benefit the Senior Center’s Transportation program.    

There were no questions from the Council.   Mayor Wilson opened the public hearing.  There were no requests to address this item.  Mayor Wilson closed the public hearing.  The City Clerk noted that the City did not receive any written communication in response to the notices which were sent to 31 non-profit organizations in the area whose names and addresses were furnished by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. 

Cm. Hudson’s motion to adopt Resolution No. 2011-032 was seconded by Cm. Rowley and passed 5-0. 

(#10.2) Presentation of the 2011 Economic Development Strategic Plan.

Chad Johnson, Vice Chair of the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), provided introductory remarks and an overview of EDAC’s operations.  Economic Development Director Marc Fontes provided a summary of the Retail Analysis Report and the Economic Trends and Opportunities Report in the 2011 Economic Development Strategic Plan (EDSP).  The EDSP is organized into Goals, Strategies, and Implementation Actions.  The goals include: Maintain and Expand Existing Firms and Attract New Employers to San Ramon; Maintain and Strengthen San Ramon’s Fiscal Vitality; Maintain and Enhance San Ramon’s High Quality of Life; and Implement Key Planning and Development Projects. 

There were no questions from the Council.   Mayor Wilson opened the public hearing. 

Jim Gibbon, resident, stated that EDAC did not consider the impact on San Ramon residents when strategizing for rebuilding the City and adding 34% to the population.  He stated EDAC mimics the General Plan.  He added that this Committee was built in order to build a new San Ramon as though the current City were decrepit.  He suggested that EDAC is the vehicle for those who want to increase City staff and City business.

Mayor Wilson closed the public comment.

Cm. Hudson clarified that the EDSP does not add residents to the City.  He stated that the EDSP is a good economic plan.  Vice Mayor Perkins added that providing a greater variety of retail opportunities in San Ramon will reduce the number and distance of vehicle trips to purchase retail products.  This is an attempt to remedy the City’s ‘retail leakage’ problem and will positively impact the City’s sales tax revenue.  He noted that the City has maintained most of its services despite a 17% decrease in staff and a hiring freeze.  Although the City cannot do much to impact property taxes, it can improve retail opportunities to increase the City’s sales tax revenue.  He thanked EDAC for their work on the EDSP. 

Cm. Rowley also thanked EDAC.  She stated that residents want more services. The EDSP does not increase the number of homes.  She stated that EDAC does represent the residents.  Mayor Wilson said that the City must depend on itself to increase revenue.  The EDSP is a plan designed to achieve that goal.  San Ramon is strong economically and financially.  He added that businesses will not enter an environment in which they cannot plan.  The Council wants businesses to locate in San Ramon and be successful. 

Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to accept the 2011 Economic Development Strategic Plan was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0.

(#10.3) Presentation by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority:  Overview of the Sustainable Communities Strategy and Briefing on the Initial Vision Scenario.

Planning Services Division Manager Debbie Chamberlain stated that SB 375 became law in 2008 and requires the development of a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) in all metropolitan regions in California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from cars and trucks in the Bay Area by 15% per capita by 2035.  She introduced Sailaja Kurella, the Association of Bay Area Governments’ (ABAG) representative.  Ms. Kurella reviewed the development of the SCS Initial Vision Scenario (IVS) which focuses on housing rather than employment.  The IVS is the initial identification of places, policies and strategies for long-term, sustainable development in the Bay Area and is intended to start the conversation on SCS among the local jurisdictions, regional agencies and other interested stakeholders.  Through the IVS process, local governments will identify places of great potential for sustainable development, including Priority Development Areas (PDA), transit corridors, employment areas, as well as infill opportunities areas that lack transit services, but offer opportunities for increased walkability and reduced driving. 

Vice Mayor Perkins asked if any cities are exempt from household growth.  Ms. Kurella responded that they are not and added that housing growth is related to job growth.  Mayor Wilson asked if the housing numbers remain the same with the different Place Types.  Ms. Kurella responded no. 

Martin Englemann, Deputy Director of Planning for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, stated that the Station Area Planning is a sensitivity analysis of what would happen to greenhouse gases in an unconstrained housing situation.  Cm. Livingstone asked where redevelopment fits into the IVS.  Mr. Englemann responded that future analysis will take into account actual housing constraints.  There are two PDAs in San Ramon: the Suburban Center (the City Center) and the Transit Town Center (North Camino Ramon).  The IVS includes regional housing distribution by place type, proposes growth patterns, and transportation networks.  Mr. Englemann summarized the five IVS conclusions: (1) the IVS reflects additional progress towards the region’s sustainability; (2) Bay Area communities can accommodate housing in sustainable locations given adequate resources and transit; (3) the 2020 GHG target can be met, but the 2035 GHG target will not; (4) achieving the GHG targets requires additional land-use, transportation, and non-infrastructure strategies; and (5) employment location and its relationship to housing and transit is a key issue requiring further analysis.  Mr. Englemann invited residents to participate in the Contra Costa public workshop in May 7, 2011 and to stay involved by visiting www.OneBayArea.org

Cm. Hudson stated that in order to achieve the SCS, 97% of the growth must occur in existing developed areas.  He noted that San Ramon has the sixth highest very low Regional Housing Needs Assessment in the bay Area.  He questioned whether there were alternative strategies to consider different vehicles, zero emission community incentives, and how to secure additional transit funding.  He noted that the North Camino Ramon Specific Plan is an example of a Transit Town Center.  These Centers are local-serving centers of economic and community activity.  Vice Mayor Perkins stated that lower income families may not own vehicles and that transit must be considered in this housing option.  Mayor Wilson expressed concern about balancing San Ramon’s quality of life versus the issues of GHG, SB 375, housing, transportation, etc.  He asked if these activities will push businesses out of California.  Cm. Hudson replied that no one wants these solutions, but everyone voted for AB 32 in 2006 which mandates a reduction in GHG.  Mayor Wilson thanked Ms. Kurella and Mr. Englemann for the report.

(#10.4) Public Hearing:  Planning the City’s Future – The General Plan 2030 (Update to the General Plan 2020) (GPA 09-400-001). Consider proposed amendments to 2020 General Plan.

Debbie Chamberlain, Planning Services Division Manager, provided an update of the post November 2010 election General Plan which retains more than 95% of General Plan 2020.  The General Plan: retains the Planning Area adjustment; retains the 2002 Urban Growth Boundary (UGB); acknowledges the expiration of Ordinance 197; incorporates the Complete Streets Act (per AB 1358); includes minor technical text and map edits;  includes an Air Quality/Greenhouse Gas Element (per SB 375); and extends the Planning Horizon year to 2030.  She explained that General Plans are similar to a business plan because they anticipate the City’s future conditions and needs, set direction for determining long-range objectives, and provide a framework for shorter-term decision making, budgeting and prioritization and implementation of programs/projects.  She stated the importance of accurate growth projections in order to plan for adequate services and facilities.  

There were no questions from the Council.   Mayor Wilson opened the public hearing. 

Helen Lai, resident, requested that the Council consider the problem of underestimating the number of students when preparing General Plan 2030.  She asked the Council to consider: providing more ‘metropolitan’ activities for children; parking issues; job opportunities; and the need to plan for evacuation options in the event of an emergency.

Jim Gibbon, resident, distributed a letter to the Council which stated that:  voter approval is required for General Plan 2030; the Land Use Policy has been degraded; the Housing Element is unrealistic; and the business and job development projections are unattainable.  He asked the Council why the General Plan allows unreasonable growth.  He believes that the Council is ignoring the November 2010 residents’ vote.  He stated that the updated General Plan 2030 is essentially the original General Plan 2030 which will not enhance the quality of life in San Ramon.  He noted that Ordinance 197 has lapsed, but that the land acquisition provisions of General Plan 2020 have not lapsed.  The minor edit to Figure 8.3 ignores the fact that that ridgeline is protected from grading and housing under General Plan 2020.  He stated that the Housing Element is unrealistic and that ABAG’s projections for the City’s population and housing are inaccurate and unrealistic.  He asked the Council to rethink the job growth projections and to balance the jobs with housing.  He requested that the Council reassess the City’s capabilities and comply with the voters’ message from Measure W.  He requested that the job and housing projections be restudied and the analysis corrected to make them realistic.  He noted that this will necessitate a new CEQA and Environmental Impact Review for a new General Plan.

Jim Blickenstaff, resident, provided the Council with a letter from the Law Offices of Stuart Flashman.  Mr. Blickenstaff discussed the relationship of the Measure W vote to General Plan 2030.  He believes that part of the problem is the Plan’s ‘package’.  He suggested that the Council make this a noncontroversial issue by reaffirming General Plan 2020 and providing General Plan 2030 for voter approval.  The Council should not retain the components of General Plan 2030 which were rejected by the voters.

Kevin L’Hommedieu, business owner and resident, stated that the City initiated North Camino Ramon Specific Plan (NCRSP) was not requested by the citizens or businesses.  Many current business will be removed in the NCRSP.  He stated that he is not opposed to growth, but that the NCRSP is too big and has had insufficient public input.  He believes that the NCRSP should not be included in General Plan 2030.  He added that the schools cannot accommodate the projected population growth.  He asked the Council to review the population and housing data.  Mayor Wilson stated that the School District ignored the City’s input when the District made their projections for Dougherty Valley.  Cm. Hudson added that the School District is responsible for planning schools.  Cm. Rowley noted that the student projections for Dougherty Valley were wrong.

Roz Rogoff, resident, stated that the Dougherty Valley was built by Contra Costa County.  The City is not responsible for the problems with schools, traffic, or parking in Dougherty Valley.  Although she expressed concern regarding the population projections, she noted that the City needs to plan for the projected population increase.  She asked if the zoning in the NCRSP needs to be changed all at once.  She questioned why the Toyota property needs to be included in the NCRSP when they have indicated that they do not plan to build housing and want to expand their warehouse.  She asked why the zoning change needs to be included in the General Plan.  She suggested that the zoning remain as it is and allow property owners to request a zoning change when needed.

The City Clerk stated that written correspondence was received regarding the General Plan.  Mr. Gibbon has already summarized the comments in his letter.  A letter was received from Save Mount Diablo expressing concern with several items in the revised General Plan 2030.  These include: removing all references to development for the Tassajara Valley; retaining the original language requiring habitat protection plans for projects in environmentally sensitive areas; retaining the current 25 acre City standard for minor adjustments to a UGB that can be approved by a four-fifths vote of the Council; and observing the voter’s preference for a slower, more thoughtful approach to development as evidenced in the defeat of Measure W. 

Mayor Wilson closed the public comment.

Cm. Hudson stated that the Bay Area Plan SCS is a nine county plan.  He explained that one of the reasons for PDAs in opportunity growth areas is to take pressure off development in open space and on agricultural land.  He added that Measure J has reviews every five years.  He clarified that voting down the UGB does not mean that the residents voted down the Eastside Specific Plan.  The City cannot do anything in its planning area without a specific plan.  The Eastside Specific Plan cannot be removed.  The City is doing a General Plan update because it is required by the state and includes AB 32, SB 375, and the SCS.  He noted that the population projections in General Plan 2030 are lower than those in General Plan 2020.  Dublin, San Ramon, Livermore, and Pleasanton all have very high requirements for very low affordable housing units.  This is difficult to achieve without subsidies.  He remarked that the mandate from Measure W was not to build in Tassajara Valley.  He stated that both General Plan 2020 and General Plan 2030 do not include housing in the Tassajara Valley.  He added that the opportunity sites for projected housing in General Plan 2030 are the same as those identified in 2002.

Vice Mayor Perkins noted that the City’s library standard in 1989 was three volumes and .5 square feet per 1,000 residents and that this standard has been carried forward in the City’s General Plans.  Although the physical standard may still be applicable, he suggested that the ‘volume’ standard needs to be reassessed.  He asked staff to work with the Library Advisory Committee and professional library associations to develop a new standard for City libraries which would reflect the internet and include technology in addition to the volume standard.  He asked staff to research the ridgeline grading issue at the Laborer’s Property to confirm their interpretation and to provide related evidence to ensure that the correct map is included in the Laborer’s Property.  Because the citizens do not want development in Tassajara Valley, he asked the Council to consider removing the Tassajara Valley from the General Plan.  He requested that the NCRSP be removed from General Plan 2030 in order to hold additional public hearings and obtain more public input.  He requested that Figure 4-3, which outlines the perimeter of an area for a proposed specific plan, be retained. 

Cm. Rowley asked staff to research the issues and questions raised by the speakers.  Cm. Hudson stated that the Council is looking at a jobs/housing balance.  Mayor Wilson continued the item to the next scheduled meeting.

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Carol Lopez, representing the Dublin San Ramon Women’s Club, invited residents to clean out their old paper files and by taking advantage of a Shredding Party on March 25, 2011 at Grace United Methodist Church in San Ramon. 

George Rawlins, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Grace United Methodist Church in San Ramon, expressed concern about a statement that the El Nido House should be placed on the Church’s property.  He informed the Council that the property near the Church is not for sale and that the Church has plans to use that acreage.

Donna Kerger, resident and representative of the Exchange Club, invited residents to attend the following Club meetings:  Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson on March 23, 2011 at the San Ramon Library; Fire Chief Richard Price on March 28, 2011; and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan on April 14, 2011.  She reminded students that Exchange Club scholarships will be awarded in the amounts of $1,500, $1,000, and $500.  She thanked the Parks Department for promoting and providing an excellent series at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center.  She also recognized the Arts Foundation for their efforts.

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Cm. Hudson reported on his attendance at the League of California Cities Planners Institute.  He advised the Council to pay attention to AB 710 and AB 343.  He attended the American Public Transportation Association’s 2011 Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 13-15, 2011.  He reported that high speed rail remains a big attraction.  He stated that it was unsure whether federal funds from SAFETELU, the federal Highway and Transit Law passed in 2005, will continue.  He noted that federal funds are provided to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission before they are distributed to California cities.

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Mayor Wilson reported that the Music Man was a fabulous production.  It is the last show in the 2010-11 season at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center.  He encouraged residents to subscribe to next year’s season.

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At 10:23 p.m., the Council met in Closed Session pursuant to Government Code § 54957, Public Employment: City Manager.

At 11:39 p.m., Mayor Wilson reconvened the meeting.  All Councilmembers were in attendance.  Mayor Wilson reported that the Council directed the Mayor to negotiate with the candidate for the position of City Manager.                                                                         

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At 11:40 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Wilson adjourned the meeting.


H. Abram Wilson, Mayor
Patricia Edwards, City Clerk

Approved as presented at the April 12, 2011 City Council meeting 5-0.

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