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April 26, 2011

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held April 26, 2011 at 7:06 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 Greg Rogers, City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner, Police Chief Scott Holder, Planning Services Division Manager Debbie Chamberlain, Planning/Community Services Director Phil Wong, Central Services Division Manager Patricia Perry, and Deputy City Clerk Renee Beck.

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Coletrain Phillips, Troop 888, 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 the Dougherty Valley High School Girls Teams for: 2010-11 North Coast Section Division II Soccer Championships and 2010-11 North Coast Section Division II Basketball Championships.  Presented by Mayor Wilson.

Mayor Wilson recognized the team members, coaches, and the athletic director of the Dougherty Valley High School Girls Soccer and Basketball teams for their North Coast Section Division II Championships.  He lauded their dedication to both their sport and their academic achievements.

(#5.2)  Recognition of Sentinels for Freedom as the Recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Medal of Honor.  Presentation by Mayor Wilson to Mike Conklin, Chairman of the Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation.

Mike Conklin accepted the award and summarized the history and purpose of the Sentinels for Freedom program.  He introduced Cpl. Matt Carhart, a recipient of the benefits of the Sentinels program.  Cpl. Carhart was wounded in Iraq and now lives in San Ramon and attends Diablo Valley College.  Mr. Conklin stated that he is honored to receive an award from the Daughters of the American Revolution.  He stated that it is historically women who care for the wounded and help the country return to normalcy after war.

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At 7:45 p.m., Mayor Wilson requested a break.  At 7:57 p.m., Mayor Wilson reconvened the meeting.  All Councilmembers were in attendance.

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(6.1)  Arts Advisory Committee Appointments.

Division Manager Esther Lucas provided the report. Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to appoint Ron LaRussa, Margherita Ryan, Joy Severin, and Pat Tuohy to the Arts Advisory Committee for terms expiring in April 2013 was seconded by Cm. Rowley and passed 5-0. 

(6.2)  Library Advisory Committee Appointments.

Division Manager Esther Lucas provided the report.  Cm. Rowley’s motion to appoint Isabel Lau and Penny Prater to the Library Advisory Committee for terms expiring in January 2013 was seconded by Vice Mayor Perkins and passed 5-0. 

(6.3)  Senior Advisory Committee Appointments.

Division Manager Esther Lucas provided the report.  Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to appoint Wasifh Bukhari to the Senior Advisory Committee for a term expiring in April 2012 and Thomas Sharki, Colleen Vitalis, and Jason Wu to terms expiring in April 2013 was seconded by Cm. Rowley and passed 5-0. 

(6.4)  Teen Council Appointments.

Division Manager Esther Lucas provided the report.  Cm. Livingstone’s motion to appoint the slate of Teen Council candidates as presented for terms expiring in July 2012 was seconded by Vice Mayor Perkins and passed 5-0. 

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(#7.1) Minutes of the April 12, 2011 special meeting.

Cm. Hudson’s motion to adopt the April 12, 2011 special City Council minutes was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 5-0.

(#7.2)  Minutes of the April 12, 2011 regular meeting.

Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to adopt the April 12, 2011 regular City Council minutes was seconded by Cm. Rowley and passed 5-0.

(#7.3)  Minutes of the April 12, 2011 special meeting.

Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to adopt the April 12, 2011 special City Council minutes was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 5-0.

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(#8.1) Register of Demands as presented by the City Treasurer (Period ending March 31, 2011).

(#8.2) City of San Ramon Quarterly Investment Report (Period Ending March 31, 2011).

(#8.3) Resolution No. 2011-042 – Adopting Findings to Appropriate Funds in the City’s Beautification, Child Care, Park Development, and Traffic Improvement Funds for the Period Ending June 30, 2010.

(#8.4) Resolution No. 2011-043 – Accepting the Grant of Easement for Portions of a Landscape Maintenance Easement within Parcel C of Subdivision 8688, and Rejecting the Previous Offer of Dedication for those Portions of the Landscape Maintenance Easement Affected by Lot Line Adjustments on Lots 105, 106, 137-141, 143-145, and Parcel A of Subdivision 8699 (Shapell Industries – Monarch, Veranda, and Gallery at Gale Ranch).

(#8.5) Resolution No. 2011-044 – Accepting Certain Landscape Dedications, Easements, and Improvements in DA 0016 (a Portion of Alamo Creek) for Maintenance (Shapell Industries – Monarch, Veranda, and Gallery at Gale Ranch).

(#8.6) Resolution No. 2011-045 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute a Professional Services Agreement Between the City of San Ramon and the Geologic Hazard Abatement District No. 1990-01 (GHAD) for District Management of and Engineering Services for the GHAD.

(#8.7) Resolution No. 2011-046 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute Amendment No. 1 with Dutchover & Associates for Landscape Inspection and Consulting Services in a Total Annual Amount Not to Exceed $50,000.

Cm. Livingstone’s motion to adopt items 8.1 through 8.7 was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0.

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(9.1)  Public Hearing:  Resolution No. 2011-047 – Establishing Fees and Charges for Various Municipal Services for Fiscal Year 2011-12 and Repealing Resolution No. 2010-047.

Central Services Division Manager Patricia Perry provided the report.  On March 22, 2011, the Finance Committee reviewed the proposed fees and charges and directed staff to forward the proposed fees and charges to the full City Council for consideration.  The City Council approved a motion on March 22, 2011 to schedule a Public Hearing on April 26, 2011 to consider approving the fee schedule.  The City Clerk did not receive any inquiries regarding the Fee Resolution.

Mayor Wilson opened the public hearing.  There were no requests to address this item.  Mayor Wilson closed the public hearing.

Vice Mayor Perkin’s motion to adopt Resolution No. 2011-047 was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0.

(9.2)  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 General Plan 2020.

Resolution No. 2011-048 – Approving General Plan Amendment (GPA 09-400-001) “Planning the City’s Future – The General Plan 2030” (Update to the General Plan 2020).

Planning Services Division Manager Debbie Chamberlain provided the report for the fourth Public Hearing on General Plan 2030.  The Hearing included answers to questions raised at the April 12, 2011 Public Hearing.  The first issue is the Laborer’s Camp ridgeline correction.  Ms. Chamberlain reiterated that General Plan 2030 corrects a mapping error made in the General Plan 2020.  The ridgeline outside of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) was incorrectly identified in Exhibit 8-3 and may be altered for development.  This is not a change but a correction to a transposition mapping error.  The second issue is the Williamson Act restrictions.  All lands that apply to the Williamson Act contracts are outside the City limits and outside the UBG and do not apply unless the land is annexed into the City limits.  Any applications currently on this property would be processed through Contra Costa County.  There was a request to modify the Library Growth Management Standard because it did not address the evolution of technology.  This issue is not a part of the General Plan process and will be brought back to the Planning Commission and the City Council at a future date.  In regard to the North Camino Ramon Specific Plan (NCRSP), there was a recommendation to revert the land use designations back to the 2020 General Plan land use designations.  Ms. Chamberlain stated that if the Council wants to make this change, the General Plan 2030 must be referred back to the Planning Commission for consideration and recommendation.  Another issue is the ongoing concern for preservation of service commercial designations in the NCRSP area.  In response, included in the NCRSP policy is a specific item providing for the continuation of commercial service in the Plan area.  It will also allow those existing properties in the Plan area to become legal uses and eliminate their legal nonconforming status.  Ms. Chamberlain stated that the Mixed Use designation for the NCRSP in General Plan 2030 is a more flexible zoning and can provide for a wider range of uses.  For the Eastside Specific Plan, a modification is being proposed that would require voter approved UGB modifications as a prerequisite to future planning or land use changes in the Tassajara Valley.  This acknowledges that the City does have an interest in what is going on in that area and allows the City to participate in the planning on that land.   The Council may amend this policy without referring the item back to the Planning Commission since it was previously discussed by the Planning Commission.  Lastly, the State mandates that the General Plan be updated every ten years.  As required by Measure G, amendments may be made to the General Plan with a supermajority vote of the City Council after three Public Hearings are held.  In reponse to a written request from Jim Zelinski, Ms. Chamberlain reiterated that there will be no change to the UGB or the City limits with the approval of these proposed amendments.

Mayor Wilson opened the Public Hearing.

Christa Freihofner, resident, stated that she is concerned about the development of the Tassajara area and the location of the sewer.  She is interested in the issues concerning the businesses on Fostoria Way.  She discovered that they are neighbors of the PG&E facility on Crow Canyon Road.  She feels that the zoning for businesses on Fostoria Way should be zoned consistent with the PG&E zoning.  Mayor Wilson stated that no changes are proposed for this area.  Vice Mayor Perkins added that the PG&E facility is located in Danville and the City of San Ramon has no authority there.

Jonathan Winslow, representing ZKS Real Estate Partners and owner of the Norris Tech Center, asked about the new Mixed Use designation for their property under General Plan 2030.  Mixed Use does not currently include biotech and medical uses which are currently approved for the Tech Center.  Mr. Winslow asked for clarification of the process and the used of transitional and interim land use designations.  He looks forward to working on the NCRSP with the City.  Planning/Community Services Director Phil Wong stated that the Specific Plan process will address these issues.  The scope of Mixed Use can be expanded in the specific area.  Current businesses will not be put at a disadvantage in the Specific Plan process.  Mr. Winslow would like to have their uses approved as legal and conforming in the Specific Plan process. 

Jim Blickenstaff, representing Mt. Diablo Sierra Club, expressed his gratitude to the City Council for recognizing citizen’s concerns.  He feels that the Council should be respectful of the voters will and represent feedback from the community.  He continues to have concerns about General Plan 2030.  He stated that General Plan 2020 is a confirmed legal mandate of the people and that moving to General Plan 2030 adds significant changes which the voters did not participate in.  He stated that he is more comfortable with the NCRSP now that it is more inclusive to current businesses.  He feels that General Plan 2030 will allow for uses not currently allowed by General Plan 2020, for example, the Laborer’s Camp.  Mayor Wilson responded that this is not the case.  Mr. Blickenstaff thanked the Mayor for a firm answer.  Mr. Blickenstaff stated that there is no urgency to enact General Plan 2030 and that more community outreach needs to be done before GP 2030 is approved. He recommends putting the revised General Plan 2030 on the ballot for voter confirmation.  Ms. Chamberlain stated that there are no changes to the Labor’s Camp property.  There is only a correction to an error from General Plan 2020.  Cm. Rowley asked Ms. Chamberlain for clarification of the discrepancy.  Ms. Chamberlain stated that when the development proposal was presented to the General Plan Review Commission in exchange for the 15 homes and the ability to grade the ridgeline, 87 acres of open space and parkland were offered to the City for preservation and park use.  Vice Mayor Perkins asked if it would be inconsistent to accept park land and then allow grading on that property.  Ms. Chamberlain stated that the park area is a flat plateau and needs no grading.  She added that grading in this area would be contrary to Open Space preservation.

Kevin L’Hommedieu, business owner, stated he was glad to see Service Commercial Zoning acknowledged in General Plan 2030.  He was uncomfortable with the Mixed Use Zoning of the area in which his business is located.  The NCRSP land owners were not consulted regarding the change to Mixed Use.  He stated his concern with the increase in population projections and its affect on low income housing numbers.  He feels the numbers should be scaled back to a more comfortable level.  Mayor Wilson stated that those numbers come from the Association of Bay Area Governments and not from the City.  He stated his desire to keep Service Commercial in San Ramon to provide a variety of services to residents.  Vice Mayor Perkins concurred and stated that the nature of being a City is to provide a variety of services.  He noted that there is a residential development in Danville across the street from these service businesses.

Resident John Youngblood thanked Ms. Chamberlain and Mr. Wong for taking time to explain General Plan 2030 to him personally.  He feels that the citizens were overwhelmed with the rapid growth of the Dougherty Valley.  This was reflected in the defeat of Measure W as an attempt to control growth.  He wants to focus on the Westside in the Geldermann Ranch property where 66 homes are schedules to be built.  He stated this is a pristine area with oaks and streams and should be preserved as open space.  He wants to work with the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) to buy this property.  He would like to have it taken out of General Plan 2030.  The need for low income housing can be fulfilled elsewhere in the City.  He invited the Council to attend a scheduled meeting with the EBRPD in regard to this property.  Ms. Chamberlain stated that the property is in the City’s Housing Element.  She added that it should be taken out in an amendment to the General Plan 2030 after the State of California has provided new housing numbers for the City.   

Jim Gibbon, representing San Ramon for Open Government, asked if Sid Corey or any other developer submitted a plan or tentative map on the Corey property.  Staff provided Mr. Gibbon with clarification that the mixed-use designation is an overlay.  Mr. Gibbon stated that correcting the mapping error at the Laborer’s Camp is not valid and should be put to a vote of the people.  He would like to see documentation of the error.  He believes that the property is being exempted from the Open Space and Conservation Element of General Plan 2020 which requires a vote of the people.  The grading that will take place violates State law as it will create a geological hazard within the Calavaras fault set back.  He stated that the letters and attachments he has submitted for the record will be the basis of a lawsuit.  He will ask for a 90 day stay in order to have time to file the lawsuit.  Ms. Chamberlain responded that this is not an exemption but a correction to General Plan 2020.  The West Side Specific Plan needs to be completed before the Laborer’s Camp proposal can be approved.  The Open Space Element will incorporate the ridgeline protections.  City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner indicated that under Measure G and P which led to the adoption of General Plan 2020, the only changes which require voter approval are changes in the UBG in excess of 25 acres. Ordinance 197 expired but General Plan 2030 will incorporate ridgeline protections in the Open Space Element.  Ms. Chamberlain stated that only policy is being set by General Plan 2030 and that the specifics will be addressed in the approval process for the Laborer’s Camp property.  Cm. Rowley asked how long it took to approve Valley Vista Senior Housing.  Ms. Chamberlain indicated that the process started in 1999 and was approved in 2007.

Planning Commissioner Eric Wallis stated that he was on the General Plan Review Commission which drew up the current General Plan.  He indicated that the Commission discussed the Dougherty Valley and wanted to prevent large scale development such as Dougherty Valley.  The Commission developed a provision for the Eastside Specific Plan that included elements they felt were necessary for any future plan in that area.  A provision was also included to vote in 2010 to reaffirm or change the UGB.  This provision was not linked to San Ramon’s interests in planning in the Tassajara Valley. If fact, their concerns have proven to be correct in that the County is processing an application to build within our Sphere of Influence.  It would be a mistake for the City to eliminate the Eastside Specific Plan from the General Plan 2030 proposal as it ties the hands of the City.  The NCRSP was created to increase retail and in order to increase sales tax revenue for the City.  Mr. Wallis stated that he does not feel the process is moving too fast.  The Plan will allow for more flexibility in housing, retail, and office space which is the reason for the mixed use concept.  He stated that there is no evidence that the Plan will for businesses out of the area.  It is the land use designation that is changing, not the zoning designation.  The NCRSP is a long range planning tool to create a vision of what the City could do.  General Plan 2030 is an amendment to General Plan 2020.  Mr. Wallis stated it is the obligation of the City Council to make these choices now.

Resident Roz Rogoff stated that she now understands that this is a land use designation change not a zoning change.  This designation will make it easier to re-zone these areas in the future.  In effect, nothing has changed.  Ms. Rogoff asked if the there could be a Service Commercial overlay designation on the property where service commercial is located within the Plan area.  Ms. Chamberlain stated that allowed uses of the property will be part of the process as the NCRSP proceeds. 

Cm. Hudson stated that there is no development plan from San Ramon in the Tassajara Valley.  The County has plans in process.  He indicated that the General Plan 2030 is a ten year update to General Plan 2020 with required legislative updates.  The City is required to have General Plan 2020 updated by March 2012.  General Plan 2030 will conform to the Sustainable Community Strategy that is being implemented throughout the State.  The City of San Ramon was the first City to have a voter approved UGB.  The City Council voted to give direction to the Planning staff to follow Association of Bay Area Government’s (ABAG) Focus Program to create Priority Development Areas (PDA).  PDA’s create incentivized funding areas.  The City Center and NCRSP will meet PDA required criteria under General Plan 2030.  Cm. Hudson stated he supports the General Plan 2030.

Vice Mayor Perkins thanked Mr. Youngblood for bringing the Geldermann Ranch issue to the City Council.  He supports no further development on the West Side outside the UGB and looks forward to working on this issue with East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD).  He also asked about the ramifications to the City if the designation on that property is changed.  He also asked that the NCRSP land use designation map be restored to the General Plan 2020 map and continue discussing this issue to better communicate the process to the public.  Vice Mayor Perkins stated that changing the wording in the General Plan 2030 requiring a change in the UGB prior to preparing an Eastside Specific Plan creates distrust.  He stated that the voters have indicated that they do not want San Ramon doing any planning in the Tassajara Valley.  He would like General Plan 2030 put to a vote of the citizens even though it is not required.

Cm. Rowley stated that she is interested in removing the 66 homes in the Geldermann Ranch project from the Housing Element.  She stated she would like to work with EBRPD and the property owner’s.  She also asked for clarification of the language change requiring a change in the UGB before an Eastside Specific Plan can be prepared.  Ms. Chamberlain stated that the Council can modify the policy without referring it back to the Planning Commission or the voters.  She also indicated that this change may weaken the City’s position to continue to have an interest in the development of that area but that continued talks would take place regarding partnering with the County and Danville regarding conserving open space in that area.  Cm Rowley asked if the City provided Redevelopment Agency funds in the Crow Canyon Specific Plan and whether the same type of assistance could be made available in the NCRSP.  Ms. Chamberlain stated that funds were used in the Crow Canyon Specific Plan area for infrastructure improvements and the same possibility could exist as the NCRSP moves forward.

Cm. Hudson stated that the NCRSP is smart growth.  Because of Council actions previously taken regarding smart growth, the City has a priority for the Norris Canyon on/off ramp.  Incentives for following the guidelines for Priority Development Areas will make the City eligible for funding.  He stated that the Eastside Specific Plan should not be removed as it appears on the map in the General Plan 2020 that was overwhelming approved in 2002.  He feels that it should stay in the Plan.

Cm. Livingstone stated that the people of San Ramon elected him to make decisions.  He stated that the same questions are being addressed at every meeting.  He supports General Plan 2030.  He noted that the property owners have not come to speak to the City Council.  He has protected business owners and service commercial in San Ramon.  He stated he makes decisions that are in the best interest of all San Ramon citizens.

Mayor Wilson stated that he does not like having San Ramon dictated to by ABAG or Metropolitan Transit Commission as he wants San Ramon to have its own distinctive look.  He would like to do what is best for the citizens of San Ramon.  He stated that the NCRSP will displace no one and that San Ramon needs Service Commercial businesses.  He acknowledged the need to have tax dollars return to San Ramon. He does not want to see the Tassajara Valley developed for the County’s benefit while San Ramon pays the bills.  He stated that San Ramon needs to plan to protect our hillsides and quality of life.  The labor’s camp issue is an error correction.  San Ramon wants the park there.  He stated that NCRSP is a planning tool for the future.  He indicated he would like to work with EBRPD on the Geldermann Ranch property

City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner asked for a point of clarification regarding the revised language in the Errata.  The City Council concurred that the resolution includes this revised language including the revised language in item 4.7-I-3.

Cm. Rowley added that the City should work with EBRPD on acquiring the Geldermann Ranch property and review the City’s Housing Element in the future.

Cm. Hudson’s motion to adopt Resolution No. 2011-048 was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 4-1 with Vice Mayor Perkins dissenting.

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Jim Gibbon, resident, stated that he is glad to see that more people are attending City Council meetings.  While he and the Council do not always agree, he feels that the issue may be that they don’t speak enough to each other.  He looks forward to meeting with the City and the East Bay Parks District regarding the Geldermann Ranch property.  He indicated that he has tried to be an advisor to the Council by presenting different ideas.  He loves San Ramon and wants to protect its green hills.

Roz Rogoff, resident, stated that she writes a blog for the San Ramon Express.  She said that San Ramon was recently criticized in the Contra Costa Times for not fully disclosing employee payroll information.  She feels the article was very misleading.  She intends to research the issue and write an article regarding stating what was asked for and what was provided.  She will get information from the City Attorney, Finance Manager, and the Contra Costa Times reporters.  She stated that San Ramon should not be condemned until all the facts have been ascertained.

Cm. Hudson stated that the Councilmembers do return phone calls.  He feels that some reporters want to create an aura that the City is hiding something.  He urges citizens to call Councilmembers directly with any questions.

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Cm. Livingstone announced that he recently got married and traveled to Hawaii.

Cm. Hudson stated that he would like a staff report on the stormwater parcel tax.  It is important that only clean water enter the Bay.  The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System is researching ways to fund this program.  He stated that there may be a future mitigation fee reforestation.  This fee may be required for gold LEED certification.  Cm. Hudson would like the Policy Committee to pursue adding alternate members to the City’s committees.  This would enable interested residents to fill vacancies without having to wait for openings to be posted and filled.

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Mayor Wilson announced that the Farmers Market has moved to Bishop Ranch 2.  He hopes that this location will get more community support and attendance.  He announced that the City will sponsor a series of Community Outreach meetings.  Additional details about the times, locations, and topics will be announced in the next few weeks.

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(#14.1) Pursuant to Government Code § 54957.6 for City Council to meet with City’s labor negotiator, Mayor Wilson, for agreement with City Manager.

(#14.2) Pursuant to Government Code § 54957 for City Council to meet with its Labor Negotiators: Eva Phelps, Toni Renault, and Greg Rogers concerning Negotiations with SEIU Local 1021.

(#14.3) Pursuant to Government Code § 54956.9(b) Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation: One case.

At 10:38 p.m., the Council met in Closed Session to address the Closed Session items.

At 11:23 p.m., Mayor Wilson reconvened the meeting.  All Councilmembers were in attendance.  Mayor Wilson reported that the Council did not take any action on Items 14.2 through 14.3.  He reported that the Council accepted the agreement on Item 14.1.

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At 11:25 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 May 10, 2011 City Council meeting 5-0.

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