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February 14, 2012

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held February 14, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Mayor Clarkson presiding. 
PRESENT:  Councilmembers Hudson, Livingstone, O’Loane, Perkins, and Mayor Clarkson.
STAFF PRESENT:  City Manager Greg Rogers, City Attorney City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner, Police Chief Scott Holder, Transportation Analyst Darlene Amaral, Associate Engineer Christopher Low, Planning Division Manager Debbie Chamberlain, Economic Development Director Marc Fontes, Interim Parks and Community Services Director Karen McNamara, and City Clerk Patricia Edwards.

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(#1.1) Pursuant to Government Code §54957 to meet with the City Council’s Labor Negotiators: Marc Fontes, Eva Phelps, Toni Renault, and Greg Rogers concerning Negotiations with SEIU Local 1021.

(#1.2) Pursuant to Government Code § 54956.8 to meet with the City Council’s Real Property Negotiators Karen McNamara and Phil Wong Regarding a Portion of APN: 222-270-021.

(#1.3) Pursuant to Government Code §54957 to evaluate the Position of City Attorney.

(#1.4) Pursuant to Government Code § 64956.9(a) to meet with City Attorney regarding In the Matter of the Armand Borel Trust (Superior Court No. P09-01129).

At 6:02 p.m., the Council convened to Closed Session for items 1.1 through 1.4.  At 7:04 p.m., Mayor Clarkson reconvened the meeting.  All Councilmembers were present. 

Mayor Clarkson reported that the Council took no action on items 1.1 through 1.4.

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Vice Mayor Livingstone led those present in the pledge of allegiance.  Mayor Clarkson extended a special welcome to the members of Troop 84 who attended the Council meeting as part of their Community Service badge.

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The City Clerk stated that Mr. Rousch was unable to attend the Council meeting and requested that this item be deferred to a future Council meeting.  She noted that there were no changes or corrections to the meetings listed on the agenda. 

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(#4.1) Introduction of Michael Roush, Interim Deputy City Attorney.

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Jim Gibbon, resident, discussed Wal Mart’s plans to occupy a grocery store site.  He stated that the zoning for that building has changed from commercial retail to Mixed Use.  He questioned the application of the Mixed Use zoning specifications for the Wal Mart grocery store.  He stated that a review is required by the Zoning Administrator to evaluate this store’s effect on traffic, noise, exterior signage, etc.  A use permit must be filed if more than 10% of the retail space is used for non-grocery items.  The store’s operational hours may also trigger a use permit.  After the building permit is reviewed by the Zoning Administrator, he requested that the item be brought to the City Council for discussion.

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(#6.1) Transportation Demand Management Advisory Committee Appointments.

Transportation Analyst Darlene Amaral gave the staff report.  Applications were received from Marci McGuire, current Chair and representative from Bishop Ranch Transportation Center, and Sheri Glaser from the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.  Cm. Hudson’s motion to appoint Ms. McGuire and Ms. Glaser to the Transportation Demand Management Advisory Committee for terms expiring in January 2014 was seconded by Vice Mayor Livingstone and passed 5-0. 

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(#7.1) Minutes of the January 24, 2012 regular meeting.

Cm. Perkins questioned the “4-0-0-1” approval notation for the January 10, 2012 regular City Council minutes.  The City Clerk explained that the designation represented yes, no, absent, and abstain responses.  Cm. Hudson’s motion to adopt the January 24, 2012 regular City Council minutes was seconded by Vice Mayor Livingstone and passed 5-0.

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Jim Gibbon requested that item 8.3 be pulled.

(#8.1) Resolution No. 2012-009 – Accepting Certain Trail, Access Road, and Storm Drain Dedications and Improvements in RA 1165 for Maintenance (Windemere BLC, Land Development Company, LLC).

(#8.2) Resolution No. 2012-010 – Accepting Certain Drainage Dedications and Improvements in DA 0012 (Water Quality Pond 1) for Maintenance (Windemere BLC, Land Development Company, LLC).

(#8.4) Resolution No. 2012-012 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Amendment to the Agreement with T. Marshall Associates, Ltd. for Electrical Services and Extending the Terms and Conditions for an Additional Three Years in an Annual Agreement Amount Not to Exceed $60,000 and a Total Three-Year Amount Not to Exceed $180,000.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to adopt items 8.1, 8.2, and 8.4 was seconded by Vice Mayor Livingstone and passed 5-0. 

(#8.3) Resolution No. 2012-011 – Approving the Final Map for Subdivision 9272 (St. James Place) Located at 4700 Norris Canyon Road (Sanorris Investments, LLC).

Associate Engineer Christopher Low provided the report.  He noted that the developer has been working with City staff to satisfy the necessary conditions of approval for the project.  Mr. Low stated that approval of this map by the City Council is deemed to be a ministerial action since the requirements have been met.

Jim Gibbon, representing San Ramon for Open Government, stated that because San Ramon has been designated as a Priority Development Area (PDA), the City will experience a tremendous amount of growth.  The North Camino Ramon Specific Plan includes 1,500 homes.  The City Center plans include 500 homes.  The City’s Housing Element indicates that San Ramon’s commitment to affordable housing is 15-20% of a project.  The St. James Place project provides only 10% affordable housing and in-lieu fees.  He asked how the City can achieve its affordable housing quotas.  He is concerned that there is no accessible housing in the St. James Project.  He stated that it is hypocritical not to provide affordable housing in the first project to come to the City.

Planning Division Manager Debbie Chamberlain stated that the affordable housing commitment for the St. James Project was negotiated by the Housing Advisory Committee (HAC) and Planning Commission.  She stated that the 25% affordable housing requirement is being met through 12 moderate income housing units and $92,000 of in-lieu fees paid by the developer to the affordable housing trust fund.  The Housing Element requires the City to negotiate with developers.  She stated that ‘carriage units’ are exempt from federal and state regulations for accessible units.  Cm. Hudson stated that the state changed the rules in order to meld housing and transportation.  The St. James Place project is not the first project to come to the City.  The General Plan 2020 includes 34 sites.  The City needs to provide 3,400 affordable housing units which have to be incorporated throughout the City.  He added that it is important to find the best location.  Mayor Clarkson questioned the nexus from $92,000 to the 15% housing that would have been built.  Ms. Chamberlain responded that the HAC developed a formula based on $1.25 per foot times the square footage of livable space not built to determine the in-lieu fee.  The in-lieu fees for the St. James project will be made in one payment.  She stated that every developer is treated the same way.

Cm. O’Loane stated that the Planning Commission hoped for on-site affordable housing.  He added that the City’s ability to push for more affordable housing has been litigated away.  Ms. Chamberlain explained that the 10% must build on site (12) units is the result of the Palmer Case (Los Angeles) which limits the City’s ability to establish rental rates and puts into question the status of inclusionary housing.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to adopt item 8.3 was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0. 

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(#10.1) Report on Redevelopment Agency Debt.

Marc Fontes, Economic Development Director, provided the report which included information about the former Redevelopment Agency’s (RDA) debt obligations.  Previously the RDA was required to submit its Statement of Indebtedness (SOI) by October 1 annually. This is a comprehensive look at the various obligations of the RDA through the fiscal year 2037-38, or 26 years.  The outstanding bonded indebtedness is $80.5 million.  This obligation will be paid by the Successor Agency (SA) through the same revenue stream.  The City is not involved, or in any way committed, to funding the annual payments for the existing debt obligations of the former RDA.  The first meeting of the SA is scheduled for March 13, 2012.  An annual audit will be conducted to identify the actual bonded indebtedness of the RDA.

Cm. O’Loane asked if there are other obligations within the stream.  He noted that the total stated Net Requirement on the 2011 SOI is $678,197,286.25.  Mr. Fontes responded that are some very significant percentages of the revenue stream that were projected out as payments over 26 years.  These payments are not obligations of this entity.  Cm. Perkins clarified that the real outstanding debt is $80.5 million and that the SA will pay this debt through the tax increment income stream.  Mr. Fontes explained that the Redevelopment bond is a contractual obligation of that specific revenue stream and has no other source of funding.  Mayor Clarkson thanked staff for their proactive approach.

Mayor Clarkson opened the public comment.

Roz Rogoff, resident, stated that she reviewed the Health & Safety Code §34179-34188 which outlines the appointment process for the Oversight Board (OB).  The OB requires seven members from throughout the County.  Ms. Rogoff questioned the status of the Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) with Michael LeBlanc.  She stated that his financial information is due on February 28, 2012.  She asked to be notified when the information is filed.  She asked when the decision will be made regarding Mr. LeBlanc’s proposal if the SA does not meet until March 13, 2012.  She asked if the Mudd’s property could be turned over to a district to become a park.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to receive the report was seconded by Vice Mayor Livingstone and passed 5-0. 

(#10.2) Discussion and Consideration of Options for the City’s Fourth of July Event and Fireworks for 2012 and Beyond.

Karen McNamara, Interim Parks and Community Services Director, presented the report.  The event started in 1985 on the Toyota Lawn and moved to Central Park in 1991.  The Emergency Operations Center was added in 2007.  She reviewed the event priorities including the themes of tradition, civic pride, community, and entertainment component.  She noted that the primary draw of the event is the aerial fireworks display.  The safety of the event is a priority for the City.  The location of the event creates issues for public safety because of the size and scale of the event which now has a regional draw.

Ms. McNamara reported that more than 600 emails were received: 296 respondents supported continuing the event with additional resources; 237 wanted to discontinue the event; 40 wanted to defer the event to a future year and other comments included modifying the event.  Many suggestions were received including: increasing corporate sponsorship, increased use of volunteers, increasing the parking fee, charging non-residents to attend, closing I-680 off ramps, and providing more food and vendor booths.   

Ms. McNamara discussed the impacts and issues.  There are concerns regarding the projected cost, use of City resources, and public safety.  There are issues with coordination and logistics, traffic control, impact on vegetation, property damage.  Staff resources are limited and it is difficult to deal with the problems created during the event. 

Police Chief Holder emphasized the safety and security issues.  The size of the event creates the safety issues.  The crowds create gridlock which impedes access into the park by medical and police personnel.  Other issues include parking, pedestrian and vehicle traffic, traffic enforcement, barbecues, etc.  The current event exhausts Police Department resources and additional resources are needed to make a safe event.

Ms. McNamara summarized event options which included: maintaining the event and add more resources; scaling back the event to a ground display with a concert; changing the event date; collaborating with other cities; and eliminating the 2012 event and begin preparation for a new event in the future.  The event cost in 2011 was $175,000.  Additional resources are needed in 2012 in order to provide a safe event.  These include more staff for security, parking, traffic, garbage pick-up, on site medical and crowd control.  Additional facilities are also needed for porta-potties, water trucks, lighting, PA system, radios, and additional road closures.  Another consideration is to conduct a community survey to redesign the event to meet community needs by working with local groups and perhaps produce a regional event with corporate sponsorship.

David Ernest, Chair of the Parks and Community Services Commission, recommended a one year moratorium.  This allows staff to redirect the event to a more local, San Ramon oriented event.  The cost increase could be better spent in the City.  He suggested that the City continue to sponsor the 10K run.  The current event overwhelms City resources.  He suggested that a future event could celebrate the City’s ethnic diversity.

Mayor Clarkson opened the public comment.

Patrick Tuohy, resident and representative for the San Ramon Symphonic Band, stated that it would be difficult to give up the Fourth of July event because it is a very ‘grass roots’ event.  He acknowledged that the problems are real and cannot be ignored.  He stated that the Symphonic Band would be available to provide entertainment at the event.

Donna Kerger, resident, agreed with the citizens’ concerns regarding the health and safety of the community.  San Ramon cannot be everything to everybody.  She added that it makes sense to re-evaluate the event in terms of providing it more safely.  She asked the Council to consider cancelling the event in 2012.

Roz Rogoff, resident, noted that there is not enough time to prepare the event as a regional event for this year.  She suggested that other communities which enjoy the event provide assistance.  She suggested having the City have a ‘park and ride’ plan and bus people to Central Park.  This would decrease or eliminate several problems.  Perhaps advance tickets could be sold.  She recommended that the program be scaled down for 2012 with a concert and ground fireworks.  San Ramon should work with other nearby communities to plan the event for 2013.

Stewart Bambino, President of the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce, stated that he was struck by the event’s complexity.  The Chamber has coordinated booths for nonprofits and staff parking sites for two years.  The Board decided that the Chamber is unable to participate in 2012 at the same level as in previous years due to the challenge of getting volunteers and related liability issues.

Dale Halterman, resident, acknowledged that City resources are constrained.  He suggested that the event needed to be viewed from a blank board and asked the Council to reconsider holding the event.  He suggested that a committee/task force be established to restructure the event so that it can be self sustaining and continue.

Mayor Clarkson closed the public hearing.

Mayor Clarkson stated that no decision regarding the event would be made at the meeting.  Cm. Perkins requested that the Council be able to provide direction to staff.  Cm. Hudson stated that he does not want to permanently end the Fourth of July events.  The issue is not the money but the increased regionalism of the event as San Ramon is now putting on a fireworks show for the Tri-Valley.  He supports Mr. Ernest’s suggestions that the event be scaled down for one year.  He expressed concern about the use of illegal fireworks if the event is discontinued.  If the event is cancelled, he suggested that the Council consider the option of selling legal fireworks. 

Vice Mayor Livingstone stated that he understands Cm. Hudson’s comments.  He stated that the event’s cost does factor into the decision.  His primary job as a councilmember is to provide safety to the citizens.  He likes Mr. Halterman’s idea and Ms. Rogoff’s idea of busing attendees to the Park.  He also supports Mr. Ernest’s suggestions. 

Cm. O’Loane stated that it was very helpful to have the Parks and Community Services Commission minutes.  He stated that this is not a Tri-Valley event.  Public safety issues are intertwined with the event cost and to do the event safely requires money.  He requested that the Council think in the long term.  He noted that when the City Center is built, this property will not be available as the firing site.  If Concord does not provide a fireworks show, the attendance in San Ramon could increase from 30,000 to 45,000.  It is a free event and there is no way to charge attendees.  He supports the idea of a citizen committee to review the event but not for this year.  He does not want to cancel the event but he does not think that spending $318,000 for the event is a prudent use of City funds.  He suggested that the event be deferred to an event that makes sense.

Cm. Perkins stated that Concord will not provide a City sponsored fireworks so the closest aerial display will be in Martinez.  He supports Mr. Halterman’s suggestions.  He believes that a year is needed to do a comprehensive review of the event.  He would like to re-engage the Chamber of Commerce.  He likes the idea of a multi-cultural aspect for the event and stated that the City needs a community celebration.  He wants to involve nonprofits at the event.  He stated that safety and security are key elements.

Mayor Clarkson thanked staff for their contribution to the process.  Although the cost is important, public safety issue is the one item which resonates for citizens.  He stated that the Council will not make a decision at the meeting so that citizens can see the facts and data points and will understand the decision when it is made by the Council.

Cm. Perkins noted that the consensus of the Council is not to provide an aerial display.  He recommended that staff bring back alternate event plans in the absence of an aerial display.  Ms. McNamara stated that timing to organize an aerial display is critical.  Vice Mayor Livingstone emphasized the need to provide clear direction to staff.  Cm. Perkins’ motion to direct staff to prepare a Fourth of July program proposal that does not include an aerial display was seconded by Vice Mayor Livingstone.  Cm. Hudson suggested that the City needs to evaluate the sale of legal fireworks.  If fireworks are legal in San Ramon, related fines would remain in San Ramon instead of being sent to the State.  Vice Mayor Livingstone agreed with Cm. Hudson but he wants the support of the Fire District.  The sale of legal fireworks is a great money maker for nonprofits.  Cm. Hudson stated that the City must provide something if it cancels the aerial fireworks.  He requested that staff research the issue.  Cm. O’Loane suggested that no decision regarding the sale of legal fireworks be made until more input is obtained.  Mayor Clarkson clarified that Cm. Perkins’ motion did not eliminate the possibility of aerial fireworks.  Cm. Perkins confirmed that this statement was accurate.  The motion for alternatives for a City celebration passed 5-0.

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City Manager Rogers noted that the City Attorney wished to make a statement.  City Attorney Schaffner announced that her last day with the City will be March 16, 2012.  She has accepted a position as General Counsel with the Mid Peninsula Regional Open Space District.  The District focuses on greenbelt protection, natural resources and species conservation.  She noted that she is sad to be leaving San Ramon.  Mayor Clarkson thanked her for her service and wished her well.

City Manager Rogers reminded the Council that the February 28, 2012 meeting will be held at the Dougherty Station Community Center.

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Cm. Hudson noted that the North Camino Ramon Specific Plan and draft Environmental Impact Report are available.  He added that Michael Brandman and Associates did an excellent job on the reports.  He stated that the Policy Committee will be discussing the Climate Change Advisory Committee at its February meeting.  He provided the Council with additional information about SB 375.

Cm. O’Loane reported that a friend’s home in San Ramon was broken into and that the Police officer who came to her aid was very professional.  He thanked the Police Department for catching the perpetrator.

Mayor Clarkson invited residents to attend the Moscow Ballet production of Sleeping Beauty on February 19, 2012 and the Temptations concert on March 2, 2012 at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center.

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At 9:15 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Clarkson adjourned the meeting.

Bill Clarkson, Mayor
Patricia Edwards, City Clerk

Approved as presented at the March 13, 2012 City Council meeting 4-0-1; Perkins absent.

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