Home City Council Departments Services Calendar Contact Us Search
cherry blossoms in Central Park
San Ramon LogoCity Council Minutes title line

March 12, 2013

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held March 21, 2013 at 7:02 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Mayor Clarkson presiding. 
PRESENT:  Councilmembers Livingstone, O’Loane, Perkins, and Mayor Clarkson.
ABSENT:  Vice Mayor Hudson
STAFF PRESENT:  City Manager Greg Rogers, Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe, Police Captain Joe Gorton, Transportation Analyst Darlene Amaral, Division Manager Esther Lucas, Interim Parks and Community Services Director Karen McNamara, Administrative Services Director Eva Phelps, Senior Planner Lauren Barr, and City Clerk Patricia Edwards.

* * * *


Teen Council Member Roger Zhou  led those present in the pledge of allegiance. 

* * * *


The City Clerk stated that there were no changes or additions to the agenda.  The only change to the meeting information listed on the agenda is that the Architectural Review Board meeting scheduled for March 14, 2013 has been rescheduled to March 7, 2013. 

* * * *


(#4.1) Recognition of the 2012 “Building Bridges” Sponsors:  Chevron, Delta Bluegrass & Bethel Farms, Home Depot, Safeway, Scott's Miracle-Gro, PG&E, and Waste Management.  Introduction by Steven Liao.  Presented by Mayor Clarkson.

Building Bridges Program Coordinator Steven Liao thanked the Council for supporting this community based event which has been held for ten years.  The program is hosted by the San Ramon Valley Presbyterian Church and provided services to single parents, elderly, disabled, military and veteran’s families.  He showed a pictorial summary of the 2012 event which included projects at 50 sites.  Camp Parks Commander Lieutenant Colonel James thanked the Building Bridges volunteers for their work on the Memorial Park and for the holiday dinner.  He recognized the contributions of the corporate donors and thanked Building Bridges on behalf of the 114 families who live at Camp Parks.  Mr. Liao and Mayor Clarkson recognized the event sponsors: Roxanne Cruz representing PG&E ($3,000 grant); Dinah Zuckerman representing Delta Bluegrass and Bethel Farms (12,000 square feet of sod for the Camp Parks Memorial Park); Staci Moffit representing Chevron ($5,000 grant); Laura Arkell representing Home Depot ($5,000 grant); Derek LaFontaine representing Scott’s Miracle-Gro (two truckloads of soil and mulch for the Camp Parks Memorial Park); Anne Reese representing Waste Management (6 dumpsters); and Wendy Gutshall representing Safeway ($5,000 grant and 100 volunteers).  The sponsors were acknowledged for their contributions and presented with a plaque and a certificate of recognition.  The sponsors reiterated their commitment to this event and are proud to be able to support it and contribute to the community.  Mr. Liao noted that this year’s event is scheduled for October 26, 2013.

* * * *


* * * *


(#6.1) Transportation Demand Management Advisory Committee Appointments.

Transportation Analyst Darlene Amaral gave the staff report.  Applications were received from incumbents Sandy Austin from AT&T and Ann Uawithya from the Diablo Valley College San Ramon Campus by the application deadline.  Cm. Perkins’ motion to appoint Ms. Austin and Ms. Uawithya to the Transportation Demand Management Advisory Committee for terms expiring in January 2015 was seconded by Cm. O’Loane and passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

* * * *


(#7.1) Minutes of the February 12, 2013 regular meeting.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to adopt the February 12, 2013 regular City Council minutes was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

* * * *


(#8.1) Register of Demands as presented by the City Treasurer (Period ending January 31, 2013).

(#8.2) Ordinance No. 436 – Repealing and Replacing Chapter IV Smoking Regulations of Article 2, Division B6 of the City of San Ramon Municipal Code.

(#8.3) Minute Order No. 2013-006 – Accepting the Work by MCK Services Inc. for the Construction of the 2012 Pavement Management Project (CIP 5489) as Complete and Authorizing the City Clerk to File a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder's Office.

(#8.4) Minute Order No. 2013-007 – Accepting the Work by MCK Services Inc. for the Construction of the Alcosta Boulevard Pavement Rehabilitation Project (CIP 5549), Federal Aid Project No. STPL-5437(024), as Complete and Authorizing the City Clerk to File a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder's Office.

(#8.5) Minute Order No. 2013-008 – Ratifying the Amendment to the Teen Council Bylaws.

(#8.6) Minute Order No. 2013-009 – Confirming the 30th Anniversary Commemorative Events.

(#8.7) Minute Order No. 2013-010 – Ratifying the Architectural Review Board Appointments.

(#8.8) Resolution No. 2013-008 – Accepting Certain Roadway and Storm Drain Dedications and Improvements in RA 1244 (Applewood Drive) for Maintenance (Shapell Industries).

(#8.9) Resolution No. 2013-009 – Accepting Certain Dedications and Landscape Improvements for Maintenance in Subdivision 9021 (Windemere BLC Land Development Company, LLC).

(#8.10) Resolution No. 2013-010 – Accepting Certain Dedications and Landscape Improvements for Maintenance in Subdivision 9142 (Windemere BLC Land Development Company, LLC).

(#8.11) Resolution No. 2013-011 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Agreement with California Waters, LLC for the West Branch Step Fountain Waterproofing Project, Part of CIP No. 5478, in an Amount Not to Exceed $135,000.

(#8.12) Resolution No. 2013-012 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Agreement with Pleasanton Engineering Contractors, Inc. for the Fountain Vault Davit Arm Installation, Part of CIP No. 5478, in an Amount Not to Exceed $63,250.

(#8.13) Resolution No. 2013-013 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute a Five Year Agreement with San Ramon Valley Officials Association for Athletic Officials for the Adult Softball Program in a Total Amount Not to Exceed $186,500.

Cm. Livingstone’s motion to adopt items 8.1 through 8.13 was seconded by Cm. Perkins and passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

* * * *


* * * *


(#10.1) Report by the City's Four Foundations: Arts Foundation, Historic Foundation, Library Foundation, and Senior Foundation.

Division Manager Esther Lucas stated that the City’s Foundations are independent nonprofit organizations.  They provide community services through funding or direct programming to residents in partnership with the City.  She introduced representatives from the City’s four Foundations who provided their reports. 

Mark Ballock, President of the Arts Foundation Board, provided the report.  Their fundraisers included a food booth at the Art and Wind Festival, Summer Concerts in the Park, and Summer Bike Ride.  New programs included Art in the Park and Chalk Art, Teen Battle of the Bands, and Steve Seskin and Friends.  The Foundation supports the Symphonic Band and Youth Symphony, Foreign Film Series, Summer Concert Series, San Ramon Community Theater, and Sing A Long Messiah.  He reviewed the 2013 goals and noted that gross project revenues are $41,900 to date. 

Paul Truschke, member of the  Historic Foundation, provided the report.  Their purpose is to preserve and protect historic buildings, structures and landscapes in the City.  Their goals are to raise funds, educate the community, and support programs and events at Forest Home Farms.  Last year, docents provided tours of the Farm to 2,250 third graders.  Current projects include the Windmill Installation, Glass House video, installation of demonstration nut orchard, development of interpretive programs, landscaping along Oak Creek, making the Farms a community destination, and replacing the irrigation in the organic garden.  Events included Sheep Shearing, the Ice Cream Social, Holiday on the Farm, the Victorian Tea, Tennessee on the Farm, and the Pioneer Family Picnic.  Recent fund raisers were the Crab Feed, Wind Festival, and Sheep Shearing which raised $21,300.  Information is available on the website at www.srhf.org

Jo Mahaney thanked the Council for their support of the Library Foundation and its 600 members.  She provided information on the success of the San Ramon libraries.  She reported that  over 43,000 San Ramon residents have library cards and checked out more than 975,000 items.  The partners supporting the library include the City, Contra Costa County, Diablo Valley College, business and various organizations.  The Foundation provided $57,000 to the libraries last year.  The Foundation exists to close the gap between funding provided by the county and the City and community demands.  Funds are used to purchase collections and new equipment including early literacy stations, self check-in, chairs and tables for the meeting room and new shelving at Dougherty Station.   The Foundation has set aside $105,000 for the future City Center Library. 

Jackie Esse, president of the Senior Foundation Board, stated that the Foundation originated in 1982 and changed its name in 1993 when the San Ramon Senior Center was completed.  The primary purpose is to raise funds to assist the City to improve the Center.  Fundraisers include an annual Boutique, weekly bingo, monthly Pancake Breakfasts, Fashion Show and Tea, and Art and Wind.  Projects include the garden greenhouse, computer lab, electronic sign, Meals on Wheels, Express Van maintenance, and kitchen upgrade.  Matching funds are available from a bequest by William Syzmanowski.  In 2012-13, the Foundation donated $28,000 to the Senior Center for their Meals on Wheels, kitchen renovation and upgrade, and Express Van sponsorship.  They received a $5,000 grant from Walmart and used it to purchase dishes and flatware for the kitchen.  Ms. Esse invited residents participate in events at the Center.

Mayor Clarkson thanked each of the Foundation representatives for their report. 

(#10.2) Arts Advisory Committee Annual Report.

Division Manager Esther Lucas introduced Ron LaRussa, Chair of the Arts Advisory Committee (AAC), who provided the report.  Mr. LaRussa stated that the AAC’s purpose is to provide ongoing input to the City of San Ramon on the provision and delivery of cultural art programs and services in San Ramon.  He reviewed the 2012 accomplishments and actions, presentations, and goals for 2013.   

Cm. Perkins’ motion to accept the Report was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

(#10.3) Informational Report:  City’s Social Media Report.

Karen McNamara, Interim Parks and Community Services Director, reviewed the composition of the Social Media Team, its goals, accomplishments, current tools, and next steps.  The Team has increased communication through the use of social media tools, analyzed and evaluated data and metrics, met with other agencies on social media.  She provided an overview of the City’s social media tools which include: the Citizen Request Management (CRM) program, eSanRamon, @CityofSanRamon on Twitter, ShareThis, and Open San Ramon.

Rose Co, Web Manager, discussed the CRM and Open San Ramon programs.  The CRM program was initiated in 2005, has 110 categories, and averages 440 requests per month.  In July 2009, the City started eSanRamon which provides web updates on 105 subscription topics and public alert notifications.  Since it was launched, 4.9 million bulletins were delivered.  Subscribers receive real time emergency alert information by email and text.  There are currently 40,000 unique subscribers.

Adam Chow, Recreation Coordinator, discussed the two new social media tools.  The City added ShareThis widget to every page of the City website in August 2012.  This program shares a specific page  through the visitor’s selected social media platform.  The most common are Facebook, Yelp, and Twitter.  The QR code or Quick Response code takes the user directly to the City’s “Connect with Us” website with links to the City’s social media options.  The City’s Twitter account is “@CityofSanRamon” and was started in September 2012.  The City has a weekly posting schedule and currently has 191 followers.  This site also follows 64 accounts including local agencies, emergency services, and news alerts. 

Emergency Preparedness Manager Ray Riordan discussed the role of social media in local events and emergencies and the inherent advantages and disadvantages.  Social media has a significant impact on emergency response and day to day operations. 

Ms. McNamara stated that the question currently on OpenSanRamon asks how people want to receive communications from the City.  Although the sample size is small, email and mail are two of the most popular communication methods.  Teen Council representative Roger Zhou stated that social media makes it easier for citizens to give input to the City.  Social media has the potential to vastly increase citizen engagement.  Social media has enabled the Teen Council to promote its activities.  Ms. McNamara stated that the Social Media Team is evaluating the pros and cons of using Facebook.  One drawback is that the “comments” feature cannot be turned off.  Ms. McNamara stated that the City can remove objectionable text per its Social Media Policy and Facebook.  Cm. Perkins stated that he is pleased to see the progress made by the Team and looks forward to future reports.  Lawrence Livermore Lab is using social media for their emergency notification process with up to four different medias can be linked to receive messages.  Cm. O’Loane stated that trends change quickly and it is difficult to follow.  He appreciated the Team’s cautious approach to using Facebook.

(#10.4) Mid-Year Financial Review Report.

Resolution No. 2013-014 – Authorizing Mid-Year 2012-2013 Budget Adjustments.

The staff report was provided by Eva Phelps, Administrative Services Director.  She discussed the key issues relative to the budget including the slow economic recovery, revenue, and expenditures.  The Review provided a mid-year look at the City’s financial condition.  General Fund expenditures are projected to be $.4 million below budgeted levels.  General Fund revenues for the year are projected to be above budgeted levels by $.7 million.  Cm. Perkins asked if the impact of sequestering on the City’s financial situation was known.  Ms. Phelps said that it was not. 

Mayor Clarkson noted that that there has been a significant appreciation in housing values.  He asked if homes were being reappraised to reflect this increase.  Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe stated that most counties have a process to reevaluate housing values.  City Manager Greg Rogers added that the property taxes being reviewed were based on appraisals from several months ago and that there is always a lag in property tax revenue.  A 6-8% increase would be a huge difference for San Ramon because there has not been significant growth in property taxes for several years.  Mr. Rogers stated that the City is being very cautious in its financial forecast.  Budget adjustments can be made at mid-year if warranted.  Preliminary property tax information is available in August but the actual tax figure is not available until December or January. 

The Mid-Year Financial Review identified several mid-year adjustments totaling $1,397,778.  There are sufficient reserves in each of the funding sources to fund the additional appropriations.  Cm. Perkins clarified that none of the adjustments are coming from the General Fund.  Ms. Phelps reported that the projected ending Policy Reserves are expected to be $31.7 million which is 85% of expenditures.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to adopt Resolution No. 2013-014 was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

* * * *

Mayor Clarkson requested a five minute break at 9:18 p.m.  All Councilmembers except Vice Mayor Hudson reconvened at 9:25 p.m.

* * * *

(#10.5) Public Hearing: General Plan Amendment-ACRE Townhome Development (GPA 12-400-001) for the Properties Located at 125 and 130 Ryan Industrial Court (APN: 208-280-017 and 208-280-018).

Senior Planner Lauren Barr presented the report.  A General Plan Amendment is subject to Measure G procedures including three public hearings and a 4/5’s vote for action.  The related rezoning will be addressed as a subsequent action.  The project is a three acre site with two existing office buildings and includes 48 town homes (16 triplexes) averaging 1,600 to 2,000 square feet, two car garages, 20 on-site parking spaces and street parking on Ryan Industrial Court.  The current General Plan designation is Mixed Use and the proposed designation is Multi Family High Density.  It is adjacent to Multi Family Very High Density.  This site is part of the General Plan 2030 housing opportunity site which proposed 93 units on 7.3 acres.  The current project provides housing near employment which contributes to the jobs-housing balance.  It maintains opportunities for mixed use as the lower part of the cul de sac near Old Crow Canyon Road is commercial in nature with residential in the back.  He noted that this is an infill residential project.  Many environmental considerations are minimized because the existing commercial buildings are being replaced.  There is limited access for commercial development at the rear of the cul de sac.  He noted the impact of the loss of the Redevelopment Agency and related incentives for area development.  There are several long term existing uses including the church and dance academy.  The applicant did try to acquire other sites but was not successful.  Mr. Barr noted that there is a geological fault zone in the area which makes development on the lower portion difficult.  There are no seismic issues associated with the site.   In terms of fiscal analysis, the conversion of  office to residential represents an increase in costs for services to the City.  The increase in tax base in this case will be used to pay back the Redevelopment debt.  One option to address this gap is to establish a Community Facilities District.  Staff estimates that $495 per unit is needed based on the 2012 budget cost of service/revenue.  A fee escalator to keep pace with inflation in addition to an administrative cost would be added to the assessment.  Mr. Barr noted that the CEQA Mitigated Negative Declaration has prepared.  The Planning Commission held four public hearings.  Concerns raised included parking, emergency response, storm water, and seismic concerns and these were dealt with during the hearings.  The Planning Commission adopted the Mitigated Negative Declaration and recommended city Council approval of the General Plan Amendment and Rezone.  Final Planning Commission approval of the Development Applications is required following approval by the Council.

Mayor Clarkson opened the public hearing.

Tom Schulz, representing the property owner ACRE investment, complimented Mr. Barr on his work.  Mr. Schulz stated that the project density is adequate for the site and that the project may be a catalyst for development in the area.  The housing is priced for work force housing.  Cm. Livingstone asked for the housing price.  Mr. Schulz stated that the homes would cost between $500-550,000.  Cm. Livingstone requested more information on the parking issue.  Mr. Schulz replied that the church expressed concern that parking from this project would impact public street parking.  In response to this concern, the project added eight parking spaces.  The total available parking spaces exceeds City requirements.  Mr. Schulz noted that the driveways are four feet wide and that there is no apron or driveway parking.  There are 20 quest parking slots.

Mayor Clarkson closed the public hearing. 

Cm. O’Loane asked for information on EBMUD’s comment on the Mitigated Negative Declaration.  Mr. Barr responded that it was regarding contacting their customer service office to set up services.  Cm. O’Loane asked if there is access from the back of the property to homes behind the project.  Mr. Barr responded that it s a step bank and heavily wooded so there is not access to adjacent properties.  Cm. Perkins confirmed that the site is identified in the General Plan’s Housing Element.  He asked for an explanation of the designation.  Mr. Barr responded that mixed use requires a mix of residential and commercial on the same parcel.  The original designation assumed that all of the parcels would be aggregated in a  combined project.  With the loss of Redevelopment incentives, this did not happen.  This is an opportunity to provide housing consistent with the General Plan and maintain existing commercial.  Cm. Perkins noted that the current four sites (church, dance academy, Road Runner, office building) are stable.  He noted that the top of the Court is not a good location for commercial or retail.  Mr. Barr concurred. 

Cm. Livingstone asked for the staff’s position on the parking issue.  He stated that most people use garages for storage and not for parking their cars.  He concurred with the church’s parking concerns.  Mr. Barr stated that there were extensive conversations with the church.  A combination of tools was used to address the issue.  There is no parking on the alley.  The minimum requirement for guest parking was exceeded.  The applicant is proposing CC&R’s to control parking.  Although parking may present some difficulties, this will be addressed by the  Homeowners Association. 

Mayor Clarkson asked if this project falls under spot zoning.  Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe responded that spot zoning describes zoning action which is arbitrary and without any rational.  It involves zoning one property with no consideration of surrounding areas.  Spot zoning arises when there is an argument of ‘taking’ by the property owner or an argument that the zoning is discriminatory by the neighbors.  This project  does not fall into the category of spot zoning.  Mayor Clarkson expressed concern with the project’s designation change from mixed use to residential.  He asked staff to consider the General Plan in the development review process.  Factors to be considered are: access to public transit, bicycling and pedestrian access for new projects; multiple high density housing that reflects high quality design, with integrated open space, recreational and cultural amenities, opportunity for workforce housing, and structured parking; employing  creative site design and architectural quality that blends with the characteristics of each location and its surroundings while incorporating 360 degree design principles; providing high quality public facilities, services and other amenities within close proximity to residents; and encouraging the linkage and integration of new development with existing neighborhoods by means of complete street networks, open space areas, parks and pathways as a means of enhancing pedestrian and bicycling connections.  He expressed concern that this project will be an isolated residential neighborhood.  There is only a tot lot surrounded by commercial buildings compounded by a 8 to 10 degree slope.  He asked where children will play.  The project is not within walking distance to amenities.    Once completed, will the project infringe on other property owners in the cul de sac and limit what future zoning might be allowed.  He expressed concern about the parking and asked if the City was creating a family friendly neighborhood.  Cm. Perkins noted that this in an infill not a greenfield project and that  different opportunities are presented.  He asked staff to provide information on comparable sized infill projects and their success.  He noted that the St. James Place project is an infill project.  He asked if infill projects create problems or solutions and if infill projects are addressed in the General Plan.  Mr. Barr responded that the issue is a project of scale.  The General Plan is intended to provide an advisory and visionary guide.  Cm. Livingstone concurred with Mayor Clarkson that the proposed project does not include a place for children to play.  Planning Division Manager Debbie Chamberlain stated that the Culligan property was intended for the Twin Creeks extension and part of the property might be suitable for a linear park.  Cm. Perkins noted that the Twin Creeks extension may be dead without a good funding source.  He asked if there is an opportunity to develop the site as a local park.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to continue the Public Hearing to March 12, 2013 for additional public comment on the General Plan Amendment was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

* * * *


* * * *


* * * *


Mayor Clarkson encouraged residents to attend performances at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center: Steve Seskin on March 16, 2013 and the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theatre on April 13, 2013.  The second film in the City’s “First Friday Foreign Film Series” is La Vie en Rose on March 1, 2013 at the Dougherty Station Community Center.  He invited residents to attend the I-680 HOV Direct Access Ramps Project – Scoping Meeting on March 13, 2013 at the San Ramon Community Center.  He reminded applicants that March 1, 2013 is the Teen Council application deadline.

* * * *


(#14.1) Pursuant to Government Code §54956.8 to Meet and Instruct the City Council’s Real Property Negotiator Greg Rogers Regarding Negotiations with Sunset Development Company on Price and Terms Relating to a Proposal for Purchase of APN: 213-133-086 and for Transfer of City’s Interest in a Portion of APN: 213-120-010.

At 10:05 p.m., the Council convened to Closed Session Pursuant to Government Code §54956.8 to Meet and Instruct the City Council’s Real Property Negotiator Greg Rogers Regarding Negotiations with Sunset Development Company on Price and Terms Relating to a Proposal for Purchase of APN: 213-133-086 and for Transfer of City’s Interest in a Portion of APN: 213-120-010.  All Councilmembers were present except Vice Mayor Hudson.  At 10:37 p.m., Mayor Clarkson reconvened the meeting.  All Councilmembers were present except Vice Mayor Hudson.  Mayor Clarkson reported that the Council took no action.  The vote was 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

* * * *


At 10:38 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 12, 2013 City Council meeting 4-0-1-0; Hudson absent.

We provide efficient delivery of quality public services that are essential to those who live and work in San Ramon.
7000 Bollinger Canyon Rd, San Ramon, CA 94583 | Map | Phone (925) 973-2530 | Fax (925) 866-0547