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September 24, 2013

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held September 24, 2013 at 7:01 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Mayor Clarkson presiding. 
PRESENT:  Councilmembers Hudson, O’Loane, Perkins, and Mayor Clarkson.
ABSENT:  Councilmember Livingstone.
STAFF PRESENT:  City Manager Greg Rogers, Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe, Police Chief Scott Holder, Public Services Division Manager Jeff Gault, Associate Planner Shinei Tsukamoto, Planning Division Manager Debbie Chamberlain, and City Clerk Patricia Edwards.

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Nicholas Biondi, James Gonzales, Caleb Lyons, Marc Rosellini, Zain Saeed, Mason Valenta, and Marc Vallinayagam, members of Cub Scout Pack 841 from Walt Disney Elementary School, led those present in the pledge of allegiance. 

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The City Clerk stated that there were no changes or additions to the agenda.  There were no changes or corrections to the meetings listed on the agenda. 

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Mayor Clarkson requested that item 4.5 be pulled for a separate vote.

(#4.1) Register of Demands as Presented by the City Treasurer (Period ending August 31, 2013).

(#4.2) Minute Order No. 2013-025 – Approving the Request for Proposal for Commercial Real Estate Brokers for Two Former Redevelopment Agency Properties.

(#4.3) Resolution No. 2013-086 – Authorizing the City Manager to Enter Into an Agreement with Keenan & Associates to Conduct a Strategic Impact Study and Workforce Analysis for Compliance with the Affordable Care Act in an Amount Not to Exceed $30,400.

 (#4.4) Resolution No. 2013-087 – Approving the Final Parcel Map for Minor Subdivision MS 901-13 (Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, a.k.a. AT&T) Located at 2600 Camino Ramon, APN 213-133-047, and Authorizing the Mayor to Enter into a Property Restoration Agreement for Future Construction of a Right-Turn Lane on Southbound Camino Ramon, North of Bishop Drive.

(#4.6) Resolution No. 2013-089 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Agreement with First Serve Productions, Inc. to Provide Sport Court Resurfacing, in an Initial Annual Amount Not to Exceed $48,000 and to Enter Into Subsequent Amendments for a Cumulative Five-Year Agreement Total Not to Exceed $200,000.

(#4.7) Resolution No. 2013-090 – Creating an Aerial Mapping and Geographic Information System (GIS) Fund for the Purpose of Procuring Aerial Photography and GIS Capital Upgrades and Authorizing the Transfer of $47,843 Collected from the GIS Mapping Fee during Fiscal Year 2012/13 to the Citywide Aerial Mapping and GIS Support Project (CIP 5485).

(#4.8) Resolution No. 2013-091 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute the First Amendment to the Agreement Between the City of San Ramon and the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District for the Transfer of a Portion of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District’s Property Tax Allocation to the City of San Ramon.

(#4.9) Resolution No. 2013-092 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute Amendment #2 to an Agreement with AECOM Technical Services, Inc. for Professional Services to Prepare the Environmental Documents for the Revised Faria Preserve Project in an Amount Not to Exceed $222,827 Including All Reimbursables.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to adopt items 4.1 through 4.4 and 4.6 through and 4.9 was seconded by Vice Mayor Hudson and passed 4-0-1-0.  Cm. Livingstone was absent.

(#4.5) Resolution No. 2013-088 – Repealing Resolution No. 2012-004 and Amending the Parking Restrictions Master Street List Establishing Restricted Parking Zones in the City of  San Ramon as per Title B, Division B-8, Chapter I, Article 1, Section B8-1, Stopping, Standing or Parking – Curb Marking Designations. 

Vice Mayor Hudson’s motion to adopt item 4.5 was seconded by Cm. Perkins and passed 3-0-1-1.  Cm. Livingstone was absent and Mayor Clarkson abstained.

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(#5.1) Recognition of Parks and Community Services Commissioner Kathy Berner’s Service to the City of San Ramon.  Presentation by Bill Meine, Chair of the Parks and Community Services Commission.

Parks and Community Services Commission Chair Bill Meine requested that the item be postponed to a future meeting as Ms. Mr. Berner was not available for this Council meeting.

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Shirley Ernest, member of the Senior Advisory Committee, invited residents to attend the Open House at the Alcosta Senior and Community Center on September 26, 2013.  She encouraged residents to attend the Oktoberfest sponsored by the San Ramon Historic Foundation and held at Forest Home Farms on September 28, 2013.

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(#9.1) Minutes of the September 10, 2013 regular meeting.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to approve the September 10, 2013 regular City Council minutes was seconded by Vice Mayor Hudson and passed 4-0-1-0.  Cm. Livingstone was absent.

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(#11.1) Report:  Presentation by the Open Space Task Force on Open Space Preservation Priorities and Potential Funding Methods.

Public Services Division Manager Jeff Gault introduced the item.  Per General Plan 2030, the Open Space Task Force (OSTF) is advisory to the Parks and Community Services Commission and assists in establishing open space preservation and acquisition priorities.

The OSTF Report identified and prioritized open space properties contiguous to San Ramon.   The OSTF recommends that the City Council receive the Report and accept the OSTF Charge as complete.  Mr. Gault summarized the work of the OSTF.  The OSTF identified priorities based on the evaluation of the criteria in the OSTF By-Laws and created a priority ranking list and a corresponding map.  The OSTF recommended that the priority ranking list and map be presented to the Parks and Community Services Commission.  The Commission approved the report and referred it to the City Council.  Mr. Gault recognized the OSTF members and City staff for their contribution to the final report.  He introduced OSTF member Dennis Viers who provided the report.

Mr. Viers stated that the OSTF was established per General Plan 2030 Implementation Policy 8.4-I-4.  He summarized the history of the OSTF.  The Principal Criteria used to establish priorities for open space preservation included: biological or ecological significance; historical significance; visual quality; presence of significant waterways and associated riparian habitat; and recreation opportunities.  The OSTF evaluated potential properties within the Westside Area and the Tassajara Valley area which are contiguous to the City’s limit line.  Presentations to the OSTF were made by representatives from the East Bay Regional Park District; the Tri-Valley Conservancy; and Save Mount Diablo.  City staff provided open space preservation methods and funding options which included: direct purchase or acquisition of property, development rights, or conservation easements; purchase or acquisition in association with partial development; and funding by a bond measure, General Fund, and negotiation through partial development between the City and other agencies.  The OSTF formed a focus group to assist with the evaluation process.  They created a matrix and methodology to evaluate each property on the basis of 41 subjects and prepared a map showing the rank order from highest to lowest.  The OSTF provided a Property Preservation Ranking List.

Mayor Clarkson opened the public comment.

Jim Gibbon, resident and representing San Ramon for Open Government, stated that the OSTF was reactivated as part of the campaign to defeat Measure W.  He noted that the request to have an equal number of residents as Council and Commission members on the OSTF was ignored.  Mr. Gibbon stated that he asked the Commission to include a risk analysis because it is important to identify which properties are at risk versus those which are protected by the Williamson Act or by a conservation easement.  This item was not included although it was voted on.  He requested that the Council, after the election, extend the OSTF to an Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC) with more residents.  

Jim Blickenstaff, resident, stated that the OSTF Report is an excellent document but it is not complete because it does not include a risk analysis which is needed to create an action plan to prioritize property acquisition.  Open space protection is not a static issue and the City needs an OSAC to weigh in on land use decisions.   The vote on Measure W made it clear that open space is a priority for residents and this should be reflected by making the OSAC a permanent committee.  He noted that the Faria Project should have had OSTF input before the Council approved the project.  

Mayor Clarkson closed the public comment.

Cm. Perkins asked why Parcel #29 is marked as the #1 priority parcel and if there are opportunities for its preservation.  Associate Planner Shinei Tsukamoto responded that the Kaplan Property has a variety of geographical changes, steep slopes, vegetation, major waterways, and natural habitat and is protected by the Williamson Act which resulted in the high score.  Cm. Perkins asked what protection the Williamson Act afforded and if the Kaplan Property is at risk.  Mr. Tsukamoto stated that it has a lower risk due to the Williamson Act but development would be possible if the agreement is cancelled.  Cm. Perkins inquired about the benefits of the Williamson Act.  Mr. Tsukamoto replied that the Williamson Act requires that the property be used for agricultural purposes and provides the owner with a lower property tax assessment.  Planning Division Manager Debbie Chamberlain stated that the Kaplan Property was entered in the Williamson Act in May 1976.  The contract is renewed annually for a ten year cycle.  The owners can file for nonrenewal of the contract.  If the contract expires, the property is ineligible for development and the owner retains the lower tax rate for ten years.  In year seven of the ten year period, the property owner can look at development.  When the property comes out of the ten year period, it is assessed at a higher tax rate.  Potential contract penalties may apply if the owner files for early cancellation.  Cm. Perkins clarified that the statement that there is a lack of resident representation on the OSTF is not true.  All members of the OSTF are San Ramon residents in addition to their Council or Commission affiliation.

Cm. O’Loane thanked the OSTF members for working through the process.  Although San Ramon has some regulatory authority and skills relating to land use, recreation, legal and financial aspects, it cannot secure these properties on its own.  Going forward, it is important to work with other agencies who are also interested in open space.  He stated that it is not necessary for the City to buy anything.  He recounted the cooperative efforts of Save Mount Diablo and the Gordon Moore Foundation to purchase the Irish Canyon property near Clayton for $1.4 million.  Save Mount Diablo paid $700,000 and the Foundation contributed $700,000.  The property was acquired and then sold to the East Bay Regional Parks District for $700,000.  This transaction reflects 15 years of work and resulted in a community benefit, the Foundation meeting its charge, and funding going back to Save Mount Diablo for future acquisitions.  Important components to remember are that it did not happen overnight and that it happened because there was a plan.  Cm. O’Loane suggested that keeping the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) in place makes land less desirable to speculators and causes the price to drop.  He suggested that, with a good plan, San Ramon participate as a political body and reach out to other agencies to acquire open space.  General Fund monies could be used as seed money to leverage contributions from other agencies.  He remarked that ‘buy and hold’ is not what needs to happen and that the City does not need a nexus with development to obtain these properties.  He requested that the Policy Committee start the process to establish the OSAC and that the Council appoint its members.  He commented that the OSTF was handicapped by its member composition which resulted in annual turnover, lack of continuity, and a regular learning curve.  He asked the Council to consider setting aside funds for seed money and dedicating staff time to this effort.  He believes that outside funding can be secured if the City has established priorities, a plan, and is executing its plan.  He thanked the OSTF for their work.  He noted that it is important for Planning Department staff to establish a mind set and think about devoting time to this issue because this is an important piece of planning for the City’s future.  He concurred that the risk analysis is an important component.  The City needs to put time, money, and energy into this effort as it is a great opportunity for San Ramon and the surrounding area.

Vice Mayor Hudson asked if the City can process a development outside of the UGB.  Ms. Chamberlain responded that the City cannot.  Vice Mayor Hudson stated that Plan Bay Area requires that 100% of nonagricultural growth must proceed inside the UGB.  It is important to watch how the Priority Conservation Areas proceed through Plan Bay Area.  He supports bringing the OSAC issue to the Policy Committee and stated that the City needs a long term strategy for open space.

Mayor Clarkson thanked the OSTF and City staff for their efforts.  He noted that the OSTF Report creates a lot of institutional knowledge.  It is important to identify those properties which are at risk.  It is not necessary to buy or control the property but it is important to have access to the trails.  He does not want this information to sit on the shelf.  The Council needs to discuss funding and put some money behind the process.  He suggested that staff put out proposals for an organization to do this work and to get an estimate of the amount of funding needed to make this happen.  Residents want to preserve open spaces and the quality of life which they experience.  It is important to identify the properties at risk.  The City needs to: discuss funding; how to take the institutional knowledge and preserve it, build on it, and add to it; and get thoughts and direction from the Parks Commission to continue the momentum.  Cm. O’Loane recognized Engineering Division Manager Robin Bartlett as a major steward for open space.  Cm. Perkins stated that he is interested in ‘leveraging dollars’ for open space opportunities but not in the outright purchase of land.  He supports spending funds on properties which are at risk.

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

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Cm. O’Loane reported on the sessions which he attended at the League of California Cities  Annual Conference on September 19-20, 2013.  He said that it was interesting to learn what other communities are dealing with and getting different perspectives.  He noted that San Ramon has done a great job of being fiscally prudent. 

Cm. Perkins thanked the Police Department for their excellent response to a bobcat problem at Bollinger Canyon Elementary School.  Trapping the bobcat and relocating it was a humane solution and removed the threat to humans and property. 

Vice Mayor Hudson stated that he is investigating the availability of a lawn mower rebate through the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.  He stated that the Faria Project provides 80% open space.   

Mayor Clarkson reported on a sales tax session which he attended at the League of California Cities Annual Conference on September 18-20, 2013.  The decline in sales tax revenue to cities is expected to continue.  He announced the Street Smarts Kick-Off will be held on September 26, 2013.  Residents are encouraged to patronize the Farmers Markets in San Ramon which are held on Wednesday evening, Thursday afternoon, and Saturday morning.  Residents are invited to purchase tickets for the 2013-2014 San Ramon Performing Arts Season.  An Open House will be held at the Alcosta Senior and Community Center on September 26, 2013.  The last day for residents to register to vote in the November municipal election is October 21, 2013.  A Candidate Forum will be held at the San Ramon Library on September 25, 2013.

Cm. Perkins reminded residents to attend the Oktoberfest sponsored by the San Ramon Historic Foundation on September 28, 2013 at Forest Home Farms.

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(#15.1) 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 8:34 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 Cm. Livingstone.

At 9:18 p.m., Mayor Clarkson reconvened the Council meeting.  All Councilmembers were present except Cm. Livingstone.  Mayor Clarkson reported that the Council gave direction to the City Manager.  The vote was 4-0-1-0.  Cm. Livingstone was absent.

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At 9:20 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Clarkson adjourned the meeting.

Bill Clarkson, Mayor
Patricia Edwards, City Clerk

Approved as presented at the October 22, 2013 City Council meeting 5-0-1-0; Livingstone absent. Correction noted on bold italics.

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