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January 24, 2012

A regular meeting of the City of San Ramon Geologic Hazard Abatement District No. 1990-01 was held January 24, 2012 at 6:41 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Board Chair Clarkson presiding.
PRESENT:  Board Members Hudson, O’Loane, Perkins, Board Vice Chair Livingstone, and Board Chair Clarkson.
STAFF PRESENT:  City Manager Greg Rogers, City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner, District Engineer Robin Bartlett, Planning Division Manager Debbie Chamberlain, and District Clerk Patricia Edwards.

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Board Chair Clarkson led those in attendance in the pledge of allegiance.

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The District Clerk noted that there were no announcements.

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The District Clerk reported that there were no requests for public comment.

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(#5.1) Minutes of the September 13, 2011 meeting.

Mbr. Hudson’s motion to approve the September 13, 2011 meeting minutes was seconded by Board Vice Chair Livingstone and passed 3-0-0-2.  Mbr. O’Loane and Board Chair Clarkson abstained.

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(#6.1) Geologic Hazard Abatement District No. 1990-01 (GHAD) – Adopt Resolution GHAD No. 2012-001 – Accepting Ownership of Certain Open Space Parcels (Lot 12 of Tract 7976, Parcel B of Tract 8957, and Lot 18 of Tract 7976 [APNs 223-100-061, 223-400-051, and 223-100-018]) in Dougherty Valley from Windemere BLC and Authorizing the District Chair to Execute an Amendment to the Existing Right-of-Entry Agreement with Windemere BLC.

Mbr. Perkins’ motion to approve Resolutions GHAD No. 2012-001 was seconded by Mbr. Hudson and passed 5-0.

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(#8.1) Geologic Hazard Abatement District No. 1990-01 (GHAD) – Adopt Resolution GHAD No. 2012-002 – Finding Approximately 6,000 Square Feet of Parcel D in Subdivision 7015 (APN 217-401-047) to Be Surplus and Authorizing the Chair of the GHAD Board to Execute a Sales Agreement with the Owners of 619 Rock Rose Lane (APN 217-401-039) for Its Sale at the Appraised Value.

District Engineer Robin Bartlett provided the staff report.  He noted that this is an unusual situation.  The parcel is unusual because it is a remnant from the development of the subdivision.  If the parcel or a portion of it is sold, this action is not expected to create a GHAD precedence.  Franco and Regina Pietroforte want to acquire a portion of Parcel D to construct an addition to their home.   

Mbr. O’Loane asked if the GHAD has previously sold any property and why this parcel is considered surplus.  Mr. Bartlett responded that the GHAD has not sold any property.  Staff reviewed the parcel and determined that it was not a parcel used in the course of normal GHAD operations.  It is not needed as a GHAD asset for stabilization or for access to other land.  Mbr. O’Loane asked if the neighbors have been notified of this request.  Mr. Bartlett said that the notice would be part of the City’s development review process.  This authorization allows the GHAD to sell the property but the sale does not occur until the City’s planning process has been completed.  Mbr. O’Loane asked if the GHAD is required to sell a property which it declares is ‘surplus’.  City Attorney Schaffner stated that the authorization is drafted as a conditional declaration in that the GHAD Board finds that the parcel is surplus and authorizes the sale on the condition that the resident completes the process.  Mr. Bartlett noted that the staff is willing to dispose of this property if it will be used in an appropriate manner as reviewed by the City as part of the development process.  If the property is declared surplus, there is a process which requires that other agencies such as the School District or Park District be contacted and have the opportunity to purchase it.  The City Attorney questioned the ‘surplus’ status of the property if the applicant’s process is not successful.  Would the property be returned to the GHAD or will it continue in ‘surplus’ status.  Mr. Bartlett responded that the situation will need to be reevaluated.  Mbr. Hudson noted that this is the second request by the applicant.  Vice Chair Livingstone asked what will happen to the rest of Parcel D.  Mr. Bartlett stated that the parcel is currently used as passive landscaping and would remain as such and maintained by the GHAD.  Mbr. Hudson noted that there is no other use for the land as it cannot be sold for a house and the applicant is still required to go through the normal City process.  Mbr. O’Loane stated that the circumstances have changed and that there is an active move by the City to evaluate open space.  He recommended that the Open Space Task Force (OSTF) evaluate the site and make a recommendation regarding the parcel.  The GHAD is a vehicle for open space in Dougherty Valley.  He suggested that a more appropriate process is for the neighbors to be notified of the applicant’s request and potential actions before the process proceeds. 

Mbr. Perkins noted that based on the current zoning designation of RS-6 and the General Plan land use designation of “Single-Family Low-Medium Density,” the proposed residential use of this site is considered an allowable use. The Parcel meets the 6,000 sq. ft. minimum lot size required of the RS-6 zone but does not have the required 90 ft. minimum lot depth for this zone.  Therefore, Parcel D cannot be developed unless a variance for lot depth is granted.   

Mbr. Hudson stated that the purpose of the OSTF per the General Plan is to identify parcels contiguous to the City limits and advise the Parks Commission on whether it can be used as a park.  This property can only be used for landscaping or in conjunction with the house next to it.  All the required steps involved in the planning process will apply.  The Board should consider whether the best value for the property is its current use or the proposal by the resident.  He supports the resident’s proposal.  Mbr. O’Loane reviewed the process.  Mr. Bartlett clarified that the actual sale does not occur until after completion of the development process.  If the applicant does not complete the planning process, the request could be presented again.  Mbr. O’Loane stated his belief that the neighbors regard this as open space and it is incumbent for the Board to allow the public the opportunity to comment before the transaction proceeds.  Chair Clarkson agreed it is important to obtain feedback from the neighbors.  He asked why the issue should go though the OSTF.  Mbr. O’Loane noted that this area may be identified as ‘open space’ on the OSTF maps.  The map may be technically inaccurate based on the zoning but the public perception is that the land is open space.  Mbr. O’Loane stated that, although this parcel is within the City, it is viewed as and should remain open space.  Chair Clarkson recommended that the Board exercise extra due diligence and solicit input from the neighbors.  Vice Chair Livingstone noted that the property ownership does not transfer until the approval process is completed.  Mr. Bartlett concurred.  Mbr. Perkins asked if the applicant can buy the property but not develop it.  Mr. Bartlett replied that the applicant has to complete the development review process and the lot line adjustment.  Vice Chair Livingstone stated that if the Board does not grant approval of the purchase, the applicant may not want to take a chance to proceed with the project without some assurance that they can purchase the property.  Mr. Franco Pietroforte, the applicant, agreed that it was important to obtain input from the neighbors.  He has had discussions with the neighbors and no one has voiced opposition.  He has already invested money on the project for an architect and is reluctant to spend more funds without some assurance of success.

Mbr. Perkins reviewed the conditions in Resolution No. 2012-002.  He clarified that one condition allowed the resident the opportunity but did not require him to purchase the land until the process was complete.  There are two opportunities for neighbors to comment, at the Zoning Administrator and the Architectural Review meetings.  He requested that all neighbors on Rock Rose Lane be notified of the applicant’s plans.  Chair Clarkson questioned the process if neighbors object to the project.  Mr. Bartlett stated that an appeal of the Planning Commission decision can be made to the City Council.  Mbr. O’Loane asked if this item will be presented to the Planning Commission.  He stated that the fundamental issue is that the City is selling property to a private land owner without notifying surrounding property owners.  Mbr. Hudson said that the neighbors were notified by the City and will be notified again.  There is every opportunity for residents to address this item.  Vice Chair Livingstone stated that the neighbors do not officially know about the plans because the process has not started.  Chair Clarkson asked staff to clarify the process.  Planning Division Manager Chamberlain stated that the project requires that an architectural review application be filed with the City.  That application is reviewed by the Architectural Review Board who makes a recommendation to the Zoning Administrator (ZA).  The ZA makes an administrative decision which is appealable to the Planning Commission.  Chair Clarkson asked if the neighbors are informed of the process.  Ms. Chamberlain stated that the architectural design review of the home by the ZA is an administrative decision and that public hearing notices are not typically provided for architectural review applications.

Mbr. Perkins’ motion to continue this item to the next earliest opportunity for the GHAD to meet and that City staff deliver notification to all residents of Rock Rose Lane was seconded by Vice Chair Livingstone and passed 5-0.  Chair Clarkson requested that notification be made part of the process in the future.

(#8.2) Geologic Hazard Abatement District No. 1990-01 (GHAD) – Adopt Resolution GHAD No. 2012-003 – Accepting a Petition for Annexation of the Bollinger Canyon Road South Remainder Parcel into the GHAD dated January 12, 2012 and Setting a Public Hearing for February 28, 2012 to Consider the Annexation.

District Engineer Robin Bartlett provided the staff report.  This parcel is undevelopable and consists of the hillside and the right-of-way for Dougherty Road.  The original annexation did not include this parcel due to ownership issues between Contra Costa County and the U.S. Army.  After it was discovered that the parcel belonged to the U. S. Army, the Army grant deeded the parcel to Windemere BLC so that Dougherty Road could be constructed as part of the Dougherty Valley project.  Inclusion of such areas into the GHAD was provided as one of the mitigation measures for the potentially unstable hillside conditions.

Mbr. Perkins asked what would happen if the GHAD did not take ownership of this parcel.  Mr. Bartlett responded that if this parcel were not incorporated into the GHAD that the responsibility would likely fall to the City.

Mbr. Perkins’ motion to approve Resolutions GHAD No. 2012-003 was seconded by Mbr. Livingstone and passed 5-0.

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At 7:24 p.m., there being no further business, Board Chair Clarkson adjourned the meeting.


Bill Clarkson, Board Chair
Patricia Edwards, District Clerk

Approved at the February 28, 2012 GHAD meeting 5-0.

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