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May 3, 2011

A regular meeting of the Planning Commission for the City of San Ramon was called to order by Chair Sachs at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 3, 2011 in the Council Chambers 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon.


Present:    Commissioners Benedetti, Viers, Wallis, Vice Chair Kerger, Chair Sachs

Absent:      None            

Staff:  Phil Wong, Planning Director; Debbie Chamberlain, Division Manager; Shinei Tsukamoto, Associate Planner; Alicia Poon, Deputy City Attorney; Luisa Amerigo, Recording Secretary

Audience:     8

 1.        CALL TO ORDER                    

 2.        ROLL CALL

 3.        PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE           


 5.        ADDITIONS AND REVISIONS -None-           


6.1 Minutes from the April 5, 2011 meeting.  Approved as written.

6.2 Minutes from the March 16, 2011 Parks and Community Services Commission and Planning Commission Joint Study Session.  Approved as written.            



9PUBLIC HEARING – NEW ITEMS 9.1 AT&T LTE at 9729 Tareyton Avenue PG&E Tower (LUP 11-500-004) Staff Report by: Shinei Tsukamoto, Associate Planner

Commissioner Viers stated that he resides within 500 feet of the project and to avoid a conflict of interest recused himself from agenda item

9.1  Shinei Tsukamoto, Associate Planner gave a PowerPoint Presentation and stated that applicant is requesting approval of a Land Use Permit to modify an existing wireless telecommunication facility. Mr. Tsukamoto explained that the proposed facility would consist of three new Long Term Evolution (LTE) antennas with six Remote Radio Heads (RRH), six Tower Mounted Amplifiers (TMA) three equipment cabinets, and one Global Positioning System (GPS) antenna at the base of the tower within an enclosure. Mr. Tsukamoto added that the noise level is at 40 decibels (db) a distance of 100 feet from the cabinet. Mr. Tsukamoto also added that landscaping improvements have been made along the PG&E corridor from Alcosta Boulevard to the East and Tareyton Avenue to the West. Each wireless carrier has contributed $25,000.00 or equal value of landscaping installations. Mr. Tsukamoto stated that $75,000.00 has been contributed toward Broadmoor and Davona Drives for landscaping improvements by carriers who received Land Use Permits from previous years. Mr. Tsukamoto added that the closest resident to the tower is 100 ft.

Commissioner Wallis asked if the noise level at 40 decibels is with the additional boxes added. Mr. Tsukamoto replied yes. Commissioner Wallis further asked what the noise level for the existing box is. Mr. Tsukamoto replied he was not sure. Commissioner Wallis also asked what would be equivalent to 40 decibels. Mr. Tsukamoto replied a conversation between two people or the sound of a refrigerator running.  

Commissioner Benedetti stated that all six RRHs and TMAs would be installed between 58-ft and 65-ft above grade and what is being installed at 58-ft. Mr. Tsukamoto replied a small equipment box.

Chair Sachs stated that contributions to landscaping started in 2001 and who set the dollar amount. Mr. Tsukamoto replied that the first landscaping improvement was done on Del Mar Road by Nextel and by Electrical Light Wave, both applications were discussed simultaneously. The applicants were required to install the landscaping on Del Mar Road and shared the cost of the landscaping which was $25,000.00 for each carrier.

Gordon Bell – Applicant representing AT&T stated that he was available for any questions from the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Benedetti asked Mr. Bell for clarification on how many cabinets were going to be installed. Mr. Bell replied that there are three cabinet platforms two are stacked on top of each other.

Chair Sachs clarified that AT&T was not replacing any equipment but was adding onto the existing tower. Mr. Bell replied yes.  

Vice Chair Kerger asked if the service technician would be coming out to the site on a regular monthly basis.  Mr. Bell replied that the site is maintained monthly as an average. Once the site has been integrated into the network unless there is rainstorm which caused a power surge then service would be called. Vice Chair Kerger also asked Mr. Bell if this was the only antenna being installed by AT&T. Mr. Bell replied yes unless there are upgrades.

Commissioner Wallis asked Mr. Bell what is the noise level from the existing cabinet. Mr. Bell replied that the noise level is quieter then an indoor residential noise level.  

Chair Sachs opened the public hearing.

Christa Freihofner – San Ramon stated this area is well landscaped and she would prefer to see the PG&E corridor the same way. Mr. Freihofner also stated if the equipment cabinet would generate noise and if the equipment cabinet area would be landscaped. Ms. Freihofner added that she had concerns about the noise level being between 60 and 68 decibels and with the surrounding cabinets in the area the noise level would increase.

Commissioner Wallis stated that the existing cabinets are in a fenced enclosure that cannot be seen from the street because of the existing plant material. The cabinets they are proposing are going to be within the same enclosure which cannot be seen from the street.

Ms. Freihofner added that the cabinet located on Broadmoor Drive has been painted and is unsightly which is why she prefers more landscaping.

Sandy Barclay – San Ramon asked when the landscaping improvements on Davona Drive and Broadmoor Drive would occur.

Chair Sachs replied that the next agenda item “Review of the City’s Draft Fiscal Year 2011/12” would address her question.

Chair Sachs closed the public hearing.

Vice Chair Kerger asked if there were upgrades to the tower would it need to return to the Planning Commission. Debbie Chamberlain, Division Manager replied that it would need to return to the Planning Commission. Vice Chair Kerger further asked if the cost of the landscaping contribution could be increased. Ms. Chamberlain replied that is something that would be discussed with each individual applicant as they move forward.

Chair Sachs added that the price of landscaping products, plant material and labor has increased and we need to be fair to the community and suggested to increase the landscaping contribution by 20%.

Commissioner Benedetti asked how the $25,000.00 contribution was established and could staff recommend a new amount. Chair Sachs replied that the $25,000.00 amount was established in 2001 based on the need for the landscaping at that time.  Commissioner Benedetti stated that staff could look at the escalating cost since 2001 and compare with the cost in 2011 and return to the Planning Commission with a new recommendation for future projects.

Commissioner Wallis stated that applicants have been working with a $25,000.00 amount and changing the current amount on this application would not make sense and suggested staff develop a proposal and return to the Planning Commission for future upgrades.

Vice Chair Kerger added that she did not want to change the proposed amount but would like to increase the amount for future upgrades.

Ms. Chamberlain added that staff would look into the cost of inflation from previous years and propose a new contribution to the Planning Commission.

It was moved by Vice Chair Kerger and seconded by Commissioner Benedetti that the Planning Commission approve LUP 11-500-004 authorizing AT&T to substantially modify an existing wireless telecommunication facility and adopt Resolution No. 8-11 with Conditions of Approval as amended.

Ms. Chamberlain stated that there were no amended Conditions of Approval and corrected the motion.

AYES:   Vice Chair Kerger, Commissioners Benedetti, Wallis, and Chair Sachs

NOES:   None

ABSTAIN: Commissioner Viers

ABSENT:  None          

10.  NON-PUBLIC HEARING ACTION ITEMS 10.1 Review of the City of San Ramon’s Draft Fiscal Year 2011/12 through Fiscal Year 2015/16 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for General Plan Conformance. Staff Report: Amy Amiri, Senior CIP Administrative Analyst.

Amy Amiri Senior Analyst gave a brief background on the Capital Improvement Program. Ms. Amiri stated that the Capital Improvement Program projects are grouped in nine categories that consist of Circulation, Signal, Parks, Landscaping, Drainage, Facilities, Other; Developer, and Planning. Ms. Amiri stated that the 5-year Capital Improvement Program was reviewed by the Finance Committee, Parks & Community Services, and Transportation Advisory Committee.

Commissioner Wallis asked Ms. Amiri if the Norris Canyon Road high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane was part of the Capital Improvement Project (CIP).  Ms. Amiri replied no because it is a State project.

Vice Chair Kerger commented that staff has done an outstanding job and that there are many projects within the City but not enough funds. Vice Chair Kerger added that she would like to see the Henry Ranch project move forward and how long were the projects going to remain on the Capital Improvement Program before they get removed.

Chair Sachs commented that he has a concern about the circulation around Country Club Elementary School. Chair Sachs added that he has had numerous discussions with the Transportation Services staff about the sidewalk being very narrow and needs to be widen because it can be a potential pedestrian traffic safety issue.    

Ms. Amiri replied that she would pass the information along to the traffic engineer.

Commissioner Benedetti asked Ms. Amiri when the PG&E Corridor Landscape Improvements would occur. Ms. Amiri replied that the CIP is being adopted by City Council on May 24, 2011 and it is not an authorized project until July 2011 because the funds will not appropriated until then. Public Services will look into the design aspect and the coordination of the irrigation system and work with PG&E in getting the landscaping and the contract in place. Ms. Amiri added that she is unable to provide a date because Public Services will need to schedule the project which needs to be completed within the next fiscal year. Ms. Amiri further added that Karen McNamara Public Services Director is aware of the project and knows the importance of it being completed.

Commissioner Benedetti asked if there are certain times of the year when landscaping projects are completed because of the plant species. Ms. Amiri replied that she was uncertain as to the type of landscaping being installed.

It was moved by Commissioner Viers and seconded by Commissioner Wallis that the Planning Commission adopt Resolution No. 09-11 finding the Five-Year Fiscal Year 2011/12 through Fiscal Year 2015/16 Capital Improvement Program in conformance with the City’s General Plan.

AYES:   Commissioners Viers, Wallis, Benedetti, Vice Chair Kerger, Chair Sachs

NOES:   None


 ABSENT:  None  

11.1 Appointment to Senior Advisory Committee.

Chair Sachs was appointed to the Senior Advisory Committee and Commissioner Benedetti as an alternate.

Vice Chair Kerger stated that a meeting was held on the Harlan House and the committee came up with eight locations where the Harlan House could be relocated, The Woodlot, Faria Ranch, Forest Home Farms in front of the barn, Memorial Park, Dougherty Valley Community Park, Crow Canyon Gardens, Starkweather property and leaving it on site.


There being no further discussion, Chair Sachs adjourned the meeting at 8:10 p.m.            

Respectively Submitted, Luisa Amerigo  








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