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MINUTES OF THE
PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING

May 15, 2012

A regular meeting of the Planning Commission for the City of San Ramon was called to order by Chair Kerger at 7:05 p.m., on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 in the Council Chambers 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon.

ROLL CALL

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

Absent:  None            

Staff:    Phil Wong, Planning Director; Debbie Chamberlain; Division Manager; Lauren Barr; Senior Planner; Bob Saxe Interim City Attorney; Luisa Amerigo, Recording Secretary

Audience:    12

 1.  CALL TO ORDER                    

 2.   ROLL CALL

 3.   PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE    

 4.   PUBLIC COMMENTS OR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION

 5ADDITIONS AND REVISIONS- Item 9.1 was heard prior to 8.1

 6.   CONSENT CALENDAR
6.1 Minutes from the May 1, 2012 meeting.  Approved as written.

7.  CONTINUED ITEMS AFTER CLOSING OF PUBLIC HEARING –None-           

8. CONTINUED ITEMS – OPEN PUBLIC HEARING
8.1 North Camino Ramon Specific Plan (SP 09-800-001) Staff Report by: Lauren Barr, Senior Planner

Lauren Barr, Senior Planner gave a brief summary on the North Camino Ramon Specific Plan (NCRSP) and stated that over the last few years the goal for the North Camino Ramon Plan has been to create a long range land use plan that can provide stimulus for economic development, address unmet commercial and retail needs, balance housing and commercial needs, balance the quality of life, and provide opportunities for San Ramon residents and businesses.

Jim Blickenstaff – San Ramon resident, stated that the plan is large and is concerned about how will fit. Mr. Blickenstaff added that the City should consider having a task force

Chair Kerger closed the public hearing. Commissioner Sachs stated that he is not supportive of the NCRSP and has concerns about the residential units and the traffic impacts and feels that a more comprehensive traffic study needs to be completed. Commissioner Sachs added that he is also concerned about the am/pm trip peak numbers and that the Environmental Impact Report traffic analysis is not acceptable.

Commissioner Sachs added that there have been many discussions on parking policies however the parking polices which are envisioned in the NCRSP are new and have not been tried necessarily in the City some of them and some have been tried and we have had mixed results. Commissioner Sachs further added that he would have liked to have more discussions on parking polices.  

Commissioner Sachs also added that he liked to have had more discussions on the NCRSP and having received our draft Regional Housing needs allocation we need to be more practical in the number of units proposed.

Chair Kerger asked Commissioner Sachs if the RHNA numbers was the reason why he was not supportive the NCRSP. Chair Kerger added that the numbers received from RHNA were preliminary.

Commissioner Sachs replied no and he has had concerns with the RHNA numbers on different occasions. Commissioner Sachs added he also has had concerns with the NCRSP and after reviewing the EIR his concerns had grown.

Commissioner Wallis stated that the NCRSP is a plan proposed for an underutilized area which does not produce any revenue for the City. The City needs money to pave roads, maintain landscaping and parks. 

There is a need in the City to have a source of revenue and right now it is the property owners and the plan will provide an opportunity to enhance the City’s revenue.

Commissioner Wallis added that the best source of revenue is sales tax but limited sales tax in San Ramon because our commercial structure consists of neighborhood shopping centers and Safeway does not produce any retail sales tax. If we want to keep people from driving to other cities, we then need to provide shopping opportunities in San Ramon. This plan is the means of addressing those concerns both from the standpoint of retail and to have housing in the City that a variety of people can utilize.

Commissioner Wallis further added there are many people in this City who work but cannot afford to live here. This plan has the means of addressing the in balance we have between jobs in the City and those people who cannot afford to live here. Our General Plan 2030 calls for over 1,100 housing units in that area. The 1,500 housing units we are proposing in that area is not a change, it is a modification of what is already there. Commissioner Wallis also added that he fully supports the plan and that it will take about 30 years to develop and certain assumptions and projections need to be made. Commissioner Benedetti stated that she supports the plan. It gives us the flexibility to reallocate the 1,500 units within the core area which would benefit the City. Commissioner Benedetti added that this is a plan that is not found anywhere else in the City.

Vice Chair Viers stated that he is in favor of the NCRSP and that we need to bring retail into the City. Vice Chair Viers stated that he is comfortable with the number of housing units and can be re-evaluated at 1,000 housing units. Vice Chair Viers further added that the NCRSP is a long-range plan which benefits the City.

Chair Kerger stated that she is in favor of the plan. Chair Kerger further stated that the NCRSP gives us the opportunity and flexibility to make changes. Chair Kerger added that this is a long range planning and would benefit the City.

It was moved by Planning Commissioner Viers and seconded by Planning Commissioner Wallis that the Planning Commission adopt Resolution No. 07-12 recommending that the City Council approve the North Camino Ramon Specific Plan (SP 09-800-001)

Debbie Chamberlain, Division Manager asked for clarification if the motion also included the amendment placed on the dais this evening. Planning Commissioner Viers replied yes.

AYES:  Commissioner Viers, Wallis, Benedetti, Chair Kerger

NOES:  Commissioner Sachs  

ABSTAIN:     None

ABSENT:       None 

9. PUBLIC HEARING – NEW ITEMS
9.1 Response to Comments and Final Environmental Impact Report (SCH 2010092014) for the North Camino Ramon Specific Plan (SP 09-800-001). Staff Report by: Lauren Barr; Senior Planner

Grant Gruber, Project Manager with Michael Brandman Associates gave a brief PowerPoint presentation on the North Camino Ramon Specific Plan Environmental Impact Report. Mr. Gruber stated that the City has prepared a Specific Plan to guide future development and land use activities in the North Camino Ramon area. The Specific Plan sets forth development standards and design guidelines that set parameters for future development.  

Jim Blickenstaff - San Ramon resident, stated that he is concerned about the cumulative impact on schools and traffic as discussed in the EIR. Mr. Blickenstaff feels that the NCRSP needs to be revisited and a task force group should be formed.

Chair Kerger commented that SRVUSD have given up potential school sites in past developments. Chair Kerger added when the Northwest Specific Plan meetings were held the Planning Commission asked the school district to accept the school site; however, they chose to accept fees instead.  

Commissioner Sachs commented that we need a new methodology in the way we think about school facilities that connects not only the City but also to other cities in the school district.

Commissioner Benedetti stated that staff has done a good job in addressing the school district comments and trying to correct the number which the school district used for potential new students which had been over estimated.

It moved by Planning Commissioner Wallis and seconded by Vice Chair Viers that the Planning Commission adopt Resolution No. 06-12 recommending that the City Council certify the Environmental Impact Response (SCH 2010092014) for the proposed North Camino Ramon Specific Plan project adopting findings of fact, adopting mitigation measures, and rejecting alternatives. This would be City of San Ramon North Camino Ramon Specific Plan (SP09-800-001).                            

AYES:   Commissioners, Wallis, Viers, Benedetti, and Chair Kerger 

NOES:  Commissioner Sachs

ABSTAIN: None  

ABSENT:  None  

10. NON-PUBLIC HEARING ACTION ITEMS                                                    

11.  STUDY SESSION/COMMISSIONER LIAISON REPORT AND INTEREST   ITEMS/STAFF REPORTS.

12.   ADJOURNMENT

There being no further discussion, Chair Kerger adjourned the meeting at 9:00 p.m.   

Submitted by, Luisa Amerigo  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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