SANTA ROSA CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 1999
COUNCIL CHAMBER, CITY HALL, 100 SANTA ROSA AVENUE
2:30 P.M. - JOINT STUDY SESSION - REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY RE FEASIBILITY SOUTHWEST SANTA ROSA/ROSELAND
This Study Session was called to order at 2:30 p.m. Mayor Condron, Vice Mayor Martini, and Councilmembers Evans, Rabinowitsh, and Wright were present. Councilmember Vas Dupre was seated at approximately 2:35 p.m. Councilmember Runyan was absent. All members of the Redevelopment Agency were also present: Chairperson Charles Evans and members John Picchi, Wally Lowry, Mike McKeon, and William Arnone, Jr.
Stephen Burke, Director of Housing & Redevelopment, made the presentation. The purpose of this Study Session is to discuss the expansion of the Redevelopment Areas in the Southwest portion of Santa Rosa. There is a current Redevelopment Plan in place in the County for this area. In addition, the County has been involved with Roseland Redevelopment.
Mr. Burke noted the presence of Legal Counsel for the Redevelopment Agency, Dave Beatty of McDonald Holland & Allen, and discussed Mr. Beatty's expertise and experience related to redevelopment projects. Mr. Burke also acknowledged the presence of Gary Kovachovich, of the County Administrator's Office.
Mr. Burke indicated that direction is being sought at this Study Session from the Council and Redevelopment Agency regarding further discussions with Sonoma County related to the principles for the adoption of a Redevelopment Plan and Project in the Southwest Area. He discussed redevelopment as a tool which can assist in reducing declining and/or blighting situations. He noted that a very rigorous and specific process must be followed which will require a tremendous amount of input in order for a Redevelopment Plan and Project to be adopted and implemented in the Southwest Area.
Mr. Burke pointed out that with a Southwest Area Redevelopment Plan in place, it would be possible for the community to capture a significant amount of tax increments; i.e., the increase in those taxes could either be used when they are available or could be borrowed against for the purpose of reducing blighting influences. Another benefit of redevelopment is related to eminent domain. Mr. Burke briefly discussed how, using the eminent domain process, smaller sites could be aggregated for public and private use as needed.
Mr. Burke then discussed the process that would have to be undertaken for a Redevelopment Plan to be implemented. The process of adopting such a plan could cost approximately $.5 million. The cost would increase depending on the requirements for more extensive environmental impact reports. He clarified that the revenue that would result from redevelopment would not be sufficient to meet the needs of the Southwest Area. Redevelopment would not be the total solution for problems which have been identified in this area.
Mr. Burke displayed a map of the Southwest Area, pointing out the portion of land that is the Southwest Study Area, the unincorporated portion of the existing Roseland Project Area, the portion of Roseland that has been annexed to the City, and the portion of Roseland which is still in the County. Approximately 40% to 45% of the Roseland Area is within the City limits. There is an agreement with the County that when 60% of the area is annexed, the City will assume responsibility for administration of that Redevelopment Area.
Mr. Burke spoke briefly about the discussions which have been held with the Roseland Joint Committee during the last 18 months. The feasibility of considering an expanded Redevelopment Area was included in these discussions, as was the need for a single entity to assume the responsibility for the Redevelopment Area. He pointed out that the discussions on this issue have been very preliminary.
Mr. Burke reiterated that the staff is seeking to know if there is interest on the part of the City Council and Redevelopment Agency to direct staff and counsel, with the leadership of a Chief Negotiator, to pursue the adoption of a joint City/County Redevelopment Project in the Southwest Area.
At this time Legal Counsel Dave Beatty discussed the basic principles and sub-principles that will be involved if the City/County moves forward in this process. A brief recap of those principles follows. Additional information is contained on page 2 of the staff report, which is on file in the office of the City Clerk:
1. A Redevelopment Project Area would be adopted by the City Council and the Redevelopment Agency, as well as Sonoma County, and would be redeveloped in conjunction with the existing County Roseland Project Area.
2. The Redevelopment Agency would be responsible for implementing the Redevelopment Plan.
3. The portion of statutory payment of tax increments for the new Project Area received by the County would be used to alleviate blight within the unincorporated portion of the new Project Area.
Mr. Beatty briefly discussed Redevelopment Law which requires that the Redevelopment Agency pay all taxing entities a proportion of the tax increments. A certain proportion must also go to low and moderate income housing. The County will be the beneficiary of some of these payments. Costs will exceed tax increment resources that will be available to the Redevelopment Agency. As a result, there will be a need for other financial resources.
1. The County would continue to operate the existing Sheriff's substation within the County Roseland Project Area.
2. The City's discretion as it relates to the annexation of territory within either the new project area or the County Roseland Project Area should not be affected, nor should additional annexations be expected because of the adoption of the new Redevelopment Project Area.
3. Other points for negotiation include working cooperatively on neighborhood revitalization and other housing issues.
Mr. Beatty pointed out that this is the very beginning of this process. No formal action is being taken. Even if the process started formally, it would be a year-long process requiring a great deal of public participation.
Councilmember Evans referred to the Health and Safety Code's requirements for neighborhood involvement and representation and asked when that involvement would begin. Mr. Beatty responded that it would commence at the start of the formal process and would continue throughout the plan adoption and the implementation processes. Neighborhood involvement can be twofold: a project area committee must be formed should the Redevelopment Plan displace low-income persons. He discussed the composition of such a committee. They would participate as a formal committee in the Plan adoption process. If displacement is not necessary and it is not legally necessary to form a project area committee, there still must be a great deal of involvement of those people owning property or residing within the area.
In response to Vice Mayor Martini, Mr. Beatty explained that the Redevelopment Plan would have to be adopted both by the City Council and Redevelopment Agency. Under State Redevelopment Law, it is entirely separate and distinct from the General Plan of the City and from the Southwest Area Plan. The Redevelopment Plan must be consistent with the City's General Plan. It is a device to implement the General Plan, but it also has the additional authority of using tax increments for infrastructure, clean-up of toxins, etc.
Agency Member Lowry discussed concerns of the Agency related to Section 8 Housing and the funding the County receives for that purpose. Mr. Burke noted that this issue has been discussed, and will continue to be discussed, but the County has made it clear that they are not interested in having the 400 units which are in the City transferred over. There are, however, a number of housing issues to discuss as this process moves forward. He discussed the concerted/combined effort that will be needed in order to move forward with improvements.
Vice Mayor Martini briefly recapped some of the discussions over the last few months which have included a number of alternatives. He pointed out that while redevelopment may generate about $20 million in tax increments, $60 to $80 million will be needed to do the necessary improvements. Assessment districts will be needed to go hand in hand with this effort. He briefly discussed the areas which will generate the greatest amount of tax increments (i.e., new developments), pointed out the other areas where the most work is needed, and noted that it will be important to be sensitive to the needs of the people in the various areas. He also noted that without redevelopment, even the $20 million won't be available for some of the necessary improvements. He spoke strongly in support of moving forward with this process. He reiterated the need to be cautious in that redevelopment is not the answer: Roseland will not change immediately with redevelopment. Regarding negotiating with the County, he said Section 8 housing is very important. The Council and Redevelopment Agency must discuss this issue, but other things on the table may compensate for it; i.e., maintenance of the Sheriff's substation, pass through of increments, etc.
Mr. Beatty responded to a number of questions raised by Chairperson Evans. He clarified that the City will receive existing taxes. He referred to comments regarding the need for cooperation between the City and County and asked what this comment references. Mr. Beatty responded that there will be a need to believe that the goals of the City, Agency, and County will be met and that the tax increment funding will effectively benefit the entire area. He also clarified that under this proposal, the Redevelopment Agency would receive all of the tax increments. However, 20% would be allocated to Housing and the legally mandated pass-through payments would have to be made. Beyond that, the County would want some type of voice as to how the money would be spent. There may be other players, such as schools, but as a rule schools don't lose money because they are reimbursed by the State. Mr. Beatty said that no other type of funding would be excluded by the Redevelopment Plan.
In response to Agency member Arnone, Mr. Burke indicated that the funding to proceed through this process would have to be borrowed (to the degree possible) from the City and other Redevelopment Agency projects.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh asked to what degree the citizens and Council will be involved in establishing the types and locations of the projects. Mr. Beatty responded. A project area committee/citizen advisory committee will be involved during the Plan adoption process. It is probable that they will also want to be heavily involved in the implementation process; i.e., how to spend the money. Council continues to be involved because expenditures of tax increments will require their approval.
In response to Councilmember Evans, Mr. Burke explained that the next step is for Council and the Agency to direct staff to meet with the Chief Negotiator in order to set up a meeting with representatives from the County and to develop a process of reporting back to Council as appropriate.
An unidentified member of the audience commented that in the last three years traffic has increased 30% to 50% on Hearn Avenue, Stony Point Road, and Dutton Avenue. He asked how this process will ensure that State and Federal programs keep in pace with the City's growth. Mr. Burke explained that there are things that can be done to improve circulation within the area. However, a great deal will hinge on other transportation systems and these are up to the voters and other funding sources that may occur at testate and Federal levels.
Councilmember Martini urged Council to direct continued discussions with the County and Redevelopment Agency and to direct that the work continue on this process.
Councilmember Evans concurred, noting that she is pleased with this direction, although this is not the total solution and can't be viewed as such. She said that because the subject area is fairly heavily populated and has its own history, the residents are concerned about its future. Therefore, the City needs to make sure that those long-term residents are included in the decision-making process.
Chairperson Evans concurred. He also pointed out that although this will not be the total solution, it is still a substantial step forward and is worth doing. He reiterated that there will be a need for an assessment district and the residents in the area will have to contribute.
Terry Hilton, Southwest Area Business Association, said that Senator Vasconcellos is very interested in working with the City. Monies are available from the State, such as loans and grants, and from the Department of Commerce. Mr. Hilton said his association is in favor of this process.
A comment was made by a member of the audience that this area is a low-income area and, as a result, an assessment district will not be feasible.
Councilmember Wright stated that the Section 8 housing issue must remain on the table and must still be part of the negotiations. Councilmember Martini suggested that at the next meeting of the County and of the subcommittee, that desire be expressed. The subcommittee can then come back to the Council for further direction.
The consensus of the Council and the Redevelopment Agency was to support the recommendation to establish a joint City/County redevelopment project in the Southwest Area.
Duane DeWitt asked whether that consensus incorporated the Roseland Project with the one being pursued.
Mr. Burke responded that it is being proposed to the County as an option.
This Study Session adjourned at 3:15 p.m.
3:15 P.M. - JOINT STUDY SESSION - HOUSING AUTHORITY RE: WINTER SHELTER SEARCH
This Study Session was called to order at 3:30 p.m. All Councilmembers were present, as were all members of the Housing Authority: Chairperson Wally Lowry and members Bill Arnone, Jr., Mike McKeon, Charles Evans, Sara Ingenito, and John Picchi.
Mayor Condron reminded those present that this meeting is a Study Session and is not a public hearing. It is being held in the Council Chamber because of the number of people present. She noted that while there may not be time for members of the public to speak at the end of this Study Session, they may stay for the City Council meeting and speak under Citizens Public Appearances.
MOVED by Councilmember Wright, seconded by Councilmember Evans, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADD THIS STUDY SESSION TO THE AGENDA.
Gale Brownell, Housing Programs Coordinator, made the presentation. She said the purpose of this meeting is to discuss the replacement of the singles shelter which is now housed at the Armory. The National Guard has indicated that they will not allow the use of the Armory past the end of this March. Therefore, there is no singles shelter past that date. She noted that there has been a City/County effort since 1996, with the City as the lead agency, in an attempt to find a suitable location for a replacement singles shelter. Approximately 40 sites have been considered. As of March 1998, because it was felt that there were two potential sites, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued. The RFP contained the criteria that must be met by the homeless providers. Ms. Brownell reviewed those criteria which are contained in the staff report and is on file in the office of the City Clerk. In conjunction, she displayed a chart containing information regarding the proposed ratio for ongoing and one-time emergency shelter costs. The Santa Rosa population using the shelter is estimated at 127,729 (out of a total of about 426,934). The City's share of the facility cost is almost $150,000 (out of a total cost of $500,000). Ms. Brownell also discussed the annual operating costs. At this time it is estimated that the City's share of operating costs is about $30,000. She pointed out that if the smaller cities are unable to contribute funding, the City's share may have to be increased.
Ms. Brownell noted that the InterFaith Shelter Network, which is currently running the Armory Shelter, submitted a proposal to use an Exchange Bank site on Sebastopol Road. However, the cost of that site made it prohibitive.
Ms. Brownell discussed the involvement in this search of the Task Force on the Homeless, a non-profit umbrella organization that attempts to locate facilities and operations for the homeless.
Ms. Brownell said that City and County staff are aware of two sites that are now available: 1111 Petaluma Hill Road (former Redwood Empire Food Bank) and the General Hospital site. She discussed the research being conducted by staff related to other sites. One such site is on West College Avenue, which could be leased for a five-year period. However, over a five-year period, the annual lease cost of $72,000 would use up most of the facilities fund.
Ms. Brownell said that InterFaith Shelter Network has also been looking for other sites. They have that indicated they have a potential site, but have not provided staff with more than sketchy information. However, the information they have provided indicates that it is likely the $500,000 available for acquisition, development or rehabilitation of a facility would not be adequate and that additional funding would be needed.
Ms. Brownell explained the immediate need for site selection in order to have a facility available by the winter season. Discussions have been held with the Housing Authority regarding this matter during a separate session. The Authority made some specific points: 1) It is important to have the singles shelter available in November 1999. 2) Site selection is needed now in order to provide for time for an applicant to submit a Conditional Use Permit, at which time the public would have an opportunity to provide input. 3) The Council and Board of Supervisors should provide input before the effort moves forward. 4) Specific proposals should be submitted by Catholic Charities and InterFaith Shelter Network, the two non-profit organizations that are interested in providing the services for the shelter.
Ms. Brownell referenced a letter which was distributed at this meeting from Catholic Charities indicating their interest in providing the operation. It is their preference to use the General Hospital site. However, they are also willing to use the Petaluma Hill Road site.
Ms. Brownell said the joint working group looked at the criteria for the two available sites. When considering both sites, it was apparent that neither has a substantial advantage over the other.
Ms. Brownell noted that the Housing Authority has indicated that it may be appropriate to take into consideration who has been making, and leading, the effort regarding the location of a site. The City has been leading it for some time. However, staff was unable to secure the Exchange Bank site. The Task Force has indicated a desire to become more involved in this process. Staff is asking Council to either reaffirm that staff should proceed or whether there is some other manner in which this issue should be handled. She reiterated that staff is looking for general direction from the Council and Housing Authority.
Mayor Condron pointed out that the issue of whether the Armory will remain open is still being discussed in Sacramento. Because the City now has a lobbyist, daily feedback is being received and this issue is being discussed by the new Governor. The question is, however, how long the City/County can wait before making a decision. She referred to the criteria presented in the staff RFP and asked whether there are additional criteria that should be included.
Housing Authority Chairperson Wally Lowry said it is important to remember that the homeless center is a County one. He referred to a previous proposal for a shelter at the Holiday Inn, which received all levels of approval except the County's. It was turned down. The County will have the final authority on the current shelter, as well. He said it is his understanding that the County does not like the idea of concentrating the homeless center in one location, but would rather it was dispersed.
Housing Authority member John Picchi gave a brief background related to this matter. He pointed out that many of the people attending this meeting also attended the forum with the Housing Authority. However, the Housing Authority does not have the ability to make the necessary decisions to bring the shelter together. The process requires approval by both the County and the City Council. He said there are probably four options before the Council and Housing Authority: 1) the Armory option, 2) a no project option, 3) the site on Petaluma Hill Road, and 4) the General Hospital site.
Councilmember Evans questioned the feasibility of another option: if the concept of dispersal is feasible, could the available funding be used in another way (i.e., to provide grants to smaller homeless services providers) and is this an option that could be considered in the future? Chairperson Lowry suggested this may be a more expensive option.
Member Picchi said a key point is that the Armory option is still unknown as a result of the dialogue occurring in Sacramento. The Housing Authority decided not to consider the "no project" option. Therefore, what remains are the other two projects. He noted that the shelter is formatted currently such that a non-profit will bring forward a project application. That project application would be made to the Department of Community Development. The application would then proceed through a Use Permit/other agency review process. The public and staff review occurs within that process. It is estimated that it will take three months for this to occur. This process will include a great deal of community discussion. The real point, therefore, is that if the process is not started, there will not be enough time to engage the necessary opinions and the November deadline will not be met.
Councilmember Evans discussed her concerns that this issue will greatly affect neighborhoods. Therefore, citizen involvement in this process should occur immediately.
Councilmember Runyan inquired as to why the Board of Supervisors may want a shelter dispersed. He questioned the feasibility of doing this because of the number of neighborhoods that would be impacted, the increased number of employees that would be required, etc. Chairperson Lowry said he believes the County's preference for dispersal is throughout the County, not within the City of Santa Rosa itself.
Councilmember Vas Dupre noted that the Task Force on the Homeless, as previously indicated, has expressed an interest in working with the City and County on this issue. She noted that she has been flooded with calls and letters from people and businesses who do not want homeless shelters in their areas. She pointed out that transportation is a key element in this issue. She referred to her experience working (as a representative of the League of Women Voters) with the Jail Partnership Committee, pointing out that when people are released from the North County Detention facility they either have difficulty obtaining transportation or do not have a place to go. As a result, there is a great need to work with the other cities and County in partnership in an attempt to solve this issue.
Councilmember Runyan asked whether the County has approached the other cities regarding their estimated costs for their participation in a shelter.
Lorraine Irizary, Director for the Office of Commissions and Homeless Coordinator for the County, said the Board members who have been involved with this process do support the sites that are currently being considered (Petaluma Hill Road and General Hospital). She also said that the other cities have been approached regarding contributing to the proposed plan. Although she does not know all of the results, a positive response has been received.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh said he understands the City of Petaluma is looking for a site and asked if they are undertaking the same process as Santa Rosa. He questioned how, if that is the case, it will impact the funding and whether other communities have the same responsibility as does Santa Rosa.
Ms. Irizary responded. Petaluma has, all along, indicated that they would seek a site separate from the joint effort. However, they are not as optimistic about this endeavor as they were previously. She pointed out that because Santa Rosa is the largest City, a great deal of responsibility falls onto the City. The County and the City have worked diligently to address this issue and numerous meetings have been held as part of that effort.
Chairperson Lowry pointed out that an underlying problem is related to the fact that the many of the homeless take their meals at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Center and the Rescue Mission. Therefore, when a site is chosen there will be a need for transportation from the site to the kitchen.
Councilmember Wright noted that she has had an opportunity to visit both sites. She pointed out that action cannot be delayed since there are only nine and a half months or so until a crises situation develops. She said that all options must be considered. Conversations must continue with the State, although this issue may not be resolved in the years 1999-2000. Therefore, the City/County must proceed with considering both sites. She said that in speaking with some of the homeless providers, it appears that the General Hospital site is the preferred one. She discussed factual and statistical data that shows there are benefits to a concentration of services (lower crime rate, fewer problems, better concentration of homeless services). This concentration enables those who need those services to stay in one area. As a result, her preference, at this point in time, is to give more serious consideration to the General Hospital site.
Mayor Condron stated that Council will not be making a decision at this time as to a location. However, she feels strongly that there needs to be an open forum for comments from the community. In addition, there must be assurance that the City's decision is made in conjunction with the County in order to ensure County buy-in. She asked if the Council and Housing Authority agree that the only options are those pointed out by Member Picchi or whether there is a way to deal with the transportation issues and services so as to be able to consider the dispersal option. She said she believes the dispersal option should not be eliminated.
Councilmember Martini said he sat in the audience at the Housing Authority meeting two weeks ago at which time a number of people spoke who were willing to participate and provide information on this matter. He noted the process which needs to be followed as described at the Housing Authority meeting and said that the application for a site needs to be submitted to Community Development by March 1. By moving forward with one application, the public comments/responses received will be limited to that application. He suggested, instead, that a public hearing be scheduled now that would allow the housing and homeless support network community, as well as the neighborhood groups, to address the Council on the entire issue with attention being paid to at least the two sites, as well as to continuation of the use of the Armory. This would at least provide a forum to receive that information. He reiterated that a public hearing should be scheduled by the Council in the next two or three weeks.
Steve Burke, Housing & Redevelopment Agency Director, said he would support this approach in an effort to move this process forward as quickly as possible.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh concurred with the suggestion for a public hearing. He said that he thinks there should be an immediate outreach in the areas of the potential shelter sites which have been identified so that the issues can be identified immediately. This outreach does not have to wait for the public hearing.
Councilmember Vas Dupre said that before the hearing takes place she would like a task force formed (similar to the group which has been meeting) that would include the County, the City, and the public at large. She suggested that there may be realtors or people in the audience/television viewing audience who know of a site. She pointed out that selecting a site is a time-consuming issue. She also believes more options are needed than those mentioned at this meeting. She asked for additional information regarding the West College Avenue site.
Ms. Brownell responded that that site is at 6 West College Avenue and is adjacent to the railroad tracks on the south side. Chairperson Lowry said he thinks a site is also being considered on 9th Street. Member Evans said that he believes the West College Avenue site was the Western Cabinet Shop.
Member Evans said the problem encountered with the building on Petaluma Hill Road when considered about two years ago was that to bring it up to an earthquake standard, and to meet the plumbing requirements, would be cost-prohibitive. It is difficult to convert a warehouse. He said there is no reason why two sites/proposals can't be considered simultaneously. He briefly discussed the application process, noting that a great deal of documentation is required and architects, engineers, and others will be involved.
Member Mike McKeon suggested that in addition to the criteria for possible shelter sites, criteria be added related to the support services and the values of those services. It is important that the impact of travel by the clients be contained in the proposal, including the usage of the facilities in such a case, etc.
Councilmember Runyan agreed that a public hearing should be held within two to three weeks. In addition, he wants the Mayor to work with the appropriate people in order to determine which cities will participate in the shelter.
Discussion followed regarding a potential hearing date and time. Mayor Condron said that focus should be on obtaining an update from Sacramento and on the proposed sites. In addition, she will continue to work with the County to determine which Cities are involved. Mr. Blackman indicated that staff has received letters of commitment and he will provide copies of those letters to the Council.
Chairperson Lowry said that because security/safety is an issue, it should be commented on by the Police Department at the public hearing. The comments should include any advantages to concentrating the homeless in a certain area or dispersing them.
Councilmember Evans discussed the importance of notifying the neighborhood groups, particularly those in the vicinity of the two sites proposed, of the upcoming public hearing. She suggested, as Council has done in the past, that the hearing be set on the Agenda to follow the regular meeting.
Following additional discussion, staff was directed to schedule a public hearing on January 26, following the regular City Council meeting, at or after 7:00 p.m. to receive input and discuss issues related to the search for a winter homeless shelter.
This Study Session adjourned at 4:15 p.m.
4:00 P.M. - REGULAR SESSION
1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
Mayor Condron called the meeting to order at 4:25 p.m.
2. CITY COUNCIL ROLL CALL
Present: Mayor Condron, Vice Mayor Martini, and Councilmembers Vas Dupre, Evans, Rabinowitsh, Runyan, and Wright.
Mayor Condron briefly noted the joint Study Sessions held prior to the Council meeting.
There were no proclamations nor presentations.
4. CITIZEN PUBLIC APPEARANCES
Ann Seeley asked Council to update the public on the status of the CAT (Community Action Team). She noted that this group was established for the purpose of assisting citizens learn the workings of local government, how to connect with elected and appointed leaders, and how to form themselves into effective neighborhood groups. The public needs to know if the CAT is still functioning. If it is not, the public needs to know the next step for fulfilling those functions.
Duane DeWitt, Santa Rosa resident, referred to his request at the previous meeting to hold the Study Session regarding Roseland in the Council Chambers; i.e., it offers the community an opportunity to recognize their leaders and to participate more fully in the process. He displayed a flier from Roseland Action and said that enterprise zones, revitalization zones, and Brownfields projects exist in California. He discussed the ways in which these zones/projects can benefit the communities in which they have been established. He said he hopes as Council considers the possibility of a Southwest Area redevelopment project, they will include the Roseland Redevelopment Project in it, and will consider pursuing enterprise and revitalization zones and a Brownfields designation. He referred to toxins in the vicinity of Sebastopol Road, pointing out that that is a blight that needs to be redeveloped (via a Brownfields designation).
Terry Hilton, representing Southwest Business Association, reminded Council of the Association's meeting which will be held on January 29 at noon at the Carl's Junior on Stony Point Road. He urged Council to attend. He referenced a meeting last year with Senator Vasconcellos and a meeting held in Santa Rosa with the Senate Select Committee for Economic Development, during which that Committee expressed a desire to assist with economic revitalization plans in Southwest Santa Rosa. He suggested Council instruct staff to forward information to that Committee in an effort to get some assistance from the State.
Jack Osborne referred to the Agenda heading which contains the words "Regular Meeting" and asked if an opportunity was provided for public comment today prior to the "Regular Meeting." He said that if that opportunity was not provided, a violation of the Brown Act occurred. (Clerk's Note: Mr. Osborne was referring to the two Study Sessions held prior to the Regular Session.) Mr. Osborne referred to Mayor Condron's comments at a previous meeting related to three minutes being adequate for the public to comment on Consent Items. He noted that the law specifically states that reasonable time must be allowed to speak on any item on the Agenda. He pointed out that the Attorney General's office says a "reasonable time" is five minutes. He questioned the feasibility of deferring Citizens Public Appearances to the end of the meeting because this does not provide for comments to be made before or during consideration of an item. He also noted that if he arrives late and Citizens Public Appearances has been closed, he will be prevented from speaking on Consent Items.
Mr. Osborne then referred to the amount of time spent at the last meeting discussing the Public/Private Partnership - Emergency Medical Services Report, which occurred following comments by the public. Changes were made during that discussion but the public was not given an opportunity to speak on those changes.
Lastly, Mr. Osborne suggested that letters concerning items on the Agenda should be listed with those items. If those letters listed at the end of the Agenda, it is unclear as to whether Council has read them before they have made their decision.
Laura Graham discussed the history of the Good Guys Plaza, which was originally to have been called Willow Tree Plaza. The Good Guys business is now vacating that property. She questioned whether the name of that plaza will now be changed. She said that this type of situation arises when decisions are made without taking the future into mind. She explained why Council should, and asked them, to look at these types of decisions impartially in the future.
John Haines expressed concern regarding increased traffic and safety issues which have arisen this last year in the area of West Sebastopol Road. He referred to the recent death of Zachary Bollinger who was hit by a car on Finley Avenue. Mr. Haines explained why he proposes a reduction of the speed limit in that area to 25 mph. It is currently 45 mph. He also expressed concern regarding the commercial traffic in the area, the conditions in which students must wait for school buses, and the speed of Pacific Bell trucks traveling to and from the substation in the vicinity of Sebastopol Road.
Bob Blanchard commended the Council for stepping into public life, acknowledged them for the work they do in dealing with difficult issues, and expressed appreciation to them for that work. He referred to the Elsie Allen High School incident and specifically expressed gratitude for the rapid action Council, employees, and the business community took in attempting to resolve that situation. He said that even though there is a silent group of people who may be privately expressing their gratitude and appreciation for the work of the City in maintaining a quality of life, there are also those who will be coming forward to express their appreciation and to let Council know in public that they support Council's efforts and the benefits being provided to the City as a result.
Mayor Condron responded to some of the comments. She said that Council will be holding a goal-setting session in February. The future of the CAT is an issue that should be considered at that time. Councilmember Wright added that the CAT has gone through a self-evaluation process and is having trouble embracing their purpose. They have been unsuccessful in mobilizing their neighborhoods as envisioned. As a result of the self-evaluation process, the recommendation was made that unless they receive direction from Council to pursue something specific, they will not meet. The membership has fallen and based on the City's policy, the Chairperson cannot be reappointed. In addition, attendance has been low. The City tried to encourage them to contact the various neighborhood groups regarding the needs of the Census Bureau. However, the CAT didn't respond favorably to that idea.
Vice Mayor Martini said that the City funded a program last year in which the CAT monitored the neighborhood partnership. However, they did not get the response/level of participation that they desired. In addition, an attempt was made to pursue neighborhood meetings along the same line as for the General Plan outreach. Without a specific issue, however, there were more staff and Councilmembers present at most of the meetings than neighbors. A portion of the CAT was interested in working with neighborhood groups to facilitate their interaction with the City, but what the CAT found was that groups which were easy to identify were already skilled in dealing with the City. It was very difficult to identify groups that did not have that skill. He concurred with Mayor Condron that this is a subject that needs to be considered during the Council's goal-setting session.
Mayor Condron expressed appreciation for the continued input related to Roseland and the Southwest Area. Council will continue to work with Mr. DeWitt and Mr. Hilton as attempts are made to provide funding for that area. She noted that the Council receives their packets in advance and if letters are not attached to the appropriate staff report, but rather are included at the end of the Agenda, they are still reviewed by the Council prior to the meeting. She said she will ask the City's Traffic Engineer to review the speed limit on Finley Avenue. She noted that the Traffic Engineer has studied the needs around all of the schools in Santa Rosa and has submitted recommendations. She discussed the actions Council has been taking regarding pedestrian safety, including the approval of $4 million to resolve immediate needs.
Mayor Condron noted that she has received information since the Study Session that Senator Chesbro is willing to bring forward legislation to keep the Armory open for another two years if Council is interested.
Mayor Condron called for statements of abstention at this time.
6. STATEMENTS OF ABSTENTION
Councilmember Wright said that she will be abstaining from discussing or acting on Item 8.4 (Public Protest Hearing - Northeast Santa Rosa Reorganization 1-96) since the subject area is within 2,500 feet of her home. Councilmember Vas Dupre said that she will also be abstaining from discussing or acting on this item for the same reasons.
5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - Meeting of January 5, 1999
Vice Mayor Martini asked that the motion for Item 8.6 (third paragraph, page 11, first column) be corrected since he did not make the motion. Clerk's note: In listening to the tape, it was confirmed that the motion was actually made by Councilmember Runyan and was seconded by Councilmember Evans. The minutes will be corrected accordingly.
Vice Mayor Martini requested that the third paragraph in the first column on page 22 be corrected to indicate that Councilmember Runyan would also be attending the meeting regarding the Church of One Tree.
Councilmember Runyan asked that page 7, first column, be corrected to indicate that it was Vice Mayor Martini who raised the issue related to first response (rather than Runyan).
MOVED by Vice Mayor Martini, seconded by Councilmember Runyan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE THE JANUARY 5, 1999, MINUTES AS CORRECTED.
7. CONSENT ITEMS
7.1 ORDINANCE ADOPTION - RECLASSIFICATION - TURNBULL SUBDIVISION
7.2 ORDINANCE ADOPTION - RECLASSIFICATION - TRAILWOOD DRIVE
MOVED by Vice Mayor Martini, seconded by Councilmember Runyan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXTS OF (Items 7.1 and 7.2):
ORDINANCE NO. 3402 ENTITLED: ORDINANCE OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA AMENDING CHAPTER 20 OF THE SANTA ROSA CITY CODE - RECLASSIFICATION OF PROPERTY LOCATED AT 184 BOAS DRIVE (Turnbull Subdivision) - FILE NUMBER MJP98-011.
ORDINANCE NO. 3403 ENTITLED: ORDINANCE OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA AMENDING CHAPTER 20 OF THE SANTA ROSA CITY CODE - RECLASSIFICATION OF PROPERTY LOCATED AT 5767 TRAILWOOD DRIVE - FILE NUMBER MJP98-035.
8. SCHEDULED ITEMS
8.1 CONTINUED REPORT - CDBG PRIORITIES FOR 1999-2000
At the Council meeting of January 5, 1999, the City Council closed the public hearing and continued their discussion of the 1999-2000 CDBG priorities in order to obtain an opinion from the City Attorney about the amount of Redevelopment Low and Moderate Income In-Lieu Housing funds that can be allocated for homeless services.
Staff requests clarification that when the Council approves the public service priorities, the other priorities listed in the staff report, including continuation of Housing Authority programs, fair housing and improvements in the Southwest Area, will also continue.
It is recommended by the City Manager's Office that the City Council, by motion, approve the 1999-2000 CDBG priorities.
Mr. Blackman clarified that two issues were under consideration at the previous meeting. One had to do with the possible $90,000 reduction of funds available for consideration this year by the Housing Authority for the homeless program. Mr. Blackman said that the best resolution for this situation would be for Council to authorize a reduction in the amount of $90,000 in the overhead charges made to the Redevelopment Agency/Housing Authority annually. This action would leave the Agency/Authority with the same amount of money as in the past for the 1999-2000 year. This situation, however, highlights the shortfall projected for next year based on the advice the Agency/Authority has received from legal counsel regarding the appropriateness of the use of their funds for homeless services. He said that there is a need to come up with a revenue source for homeless programs which can be assured in the future (i.e., $300,000). There are a number of alternatives Council may want to consider. He suggested staff come back to Council with a report in the next three months in which alternatives are outlined. Most of those alternatives would require voter approval. Council would then be asked to provide specific direction as to which alternatives they would support.
Mr. Blackman said the second issue related to the ambiguity which was contained in the letter from legal counsel. City Attorney Rene Chouteau said that in reviewing that letter he noted the same ambiguity. As a result, he contacted Dave Beatty, Attorney, who reviewed both the law and letter and clarified that in terms of the use of the 20% set-aside funds, the Health and Safety Code sections dealing with Redevelopment Law make it clear that that money is to be used for the provision of housing (i.e., physical structures, either low and moderate income residences or, in some cases, housing for the homeless). The monies must be expended, if for the homeless, in the area of providing physical accommodations.
Mr. Chouteau said that additional funds have been available from the Housing Authority in prior years that were co-mingled with the money which was received on the 20% set-aside. He said there is an additional consideration which is that annual reports must be filed with the State related to the expenditure of the 20% set-aside funds. On those forms, housing that has been provided for low and very low income residents must be indicated (i.e., single-family residential for sale units or multi-family units). To the extent that the City uses the 20% set-aside for homeless funds is an exception to the report. The City must ensure that on an ongoing basis it is meeting the goals defined in the General Plan for providing the housing. Mr. Chouteau explained how using a portion of the 20% set-aside funds for housing for the homeless (i.e., for physical and the operation of those physical facilities) would meet the guidelines of the Health and Safety Code.
Councilmember Evans asked for clarification: if Council takes the action suggested by the City Manager for this year, that would be acceptable? Mr. Chouteau responded affirmatively.
Councilmember Evans concurred with the suggestion for this year, except that she does not believe any tax initiatives submitted to the voters in the near future will pass. Therefore, although they should be considered, those initiatives should not be relied on as a source of funding.
Councilmember Wright reminded Council of the recommendation made at the previous meeting regarding real estate transfer tax and using an incremental amount above the current revenues for homeless programs. Mr. Blackman confirmed that staff will take this recommendation into consideration. He noted that any action limiting the growth of the General Fund will ultimately become a General Fund problem.
Councilmember Vas Dupre reminded Council of the letter they received from David Bragode, Director of Sonoma County People for Economic Opportunity (PEO), in which he discussed the real estate transfer tax. She also reminded Council of the suggestion to consider in-lieu development fees and the Transient Occupancy Tax as possibilities. She asked that Council be provided with more information regarding these taxes and fees. For the benefit of those members of the public who did not observe the Study Session, she noted that Council is attempting to work with the Task Force on the Homeless, the Santa Rosa Housing Authority, and other cities to come forward with a recommendation regarding sites for a shelter. She noted that numerous calls have been received from people who do not want a shelter in their areas, and said that Council hopes if any of the public knows of potential sites, they will offer to serve on a task force to assist in solving this critical issue.
Mr. Blackman noted that the suggestions outlined by the PEO will be incorporated into staff's report, as will any other conceivable alternative.
Mr. Blackman asked for clarification as to whether the Council continues to support setting aside a certain amount of money each year from Block Grants for the Southwest Area and whether this area should remain a priority.
MOVED by Councilmember Wright, seconded by Councilmember Runyan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE THE PRIORITIES AS RECOMMENDED FOR 1999-2000, INCLUDING CONTINUATION OF HOUSING AUTHORITY PROGRAMS, AIR HOUSING AND IMPROVEMENTS IN THE SOUTHWEST AREA.
8.2 REPORT - EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
Charles Hanley, Division Chief, made the staff presentation. The California Emergency Services Act requires cities to have an Emergency Operations Plan to ensure effective and efficient operations in the event of emergency or disaster. The City's current Emergency Operations Plan was developed and adopted for use in 1991 with some additions and changes being made in 1992.
In 1995, the State Legislature mandated that all such plans be rewritten using the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) structure. Development began on a new SEMS-compliant Emergency Operations Plan in January 1998. A draft of the new plan was submitted to City departments for review and comment, and recommendations have been incorporated into the new plan. All City Department Heads concur with the final plan as written and the new Emergency Operations Plan (SEMS) is ready for approval and adoption.
It is recommended by the Fire Department that the City Council, by resolution, approve the new Emergency Operations Plan(SEMS) and direct the Mayor to sign the Letter of Promulgation officially adopting its use by the City of Santa Rosa.
Mr. Blackman commented on the amount of work that went into the preparation of the new plan, particularly by Division Chief Hanley.
Councilmember Vas Dupre commented that when she discussed this document with the City Manager she was unclear as to the responsibility incumbent on the Councilmembers. She asked whether the plan outlines the location for Councilmembers to go during emergencies, etc. Division Chief Hanley said that information is part of the Emergency Operations Center procedures. He suggested that it may be feasible for him to review the plan and the individual responsibilities with the Councilmembers as a group at a separate time. He briefly explained some of the assignments contained in the plan and offered to review the specifics with the Council either individually or as a group. Mr. Blackman added that in the event of an emergency, an emergency meeting of the Council would be called for a briefing related to their responsibilities.
MOVED by Councilmember Runyan, seconded by Councilmember Evans, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF (Item 8.2):
RESOLUTION NO. 23840 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA APPROVING AND ADOPTING A NEW EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN FOR THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA.
8.3 REPORT - WAIVER OF COMPETITIVE BIDDING AND SOLE SOURCE UPGRADE AND INSTALLATION OF TRANSIT COACH FARE BOXES
Dave Ellis, Transit Superintendent, made the staff presentation. In January 1997, the City Council, by resolution, awarded a contract for the purchase of 13 low-floor design transit coaches to New Flyer of America, Inc. The low floor design coaches will have fare boxes installed that are designed with an electronic registering fare collection system manufactured by GFI Genfare. This type of fare collection system is required under the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) grant funding guidelines for transit coaches.
The fare boxes installed in the City's current transit coach fleet are equipped with similar fare box collection technology manufactured by GFI Genfare. However, this technology is approximately 15 years old and cannot be interfaced with the fare box collection system being provided with the new low-floor design coaches. Based on this finding, staff finds it necessary to upgrade the current fare boxes with the same fare box collection technology as will be provided with the new coaches. Twelve upgraded fare boxes will be installed upon receipt and five will be back-up units.
GFI Genfare has submitted a written proposal to upgrade and install 17 City-owned GFI fare boxes with the same electronic registering fare collection system to be provided with the City's new low floor design coaches.
Because the City's current fare boxes were manufactured by GFI Genfare for the purpose of fare box collection system compatibility, staff deems it necessary to have said fare boxes upgraded and installed by GFI Genfare.
When considering a sole source request, it is the City's policy to perform a cost/price analysis to determine if the price quoted is fair and reasonable. Because sufficient cost/price data for said analysis could not be provided by GFI, the Purchasing Agent was unable to establish that the price quoted by GFI Genfare is fair and reasonable. However, due to the proprietary nature of the fare box design, the required fare box upgrades and installation must be performed by GFI Genfare.
It is recommended by the Administrative Services and Transit & Parking Departments that the City Council, by resolution, authorize a waiver of competitive bidding for the upgrade and installation of 17 transit coach fare boxes and authorize the Purchasing Agent to issue a sole source purchase order to GFI Genfare of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, for the total amount of $83,800.
Councilmember Runyan expressed concern regarding the cost for each box and asked why GFI Genfare is unable to provide documents necessary for a cost/price analysis. Mr. Ellis explained that while GFI Genfare could provide information for the costs of new fare boxes, because the City's system is an upgrade and the individual fare boxes are being upgraded, it is necessary for them to upgrade some of the infrastructure at the MSC as well. Therefore, the costs also involve purchase of auxiliary equipment. He did not have specific information as to why GFI Genfare is unable to provide the specific information about the costs.
Jack Osborne asked for information as to why the units need to be upgraded. He questioned the need for five back-up units. He suggested that if the units were guaranteed, it should only be necessary to keep one back-up unit on hand. He questioned the cost of repairs and asked who will maintain the equipment. He also stated that he hopes the City obtains cost/price analyses on information other than that provided by the vendor.
Mr. Ellis responded. He explained that the fare boxes being replaced are about 15 years old. The software used to generate reports for the old fare boxes has been upgraded several times. With the new windows-based system, the software that will be necessary to upgrade the new fare boxes won't operate the old fare boxes. Regarding the cost of the fare boxes, staff has received information from the manufacturer of the new buses that new fare boxes cost approximately $5,000 each. Upgrading the existing fare boxes will save the City approximately $25,000. Mr. Ellis also explained that four to five spare fare boxes have been kept in the warehouse for several years in the event they are needed. GFI Genfare has agreed to switch the ones currently on hand and provide the City with new fare boxes at a minimal cost to the City. Repairs are handled in house by City Maintenance staff.
Councilmember Runyan questioned the need for five spares. Mr. Ellis explained that it was intended that the five spare fare boxes purchased five to six years be installed in the buses. However, because the upgraded fare boxes are now going to be installed, the staff has delayed replacing the old ones with the existing spares. He also noted that the City's actual fleet consists of 21 buses. There is an emergency fleet of four 1976 Vintage GMC buses. There are only electronic registering fare boxes in the active fleet. Once the new buses on are on board, the City will be replacing the emergency fleet with the best of the older buses. Therefore, it is anticipated that fare boxes will be installed in the emergency fleet as well. When that occurs, four of the additional fare boxes will be used.
Councilmember Wright responded to an earlier question by Mr. Osborne; i.e., the City is taking this action because it is required by the FTA (Federal Transit Authority) as part of the conditions of the grant.
MOVED by Councilmember Wright, seconded by Vice Mayor Martini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF (Item 8.3):
RESOLUTION NO. 23841 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA WAIVING COMPETITIVE BIDDING AND ACCEPTING THE PROPOSAL OF GFI GENFARE, ELK GROVE VILLAGE, ILLINOIS, FOR THE UPGRADE AND INSTALLATION OF SEVENTEEN TRANSIT COACH FARE BOXES ($83,800).
8.4 PUBLIC PROTEST HEARING - NORTHEAST SANTA ROSA REORGANIZATION 1-96
Prior to discussion of this item, Mr. Chouteau pointed out that it involves a complex conflict of interest situation. Councilmembers Vas Dupre and Wright have already announced their conflicts. Vice Mayor Martini and Councilmember Rabinowitsh also have conflicts, but only as to the southerly portion of the annexation area. Action on this annexation can be separated into two motions. Councilmember Vas Dupre should abstain on both actions since her residence is within 2,500 feet of the annexation area. Councilmember Wright may vote on the southerly portion of the annexation, as may Mayor Condron and Councilmembers Runyan and Evans. Vice Mayor Martini and Councilmember Rabinowitsh should abstain on the southerly portion because their residences are within 2,500 feet of the southerly portion annexation. Councilmember Wright should not vote on the northerly portion of the annexation since her residence is within 2,500 feet of that area.
In response to Vice Mayor Martini, Mr. Chouteau verified that the Conflict of Interest law states that if a personal residence is within 2,500 feet of an application or project and there is a likelihood of the change in the value of that residence, the Councilmember must abstain. Mr. Chouteau briefly explained that to ascertain whether that change in value is likely to occur, an appraisal on the effect to the property would be required. Because that appraisal has not occurred, it would be more prudent for the Councilmembers with residences within the 2,500-foot area to abstain.
Vice Mayor Martini explained why he does not believe the simple annexation of the subject properties in the absence of any development will impact the value of the properties immediately adjacent to it, let alone those 2,500 feet away. Further, he does not believe these properties have anything in common with his parcel at the corner of Austin and Bryden Lane and would not financially impact the value of his home. Mr. Chouteau briefly discussed the City's past practice in obtaining appraisals and making the necessary analyses for this type of determination.
Council recessed briefly from 5:25 - 5:28 p.m. to allow the City Attorney an opportunity to determine the vicinity of Councilmember Evan's residence in relationship to the annexation area.
It was determined that Councilmember Evans' residence is not within 2,500 feet of the annexation area.
It was again noted that Councilmember Vas Dupre would be abstaining from discussing or acting on the entire annexation, that Councilmember Wright would also be abstaining on the northerly portion, and that Vice Mayor Martini and Councilmember Rabinowitsh would be abstaining on the southerly portion.
Joel Galbraith, City Planner, made the staff presentation. On February 5, 1998, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) approved the annexation entitled Northeast Santa Rosa Reorganzation 1-96 and authorized the City to proceed with notice and hearing. LAFCO forwarded this decision to the City on November 16, 1998, after the applicant had completed some changes to the annexation map. The annexation area consists of eight parcels, one of which is vacant. Each of the other seven lots contains a single-family home.
The annexation area totals 11.72 acres and consists of 2727, 3699, 3701, 3707, 3713, 3715, 3737 and 3789 Montecito Avenue. These eight lots are part of a larger County island. This area was pre zoned to the RR-40 District by the City Council on November 5, 1996.
Mr. Galbraith displayed a location map, showing the initial application and the area expanded by the County. He confirmed that no written protests have been received as of this hearing.
It is recommended by the Department of Community Development that if insufficient protest is filed at the protest hearing, the City Council, by resolution, annex the eight properties.
Mayor Condron opened the public hearing. Hearing no comments, she then closed the public hearing.
MOVED by Councilmember Evans, seconded by Councilmember Runyan, CARRIED BY A 5-0-2 VOTE (Councilmembers Vas Dupre and Wright abstaining) TO ADOPT A RESOLUTION ORDERING THE ANNEXATION TO THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA OF THE TERRITORY INCLUDED WITHIN THE NORTHERLY PORTION OF NORTHEAST SANTA ROSA REORGANIZATION NO. 1-96:
RESOLUTION NO. 23842 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA ORDERING THE ANNEXATION TO THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA OF A PORTION OF THE TERRITORY INCLUDED WITHIN NORTHEAST SANTA ROSA REORGANIZATION NO. 1-96 (STEGEMAN) AND ITS DETACHMENT FROM THE RINCON VALLEY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT AND COUNTY SERVICE AREA NO. 41 (MULTI-SERVICES) - 3699, 3701, 3707, 3713, 3715, 3737, AND 3789 MONTECITO AVENUE.
MOVED by Councilmember Evans, seconded by Councilmember Runyan, CARRIED BY A 4-0-3 VOTE (Vice Mayor Martini and Councilmembers Vas Dupre and Rabinowitsh Wright abstaining) TO ADOPT A RESOLUTION ORDERING THE ANNEXATION TO THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA OF THE TERRITORY INCLUDED WITHIN THE SOUTHERLY PORTION OF NORTHEAST SANTA ROSA REORGANIZATION NO. 1-96:
RESOLUTION NO. 23843 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA ORDERING THE ANNEXATION TO THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA OF A PORTION OF THE TERRITORY INCLUDED WITHIN NORTHEAST SANTA ROSA REORGANIZATION NO. 1-96 (STEGEMAN) AND ITS DETACHMENT FROM THE RINCON VALLEY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT AND COUNTY SERVICE AREA NO. 41 (MULTI-SERVICES) - 2727 MONTECITO AVENUE.
9. MAYOR'S/COUNCILMEMBERS' REPORTS
9.1 ANNOUNCEMENT OF UPCOMING MEETINGS COUNCILMEMBERS WILL BE ATTENDING AND MAYOR'S/COUNCILMEMBERS' REPORTS
Councilmember Evans said she will be attending the Dennis Lane meeting tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. regarding the speeding problems on that street. In addition, she noted that the Downtown Partnership Committee (DPC) met last week and there was discussion related to the homeless issue and the possibility of choosing the General Hospital site. Because of the DPC's interest, she requested that the City Manager's Office notify them of the upcoming public hearing regarding this issue. She briefly noted that the Neighborhood Design Committee has not met recently. They had planned to commence the revisions of the sign regulations but because the staff member assigned to this task is no longer with the City, this task has not moved forward. However, the Committee is planning a meeting for early February and she will report back to Council on their progress following that meeting.
Councilmember Evans noted that she has been working on the issue of scenic road protection for the past couple of years. She and Community Development staff have been meeting on this matter. It is her hope that neighborhood meetings will be scheduled in February or March and that draft information will be available to Council at that time.
Councilmember Runyan referred to a discussion with the recently retired Commander of the Two Rock Coast Guard Station, who asked if the City would send a letter in support of the Station. Councilmember Runyan suggested that it would be appropriate for Council to send such a letter, with a copy to the retired Commander, and briefly noted the reasons why (the volunteer work they do in the Roseland area, the money they spend in the City, etc.). Councilmember Wright pointed out that the Coast Guard was also very instrumental in the development of the Emergency Operations Plan which Council adopted at this meeting. Council concurred that a letter of support should be sent.
Vice Mayor Martini indicated that he will also be attending the Dennis Lane meeting tomorrow evening. In addition, he noted that there will be a meeting regarding the Church of One Tree on Friday.
Councilmember Wright said the Sonoma County Transportation Authority met yesterday and she was reelected as Chair. Supervisor Cale was reelected as Vice Chair. In addition, Sam Salmon (Windsor) and Bob Jehn (Cloverdale) were appointed to the Executive Committee and Supervisor Smith was appointed as the alternate.
Councilmember Wright referred to the Citizens Advisory Committee and discussed their efforts to find some tasks, including her recommendation to them to hold some regional Town Hall meetings to obtain information from the public on various open-ended questions (i.e., their feelings about Measure C which failed, Measure B which passed, etc.). She distributed a flier advertising the various Town Hall meetings that have been subsequently scheduled and noted the dates, times, and locations of some of those meetings. She referred to the reverse side of the flier which contains a simple questionnaire that will provide the Sonoma County Transportation Authority and Citizens Advisory Committee with information as they consider the next steps related to transportation. She noted that the flier is available in the City Manager's office for those people interested in attending any of these meetings. They may also be included as an insert in the Press Democrat and may be published on the Internet.
Councilmember Wright said that appointments will be made at the Mayors/Councilmembers meeting on Thursday. Appointments which were not on the prior list are for the Sonoma/Marin Area Rail Transit Commission. She pointed out that the committee, formerly called the Joint Executive Committee, is working on a rail plan. She explained why it is critical that the work on this plan move forward (i.e., without the plan the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will not fund any requests). She discussed the positions open on the Committee and said it is her hope that she will be appointed. In addition, Bob Jehn has also indicated his interest. She asked for and received Council's support for these appointments.
Councilmember Vas Dupre said she has received some calls asking for reports from various commissions that Councilmembers are appointed to and how those appointments are put before the public. She noted that Councilmember Wright answered those questions in her discussion regarding the Town Hall meetings. She referred to the issue of an alternate being appointed to each one of these commissions, and said she learned when she spoke with Mr. Blackman that this would require a legislative enactment, which would take some time to work out. She is concerned that there are times when Councilmembers cannot attend the meetings and the City must be represented. She expressed appreciation for the opportunity she had to attend the League of California Cities Councilmembers and Mayors Conference in Sacramento. She noted that the explanation of the Brown Act was a major issue. The League took every effort to ensure that those people attending the Conference take the Brown Act very seriously. She said that one of her first indoctrination meetings with the City was with the City Attorney during which he explained to her the importance of the Brown Act.
Mayor Condron distributed a draft schedule of future Board of Public Utilities meetings. She said the Council's goal-setting session has been scheduled for February 13 at the Finley Community Center, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. She noted that Dr. Deborah Swayne will again facilitate this session and briefly discussed the tasks that will be before Council at that session. She has requested Department Heads to provide Council with a list of the goals they will be working on this year.
Mayor Condron said that a follow-up meeting was held at Elsie Allen High School last Thursday regarding safety issues. Continuing issues were discussed. She said those present were pleased with the actions taken to date. She referred to the discussion about the large boulders that block the road that in front of the School. While it was planned to hold an additional discussion at the next meeting regarding removing these boulders, and regarding the installation of speed bumps, She was notified today that the community members moved the boulders themselves.
Mayor Condron advised that the speed bumps on Hardies Lane are now in place.
Mayor Condron said that a comment was made at the Boards and Commissions meeting regarding the Charter's restrictions for certain positions on those Boards and Commissions (i.e., requiring an Architect, Engineer, etc.). These restrictions often necessitate abstentions on items related to particular fields of expertise. It was noted that it would take a Charter revision and voter approval to change this requirement. Councilmember Evans asked about the possibility of increasing the number of members on a commission to compensate for this problem. Mr. Blackman pointed out that those set by ordinance can be changed. Mayor Condron will check with the different Boards and Commissions to determine how much of a concern this situation is. Councilmember Wright suggested consideration be given to the Board of Building Regulation Appeals in light of the difficulty in appointing people to that Board, especially Architects.
9.2 ANNOUNCEMENT OF CLOSED SESSION TOPICS
Mr. Chouteau announced the following Closed Session topic:
CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL - POTENTIAL LITIGATION (ONE CLAIM)
(Subdivision (b)(c) of Government Code Section 54956.9)
Mr. Chouteau indicated that the negotiations for 521 Seventh Street were concluded on the terms specified by the Council and so the Closed Session with the Real Property Negotiator is not needed. Those terms give the Downtown apartment complex the parking spaces needed for the 50-year term and the adequate access to the complex through the Seventh Street Garage property.
10. WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS (AND POSSIBLE COUNCIL ACTION)
10.1 COMMUNICATION - League of California Cities Legislative Bulletin.
This item was provided for informational purposes only.
10.2 COMMUNICATION - B. Larsens re: Swimming Community.
Councilmember Vas Dupre asked how the suggestion that a committee representing all groups be established will be addressed. Mr. Blackman responded that if the Council wants to leave the existing situation as it is at this time, the author will be advised that the scheduling pattern is set for the foreseeable future. He suggested that the time to mobilize those people interested in the swimming needs of the community is when Council is prepared to go forward with a bond issue to build a 50-meter pool. This is a voter-approval issue. Staff's intent is to present Council with a list of community needs to determine whether Council wants to work on a bond issue proposal, and develop community support for that purpose, at the next General Election (November 2000).
Councilmember Vas Dupre referred to the people in attendance at a previous Council meeting regarding this issue and suggested that this issue could be placed on the Agendas for each neighborhood group meeting. While this may not totally respond to the needs of the author, those community members could be ambassadors and work with the City on this matter.
Vice Mayor Martini reminded Council that as part of the action they took relative to scheduling of the pools, staff was asked to establish a group of stakeholders/users of the facilities to explore potential adjustments to the schedule. The discussion at the Council level regarding this matter was whether a Councilmember should participate on this group. In accordance with Council's direction, Vice Mayor Martini volunteered to serve as their representative. The meetings with the user groups will most likely commence in March. He concurred with Mr. Blackman's comments and said efforts are being made not only with the user groups of the aquatic facilities but with others to explore the potential needs for a bond issue.
Councilmember Vas Dupre briefly referenced the program on KFTY regarding the Finley Center which could increase usage. She noted that most people don't realize the cost to the City, not only for providing it, but for heating it as well.
Councilmember Evans requested that a copy of this letter, as well as others on this subject, be forwarded to the Board of Community Services.
10.3 COMMUNICATION - G. Johnson re: Council Meeting of 11/17/98.
This item was provided for informational purposes.
10.4 COMMUNICATION - Mayors' and Councilmembers' Association of Sonoma County General Membership Meeting.
This item was provided for informational purposes only.
10.5 COMMUNICATION - P. Grazide re: Code Violations.
This item was provided for informational purposes only.
10.6 COMMUNICATION - Petitions re: Opposition to Homeless Shelter at Barham Avenue/Petaluma Hill Road.
Mr. Blackman said that the authors of this letter will be advised of the hearing date that's been set regarding this issue.
10.7 COMMUNICATION - Administrative Services Department re: Annual Report - Development Fees.
Mr. Blackman indicated that this report is being provided in compliance with State Law. He briefly referred to the City's policy to permit a deferral of sewer connection fees and noted that those monies will be received at the time financing for the project has been completed rather than when the subdivision is approved. He referred to the reserves related to the water connection fee, pointing out that that reserve will drop immediately as soon as the Board of Public Utilities approves a reservoir site or takes similar action.
10.8 COMMUNICATION - Carlile-Macy re: Woolsey Subdivision.
Mr. Blackman discussed the history of this request. He explained that the applicant believes the best access to the subdivision is through City park property, which results in better access to the City park. Staff is not contesting that proposal, and is willing to work with the applicant if they want to provide the land. However, the applicant was advised that this is not currently a high priority and that funds are not available for the development of the park. This is a case where the development would occur prior to the park. The proponents are suggesting that this matter be placed on an Agenda so that ways can be discussed wherein the City may participate in the cost of that road at this time instead of later. One of the suggestions involves the waiver of park fees. While Council can move in this direction, this situation is the same as one in which a road is necessary and the developers are responsible for the road. The applicants are not in agreement with the City's position that the City will not participate in construction of the road at this time.
There was some discussion regarding the number of times this issue has been raised and the misunderstanding which occurred.
Councilmember Evans indicated that she thought it has been the City's policy not to waive park fees because that places a particular park higher on the priority list than where it would otherwise be. Mayor Condron said, however, that the City has allowed for a waiver of park fees/flexibility if the developer has been willing to develop the park. Mr. Blackman briefly noted the different arrangements which have been allowed; i.e., wherein the developer provided an improved park site and the City applied the park fees that would have been charged to the subdivision against that park site. In most cases, the cost of the park site was more than the fees would have been but the developer considered the park an asset to the subdivision and installed it as an amenity.
Councilmember Wright suggested that because of the length and number of times this issue has arisen, it should be placed on an Agenda so that Council can respond.
10.9 COMMUNICATION - Fire Department re: Letter of Intent for Partnership.
Mr. Blackman indicated that a meeting will be held this Friday with County Officials to discuss this letter and Council's recommendation. The second paragraph of the letter did not contain the generic objective directed by the Council and so when he, the Fire Chief, Councilmember Runyan, and Mayor Condron meet with the County Officials, they will clarify and explain the Council's position and eliminate any ambiguity that was contained in the letter.
10.10 COMMUNICATION - Mr. & Mrs. W. Bailey re: Preliminary Environmental Impact Report - Proposed Trauma Center.
This item was provided for informational purposes only.
10.11 COMMUNICATION - J. & J. Owen re: Excessive Speeding - Dennis Lane.
This item was provided for informational purposes only. Vice Mayor Martini concurred with Mr. Blackman's comment that the intent of the Owen's letter is to ensure that feedback is given related to the study and alternatives regarding this issue and that the Owen's wanted to educate their neighbors accordingly.
ADJOURNMENT TO CLOSED SESSION
Hearing no further business, the Mayor adjourned the meeting to a Closed Session at 6:10 p.m.
There being no announcements to make after the Closed Session, the Mayor adjourned the meeting to the next regularly scheduled meeting to take place on January 19, 1999, at a time to be set by the Mayor.