SANTA ROSA CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
(Approved by Council as corrected 6/29/99)
TUESDAY, JUNE 22, 1999
COUNCIL CHAMBER, CITY HALL, 100 SANTA ROSA AVENUE
1. ROLL CALL - CALL TO ORDER - COUNCIL CHAMBER
Mayor Condron called the meeting to order at 2:30 p.m. Present were Mayor Condron, Vice Mayor Martini, and Councilmembers Rabinowitsh and Wright. Councilmember Vas Dupre was seated at 2:36 p.m. and Councilmember Evans was seated at 2:40 p.m. (during the Closed Session). Councilmember Runyan was absent.
2:30 P.M. - CLOSED SESSION - MAYOR'S CONFERENCE ROOM
City Attorney Rene Chouteau announced the Closed Session topics listed below. In addition, he stated that a need has arisen since the Agenda was posted to hold a Conference with the Labor Negotiator regarding Meet and Confer for Unit 4 - Support Services, Unit 6 - Professional Services, Unit 7 - Technical, and Units 10-11-12 - Executive/Mid-Management/Confidential.
MOVED by Vice Mayor Martini, seconded by Councilmember Wright, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADD A CONFERENCE WITH THE LABOR NEGOTIATOR REGARDING MEET AND CONFER FOR UNIT 4 - SUPPORT SERVICES, UNIT 6 - PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, UNIT 7 - TECHNICAL, AND UNITS 10-11-12 - EXECUTIVE/MID-MANAGEMENT/CONFIDENTIAL.
CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR
Meet and Confer: Unit 2 - Fire
Negotiator: Karen Walker, City of Santa Rosa
CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR
Meet and Confer: Unit 3 - Maintenance and Unit 8 - Transit
Negotiator: Marc Richardson, City of Santa Rosa
CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL - EXISTING LITIGATION
(Subdivision (a) of Government Code Section 54956.9)
Name of Case: San Francisco Gun Manufacturer Suit
The Conference regarding Unit Determination - Police Management Unit was not held.
Following the announcement, Mayor Condron adjourned to a Closed Session in the Mayor's Conference Room, following which they adjourned to the Study Session at 3:00 p.m.
3:30 P.M. - STUDY SESSION - MAYOR'S CONFERENCE ROOM
MOUNTED ENFORCEMENT UNIT
Chief of Police Michael Dunbaugh made the staff presentation. The purpose of the Study Session was to discuss the feasibility of creating a Mounted Enforcement Unit for the Police Department, using existing funds, for use at various special events. Chief Dunbaugh introduced Sergeant James Carlson, who developed this proposal for Santa Rosa. He said that the establishment of a Mounted Enforcement Unit would be a collateral assignment for sworn police officers of the City. It has been determined that this concept could be implemented through the existing budget, but staff wanted Council's concurrence with this proposal. The Police Department currently has one Sergeant and two officers who meet all of the qualifications needed to start the Mounted Enforcement Unit.
Sergeant Carlson said that three of the Police Department personnel have owned horses for many years. They attended, on a personal basis, a one-week Mounted Police Officers School. The proposal before Council evolved as a result of their attendance at this school. He said the primary focus of a Mounted Enforcement Unit is either ceremonial in nature (parades, grand openings, etc.) or for law enforcement purposes at special events (in this case at events such as the Downtown Market, Sonoma County Fair, First Night Santa Rosa, Rose Parade, etc.). The duties of the Mounted Enforcement Unit would be basically the same as for those officers on foot, but they would have a higher visibility, which is a primary benefit.
Sergeant Carlson said that it is anticipated the program would commence with three officers. A survey of Police Department personnel has indicated a tremendous interest in this proposal. The five officers interested in participating have their own horses. Sergeant Carlson said that liability is one of the issues associated with this proposal and it is commensurate with the type of training and type of horses that will be used. He explained that the horses undergo extensive training to ensure that they are suited for the program. He discussed the training which the officers must take to become certified and thus qualified for the Mounted Enforcement Program. Liability issues have been addressed and the City's Risk Manager has indicated his complete support of the proposal. Sergeant Carlson cited other cities which have successful Mounted Enforcement Units.
Sergeant Carlson then reviewed the costs involved in implementing this program. He noted that it is intended that this program will be used for crime prevention purposes. In addition, the Unit officers will make presentations at the schools. He discussed the effectiveness of the Mounted Enforcement Unit related to crowd control. He said staff is working on a component with the Sheriff's Department and other County agencies to join in this operation for such things as search and rescue operations, assisting with the Apple Blossom Parade, etc.
Councilmember Vas Dupre pointed out that the Staff Report indicates that this program is six times more effective than the efforts of officers on foot when it comes to managing crowds and, therefore, she thinks it would be a definite advantage to the City.
Sergeant Carlson pointed out that the program offers an increased recruitment incentive. He then responded to Council questions. He said the officers will have to use their own horses in this program. It will be implemented on a collateral basis. He briefly discussed the need for horse lease agreements and the equestrian care pay (FLSA) that would be required. In addition, standard tack and equipment would be needed. Chief Dunbaugh suggested that staff may want to pursue obtaining community funding to meet the equipment costs.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh said he serves on the Neighborhood Oriented Policing Community Advisory Board and they discussed this proposal at their last meeting. He noted the benefits of this proposal.
Chief Dunbaugh said that the costs of the program should be offset because of the staffing reductions that would result at certain community events. He explained that the new contract for the Police Officers Unit has a provision in it that allows the City to work out the details for this proposal as it relates to pay for the Mounted Enforcement Unit. A brief discussion followed regarding how pay is handled in other communities.
In response to Council questions, Sergeant Carlson explained that the Mounted Enforcement Unit will be responsible for any necessary clean-up and language is contained in the draft policy for this purpose.
Councilmember Evans said she supports the proposal and noted the positive element it will be. Councilmember Wright also expressed her support, noting that it can serve as a way to stretch City dollars as well as to improve the relationship between Police Officers and the community.
There was Council support for the proposal.
Mayor Condron called for comments from the public at this time. Hearing none, the Study Session adjourned at 3:58 p.m.
4:00 P.M. - CITY COUNCIL CHAMBER
1. ANNOUNCEMENT OF ROLL CALL
This portion of the meeting commenced at approximately 4:05 p.m. Mayor Condron announced Roll Call as indicated previously in the minutes. She stated that following Roll Call, Council adjourned to Closed Session in the Mayor's Conference Room.
Mr. Chouteau announced the Closed Session topics discussed during Closed Session as indicated earlier in the minutes.
2. REPORT ON STUDY SESSION
Mayor Condron reported that Council held a Study Session at 3:30 p.m. to discuss a proposal for a Mounted Enforcement Unit through the Police Department.
MOVED by Councilmember Wright, seconded by Vice Mayor Martini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADD ITEM 3.1 TO THE AGENDA.
Mr. Blackman explained that the Downtown Partnership Committee Final Report was included on the previous agenda. However, Mr. Facas' availability to make this presentation was not known at that time and so this matter was not listed on the Preliminary Agenda.
*3.1 PRESENTATION - DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP COMMITTEE (DPC) FINAL REPORT
Chris Facas, Chairperson of the Downtown Partnership Committee, made the presentation. He discussed the history of the DPC and reviewed the recommendations presented in the Final Report:
Council expressed their appreciation to Mr. Facas and Lyn de l'Eau, DPC staff, for their efforts on behalf of this effort.
Mayor Condron noted that, with recommendations from John Sawyer, she will be making appointments to the Downtown Parking Advisory Committee.
Councilmember Wright briefly discussed the history of the previous Parking Committee and some of the difficulties encountered when that committee was eliminated. She emphasized that the Downtown Parking Advisory Committee is an advisory body and is not necessarily a standing committee.
Mayor Condron clarified that although the recommendation is this be an Advisory Committee to Transit & Parking, she envisions it as an Advisory Committee to the Council. She indicated that Mr. Dunlavey will serve as staff to this Committee.
MOVED by Councilmember Wright, seconded by Vice Mayor Martini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ACCEPT THE FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE DPC ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
4. CITIZEN PUBLIC APPEARANCES
Frank Graham, resident, said that a meeting was held on June 16 at Piner High School regarding the future of Fulton Community Park, a.k.a. Youth Community Park. At that time, the residents learned that staff and park officials had been meeting for about ten months with a private BMX bicycle enthusiast club to determine the fate of the Park. He said the residents who have lived in Quail Hollow for approximately 12 years have participated in the planning of the Park since its inception. A Master Plan has existed during these years, although it has never been completed. Mr. Graham said the residents have been assured that the Master Plan calls for retaining as much of the native habitat as possible, with walkways and jogging areas to be provided in the north section of the park. He said that currently the park contains skateboards, a soccer field, and various other amenities in the southern portion.
Mr. Graham discussed residents' concerns related to the private meetings which have been held regarding this matter, particularly because the BMX enthusiasts wish to construct a high-impact race track on the site, with 80 parking spaces, a tower, and a speaker system, and want to limit access to it on a fee basis. He said the residents were told at the June 16 meeting that funds were allocated for the completion of the park. Those funds have now been diverted to other purposes. He said residents raised concerns at the June 16 meeting regarding safety conditions along Fulton Avenue and questioned the existence of an Environmental Impact Statement. They were told these issues would be taken care of. He said that park officials have told the residents that they expect to issue a Use Permit for the BMX track by August. However, the Planning Department has indicated there is no application in place. He expressed his belief that the residents who attended the June 16 meeting were overridden. He also expressed concern on behalf of the neighbors who did not receive a public notice about the meeting since they reside outside of the area where legal notification is required.
Mr. Graham asked Council to give careful consideration to this matter and to consult the longstanding wishes of the neighbors. He submitted a written statement regarding this matter which is on file in the office of the City Clerk.
Claudia Turner discussed the meaning of cognitive dissonance and her concern that when Council hears the story of her second false arrest they will experience that. She discussed the situation behind her second false arrest in October 1992 and submitted a statement which is on file in the office of the City Clerk.
Jack Osborne expressed his belief that a violation of the Brown Act has occurred because the agenda showed the Call to Order and Roll Call following the Closed Session. He questioned whether an announcement was made following the Closed Session. He explained why the Conference with Legal Counsel was inappropriate. He referred to Council's policy regarding the impact of an abstention on a quorum and suggested the policy be revised.
Duane DeWitt, Santa Rosa resident, displayed copies of photographs by Norman Rockwell, and one of an affordable modular housing unit on the Sutter Medical property, which coincide with components of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Speech, "The Four Freedoms." Mr. DeWitt then discussed his corresponding concerns that the time limits at the Council meetings do not coincide with freedom of speech and that the lack of affordable housing in the City does not coincide with freedom from want. He asked Council to eliminate the time limit and to deal with the homeless situation.
Linda Picton explained why she does not think there is a democracy. She then referred to comments at the previous meeting regarding the need for diagonal parking for Fourth Street and discussed her appreciation of the current arrangements, particularly since she is a pedestrian in that area.
Mayor Condron referenced Mr. Graham's comments and said staff will respond in writing to some of his concerns related to the BMX track and the process which has been undertaken to date on this matter.
Mr. Chouteau concurred that Mr. Osborne is technically correct regarding the placement of the Call to Order and Roll Call on the agenda. However, the agenda clearly indicates the Closed Session and Study Session, as well as Call to Order and Roll Call. He said staff will correct this deficiency. He and Mayor Condron stated that the Call to Order and Roll Call did occur at the beginning of the meeting, as required. He responded to Mr. Osborne's comments regarding quorums, pointing out that it is the Charter that requires a four-person majority vote on any resolution or ordinance. The purpose of the language in the policy referenced by Mr. Osborne is to assure that Council can continue to act through a quorum even when Council abstaining have reduced the number of Council actually voting below the quorum.
5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - June 8, 1999
MOVED by Councilmember Wright, seconded by Vice Mayor Martini, CARRIED BY A 5-0-1 VOTE (Mayor Condron abstaining because she was not present at the June 8 meeting) TO APPROVE THE JUNE 8, 1999, MINUTES AS PRESENTED.
6. STATEMENTS OF ABSTENTION BY COUNCILMEMBERS
Mayor Condron stated that She will be abstaining from discussing or voting on Item 7.2 since she serves on the Board of Directors for the Volunteer Center.
7. CONSENT ITEMS
7.1 ORDINANCE ADOPTION - AMENDING SECTION 14-04.210 OF THE SANTA ROSA CITY CODE BY ADDING SUBSECTION (E) TO PROVIDE FOR DISCONNECTION OF SERVICE FOR WATER WASTE AND ADDING CHAPTER 14-21 ENTITLED "WATER WASTE REGULATIONS"
7.2 RESOLUTION - CONTRACT AMENDMENT AND EXTENSION FOR ADA PARATRANSIT SERVICES
7.3 RESOLUTION - BID AWARD - OLD REDWOOD HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS
7.4 RESOLUTION - BID AWARD - SOUTH A STREET STORM DRAIN PROJECT
7.5 RESOLUTION - CONTRACT EXTENSION - SWEEPING SERVICES
7.6 RESOLUTION - PROPOSAL AWARD - FORMS MANAGEMENT SERVICES
Jack Osborne referred to Item 7.1 and explained why he doesn't believe the City has the legal or moral right to refuse to provide water. He expressed concern regarding the remaining Consent Items, questioning the lack of information on the agenda. He objected to these items being presented as Consent Items.
Mayor Condron pointed out that the information which Council receives in the Agenda packet related to bids is also available to the public.
Mr. Blackman briefly discussed Council's policy regarding bids. When all of the standard provisions have been met and the item is a duly budgeted item, the award is placed on the agenda as a Consent Item.
Mr. Blackman and Mr. Chouteau responded to Mr. Osborne's concerns regarding Item 7.1. The Council previously heard a report from staff and debated thoroughly the proposed water waste ordinance. Additionally, the City has the legal authority to discontinue the service if a customer refuses to fix leaks, etc., even as they have the right to discontinue service for non-payment.
MOVED by Vice Mayor Martini, seconded by Councilmember Evans, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
ORDINANCE NO. 3426 ENTITLED: ORDINANCE OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA AMENDING SECTION 14-04.210 OF THE SANTA ROSA CITY CODE BY ADDING SUBSECTION (E) TO PROVIDE FOR DISCONNECTION OF SERVICE FOR WATER WASTE AND ADDING CHAPTER 14-21 ENTITLED "WATER WASTE REGULATIONS" (Item 7.1).
MOVED by Vice Mayor Martini, seconded by Councilmember Evans, CARRIED BY A 5-0-1 VOTE (Mayor Condron abstaining) TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24022 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA APPROVING AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT WITH THE VOLUNTEER CENTER OF SONOMA COUNTY FOR PARATRANSIT SERVICES IN SANTA ROSA (Item 7.2).
MOVED by Vice Mayor Martini, seconded by Councilmember Evans, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXTS OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24023 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA ACCEPTING BID AND AWARDING CONTRACT NO. 99-024 TO ARGONAUT CONSTRUCTORS FOR OLD REDWOOD HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS (Item 7.3).
RESOLUTION NO. 24024 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA ACCEPTING BID AND AWARDING CONTRACT 98-033 TO ARGONAUT CONSTRUCTORS FOR SO. A STREET STORM DRAIN PROJECT (Item 7.4).
RESOLUTION NO. 24025 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA APPROVING AMENDMENT NO. 6 TO CONTRACT NO. 96-4914 WITH TAUZER SWEEPING FOR SWEEPING SERVICES (Item 7.5).
RESOLUTION NO. 24026 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA ACCEPTING THE PROPOSAL OF GOLDEN PACIFIC SYSTEMS, INC. FOR THE PURCHASE OF FORMS MANAGEMENT SERVICES (Item 7.6).
Councilmember Wright expressed her belief that Item 7.3 should have been presented as a Report Item in light of the contract amount although it was previously discussed by Council.
8. SCHEDULED ITEMS
8.1 REPORT - AUTHORIZATION OF TRANSPORTATION FUND FOR CLEAN AIR (TFCA) REGIONAL FUND APPLICATION
Charlie Lachman, Deputy Director of Field Services, made the staff presentation. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has requested applications from local government agencies for Fiscal Year 1999/2000 Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TCFA) Regional Funds for transportation projects which contribute to improved air quality. Applicants are required to include a resolution from the City Council authorizing the application for funds.
The projects proposed by the City of Santa Rosa Public Works Department include the purchase of five clean-air vehicles to replace five existing petroleum-powered vehicles. The reimbursement grant funds would pay the incremental cost.
Each of the five existing vehicles have been planned for replacement in Fiscal Year 1999/2000. The cost of replacing each petroleum-powered vehicle with a clean-powered vehicle is programmed into the proposed Fiscal Year 1999/2000 Public Works Department Operations and Maintenance budget.
It is recommended by the Public Works Department that the City Council, by resolution, authorize submittal of the applications for Fiscal Year 1999/2000 Transportation Fund for Clean Air Regional Funds for the purchase of five clean-air vehicles. It is further recommended that the City Council authorize the Director of Public Works to execute the agreements with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District if successful in obtaining Transportation Fund for Clean Air Regional Funds.
MOVED by Councilmember Evans, seconded by Vice Mayor Martini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24027 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA AUTHORIZING THE FILING OF APPLICATIONS WITH THE BAY AREA AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DISTRICT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1999/2000 TRANSPORTATION FUND FOR CLEAN AIR (TFCA) REGIONAL FUNDS (Item 8.1).
At this time, Mayor Condron reordered the Agenda to consider Item 9.1.
9.1 RESOLUTION - SUPPORT OF GREATER PUBLIC ACCESS TO OPEN SPACE IN SONOMA COUNTY/PURCHASE OF PROPERTIES IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO SANTA ROSA'S URBAN BOUNDARY
Councilmember Rabinowitsh explained why he believes it is important for Council to adopt a resolution on the County's processes related to preparing a Trails Master Plan and acquisition of open space. A draft of a new plan will be circulated related to outdoor recreation, and hearings will be held in the Fall on the Acquisition Plan Update for the open space funds. The proposed resolution will make the City's position clear regarding this matter. He noted that other cities are preparing similar resolutions.
A brief discussion followed regarding the proposed resolution. Councilmember Rabinowitsh explained that because the City's plan includes the Bay Area Ridge Trail, a related statement should be included, and was, in the resolution. Vice Mayor Martini briefly noted the initial decision of the community to support open space and to use the City's money for community separators. He also referenced discussions regarding appropriate uses for those separators. He discussed his support of more active recreational uses on community separators such as soccer, Little League, golf, etc., which are compatible with open space and community separators. He asked that the resolution include some language that would deal with this issue.
Following further discussion, it was recommenced that the ninth paragraph of the resolution be revised as indicated: "to include both active and passive outdoor recreation opportunities as a priority in the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District Acquisition Plan ..."
MOVED by Councilmember Rabinowitsh, seconded by Councilmember Evans, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION WITH A REVISION TO THE NINTH PARAGRAPH AS FOLLOWS: "TO INCLUDE BOTH ACTIVE AND PASSIVE OUTDOOR RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES AS A PRIORITY IN THE SONOMA COUNTY AGRICULTURAL PRESERVATION AND OPEN SPACE DISTRICT ACQUISITION PLAN ..."
RESOLUTION NO. 24028 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA SUPPORTING GREATER PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE OPEN SPACE IN SONOMA COUNTY AND PURCHASE OF PROPERTIES IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO SANTA ROSA'S URBAN BOUNDARY.
8.2 PUBLIC HEARING - DENSITY BONUS ORDINANCE
Maureen Rasmussen, City Planner, made the staff presentation. The State of California Legislature has determined that there is a severe shortage of affordable housing. In response, the State Density Bonus Law (Government Code Section 65915) was passed to help assure that local jurisdictions decrease housing development costs and thereby facilitate the development of affordable housing. The proposed Density Bonus Ordinance is designed to encourage affordable housing development by granting density increases and/or regulatory concessions.
On May 13, 1999, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the City Council adopt the local Density Bonus Ordinance, as proposed. Several issues were discussed including: rezoning requirements, minimum density bonus, off-site targeted units, con current development, a Housing Authority maintenance fee, and income categories.
The conclusion of the discussions was that rezoning is required to ensure projects comply with zoning, there is no floor to the percent density increase requested, off-site targeted units are allowed, concurrent development (market rate and targeted units) is appropriately required, a maintenance fee will be required, and income categories should only include very low and lower incomes. The report contains explicit discussions on each issue.
It is recommended by the Planning Commission that the City Council introduce an ordinance adopting a local Density Bonus Ordinance.
In response to Vice Mayor Martini, Ms. Rasmussen clarified that the number of targeted units is based on the General Plan density, rather than always being based on a density increase of 25%.
Discussion followed regarding how much of the proposed ordinance is dictated by State law and how much discretion the City has in the local density ordinance, as well as how enforcement of certain aspects of the ordinance would occur. In addition, several potential scenarios were discussed. During the discussion, Vice Mayor Martini and Councilmember Evans expressed concern regarding the mandates of State law. Councilmember Evans was particularly concerned that State law will allow affordable units to be built off-site. Mr. Chouteau reviewed the language of State law regarding this matter and said that the purpose of the State law is to force increased densities on the City in excess of the General Plan.
Director of Community Development Wayne Goldberg clarified that the subject proposal would not necessarily preempt the City's existing requirement that a project of over 20 acres must provide affordable units on site. He cited an example.
Mayor Condron opened the public hearing.
Jack Osborne explained why he believes Council should use the existing criteria; i.e., the proposed ordinance will drive up the cost of the land and, therefore, the cost of the houses, and will preclude the City's ability to achieve affordable housing.
Hearing no further comments, Mayor Condron closed the public hearing.
In response to Vice Mayor Martini, Mr. Chouteau explained that the City's existing ordinance is not in compliance what State law. He briefly discussed some of the ramifications which could occur if Council does not implement such an ordinance.
Ms. Rasmussen responded to Council's questions. She said that Council does not have to automatically improve a density increase if they can make specific findings that there would be an impact to schools, services, or infrastructure, or that there would be significant environmental consequences. In these cases Council has discretionary ability.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh said that, in part, he would also like density awarded to developments when they take care of social needs (increased play care opportunities, child care, development Downtown, mixed uses, etc.) in addition to affordable housing; i.e., they would be rewarded with added density. Ms. Rasmussen explained that incentives that are granted are contrary to what was mentioned by Councilmember Rabinowitsh; i.e., they relax the standards.
A brief discussion followed regarding the social issues referenced in the proposed ordinance.
In response to Councilmember Evans, Ms. Rasmussen referenced several density bonuses which have been granted during the past three years: Vista Sonoma, Redwood Meadows, Donahue Gardens, and Grossman Apartments.
MOVED by Councilmember Vas Dupre, seconded by Councilmember Wright, TO INTRODUCE AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE ORDINANCE REFERENCED BELOW.
Prior to the vote, Vice Mayor Martini said he will vote in favor of the proposed ordinance because it is required by State law. However, he expressed concern about the local control that will be relinquished in taking this action.
THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED: ORDINANCE OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA ADOPTING IMPLEMENTING MEASURES AND PROCEDURES RELATING TO GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 65915, RESIDENTIAL DENSITY BONUSES, BY ADDING CHAPTER 21-07 TO THE SANTA ROSA CITY CODE (Item 8.2).
8.3 PUBLIC HEARING - DENSITY BONUS PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION AND FEE
Gale Brownell, Housing Programs Coordinator, made the staff presentation. Prior to her presentation, however, she referenced concerns raised by Mr. Osborne on the previous item and pointed out that these units are generally rental units rather than for-sale units. It is rare that the situation he cited will occur.
The Density Bonus Program allows the development of affordable units which are required by State law to be affordable to qualified households for specified periods of time. In the past, the Housing Authority has monitored those units to ensure that they are occupied by qualified households and that rents are at the required levels. Both an application fee and an annual compliance fee have been charged. Since some of those fees are no longer adequate to cover costs, an increase is proposed. Ms. Brownell reviewed these fees.
It is recommended by the Department of Housing and Redevelopment that the City Council, by resolution, increase the annual compliance fee for affordable rental units in the Density Bonus Program pursuant to Government Code Section 65915 to $80 per unit with increases to be based on increases in the Consumer Price Index.
Mayor Condron opened the public hearing.
Jack Osborne expressed concern regarding imposing a fee which the renter will have to pay and suggested that the developer should be charged a flat fee instead, and that it should be used for administration purposes.
Hearing no further comments, Mayor Condron closed the public hearing.
MOVED by Councilmember Vas Dupre, seconded by Councilmember Wright, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24029 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA DELEGATING RESPONSIBILITY TO CONDUCT DENSITY BONUS AGREEMENT COMPLIANCE TO THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA, INCREASING THE ANNUAL COMPLIANCE FEE FOR RENTAL UNITS, AND CONFIRMING OTHER EXISTING FEES.
8.4 PUBLIC APPEAL HEARING - RECLASSIFICATION/TENTATIVE MAP - NORTHPOINT VILLAGE (2057 Stony Point Road)
Maureen Rasmussen, City Planner, made the staff presentation. She displayed and discussed location maps, and noted the surrounding uses. On May 27, 1999, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny the developer's request to rezone Northpoint Village (modify Development Plan and Policy Statement) and resubdivide a portion of the 66-acre site (22 fewer lots). The project is located at 2507 Stony Point Road, south of Roseland Creek and north of Hearn Avenue.
The Northpoint Village Final Map was recorded on December 1, 1998. The 66-acre site was subdivided into 280 residential parcels including: 194 detached single-family units, 77 attached single-family units, 7 live/work units, and 2 multifamily bulk parcels. The project includes a neighborhood park, parking lots, wetland zone, and a linear park along Roseland Creek. The current status is that the project is under construction as originally approved and in accordance with the recorded Final Map.
The developer was requesting approval for a new proposal which included rezoning (change in unit type, smaller setbacks and increased lot sizes) and resubdividing (deleting row houses along Roseland Creek in favor of detached single-family homes). The new project would have resulted in 258 residential parcels including: 251 detached single-family units, 5 live/work units and 2 multifamily bulk parcels. The new proposal included the neighborhood park, wetland zone, and linear park along Roseland Creek; however, excluded the private parking lots.
It is recommended by the Planning Commission that the City Council, by resolution, uphold their denial of the proposed rezoning (new Policy Statement and Development Plan) and Tentative Map.
Mayor Condron opened the public hearing.
George Putnam, representing Gentium Homes and Northpoint Village, briefly noted their lack of communication with the Planning Commission in that at the time of the public hearing, staff recommended approval of the proposal and there was no opposition to it. However, the Planning Commission had concerns regarding the lack of variation of the housing product. He discussed the history of the original plan, noting that Gentium Homes acquired the property just prior to the expiration of the tentative map. He displayed and discussed several drawings depicting the reconfigured project and said the new configuration is more compatible with the neighborhood. He said the proposal is a trade-off of additional attached units for a small-lot subdivision.
Duane DeWitt, Santa Rosa resident, discussed his concerns related to affordable single-family units, pointing out that the proposed location of the low-income units could create a situation similar to what occurred with Bellevue Ranch. Additionally, he expressed concern that the deletion of 22 units will change the affordability of the housing project. He asked Council to uphold the Planning Commission's decision and deny the appeal. He also asked that the developer be required to develop the low-income units first; i.e., as soon as possible given the low-income housing crisis which con currently exists. Additionally, he asked that the contracts to the sellers include a notification that low-income units are to be built in this development.
Hearing no further comments, Mayor Condron closed the public hearing.
Council discussion followed during which Ms. Rasmussen clarified the reasons for the Planning Commission's denial of the proposed project. The Commission was concerned with the reduction of the live/work units from seven to five, which is not a strong enough component for the Retail Business Service designation. The proposal includes multi-family parcels consisting of 104 units, which equate to a density of 17.9 units per acre.
Councilmember Evans noted that she and Vice Mayor Martini were on the Planning Commission at the time the original proposal was approved. There was particular support, then, of the townhouses proposed along the creek channel. Although the revised proposal maintains some of the good relationship between the houses and creek channel, she prefers the previous proposal and does not support the idea of reducing the number of units. Therefore, she will uphold the Planning Commission's action.
Vice Mayor Martini concurred, noting, however, that he abstained from acting on this matter when he was on the Planning Commission. He expressed concern that this proposal may generate a similar reaction as the Bellevue Ranch project, because the intention is not to build the townhouses until later.
There was a brief discussion regarding the affordable units and whether Council can require that they be built before the rest of the units. Vice Mayor Martini pointed out that this is the only situation in which the developer has donated land for affordable units and has thereby fulfilled his obligation under the City's Housing Allocation Plan. There is no criteria which suggests when those units must be built. It was noted that this issue is not before Council at this time.
Councilmember Wright said that she will uphold the appeal because the project, particularly with the multi-family and low-income units proposed, provides a broad range of housing types. She noted the size of the lots and said that the proposal provides for the most attractive and desirable development. Additionally, the loss of two live/work units is worth the trade off. She believes the density as originally proposed would be problematic.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh indicated that he will support the decision of the Planning Commission because it is important to have a variety of housing types. He noted that there doesn't appear to be any nearby commercial areas and asked that the need for this be kept in mind as the General Plan update is pursued. In other words, areas should be found where residents have markets, post offices, etc., nearby so as to avoid having to travel to those facilities by car. He expressed concern regarding the timing of the affordable units and suggested that signs be posted that would notify potential buyers that townhouses are imminent. Additionally, sellers should be obligated to notify buyers of the townhouses.
Councilmember Vas Dupre expressed her continuing concerns related to child care spaces.
Mayor Condron indicated that she will support the decision of the Planning Commission and will vote to deny the appeal.
MOVED by Councilmember Rabinowitsh, seconded by Councilmember Evans, CARRIED BY A 5-1 VOTE (Councilmember Wright opposing) TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24030 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA UPHOLDING THE PLANNING COMMISSION'S DENIAL OF REZONING AND TENTATIVE MAP OF PROPERTY LOCATED AT 2507 STONY POINT ROAD - FILE NUMBER MJP99-002 (Item 8.4).
Council recessed from 6:00 until 6:12 p.m. and reconvened with the same members present.
8.5 PUBLIC APPEAL HEARING - CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR DIALYSIS CENTER PARKING REDUCTION AT 1022 SECOND STREET
Blake Hillegas, City Planner, made the staff presentation. He displayed location maps and discussed the surrounding and proposed uses. On May 13, 1999, the Planning Commission approved by a 5-2 vote an eight space parking reduction for the Fresenius Dialysis Center proposed at 1022 Second Street. The proposal involves a 6,840 square-foot Dialysis Center with 26 parking spaces. The Dialysis Center would have a maximum of 10 employees with 16 dialysis stations. Thirty-four parking spaces would be required by Code for the proposed medical use.
Section 20-04.664 of the Zoning Code allows for parking reductions where it is found that due to special circumstances, fewer parking spaces than required by code will be sufficient to accommodate a use. The majority of the Planning Commission concluded that there are special circumstances regarding the operation of the Dialysis Center in that dialysis patients typically do not drive and family or friends dropping off patients rarely wait the 3-4 hours required for dialysis. The appellant contends that granting the parking reduction for the use would have an adverse impact on existing parking in the area.
It is recommended by the Planning Commission that the City Council, by resolution, deny the appeal and uphold the Planning Commission's decision.
Mayor Condron opened the public hearing.
Geary Rea, appellant, explained his concerns related to the parking situation and over-building on the site. He reviewed correspondence contained in the agenda packet, which is on file in the office of the City Clerk, which specifies the history of the area in question and the impact of the proposed project on the health of the neighborhood.
Bernadette Curry, representing Fresenius Medical Center, explained that the Dialysis Center is somewhat different than the usual medical business in that it does not have the usual heavy traffic. Ms. Curry then described in detail the typical traffic pattern of the Dialysis Center, pointing out why the parking spaces are never full to capacity. She pointed out that a revocation of the permit would occur if use of the facility changed. She noted the need in this area for the equipment used by the Dialysis Center which triggered the need for the larger clinic.
Hearing no further comments, Mayor Condron closed the public hearing.
Mr. Hillegas responded to questions raised by Councilmember Evans. He clarified that the expansion of the building is for a water treatment facility. Depending on the use, an expansion for this facility may ordinarily require a certain number of parking spaces. He pointed out that if the current applicant vacates the building, a general office use could move in with tenant improvements and there would be more than sufficient parking for that purpose. However, if another medical use were to move into the building, a new Use Permit would be required. That Use Permit would be denied if the warrants for the parking reduction were not met.
MOVED by Councilmember Evans, seconded by Councilmember Wright, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24031 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA DENYING AN APPEAL AND UPHOLDING THE DECISION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVING A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR A PARKING REDUCTION FOR FRESENIUS DIALYSIS CENTER - LOCATED AT 1022 SECOND STREET - FILE NUMBER MNP099-009 (Item 8.5).
8.6 PUBLIC HEARING - ORDINANCE REQUIRING SAFE POTABLE WATER CONNECTION FOR DEVELOPED PARCELS IN AREAS OF POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS WELL WATER - SEBASTOPOL ROAD
Larry Brown, Deputy Director of Utilities, made the staff presentation. The County of Sonoma adopted an ordinance today requiring developed parcels in the Red Zone to connect to a safe potable water supply. City staff has provided a companion ordinance for the consideration of the City Council that would require the 16 properties in the Red Zone that are in the City limits to connect to City water. Mr. Brown displayed a copy of a map depicting the Red Zone and noted the properties within that zone. He said that a series of properties on Emmy Lou Court is conspicuous because Emmy Lou Court does not have a water main in it.
Mr. Brown noted that the County has dealt with a funding mechanism for the people who are required to connect. There are several loan programs through Housing & Redevelopment. In addition, staff is developing an alternative for consideration by Council which involves some reprogramming of some of the funds currently programmed for street improvements on West Avenue. Community Development Block Grant money could be made available/reprogrammed, in conjunction with some grant money which is available through the Regional Water Quality Control Board. He noted some of the restrictions on State funding.
Mr. Brown briefly discussed some of the features of the ordinance, and said that currently there is not a great deal of consideration given to the area of the impact when a new water well is installed. He said the Environmental Health staff at the County also serve as the City's Environmental Health staff.
It is recommended by the Board of Public Utilities and the Utilities Department that the City Council introduce an ordinance requiring that all developed parcels in the Sebastopol Avenue Red Zone be connected to City water.
Council discussion followed, during which Mr. Brown reviewed the potential costs and funding with which the applicants would be faced. He said that the preliminary discussions staff has held with the Regional Water Quality Control Board suggest that the properties on Emmy Lou Court, and the four owner-occupied properties within the Red Zone which are not on Emmy Lou Court, could be handled totally for about $240,000. That estimate includes everything and would result in zero cost to the homeowners. He explained that this can be done by using the State money to pay for connections and the City's reprogrammed funds from the West Avenue project to do the construction from the main to the property.
A discussion followed regarding the status of the improvements to West Avenue. Mr. Brown explained that reprogramming the funds will not necessarily significantly alter the completion date for the West Avenue project, which is intended to be a phased project anyway.
In response to Councilmember Rabinowitsh, Mr. Brown explained that there are five rental properties in the Red Zone. It may be more appropriate to order compliance by a landlord than an owner-occupied residence. He pointed out that if the property is in the Red Zone, there is a presumption that there is a likelihood of contaminants in the well.
Mayor Condron opened the public hearing.
Jack Osborne questioned Council's right to condemn a well. He said that it is the property owner's decision as to whether to maintain the well. He suggested that this action is not a correction of a plume of contaminants, but rather a way of getting property owners to connect to the City.
Duane DeWitt, Santa Rosa resident, said that while he would not advocate people drinking contaminated water, he is not sure a full explanation of the degree of contamination has been made. He expressed concern that the subject proposal penalizes people who have not had anything to do with the threat of contamination. He referred to documents released by the North Coast Water Quality Control Board which indicate that the pollution is from leaks in the County-controlled sewer system on Sebastopol Road. He questioned the County using low-income housing set-aside funds for this project and said the City should take a stand to require that the County fund this project since it is their responsibility to see that the sewer is fixed. He explained why he believes the loans should also be paid for by the County. The County has known about the leaks for the past couple of years. Homeowners should not have to pay for contamination problems for which they are not responsible. Funding can be found elsewhere. He suggested that Council should use the funds designated for the relocation of the Church of One Tree rather than using the CDBG funds designated for road repairs.
Sherry McGary asked Council to continue this matter for 30 to 60 days because she feels the public did not receive adequate notice. She pointed out that 7 of the 13 people impacted live on Emmy Lou Court and said those residents are not willing to incur the costs to hook up. She asked Council not to pass an ordinance, but to force the people responsible for the pollution to clean up the groundwater.
Hans Herb, Santa Rosa resident, referred to his letter dated June 16 which details his thoughts on this matter. His letter is on file in the office of the City Clerk. He assured Council that if nothing is done today, the residents will still hook up to the City's water supply. The difference is in how they will be hooked up and who will pay for it. The issue is also who should pay for/be responsible for this matter. He discussed the efforts that have gone into development of a comprehensive program in that area to get the problems resolved, and expressed concern that this ordinance is now being presented. He stated that the County should pay for clean up of this pollution. He pointed out that the Regional Water Quality Control Board exists to handle these situations on a regional basis and suggested that Council should let them do their job.
In response to Councilmember Evans, Mr. Herb said it is his understanding that the Regional Water Quality Control Board intends to issue the Final Cleanup and Abatement Order, but that it has not yet been issued. Councilmember Evans pointed out that in the current draft form, the Order requires the discharger to submit a work plan for identifying the extent of the contamination by March 1, 1999 and by March 15, 1999, a schedule and plan for alternative water supplies for domestic wells. This language implies that the discharger was supposed to supply this information three months ago. Mr. Herb said that has not occurred. However, he believes that Council is being asked to resolve this situation.
Shelly Turner said she serves on the Citizens Clean-up Coalition and has been involved in this matter for three years. She discussed the intention of the coalition to secure safe drinking water. She discussed the efforts of the Coalition as they worked with other agencies on this matter, attempting to find funding outside of the region, and was appalled to learn that residents have to pay to have their water secured to a safe water source. She noted that this situation has become an "emergency" and said she is interested in continuing a good working relationship with the Council to develop proposals that are good for everyone involved.
Hearing no further comments, Mayor Condron closed the public hearing.
Vice Mayor Martini asked if Council follows Mr. Brown's recommendation, whether that will solve the problem for the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, and whether the City can then attempt to reclaim its funds from the polluter. Mr. Chouteau said he will have to explore this possibility. He said that two issues exist: 1) Should the residents have to pay for the hook up? Mr. Brown has indicated that the City is exploring this matter so the residents won't have to pay. 2) Should the City mandate the hookups to prevent the drinking of contaminated water by tenants on property where the landlord refuses to hook up?
This is the question before Council today; i.e., an ordinance that mandates the hook ups because of possible health hazards.
In response to Councilmember Evans, Mr. Blackman said this area was annexed about two years ago. It was identified as a Superfund site in 1982 or 1984.
Bill Erdei, Regional Water Quality Control Board and Case Worker for the Superfund Site since 1995, said the site was first listed as a State Superfund Site in 1984. That allowed some monies to be spent on installing wells and investigating sources of contamination. The EPA also did some work in the area in 1992-1993. In 1995, the Department of Toxic Substances Control took over as the lead agency for this site. The site was placed on the national priority list. He discussed the efforts expended on determining the source of the solvent. As a result of that effort and extensive well testing conducted last year, the Draft Cleanup and Abatement Order was issued. The issuance of the Final Order will be made at the discretion of the Regional Water Quality Control Board. However, he is not privy to that decision. All that is available at this time is the Draft Order. He explained that the Draft Order allows negotiations to begin with the State and the potentially responsible parties.
Mr. Erdei responded to Council questions. He explained that if the City doesn't take action and the Board were to issue the Final Order, alternative water supplies would have to be provided. In addition, if the Final Order were issued, responsible parties would be responsible for investigating and cleaning up the contamination. He said he does not see a connection between ordering a responsible party to hook up to an alternate water supply and investigating and cleaning up the ground water contamination plume. Both can be requested. He said he is not qualified to discuss the severity of the effect of the contamination. However, of the 65 wells sampled last year, approximately 20 showed contamination with chemicals below drinking water standards. He pointed out the difficulty which exists in determining how contaminated ground water is via sampling domestic wells. He briefly noted the locations of the monitoring wells and said the responsible party has only recently been tentatively identified. Additionally, MTBE is showing up in the wells, and it is very difficult to identify a responsible party for that contamination.
Councilmember Vas Dupre referred to a "Tools for Drinking Water Protection" Video Conference held here several years ago which originated from Washington, D.C. and said this is not a new issue. She said she needs more information about it.
In response to Councilmember Evans, Mr. Erdei said the County's comments on the Draft Order are ongoing.
Ernie Carpenter noted that he is not representing the County. He discussed the history of the subject area which was previously lined with dry cleaning and repair businesses, oil cracking plants, etc. He said although this area has been on the State Superfund list, there never has been any State funding coming this way. Therefore, the Citizens Coalition has done a great deal of work to obtain funding to get people hooked up to the sewer. He said that under the law, the State is responsible for cleaning up this area. The State has pursued identifying the responsible party/polluter. He explained however, that polluters have been transferring the burden to units of government. He stated that the sewer pipe did not create this pollution, but rather it is caused by discharges from the various businesses. He suggested that if Council can locate funding to install the sewer line in Emmy Lou Court, it would benefit everyone and the City would receive a payback over time in water purchases. Regarding renters, he indicated that this is a matter of public health and the government needs to take action.
Mr. Brown responded to Council questions. He said that he has a high level of confidence that funding can be obtained, but staff is not proposing to take care of all of the properties. The proposal is to take care of the properties on Emmy Lou Court and those that are owner-occupied. There are some fairly large multi-family units that staff is not suggesting the City become involved in paying for. Those rental units are within the City limits. He said that while it is not his field of expertise, the clean up of ground water is a very complicated and long-term process.
Vice Mayor Martini explained why he is not prepared to endorse an ordinance at this time. He discussed his involvement in this issue as a Council Subcommittee member and said that he believes that there is a relationship between ordering a hook up and determining who is to pay for it. He said he would like to direct staff to identify sources of money, hook the residents up to potable water, and then attempt to recoup the money.
Mayor Condron noted that while this is not an emergency situation, She is concerned that people are still using contaminated wells. She suggested this matter needs to go back to the Regional Water Quality Control Board and that staff should explore the status of the Final Order. She said she doesn't want to enforce residents to hook up without answers to a number of questions and that this can't be treated as two separate issues (i.e., without information regarding the funding).
Councilmember Evans concurred. She discussed her frustrations with situations which arose in this area while it was still in the County's jurisdiction, but which the City is now faced with resolving (i.e., schools built without sidewalks, polluted drinking water). She said it appears that, according to the Regional Water Quality Control Board, this is something the County should be paying for. She concurred that this matter should be continued (i.e., for 30 to 60 days) until the City knows what the Regional Board will do.
Councilmember Vas Dupre said she would like the City to work together with other agencies on this matter since this is a critical issue and timing is of importance. She said she is concerned about the renters, because there is an urgency for everyone affected by these contaminated wells. She referred to the well installed because of the Golf Center and questioned the possible impacts of that on the plume. She said there are many unanswered questions.
J.J. Krug, Director of Environmental Health Services for Sonoma County, said the urgency is there in that the regional well testing shows widespread contamination in the area. While he doesn't know the exact extent of the contamination, he suspects the entire population using the groundwater is at risk. From a health perspective, he believes there is a need to hook those residents up to a safe, secure water supply. He responded to Council questions. He briefly discussed the chemicals in the water and explained why it is difficult to determine the extent of the vertical and horizontal distribution of the pollution, thus making it difficult to state what the health effects are. Although a "Cease and Desist Order" has not been issued for this area, the ordinance was adopted this morning by the County. He said he doesn't have the details, but believes the County has issued a written response to the Draft Order.
Councilmember Wright said there needs to be clarification on the issue of funding and the status of the Final Order. While there is a need to move with some haste on this matter, there is also a need for a response to unanswered questions. She recommended this item be continued for 45 days until the Subcommittee can meet with members of the Board and staff in an attempt to get some of the questions answered.
Councilmember Vas Dupre said that she believes the health of the public is imminent and that the ordinance should be introduced today.
COUNCILMEMBER VAS DUPRE MOVED TO INTRODUCE THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE. THE MOTION FAILED DUE TO ALACK OF SECOND.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh concurred that the health and safety issues are predominant. However, he thinks there is a need to delay action on this matter until some of the questions have been answered. He believes the City must find a way to help pay for the hook ups.
Councilmember Evans said she is reluctant to commit money allocated by the City for other projects if it is not responsible for this situation.
MOVED by Vice Mayor Martini, seconded by Councilmember Evans, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO CONTINUE THIS MATTER FOR 30 DAYS TO ALLOW STAFF TIME TO: 1) DETERMINE FUNDING SOURCES AND COSTS, 2) OBTAIN CLARIFICATION RELATED TO THE DRAFT CLEANUP AND ABATEMENT ORDER BY THE CALIFORNIA REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD, AND 3) PROCEED WITH NEGOTIATIONS FOR GRANT MONIES FOR THE PROPERTIES IDENTIFIED BY MR. BROWN.
Council recessed from 7:45 until 8:00 p.m. and reconvened with the same Councilmembers present.
8.7 PUBLIC HEARING - GARBAGE COLLECTION RATES
In 1989, AB 939 became State law mandating local governments divert 25% of their solid waste from landfills by 1995 and 50% by 2000. To accomplish these goals, local governments were required to establish a citizen advisory group (Local Task Force) and develop an Integrated Waste Management Plan for submittal to the California Integrated Waste Management Board. Santa Rosa and eight other municipalities joined forces with the County of Sonoma to form the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency (Agency) to implement the plan. While the 1995 diversion goal of 25% was attained and exceeded, our diversion rate has reached a plateau just under 40%. Although none of the Sonoma County jurisdictions will attain the year 2000 goal, staff at the Integrated Waste Management Board have indicated to jurisdictions that if they plan for and implement programs to address AB 939 goals, they will not be subject to penalties. The Agency's efforts in planning and implementing programs to reach the 50% diversion goal by 2000 have been outstanding and are not likely to result in penalties. However, the City and the other jurisdictions in the Agency must remain proactive to meet the 50% waste stream diversion goal.
With the 50% goal in mind, the Local Task Force reviewed the Agency's implementation efforts and identified opportunities to divert more materials headed to the landfill from the waste stream. As part of the analysis, a study of what makes up the current waste stream was conducted and compared to the materials currently being diverted. Based on diversion potential, ease of implementation, and cost, the Task Force recommends more of what is already being done: recycling, composting, "special waste" diversion, and waste reduction education. In Santa Rosa this can be accomplished by offering more user-friendly curbside collection, rewarding recyclers with more progressive can rates, and expanding multi-family recycling.
Offering more user-friendly curbside collection can be achieved by converting to a "single stream" recycling system. The single stream system places all recyclables in one container. A 90-gallon container would replace the familiar stacking bin system. Instead of sorting recyclable materials in the residence, the materials are sorted at a mostly automated material recovery facility (MRF).
Implementation of the single stream system will require a significant capital investment by Empire Waste Management and consideration of extending the franchise three years to fully amortize the capital investment. A four million dollar up-front capital investment will be required: $1.8 million for containers, $.4 million to modify collection trucks, and $1.8 million for sorting line improvements to create the material recovery facility. While capital investments in refuse trucks are typically spread over eight years, investments in containers and facility improvements are typically spread over ten years. Seven years remain on the existing franchise. Therefore, a franchise extension of three years would allow full amortization of the required capital investment.
Because of the operating efficiencies achieved with the single stream recycling system, the franchise fee could be increased closer to the average of other local jurisdictions without a rate increase on July 1, 1999. Currently, a franchise fee of 3% is charged to all refuse payers. The average franchise fee charged by local jurisdictions is 7.3%. Increasing the franchise fee to 6% would generate approximately $354,000 annually for the City's General Fund.
Because of technical problems with the presentation system, the staff presentation was delayed.
Mayor Condron opened the public hearing at this time.
Bill Patterson, Windsor resident, referenced his campaign efforts as a candidate for the Windsor Town Council last year. During that campaign, he did not hear any negative comments regarding the garbage services in Windsor. He noted his extensive efforts prior to that campaign for open, competitive bidding for the garbage contract. He discussed in detail the success of the open, competitive bidding process. He noted the savings the Town of Windsor experienced as a result of the bid process. He discussed the negative ramifications which could result if this Council does not open the process for awarding the garbage contract to the open, competitive bidding process.
The technical difficulties with the presentation system were resolved at this time, and Marc Richardson, Assistant City Manager, commenced the presentation. He reviewed the issues before Council at this time: whether to authorize the addition of recycling services to the City's current services, whether to restructure the refuse rates, and whether to increase the franchise fees as well as extend the franchise. He said Council will be provided with background information on this matter and the community participation that has gone into preparing the recommendations. In addition, Council will be provided with staff recommendations, as well as recommendations from the Council Subcommittee (Vice Mayor Martini and Councilmember Runyan). He introduced Ken Wells, Director of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.
Mr. Wells said he is the Integrated Waste Manager and Director for the Agency. He explained that AB 939 (the Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989) is driving the action before Council at this meeting. He then reviewed the key requirements of AB 939, and discussed the purposes of the Local Task Force and its broad representation, as well as the Joint Powers Agency (Sonoma County Waste Management Agency; i.e. SCWMA) which was formed for implementation purposes. He also described the responsibilities of the SCWMA. He noted the diversion rate plateau which has been reached in the efforts to comply with AB 939, discussed actions taken by the Local Task Force to determine how the 50% diversion rate goal can be achieved, and reviewed the materials which are currently being diverted.
Mr. Wells discussed the general recommendations of the Local Task Force and the direction being recommended for Santa Rosa. The recommendations for Santa Rosa include the following proposals: offer a more user-friendly (convenient) curbside collection container (single-stream); reward recyclers with more progressive can rates and smaller can sizes; and expand multi-family recycling. He stressed that cooperation is essential for the County to reach its AB 939 goals and that Santa Rosa is the first agency to address the Local Task Force recommendations.
Mr. Richardson discussed the process undertaken by the Local Task Force on this matter and said that the resultant recommendations, methods of implementation, and potential costs were then presented to the Council Subcommittee. Further discussions ensued. He said that the Local Task Force is recommending heading toward single-stream recycling. Mr. Richardson discussed what is meant by single-stream recycling, pointing out that the materials will be sorted at a "Material Recovery Facility" (MRF) via a mechanized process.
Mr. Richardson discussed the diversion rate experienced by central Contra Costa County as a result of their conversion to the single-stream system. He pointed out that single-stream recycling also sets the stage for increased multi-family recycling. Mr. Richardson reviewed the significant operating efficiencies which result from single-stream recycling.
Mr. Richardson reviewed the capital investment that would be required to implement a single-stream system and how that investment would be amortized. He explained the need to measure the amortization against the remaining time (seven years) of the existing franchise and the need to extend the contract. At the end of three years, Council would then determine whether to put the contract out to bid, at which time Empire Waste Management would be given notice of the City's intent to engage in the bid process.
Mr. Richardson discussed the proposal to restructure the current refuse rates, pointing out that those residents who use the smaller containers would pay less than those using the large size containers. He noted that the City wants to investigate multi-family recycling. However, the rates must be restructured for that purpose. At this time multi-family units are considered commercial enterprises, and those consisting of five or more units pay commercial refuse rates. He briefly noted the model that is being considered for that purpose. Staff proposes to return to Council after the first of the year with a recommendation to meet this need.
Mr. Richardson provided Council with a comparison of franchise fees and said that Santa Rosa currently has the lowest fees in the area (3%). The current Countywide average, including Santa Rosa is 7.3%. He explained how the single-stream operating efficiencies would allow a 3% increase in franchise fees effective July 1, 1999, without increasing refuse rates. He noted that the triennial audit of Empire Waste Management's financial reports has been completed. There were no significant findings. Additionally, staff reviews the City's rates on an annual basis. There has not been a rate increase since January 1998. Mr. Richardson noted staff's (and the Subcommittee's) review of the rate packet submitted by Empire Waste and said that review suggests that in January 2000 there should be a rate increase of 4.78%. He explained the reasons for that proposed rate increase and compared the proposed rates with the current rates, as well as with the current rates of other jurisdictions.
In closing, Mr. Richardson briefly reviewed the recommendations of the Refuse Subcommittee:
Mr. Richardson and Bruce McConnell, Accounting Officer, responded to Council questions. The cities included in the rate comparison are the ones which Santa Rosa typically uses and include those which Empire Waste Management services in Sonoma County. Additionally, Napa and Vallejo were included to provide information about rates paid by cities outside of Sonoma County. Windsor is not served by Empire Waste Management. Their rates are lower than Santa Rosa's. Because of an outstanding issue between Empire Waste Management and the Town of Windsor, Windsor's rates have not been referenced.
Mayor Condron called for additional public hearing comments at this time. She granted Mr. Patterson additional time to speak, since he originally spoke before staff's presentation.
Mr. Patterson expressed surprise that Empire Waste Management did not want Windsor's rates made available. He reiterated the need for the citizens to obtain open competitive bidding.
Richard Day reviewed the three issues which he believes are before Council at this time: 1) whether there should be a single-stream recycling system, 2) whether the contract with Empire Waste Management should be extended thereby delaying a competitive bidding process, and 3) whether there should be an increase in the franchise fee. Mr. Day spoke in favor of the single-stream recycling system, but questioned why the service cannot be put out for a competitive bid. He suggested that this matter be put before the residents for a vote. He explained why he believes the franchise fees are not actually "fees," but rather a tax, and why they may involve potential legal problems related to Propositions 218 and 13.
Duane DeWitt, Santa Rosa resident, referenced 1993 Grand Jury Report recommendations regarding competitive bidding on refuse contracts, the roll-over process of extending contracts and licenses, and informing residents of recommended major changes in services by a hauler. He explained why he does not believe the City's standard notification procedure is adequate in this case. He spoke about the lack of effort to enhance recycling at apartment levels. He discussed the reasons why he doesn't believe the City has to buy new containers or switch to a new system to attain AB 939 goals. He voiced his opposition to monopolies and said he will always advocate for the competitive bidding process.
George Horwedel, Windsor resident, noted that tipping fees should be compared before the rates are compared. He said he was involved in the initiative and referendum in Windsor and was told by the senior citizens that they wanted the 20-gallon container. He noted that is one good aspect of Santa Rosa's proposal. He said Contra Costa County put their last contract out to bid and thereby saved a large sum of money. He discussed in detail why he believes Santa Rosa could get the containers for less than the current amortized rate if they would go out to bid for refuse services. He reviewed the rates the Town of Windsor charges for the various containers. He said when he was involved in door-to-door campaigning for Windsor, he heard consistently that competitive bidding is good public policy. He urged Council to competitively bid for refuse services.
Ernie Carpenter spoke for several minutes about the situation in the Southwest Area at the time of its annexation (i.e., there was no Southwest Area Plan, environmental documentation, feasibility study, etc., in place), rebutting comments made during the discussion for Item 8.6. He explained why he believes the proposal for the single-stream system is labor intensive and that he does not think the cost figures for the labor are included. He suggested that if Council implements a MRF, they do so for policy reasons that serve the City of Santa Rosa, rather than for the purpose of meeting AB 939 requirements.
Dorothea O'Schell expressed concern about the 90-gallon containers in that they will be difficult for seniors to move. She pointed out that since recyclable containers do not fall under the walk-in program, they will have to be wheeled out to the streets. She discussed her need to contact Empire Waste Management weekly to pick up her refuse because they neglect to do so on her designated day.
Loretta Borges said that the proposed containers will be too large for older people to handle. She discussed her concerns about the impact of the increased fees on people living in her park who are on low-income. She asked Council not to let this proposal move forward and said that she concurred that these types of services should go out to bid.
David Madigan questioned the lack of a competitive bid process for refuse services. He said that he has not had a commercial refuse pick-up at his business during the past five or six months. He has contacted Empire Waste Management several times and the City Manager's Office has also contacted them on his behalf. However, Empire Waste Management still does not pick up his refuse and so he terminated his contract with them. He expressed concern about Empire Waste Management dictating the information City staff is presenting to the Council at this meeting.
Barry Adams spoke on behalf of competitive bidding. He suggested that Council should delay action on this issue until it has been studied more fully. He explained that a Countywide solution is required and said that the diversion rate is a Countywide equation. He suggested that if a MRF is built, everyone should be able to use it (i.e., Windsor, etc.). Other areas cannot use the proposed MRF because it will ultimately be owned by Empire Waste Management.
Dana Peterlin spoke on behalf of a friend who could not be present and who believes that reducing the cost of the smaller containers to $6 per month would motivate citizens to increase the recycling efforts. She suggested that Council should revert recycle collection into the hands of independent entities. She lives in a condominium complex which Empire Waste Management does not service with recycle service. She pointed out that Empire Waste Management not only charges citizens for recycle services, but receives sizeable refunds for those materials as well. She asked that these services be opened to competition.
Sammy Nasr, Sebastopol resident, said that although he is a member of the Local Task Force, he is now speaking as an individual and not as a Task Force member. He asked Council to enact something soon to meet the mandates of AB 939. He said that Contra Costa County is not an accurate model for this proposal because before they went to the single-stream system, they were accepting a lot less material. Additionally, Contra Costa County has a dual-stream system. Although they utilize one container, it has two compartments.
Mr. Nasr said the proposed containers will provide some automation and are labor-saving. Additionally, doing the route every other week will result in a large savings. He said he believes the savings which will result will justify extra expenses for new containers. However, a Franchise extension is not warranted. He discussed the efficiency which is generated by competitive bidding. He pointed out that the targets evident to the Local Task Force are primarily for multi-family units. This issue needs to be addressed further with mandatory enforcement. Additionally, there needs to be an increased focus on the commercial stream. He suggested that if there is an increase of Franchise fees paid to the City, that money should go to diversion activities and education.
Lesli Daniel discussed the desire on the parts of residents living in multi-family dwellings to recycle and her numerous attempts to obtain these services in different places where she's lived. She noted her support of the competitive bidding process. She also questioned the extension of the contract in that she wondered whether Council can wait another seven years to change their recycling system to capture more recyclables. Ms. Daniel's main point was that Council should assure that all multi-family residents have access to convenient recycling services in their complexes.
James Landa, District Manager of Empire Waste Management, explained why he does not think Windsor's rates are comparable and said that is why their information was not contained in the comparisons. He distributed a document comparing the refuse rates of 81 jurisdictions in the Bay Area. He pointed out that of those 81 jurisdictions, 16 have gone out to bid but have rates higher than Santa Rosa's. He also pointed out that the hauler that picks up for Windsor also picks up for Novato. However, Novato's rate is about three times as high as the rates for Windsor. He questioned whether the company servicing Windsor submitted a proposal that will cover their actual disposal costs.
Mr. Landa explained that the proposal before Council does not involve additional costs and will not increase refuse rates. The increase of 4.78% will occur whether or not this program is pursued and will be based on cost of living and disposal cost increases. He said that the three-year extension is being requested to amortize equipment costs for proceeding with a single-stream system. He pointed out that customers have expressed a desire to have a system whereby recyclables can be handled more easily, i.e., via one container. He said his company will deal on an individual basis with customers who either want smaller containers or are unable to get their containers to the curb.
Don Sanders said he is the Sierra Club representative on the Local Task Force. He noted the positive aspects of the proposal, but expressed several concerns: whether the single-stream technology will actually reduce the waste stream, contamination that may result, and mixing broken glass with cardboard which makes it non-saleable. He questioned how this proposal will advance longstanding efforts to raise public consciousness about the need to reduce waste and reuse materials. Additionally, he questioned how extending the franchise for an additional three years will ensure that Santa Rosa is getting the best possible service at the lowest possible price.
Hearing no further comments, Mayor Condron closed the public hearing.
A brief discussion followed regarding continuing this item to the next meeting due to the lateness of the hour. Councilmember Evans stated her desire to proceed with consideration of it at this meeting.
MOVED by Vice Mayor Martini, seconded by Councilmember Wright, CARRIED BY A 5-1 VOTE (Councilmember Evans opposing) TO CONTINUE CONSIDERATION OF THIS MATTER TO THE NEXT MEETING.
9. MAYOR'S/COUNCILMEMBERS' REPORTS
Councilmember Vas Dupre referenced a Press Democrat article regarding the "Day for Picnics and Pops, the Santa Rosa Symphony" and said the Development Director expressed appreciation to the Council for the City's support of this event through the Community Promotion Fund.
10. WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS (AND POSSIBLE COUNCIL ACTION)
All Written Communication Items were continued to the next meeting (June 29).
10.1 COMMUNICATION - League of California Cities Legislative Bulletin.
10.2 COMMUNICATION - W. Odlum re: Geysers Project - Southern Alignment.
10.3 COMMUNICATIONS - Re: Dennis Lane Traffic Patterns.
10.4 COMMUNICATION - West End Neighborhood Association/Preservation District re: Railroad Clean-up.
10.5 COMMUNICATION - Recreation and Parks Department re: Real Estate Sign in Skyhawk Park.
10.6 COMMUNICATION - R. & J. Scramaglia re: Geysers Mid-Section Development - Easement Acquisition List.
10.7 COMMUNICATION - Historic Railroad Square Association re: Airport Express Stop.
10.8 COMMUNICATION - T. Brunges re: Request to Remove Speed Bump on Dennis Lane.
10.9 COMMUNICATION - G. Johnson re: City Council and City Vision: Conflict of Interest and Brown Act Violation Issues.
10.10 COMMUNICATIONS - Expressing Need to Study Central County Project.
10.11 COMMUNICATION - E. Powell re: Support for Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance.
10.12 COMMUNICATION - K. Lane re: Opposition to Southern Route - Geysers Pipeline Project.
10.13 COMMUNICATION - Recreation & Parks Department re: Neighborhood Block Party Promotion.
Hearing no further business, Mayor Condron adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m. to the next regularly scheduled meeting to take place on June 29, 1999, at a time to be set by the Mayor. She adjourned the meeting in honor of Carol Chase, Cloverdale Mayor, who died yesterday.