SANTA ROSA CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
(APPROVED BY COUNCIL 11/2/99)
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 1999
COUNCIL CHAMBER, CITY HALL, 100 SANTA ROSA AVENUE
ROLL CALL/CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Condron called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m. in the Mayor's Conference Room.
Present at Roll Call were Mayor Condron, Vice Mayor Martini, and Councilmembers Rabinowitsh and Wright. Councilmember Vas Dupre was seated at 3:12 p.m., Councilmember Runyan at 3:25 p.m., and Councilmember Evans at 3:30 p.m.
MOVED by Vice Mayor Martini, seconded by Councilmember Wright, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (by a 4-0 vote) TO ADD THE STUDY SESSION - MERIT AWARDS PROGRAM TO THE AGENDA.
*3:00 P.M. - STUDY SESSION - MERIT AWARDS PROGRAM (MAYOR'S CONFERENCE ROOM
John Sawyer, Chairperson of the Merit Awards Program Committee, discussed the committee's attempts to increase both their visibility in the community and the number of nominations submitted for Merit Awards. He said the committee has encountered redundancy in the nominations received and has been struggling with what is meant by "exemplary" performance. He provided Council with examples of some of the nominations which have been received.
Mr. Sawyer said one question before Council is whether they want to "raise the bar" and require nominees to fit within a specific level of achievement. He noted that the average number of awards given is between 20 and 30. It has been a struggle, at times, for the committee to grant this many awards not because of a lack of nominations, but because of a lack of quality. He asked how Council wants to deal with this issue and said the Board of Community Services and Merit Awards Committee are seeking Council's direction on whether higher standards should be set and whether fewer awards should be given, thus enabling the Committee to purchase nicer awards.
Councilmember Wright discussed her recollection of the history of the Merit Awards when the Downtown Development Association was in place. She said the concept was around quality of life and the types of things that make Santa Rosa feel and look exceptionally special. The awards program focused more on aesthetics, architecture, and landscaping. The focus now is the opposite, making these the exception rather than the rule. She said there are many organizations recognizing exceptional individuals doing exceptional things in the community. However, no organization is doing what was originally meant to be done with the awards program; i.e., acknowledging companies making a greater than average investment in the community. Mr. Sawyer said there are fewer nominations in that area.
Mayor Condron discussed the need to increase the outreach for this program, in part by involving the City's Boards and Commissions in submitting nominations.
Discussion followed regarding the need to clarify the criteria for Merit Awards.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh concurred with the need for the City to recognize good projects; i.e., architecture and design. He suggested it may be feasible to take another look at the categories and suggested that representatives from AIA (American Institute of Architects), landscaping groups, and neighborhood groups may be willing to help identify worthy projects. He said that there is no need to give an award if there isn't a project worthy of it.
Mr. Sawyer distributed information regarding the 1999 Merit Awards. He said the majority of the committee members concur that awards do not have to be given in if there are no qualified nominees.
Vice Mayor Martini referenced the first three categories of awards, Youth Services, Community Services - Individual, and Community Services - Organization, and pointed out that these differ from those mentioned by Councilmember Wright.
At this time, Pat Fruiht reviewed the history of this program in detail since the involvement of the Board of Community Services in 1978. Prior to that time, the Design Review Board had an Architecture Awards Program and presented awards for that purpose only. In 1978, the Council decided they wanted the awards to focus on individuals. The Volunteer Center had not implemented a recognition program at that time. Prior to that time there had only be two categories, architecture and neighborhood revitalization/rehabilitation. Since 1978 the emphasis has been on people who have improved the quality of life in Santa Rosa. Architecture was part of this program, but not the main focus.
Mr. Sawyer discussed some of the difficulties the committee is now encountering. Mayor Condron summarized the discussion as follows: 1) Criteria needs to be established which is better defined for each award category. 2) The bar must be raised (i.e., regarding the qualifications of the nominees). 3) There must be an increased outreach, involving City Boards and Commissions and the Community Action Team. She said that architectural design should be added again as a category.
Councilmember Wright said she would prefer fewer awards be given (i.e., 15 rather than 30), thus placing more value on and increasing the credibility of the awards. She said, however, that the types of awards presented are adequate. She discussed the need to place the emphasis on those types of things that make Santa Rosa a more livable community. This is one of Council's goals and is important to highlight. Mr. Sawyer explained that nominations are not always received for these types of activities.
Mayor Condron suggested that a presentation be made under Citizens Public Appearances at a future Council meeting to heighten awareness of the Merit Awards Program. She also requested additional copies of the nomination forms so that they can be made available to Boards and Commission members. It was noted that this has already been done, but that a reminder should be sent to them because the forms were sent out too far in advance of the deadline.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh suggested that architecture should be considered in light of residential and commercial development. He asked if landscaping designs are considered. Mr. Sawyer responded that the committee is moving in that direction.
Councilmember Vas Dupre said she thinks it is positive to have more people involved and is concerned about the idea of "raising the bar." Additionally, she thinks a good job has been done with publicizing the awards program.
Councilmember Wright suggested it may be helpful to research what other organizations are doing about these types of awards.
Ms. Fruiht said that one of the policies of the Committee is not to give awards to people who have already received one. Awards have been given for 20 years now and have covered many areas. This could be taken into consideration. She pointed out that until ten or so years ago architects were recognized, not the property owner. There has been a decrease in the number of nominations for building since the change.
Councilmember Wright said she would like to see some encouragement for public arts projects.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh suggested that neighborhood groups be provided with information about the Merit Awards Program. Mayor Condron added that she will discuss this issue at the Boards and Commissions luncheon to be held next week. Mr. Sawyer noted that this was publicized in the last issue of the Adventure Guide, but that it would be too costly to advertise it in the newspaper.
Mayor Condron once again summarized the discussion: 1) The bar should be raised. 2) The outreach should be increased. 3) The criteria needs to be better defined. 4) Criteria needs to be added for an architecture/design category.
Mayor Condron said it is too late to change the definitions/criteria for this year's program, but the outreach can be increased to include the Community Action Team, neighborhood organizations, and the City's Boards and Commissions. There is a need to make the criteria more specific prior to next year. In addition, focus should be on those people who have made differences in regards to City types of programs.
Mr. Sawyer said the committee will develop some specific recommendations for review by the Council. Mayor Condron suggested that the committee meet with a member of the Design Review Board, Planning Commission, and Community Action Team for input while developing recommendations.
Mr. Sawyer distributed a list of previous Merit Award Recipients.
This Study Session adjourned at 3:35 p.m.
3:30 P.M. - STUDY SESSION - Y2K (MAYOR'S CONFERENCE ROOM)
Ron Bosworth, Director of Administrative Services, reported that representatives from each City Department have been meeting for the last year on a monthly basis to address a variety of issues associated with Y2K. At the end of June, all departments submitted a status report related to how they are dealing with these issues. A recommendation was made, and approved, to hire a consultant, Information Management Resources Inc. (IMRI), to review what the City has done to date.
Barbara Taylor, consultant from IMRI, briefly referenced the Year 2000 Assessment - Final Report which is on file in the City Clerk's office, and noted that an assessment of the status for each department is included in the report. The assessment includes such information as each department's Year 2000 effort, risks and risk mitigation efforts, as well as recommendations resulting from the review process. She acknowledged the extraordinary amount of work done by the staff related to Y2K issues and stated nothing remains to be done that would cripple the City if it was not done.
Ms. Taylor said that the primary recommendation deals with the First Night celebration and citizens' concerns. Because the media has made dire predictions about Y2K, there is a need for continued public relations efforts.
Mr. Bosworth said a Town Hall meeting was held in February 1999 during which citizens were assured that the City was doing its best to ensure that vital services would remain intact during theY2K changeover. Prior to the Town Hall meeting, the City received many phone calls and questions regarding the approach of Y2K. Since then, however, there have been very few calls. Mr. Bosworth indicated that another Y2K Committee meeting will be held in November.
In response to Mayor Condron, Mr. Bosworth said that staff will pursue the recommendations as contained in the final report. He said that meetings have been held with the different departments regarding the final report and the findings were discussed. He discussed the pros and cons of including a report on the City's web page regarding some of the findings.
Councilmember Vas Dupre acknowledged the City for taking the lead in Y2K preparation.
In response to Councilmember Vas Dupre, Ms. Taylor discussed some cursory research which IMRI has done regarding the County's Y2K efforts. The County had posted a report on their website in February, indicating that their efforts would be done by June. However, the County's website has not been updated. She noted that Marin County has accomplished some very forward/proactive things related to Y2K. Mr. Bosworth said that other cities had been invited to participate in the Town Hall meeting, but staff has not had contact with them since then regarding this issue.
It was stated that the City has received notification from Pacific Bell and Pacific Gas & Electric that they are Y2K compliant.
Discussion followed related to the First Night celebration. Mr. Bosworth indicated that the Project Committee is working on this issue now.
Mayor Condron said that the City of Santa Rosa is considered to be a frontrunner regarding Y2K issues by the League of California Cities. She noted the need to publicize the positive report the City's efforts have received and to assure the residents of the City's Y2K compliance.
Discussion followed regarding the feasibility of holding another Town Hall meeting and using neighborhood organizations to communicate information regarding the City's Y2K preparedness. Mayor Condron recommended that a message be included in water bills. It was noted that there is a need to closely monitor the social interest in Y2K. Ms. Fruiht said that the next Update will be published the first part of December and it can include information regarding this matter. The suggestion was made that this information should also be included in The Independent.
This Study Session adjourned at 3:55 p.m.
4:00 P.M. (CITY COUNCIL CHAMBER)
1. ANNOUNCEMENT OF ROLL CALL
This portion of the meeting commenced at 4:02 p.m. Mayor Condron announced Roll Call as noted previously in the meeting.
2. REPORT ON STUDY SESSIONS
Mayor Condron reported that a joint meeting was held with members of the Merit Awards Committee to discuss information related to this year's merit awards. Additionally, Council met at 3:30 p.m. to receive an update on the status of Y2K preparedness.
Mayor Condron introduced Teen Council member Michaela Bucchaneri, a Senior at Ursuline High School, who is being mentored by Councilmember Evans.
3.1 PROCLAMATION - CANCER SURVIVORS' PLAZA - FREMONT PARK
A proclamation was presented to Jane Bender and Ellen Bailey establishing the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivor's Plaza at Fremont Park and acknowledging the substantial donations of time, labor, materials, and money by a number of individuals, organizations, and businesses in the community. Ms. Bailey and Ms. Bender introduced many of the individuals, including students, who participated in this project, acknowledged a number of organizations for their donations, and presented them with proclamations as well.
3.2 PRESENTATION - FAMILY ACTION OF SONOMA COUNTY RE: CHILD CARE
Patricia Souza, Family Action of Sonoma County, explained that Family Action is a countywide advocacy organization for family and children. She distributed copies of a report on child care needs in Sonoma County, and discussed the existing and anticipated shortfall in child care spaces and related issues. She noted the various agencies that have been taking steps to address some of these issues. She pointed out that cities can assist by taking steps to facilitate/expedite applications through the permit process and waive fees. Ms. Souza thanked the City of Santa Rosa for the leadership role it has shown as it deals with child care problems.
Ms. Souza reviewed several recommendations of the Child Care Planning Council, including providing education advocacy at city and county levels, reducing fees, standardizing protocols, providing loans to start a child care business, etc.
In response to Councilmember Martini, Ms. Souza said that options other than businesses providing child care are being considered due to the difficulties related to obtaining insurance and protecting businesses from liability problems. Some of those options may include providing employees with stipends for child care or offering flexible hours so parents can be available for their children. She said Family Action would like to work with a staff liaison on this matter. It was noted that Frank Kasimov, City Planner, is the City's contact person for this issue.
3.3 PRESENTATION - HELEN PUTNAM AWARD
Mayor Condron announced that at the recent League of California Cities Conference the City of Santa Rosa, specifically the Human Resources Department, received a Helen Putnam Award, for its mediation program.
Karen Walker, Director of Human Resources, accepted the award. She acknowledged Ricia Maxie and Chris Sliz, Organization & Staff Development Analysts, and Fran Elm, Human Resources Analyst, for their involvement in the City's conflict resolution program, for which the award was given.
Certificates of Recognition
Mayor Condron presented Steve Thompson, Public Works Civil Engineering Technician, and Shawn Spaht, Public Works Engineering Aide, with Certificates of Recognition, honoring them for the assistance they provided, regardless of the danger to themselves, when a fire occurred at 531 A Street on Friday, October 22. Fire Chief Tony Pini expressed appreciation that the Fire Department was able to save lives at this fire. He noted that this is not the first time Public Works employees have assisted the Fire Department in saving lives during a fire. He commended Mr. Thompson and Mr. Spaht for their efforts at the fire on Friday.
4. CITIZEN PUBLIC APPEARANCES
Jack Osborne acknowledged the signs on the door indicating the location of the Study Sessions. He reiterated comments he made at the previous meeting regarding the Attorney General's Opinion related to the Brown Act and Closed Sessions. He explained why he believes the Council needs to render an opinion to hold a Closed Session. He noted he has been speaking to Council for fifteen years, but his comments receive very little response from the Council. He pointed out that the public may not be aware that Council is not supposed to respond during Citizens Public Appearances. He discussed his concerns about the level of income it takes for a family to qualify for a median priced house in Santa Rosa (i.e., an income of $100,000 for a $250,000 house). He said there is a need for the City to require that small houses be built on small lots.
Allen Thomas, West End Neighborhood Group, expressed appreciation to the youth from St. Lutheran Marks Church for planting Magnolia tress on the DeTurk Round Barn site. He also acknowledged Bill Montgomery, Deputy Director of Parks, and the Recreation & Parks Department for their assistance in the restoration of the DeTurk Round Barn. (See comments following Mayor's/Councilmembers' Reports by Councilmember Vas Dupre regarding photographs taken last Saturday at the DeTurk Round Barn.)
The following speakers discussed their concerns about, and explained why, they oppose the City's proposed policy to prohibit gun shows and the sale or presence of guns on City property:
Peter Patrakis, President of the Local Chapter of the NRA (National Rifle Association) Membership Council of Sonoma County
Ronald Kennemer, Santa Rosa resident, member of the NRA Council, and member of the International Wound Ballistics Association.
Dean Houghton, NRA member, gun collector, and Rohnert Park resident
Clayton Cramer, Rohnert Park resident
Terry Ward, Presley Road resident
Kevin Fogel, Santa Rosa resident and NRA member
Kevin Jaeger, Glen Ellen resident
Bill Pisenti, Redwood Empire TRIM (Taxpayers for Reform Immediately) Committee
Phil Graf, Sebastopol resident
Tom Tanner, gun owner
Anna Jump discussed the reasons why she disagrees with the speakers who oppose the City's proposed policy related to guns, particularly because she is concerned with the safety of children.
George Creamier, Santa Rosa resident and small business owner, discussed his concerns related to the City's sign ordinance and the prohibition of A-framed signs. He circulated photographs of car dealers with a number of illegal signs and banners on display, and questioned why the small businesses are being prohibited from installing those signs when the larger businesses are not being dealt with. He explained why his temporary sign is vital to his business and why he will not remove it. In response to Councilmember Vas Dupre, he clarified that he owns the Avenue Barber Shop on Santa Rosa Avenue.
In addition to discussing concerns regarding the proposed gun policy, Bill Pisenti asked legislatures to stop "harassing" the taxpayers because they don't like Proposition 13. He also referred to the excess money in the governmental treasuries and asked Council not only not to increase taxes, but to consider lowering taxes.
Laura Graham referred to traffic problems/safety concerns on Brush Creek Road during commute times and asked Council to urge Caltrans to install caution signs/lights on the existing light poles on the corner of Middle Rincon Road and Highway 12, and on Montecito Avenue approaching the curve to Mission Boulevard. She then referred to an incident which occurred approximately sixteen years ago when a Middle Rincon School student killed himself with a gun owned by his girlfriend's father. She expressed concern about how fatal guns can be even in the most "civilized of conditions." (Clerk's note: see the November 2, 1999, City Council minutes--Citizens Public Appearances--for corrections/clarification related to Ms. Graham's comments about traffic concerns.)
Duane DeWitt expressed concern that he cannot participate in the Citizens Academy because he does not reside in the City, yet he recently learned that another non-resident has participated. He then discussed his continuing concerns regarding the need for affordable housing in Santa Rosa, citing newspaper articles and other documents supporting his position. He suggested that Council should consider new methods to meet the needs for housing in Santa Rosa, in particular modular houses should be considered. These types of units have been used in Japan, Taiwan, and Turkey after their earthquakes.
Mayor Condron responded to some of the previous statements. She explained that the City is following what is occurring in other communities that have gun policies in place to determine what the legal challenges may be. As a result, Council will not proceed with consideration of the recommendations from the Recreation & Parks Department until additional information is available from those other communities. She said staff will consider Ms. Graham's recommendation regarding caution lights and, if appropriate, will contact Caltrans about this matter. She said she does not believe a restriction has been placed on the Citizens Academy that a person must be a City resident to participate. She will check into this matter. She noted that during the past year the City of Santa Rosa has added more apartments and affordable housing than in several years past. The City is moving in the right direction and has received awards for what it is doing along this line.
5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - Meeting of October 19, 1999
MOVED by Councilmember Wright, seconded by Councilmember Rabinowitsh, CARRIED BY A 4-0-2-1 VOTE (Vice Mayor Martini and Councilmember Vas Dupre abstaining and Councilmember Evans temporarily away from the meeting) TO APPROVE THE OCTOBER 19,1999, CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES AS PRESENTED.
6. STATEMENTS OF ABSTENTION BY COUNCILMEMBERS
Mayor Condron and Councilmember Vas Dupre stated that they will be abstaining on Item 10.5 because their husbands are employed by Hewlett-Packard.
7. CONSENT ITEMS
7.1 RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZATION TO RECORD AN AMENDMENT TO HOLDING AGREEMENT TO EXTEND OPTION FOR FIVE MORE YEARS TO BUILD A SCHOOL - FIR RIDGE SCHOOL SITE
7.2 RESOLUTION - AMENDMENT TO CITY CLASSIFICATION AND SALARY PLAN (NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION PROJECT)
7.3 ORDINANCE ADOPTION - RECLASSIFICATION - 2972 DUTTON MEADOW
Jack Osborne expressed concern about the cost of the Neighborhood Revitalization Project ($400,000). He suggested that employees should be hired for this project and be able to work on other projects when not occupied with this one.
Duane DeWitt, Roseland resident, read an excerpt from the Redevelopment Plan regarding neighborhood revitalization and stressed that the Roseland Action group feels the portion of Roseland already within the City limits needs to have a Neighborhood Revitalization Program. They think that if this program is going to be made available, the existing blight in Roseland in the area already within the City limits already qualifies the area and should be addressed as soon as possible, even as was Apple Valley Lane and Papago Court or other neighborhoods in the community.
Councilmember Runyan explained that the Neighborhood Revitalization Project is not tied into the Redevelopment Plan. It is modeled after what has been done in the Apple Valley Lane/Papago Court area. He said there are many neighborhoods which create health or safety hazards and this project gives the City an opportunity to deal with related problems. Mayor Condron added that the $400,000 is for use during this fiscal year and funding is for staff that will be hired by the City.
MOVED by Vice Mayor Martini, seconded by Councilmember Runyan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXTS OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24166 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA APPROVING A THIRD AMENDMENT TO THE HOLDING AGREEMENT, ORIGINALLY BETWEEN THE CITY AND BRAEWOOD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, WHICH EXTENDS THE TIME IN WHICH THE SANTA ROSA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT MUST START CONSTRUCTION OF A SCHOOL (Item 7.1).
RESOLUTION NO. 24167 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA AMENDING THE CITY CLASSIFICATION AND SALARY PLAN AND AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO IMPLEMENT THESE CHANGES (Item 7.2).
MOVED by Vice Mayor Martini, seconded by Councilmember Runyan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
ORDINANCE NO. 3444 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 2972 DUTTON MEADOW - FILE NUMBER MJP98-052 (Item 7.3).
At this time Mayor Condron asked that staff contact Mr. Creamier to see if they can be of assistance in resolving some of his concerns related to the sign ordinance and his signs.
8. SCHEDULED ITEMS
8.1 REPORT - REQUEST FOR AUGMENTATION TO FISCAL 1999-00 BUDGET - DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Wayne Goldberg, Director of Community Development, made the staff presentation. The fiscal 1999-00 budget for the Building Division of the Department of Community Development contained funds in consultant accounts thought to be sufficient to provide for plan check and inspection services through the fiscal year under normal workload situations. As of October 9, 1999, the Building Division has expended almost all of those funds as construction activity increases have continued. The City Council had decided that it preferred to augment the budget incrementally and monitor spending rather than project activity levels through the end of the fiscal year and approve one budget adjustment.
The depletion of these funds is due to a large surge in the amount of construction activity in Santa Rosa. This surge is evidenced by a large increase in building plan check and permit revenues which would offset the increase in the budget.
It is recommended by the Department of Community Development that the City Council, by resolution, augment the fiscal 1999-00 Department of Community Development Building Division budget by $100,000 to cover overtime and consulting services to meet the increase demand for services.
Jack Osborne suggested that the Department of Community Development should be authorized to retain the funds they receive from developers. At the end of the fiscal year the remaining funds could then be put into the General Fund. He also suggested that the City should hire Plan Checkers rather than consultants.
Mr. Goldberg explained that the construction industry is cyclical. Therefore, the use of consultants is the most efficient way for the City to respond to construction booms such as what is currently being experienced.
MOVED by Councilmember Runyan, seconded by Vice Mayor Martini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24168 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA TO INCREASE THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BUILDING DIVISION BY $100,000 (Item 8.1).
8.2 REPORT - GIANT PACIFIC BELL PARK PITCH
Bill Montgomery, Deputy Director of Parks, made the staff presentation. In preparation for the opening of the Pacific Bell ballpark in San Francisco in April 2000, a series of pitching relay events and fan festivals are planned at fourteen cities in California. Santa Rosa is one of those cities. Although the actual one-mile route for the Relay Throw Event and the Fan Fast have not finally been chosen, the City needs to make a commitment now to act as host for the event.
Mr. Montgomery noted that Pacific Bell will pay for all of the costs related to the event. He briefly reviewed some of the benefits the community will receive as a result of the event.
The Recreation & Parks Department and City Attorney's Office recommend approval, in concept, of the event and of the Host City Letter of Agreement with details to be worked out. The Council further authorizes the Mayor to sign final agreement.
Councilmember Runyan asked about the feasibility of tying this event in with the Sonoma County Crushers. Ms. Rhunette Allums, Director - External Affairs, Pacific Bell, responded that this program was initiated by the San Francisco Giants and it is their desire that it be their event along with the Pacific Bell Park opening.
Teen Council member Michaela Bucchaneri said the Teen Council discussed the possibility of youth involvement in the Pacific Bell Park Pitch. The Teen Council members are unanimous in their enthusiasm about the concept, and are anxious to determine how they can volunteer their time or contribute to this event.
Jack Osborne expressed concern that no information regarding the costs to the City was made available. He also expressed concern that Council is being asked to authorize the Mayor to sign an agreement without knowing its contents.
Mayor Condron pointed out that the draft agreement was attached to the staff report. She reviewed several aspects of it, including the funding that Pacific Bell will provide. The only remaining issue relates to the location and route.
MOVED by Councilmember Vas Dupre, seconded by Vice Mayor Martini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24169 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA APPROVING IN CONCEPT THE GIANT PACIFIC BELL PARK PITCH IN SANTA ROSA AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO EXECUTE THE FINAL AGREEMENT (Item 8.2).
Council recessed from 5:35 p.m. until 5:45 p.m. and reconvened with all members present.
8.3 REPORT - NORTHEAST SANTA ROSA ANNEXATION 5-98
Chuck Regalia, Deputy Director of Community Development - Planning, made the staff presentation. On September 28, 1999, the City Council conducted a protest hearing regarding the proposed annexation of the Monte Verde County Island to the City.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Council continued its consideration of the annexation to October 19, 1999, and subsequently to October 26, 1999. The purpose of the continuance was to allow time to verify and value the protests received prior to the close of the hearing.
In review of the protests, it has been determined that 19 of 49 registered voters (38%) filed protests and more than 25% of the owners who own at least 25% of the assessed valuation of the land within the annexation area (31%) also filed protests. Based upon the protests filed, the City Council is required to order the annexation subject to confirmation by the registered voters in the annexation area at a special election to be called by the City Council on February 29, 2000.
It is recommended by the Department of Community Development that the City Council, by resolution, make the determination that at least 25% of the landowners owning at least 25% of the assessed value of the annexation area and more than 25%, but less than 50% of the registered voters, filed protests and order the annexation subject to confirmation by the registered voters in the annexation area at a special election called by the Council to be held on February 29, 2000, which shall be conducted by mailed ballot. Mr. Regalia noted that this date differs from the agenda and staff report in that it was found that the State Elections Code requires the annexation to be held on a Tuesday. In order to prevent a conflict with the City Council meeting, the election was set for a fifth Tuesday, a day on which Council typically does not meet.
Carol Gotts said she was speaking on behalf of the property owners on Monte Verde Drive who have filed written protests. She explained that they object to the annexation of their street because they believe it could create an undue hardship on these property owners, depending on assessments made and the type of future development that may be allowed. She asked the City to take appropriate measures to protect the scenic nature of their street. She asked that staff be directed to investigate and recommend what standards or restrictions should be required before any future development on Monte Verde Drive occurs.
Karine Villeggiante said she has resided at this address since April 10, 1999, but that the names of former property owners are on the list of proponents for this annexation. She asked that the "votes" submitted previously be double-checked. She displayed photographs of her neighborhood, particularly noting the trees, the scenic beauty of the area, and its country atmosphere. She asked Council to take whatever steps are necessary as soon as possible to investigate whatever types of construction standards or restrictions should be required to govern any future expansions or development of properties along Monte Verde Drive.
Mr. Regalia responded to some of the previous comments. He confirmed that the only action before Council at this meeting is to call for the election. He reminded Council that when this area came to Council for prezoning, the proposal made by those property owners proposing the annexation was that normal street improvements not be required. This issue has been discussed for several years and support for this annexation was received based on the retention of the rural nature of Monte Verde Drive. That was the issue Council acted on after discussions at several Council meetings; i.e., Council did not require the normal street improvements. He said the position among the property owners appears to be consistent; i.e., that the rural character not be changed and trees not be removed.
Mr. Regalia said there is a statement in the annexation and in the record that Council agreed with the idea of keeping the area rural and that they did not want to see urban street improvements or loss of trees.
Councilmember Evans noted that the scenic road overlay will be coming to the Planning Commission for consideration in mid-November and then it will be coming to the Council. This overlay is being developed for the purpose of protecting scenic roads. However, Monte Verde Drive is not included in the overlay since it is still in the County. She suggested it should be made part of the overlay once it's been annexed.
In response to the comment by Ms. Villeggiante regarding the former owner of her property being listed as a proponent and "voting" on this matter, City Attorney Rene Chouteau explained that the City only received "protests" for the annexation, not a list of proponents. Additionally, staff verified whether the protestors were property owners or registered voters.
MOVED by Councilmember Wright, seconded by Vice Mayor Martini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24170 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA MAKING DETERMINATIONS OF THE VALUES OF WRITTEN PROTESTS TO PROPOSED NORTHEAST SANTA ROSA REORGANIZATION NO. 5-98 (DALY), ORDERING THE REORGANIZATION SUBJECT TO THE CONFIRMATION OF REGISTERED VOTERS AT A SPECIAL ELECTION, AND CALLING A SPECIAL ELECTION ON THE PROPOSED REORGANIZATION TO BE HELD FEBRUARY 29, 2000 (Item 8.3).
8.4 PUBLIC HEARING - RECLASSIFICATION - SCHULZ MUSEUM
Maureen Rasmussen, City Planner, made the staff presentation. On September 9, 1999, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the Conditional Use Permit for the Schulz Museum and unanimously recommended approval of the Mitigated Negative Declaration and rezoning.
The project site is located on the northwest corner of Hardies and West Steele Lanes and includes 4 parcels totaling 1.63 acres. The current zoning is RR and is inconsistent with the General Plan land use diagram which designates the site for Public/Institutional Uses. The proposed PB - Public Building District provides consistency between the General Plan and Zoning.
The site is presently undeveloped; however, it is covered with many mature trees. Improvements including curb, gutter and sidewalk are installed along both street frontages. The footprint of the building is located approximately 125 feet from Hardies Lane, 30 feet from the rear property line, 5 feet from the north property line and 19 feet from the back of sidewalk along West Steele Lane (11 feet from the future back-on sidewalk).
The development involves the construction of a two-story museum containing 26,677 square feet. The building's main entrance is located on the east side of the building. The fenced courtyard and outdoor patio are located on the south and west sides of the building. Substantial landscaping is proposed on the remaining portion of the site. Parking for the site is located to the north on an adjacent lot which offers 134 full-sized parking spaces. The museum will utilize 61 of those 134 parking spaces.
It is recommended by the Planning Commission and the Department of Community Development that the City Council, by resolution, adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration and introduce an ordinance rezoning the project site to the PB - Public Building District.
Mayor Condron opened the public hearing.
James Hummer, representing the applicant, asked Council to concur with the staff and Planning Commission recommendation.
Jack Osborne asked whether there is a permanent easement for the required parking spaces on the lot adjacent to the north.
Hearing no further comments, Mayor Condron closed the public hearing.
Ms. Rasmussen explained that there is a requirement that a Joint Maintenance Access Agreement be entered. This agreement will run with the land and not with the property owners.
Councilmember Vas Dupre expressed appreciation that there will be adequate mitigation to reduce the impact of the trees that will be removed. Mayor Condron added that the Museum will be an asset to the City, as well as a tourist attraction.
MOVED by Councilmember Evans, seconded by Councilmember Runyan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24171 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA APPROVING AND ADOPTING A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION FOR THE RECLASSIFICATION OF PROPERTY LOCATED AT 1707, 1747 AND 1789 WEST STEELE LANE (SCHULZ MUSEUM) - FILE NUMBER MJP99-009 (Item 8.4).
MOVED by Councilmember Evans, seconded by Councilmember Runyan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO INTRODUCE AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
AN ORDINANCE 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 1707, 1747 AND 1789 WEST STEELE LANE (SCHULZ MUSEUM) - FILE NUMBER MJP99-009 (Item 8.4).
8.5 PUBLIC HEARING - WEED ABATEMENT
Bob MacIntyre, Fire Inspector, made the staff presentation. As directed by the City Ordinance designed to abate noxious weeds and/or rubbish situated upon or in front of private property within the City, the Santa Rosa Fire Department notified all property owners who might be subject to such action, by mail and by legal notice published in the newspaper, that any existing conditions were to be corrected by April 26, 1999.
All work was done by discing or mowing and trash was cleaned up and hauled away. Property owners were billed for all work done. An administrative charge in the sum of 60% of contractual cost with a minimum of $50.00 per parcel was added to the cost. Any charges left unpaid 10 days after the public hearing will automatically be placed on property tax bills with an additional administrative charge of $2.00 plus 5.49% of the amount of the assessment.
A report on the Annual Weed and Rubbish Abatement program has been mailed to each City Councilmember and a supplemental report by staff will be given at the time of the public hearing.
Mr. MacIntyre said the itemized report of property owners to be billed will have to be amended, deleting the parcel known as Assessor Parcel Number 152-110-009 as that property has been abated.
It is recommended by the Fire Department that the City Council, by resolution, ratify and confirm the itemized report of the Fire Department of the cost of removing weeds and/or rubbish from, upon or in front of certain lots or parcels of land within the City of Santa Rosa.
Councilmember Runyan said that 190 properties were included in the program, whereas only 84 were billed. Mr. MacIntyre confirmed that it can be assumed those properties that were not billed cleaned up their own parcels.
In response to Mayor Condron, Mr. MacIntyre confirmed that the Santa Rosa City School parcel/elementary school site in the Fountaingrove area is on the itemized report.
Mayor Condron opened the public hearing.
Jack Osborne questioned why St. Eugene's walnut orchard does not get abated.
Hearing no further comments, Mayor Condron closed the public hearing.
Mr. MacIntyre explained that most of the parcels on the list have been submitted in the form of a complaint. He noted that City Inspectors may also submit complaint forms.
MOVED by Councilmember Rabinowitsh, seconded by Councilmember Wright, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
RESOLUTION NO. 24172 ENTITLED: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA CONFIRMING THE ITEMIZED REPORT OF THE SANTA ROSA FIRE DEPARTMENT OF THE COST OF REMOVING WEEDS AND/OR RUBBISH FROM, UPON, OR IN FRONT OF CERTAIN LOTS OR PARCELS OF LAND WITHIN THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA (Item 8.5).
8.6 PUBLIC HEARING - SIGN CODE CHANGE - POLITICAL/CAMPAIGN SIGNS
Mike Sheppard, Senior Planner, made the staff presentation. In May of this year, the City Council considered a request to change the City Code as it relates to Campaign/Political signs. After consideration of a Council subcommittee report recommending a permit and fee deposit be required for campaign/political signs, the Council sent the request to the Design Review Board and Planning Commission for review.
Both the Design Review Board and Planning Commission have reviewed the proposed change and made recommendations concerning the proposal. The change to the City Code would require that persons or parties wanting to display campaign signs would need to submit an application for a sign permit. The application would create a file with the Department of Community Development providing the name and phone number of the responsible contact person for such signs.
A security deposit of $100 was proposed as insurance that the signs would be removed or that illegally placed signs would be removed after the campaign. The Design Review Board expressed a concern that the amount of the deposit would not be adequate to cover actual costs of removing signs and recommended that the deposit should be increased. The Planning Commission recommended that the deposit be eliminated altogether, but that the costs for removing the signs should be charged to the party responsible for erecting the signs.
Mr. Sheppard explained that the City Attorney's office has recommended modifications to the Planning Commission's recommendation. As a result, several additional changes were made that have to do with the Community Development Department having both the responsibility and ability to remove the illegal signs and charging those costs for doing so to the applicant. Additionally, the requirement of the applicant to submit a list of where those signs will be placed at the time the application is submitted has been deleted. However, if the City receives complaints about signs, staff will ask the responsible party to show they have permission to erect the signs on private property. He clarified that this issue relates only to private property. Campaign and political signs are not allowed on public property.
It is recommended by the Planning Commission that the City Council introduce an ordinance amending City Code Section 20.08 requiring a permit for campaign/political signs on private property.
Councilmember Wright asked for additional information as to how this process would work and how the installation of signs would be regulated. Mr. Sheppard indicated that what typically happens is that a company erecting signs for a candidate (whether local or otherwise) will contact the City and ask about its regulations. Candidates for local elections receive copies of the regulations when they take out their papers. Staff will notify them of the need to submit an application which includes the name of a contact person. Staff will then be in touch with the contact person in order to get compliance with the City's regulations. If City staff must be used to remove signs, that contact person will be charged the staff's costs for removing those signs. He noted that the ordinance contains language that the Department of Community Development has the ability to either perform this work or contract with an outside person/agency and to charge the actual costs for removing the signs to the responsible person.
Mayor Condron opened the public hearing.
Jack Osborne asked what will occur if a permit is not obtained. He suggested that to charge an application fee may be in violation of First Amendment rights. He also suggested that anyone should be allowed to install the signs, but that those signs should include City stamps. If a sign did not contain the City's stamp, anyone should be allowed to remove and bring the sign to the City. Additionally, after the campaign, anyone should be allowed to remove and bring the sign to the City.
Joe Gorin discussed the reasons why he believes the issue before Council is important. He said citizens deserve the opportunity to vote for representatives who do not violate the law in the process of running for an office. He expressed concern about the political process and said successful candidates may be elected in part because they do not comply with the law. He explained that candidates deserve a law that can be enforced. He spoke on behalf of the proposed ordinance, which is as candidate-friendly as possible and still enforceable.
Sonia Taylor spoke in support of the proposed ordinance. She pointed out that since no charge would be made for a permit application, there would be no violation of First Amendment rights. If candidates or ballot measure committees do not comply with the ordinance, they can be contacted. She noted that this is an opportune time to implement this ordinance because of the various elections that are forthcoming. This will involve a learning process for candidates, ballot measure committees, and the organizations that install these signs. She said she expects staff will send copies of the ordinance to these organizations which work in the County.
Hearing no further comments, Mayor Condron closed the public hearing.
In response to Councilmember Runyan, Mr. Sheppard reviewed the process that will be followed if signs are erected without permits. He pointed out that a large number of organizations already contact the City to find out whether there are regulations related to political/campaign signs.
City Attorney Chouteau added that if no application for a permit is made, staff would contact candidates and ballot measure committees directly as indicated on the signs and request that they file an application. He noted that because the City is focusing on signs on private property only, staff is limited in terms of removing the signs. He discussed some of the issues staff will have to resolve before signs can be removed from private property, pointing out that staff will not make a wholesale effort to remove signs from private property. He confirmed that this process will not be an effective way of dealing with a situation in which a sign does not include a name of a ballot measure committee.
Councilmember Wright supported the proposal, pointing out that most of the local candidates and committees will comply with the regulations. She acknowledged, however, that this may be problematic as it relates to other candidates and committees. She said her only concern relates to the possibility that there may be a need for a full-time staff person in Community Development to deal with these problems. She does not want this type of situation to occur.
Councilmember Vas Dupre concurred with Councilmember Wright's concern. She then commended staff for their efforts in making the proposed regulations user-friendly to the candidates and committees.
Vice Mayor Martini discussed his opposition to the proposed regulations. He referenced the 1994 and 1996 elections, at which time the local radio station held an event to clean up the community after the elections, and said this was one of the most effective programs. He said one of the reasons he is opposing the proposal is because he does not see it to be as big an issue as the comments imply. He pointed out that candidates have an obligation to follow law. He suggested that there may be a need to publicize that fact; i.e., that these signs are not allowed on public property.
Councilmember Runyan said that while the proposed ordinance is not a bad idea, it will put the City in another situation where an ordinance can't be enforced.
Councilmember Evans expressed concern that sign enforcement has been virtually non-existent for several years. She pointed out that residents don't like the proliferation of signs during election periods or the proliferation of illegal signs and the City should attempt to regulate them. She said the proposed ordinance is a reasonable attempt to deal with this issue and is a move in the right direction.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh said he will support the proposed ordinance, noting that it is a good step toward letting candidates know what is or is not allowed on private property. It will also help to reinforce that no signs are allowed on public property. He said that enforcement remains an open question.
Councilmember Vas Dupre said that she contacted KZST about picking up these signs and they indicated that they are no longer willing to sponsor programs similar to those held during the 1994 and 1996 elections. She said she thinks the ordinance will deal with the problem at the beginning; it will alert the candidate and make the public aware that the City and Council of Santa Rosa are trying to protect the visual impact of signs and place the responsibility for these signs on the candidates. The City will try to inform candidates of companies that will respond to these regulations in a professional manner. She said this is the simplest, most user-friendly way of handling this situation.
Mayor Condron said she will also support the proposed ordinance. It is a step in the right direction and will help to limit the proliferation of signs.
MOVED by Councilmember Vas Dupre, seconded by Councilmember Rabinowitsh, CARRIED BY A 5-2 VOTE (Vice Mayor Martini and Councilmember Runyan opposing) TO INTRODUCE AND WAIVE THE READING OF THE TEXT OF:
AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED: ORDINANCE OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA AMENDING SECTIONS 20-08.200 AND 20-08.220 OF THE SANTA ROSA CITY CODE RELATING TO POLITICAL - CAMPAIGN SIGNS - FILE NUMBER 98-029.
9. MAYOR'S/COUNCILMEMBERS' REPORTS
9.1 ANNOUNCEMENT OF CLOSED SESSION TOPICS
City Attorney Chouteau announced the following Closed Session topics:
ANNUAL PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS: City Attorney and City Manager
Councilmember Evans discussed a meeting held with City Traffic Engineer Gene Benton, Community Development Director Wayne Goldberg, Councilmember Rabinowitsh, Planning Commissioner Dick Carlile, and herself regarding traffic problems on Hoen Avenue. Possible ways to respond to some of the concerns raised several years ago were discussed. Another meeting will be held to confirm a series of public meetings regarding these problems prior to the General Plan Update in order to solidify ideas to be presented to the residents in that area. She said she hopes to bring Council a more definite report on what is being proposed related to the schedule of meetings.
Councilmember Evans said she attended another meeting of the Scenic Road Committee today. The focus was primarily on Melita Road. There is great concern related to development there and protecting the rural atmosphere on Melita Road. She noted that Melita Road is designated as a scenic road in the General Plan. She said the committee has also been working on a scenic road overlay which will be going to the Planning Commission in mid-November for adoption, following which it will be brought to the Council. Different options for Melita Road have been discussed. However, this situation has been complicated by the fact that a tentative map extension for Redtail Estates will be coming before Council in the near future. The map extension will have to be considered with respect to how the rural atmosphere on Melita Road will be protected or whether it will not be possible to protect Melita Road to the extent desired.
Vice Mayor Martini expressed appreciation to the Council for their patience in his absence and particularly for their support of the Redevelopment Agency and the Redevelopment Project in the Southwest Area.
Councilmember Vas Dupre commended Ron Kaetzel and Information Services staff for the money they have saved the City related to the Y2K issue. She noted that all related activities are being funded by the regular maintenance budgets.
Councilmember Vas Dupre pointed out that the report distributed earlier by Ms. Souza is the same one given to Council several weeks ago. She noted that the City of Santa Rosa is at the head of this movement.
Councilmember Vas Dupre referred to comments made during Citizens Public Appearances regarding the gun issue and the Eddy Eagle Safety film, and pointed out that this film is being used in the elementary schools. The policy regarding guns does not eliminate use of this film in the schools. She referred to the Red Ribbon Campaign, her involvement with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) and the efforts to heighten the awareness that alcohol is a drug. She said the misuse of alcohol and guns can be correlated and that they must be used responsibly.
Councilmember Vas Dupre briefly discussed her recent visit to Santa Rosa's Sister City, Kagoshima, Japan. She noted that the key of Santa Rosa which was given to Kagoshima in 1984 was on display in their museum as was the metal screen of the Fountaingrove Winery.
Councilmember Wright said that the Caltrans public hearing on the Highway 101 project, Highway 12 to Steele Lane, will be held tomorrow night at Santa Rosa Middle School. Caltrans and Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) staff will be present.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh reported on his attendance at a conference sponsored by the Local Chapter of the AIA (American Institute of Architects) on the subject of "New Urbanism." Four speakers discussed the different techniques used by cities and developers to encourage mixed use development, reduce travel demand and the amount of automobile trips resulting from new development, and improve the appearance of streets. Additionally, there was a speaker who discussed and showed slides of affordable housing projects, including a homeless shelter. He said he hopes some of these speakers can be brought back during the City's General Plan Update process.
Mayor Condron asked Council to reserve Saturday, January 8, 2000, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the Council's goal-setting session.
Mayor Condron noted that Bob Fox, the Mayor of Pontypridd, South Wales, and Colin Gregory of South Wales visited the City yesterday and presented Council with a painting of the bridge at Pontypridd. She displayed the painting, which will be displayed at City Hall.
Councilmember Vas Dupre displayed Allen Thomas' photographs of the work being done at DeTurk Round (tree planting and siding).
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 - First Night Santa Rosa re: Request for Permit/Parking
City Manager Blackman said that this communication is a request for a series of waivers by the City in order for the First Night Event to occur this year.
MOVED by Councilmember Wright, seconded by Councilmember Runyan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO ADD THIS ITEM TO THE AGENDA.
MOVED by Councilmember Wright, seconded by Vice Mayor Martini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE THE REQUEST.
10.3 COMMUNICATION - Kale Krempely re: Concerns About Santa Rosa's Growth
This item was provided for informational purposes only.
10.4 COMMUNICATION - D. Pinsky, Utilities Department, re: Agreement for Dissolution of the South Park Sanitation District
This item was provided for informational purposes only. In response to Councilmember Vas Dupre, City Manager Blackman explained that a camera is used to ensure that there is awareness of any places where there may be breaks, leaks, or cracks in the pipe.
Councilmember Evans said the problem is that Council will not have some necessary information until after the date on which the City takes over the system. Therefore, it would be wise to negotiate an extension. She said the filing of the report won't solve the issues, but rather just clarify them. She said she would like to see some determination of what will occur when the report is issued, particularly because the City is set to assume the legal liabilities of the Sanitation District and would need to know the limits of that legal liability. She said she would hesitate to say that just getting the report will resolve the issues. Councilmember Evans suggested that an indemnity provision to the agreement should be considered.
Mayor Condron reordered the Agenda to consider Item 10.6 this time.
10.6 COMMUNICATION - C. Rust, Recreation & Parks Dept., re: Ridgway Pool
This item was provided for informational purposes only. City Manager Blackman explained that this item was presented to Council to clarify that the three existing pools at Ridgway will not be rehabilitated, but will be replaced with one larger pool.
Councilmember Vas Dupre suggested this item be added to the next Joint City Council/School Board Agenda. City Manager Blackman pointed out that this matter has been discussed with the School Board, particularly related to major rehabilitation. However, the School Board made it clear that they do not desire to participate in this matter. Mayor Condron explained why she opposes taking this back to a joint meeting, noting that there is a need now to focus on what should be done in the future.
Discussion followed regarding the need for finding another location for a 50-meter pool, as well as the pros and cons of discussing this matter with the School Board again, and whether there would be any adverse impacts should Council decide to delay action on the Ridgway pool. Vice Mayor Martini discussed his concerns about delaying the work at Ridgway and said he supports moving the project forward. Councilmember Rabinowitsh asked that a Study Session be held regarding this matter. The majority of the Council appeared to concur that another meeting should be held with the School Board.
City Manager said that the issue of the Ridgway pool will be brought back as report item on the November 9 Agenda. However, prior to that meeting, he will provide Council with a memorandum clarifying whether delaying this matter until November 9 will cause a delay in the rehabilitation at Ridgway. If so, Council can provide direction at the November 2 meeting.
Mayor Condron and Councilmember Vas Dupre left the Council Chamber/meeting at this time.
10.5 COMMUNICATION - Hewlett Packard re: Agilent Technologies (New Sign).
City Manager Blackman explained that the request to add the words "Innovating the HP Way," differs from what is usually submitted and does not it fit within the sign ordinance. Because of the November 1 deadline for the new sign, he advised Hewlett Packard to submit their request via this communication so that it could be brought to Council's attention.
City Attorney Chouteau added that what Hewlett Packard is proposing is something that is not addressed in the City's sign ordinance. He said that it is a standard procedure throughout the United States for a major corporation which splits, and establishes a new name, to include the old corporation's name on the sign. The City's ordinance allows the sign designating a particular company only to carry the name of that company. He explained that it would be possible to interpret Hewlett Packard's new name as being "Agilent Technologies, Innovating the HP Way." Some corporations have recorded similar language. In this case, staff is considering adding a provision to the ordinance to recognize companies that undergo a name change and allow a transition sign which would recognize both the new name and the company from which it originated. He said this would be a very limited amendment to the sign ordinance and would apply somewhat infrequently. This amendment would not enable Hewlett Packard to meet the November 1 deadline. City Attorney Chouteau pointed out, however, that there is a provision in the ordinance to allow placement of temporary banners. A temporary banner could be approved and remain in place until the sign code was amended.
Joe Gorin noted that although he is an employee of Hewlett Packard, he is not representing them at this time. He said he agrees with staff's interpretation that the tag line to the sign ("Innovating the HP Way) is similar to an advertisement. At the same time, it is for the purpose of relating to the original name ("Hewlett Packard"). Mr. Gorin explained that the reasons there are signs like this, according to the sign ordinance, is to provide business identification and direction-finding capabilities. He noted that there will be many people looking for the Hewlett Packard facility and without this language, they won't find it. He noted his ambivalence about the proposal. He then discussed the length of time it has taken to make amendments to the sign ordinance (eight months related to the Paradise Ridge Winery sign, which was supposed to take only 30 to 60 days and 18 months for the amendment related to political/campaign signs).
Mr. Gorin then cited examples of other signs which have "tag lines." A new sign was erected in the vicinity of Hewlett Packard last Friday with the tag line of "lake front view homes." He discussed the characteristic of this sign, including the reasons why it is illegal. He noted that it is on a property with six other illegal signs from subdivisions which have been sold out for up to a year. He discussed his own unsuccessful efforts to get enforcement action taken on this most recent sign. His point was that it does not make sense to be concerned with the tag line on the Agilent sign given the number of other illegal signs throughout the City.
Sonia Taylor stated that "Innovating the HP Way" is not a name, but rather a form of advertisement, slogan or motto. She said she understands it is a temporary sign. She expressed her concern about this process, particularly because no application has been submitted. She discussed her opposition to changing the sign ordinance to permit this type of sign. She also discussed her opposition to a temporary banner. She suggested that other language could be used on the sign that would not be a slogan and would still serve as an identifier. She suggested that the proposed language is not the name of the corporation, pointing out that it would be trademarked or state-marked if it was. She asked Council to deny the request.
Councilmember Wright concurred with Ms. Taylor's comment that it would not be appropriate to change the sign ordinance or install a temporary banner in this case. However, she questioned why Council cannot make an exception in this case, particularly since Hewlett Packard's signage is not invasive. She noted the City's goal of attempting to be business-friendly and pointed out that the tagline is part of Hewlett Packard's identity. She asked, given the timing of this matter, what type of exception can be made for this sign.
City Attorney Chouteau responded that an exception would require a zoning amendment. Those amendments go through the Planning Commission and City Council public hearing process. He said a very limited exception could be incorporated for corporations which change their names and want to refer back to the original corporation. The suggestion for a temporary banner would simply allow the Hewlett Packard sign to designate the desired language on a temporary basis. He explained that the ordinance amendment is needed because it currently prohibits this type of language on the signs.
City Attorney Chouteau suggested that another approach would be to make a determination that "Agilent Technologies, Innovating the HP Way" is the name of the corporation. He cited other situations where additional language was included in the name of the corporation and the City was required to allow the sign to be posted with that language. If this determination was made, the sign ordinance would not have to be amended.
Councilmember Runyan echoed Councilmember Wright's comments and cited examples of other signs that include what appear to be "tag lines."
Councilmember Evans said that good arguments have been put forward for making exceptions to the City's sign ordinance. However, she does not concur with proceeding in that direction. While there will be some confusion related to the change in Hewlett Packard's name, she does not believe the way to deal with this problem relates to the permanent sign on the Hewlett Packard property. She said the City's sign ordinance does not allow for slogans to be on signs, but only the identification of the existing business. Neither did she agree that determining Hewlett Packard's slogan is part of their name. She discussed the inequity related to other businesses which would result if this request is approved and said if Council wants to approve the sign, the sign ordinance should be amended. She stated, however, that she is not in favor of doing so, but thinks that is the only equitable direction in which to proceed.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh said that while a reference to Hewlett Packard on the sign is understandable, he is concerned with the tag line aspect of the sign proposed and the precedent it may set. He said, if possible, his preference would be that this request undergo the City's normal permit process. He indicated he would support a temporary sign, if feasible. He noted that it is important to abide with the sign ordinance.
City Attorney Chouteau said it is important to note that the reference to the parent company (Hewlett Packard) is an important distinction on this sign. Councilmember Evans said that would be the case if the reference were something such as "Formerly Hewlett Packard." She said as it is currently written, it is a slogan.
Vice Mayor Martini suggested that the ordinance needs to be amended to allow slogans. He said he does not believe that people object to signs based on the language in the signs. Rather, their objections relate to the sizes, proliferation of them, colors, and other characteristics. He said the sign ordinance is meant to address a problem and not for the purpose of addressing issues such as slogans or advertising. He said the sign ordinance needs to be amended. However, in the meantime he is willing to consider the proposed language as part of Hewlett Packard's name.
MOVED by Councilmember Wright, seconded by Councilmember Runyan, CARRIED BY A 3-2-2 VOTE TO ADD THIS ITEM TO THE AGENDA FOR ACTION AND TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE NAME OF THE COMPANY AS "AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES, INNOVATING THE HP WAY." (Clerk's note: Council was advised that action should be taken to add this item to the Agenda and the motion was made. Council was then further advised at that time that a separate motion was not needed, which is why a separate motion was not put forward. However, the motion to add the item to the sgenda did not pass because it failed to receive a unanimous vote pursuant to the requirement in Council Policy No. 000-35. Therefore, the underlying motion is void.)
In response to Vice Mayor Martini, City Attorney Chouteau clarified that this action did not require four votes. Because the action was taken by a motion, it only required that a majority of those Councilmember voting to approve it.
Councilmember Evans mentioned that she is personally aware of a small business on Yulupa Avenue that has been attempting, for a year, to get a sign approved via the sign ordinance. However, because it is a round sign rather than a square one, it apparently exceeds the City's dimensions by approximately one inch. She expressed her concern, in light of tonight's action, regarding the unfairness of this situation. Vice Mayor Martini recommended that the business owner bring this matter forward to the Council.
Councilmember Rabinowitsh acknowledged the importance of Hewlett Packard, but said that his desire is to ensure the City's rules are consistent. He said he cannot agree with the concept of allowing tag lines to appear on signs, because they may take on the appearance of miniature billboards. This is not his concern with Hewlett-Packard.
Mayor Condron and Councilmember Vas Dupre returned to the Council Chamber/meeting at this time.
ADJOURNMENT TO CLOSED SESSION
Hearing no further business, the Mayor adjourned the meeting to a Closed Session at 7:30 p.m. The Closed Session adjourned at approximately 8:30 p.m.
There were no announcements to make after the Closed Session. Therefore, Mayor Condron adjourned the meeting to the next regularly scheduled meeting to take place on October 26, at a time to be set by the Mayor.