February 9, 2016
3575 PACIFIC AVENUE
LIVERMORE, CA 94550
ADJOURNED REGULAR MEETING
CALL TO ORDER CALL TO ORDER- The adjourned meeting of the February 8, 2016 City Council was called to order by Mayor John Marchand at 7:04 pm, in the City Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore, California.
ROLL CALL - Present: Mayor John Marchand, Vice Mayor Stewart Gary, and Council Members Steven Spedowfski, Laureen Turner, and Bob Woerner.
THE FOLLOWING ITEM WAS CONTINUED FROM THE FEBRUARY 8, 2016 CITY COUNCIL MEETING.
6.02 Discussion and direction regarding responses to the Request for Proposals for the marketing, sale, and development of Downtown Specific Plan catalyst sites.
Recommendation: Staff recommended the City Council select two finalists for both the hotel project and residential/commercial project and provide direction to further refine applicable proposals for subsequent review and selection by the Council at a future public meeting.
Community and Economic Development Director Stephan Kiefer provided a recap of the staff presentation.
Senior Planner Steve Stewart presented an overview of the Vision Project and the comprehensive General Plan update.
Mayor Marchand invited public comment.
Jessica Mauser, Livermore, spoke regarding her experience as a real estate agent in Livermore and supported limited retail expansion in the Downtown.
Sblend Sblendorio, I-Gate Incubator, supported the finalists, saying the proposals were financially strong and would meet the needs of Millennials.
John Pitts, Livermore, spoke regarding the importance of providing amenities, such as parks and schools, to support residential housing.
Carol Pitts, Livermore, spoke in support of a hotel in the Downtown.
Sherry Nigg, Livermore, spoke in support of a hotel in the Downtown as recommended by the hotel feasibility studies. She did not support a project requiring public subsidies and agreed with earlier comments regarding retail space.
Walter Davies, Livermore, spoke regarding his vision for the site including support of a multi-use visitor center and urged no housing on the site.
Brendan Finley, Livermore Chamber of Commerce, spoke in support of three proposals including Lennar; Trumark and RSVP; and SummerHill Homes.
Milo Nordyke, Livermore, supported bringing a hotel and conference center to the Downtown, having more restaurants, and limiting housing on the site; and spoke in support of the Trumark proposal.
Jean King, Livermore, expressed support for elements of the RSVP, Trumark, and MacCracken proposals. She supported a full-service hotel with conference space and said parking should not dominate the space.
Chris Chandler, Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association, supported narrowing down to proposals that combined residential, retail, and a hotel. She did not support projects requiring subsidies.
Tom Concannon, Livermore, supported taking a long-term view of development in the Downtown and finding a developer that was financially capable while looking for amenities.
David Marchand, Livermore, spoke regarding bringing affordable housing into the Downtown, saying that outsourcing housing lead to spending in other communities.
Jeff Kaskey, Livermore, expressed appreciation for the Ulferts team obtaining community input. He supported the Trumark and Ulferts proposals.
Wanda Thompson, Livermore, spoke in support of a hotel in the Downtown.
Gary Oehrle, Livermore, spoke in support of the proposals and expressed concerns regarding even a small hotel in the Downtown. He suggested using rooftop space for solar panels and spoke regarding the backsides of buildings on Railroad Avenue.
Don Meeker, Livermore, suggested implementing space for a seasonal Livermore Art, Science, and History display into the project.
Paul Brown, Livermore, expressed concerns regarding the number of residences in the RFPs and supported more restaurants, offices, and parking. He said Trumark, in conjunction with RSVP and Lennar, had promising features but needed refinement.
Clark Streeter, Alliance for the Visual Arts, said his organization was working to establish an art display space in the Downtown and supported a developer that would accommodate reasonable retail space.
Kathy Streeter, Livermore, supported the Trumark proposal, saying they had listened carefully to the community and were prepared; she liked their answer regarding the hotel.
Milly Seibel, Livermore, agreed with comments made by Kathy Streeter. She encouraged an affordable housing component in the proposed development and spoke in support of the Trumark proposal.
David McGuigan, Livermore, said the business visitors and wedding parties should be the target market for the proposed hotel; he expressed concerns regarding parking capacity and suggested combining the hotel and residences into an overall project.
Sally Dunlop, Livermore, spoke against filling the full site with high density housing and retail, saying there were other places for housing. She supported an upscale hotel, a city center, and suggested adding onto the existing parking structure.
William Dunlop, Livermore, said most of the proposed hotels were too small and did not allow flexibility. He spoke in support of the Ulferts proposal and said putting parking underground allowed for more open space.
Barbara Steinfeld, Visit Tri-Valley, supported incorporating the largest hotel possible in the Downtown.
Lori Souza, Livermore, expressed support for the project and for creating arts and science themes in the Downtown.
Dale Kaye, Livermore Chamber of Commerce, supported a project that reflected the beauty and uniqueness of the area. She said it was essential to build housing for young workers, and said the hotel needed to be a destination hotel with tourist and executive amenities.
Gail Travers, Livermore, asked what criteria would be used to evaluate the proposals and select the two finalists. She spoke regarding balancing the pace of growth while maintaining the Citys character.
Martha Q. Espinoza, Livermore Chamber of Commerce, spoke regarding housing prices and the lack of choices for the workforce.
Steve Larranaga, Livermore, agreed with earlier comments by Brendan Finley and spoke in support of housing and parking.
Doug Bury, Unique Environments, spoke in support of including open space in the project where people could congregate.
Scott Kenison, Livermore, spoke in support of the Trumark proposal, particularly the marketplace, and in support of the Tim Lewis shared car services idea.
Jean Shuler, Livermore, spoke in support of the farmers market idea, education and cultural arts center, and hotel/conference center.
Nancy Bankhead, Livermore, expressed support for a large hotel that would support the artists at the Bankhead theater and said something iconic was needed to draw people to the Downtown.
Liz Roberts, Livermore Downtown Inc., spoke in support of the Downtown Specific Plan and of the project.
Crystal Burke, Livermore Downtown Inc., spoke in support of density and increased residential in the Downtown; she said more shopping and dining opportunities were needed.
Rachael Snedecor, Livermore Downtown Inc., encouraged education regarding walkable communities and Millennials. She spoke in support of a hotel in the Downtown.
Sherri Souza, Livermore Chamber of Commerce, agreed with earlier comments by Brendan Finley; she supported the Lennar, Trumark/RSVP in partnership, and Summerhill Homes proposals; and spoke regarding the need for workforce housing in Livermore.
Bob Carling, Livermore, read a letter from Bill Goldstein, Director, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, supporting a hotel/conference center, saying the lab would be open to discussion regarding establishing presence at such a center.
Ken Ball, Livermore, spoke in support of a hotel/conference center, limited housing, and inclusion of some open space on the site.
Derek Eddy, Livermore Downtown Inc., encouraged continued support of the Downtown Specific Plan and spoke in support of a boutique hotel.
Yolanda Fintschenko, Livermore, supported the project and encouraged designs that had retail space for Downtown residents, hotel guests, and business needs.
Lynn Seppala, Livermore Cultural Arts Council (LCAC), said the LCAC supported an iconic and creative Downtown development that would support the needs of Livermores cultural arts and community. He encouraged emphasizing quality over speed.
Drew Felker, Livermore, spoke regarding the need for apartments and condos in Livermore and supported a strategically hidden parking structure.
Mary Anne Rozsa, Livermore, supported a hotel, conference facility, open space, and retail mix on the site. She said residential should not be in the Downtown core.
Sandra Grafrath, Livermore, spoke in support of a hotel/conference center and in support of the arts. She suggested establishing community liaisons to work with the developers and the City Council.
Barrantes, Livermore, suggested incorporating an expo center into the project.
Ann Brown, Livermore, spoke regarding using the project as an example of sustainable building and incorporating LEED certification. She spoke in support of a plaza and community meeting room.
Nick Liang, Uncle Yus at the Vineyard, said something special and grand was needed at the location.
Craig Bueno, Livermore, spoke in opposition to high-density housing in the Downtown core, expressed concerns regarding parking, and said Livermore schools needed to be supported.
Brook Witherspoon, Livermore Downtown Inc., spoke regarding a recent survey showing the need for housing in Livermore and supported walkable communities.
There were no more speakers.
In response to questions by CM Spedowfski, the representative from Lennar said the proposed mid-block street in the site plan could be changed to create more walkability.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, the representative from Lennar confirmed their proposal included forty-five stacked flats, and three components of 5,500 square feet of retails in three different locations.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, the representative from Lennar said they consulted with commercial experts to establish the retail component; however, they would work with local patrons, staff, and the City Council to establish the best amount of retail for the project.
In response to questions by CM Spedowfski, the representative from SummerHill said the proposed mid-block street in the site plan was included in response to the specific plan document in terms of the circulation. She said they could revise their plan to open the site up for more pedestrian circulation.
In response to questions by CM Spedowfski, the representative from Trumark suggested stack-flats and townhouses to open up the site for more usable space.
In response to VM Garys request, Community and Economic Development Director Stephan Kiefer said there were multiple parcels to the project site, but two areas, one behind the larger parking area and the area next to the Bankhead Theater. The larger parking area was purchased primarily with affordable housing in-lieu funds, which would have to be repaid at some point in time, and the other had some limitations primarily because it rested within the redevelopment agency and as that parcel was sold there would be limitations on what could be done with that funding. The approximate value of the housing in-lieu repayment was $14 million.
City Manager Marc Roberts provided direction to the Council on the recommended use of the Project Selection Matrix.
CM Woerner selected Trumark Homes and Multifamily Communities for residential. He did not have a selection for the hotel. He spoke regarding the importance of capturing the character of Livermore to create a walkable community and practical access to the backside of First Street. He said there needed to be a balance for service to First Street and pedestrian circulation was very important. He did not like too much massing, and supported a variety of heights and the creation of open space with a reason for people to be there. He said there needed to be a mixture and variety of housing types and not targeting only one age group with one type of need. He said Livermore was not going to solve the housing problem in the Bay Area. He said the landscaping aspect proposed by Trumark was what would draw people downtown and make it walkable.
CM Spedowfski selected Lennar Multifamily Communities/The Compass Project and Trumark Homes for residential. He selected Compass and RSVP Investments for the hotel. He liked the partnership Lennar formed with the hotelier. He was very interested in seeing further proposals and development for the hotel sites and looking for higher end offerings from brands that were not currently in the area. He liked the walkability and integration to the community by Trumark Homes but was concerned about the townhome residences on the west side. He spoke regarding the importance of the project integrating with the rest of the community and not destroying the character of the downtown.
CM Turner selected Trumark Homes for residential, RSVP Investments for the hotel and Lennar Multifamily Communities/The Compass Project for residential/hotel. She said the millennial generation needed to be supported for the future of Livermore. She spoke regarding affordable housing to support teachers, scientists, and safety officers to fulfill the dreams for families to be able to live in Livermore. She spoke regarding a paseo to create a walkable community, open space and parks, the importance of public art, bike trails and parking, green building and solar energy, and other creative ideas and concepts. She supported an affordable Healdsburg Hotel and several parking options. She said there needed to be adequate conference space in the hotel and not a separate conference center.
VM Gary selected Lennar Multifamily Communities/The Compass Project and SummerHill Homes/T2Hospitality for residential/hotel. He said this was not an either/or ranking and this should be an aggregation of land that formed the heart of Livermore. He said he did not want to split the project and risk the hotel being frittered away while housing was being entitled. He said Lennar and SummerHill had the market strength, hotel partner, and capitalization to weather a recession.
He expressed concerns for multi-storied buildings creating a no sunlight tunnel. He said Lennar proposed the most housing units, the most square feet of retail, and wrapped parking. He discussed the paseo, walking spaces and access to and from parking garages. He said Dina Winder, Hospitality Consultant, The Compass Project, had the best pedigree to bring the right hotel brand/operator to the downtown. He said T2 had done a lot of boutique hotels with a lot of the different brands. He said SummerHill brought 219 housing units and paid special attention to affordability and seniors but had less retail. He said both Lennar and SummerHill had serious equity to bring to the project along with design experience. Trumark lost big points for the monolithic singular parking garage and did not bring a hotel operator to the table, and RSVP Investment had financing and loan to value limits.
Mayor Marchand selected Trumark Homes for residential, Lennar Multifamily Communities/The Compass Project for residential/hotel, and RSVP Investment for the hotel. He spoke regarding the importance of inclusionary housing, solar, and rooftop gardens. He like the iconic look by Lennar that incorporated into the rest of the community, but was concerned with the density and said it needed more open space. He said he preferred a bungalow or craftsman look for architecture, and the tuck under parking for some of the townhomes and flats. He was concerned that RSVP Investment was lacking capacity unless they partnered with another company. He supported the incorporation of arts and culture into the community and live-work spaces in the downtown.
In response to questions by VM Gary, City Manager Marc Roberts said the community engagement process had already begun; the next step would be selecting a finalist to ultimately become the exclusive developing partner. He said there were several steps prior to entitlement of the project that would be presented to the Planning Commission. He said there would be several more meetings and workshops prior to the project being submitted to the City Council for final approval and community engagement would continue throughout the entire process.
The City Council discussed whether or not to expand the selection to three finalists for each of the projects.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Mr. Roberts said selecting two for each project would demonstrate to the finalists that this was worth spending a notable amount of resources on. He said staff was prepared to work with however many finalists the Council selected.
In response to questions by CM Spedowfski, Mr. Roberts said restarting the request for proposal process would not be a good idea. Doing so would demonstrate to the marketplace that the Council was not serious about entertaining a process. He said if it had been determined that there were no viable options, it would be complety fair and within legal rights. He recommended the Council not interrupt the current process. He said the Council needed to decide on how many partners they wished to invite back to the next round.
IT WAS MOVED BY CM WOERNER, SECONDED BY MAYOR MARCHAND TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING THREE FINALISTS: HOTEL - RSVP INVESTMENTS, THE COMPASS PROJECT AND T2 HOSPITALITY; RESIDENTIAL: TRUMARK, SUMMERHILL HOMES AND LENNAR.
The City Council discussed the motion. CM Turner and CM Spedowfski said they would not support the motion. CM Woerner said he heard enough flexibility in the discussion and would withdraw his motion.
THE MOTION WAS WITHDRAWN.
ON THE MOTION OF CM TURNER, SECONDED BY CM SPEDOWFSKI AND CARRIED ON A 4-1 VOTE (VM GARY VOTING NO), THE CITY COUNCIL SELECTED RSVP INVESTMENTS, LENNAR MULTIFAMILY COMMUNITIES
/THE COMPASS PROJECT AND TRUMARK HOMES AS THE FINALISTS.
6.03 Discussion and direction regarding pending State or Federal legislation. None.
7. COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS AND MATTERS INITIATED BY CITY MANAGER, CITY ATTORNEY, STAFF AND COUNCIL MEMBERS COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS AND MATTERS INITIATED BY CITY MANAGER, CITY ATTORNEY, STAFF AND COUNCILMEMBERS
7.01 Council Committee Reports and Matters Initiated by City Manager, City Attorney, Staff, and Council Members.
Livermore Amador Valley Water Management Authority (LAVWMA) CM Spedowfski said on January 27, 2016, he attended the special meeting. There was nothing to report.
Livermore Amador Valley Transportation Authority (LAVTA) CM Spedowfski said on February 1, 2016, he attended the Board meeting to discuss draft changes to the Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA).
Joint Board of Governors CM Spedowfski said on February 2, 2016, he attended the reception for LLNL and LANS.
East Bay Community Energy CM Spedowfski said on February 3, 2016, he attended the meeting. He said the consultant report was being finalized and the public hearing process was anticipated to begin soon with the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) being formed in the Fall.
Science and Engineering Month CM Spedowfski said on February 4, 2016, he attended the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reception celebrating The Art of Science.
Livermore Amador Valley Transportation Authority (LAVTA) CM Turner said on February 1, 2016, she attended the Board meeting. There was discussion on changing routes and possibly creating a new park and ride shuttle from Greenville to BART.
CM Woerner did not have a report.
Dead Trees CM Woerner requested staff to provide an update on the many dead trees throughout the community.
VM Gary did not have a report.
Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) Mayor Marchand said on January 28, 2016, he attended the Board meeting. There was a legislative update and an update on the I-580 Express Lanes project.
Livermore Cultural Arts Commission (LCAC) Mayor Marchand said on February 3, 2016, he attended the meeting.
I-Gate Board of Directors Mayor Marchand said on February 4, 2016, he attended the meeting. There was a reorganization of the Board.
California Association of Local Agency Formation Commission (CALAFCO) Mayor Marchand said on February 5, 2016, he attended the Board meeting in Irvine, California.
Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) Mayor Marchand said on February 8, 2016, he attended the I-580 Express Lane Committee meeting and the Planning, Policy, and Legislation Committee meeting. He said there was a vote on the final goods and freight movement.
Mayor Marchand said he had no intention of resigning from the Alameda County Transportation Commission.
8. ADJOURNMENT ADJOURNMENT - at 10:52 pm to a regular City Council meeting on Monday, February 22, 2016, at 7:00 pm, Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore.
JOHN P. MARCHAND, MAYOR
SUSAN NEER, CITY CLERK