CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
April 14, 2014
1. CALL TO ORDER/PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE The meeting of the City Council was called to order by Mayor John Marchand at 7:09 pm, in the City Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore, California.
1.01 ROLL CALL Present: Mayor John Marchand, Vice Mayor Bob Woerner, and Councilmembers Stewart Gary, Doug Horner, and Laureen Turner.
1.02 PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
1.03 REPORT OF ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION
City Attorney Jason Alcala said there was no reportable action.
2. PROCLAMATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS None.
3. CITIZENS FORUM
Paul Brown, Livermore, spoke in support of the Bankhead Theater and asked the City Council to ensure the survival of the Bankhead.
Linda Ryan, Livermore, spoke regarding the Bothwell Arts Center including fundraising efforts, cultural arts classes and camps, and users of the center.
Pat Ferguson, Livermore, spoke in support of the Bankhead Theater and said the City should not spend more money to buy something already paid for.
In response to Mayor Marchand, Acting City Manager Troy Brown said there were no payments scheduled by the City for the Bankhead Theater.
Ryan Koopman, Livermore, spoke in support of the Bankhead Theater and said losing the theater would be a crippling blow to the arts organizations in Livermore and to the Downtown. He said the Pacific Chamber Symphony board voted to ask the City to support the Bankhead and LVPAC as a critical issue for Livermore.
Alan Frank, Livermore, spoke regarding Dr. Arthur Barnes, conductor and music director of the Livermore Symphony for the past 50 years, and spoke in support of the Bankhead Theater as a concert hall.
Keith Rothenberg, Livermore, expressed concerns for the health of trees at Sycamore Grove Park due to the lack of water flow releases by Zone 7. He asked the City Council to place the matter on an agenda as a matter of urgency and requested that Zone 7 find immediate and long term solutions to the issue.
Bill Aboumrad, Livermore, spoke on behalf of the Little League World Series Executive Committee and asked the City Council to discuss the Citys commitment to the series at a future meeting.
Jim Schmidt, Livermore, said he represented Friends of the Bankhead and Bothwell and submitted a petition of signatures asking the Council to support the Bankhead Theater.
Don Meeker, Livermore, spoke regarding the history of the Stevens Flour Mill and Mill Square Park in Livermore from 1869 to present.
Henry Shay, Livermore, said the disposition and development agreement reserving land for a regional theater should be abrogated and the City should permit other uses for the land.
Esther Waltz, Livermore, asked the City Council to provide backing to the interfaith council for more homeless shelters and said shelters were needed for single men, women and children, and married families.
John Stein, Livermore, spoke regarding unfunded liability for retiree medical and pension benefits; he asked for more information on the unfunded liability to be included in the budget process.
4. CONSENT CALENDAR
ON THE MOTION OF CM GARY, SECONDED BY CM TURNER, AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE CONSENT CALENDAR.
4.01 Approval of minutes - March 24, 2014 regular City Council meeting.
4.02 Resolution 2014-041 adopting the City of Livermore 457 Governmental Deferred Compensation Plan & Trust and Resolution 2014-042 adopting the 401 Governmental Money Purchase Plan & Trust Basic Document for City of Livermore employees and retirees.
4.03 Resolution 2014-043 authorizing appropriation of Housing and Human Services Grant funds utilizing Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Social Opportunity Endowment, Housing In-Lieu, and Human Services Facility Fee funds for Fiscal Year 2014-2015; and authorizing the execution of the grant agreements and related documents with agencies receiving allocations of funds from the Alameda County HOME Consortium and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
5. PUBLIC HEARINGS
5.01 Hearing to consider a request to change the street name of Paragon Outlets Drive to Livermore Outlets Drive.
Location: Paragon Outlets Drive, between Jack London Boulevard and Freisman Road
Applicant: Livermore Premium Outlets
On-site and off-site public improvements: None
Site Area: Citywide
Zoning: Planned Development-El Charro Specific Plan-Regional Commercial (PD-ECSP-RC)
General Plan: Business Commercial Park (BCP)
Historic Status: None
CEQA: This project is Categorically Exempt under the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) per CEQA Guidelines Section 15301, which exempts minor alteration of public facilities, including new copy on existing on and off-premise signs.
Application Number: Tentative Parcel Map 9393 Amendment (Subdivision Amendment 13-002)
Recommendation: The Planning Commission and staff recommended the City Council adopt a resolution approving the street name change to Livermore Outlets Drive.
Senior Planner Benjamin Murray presented the staff report.
Mayor Marchand opened the public hearing.
Esther Waltz, Livermore, spoke in opposition to changing the street name and suggested hyphenating the name to Paragon-Livermore Outlets.
There were no more speakers and the hearing was closed.
ON THE MOTION OF CM HORNER, SECONDED BY CM GARY AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION:
Resolution 2014-044 approving the street name change to Livermore Outlets Drive.
5.02 Hearing to consider an appeal of the Planning Commission decision to approve Site Plan Design Review Modification 13-017 at the location formerly known as the Nob Hill Center. The project involves the removal of the existing building fašade and replacement with a new fašade on the main building and pad building, landscape repair and replacement, construction of a storage enclosure for packing bales, pallets, and organic waste, renovation of an existing loading dock, resealing and restriping the existing parking lot, lighting upgrades, and upgrading existing driveways and walkways for improved access.
Location: 2930-3070 Pacific Avenue
Appellant: Sylvia Pino
On-site and off-site public improvements: Repair and replace curb, gutter, and sidewalk where necessary.
Site Area: 6.12▒ acres
Zoning: Neighborhood Mixed-Use (NMU)
General Plan: Neighborhood Mixed Low Density (NML)
Historic Status: None
CEQA: This project is Categorically Exempt under the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines Section 15301, which exempts the repair, maintenance, and minor alteration of existing public or private structures.
Recommendation: The Planning Commission and staff recommended the City Council uphold the Planning Commission approval of Site Plan Design Review Modification 13-017 for renovations to the Livermore Town Center, formerly known as the Nob Hill Center, located at 2930-3070 Pacific Avenue and adopt a resolution denying Appeal 14-001.
Senior Planner Benjamin Murray presented the staff report.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Community and Economic Development Director Stephan Kiefer said recent site improvements at Lucky at Concannon and Holmes had been found categorically exempt, as well as remodels at Safeway, Trader Joes, and Orchard Supply. He said the City did not have the authority to specify tenants.
Mark Wolf, on behalf of Appellant Sylvia Pino, said the other supermarket improvements that were found categorically exempt hadnt been empty for twelve years. He said there were people living behind the project that would be exposed to diesel exhaust emissions, which were toxic air contaminants. He said if an initial study was done, you could find out the extent to which that exposure would be a problem; he said by finding the project categorically exempt there was no opportunity to do that. He said this was a discretionary approval, and he said this was not a minor expansion of an existing land use. He said there had never been a meaningful environmental analysis of the use or building of the site; he said the unusual circumstances were that it was vacant for ten years and said the knowledge about toxic diesel exhaust qualified as unusual circumstances.
Luke Bollinger, Habitec Architecture representing Swenson Development and Construction, Applicant, said the project was a remodel, redesign, and upgrade of an existing shopping facility. He said they were upgrading a dated center with new landscaping, lighting, drainage, striping, building fašade improvements, and outdoor seating.
Mayor Marchand opened the public hearing.
John Nunes, Livermore, spoke in support of the appeal and asked for an initial environmental study. He said he represented the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 and said local grocery stores would close with the addition of a supermarket at the former Nob Hill site; he spoke regarding Walmart wages and benefits.
Bill Noyes, Livermore, said he owned property behind the Nob Hill Center and expressed concerns regarding visual and noise impacts from air condition units and requested a roof screen be required across the back of the units.
Dolores Olness, Livermore, spoke in opposition to the appeal and said there were many low-income residents in the area that needed somewhere to buy groceries.
Juanita Lambert, Livermore, spoke in opposition to the appeal and said senior citizens, disabled, and low-income people needed a store close by.
Sam Steele, Livermore, spoke in opposition to the appeal. He said he would like a grocery store on the site and supported the comments regarding a roof screen.
Jason Lowery, Livermore, spoke in opposition to the appeal and said he was looking forward to something going into the site.
Valerie Thomey, Livermore, spoke in opposition to the appeal; she said the community needed something in the neighborhood and the site was dilapidated.
Henry Rosa, Livermore, spoke in support of the appeal and expressed quality of life concerns including traffic, competition with other stores and wineries for sales, and potential for unintended consequences.
Jose Mangria, Livermore, expressed concerns regarding drainage at the site, the alleyway not being posted as a fire lane, and enforcement of delivery truck curfews.
Mary Silva, Livermore, spoke in opposition to a Walmart supermarket at the former Nob Hill location to protect the gateway to the wine country.
Alfred Harrison, Livermore, spoke in opposition to Walmart and said they did not respect employees or customers.
Angela Willmes, Livermore, spoke in support of the appeal and said she rejected the placement of a supermarket at the site; she said there were more compatible uses.
Jose Castanados, Livermore, expressed concerns regarding noise and diesel fumes and asked the City to conduct an environmental review.
Gil Serpa, Livermore, spoke in support of the appeal and asked the City Council to conduct an environmental evaluation to determine the impact on other shopping centers; he expressed concerns regarding traffic and air quality and said Walmart would undermine the grocery stores already here.
Elizabeth Sanchez, Livermore, spoke in support of the appeal and expressed concerns regarding traffic, noise, and diesel fumes generated by a supermarket operation; she asked the City Council to conduct a study to determine negative environmental impacts to the neighborhood.
Bob La Fave, Livermore, spoke in opposition to the appeal. He said as a tenant in the shopping center, the majority of his customers wanted a grocery store; he said the center had been deteriorating and needed an update and the plan would be a benefit to the community.
John Bryant, Livermore, said he objected to the categorical exemption of the building due to its age and expressed concerns regarding lead and asbestos in demolition debris.
Anna Handblecht, Livermore, spoke in opposition to Walmart; she expressed concerns regarding low wages, said Walmart needed to unionize, and said they did not donate to local cities.
Marvin Bryant, Livermore, spoke in support of the appeal and said the environmental study should be done; he said if property was dilapidated, improvements were the responsibility of the landlord. He said Walmart had been proven to be a bad corporate citizen and expressed concerns regarding low wages.
There were no more speakers and the hearing was closed.
In response to questions by CM Turner, City Attorney Jason Alcala outlined the CEQA process and said staff had determined the project was a minor improvement to an existing facility and categorically exempt.
In response to questions by CM Turner, Mr. Murray said the applicant had agreed to include a roof screen across the entire back of the building. He said the civil engineers for the project had surveyed the site, identified areas of puddling, and would install new drains. He said the six-foot wall would be repaired and repainted. Community and Economic Development Director Stephan Kiefer said there were stringent requirements for lead and asbestos removal.
In response to questions by CM Horner, Mr. Alcala said the base use of the site was not a consideration when determining categorical exemption; he said the appellant had the burden of proof to show unique or unusual circumstances that would lead to a significant effect on the environment.
In response to questions by CM Gary, Mr. Alcala said once a use had been established, the use was available to any applicant. He said there were opportunities to continue a use or change the use; however, those activities were beyond what was before the Council.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Mr. Alcala said City Council could uphold the appeal, deny the appeal, or modify the decision of the Planning Commission.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Mr. Murray said the standard neighborhood fence between properties was six feet; for security or noise purposes, a higher wall could be justified.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Mr. Kiefer said the truck dock use would be enforceable through the Neighborhood Preservation Division; he said obstructions of fire access would be enforced through both the Neighborhood Preservation Division and the Police Department.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Acting City Manager Troy Brown said the applicant would be required to submit a final plant review overseen by the Community Development Department.
In response to questions by CM Woerner, Mr. Kiefer said given the consistency of the proposed use, staff did not believe there would be an excessive traffic increase.
IT WAS MOVED BY CM HORNER, SECONDED BY CM TURNER TO UPHOLD THE PLANNING COMMISSION DECISION AND DENY APPEAL 14-001.
CM Gary said comments he directly received were roughly two-thirds in favor of anything positive happening in the center; the one-third negative were almost entirely because of Walmart. He said he did not find that the project was other than categorically exempt as a remodel.
THE AMENDING MOTION MADE BY CM GARY, SECONDED BY VM WOERNER FOR THE APPLICANT AND HOMEOWNERS TO WORK TOGETHER TO ESTABLISH A UNIFORM WALL HEIGHT TO ADDRESS THE AESTHETICS AND PROVIDE A PROPER NOISE ABATEMENT WALL AT THE REAR OF THE PROPERTY SUBJECT TO THE CITYS COMMERCIAL DESIGN GUIDELINES CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE.
THE MAIN MOTION CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE AND THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED:
Resolution 2014-045 denying appeal 14-001 and upholding the Planning Commission approval of Site Plan Design Review Modification 13-017 for renovations to Livermore Town Center at 2930-3070 Pacific Avenue.
6. MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
6.01 Discussion and direction regarding City Council appointments to Intergovernmental Agencies. None.
6.02 Status report on the drought.
Recommendation: This report was for information only.
Public Works Director Dan McIntyre presented the staff report.
In response to questions by CM Turner, Mr. McIntyre said staff would investigate water-wise grant monies available through Stopwaste.org.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Mr. McIntyre said usage would be enforced and monitored by staff; the first occasion would result in a notice, a second offense would trigger a $100 fine, and there were progressive fines beyond that.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Mr. McIntyre said a drought ordinance would codify citywide behavioral restrictions, not just City Municipal Water customers, and was favored by Cal Water.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Mr. McIntyre said staff was developing baseline amounts to help people determine conservation. He said information was available on the webpage and through bills; practical examples would be provided.
In response to questions by CM Gary, City Attorney Jason Alcala said the City could adopt an emergency ordinance that would go into effect immediately and would apply to all water purveyors and users within the City.
CM Horner said education would be key; he said the City needed to give residents an idea of where they fell in comparison to what they should be doing.
In response to questions by CM Horner, Mr. McIntyre said the Department of Water Resources believed they would be able to provide carryover water that had been saved last year; they would provide a minimum health standard of water to those throughout the state that needed it. He said significantly more water would be pumped from the groundwater basin than had been done previously and there were some concerns about stressing the groundwater basin.
The City Council received the report; no action was taken.
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 COUNCILMEMBERS
7.01 Council Committee Reports and Matters Initiated by City Manager, City Attorney, Staff, and Councilmembers.
League of California Cities (LOCC) CM Horner said he attended the meeting on March 27, 2014. He said PG&E was going to make a presentation on the clear cutting of trees along service lines but cancelled prior to the meeting. He said there was now a moratorium and PG&E would refrain from cutting any more trees at this time.
CM Horner requested PG&Es Pathways tree removal plans be posted on the Citys website.
CM Horner requested staff review the Citys tree ordinance in anticipation of PG&Es upcoming project.
Acting City Manager Troy Brown said the Citys tree ordinance was currently under review by staff to ensure protection and appropriate controls regarding trimming of trees. He said there would be a meeting with PG&E and Alameda and Contra Costa County city managers on April 25, 2014 to discuss the project.
City Attorney Jason Alcala said he would be presenting information at the next City Council Closed Session on April 28, 2014 regarding potential litigation.
Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) CM Turner said on March 24, 2014 she attended the Finance Committee meeting. She also attended the meetings on April 7th and April 14, 2014.
Stopwaste.org CM Turner said on March 26, 2014 she attended the meeting; there was continued discussion on the household hazardous waste fee.
Altamont Landfill Community Monitor Committee CM Turner said on April 9, 2014 she attended the meeting. There was a discussion on the problem of seagulls making the landfill a permanent home.
E-Cigarettes CM Turner requested and received concurrence from the Council, for staff to prepare a report to include electronic cigarettes in the Citys smoking ordinance.
CM Gary said he did not have any meetings to report.
Sycamore Grove CM Gary said in response to comments made during Citizens Forum, due to the severe drought, it was not feasible to provide water other than potable water to the trees at Sycamore Grove.
Acting City Manager Troy Brown said Zone 7 had announced that the water supply to all of the arroyos would be shut off because of the zero allocation of water from the State.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Mr. Brown stated it would be expensive to truck in water in an attempt to save heritage trees and he would follow-up with Livermore Area Recreation and Park District on possible options.
Sales Tax Reception Mayor Marchand said on March 27, 2014, he and CM Turner had a reception for the top 100 sales tax generators in the City.
Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) Mayor Marchand said on March 27, 2014 he attended the TEP Steering Committee and the Alameda County Transportation Commission Board meeting.
Livermore Toyota Mayor Marchand said on March 27, 2014 he attended the Grand Opening of the dealership.
Grapes of Rock Mayor Marchand said on March 29, 2014 he attended the first half-marathon in Livermore.
iGATE Mayor Marchand said on April 3, 2014 he attended the meeting.
Livermore Art Association Spring Show Mayor Marchand said he attended the show held in Livermore April 5-6, 2014.
Topcon Mayor Marchand said on April 8, 2014 Topcon launched its nationwide tech tour.
Teen Art Reception Mayor Marchand said on April 8, 2014 he attended the reception at the Livermore Library.
Alameda County Mayors Conference Mayor Marchand said the Mayors Conference was held at Cattlemens in Livermore on April 9, 2014.
Agricultural Demonstration Mayor Marchand said he attended the demo at Livermore High School on April 10, 2014.
Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) Mayor Marchand said on April 14, 2014 he attended the meeting. There was an update on the I-580 Express Lane Project in addition to legislative updates at the Planning and Policy Committee.
Little League World Series Mayor Marchand requested and received concurrence from the Council to direct staff to provide information pertaining to Bill Aboumrads request made during Citizens Forum regarding the Little League World Series to be held in Livermore.
8. ADJOURNMENT at 9:54 pm to a regular City Council meeting on Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm, Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore.
JOHN P. MARCHAND, MAYOR
SUSAN NEER, CITY CLERK
SARAH BUNTING, ADMIN TECHNICIAN