City Manager's Blog

The City Manager's Blog is an online educational tool to provide general information to the community in open communication style. Periodically, the City Manager will post articles of general interest covering topics such as the Town's budget, budget process, capital projects, upcoming meetings, community issues, public safety, and general Town operations.

Articles in the blog are not designed as press releases or Town publications, rather, they are written in more of a conversational style. The Blog does not have a comments feature but readers are free to respond to the Blog and its entries view email directly to the City Manager.

View All Posts

Oct 17

That's A Wrap! - October 16, 2019

Posted on October 17, 2019 at 9:55 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap

Council Meeting Date: October 16, 2019
Video Link:

Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative. 

SHD_PresentationThe City Council met for the October Regular Meeting on Wednesday, October 16 at 7 pm in the Pavilion at Holbrook-Palmer Park. Following the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call, the Council moved to Presentations. During Presentations, the Council received a presentation from Sequoia Healthcare District on their Enhanced Service Offerings. 

Menlo_College_OaktoberfestFollowing Presentations, the Council moved to Public Comments. During Public Comments, Menlo College Student Vice President, Joshua Salazar presented information about Menlo College activities and engagement and invited the public to attend Oaktoberfest at Menlo College on October 18 and 19

ReportFollowing Public Comment, the Council moved to the City Manager's Report. The City Manager's Report is prepared monthly as part of the City Council's Regular Agenda. In addition to current reports from the City Manager, it includes departmental updates on the various happenings around Town such as reports from Administration, Community Services, Planning, 
Police, and Public Works. The Council received Oral Reports from the City Manager and staff on various issues contained within the City Manager's Report. 

Following the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 12. Items on the Consent Agenda are considered routine in nature and are generally considered in one motion and adopted by a single vote of the Council. Included in this month's Consent Agenda were bills, minutes, approval of an agreement for Measure W Funding, 2nd Reading and Adoption of an Ordinance amending the Construction Time Limit Penalty, and award of contract for the ADA Maintenance Project. Following brief comments, the Council approved the items on the Consent Agenda. 

Public_Hearing_ImageFollowing the Consent Agenda, the Council took up two Public Hearings.

Item No. 13 was a Public Hearing to adopt a Fee Resolution Amending Various Fees and Charges. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the amount of the labor cost increase since 2013 (19.5%), inclusion of a labor cost escalator based on the Consumer Price Index within the Resolution until such time as the Town completes a full Fee Study, timing of the adoption of an annual fee resolution, and the methodology and process for addressing construction without a permit and the associated penalties for that activity. Following discussion, the Council adopted the Resolution.  

Item No. 14 was a Public Hearing to introduce for 1st Reading an Ordinance adopting the 2019 California Building Code and Ratification of the Fire Regulations promulgated by the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the inclusion of a Standards and Guidelines Manual prepared by the Fire District and whether to include the Manual as part of the Town's ratification of the Fire Regulations. Following discussion, the Council introduced the Ordinance for 1st Reading and ratified the Fire Regulations, excluding the Standards and Guidelines Manual. 

Regular_Agenda_ImageNext up was the Regular Agenda.

The first item on the Regular Agenda was Item No. 15, a Report on the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Process for San Mateo County.

Following a presentation by staff and an opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed the regional housing needs allocation process noting that the RHNA process is a responsibility of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and that the housing allocations that result from the process are directed down to the various local jurisdictions for inclusion in each jurisdiction's State-mandated Housing Element. Housing elements must show how each jurisdiction plans for the housing needs of its residents regardless of income. Housing elements do not mandate that each jurisdictions build the required housing units, but the housing element must show how the 
agency plans for such unit's development.

landsat-bay-areaABAG works with a Housing Methodology Committee to develop an overall allocation and then distributes a share of the region's required housing need to each city, town and county in the region. Each local government must then update the Housing Element of its General Plan to show the locations where housing can be built and the policies and strategies necessary to meet the identified needs. The Housing Methodology Committee is comprised of 9 elected officials (one from each Bay Area county), 12 jurisdiction housing staff (one from each county), 13 regional stakeholders representing equity, open space, public health and transit perspectives, and 1 partner each from State and Federal government. Individual jurisdictions do not have an individual voice in the allocation process; rather, jurisdictions have the ability to challenge their respective allocation through a hearing process. It was noted that the Town's allocation could increase from its current 93 units to as much as 300 units. The Town currently meets its housing element allocation from the prior cycle through the use of accessory dwelling units and college/school housing opportunities. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff continue to be involved as much as possible in the process and keep the Council apprised as the Town begins the next Housing Element Update process in 2020. 

TJKM_Community_BreakdownItem No. 16 on the Agenda was direction to staff on the Townwide Local Traffic Flow and Long Range Planning Solutions Study; the Plan for Public Outreach and Engagement, and authorization for a contract amendment with TJKM and Interwest for the Work. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the proposed process of public engagement and outreach, the philosophy of traffic flow along primary arterials versus neighborhood streets, the regional impact of traffic flow and regional projects, and the neighborhoods selected for public outreach and engagement. The Council discussed the budget for the project and the funding source(s) for the work. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff refine the proposal for the work by reducing and/or combining neighborhoods for outreach and return the proposal to the Council at a future meeting for consideration. 

Library_WorkThe last item on the Agenda was Item No. 17, an Update on the progress on the new Town Center and changes to the scopes of work for Mack5 and Interwest Consulting Group. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the progress of the project and the workload of Mack5 and Interwest Consulting Group. Following discussion, the Council authorized changes in the scope of work for both Mack5 and Interwest. More information on the Project can be found on via the Project BlogWebsite, and Webcams.

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 8:47 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The next meeting of the City Council will be November 6 for a Study Session Meeting. The November 6 meeting tentatively includes a discussion of revisions to the Town's Heritage Tree Ordinance, a discussion of the Grand Boulevard Initiative, and a discussion of a possible future development tax.

GeorgeThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

Town of Atherton