As the Council is aware, C/CAG has initiated a Regional Water Subcommittee to address regional issues related to Sea Level Rise and Drainage. Mayor Lewis presently serves on the Subcommittee. The Subcommittee meets on the 1st Wednesday of every month at 5:15 pm. The Mayor has asked if the Council would consider moving our Study Session up from 4 pm to 3 pm to allow attendance at this C/CAG Committee by the Council representative.
Feedback thus far is that moving up the time of the Study Session will cause conflicts in work schedules.
With the most recent DUI vehicle in the channel, Gordon sent a copy of the newspaper article to the Regional Water Board representative. This elicited an immediate response from the RWQCB saying that they expect to issue a 401 Certification at the beginning of January to allow the Town to move to the next step - which includes finalizing any approvals/reviews from the other participating JARPA Permit agencies. Advertising/Bidding the project at the January meeting will be excellent timing.
5. Civic Center Advisory Committee - Naming Conventions
The CCAC has been reluctant to discuss the naming convention opportunities for the new Civic Center in order to provide the City Council with a recommendation. Atherton Now is providing supplemental information to the CCAC Staff Report for their meeting in January. I have the item on the January 20 Regular Meeting as a Study Session item for Council discussion.
6. Art Foundation Thank You
Betty Ulman from the Atherton Arts Foundation sent in a nice email complimenting staff for their unsolicited assistance during a recent art installation at Town Hall. Positive feedback is much appreciated.
7. Regional Storm Water Permit
As the Council is aware, the Town is one of a number of jurisdictions permitted under the Regional Water Quality Control Board Stormwater Permit. We have our permit via C/CAG and the County of San Mateo. Linked here is a very informative PowerPoint presentation from Matt Fabry
posted to the C/CAG website on the topic. Here
you can also view a dropbox link to the various jurisdiction maps (as shown in the PowerPoint). Atherton included.
8. Transportation Committee Member Share
9. Security of Firearms (excerpt from the Chief)
There has been a sharp increase in vehicle thefts and auto burglaries throughout the State. In a number of the incidents, unsecured firearms have been stolen and used in high-profile crimes. Although not as tragic, but certainly embarrassing were several other firearms taken from vehicles in the Bay Area belong to peace officers - including a Police Chief. The Department is updating its Lexipol policies to address this concern. Additionally, the Town will be purchasing five (5) gun storage vaults to be secured inside the trunks of our unmarked vehicles.
Officers (on duty and off) are responsible for the security of all firearms under their care and control (privately owned as well as Department issued). The policy will address the securing of a firearm in an unattended vehicle for even a short period of time.
10. Surf Air Working Group Letter to Surf Air - December 2015
11. EPC Work Plan and CAP
As the Council is aware, the EPC has been working on their 2016 Work Plan that includes a number of the priority focus areas from the Climate Action Plan (CAP) that has yet to be approved by the Council. I have discussed this issue before and the feedback has been consistent that the Work Plan and Climate Action Plan need to be reviewed by the Council concurrently not independently as they are intertwined.
The CAP has been delayed due to some insurance and indemnification issues with the consultant. These are being worked through; however, the Plan will not be on the Council agenda for January 6. We anticipate it reaching the Council for the February 3 Study Session. We will bring forth the Work Plan as well as an opportunity to provide congruent feedback/changes to the EPC Charter at the same time. It will be important for this Committee to have clear charter direction consistent with Council approval of any work plan or Climate Action Plan.
At their last meeting, the EPC voted to approve and recommend their Work Plan to the City Council with three (3) key program items: 1) Atherton 2020/Home Energy Efficient, Water Conservation and Education; 2) Advisory and Support for Environmentally Based Building Code and Drainage District Upgrades; and 3) Resource Use Disclosure Requirements for Home Buyers. The Work Plan was to assign rough cost estimates to each of the items. The Work Plan will include a policy that discusses requested funding mechanisms in support of the effort. Discussion of a UUT was removed as an action item but remained as a potential/suggested funding source for consideration by the Council. The EPC also approved a categorized/prioritized list of EPC-recommended GHG reduction measures as part of the CAP. The EPC categorized each recommended GHG measure included in the CAP as measures to be considered as part of the EPC 2016 Work Plan or measures for the Town to consider as a matter of ordinance, policy or other guiding language.
The EPC is recommending that the Town hire a consultant to implement the programs in the Work Plan primarily related to home energy efficiency, water conservation and public education/communication. The EPC is interested in resurrecting a number of the Atherton 2020 program components with revisions or tweaks as needed. This would include performing home energy audits and having a consultant assist with developing a public education website, marketing and other outreach efforts.
Lastly, the EPC has requested a program that provides the EPC with an advisory and/or recommendation role for all Town-related ordinances, codes, policies or other issues that include any matters/topics that have an environmental relation. I have advised the staff liaison and the City Council representative that I believe that that request is too far-reaching to be supported. With CEQA, nearly all decisions of the City Council are tangentially environmentally related or determined. I believe it would be inappropriate to pass all ordinances, policies, or codes considered by the City Council first through the Town’s subordinate environmental programs committee.
12. Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Provide Local Agencies with New Optional Funding to finance Stormwater Management
On December 14, 2015 the League of California Cities joined the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and the Association of California Water Agencies (CWA) in filing a proposed constitutional amendment with the Attorney General’s office. The measure would create a new, optional funding system local agencies can use to finance stormwater management, flood control, sewer and water supply projects, set rates for customers to encourage conservation and reduce water and sewer bills for low-income customers. The League Board of Directors formally authorized the League’s participation in this effort.
The proposed constitutional amendment includes strict accountability and transparency requirements for any local agency that chooses to avail itself of this new funding system. The measure would amend Art. X of the California Constitution, concerning water resources, and would add a new Sec. 8. It makes no changes to other parts of the constitution, including Proposition 218, which would continue to remain available for funding stormwater, sewer, flood control and water supply projects. It merely provides another financing alternative to local government agencies that could be used at their discretion unless their ratepayers object.
13. League Peninsula Division Representative
The League’s new Peninsula Regional Public Affairs Manage is Seth Miller. This week Seth has joined the ranks of the regional managers where he will establish and maintain relationships, implement ballot measure advocacy campaigns, and engage in other forms of strategic outreach and activities in the Peninsula Division. He will start on January 4, 2016.
Seth has fifteen years of experience working on region-wide challenges such as air quality, affordable housing and workforce development. He has extensive experience in the development of policies and programs related to transportation planning, land use and public health. He has worked closely with state, regional and local government to develop comprehensive public engagement strategies including the San Joaquin Valley Regional Transportation Planning process, the Southern California Association of Government Compass Program, and the California Department of Public Health’s Safe Routes to School effort. Seth served as Public Outreach Director with the UC Davis Institute for Transportation Studies from 2009-2013 and the Public Policy Director for the California Center for Regional Leadership from 2001-2008. He co-founded the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in Taos, New Mexico in the 1990s. He has worked on statewide propositions throughout California and a host of local initiatives to create more livable communities. He serves as a Board Member for the Root Cause Institute and Technology Against World Blindness. Seth has a Bachelor’s degree in History from The Colorado College and an MBA from Boston University. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Ruth Bond and sons, Max, Ben and Julian and daughter Phoebe.
14. Committee Assignment List
Theresa is putting together the Committee List for you to select the various committees or regional positions on which you’d like to participate. The Mayor will be making the assignments at the January Council meeting. Theresa will send out the list (name of committee, meeting times, description, etc.) with a due date back to her to send it to the Mayor for consideration.
15. Event Garden Status
The rain has affected Event Garden progress at the Park. The working crews have been reduced in size and if the rain continues, the project will shut down until the site dries out. At this point, they are looking at a mid-January completion schedule. There are no significant events that will be impacted at the Park and notice will be provided to any potential renters during the time period. The contractor continues work on steel edging and planting trees. About 60% of the site has been unworkable due to the wet conditions. All the plant material has been delivered to the Site and is being watered daily.
16. Quiet Zone Status
We have released requests for Statements of Qualifications to various consultants and have scheduled interviews for the week of January 5. Stephanie Anzia (consultant referenced by Nerissa Dexter) will participate in the interviews. It is anticipated that we will have someone on board shortly thereafter.
A question was asked about the construction period for the quad gates at Fair Oaks. Caltrain pulled a “no fee" encroachment permit via the Town in September 2009 for installation of the gates.
17. Cal Water H20 Challenge
To continue to promote water conservation, Cal Water’s H2O Challenge is open for the 2015-16 school year. Now in its second year, elementary school students design innovative programs to practice water conservation and increase awareness about the impact of the state's historic drought. Information about this contest has been shared with principals in our service areas; while we recognize that schools are governed by school boards, Cal Water would like to invite the Town of Atherton to support and encourage schools in Cal Water's Bear Gulch District to participate.
The competition, developed in collaboration with the North American Association for Environmental Education, is open to classrooms in grades 4 through 6 in Cal Water’s Bear Gulch District. The winning class will receive an all-expense paid, three-day camping and hiking trip at Circle X Ranch, located in the Santa Monica Mountains, as part of the NatureBridge environmental science education program.
The Cal Water H2O Challenge builds on principles linked to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning, as well as Next Generation Science Standards. Students learn how principles can be applied in the study of the water cycle, how water quality affects the survival of plants and organisms, and how they can impact water conservation.
Last year, the winning school, Shasta Elementary School in Chico, designed a rain collection system to water plants in a native garden they created on school property that would have an enduring impact on the school's efforts to conserve water. The class took a field trip to a local nursery, learning about gardening and native plants. It also sought the expert advice of a longtime local rancher about building its rain collection system.
The Cal Water H2O Challenge is a project-based competition for schools seeking to enhance students' understanding of water-based science concepts. To ensure educators have access to the support they need, teachers will be provided with technical, expert, and monetary support through educational resources, consultants, and up to 20 $500 teacher grants chosen by lottery. The deadline to register for this challenge is December 31, 2015.
18. Alameda de las Pulgas Traffic Recorder Results
Staff placed our Radar Recorder on northbound Alameda de las Pulgas, between Atherton Avenue and Callado Way, between 12-12-15 and 12-19-15. The results were as follows:
1) During this time, a total of 90,516 vehicles traveled on Alameda de las Pulgas (combined northbound and southbound)
2) 61.8% of the vehicles were traveling at 31 MPH or greater
3) 24.2% of the vehicles were traveling at 35 MPH or greater
4) 7.4% of the vehicles were traveling at 38 MPH or greater (the current 85th percentile for Alameda is 37 MPH)
5) 0.7% of the vehicles were traveling at 43 MPH or greater
6) 0.1% of the vehicles were traveling at 48 MPH or greater
The Radar Recorder gave us an 85th percentile of 35 MPH combined, with 34 MPH northbound and 35 MPH southbound. A majority of the vehicles were traveling at 32 MPH combined, with 31 MPH northbound and 32 MPH southbound. Of all of the vehicles: 1,528 vehicles traveled at 41 MPH or greater, 146 vehicles traveled at 46 MPH or greater, and 16 vehicles traveled at 51 MPH or greater.