The Planning Commission, at its October 26, 2016 meeting, took the following action:
- Approved the Heritage Tree Removal Permit at 56 Holbrook Lane to allow the removal of one tree.
- Continued the Heritage Tree Removal Permit at 167 Stockbridge Avenue for the request to remove two trees to the December 7, 2016 meeting in order for the applicant to propose further revisions to the plans as they relate to the trees for review by Town staff.
- Approved a Tentative Map and Lot Line Redesignation at 10 Sargent Lane to subdivide the parcel into two lots and to designate the property line along the southwest side of the proposed new lot B as the front property line.
The next meeting is scheduled for December 7, 2016.
Tax Rate Area Map and Educational Information
Staff has updated the Local Municipal Services webpage to provide education to the community on Tax Rate Areas (TRAs) and how property taxes are allocated. The information includes a step by step process to find their parcel on the County website to look up their tax rate area and detail. The information also includes a summary spreadsheet of all taxing entities in each TRA - as well as a map of all TRAs in Town.
Almendral Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (HAWK) Timing
Staff continues to work with Caltrans to remedy the timing of the HAWK Beacon.
Peninsula Humane Society - Shelter Article
Last week, as the Council is aware, there was an article related to abuse at the Peninsula Humane Society Shelter. Assistant County Manager Mike Callagy provided the below email following an inspection of the facility:
"As you may be aware, last week several media outlets reported employee allegations of animal welfare problems at the Coyote Point Shelter operated by Peninsula Humane Society through a contract with the County of San Mateo and its cities. In response, the Health System immediately dispatched a small team to the shelter to investigate.
The team, which included Health System Chief Louise Rogers, Public Health Director Cassius Lockett, a veterinarian and other Health staff involved in the contract’s oversight, toured the facility for approximately two hours on October 27, 2016 and found no examples of inhumane treatment of animals or distress. As expected, the team reported the building is antiquated and in poor shape which reconfirms the need for replacement as is currently planned. PHS agreed to promptly address several repair recommendations made by our team.
The County takes these concerns very seriously and we plan to convene a more thorough review of the Shelter and its operations in November. I will keep you updated on our next steps and the conclusions drawn from the upcoming review."
Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project Comprehensive Agreement
As the Council is aware, Caltrain is working with all agencies along the electrification corridor to execute comprehensive agreement with each agency. The Town’s effort on this was suspended while the CEQA lawsuit progressed. Now that that has completed, Caltrain has re-approached the Town regarding the agreement. The agreement covers issues such as the issuance of Town Encroachment Permits, lay down construction areas, truck routes, noise, construction times, etc.
Staff is working with Caltrain on the points of the agreement.
As Caltrain moves forward with the Project and other sub-project connected to it, they will be sending out a series of mailers to affected residents in advance of work. The relevant work segments for Atherton are shown via this link:
At this phase, the majority of the work will occur during the day but there will be some night work. The contractor will locate utilities, confirm soil conditions, and test cables. Once work starts (mid to late November) Caltrain will be updating the website on a weekly basis with what and where the activity will occur. They will also send out the weekly email notices, and check the project hotline and email regularly.
The Town will replicate and release as much of the information as possible in a timely manner via our outlets (website/email).
Solid Waste Rate Structures - Zero Waste
Menlo Park is developing a Zero Waste Plan and Rate Restructuring with the help of R3 Consulting that will overlay “cost-of-service” rates with incentives to meet community Zero Waste goals. The rate structure model could be made available to other SBWMA Member Agencies that are interested in aligning a potential rate restructuring with extension of the franchise agreement. The rate structure could provide benefits to those agencies that are interested. Menlo Park has reached out for partners in the cost of the study; however, they are not holding up the study to wait for partners.
At this time, it does not appear that this is something the Town is interested in pursuing. The results of their study will be public and if, at that time, the Town believes there is benefit to pursuing something locally, we can do so. The waste stream for communities such as Menlo Park is vastly different than that of Atherton.
Green Bike Lanes Feedback
Staff is putting together an Open Town Hall Feedback item for the green bike lanes on Middlefield Project(s). We will be asking a few open-ended questions (along with pictures), such as:
- What do you like or not like about the green striping?
- Are there specific intersections where you think this treatment would be helpful?
- Are there specific intersection where you think a higher level of striping would be helpful?
- In addition to green striping applications at intersections, some communities have painted the entirety of the bike lane green along busy roadways. The Town is considering this along Middlefield Road - what are your thoughts?
- Are you familiar with other types of markings that you would like the Town to consider? If so, what/where are they?
The preamble will read something like:
"The Town of Atherton has developed a Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and provide connectivity with adjacent agencies. One of the projects within the plan is to install green bike lanes at key intersections in Atherton. The Town already has green bike lanes at intersections on Middlefield/Encinal, Laurel/Encinal, Michael/Emilie and on Glenwood. The Town is seeking your thoughts and feedback on installing these same green bike lanes at other intersections throughout the town. In addition, the Town is considering installing green striping along the entirety of Middlefield Road (to include all of the intersections). Your feedback on this project is important as the Town considers moving forward with the project.”
This should go live in the coming week.
M-ALL All Star Tournament - 2017
M-ALL will be before the Council at the November 16 meeting to provide information on their Spring Season and the District 52 All Star Tournament. The tournament rotates around the District and it is M-ALL’s turn to host. They will be requesting time in July 2017 to accommodate. Some of the games will be played at the Park. Special Requests will include:
- Extension of M-ALL field use rights at Burgess Majors and Willie Mays Ball Park at Holbrook Palmer Park (HP) through July 15. This is an extension beyond M-ALLs typical use through June 30. The All Star tournament is estimated to take place between July 1 and July 15. The final dates will be determined in February by Little League’s Western Region.
- Operation of the Snack Shack at Burgess during the tournament. A temporary Snack Shack setup at HP to provide food and drinks to players and families.
- The use of our PA system during the tournament to play the National Anthem and introduce players before each game. (NOT PLAY BY PLAY)
- The ability to hang signage (tournament banners) and field decorations (e.g., red, white, blue bunting) at the fields.
- Restrooms to be open during the tournament and cleaned each evening.
- Additional trash cans to accommodate the increased users and for them to be emptied each evening.
Costs for the above, to include use fees, would be paid by M-ALL.
Meeting Regarding Menlo College/School | Cartan Field
Staff will be meeting in early December to begin the process of reviewing compliance issues at Cartan Field.
Turf Repairs at the Park
Staff is reviewing turf repair needs at the Park and will be meeting with M-ALL to discuss field needs.
Second Dwelling Unit Law
On Monday, staff participated with the County’s 21 Elements Group (Housing) and Goldfarb & Lipman Attorney’s who presented SMCO jurisdictions a summary and legal opinion on the new State Laws amending Gov’t Code 65852.2 making it easier for property owners to create second dwelling units by right. Most changes do not appear problematic to the Town, with the exception of the timing and conversion of existing accessory buildings to Second Dwelling Units (SDU)
(see ** Primary Staff Concerns below).
Summary of Substantive Changes to Existing Town SDU Ordinance
- Timing: need to take action within 120 days & must specify this timing in Ordinance
- Parking: Spot can be tandem spot or in setback and we cannot require parking under certain conditions.
- SDU’s in existing structures: Town must ministerially approve an SDU if contained within existing main residence or an existing accessory building.
**Primary Staff Concerns
Timing – local Ordinances must by updated by Jan 1, 2017, or local ORD is null & void, and only State standards apply. At this point, best case is Council meeting in December 2016 and Council January 2017, then Ordinance is not effective until March 2017. Given the State’s late delivery of info, staff is investigating the possibility of an urgency ordinance adoption process.
SDU’s In Existing Accessory Buildings – this would allow existing, legal detached accessory buildings (i.e. pool houses, guest houses, etc.) to be converted to an SDU, without consideration of additional setbacks. The concern here is that these buildings, for the most part, are only 10’ from side & rear property lines, while our SDU Ordinance requires the location to meet much larger setbacks with slight encroachment (closer to ~40-48’’). New detached units, would still need to meet our more stringent SDU setbacks.
Public Funds for Private Benefit
As the Council is aware, when a tree falls across the public right of way, staff will facilitate clearing of the public right-of-way, but the adjacent property owner is responsible for clearing the edges of right-of-way. In the past, the Town has not “charged back” the cost of using Town resources to clear the roadway. Much of this is circumstance dependent and in some cases, the Town itself may be obligated as the responsible party, but in general, there have not been chargebacks on a consistent basis.
With the wet weather season approaching staff discussed this issue at a recent staff meeting to develop an audit process to track work done in the public right-of-way that needs to be charged back to adjacent property owners. This process will be followed moving forward. The law is quite clear that the Town cannot use public funds (staff time and resources) for private benefit - even when the staff time and resources are clearing the public roadway or drainage channel. If the source of the issue is private, the cost of Town work must be paid for by the private property owner. Sometimes, this will involve a very fast demand on the property owner to clear the roadway, if they cannot do so (out of town, late call out, no resources, etc.) the Town will do so and invoice the property owner.