Council Meeting Date: July 18, 2018
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/TownOfAtherton/featured
Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative.
The City Council met for a sequential Study Session, Atherton Channel District, and Regular City Council Meeting on Wednesday, July 18 beginning at 4 pm.
Beginning with the Study Session at 4 pm, the Council addressed Item No. 1 - Review, Discuss and Provide Feedback on an Update on the Recology Franchise Discussions from the City Manager and City Council Subcommittee. Here, the Council heard updates from staff and the Subcommittee on recent discussions and negotiations with Recology. A representative from the South Bayside Waste Management Authority also spoke to answer questions from the Council. The Council discussed the various issues of consideration to include, but not limited to, special events, data reporting, education programs, weekend service, rate stabilization, future cost expectations, and facility upgrades. Following public comment, no decisions were made as the item was review and discuss only.
Next up was Item No. 2, Fire Services Fiscal Review - Review Task 4 Results; Provide Staff with Feedback and Direction on Next Steps. Here, the Council heard the staff presentation and a presentation from Matrix Consulting. Following public comment, the Council discussed the Report and issues such as the need for a joint meeting with the Fire District, compensation from Atherton residents to the District for services, growth of the District and anticipated growth of Atherton, the process other agencies have encountered under similar circumstances, public education and the affluence of the region. Following discussion, the Council directed staff to work with the City Council Subcommittee of the Mayor and Vice Mayor to meet with the District Subcommittee in the coming month and to schedule a discussion of the issue for a joint meeting with the Fire District at the end of the year.
Item No. 3 was Discussion and Direction on the Disposition of the Diana Statue. Following a staff report and presentation from representatives from the Lindenwood Homeowners Association (LHA), the Council discussed acceptance of the offer from the LHA to restore the statue and place the statue in a center island at Flood Circle, within the Town's right of way. The Council discussed issues related to maintenance, liability, and long-term obligations. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff work with the LHA on a maintenance agreement that would include repair, as needed of the statue and placement of the statue at Flood Circle.
Next, the Council adjourned as a City Council and reconvened as the Atherton Channel District to discuss the Atherton Channel District and its finances.
The sole item on the District Agenda was Item No. 1, Atherton Channel District Overview and Finances - Discussion and Direction. Here, staff made a presentation on the history of the Atherton Channel District, its organization, size, funding and projects. Following public comment, the Council discussed issues related to expansion of the District, funding sources and options, contributors to the Atherton Channel, legal definition of a "subsidiary district" and options for next steps. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff research further options for expanding or redistricting, provide a report on legal issues related to being a "subsidiary district", options to address new construction impacts from outside of Town, and provide a summary of the impact of the County's proposed overlay JPA for Stormwater.
Following this item, the Council moved into Closed Session. Upon return from Closed Session, at 7 pm, the Council convened in Open Session for the Regular Meeting.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council moved to Public Comment.
Following 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.
After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 10. 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, a resolution approving appointment to the PLAN JPA, and a resolution for voting delegates to the League Annual Conference. Following the opportunity for comment, the Council approved the Consent Agenda.
Following the Consent Agenda, the Council took up the rest of the Agenda, but reordered the items. They are presented below in order, but at the meeting, they were handled in the following order: Item No. 18, Civic Center, Item No. 13, Library JPA, Item No. 14, Tetra Tech, Item No. 15, Heritage Trees, Item No. 16, Letter to Holbrook Palmer Park Fence Property Owners, Item No. 17, Rental Fees at the Park, Item No. 11, False Alarm Ordinance, Item No. 12, Development Agreement Ordinance.
Item No. 11, Conduct a Public Hearing; and, If Appropriate, Introduce for 1st Reading Ordinance No. X, An Ordinance of the Town of Atherton Related to False Alarm Systems. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the number of false alarms processed by the Police Department, applicability of the false alarm fee to alarms not directly monitored by the Town, cost of the system, impact to police operations, warning letters, grace periods for disconnects, and the cost of registration and annual fees. Following discussion, the Council introduced the ordinance, as amended, with an initial registration fee of $100, an annual fee of $50, and a 30-day grace period before disconnection of an alarm being monitored by the Town. Warning letters will be sent for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd false alarms. Fines will be imposed for the 4th false alarm at $200, the 5th at $300, and $400 for each additional false alarm - in a 12-month period.
Item No. 12 was also a Public Hearing for Consideration of a Zoning Ordinance Amendment Establishing the Development Agreement Adoption Procedure Under Chapter 17.07 of the Atherton Municipal Code. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to process and applicability of a development agreement and potential uses in the Town. The Council discussed how the development agreement ordinance and process related to the Town's General Plan. Following discussion, the Council introduced the ordinance for first reading.
Next was the Regular Agenda, Item No. 13, Approval of the Amended Bylaws for the San Mateo County Library Joint Powers Authority and Second Amended Joint Powers Agreement Between the County of San Mateo and the Cities of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos, and Woodside relating to Library Services. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the excess tax funds - formerly called "donor funds", timing of the use of 100% of those funds for the Library Project, amendments to JPA Subcommittees, and commitment from the Library JPA for use of 100% of the excess funds for the Library Project. Following discussion, the Council approved the JPA documents and asked that the Library JPA clarity the Town's use of 100% of those funds, in writing, in relation to the Library Project.
Item No. 14 was Authorization for the CIty Attorney to prepare and the City Manager to Execute an Agreement Amendment with Tetra Tech, Inc. to Provide an Alternative Stormwater Capture Facility Site Assessment. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed funding of the assessment and clarified that the Town would be reimbursed by Caltrans for the work. Following discussion, the Council approved the item.
Item No. 15, Discussion and Direction on Amendments to the Atherton Municipal Code Chapter 8.10 "Removal of and Damage To Heritage Trees", Including Amending the Tree Preservation Guidelines, Standards and Specifications was next. Here, the Council heard a brief staff report and a recommendation that the Council and the Planning Commission host a joint meeting in September to discuss the proposed revisions. Following public comment and brief discussion the Council asked that staff consider additional items for consideration - clearer standards for future removal requests, improvements within the Tree Preservation Zone, and neighboring property trees into the mix but not make changes to the actual ordinance until after the joint meeting with the Planning Commission. The Council then directed that staff put together the joint meeting for sometime in September.
Item No. 16 was next, a Review of the Notification Letters to Property Owners along the Holbrook-Palmer Park Fence Lines. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council suggested some minor revisions to the letters to address relocation of the fences, as needed, follow-up with formal code enforcement of those property owners that do not pursue an Encroachment Permit, and clarification that Encroachment Permits may be revoked as deemed necessary by the Town. Following these additions, the Council directed that staff proceed with release of the letters.
Item No. 17 involved Consideration of Setting a Public Hearing to Adopt a Fee Resolution Amending Fees and Charges related to Rental Fees for the Pavilion at the Park. Here, following a staff report, Q&A with the Park Facility Vendor, and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to costs and rental fees at other venues, total revenue received for park events, number of Atherton residents versus non-residents using the facilities, clarification of Friday, Saturday and Sunday use, and condition of the Town's facilities in comparison to other venues. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff return the item at a Public Hearing.
The last scheduled item for the Agenda was Item No. 18, Receive the Civic Center Project Update; Review, Discuss and Provide Direction on Design Changes and Value Engineering Options for the Library; and Review, Discuss and Provide Direction on Funding Issues related to the Overall Project. Staff and project consultants began a presentation articulating the differences between bid options 3a and 3b as well as outlining the various value engineering options that were being considered for the Library. The Council discussed the various value engineering options as they were presented but focused on the need for the Library to retain some of its design features that were considered important spaces - such as the main deck, renovation of Town Hall, and specific program spaces and the importance of designing the facility to meet Cal-Green/Title 24 requirements and identifying where the design would exceed those requirements and the rationale behind those deviations. Following this discussion, the Council expressed a desire to be able to quantify the value engineering options - staff advised that this would be made available at a future meeting once the analysis was completed. The Council then moved on to the funding elements for the Library and the overall project. The Council first focused on the Library and the budget for the Library based on funds available. Further discussion delved into the funds available via the Library JPA excess funds provision and the expectation that the Town would be able to have additional funds advanced as part of those excess funds.
After discussing the Library funding options, the Council discussed funding options and alternatives for the Administration/Police Building. The Council discussed fund raising options, a bond measure, certificates of participation, value engineering, and the use of Operational Reserves.
No action was taken on this item as it was feedback only and it would be returning to the Council at a future meeting for further conversation.
Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 10:25 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!
The Council will be primarily DARK in August; however, the Council has called a tentative Special Meeting for 8 am on August 10 to discuss and take action on various components of the Civic Center Project. Specific items for that meeting are still being determined.