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March 12, 2013

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held March 12, 2013 at 7:01 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Mayor Clarkson presiding. 
PRESENT:  Councilmembers Livingstone, O’Loane, Perkins, and Mayor Clarkson.
ABSENT:  Vice Mayor Hudson
STAFF PRESENT:  City Manager Greg Rogers, Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe, Police Chief Scott Holder, Senior Planner Lauren Barr, and City Clerk Patricia Edwards.

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Planning Commissioner Donna Kerger led those present in the pledge of allegiance. 

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The City Clerk stated that there were no changes or additions to the agenda.  The only change to the meeting information listed on the agenda is that the Architectural Review Board meeting scheduled for March 14, 2013 has been rescheduled to March 7, 2013. 

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(#4.1) Recognition of the Spandana Spelling Bee 2013 Winners:
Junior (Grade 1-3) – Anisha Kumar; Lavanya Sundar; Anwesh Sahu
Intermediate (Grade 4-5) – Pragadeeswar Daksinamurthi; Anish Kashyap; Aditya  Ramakrishnan
Senior (Grade 6-8) – Surya Auroprem; Nikhilesh Kumar; Sunidhi Sridhar
Introduction by Hari Moola.  Presented by Mayor Clarkson.

Board Member Hari Moola stated that Spandana is a nonprofit organization which raises funds for underprivileged children who are in financial need.  This was the second annual Spelling Bee and included 300 participants representing 35 cities.  Mayor Clarkson complimented Spandana for emphasizing literacy.  Mayor Clarkson presented certificates to the winners who were present at the meeting.  Anwesh Sahu thanked Mayor Clarkson, San Ramon, and the Spandana Foundation for encouraging him with the award.  Pragadeeswar Daksinamurthi stated that some of the spelling words were really tough. Aditya Ramakrishnan thanked the City for his award. 

(#4.2) Proclamation Recognizing Retiring Police K9 Dar for His Service to the San Ramon Police Department.  Presentation by Police Chief Scott Holder.

Police Chief Holder stated that a federal grant enabled the City in 2003 to purchase Dar.   The Department prepared Dar’s home for his arrival from the Czech Republic.  Dar was one of the first five K9 dogs in Contra Costa County and the last one working.  Although the average K9’s working life is five to seven years, Dar missed only one day of work in his ten years of service to the City.  Chief Holder summarized Dar’s accomplishments.  He introduced Marianne Bordogna, a local realtor, who has raised over $45,000 for the K9 programs in San Ramon and Danville.  Chief Holder recognized Officer Marty Echelmeier for his dedication in Dar’s training, handling, and care.  He thanked Mrs. Echelmeier for her contributions and care of Dar. 

Donna Kerger, resident, presented the City with a check for its K9 fund and challenged other residents to contribute.  She stated that the San Ramon community is fortunate to have a K9 program.  Hassan Sharifi, owner of Golden Skate, stated that his facility was used as a K9 practice site.  As a business person, he is grateful for what the K9 program has done in San Ramon. 

Cm. Perkins recognized Officer Echelmeier, Mrs. Echelmeier, and Dar.  He noted that Dar has been a wonderful asset for the community and he thanked Officer Echelmeier and Dar for their service.  Mayor Clarkson stated that the Police Citizen’s Academy has made him aware of the training, qualifications, protocols, and the amazing dedication of the K9 program.  He presented the proclamation to Officer Echelmeier. 

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Mayor Clarkson recognized Roz Rogoff’s return after her car accident.

Roz Rogoff, resident, provided a report on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting concerning Zone 7’s pursuit of independence.  Zone 7 supplies drinking water for residents in Dougherty Valley.  The Dublin San Ramon Services District is the reseller but does not actually provide water to Zone 7.  Zone 7 is part of the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.  Dougherty Valley residents currently do not have the right to vote for Zone 7 Board and are not able to serve on the Board.  In order to have more control over their water, Dougherty Valley residents must have a say in the Zone 7 Board.  The dispute is over how to separate Zone 7 from the Alameda County Flood Control.  Alameda County will not relinquish flood control. 

Cm. Perkins suggested that it is appropriate for the Council to take a position and support the Dougherty Valley residents.  He requested that the issue be referred to the Policy Committee.   Mayor Clarkson informed the Council that he did sign a letter of support for the separation of Zone 7.  He apologized to the Council for not informing them.  Ms. Rogoff noted that Dublin San Ramon Services District, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon have all expressed support for the separation of Zone 7.

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(#7.1) Minutes of the February 26, 2013 regular meeting.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to approve the February 26, 2013 regular City Council minutes was seconded by Cm. O’Loane and passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

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(#8.1) Minute Order No. 2013-011 – Ratifying the Amendments to the Economic Development Advisory Committee Bylaws.

(#8.2) Resolution No. 2013-015 – Accepting Certain Landscape Improvements in RA 1244 (Applewood Drive) for Maintenance (Shapell Industries).

(#8.3) Resolution No. 2013-016 – Accepting Certain Landscape Dedications and Landscape Improvements for Maintenance in Subdivision 8155 (Windemere BLC Land Development Company, LLC).

(#8.4) Resolution No. 2013-017 – Accepting Certain Landscape Dedications and Landscape Improvements for Maintenance in Subdivision 8156 (Windemere BLC Land Development Company, LLC).

(#8.5) Resolution No. 2013-018 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute Amendment #1 to an Agreement with AECOM Technical Services, Inc. for Professional Services to Prepare the Environmental Documents for the Revised Faria Preserve Project in an Amount Not to Exceed $204,077 Including all Reimbursables.

Cm. Livingstone’s motion to adopt items 8.1 through 8.5 was seconded by Cm. Perkins and passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

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(#9.1) Public Hearing #2:  General Plan Amendment-ACRE Townhome Development (GPA 12-400-001) for the Properties Located at 125 and 130 Ryan Industrial Court (APN: 208-280-017 and 208-280-018).

Senior Planner Lauren Barr provided the report including an overview of the project, location, General Plan Amendment request, related rezone, design, tot lot, storm water provision, and parking.  He summarized the February 26, 2013 Public Hearing discussion items and provided additional information in response to these concerns.  They included: conformance with the General Plan’s goals and visions; livability/connectivity for residents; parking; and other examples of infill projects.  The project’s parking exceeds the minimum standard of the City’s Zoning Ordinance.  He provided examples of infill projects in nearby cities.  The Rose Garden in Danville provides a more traditional mixed use with entrance to the residential area through the commercial section.  The Preserve at Horse Trail is surrounded by commercial on three sides with a small tot lot on a flat site.    The infill project at Systron Dive (Concord) is located in a dead end cul de sac and has more similarities to the ACRE Townhome project.

Mayor Clarkson opened the public hearing. 

Tom Schulz, representing the property owner ACRE investment, stated that he was part of the Systron Drive project and was president of its Home Owners Association.  It is a very successful infill project.  Due to the location and size constraints, the proposed project is not suited for Mixed Use and so will not include commercial/retail and office space.  If the proposal is not approved, a future proposal may include mixed use with retail on the first floor and residential above.  The project does satisfy a portion of the Housing Element for Ryan Court.  He noted that the current office complex is of little benefit to the City.  A fiscal analysis estimates that the site creates a $10,000 annual deficit for the City and has a high vacancy rate.  There is a major infrastructure issue with the current buildings.  The land is currently underutilized.  He believes that the proposed project will have a net zero financial impact on the City.  He estimated that the project will generate $1.2 million in fees which includes $700,000 in park fees, over $300,000 in transportation fees and $300,000 in map and building fees.  He added that attempts to secure nearby properties were not successful.  The project will have less environmental impact because it will reduce traffic impacts.  The current buildings are energy inefficient and the project’s design will decrease green house gases.  The project will add a new storm drain system for all of Ryan Court which currently does not have a public drain system.  The project will also repave all of Ryan Court.  He stated that the tot lot is appropriate for the scale of the project.  The parking issue has been discussed with the church and they accept the project.  The project is geared to working class families and is located close to employment.  The project does not create a fiscal impact on the City and its overall benefits outweigh the negatives.

Cm. Perkins asked how infill projects fit with family life.  Mr. Schulz replied that the Systron project included singles, retirees, singles with children, couples, and commuters.  It is a very quiet neighborhood.  When asked about rentals, Mr. Schulz replied that less than ten percent are rental units and most units are owner occupied.  He admitted that there was an initial problem with parking.  After cars were towed, the residents understood the rules and only one parking variance was granted.  Cm. Perkins asked for an explanation of the $10,000 deficit to the City from the vacant office buildings.  Mr. Schulz stated that tax revenues are generated for City services and infrastructure costs. 

Cm. Livingstone asked for an opinion regarding the Twin Creeks extension and whether the ACRE project should pay for it.  Mr. Schulz stated that he was unaware of the proposed extension.  Cm. Livingstone asked about traffic circulation on the private road on garbage day, the width of the public alley, and the access for emergency vehicles.  Mr. Schulz stated that they incorporated the design criteria provided by the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District.  The alleys are 22 feet wide and the right-of-way is 46 feet.  Mr. Barr added that the curb to curb distance is 36 feet which meets the city standards.  Mr. Schulz stated that Valley Waste Management will provide service by either driving along the alley or the cans will be placed on one side of the street for pick up.  Cm. Livingstone expressed his concern that residential at this location will meet the goals and visions of the General Plan. 

Cm. O’Loane discussed the trail access for the three infill examples.  He asked about the average home size and Mr. Schulz stated approximately 1,800 square feet.  Cm. O’Loane noted that there is inconsistency in the City’s application of the General Plan vision.  His experience with the Open Space Task Force is that members view the General Plan as an inflexible document but ‘bending’ is allowed when discussing development.  He questioned the vision and consistency of the project relating to the design and integration with open space, cultural amenities, public transportation opportunities, etc.  The project seems large for the space.  If the project was less dense, the parking and amenity issues could be addressed.  When asked if the top property is accessible, Mr. Schulz stated that the office park and apartment complex are privately owned. 

Mayor Clarkson stated that he is not unsympathetic to the building owners and their challenge to utilize the land and get a reasonable economic return.  He noted several areas of concern: the project is encapsulated on three sides; the slope; the distance to other residential homes; the size of the project; there is no place for children to play; and the project’s consistency with the General Plan’s vision.  He stated that the City’s role is to build neighborhoods not to build homes.  He has huge reservations about the density and changing the zoning.  The Council discussed the fact that the next opportunity for five Council members to be present will be at the April 23, 2013 meeting.

Mayor Clarkson closed the public hearing.  

Cm. Livingstone stated that he is unclear about the circulation.  Mr. Barr stated that the Fire District has issued a letter supporting the project.

Cm. Livingstone’s motion to continue the Public Hearing to April 23 2013 for additional public comment on the General Plan Amendment was seconded by Cm.

O’Loane and passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

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(#10.1) Public Hearing:  Introduction of Ordinance (next in line) of the City of San Ramon City Council Approving  Rezone RZ 12-600-001 Amending the City Zoning Map to Rezone Property Located at 125 and 130 Ryan Industrial Court (APN: 208-280-017 and 208-280-018) from Mixed Use (MU) to Medium-High-Density Residential (RHM).

Senior Planner Lauren Barr provided the report.  The Council is currently considering a General Plan Amendment for the ACRE Townhome project located at 125 and 130 Ryan Industrial Court from Mixed Use to Multiple Family-High Density.  The proposed rezoning of the site to Medium-High Density Residential is intended to be consistent with the proposed General Plan Amendment to Multifamily-High Density.    If the General Plan Amendment and Rezone are approved, the applicant will be allowed to pursue the balance of the development applications associated with the proposed project subject to final Planning Commission approval.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to introduce the Ordinance and waive the reading was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

Mayor Clarkson opened the public hearing.  There were no requests to address this item.  Mayor Clarkson closed the public hearing. 

Cm. Perkins’ motion to continue the Ordinance Public Hearing for consideration and adoption on April 23, 2013 was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent.

(#10.2) Public Hearing:  Protest Regarding Calculation of Park In-Lieu Fees and Request for Private Open Space Credit (St. James Place Project).

Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe presented the staff report.  The request from Castle Companies has two aspects: the calculation of park in-lieu fees by the City and a request that the Council grant credit for private open space.  Castle Companies does not contend that staff improperly calculated the in-lieu fee based upon the assumptions and requirements of the City Ordinance.  There is no dispute about the appraised value of the property.  They are questioning language in the Quimby Act that allows a rebuttal presumption that the most recent federal census data as to the average household size in the City is used in calculating the fees.  The second issue is not an appeal but a request which Castle Companies is entitled to make to the City Council.  It involves the 0.18 acre in the project devoted to picnic facilities.  The Ordinance sets out a series of standards and findings which the Council is required to make in evaluating the request. 

Mayor Clarkson opened the public hearing. 

Dan Boatwright, representing Castle Companies, stated that there are two questions: the calculation of park fees and the park fee credit.  He stated that the park fee is $19,700 per unit which is almost equal to the combined water, sewer, and traffic fees.  He stated that it is extremely high and that other cities charge 1/3 to 1/2 of San Ramon’s fee.  He stated that the “amount of fees paid shall be determined on the basis of the approved tentative map and the average number of people per household.”  He interprets this to mean the number of people living in a subdivision and should not be calculated on a citywide basis.  Although the census does not differentiate between the number of people in multi-family versus single family households, this data can be extracted.  He proposed that a number of 2.06 versus the 2.85 (the average household size reported in the most recent federal census) is more accurate and should be used in the formula and asked the Council to decrease the park fee.  Although San Ramon is allowed to charge the higher rate, he stated that it does not seem fair to charge that amount for smaller units. 

Mr. Boatwright addressed the request for private park credit and referred to the criteria in the City ordinance (C5-148 A though F).  The .18 acre is a centralized play area and includes a play structure, gazebo, picnic facility, barbeque and is a community amenity.  He reviewed points A through F and stated that the project clearly meets the intent of the Ordinance.  He requested that the Council accept compliance with item “F” (“The open space for which credit is given is generally a minimum of three acres…”) and make an exception for infill development since the entire project is 4.3 acres.

Mayor Clarkson closed the public hearing.

Cm. Perkins took exception to Mr. Boatwright’s comparison of San Ramon’s parks to the parks in other cities.  Developers may complain about park fees but the parks are an amenity which they use to attract buyers.  He noted that what the City does with the park fees in terms of buying or improving park lands is not Castle Companies’ issue.  The City has not achieved the General Plan requirement for 6.5 acres of park per 1,000 residents.  The City Ordinance was available when Castle Companies started the project and a park fee estimate could have been calculated.  He stated that he did not find Mr. Boatwright’s arguments compelling.  The City uses the U.S. census referred to in the Ordinance and the Quimby Act uniformly for all projects.  Mr. Boatwright stated that the census data is a rebuttal presumption in the Quimby Act.  The Castle company purchased the land in 2006.  The City had a multi-family component for its park fee calculation in 2006 but this component was not provided in the 2008 update.

Cm. O’Loane asked if there is an affordable housing component.  Mr. Boatwright stated it is 10% plus making up the difference between 10% and 25% with an in-lieu fee.  Cm. O’Loane questioned the size of the homes.  Mr. Boatwright responded that there are three sizes: 944, 950, or 1050 square feet.  Cm. Livingstone asked Mr. Saxe if all applicants are treated exactly the same in this situation.  Mr. Saxe responded that they are and that the same formula is applied.  Mayor Clarkson confirmed that the City is being consistent and treating everyone in a fair fashion in applying its rules.  Mr. Saxe stated that the City’s Ordinance provides the formula which was utilized.  Mr. Boatwright’s arguments are based on ‘fairness’ and a suggestion that a different approach be used.  The Quimby Act does not require any park fee but sets the maximum that the formula can be.

Cm. Perkins’ motion that the Council deny the request to re-calculate park in-lieu fees and deny the appeal for Private Open Space Credit and direct the City Attorney to bring the resolution to the Council was seconded by Cm. Livingstone.  Mr. Saxe requested that the motion include findings for the denial of the appeal for Private Open Space Credit.  Cm. Perkins stated that the requirements of Sections D and F were not met.  The amended motion passed 4-0-1-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson was absent. 

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Cm. O’Loane requested that a discussion of Zone 7 be referred to the Policy Committee. 

Cm. Livingstone requested that the Council make a recommendation that the Zone 7 Board makeup include at least one San Ramon resident.

Cm. Perkins congratulated Mayor Clarkson on his new grandson.

Mayor Clarkson encouraged residents to attend performances at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center including Steve Seskin on March 16, 2013 and Smokey Robinson on May 11, 2013.  He reminded residents that the Farmers Market is available on Thursday at Bishop Ranch 3 and on Saturdays at Bishop Ranch 2.

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At 9:16 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Clarkson adjourned the meeting.

Bill Clarkson, Mayor
Patricia Edwards, City Clerk

Approved as presented at the March 26, 2013 City Council meeting 3-0-1-1; Perkins absent; Hudson abstain.

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