9/20/2011 Council Summary

All in all, a relatively uneventful evening.

After our closed session, we started the general meeting, which started with the swearing-in of our two new commissioners, Shawnte Santos on the Arts Commission and Patti Evans on the H&HS Commission. The minutes were pulled from the consent calendar for a small change, and all of the consent items were passed through two 6-0 votes. Then it was on to general business.

Item 2 was interesting, consideration of building public parking facilities on two pieces of city-owned open space at 237 and Fair Oaks. I had to recuse myself from that one, because it was tied to public parking on Karlstad Street, which is within 500′ of my home, and which is a key street for parking by residents of the homeowners association on which board I serve. Staff recommended taking no action at this time, but revisiting the issue if and when Santa Clara constructs a stadium, and council agreed on a 5-0 vote.

Item 3 involved an appeal of a Planning Commission decision to grant a special development permit and tentative map for single-family homes on half of the Corn Palace property.  The appellant actually withdrew the appeal before the meeting, but since public notice was sent out, we had to hold the hearing anyway.  We could have just denied the appeal, but members of the public wanted to hear the item, so we effectively heard the appeal.  After some discussion about the specifics of the project, we denied the appeal on a 5-1 vote.

Items 4 and 5 were tied together, first a request to start a study of modifying the General Plan to change the Armory site from medium-density ITR to very high density residential, then approving an exclusive negotiating agreement with MidPen Housing Corporation and Charities Housing Development Corp. to develop an affordable housing project on the same site.  In short, MidPen is one of those with first claim on some of the Onizuka property, and Onizuka isn’t really suited for for affordable housing, so we’re looking at doing affordable housing on the Armory site instead, so that MidPen will relinquish their Onizuka claim.  And after a little discussion, we voted 6-0 to approve going forward with both items 4 and 5, with two separate votes.

We then adjourned to the Redevelopment Agency, where we voted 6-0 to go forward with the state’s ransom payment to keep our redevelopment agency (contingent on the courts deciding that the state’s whole scheme isn’t blatantly illegal, of course).

And that was pretty much it.

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