9/27/2011 Council Preview

This is going to be a fun one…

No study sessions, no closed session, no presentations or special orders of the day, so we get right to it.  We have a decent consent calendar, with a couple of job classification title changes, a budget modification, an in-kind and outside group funding agreement with Silicon Valley Leadership, and a grant application.  Then we get into the real business.

Item 2 involves consideration of restrictions involving the location and operation of firearm sales businesses, and it’s a fair bet that this will occupy the bulk of the evening.  This has a bit of history.  Sunnyvale has about ten firearms businesses, mostly non-storefront home businesses, but including Big 5 Sporting Goods.  Last year, US Firearms opened at Mary and El Camino, and as with most businesses in Sunnyvale, it required little approval from the city and no notice to the public to open for business.  We typically only require public noticing when use permits or variances are required.  Some of the residents in the area reacted negatively to discovering that the store had opened.  This prompted the Planning Commission to propose this as a study issue for this year, and staff recommended approving it.  Since the Community Development list of study issues was very light this year (only four, I believe), Council didn’t drop or defer it, and here we are.  Staff is recommending some additional licensing requirements and prohibiting new firearms dealers within 200′ of schools.  I’m guessing a few people will want to comment on this issue…

Item 3 involves a revision to the Orchard Heritage Park Master Plan and the general layout of the area surrounding the Heritage Museum.  This looks really interesting.  This came up almost a year ago, when the Museum folks proposed adding a storage shed to the property, in such a way as to intrude into the Heritage Orchard just a bit.  This created a Hatfield-and-McCoy situation, pitting orchard supporters against museum supporters, and staff pretty quickly recognized this and backed off of the proposed plan.  The plan has returned after what looks like an extensive amount of consideration – reworking of the existing multi-purpose building, the maintenance building, and storage area.  I haven’t gotten into the details of this yet, but this looks very interesting.

Item 4 involves picking someone to negotiate with Santa Clara and Milpitas regarding our region’s representation on the VTA Board of Directors.  The county is broken up into different VTA geographic regions, with each region getting certain representatives on VTA’s Board of Directors at any one time.  Due to a recent change, we are now in a regional grouping with Santa Clara and Milpitas, and we need to develop a new process for how we will pick our representative each year.  Unlike my service as our region’s representative on the Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission, the VTA BoD positions are actually in heavy demand.  So there’s a need to make sure we decide this amicably and fairly amongst ourselves.

Item 5 involves the upcoming election, and consideration of a campaign ethics brochure and possible candidate forums.  We’re running a little late on this issue, unfortunately.

And that’s about it.

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