4/24/2011 Council Preview

Looks like another long night.  Really full agenda, plus a long study session at the beginning.

We start the evening with a joint study session with the Planning Commission about the project approval process and decision authority for land use applications.  I believe this involves a review of the various decisions that the city makes regarding applications that we get, and which body has authority over which decisions (staff, the Planning Commission, or the City Council).  I’m not positive about that, though.

Then it’s on to the meeting.  We have a special order of the day to recognize this year’s Earth Day Poster Contest winners, as well as recognizing new Green Business Certification recipients. That ought to be fun.  The consent calendar is a pretty big one, including some money involved in the Onizuka vs. Armory housing arrangement, several contracts, a contingency approval for the now-open Mathilda Overpass project, and a second reading of our “back in, head out” parking change.

First item on the agenda (item 2) involves possibly granting a special development permit and approve a tentative map for a new 8-unit development at Fair Oaks and Taylor.  I have to read through this one, so I don’t know much more than you do yet.

Second item is an update to Sunnyvale’s Green Building Program, possibly increasing the green building requirements.  Staff is proposing increasing the Build It Green point requirement from 80 to 110 points, plus some other changes

Third item is a request to do a General Plan Amendment study for a block of office buildings on Evelyn, to potentially rezone and approve high density housing there (apartments, I believe).  This came before us about a month ago, but the applicant wanted to delay it to make some changes.  I’m still looking this over to see what changes were made.

Then comes an unusual one – a request to renew a taxicab franchise, which staff is recommending Council should turn down.  We had one of these a couple of months ago, and these two are the first I can remember having seen before (although I’m sure it’s happened).

Next up is our annual review and approval of the downtown Sunnyvale business improvement district.  There’s an interesting change this time that I don’t think I’ve seen before, a request for matching funds.

Item 7 is a pretty serious one, an update on changes to NOVA’s funding, and what it will mean to staffing.  NOVA is a bit of an odd duck, in that the City runs it, but it doesn’t fund it.  NOVA is a regional resource that is entirely funded through state and federal grant funding.  We don’t pay a cent for it, nor do any of the other cities in the county.  So our ability to staff NOVA is completely dependent on the state and federal governments’ willingness to fund it.  And there have been a lot of cuts in grant funding in the past couple of years, mostly because of the state’s dismal fiscal picture and changes since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives.  So this report will be very interesting.

Item 8 is another big one – consideration of hiring Michael Martello as our interim City Attorney.  Mr. Martello was previously the City Attorney for Mountain View, and then Interim City Attorney for Los Gatos.

That’s it for the main meeting.  But we then adjourn to the Redevelopment Successor Agency, where we discuss a single consent item, plus a single general item.  Both involve possible repayment of money owed to the city by the former RDA.

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