7/17/2012 Council Preview

It’s a pretty diverse agenda, with some land use issues, a policy decision regarding BMR housing, and a lot of housekeeping issues (as is to be expected after almost a month off).

We start the evening with a closed session involving the City Attorney recruitment process (I assume).  That’s it this time, then we get to the meeting.

The meeting starts off with a presentation regarding the El Camino Hospital District.  This has been in the news a fair bit lately, so I’m not quite sure what the specific presentation involves.  The District’s Board of Directors just placed a measure on the November ballot to limit executive compensation in response to a union voter initiative.  There is also some talk about changes to some community programs that the District supports.  It could be related to one of those two issues or something else.

The consent calendar is pretty big, including four contracts, a couple of inter-agency agreement issues, and a couple of housekeeping issues.

Item 2 involves a proposed general plan amendment study to possibly change the zoning of property at Fair Oaks and 101 from industrial to residential very high density.  In short, most of that neighborhood has already been converted to from industrial to high-density housing as a planned ITR area, with two notable exceptions – a portion surrounded by Karlstad/Toyama/Morse/Tasman, and this corner of the area surrounded by Weddell, Fair Oaks, and 101.  That area seems to be split into a north and a south half, and this study involves a proposal for the southern half, somewhat linked to the northern half.

Item 3 involves the second reading of the ordinances (first, second, and third) initiating the rezoning involved in the DiNapoli development project at Mathilda and Maude.  Normally, this would be a consent item, but second readings are placed on the general business calendar when the original vote includes dissenters (the assumption being that they’ll want to dissent again, of course).

Item 4 is an item that has been hinted at in a couple of past meetings – small proposed changes to the community event and neighborhood grant distributions for this year.  I think they’re talking about allocating an additional $3k for a couple of specific proposals.

Item 5 is the second reading of the cyclist anti-harrassment ordinance.  See above about dissenting votes.

Item 6 is a new one – consideration of adding background checks as a requirement for the city’s Below Market Rate qualifications.  The city requires a certain percentage of housing to be made available at below market rates, and the city has some involvement in identifying qualified applicants for the BMR program.  Unfortunately, a BMR resident was recently convicted of murder after a somewhat long history of problems at that address (I don’t know all of the details), which raised questions about the extent to which the city does, can, and should screen applicants for the BMR program.  This study looked at that.  Interestingly, staff is presenting a single recommendation – take no action because the city cannot legally perform criminal background checks for this purpose.

Item 7 is another tax rolls issue – placing charges for certain delinquent administrative citations on property tax rolls.  Basically, we issue a certain number of citations every year for various code infractions, usually quality-of-life issues like unsafe or blighted neighborhood conditions that property owners are responsible for addressing.  This is our recourse when those citations aren’t paid – we place them on the property tax rolls, which converts them to liens if unpaid.  There’s an interesting staff note here that I don’t remember having seen before – the likelihood that some people may show up to the meeting to contest the fines. I don’t think I’ve seen that in the past.  It isn’t uncommon to have someone resolve their past due balance shortly before the meeting (that happened a few weeks ago), but I can’t recall someone having shown up before.  We’ll see.

And that’s about it.

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