8/13/13 Council Preview – Plastic Bags and Recycled Water

Pretty straightforward meeting.  We start the evening with a study session to discuss the possible establishment of an affordable housing fee for new rental housing.  This will look at an alternative to a BMR program for rentals, since the courts have ruled that BMR programs cannot be applied to rental property, in something called the Palmer decision.  Mountain View recently adopted a similar fee, and we’re looking at what it would me to adopt one in Sunnyvale.

For the regular meeting, there are no special orders or presentations.  There’s a good-sized consent calendar with some interesting items.  The ongoing Stevens Creek Trail feasibility study is proving more expensive than expected, so there’s a budget modification to handle the added expense.  We’ll be voting on the Seven Seas Park contract, which isn’t quite straightforward.  There was only one bidder, and it was 8% above staff’s estimates, which gives us the choice between approving a higher contract or potentially delaying the construction, with no guarantee of getting additional bidders even if we do so.  Our request for bids on tactical vests for our public safety officers resulted in bids that don’t meet our specs, so we’re being asked to reject them so staff can more properly express our requirements.  And the City Attorney’s contract includes a provision requiring a salary adjustment after the first six months.

Item 2 has us evaluating the single-use carryout bag ordinance, and the proposal isn’t quite what was expected.  The original plan had us establishing a $0.10 fee for paper bags which would increase to $0.25 at the beginning of next year.  The logic is to charge shoppers the cost of the bag as a deterrent to large volume use of bags, but to ensure that the fee is sufficient to act as a deterrent.  And we’ve tied our actions to San Jose to maintain regional consistency.  However, San Jose has determined that the policy as exists is effective, and there isn’t a need to increase the fee.  Sunnyvale’s staff concurs with this and proposes establishing a new method for increasing the fee, based on CPI.  Effectively, staff proposes that we apply increases to the Consumer Price Index to the cost of bags, and whenever cumulative CPI increases cross a $0.05 boundary, we add a nickel to the bag cost.  At current rates, staff says the first nickel increase would be in ten years.

Item 3 has us looking at an appeal of a Planning Commission decision to deny a second-story addition in the San Miguel neighborhood.  Staff and the PC are saying that the proposed addition would be out of character with the neighborhood, although there was a divide on the PC on the issue.  The house in question would be the only house on the block with a second story.

Item 4 has us considering the results of a feasibility study for expanding our recycled water system.  This one may have some discussion.

Item 5 has us looking at a mayoral committee to provide recommendations on performance evaluation tools for Council’s two direct hires, as well as the recruitment process.  I expect this will touch on what we will do to replace our outgoing city manager.

And that’s about it.


8/13/13 Council Preview – Plastic Bags and Recycled Water — 1 Comment