08/12/2014 Council Preview – Temporary Homeless Shelter

Long night ahead.  We start the evening with a closed session regarding ongoing labor negotiations with the Sunnyvale Managers Association (SMA).  This is followed by a study session on council protocol and efficiency.  I’m not exactly sure where this study session is going to head, because different councilmembers have different expectations about what is to be accomplished.  We’ll see.

The consent calendar is typical – a library grant, contracts for the sewer system and for toxicity testing, the quarterly investment report, giving BAWSCA authority to negotiate our SFPUC water rates, and appointments to NOVA.

Item 2 was supposed to be our quarterly consideration of general plan amendments, and there are three of them.  But due to the length of the agenda, staff is requesting that this be continued to the next meeting.  The three applications are a proposal for a day care/school on Weddell near Morse north of 101, a proposal to convert a small commercial parcel to housing on Ahwanee, and a proposal to rezone an entire stretch of commercial (mostly car repair facilities) on Evelyn to housing.

Item 3 has us discussing a resolution supporting efforts to stem human trafficking. This has been discussed informally for a few months.  The main contention with this item is that Sunnyvale does not do issues resolutions like this.  Some cities, particularly the larger ones, have a tradition of approving advocacy resolutions whenever someone wants to propose one, and they spend a fair bit of time doing so.  Many cities do not, including Sunnyvale.  We issue advocacy letters, we will do special orders of the day or special proclamations, but not council-voted resolutions. Nevertheless, community feedback has prompted this agenda item.

Item 4 has us looking at a new MOU with SEIU 521, the city’s part-time workers.  The MOU basically proposes to have SEIU match SEA’s existing contract, largely because many/most SEIU workers perform the exact same functions as SEA’s, just part-time instead of full-time.

Item 5 has us looking at our new 8-year update to the Housing Element.  This is actually something of a big deal, because it expresses our intentions for development of housing in the next eight years.  It’s very wonkish, but very important.

Item 6 returns the green building update for further consideration.  We looked at this a couple of months ago, but we asked to have this returned based on feedback that arose.  The basic concern was that staff proposed increasing the LEED and green building requirements before developers can get the sustainable building incentives, all at the same time as the LEED and other standards themselves are being increased.  There was concern that this double increase made the incentives totally impractical, meaning that nobody would attempt them, meaning that the new standards might actually decrease sustainable construction practices.  So staff took a look and is proposing a new revision that takes this into account.

Item 7 is consideration of a use permit for a proposed 23k square feet 3-story office building at Maude and Pastoria.  It fits within the zoning without a variance, and it’s coming to us because anything above a 35% floor area ratio requires council approval (this one is 55%).

And item 8 is likely the big one – consideration of options for temporary homeless housing in Sunnyvale.  After the armory location closed down, we’re left with no north county homeless facilities.  The county has expressed an interest in addressing this, and they’ll be taking it up themselves in two weeks.  We’re being asked to consider whether we want to take this on ourselves or support the county’s efforts.  And if we take it on, there are a number of questions we need to answer, such as location, funding source, and so on.  One aspect that is attracting a lot of attention is a proposal to temporarily house the cold weather shelter at the community center’s gymnasium.  This has generated a significant response from residents.  I expect there to be a fair bit of discussion of this topic.


08/12/2014 Council Preview – Temporary Homeless Shelter — 6 Comments