09/30/2014 Council Preview

Long night, at least for some of us.  We start the evening with our semi-annual performance review for the City Attorney.  This is followed by what should be interesting – a study session on our criteria for accepting park land dedication.  Brief explanation here.  When new housing is constructed, the applicant is required to give us a certain amount of their land, or the cash equivalent.  From memory, the current standard is that for every 1000 new people expected to be housed, an applicant must give us five acres of land, or the cash equivalent at $69/square foot.  And the city has the option to require a land dedication or to accept cash, which is then used to either buy land or perform capital improvements on our existing parks.  But there are times when it’s a bad thing for us to accept land.  For instance, if there are known toxins in the soil, it may create too much liability for the city to accept land.  This study session will go over the existing standards.

The general session starts with two special orders of the day.  First, we swear in the newly-appointed commissioners.  Then we recognize National Arts and Humanities Month.  We were supposed to recognize National Breast Cancer Awareness Month as a third one, but that has now been moved to October 14th.

Pretty big consent calendar.  There’s a contract for creating bike lanes at six different locations.  There’s also a request to reject and rebid a lone proposal for bike lanes on Mary – the work and cost weren’t what staff was expecting.  There’s a budget modification to increase the temporary staffing in our planning department based on increased permitting requirements (to be paid for by those actual permits).  There’s an interesting one – accepting a contract to have NOVA operate some workforce development services for San Mateo County.  There are contracts for chlorine for the WPCP, public safety uniforms and equipment, and an asphalt patch truck.  And there’s our biannual review of the conflict of interest requirements for various city positions.

Item 2 involves updates to our sign code, and staff is asking to continue it until October 28th.

Item 3 is a proposed agreement with Santa Clara Valley Water District regarding the Wolfe Road recycled water extension.  It’s a fairly complex issue with a lot of parts.

Item 4 has us looking at the alternative for grade separations on Lawrence Expressway.  In short, the proposal is to have Monroe, Kifer, and Arques above Lawrence, primarily by putting Lawrence below-grade, and we’re being asked to endorse the plan.

Item 5 is our annual review of the park dedication fee.  Staff commissioned an independent study, and staff is recommending increasing the fee from $69/square foot to $96/square foot.

And item 6 is my issue – establishing a council policy regarding budget issues and possibly increasing the sponsorship requirements from one councilmember to two.  Several years ago, we increased the sponsorship requirement for study issues from one councilmember to two.  But we didn’t do the same for budget issues, even though they take roughly the same amount of staff work to draft.  And when I looked into this more closely, staff and I discovered that we don’t actually have a council policy on budget issues.  So we’ll be talking about both parts of this.


09/30/2014 Council Preview — 14 Comments