11/11/2014 Council Preview – BRT

This is definitely going to be one of our longest nights.  We start the evening – at 3:45! – in the community room of the community center with not one but two closed sessions.  The first involves our ongoing labor negotiations with the Sunnyvale Managers Association.  The second is to discuss negotiations to possibly buy four parcels of land on the block at Mathilda and Iowa.

After that (and the reason why we’re not at City Hall), we have a joint study session with the Planning Commission and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission to discuss Bus Rapid Transit on El Camino.  This will obviously be detailed, with a lot of questions.

We then go back to City Hall for the regular session.  There are no presentations or special orders, so we get to it.  The consent calendar is pretty typical – a contract for three fire rigs, a contract for Cisco routers, our biennial conflict of interest code, and second reading of our sign ordinance.  One is a bit interesting.  We have a Community Development Block Grant loan to a non-profit to provide social services out of two locations in Sunnyvale, and that non-profit voted to dissolve itself.  It is transferring its assets and responsibilities to a new company, and we’re considering transferring over our relationship to them.

Item 2 was supposed to be a study issue involving the appeal process for land use projects, but staff is requesting to continue this until our next meeting in two weeks.

Item 3 addresses our priority needs for human services for the next budget.  This has us looking at issues like how much general fund money we commit to the effort, what minimum and maximum amounts can non-profits receive, and so on.

Item 4 is a land use decision – consideration of an application to build ten townhouses on a property currently occupied by an 11-unit apartment complex on Noriega.

Item 5 has us looking into how to encourage local hiring in major developments.  This is a study issue that was spurred on by reports that housing developers have been bringing in out-of-state labor to complete projects at a lower cost, possibly even housing them in the unfinished projects.

And item 6 has us possibly declaring surplus a set of small properties that the city owns on the block at Mathilda and Iowa.  The city owns a set of properties there (about .75 acres total), and we’ve been talking about selling them, trying to acquire more properties to form a complete block, or other options.  The proposed action wouldn’t actually sell the property or commit to any action, but it’s the first legal step in any attempt to divest ourselves of the property (for sale, for trade, whatever).  I know there are reports that this action would have us negotiate or sell the property to a specific developer for a specific project, but that’s simply not true and certainly not legal.  The normal process first requires the city declare property surplus.  Then certain outside agencies legally get first crack at negotiating with us – other government agencies, certain non-profits.  If nothing happens there, then in a few months we can define terms for divesting – terms for a straight sale, terms for a land swap, whatever we decide is best.  Staff is proposing we take the first step towards that.

That’s about it.

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