07/14/2015 Council Preview – CCEs and a Land Purchase

We’re back from our long break, and we have some pretty big items on the agenda.  We start the evening with board and commission interviews.  We’ve got some key vacancies (Planning Commission, two on the Board of Library Trustees), so we’ve accelerated the appointment process a bit.

No special presentations or special orders, so we get right into it.  Despite our break, our consent calendar only has one significant item, approval of a budget modification for redesigning our website.

Item 2 revisits an item we initiated a few months ago – adoption of affordable housing impact fees for both non-residential and rental housing.  These are fees that are proposed to be added whenever these properties are built, to go towards funding of affordable housing projects.

Item 3 is a significant one – moving forward with Community Choice Energy by funding our share of a technical study.  We are exploring forming a CCE with Mountain View, Cupertino, and Santa Clara County (and probably additional Santa Clara County cities in a few months), which would replace PG&E as our power provider with a new Joint Powers Authority (JPA) that would directly purchase power contracts and provide the energy for our jurisdictions, all still using PG&E’s infrastructure to deliver power.  Sunnyvale has taken the lead in forming the JPA (which will be an independent entity with independent funding and operations once completed) since we’re the largest of the participants.  Mountain View, Cupertino, and Santa Clara County have all committed to it and authorized their share of this, and we’re the last ones to go.   We are going last because the city staff working on the JPA are the same staff members that have been working on our emergency drought measures, and Council prioritized the drought as being the more immediate priority.

Item 4 is an interesting one – authorizing the purchase of four parcels near Charles and Iowa.  The City owns six of parcels surrounding the four parcels, which are owned by three private individuals, with Toll Brothers having first purchase rights for the parcels.  We have the opportunity to buy the parcels from Toll Brothers for $4.3 million plus $300k in purchase and relocation costs, and form a contiguous chunk of land of 1.44 acres in the Downtown Specific Plan.

Item 5 is our annual assessment for the Downtown Parking Maintenance District.

And item 6 is a return to an item initiated at our last meeting, vacating four easements at Weddell near Fair Oaks.  To explain, an easement is a situation where someone owns private land, but the City needs access to the property for some critical infrastructure element (water or utility, usually).  So the City establishes an easement, which prevents the property owner from using or altering that portion of his land in certain ways.  A vacation happens when the City determines that it no longer needs the access to that land and releases the land’s use back to the actual private property owner.

And that’s about it.

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