07/28/2015 Council Preview – Butchers Corner

This is gonna be a long one.  We start the evening with a closed session regarding ongoing labor negotiations, followed by another round of board and commission interviews.  No presentations or special orders, so we get right to business.

The consent calendar is small but pretty diverse.  There’s renewal of the City’s agreement with the Sunnyvale Garden Club. There’s a $250k grant for Sunnyvale Community Services for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing. There’s a contract for asphalt, which is necessary because our original contractor was unable to deliver as promised. And there’s a second reading of our housing impact fee ordinance.

Item 2 has us looking at the annexation process for Butcher’s Corner.  This is a complicated issue not lending itself to a simple summary.  The property in question is currently unincorporated Santa Clara County land (privately-owned), and the City is currently pursuing annexation of the property into the City’s jurisdiction.  Annexation bestows an R-3/PD zoning on the property, or up to 24 units per acre.  The catch is that if the City doesn’t choose to annex the property, the owner of the property can either pursue annexation with the County himself or even conceivably ignore annexation and attempt to get the County to approve a project.

Item 3 has us looking at revisions to the guidelines for mixed-use developments.  These are developments that are, for instance, both commercial and residential, or both commercial and office space.

Item 4 has us placing administrative fines on the tax roll.  These are fines for various citations which we haven’t been able to collect from the violators, so we place them on the tax roll.

Item 5 has us looking at design guidelines for parking structures.

Item 6 involves the city’s mortgage assistance program for senior city employees.  Under state law, the city cannot require employees such as the City Manager to actually live in Sunnyvale, despite there being clear benefit for having them live close by.  For instance, in the event of a major water break, having the Director of Public Works in Sunnyvale is good.  So instead of a requirement, we can only offer incentives, the big one being a mortgage assistance program for those senior staffers.  The current program allows a new director, City Manager, or City Attorney to buy a home within 1 year of being hired and get a loan of up to five times the employee’s annual salary, provided the employee pay 10% down.  Unfortunately, we’ve been told by employees seeking to use the program that the provisions of the program are no longer sufficient to actually make the program usable by employees.  A council subcommittee has looked at this and is recommending doubling the time period from one year to two, increasing the maximum from five times salary to ten times, and decreasing the minimum down payment from 10% to 5%.

Item 7 has us looking at the City Manager’s contract, as part of her annual review. This will include a discussion of a possible salary increase and possible changes to the City Manager’s eligibility for the mortgage assistance program.

And item 8 has us looking at a recruitment firm for replacing the City Attorney, who has announced her intention to retire by the end of the year.


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