02/09/2016 Council Preview – Stevens Creek Trail and Smoking

This is one of the busiest agendas in the past year, which isn’t that unusual.  Our last substantive meeting was December 15th, and the first two meetings of the year tend to be largely ceremonial.  So that causes a build-up of work.  It was originally supposed to be worse – we were scheduled to discuss modifications to our marijuana ordinances.  But a last-minute change in state law by the Governor seems to have pushed that item off for now.

We start the evening with a closed session regarding ongoing labor negotiations with the PSOA and SEA.  This is followed by a number of interviews for boards and commissions.

The main meeting starts with a presentation from Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District regarding Measure AA, a regional tax that pays for the acquisition of open space.  The consent calendar includes a contract for an advanced traffic management system (to be paid in part by Google), participation in a program that will bring four ChargePoint car charging stations to Sunnyvale, a 7% increase for crossing guards, and an easement related to the Wolfe Road Recycled Water project.

Item 2 has us looking at increased restrictions on smoking in and near outdoor dining areas, commercial and retail businesses, and inside units and common areas of multi-family residences.

Item 3 has us reviewing and considering the recommendation of the Joint Cities Working Team regarding the Stevens Creek Trail.

Item 4 has us looking at an ordinance to update our legal requirements for taxicabs.  This is the result of our October study issue on this topic.

Item 5 has us considering an alternate proposal to the transportation tax being developed for the November 2016 ballot.  There has been some dissatisfaction with the priorities and allocation of funds that is currently being proposed, and that has resulted in an alternate allocation being developed.

Item 6 is a proposed procedural change regarding final maps for approved projects. The City Council currently approves both tentative and final project maps, although a final map appears on the consent calendar if it isn’t materially different from the approved tentative map. The proposal is to delegate authority to the Director of Public Works to approve final maps that aren’t materially different from the Council-approved maps.

And item 7 is yet another budget modification for more temporary staff in the various departments involved in project approvals.  The increase in construction both large and small continues to strain available staff resources, and even simple residential approvals and inspections are being delayed as a result.  We maintain a fund from dedicated fee revenue from projects and permitting specifically to pay for this – we have a policy that fees are for paying for the services related to them and not more.  So when construction and permitting gets busy, the staffing demands go up, but the revenue to pay for those demands increases as well.  This would allocate another round of staffing to deal with the increased demand on our services, and it would also give the City Manager greater authority to hire more staffing from the fund in the future.

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