The Pleasanton City Council approved a group of friends' request to demolish a single-story house on Old Stanley Boulevard and subdivide their parcel for three larger houses last week.
The application, filed by Saravana Chilla, calls for tearing down the 940-square-foot house and associated outbuildings at 3987 Stanley Blvd. (aka Old Stanley Boulevard), a deep, rectangular parcel on the outer edge of downtown, not far from where First Street turns into Stanley Boulevard.
The original home dates back to 1914 but was not designated as an historic structure during the city's 2015 historic resource survey, city planning manager Ellen Clark told the council during the Oct. 1 meeting. The property is zoned and designated for high-density residential.
The parcel would then be subdivided into three lots, each with a detached, two-story house, along with onsite improvements such as tree plantings, new infrastructure and a shared private driveway to connect the residential lots.
The council learned at the meeting that the development plan actually comes from three friends, with each set to move into one of the new houses with their family.
The Planning Commission had endorsed the small subdivision proposed in the downtown neighborhood, with a 4-0-1 vote on Aug. 28 to advance the planned-unit development (PUD) application to the council with a positive recommendation.
"The Planning Commission reviewed the subject proposal and believes the proposed density, development standards, architecture, site design, lot configuration and landscaping are consistent with the zoning, Downtown Specific Plan and General Plan goals and policies including all regulations and design guidelines," assistant city manager Brian Dolan wrote in his staff report to the council before the Oct. 1 meeting.
City staff concurred with the commission's recommendation for approval, saying the project would align with city policies and objectives as well as fit in well with the surrounding neighborhood.
The council heard from one neighbor during the public hearing concerned about adding multiple two-story houses where one single-story home currently stands, mainly for privacy reasons.
In the end, council members voted unanimously to approve the three-home subdivision while adding one condition that the six-foot wooden fence separating the property with the neighbor's lot to the east also include a two-foot lattice so it stands eight feet overall.
In other business
* The council discussed the results and recommendations of the energy benchmarking analysis conducted at city facilities by high school and college interns with local nonprofit Go Green Initiative.
The summer intern cohort of students with ties to Pleasanton analyzed energy usage at all city-owned buildings for the project -- similar to what Go Green interns also completed with the Pleasanton Unified School District last summer. The results will help guide city decision-making on future energy-efficiency efforts going forward, officials said.
Among their key findings, the interns determined the city could save nearly $275,000 in annual energy costs if each city facility operated at or below the median cost per square foot for the buildings.
Their short-term recommendations included that the city conduct energy audits at the lowest-performing city facilities, develop site-specific goals for each facility, implement an energy management system and revise the city's Climate Action Plan based on the new energy usage and benchmarking data.
Long-term recommendations were that the city government publicly report on its energy use each year to increase transparency and community participation, prioritize and allocate resources through the city budget process for efficiency projects, and strive toward -- and ultimately reach -- 100% dependency on renewable energy sources.
* Council members presented proclamations declaring October as National Bullying Prevention Month and Oct. 23 as National Unity Day.
* As part of its 15-item consent calendar, the council confirmed a 3% increase to the pay schedule for city management and confidential employees -- who are not represented by a union. The proposal also called for an additional city contribution of 0.5% of base wages into a deferred compensation plan.
The consent calendar is a collection of items deemed routine and voted upon all at once, unless an individual item is pulled for separate consideration.
Council members did talk briefly about one consent item, a proposal to extend the city's contract with Pleasanton-based Morgenroth Development for on-call contractor services related to city renovation projects -- for a maximum of $400,000 for 2019-20.
Vice Mayor Karla Brown and Councilwoman Julie Testa objected to the city re-signing with Morgenroth, as opposed to seeking another contractor for the services, "to send a message" to the firm and the community stemming from Morgenroth's role in the demolition of a historic house on Second Street without a city permit this summer. The firm was the general contractor on that redevelopment project.
The other council members endorsed the contract extension with Morgenroth for specialized services for the city, passing that item with a 3-2 vote.
Other consent items included introducing an ordinance to move forward with enrolling the city in the East Bay Community Energy program, an additional $50,000 to the law firm of Jarvis, Fay & Gibson for consultation on the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone supplemental environmental study, and $120,000 annually for three years to Townsend Public Affairs for the city's share of Tri-Valley lobbying efforts.