News

Pleasanton council to mull positions on state legislation

Also: More COVID relief proposed for businesses, North Sycamore project up for review, Muslim Appreciation Month

Following recent delay, the Pleasanton City Council is expected to review and consider the city's legislative framework with the 2020 focus areas at its next virtual meeting on Tuesday night, starting at 7 p.m.

Due to Mayor Jerry Thorne's absence at their Aug. 4 meeting, council members agreed to hold off on their conversation about the city's possible legislative positions on a list of identified bills for this year until Thorne could attend.

Vice Mayor Kathy Narum suggested postponing the matter so a "robust discussion" including Thorne could take place, but Councilwoman Julie Testa argued the council and residents deserved "to take positions on those bills in a timely manner."

The framework conversation is expected to include an overview of staff's recommendations for the city's formal positions on various pending legislation and what those should look like.

One of several bills in the discussion packet is Senate Bill 1385, known as the "Neighborhood Homes Act," which staff has recommended opposing on the grounds that it would "remove local control and discretion." The bill would restrict local governments from deciding whether to build housing on commercial land that is considered underutilized, and staff said local tax revenues would be hurt by the decreased amount of commercial property.

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Staff also recommended opposing Senate Bill 1120, which would expand the statewide additional dwelling unit (ADU) law that permits three units per parcel by allowing more density in existing single-family neighborhoods.

Absent any limits on the demolition of existing properties in SB 1120, staff said "much larger duplex structures could come to replace more modestly-sized single-family homes throughout the city" and that affordability is not guaranteed in the bill, which they also argued is "unlikely to result in an increase in the supply of affordable units."

Four bills relating to law enforcement received mixed recommendations, with staff supporting the passage of all but one. The three bills with staff support are Assembly Bills 1196, 1299 and 1506.

Under AB 1196, police officers would be prohibited from using carotid restraints and chokeholds -- which the Pleasanton Police Department has temporarily suspended -- and AB 1299 would require law enforcement agencies to notify the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training when an officer leaves a job, including details about any termination or resignation.

An additional resource within the California Department of Justice to review law enforcement's use-of-force policies would also be established with the adoption of AB 1506.

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Senate Bill 776, however, has been rejected by staff as "overly punitive to officers" by making "every incident involving use of force subject to disclosure," as well as non-sustained and exonerated cases.

In other business

* The council will receive an update on the city's COVID-19 Business Assistance Program and consider making some revisions to the program on Tuesday. The most significant change is a suggested increase in the $3 million Business Support Loan Fund of varying amounts for different-sized businesses and expanding program eligibility to include professional services.

Doubling the amount of financial assistance for most local businesses has been proposed, with staff noting in a report that many business owners said the micro-loans of $2,500 to $5,000 were "not enough to meet their funding gap, so they chose not to apply."

To that end, staff has recommended increases "for businesses with 2-10 employees up to $5,000 and $5,800 in the downtown, and for businesses with 11-25 employees to $10,000 and $10,800 in the downtown."

Staff also recommended adding professional services like insurance companies as eligible businesses, noting that their "offices" classification under Alameda County's reopening plan has excluded them from reopening.

Designed to support local businesses that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic -- particularly retail and restaurants -- the Business Assistance Program gives financial relief in the form of waived transient occupancy tax penalties and city utilities, deposit deferrals, zero-interest, unsecured and short-term loans, and providing assistance with communications and promotions.

Nearly 100 businesses have applied for the loan fund since the program launched in May, according to the city.

* A proposal to split a 3-acre-plus parcel on Sycamore Road into five residential sites with four new single-family homes plus one existing residence is up for council approval on Tuesday. The Planning Commission gave its unanimous support for the project in May, subject to conditions of approval.

Staff have urged the council to reject the development plan "because it would deviate from the adopted (North Sycamore Site Plan)," which only allows for a parcel subdivision of no more than three lots.

The Bringhurst family, who submitted the application, is seeking to amend the NSSP and planned-unit development (PUD) plan to allow a total of five structures on their 3.28-acre property at 990 Sycamore Road, near Alisal Street.

Earlier this year, the Planning Commission majority said the project would be compatible with the surrounding area and pattern of lot sizes, and asked for more information and possible modifications as part of the final design. The applicant also previously agreed to change the building setback and overall square footage for all structures on one lot, and to contribute $100,000 for suggested pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in the neighborhood.

* A final reading of a proposed ordinance that would ban local sales of flavored tobacco products and electronic smoking devices, and restrict new tobacco sales near public schools, parks and recreation facilities will be heard on Tuesday.

Pleasanton is one of many Tri-Valley communities determined to discourage youths from using tobacco by limiting new sales within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and other areas frequented by middle and high school students, among other actions. The cities of Dublin and Livermore have also taken similar measures over the past year.

The ordinance would also establish minimum package sizes and prices for various products, like a 20-count minimum for a box of little cigars, and prohibit coupons and discounts for tobacco products.

* The City Council will also present a proclamation at the start of the meeting, declaring August as American Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month.

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Pleasanton council to mull positions on state legislation

Also: More COVID relief proposed for businesses, North Sycamore project up for review, Muslim Appreciation Month

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Aug 17, 2020, 10:18 pm

Following recent delay, the Pleasanton City Council is expected to review and consider the city's legislative framework with the 2020 focus areas at its next virtual meeting on Tuesday night, starting at 7 p.m.

Due to Mayor Jerry Thorne's absence at their Aug. 4 meeting, council members agreed to hold off on their conversation about the city's possible legislative positions on a list of identified bills for this year until Thorne could attend.

Vice Mayor Kathy Narum suggested postponing the matter so a "robust discussion" including Thorne could take place, but Councilwoman Julie Testa argued the council and residents deserved "to take positions on those bills in a timely manner."

The framework conversation is expected to include an overview of staff's recommendations for the city's formal positions on various pending legislation and what those should look like.

One of several bills in the discussion packet is Senate Bill 1385, known as the "Neighborhood Homes Act," which staff has recommended opposing on the grounds that it would "remove local control and discretion." The bill would restrict local governments from deciding whether to build housing on commercial land that is considered underutilized, and staff said local tax revenues would be hurt by the decreased amount of commercial property.

Staff also recommended opposing Senate Bill 1120, which would expand the statewide additional dwelling unit (ADU) law that permits three units per parcel by allowing more density in existing single-family neighborhoods.

Absent any limits on the demolition of existing properties in SB 1120, staff said "much larger duplex structures could come to replace more modestly-sized single-family homes throughout the city" and that affordability is not guaranteed in the bill, which they also argued is "unlikely to result in an increase in the supply of affordable units."

Four bills relating to law enforcement received mixed recommendations, with staff supporting the passage of all but one. The three bills with staff support are Assembly Bills 1196, 1299 and 1506.

Under AB 1196, police officers would be prohibited from using carotid restraints and chokeholds -- which the Pleasanton Police Department has temporarily suspended -- and AB 1299 would require law enforcement agencies to notify the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training when an officer leaves a job, including details about any termination or resignation.

An additional resource within the California Department of Justice to review law enforcement's use-of-force policies would also be established with the adoption of AB 1506.

Senate Bill 776, however, has been rejected by staff as "overly punitive to officers" by making "every incident involving use of force subject to disclosure," as well as non-sustained and exonerated cases.

In other business

* The council will receive an update on the city's COVID-19 Business Assistance Program and consider making some revisions to the program on Tuesday. The most significant change is a suggested increase in the $3 million Business Support Loan Fund of varying amounts for different-sized businesses and expanding program eligibility to include professional services.

Doubling the amount of financial assistance for most local businesses has been proposed, with staff noting in a report that many business owners said the micro-loans of $2,500 to $5,000 were "not enough to meet their funding gap, so they chose not to apply."

To that end, staff has recommended increases "for businesses with 2-10 employees up to $5,000 and $5,800 in the downtown, and for businesses with 11-25 employees to $10,000 and $10,800 in the downtown."

Staff also recommended adding professional services like insurance companies as eligible businesses, noting that their "offices" classification under Alameda County's reopening plan has excluded them from reopening.

Designed to support local businesses that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic -- particularly retail and restaurants -- the Business Assistance Program gives financial relief in the form of waived transient occupancy tax penalties and city utilities, deposit deferrals, zero-interest, unsecured and short-term loans, and providing assistance with communications and promotions.

Nearly 100 businesses have applied for the loan fund since the program launched in May, according to the city.

* A proposal to split a 3-acre-plus parcel on Sycamore Road into five residential sites with four new single-family homes plus one existing residence is up for council approval on Tuesday. The Planning Commission gave its unanimous support for the project in May, subject to conditions of approval.

Staff have urged the council to reject the development plan "because it would deviate from the adopted (North Sycamore Site Plan)," which only allows for a parcel subdivision of no more than three lots.

The Bringhurst family, who submitted the application, is seeking to amend the NSSP and planned-unit development (PUD) plan to allow a total of five structures on their 3.28-acre property at 990 Sycamore Road, near Alisal Street.

Earlier this year, the Planning Commission majority said the project would be compatible with the surrounding area and pattern of lot sizes, and asked for more information and possible modifications as part of the final design. The applicant also previously agreed to change the building setback and overall square footage for all structures on one lot, and to contribute $100,000 for suggested pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in the neighborhood.

* A final reading of a proposed ordinance that would ban local sales of flavored tobacco products and electronic smoking devices, and restrict new tobacco sales near public schools, parks and recreation facilities will be heard on Tuesday.

Pleasanton is one of many Tri-Valley communities determined to discourage youths from using tobacco by limiting new sales within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and other areas frequented by middle and high school students, among other actions. The cities of Dublin and Livermore have also taken similar measures over the past year.

The ordinance would also establish minimum package sizes and prices for various products, like a 20-count minimum for a box of little cigars, and prohibit coupons and discounts for tobacco products.

* The City Council will also present a proclamation at the start of the meeting, declaring August as American Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month.

Comments

Local Citizen
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 18, 2020 at 9:45 am
Local Citizen, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2020 at 9:45 am

A muslim appreciation month...this is pandering to a subset of the population and looks like someone got bought, but since we're on it lets make July Christian appreciation month.


RonnieF
Registered user
Alisal Elementary School
on Aug 19, 2020 at 11:33 pm
RonnieF, Alisal Elementary School
Registered user
on Aug 19, 2020 at 11:33 pm

What!? No Buddhism or Judaism Appreciation Day? Those are large sub-sets too. It’s getting a little too PC


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