Proposed changes to the city's master fee schedule for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) will be considered during a public hearing at the Pleasanton City Council's regular online meeting on Tuesday night.
Because local ADU ordinances must conform with recently enacted state law, staff have suggested amending existing regulations "to match the new requirements."
If adopted, there would be no impact to the city budget or public services, and the city would not receive impact fees for ADUs measuring 749 square feet or less. However, reduced impact fees for ADUs totaling 750 square feet or more would be received, as required by the state.
Known also as in-law units, among other names, ADUs may be completely within an existing single-family home, or built as an extension or a detached unit. Junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs) are similar but located completely within a single-family dwelling, and are no more than 500 square feet in size.
The units have been lobbied by many as a viable part of solving the Bay Area housing crisis over the past few years by offering shelter that is quick and affordable to build.
In a report, staff said, "While much of the new ADU legislation that went into effect in January 2020 and January 2021 is complex and difficult to interpret, it is clear on its intent: provide greater flexibility for the construction and conversion of existing space to ADUs and JADUs, limit the imposition of impact fees, and streamline approvals by eliminating discretionary review of ADUs and JADUs."
Assembly Bill 3182 which builds on legislation passed several years ago and was passed by legislators last year, went into effect on Jan. 1, prompting staff's recommendation to update the Master Fee schedule.
Gov. Gavin Newsom also signed six different bills in 2019 that changed regulations for ADUs and JADUs.
City staff listed the benefits of ADUs in the report, such as being "conducive to on-site independent living space for family members or aging relatives, a convenient place of residence for caregivers; and provide a way for less-abled or aging homeowners to stay in their homes, or simply as another option for rental housing."
The regular council meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 19) via Zoom.
In other business
* Four months after an outside engineering firm was approved to prepare a basis of design report for treatment of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and rehabilitating three city-owned groundwells, the council will consider an additional $100,000 for the project.
PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals found in common household solutions and items such as nonstick cookware and paint.
The available fund balance is currently $470,000. If approved, the increase would bring the amended contract total to $537,374. Staff recommends allocating $70,000 from the city's water replacement Capital Improvement program to bring the project fund balance to $540,000.
The fund increase would also push the report's completion from March to May.
Staff recently identified and recommended adding several items to the report, including "the evaluation of treatment technologies to meet potential hexavalent chromium regulations, and a feasibility review of relining or replacing the well casings at Wells 5 and 6."
Lingering concerns about past and present compounds contaminating local water sources, as well as new state testing requirements, have prompted city leaders to seek solutions over the past several years.
During the course of more recent testing, city officials detected in their wells, levels of synthetic compounds in the PFAS family. The city-operated Well 8 has not operated in over a year due to contamination, while a pump motor failure made Well 5 non-operational last year.
In September, the council moved forward with plans to repair a contaminated groundwater well and meet, if not surpass, future water quality standards.
At the time, the council approved a $430,374 contract with Walnut Creek-based Carollo Engineers to prepare the report, which will cover treatment of PFAS and rehabilitation of Wells 5, 6 and 8.
Mayor Karla Brown also suggested the city look to the state and federal government for grants and low-interest loans to help fund the project.
About 25% of Pleasanton public water supply comes from the city ground water wells. The rest is supplied by the Zone 7 Water Agency, which receives most of its water from the State Water Project.
* The speed limit along portions of Stoneridge Drive may drop from 45 mph to 40 mph, among the proposed traffic-related items on the consent agenda on Tuesday.
Each year the city's traffic engineering division reviews and update speed limits as needed.
A recent engineering and traffic survey found support for changing the posted speed limit from 45 to 40 on both Stoneridge between Stoneridge Mall Road and Johnson Drive, and between Johnson and Hopyard Road.
Critical speeds and roadway conditions allow for reduced speed along both portions of Stoneridge, according to staff. However, the state prohibits lowering the speed from 40 mph between Johnson and Hopyard for any reason.
A one-time cost of $2,000 to replace existing speed limit signs is funded through the annual traffic buttons and line markers capital improvement project.
* In another traffic-related item that evening, the council will consider banning oversize vehicle parking on a residential street near the Interstate 580 offramp in northern Pleasanton.
The resolution would prohibit vehicles over 20 feet in length from parking on the north side of the I-580 freeway soundwall on Pimlico Drive, just east of Brockton Drive.
Consisting of multi-family and single-family homes, staff said the north side of Pimlico Drive has "consistently experienced parking of oversized vehicles such as recreational vehicles, moving trucks, oversized commercial vehicles, and long trailers."
As a result, "residents have raised concerns that this section of Pimlico has become a location for vehicle storage which has subsequently resulted in debris and garbage left behind in the area."
The city traffic engineer will post signs giving notice of the new parking restrictions along approximately 1,500 feet of the north side of Pimlico Drive. There are no new costs associated with the changes, and are included in the city's operating budget.