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Pleasanton council to receive update on Livermore Airport following noise complaints

Also: City's budget up for adoption on consent calendar, staff seeking approval of Housing Element amendments

File photo of Livermore Municipal Airport. (Photo by Chuck Deckert)

The Pleasanton City Council is set to hear an update on the Livermore Municipal Airport and its leasing and development policy during Tuesday's meeting following recent comments from Pleasanton residents in regard to loud noise coming from the airport.

During the May 16 council meeting, several residents expressed their anger over what they said were unbearably loud airport noise coming from the Livermore Airport. This prompted the council to ask city staff to bring information regarding the status of the airport's draft leasing and development policy back to the dais.

"The city of Pleasanton is continuously advocating on behalf of its residents regarding the LVK," according to Tuesday's city staff report, referring to the airport's code. "The city appreciates the feedback by its residents regarding impacts the LVK has on them and the community and encourages residents to engage regularly with the Airport Management, Airport Commission and city of Livermore City Council to express their concerns and seek solutions."

According to the staff report, both cities established a resolution in 2010 where both cities agreed to collectively collaborate with the purpose of "minimizing airport impacts on the Tri-Valley community and to improve sharing of information between the cities and their residents."

However, one point that the report explicitly mentions is that Pleasanton does not have any authority over the airport, its operations and any future development.

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"The city of Livermore Airport Commission and City Council are the decision makers and must comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations," the report states.

Because of this, the report also goes on to say that it is important for Pleasanton residents to also voice their concerns to the Livemore council as the city reviews and incorporates public comments into its leasing and development policy.

According to the report, Livermore staff have already reviewed and incorporated relevant comments into its final version of the airport policy, which was set to be presented on Monday to the Livermore Airport Commission.

However, Pleasanton residents still have plenty of time to make their voices heard as the final policy will be presented to the Livermore City Council for consideration and possible adoption on June 26.

"Once the final policy has been made public, city of Pleasanton staff will review and provide any additional comment to the Livermore Airport Commission and/or the Livermore City Council," according to the staff report.

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The City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday (June 6). The full agenda can be accessed here.

In other business

* The City Council will be set to possibly adopt its two-year operating budget and four-year capital improvement program as part of its consent calendar.

Agenda items in the consent calendar are routinely approved without any discussion -- however if a council member wishes, they can request the item be moved to the public hearing portion of the agenda for further discussion.

The adoption of the budget comes after three months of separate meetings where city staff presented different aspects of the budget during various budget workshops for council review.

In Pleasanton, the four-year capital improvement program budgeting for each two-year budget cycle typically involves prioritizing the funding for proposed projects based on revenue projections for the upcoming two-year budget period.

During this cycle, staff made sure to provide extensive time over the last few months for the council to review and offer comments to the budget, which most notably includes changes to the city's general liability insurance and certain legal costs.

"The attached operating budget and CIP books include updated numbers based on a set of recommended adjustments to the proposed budget that staff presented at the May 16, 2023 budget workshop," the staff report states. "With these changes, the budget now includes additional funding to cover the city's general liability insurance premium costs for (fiscal year's) 2023-24, as well as legal costs related to upcoming litigations and claims. With reductions to various one-time funding to offset these increases, the general fund remains balanced for both years."

According to the report, the total proposed operating expenditures for the fiscal year's 2023-24 and 2024-25 are $234.4 million and $235.7 million, respectively, for the operating budget and $32.2 million and $14.2 million for the capital budget.

"Robust city services and programs will be delivered to the community over the next two years," according to the staff report. "The two-year budget reflects the strategic goals, values, and priorities of the City Council and the community."

The report also states that following public requests to find additional funding for trail improvements during the May 16 meeting, the city is currently pursuing grant funds from the Alameda County Transportation Commission for the West Las Positas Boulevard multimodal reconstruction project.

If awarded the $9 million grant, the city will be able to consider shifting funds between other bike and pedestrian improvement projects and trail projects.

* The council will once again review the city's 2023-31 Housing Element after staff received comments from state housing officials who had addressed issues with the document, making it non-compliant with state laws.

The City Council had adopted its state-mandated Housing Element on Jan. 26 after years of deliberation on which occupied and vacant sites to zone in order to meet the city's assigned Regional Housing Needs Allocation counts for new residential units within designated affordability categories.

The document serves as a plan to address Pleasanton's mandated RHNA tally of 5,965 new units -- 2,758 of which are targeted toward lower-income households -- over the next eight years through the rezoning of 19 sites for housing.

The city had resubmitted the Housing Element on Feb. 14 so that California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) officials could review and approve the document.

And while HCD officials found that most of the document complied with State Housing Element Law statutory requirements, a notice letter from HCD sent to City Manager Gerry Beaudin on April 10 noted that the city needed to make some additional revisions in order for the document to be certified -- which have been addressed since then.

"Staff has drafted modifications in response to HCD comments that include: adjusting program language; adding data points; clarifying background information around various topics, refining implementation timelines; and modifying the city's existing policy for the residential planned unit development (PUD) process," according to the staff report. "Conforming amendments to the General Plan Land Use Element are also proposed."

If the council adopts the amended Housing Element, staff will resubmit the document to HCD for review and certification. The state department will have 60 for its review but according to the staff report, that review process might likely be completed even quicker given the "relatively limited scope of changes."

* The council will be looking to possibly adopt a resolution in support of the Our Neighborhood Voices initiative draft, which states that local land use and zoning policies should override conflicting state laws in regards to housing development.

Our Neighborhood Voices is a grassroots initiative that has been organizing a campaign to restore more decision making power in local municipalities in regards to housing development with a 2024 statewide ballot measure.

The resolution would show Pleasanton's support in the initiative's proposed law draft, which still needs to be sent to the Attorney General's Office in order to receive an official title and summary.

"The city of Pleasanton believes that local jurisdictions should determine for themselves the land use and zoning policies and practices that best suit each city and its residents instead of imposed mandates that do not take into account the needs and differences of jurisdictions throughout the state of California," the resolution states, adding:

"The initiative draft provides that local land use and zoning laws override conflicting state laws would be a state Constitutional amendment that would provide that city and county land use and zoning laws (including local housing laws) would override all conflicting state laws, except in certain circumstances related to three areas of statewide concern."

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Christian Trujano, a Bay Area native and San Jose State alum, joined Embarcadero Media in May 2022 following his graduation. He is an award-winning student journalist who has covered stories in San Jose ranging from crime to higher education. Read more >>

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Pleasanton council to receive update on Livermore Airport following noise complaints

Also: City's budget up for adoption on consent calendar, staff seeking approval of Housing Element amendments

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Jun 5, 2023, 8:19 pm

The Pleasanton City Council is set to hear an update on the Livermore Municipal Airport and its leasing and development policy during Tuesday's meeting following recent comments from Pleasanton residents in regard to loud noise coming from the airport.

During the May 16 council meeting, several residents expressed their anger over what they said were unbearably loud airport noise coming from the Livermore Airport. This prompted the council to ask city staff to bring information regarding the status of the airport's draft leasing and development policy back to the dais.

"The city of Pleasanton is continuously advocating on behalf of its residents regarding the LVK," according to Tuesday's city staff report, referring to the airport's code. "The city appreciates the feedback by its residents regarding impacts the LVK has on them and the community and encourages residents to engage regularly with the Airport Management, Airport Commission and city of Livermore City Council to express their concerns and seek solutions."

According to the staff report, both cities established a resolution in 2010 where both cities agreed to collectively collaborate with the purpose of "minimizing airport impacts on the Tri-Valley community and to improve sharing of information between the cities and their residents."

However, one point that the report explicitly mentions is that Pleasanton does not have any authority over the airport, its operations and any future development.

"The city of Livermore Airport Commission and City Council are the decision makers and must comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations," the report states.

Because of this, the report also goes on to say that it is important for Pleasanton residents to also voice their concerns to the Livemore council as the city reviews and incorporates public comments into its leasing and development policy.

According to the report, Livermore staff have already reviewed and incorporated relevant comments into its final version of the airport policy, which was set to be presented on Monday to the Livermore Airport Commission.

However, Pleasanton residents still have plenty of time to make their voices heard as the final policy will be presented to the Livermore City Council for consideration and possible adoption on June 26.

"Once the final policy has been made public, city of Pleasanton staff will review and provide any additional comment to the Livermore Airport Commission and/or the Livermore City Council," according to the staff report.

The City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday (June 6). The full agenda can be accessed here.

In other business

* The City Council will be set to possibly adopt its two-year operating budget and four-year capital improvement program as part of its consent calendar.

Agenda items in the consent calendar are routinely approved without any discussion -- however if a council member wishes, they can request the item be moved to the public hearing portion of the agenda for further discussion.

The adoption of the budget comes after three months of separate meetings where city staff presented different aspects of the budget during various budget workshops for council review.

In Pleasanton, the four-year capital improvement program budgeting for each two-year budget cycle typically involves prioritizing the funding for proposed projects based on revenue projections for the upcoming two-year budget period.

During this cycle, staff made sure to provide extensive time over the last few months for the council to review and offer comments to the budget, which most notably includes changes to the city's general liability insurance and certain legal costs.

"The attached operating budget and CIP books include updated numbers based on a set of recommended adjustments to the proposed budget that staff presented at the May 16, 2023 budget workshop," the staff report states. "With these changes, the budget now includes additional funding to cover the city's general liability insurance premium costs for (fiscal year's) 2023-24, as well as legal costs related to upcoming litigations and claims. With reductions to various one-time funding to offset these increases, the general fund remains balanced for both years."

According to the report, the total proposed operating expenditures for the fiscal year's 2023-24 and 2024-25 are $234.4 million and $235.7 million, respectively, for the operating budget and $32.2 million and $14.2 million for the capital budget.

"Robust city services and programs will be delivered to the community over the next two years," according to the staff report. "The two-year budget reflects the strategic goals, values, and priorities of the City Council and the community."

The report also states that following public requests to find additional funding for trail improvements during the May 16 meeting, the city is currently pursuing grant funds from the Alameda County Transportation Commission for the West Las Positas Boulevard multimodal reconstruction project.

If awarded the $9 million grant, the city will be able to consider shifting funds between other bike and pedestrian improvement projects and trail projects.

* The council will once again review the city's 2023-31 Housing Element after staff received comments from state housing officials who had addressed issues with the document, making it non-compliant with state laws.

The City Council had adopted its state-mandated Housing Element on Jan. 26 after years of deliberation on which occupied and vacant sites to zone in order to meet the city's assigned Regional Housing Needs Allocation counts for new residential units within designated affordability categories.

The document serves as a plan to address Pleasanton's mandated RHNA tally of 5,965 new units -- 2,758 of which are targeted toward lower-income households -- over the next eight years through the rezoning of 19 sites for housing.

The city had resubmitted the Housing Element on Feb. 14 so that California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) officials could review and approve the document.

And while HCD officials found that most of the document complied with State Housing Element Law statutory requirements, a notice letter from HCD sent to City Manager Gerry Beaudin on April 10 noted that the city needed to make some additional revisions in order for the document to be certified -- which have been addressed since then.

"Staff has drafted modifications in response to HCD comments that include: adjusting program language; adding data points; clarifying background information around various topics, refining implementation timelines; and modifying the city's existing policy for the residential planned unit development (PUD) process," according to the staff report. "Conforming amendments to the General Plan Land Use Element are also proposed."

If the council adopts the amended Housing Element, staff will resubmit the document to HCD for review and certification. The state department will have 60 for its review but according to the staff report, that review process might likely be completed even quicker given the "relatively limited scope of changes."

* The council will be looking to possibly adopt a resolution in support of the Our Neighborhood Voices initiative draft, which states that local land use and zoning policies should override conflicting state laws in regards to housing development.

Our Neighborhood Voices is a grassroots initiative that has been organizing a campaign to restore more decision making power in local municipalities in regards to housing development with a 2024 statewide ballot measure.

The resolution would show Pleasanton's support in the initiative's proposed law draft, which still needs to be sent to the Attorney General's Office in order to receive an official title and summary.

"The city of Pleasanton believes that local jurisdictions should determine for themselves the land use and zoning policies and practices that best suit each city and its residents instead of imposed mandates that do not take into account the needs and differences of jurisdictions throughout the state of California," the resolution states, adding:

"The initiative draft provides that local land use and zoning laws override conflicting state laws would be a state Constitutional amendment that would provide that city and county land use and zoning laws (including local housing laws) would override all conflicting state laws, except in certain circumstances related to three areas of statewide concern."

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