Council Meeting Date: January 15, 2020
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/TownOfAtherton/featured
Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative.
The City Council met for the January Regular Meeting on Wednesday, January 15 at 7 pm in the Pavilion at Holbrook-Palmer Park. Following the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call, the Council began moving through the Agenda beginning with Presentations and Public Comments.
Following Public Comment, the Council moved to the City Manager's Report. The City Manager's Report is prepared monthly as part of the City Council's Regular Agenda. In addition to current reports from the City Manager, it includes departmental updates on the various happenings around Town such as reports from Administration, Community Services, Planning, Police, and Public Works. The Council received Oral Reports from the City Manager and staff on various issues contained within the City Manager's Report. Staff answered questions related to public safety response to schools, more detailed reporting on school response details, and public works storm preparation activities.
Staff also asked for Council feedback and direction on the preparation and release of a letter to the State regarding Senate Bill 50. The Council articulated concerns related to opposition to SB 50. These included, but were not limited to, calculation of job-rich environments, no clear definition, ambiguity in the legislation, lack of deference to local control, anti-climate slant of bill's requirements, protecting the local single-family residential environment, no clear analysis of long-term impacts, and pushing the impact of development onto neighboring communities. The Council asked that staff prepare a letter of opposition, with the assistance of the Subcommittee, and authorized the Mayor to execute the letter on the Town's behalf.
Following the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 and 14. Items on the Consent Agenda are considered routine in nature and are generally considered in one motion and adopted by a single vote of the Council. Included in this month's Consent Agenda were bills and claims, City Council Committee Assignments, Resolution authorization the Destruction of Certain Records, 2nd Reading and Adoption of an Ordinance related to Heritage Trees, and Approving the Selection of an Underwriter and Bond Counsel.
Next up was a Public Hearing - Item No. 15, Adoption of a Resolution Certifying the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration, Mitigation Monitoring Plan, and Approval of Amendments to the Town's General Plan. Following a brief staff report, presentation and opportunity for public comments, the Council discussed issues related to the environmental analysis, corrections to the noise element table data, and overall General Plan modifications. Following discussion, the Council made a minor change to the finding related to emergency access route impact and accepted all other items within the document. The Council certified the IS/MND, approved the Mitigation Monitoring Plan, and Approved the Updates to the General Plan.
Next up was the Regular Agenda.
The first item on the Regular Agenda was Item No. 16, Discussion and Feedback Regarding the Caltrain Proposal to Permanently Close the Atherton Station. Staff provided a brief staff report and following public comment, the Council discussed issues related to ridership, potential for a shuttle for commuters, "current" versus "no" plans for grade separation, improvements to the overall Caltrain transportation system facilitated by the potential closure, safety around the station and corridor in Atherton, quad gates at Watkins, potential pedestrian path from Watkins into Menlo Park, and expansion of the quiet zone. Following discussion, the Council expressed support for the general tenets of the Caltrain proposal and directed staff to work with Caltrain and the Subcommittee to develop a Memorandum of Understanding that can be approved by the Council, drilling down and developing some of the details discussed.
Next was Item No. 17, Presentation by Flock and NCRIC and approval of a Lexipol Policy on Automated License Plate Readers. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to data storage, use of data, public review, fixed ALPR, purging of data, and audits. Following discussion, the Council approved the Lexipol Policy as amended to eliminate reference to non-law enforcement or non-prosecutorial agencies, and changing "should" to "shall" with respect to purging of data after the applicable retention period. The Council asked that a report be provided once the 60-day Flock test period completes and that the Council be involved in the decision to deploy fixed ALPR. Further, the Council requested that signs be placed at Town entry points advising that the Town uses ALPR technology.
Next up was Item No. 18, Feedback to the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Naming Opportunities, Donor Programs and Recognition Related to the Town Center Fundraising Effort. The Ad Hoc Subcommittee presented information related to potential naming opportunities, donor recognition plaques, outreach plan, and a donor opportunity digital booklet. Following the report, the Council discussed issues related to specific naming opportunities, fundraising efforts, funding levels, public outreach, interest by existing donors for naming, feedback from Atherton Now, timing of the Certificates of Participation, and proliferation of individual plaques throughout the project site. Following discussion, the Council clarified that naming opportunities did not necessarily reflect naming of a particular space; rather a funding opportunity to support that particular space. Further, the Council asked that staff connect with Atherton Now to request that they reach out to their donors regarding the Town's current naming/funding levels for specific requests by donors at those existing levels of contribution; and, if Atherton Now does not wish to do so, that the Town may do so.
The next item was Item No. 19, Review and discussion of a proposed education and outreach program related to the Fire Services Study and providing direction to staff. Following a brief staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council briefly discussed a 2-3 month outreach program consisting of one or two community meetings and a public outreach mailer. Following discussion, the Council directed staff to move forward with the proposal for outreach.
Item No. 20 was Review, discussion and direction on next steps for the Solid Waste and Post-Collection Services. Following a brief staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed issues related to SB 1383 implementation, timing for withdrawal from the SBWMA Agreement, funds within the Town's Rate Stabilization Fund, and exit costs. Following discussion, the Council was advised that the issue would return to the Council in February for next steps.
The last item on the Agenda was Item No. 21, an Update on the progress on the new Town Center. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council briefly discussed the progress of the project and the Rammed Earth Wall Mock-up. More information on the Project can be found on via the Project Blog, Website, and Webcams.
Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 10:57 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!
The next meeting of the City Council will be February 5 for a Study Session. The February meeting tentatively includes the Mid-Year Budget Presentation, Review and Consideration of the Work Plan for Earth Day 2020, and Authorization to File a Conditional Use Permit for the Cartan Field Water Capture Project.