City Manager's Blog

The City Manager's Blog is an online educational tool to provide general information to the community in open communication style. Periodically, the City Manager will post articles of general interest covering topics such as the Town's budget, budget process, capital projects, upcoming meetings, community issues, public safety, and general Town operations.

Articles in the blog are not designed as press releases or Town publications, rather, they are written in more of a conversational style. The Blog does not have a comments feature but readers are free to respond to the Blog and its entries view email directly to the City Manager.

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Sep 22

That's A Wrap! - September 20, 2023

Posted on September 22, 2023 at 11:57 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap HeaderCouncil Meeting Date: September 20, 2023 (full Agenda link)
Video Link:
Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative and meeting videos are uploaded once they are fully compiled.

The City Council met for the Regular Meeting on Wednesday, September 20 at 6 pm. Following the Roll Call the Council began moving through the Agenda beginning with Presentations and Public Comments.  The Council provided Proclamations for Recovery Happens Month and Suicide Prevention Month. Following Public Comments, the Council moved on to Departmental Reports. 

ReportDepartmental Reports (~6:12 pm) are prepared monthly as part of the City Council's Regular Agenda. 

In addition to current reports from the City Manager, it typically includes departmental updates on the various happenings around Town such as reports from Administration, Community Services, Planning, Police, and Public Works.

Consent_AgendaFollowing Departmental Reports, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 1 through 9 (~6:12 pm). 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, minutes, 3rd and 4th Quarter Treasurer's Reports, voting delegates for League Conference, Dissolution of the Rail Committee, Task Order for Playground Design and Project Management, amendment to the Tennis Facility Contract, and Agreement for project management of various capital projects. 

Following questions and comments on a couple of items, the Council approved all items on the Consent Agenda.

Public_Hearing_ImageNext was Public Hearings.
Public Hearings are typically held for Ordinances, Budget Adoption, Fee Adoption, and Land Use approvals. There was one scheduled Public Hearing.  

Item No. 10 was a Public Hearing pertaining to responsibilities of private property owners regarding adjacent rights of way. (~6:43 pm) Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to timing, liability, State law, past practice, cost, and development of an assessment program. Following discussion, the Council introduced the Ordinance for first reading with amendments - removing the word "solely" with respect to liability - and directed staff to return with a comprehensive sidewalk assessment and replacement program. The Council directed that the Town be responsible for the costs related to assessment and basic grinding; but, that remedial work beyond basic grinding should be the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, unless otherwise directed after review of the program.. 

Regular_Agenda_ImageNext up was the Regular AgendaThe Regular Agenda is reserved for items that require more deliberation and discussion by the City Council and items that are not routine in nature. 

Item No. 11 was review of the Town's Response to the Grand Jury Report on Bike Safety. (7:37 pm) Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to bike safety in Atherton and the ability of the Police Department to issue warning citations for the 3' law. Following discussion, the Council approved the Town's response amending the response to Recommendation #2 to include the word "endeavor". 

Item No. 12 was a review and recommendation for potential multi-family housing sites and land use strategies for inclusion in the CEQA process for the Housing Element. (~7:55 pm) Following a Staff Report and public comment the Council discussed the various properties being considered for review under CEQA, the densities being considered for each, and the area of developable property being evaluated under CEQA. It was noted that for the purposes of the Housing Element, the Menlo Circus Club and Cal Water have stated they have no intent to add workforce housing during the next Housing Element cycle. Following discussion, the Council directed that the properties on Bay Road be reduced to 10 units per acre for the purposes of CEQA; that the Ravenswood properties and properties in the POS Zone also be reduced to 10 units per acre; and that the only area to be analyzed in the Park should be the area where the Gilmore House is presently.

Item No. 13 was review and consideration of various consultant assistance to the Town for development of an Affordability Study, Marketing assistance, and lobbyist representation. (~9:50 pm) Following a Staff Report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to potential findings of the affordability study, the need for the study at this time, the value of the marketing assistance, and value of the lobbyist services. Following discussion, the Council directed staff to move forward with the marketing and lobbyist assistance, but not the affordability study at this time. 

Item No. 14 was an update and direction regarding the pickleball trial at the Park. (~10:15 pm) Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to number of courts, funding, key logistics, baffling, cost, striping, and fees. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff move forward with the trial as presented, discuss the striping proposed with Player Capital Tennis, and seek to borrow the baffling from the Circus Club. If staff cannot borrow the baffling, staff should make a determination of need for noise mitigation and move forward with purchase if needed. 

The last items on the Agenda were Council Reports and final Public Comments. 

Having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 11:01 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The next meeting of the City Council will be the Study Session on October 4. The primary item on the Agenda will be the Town's Climate Action Plan. 

GeorgeThanks for reading!
 George Rodericks
 City Manager
Town of Atherton