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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Nov 16

That's A Wrap! - November 15, 2023

Posted on November 16, 2023 at 8:16 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap HeaderCouncil Meeting Date: November 15, 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, November 15 at 6 pm. Following the Roll Call the Council began moving through the Agenda beginning with Presentations and Public Comments.  The Council received a presentation from the Atherton Library - Annual Report Presentation. Following Public Comments, the Council moved on to Departmental Reports. 

ReportDepartmental Reports (~6:20 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. The Council asked that the City Manager update the presentation of single-family home and ADU statistics to better align with fiscal and/or calendar year reporting. 

Consent_AgendaFollowing Departmental Reports, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 1 through 7 (~6:26 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, acceptance of the Treasurer's Report, Authorization to apply for CalRecycle Grant Funds, appointment to the San Mateo Vector Control District, a Review of Meeting Protocols, and an amendment to Change Order Authority for the Park Circulation Project. Following comments, discussion, and direction regarding Meeting Protocols, the Council approved the 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 were two (2) scheduled Public Hearings.  

Item No. 8 was introduction of an ordinance amending Chapter 8.08 and Chapter 8.10 of the Municipal Code regarding Dead or Dangerous Trees and removal of Heritage Trees; and amendments to the Heritage Tree Guidelines. (~6:42 pm) Following a staff report, questions, and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed issues related to purpose and implementation of the changes to Chapter 8.08 and Chapter 8.10, impact of the change to monthly arborist reports, future changes to the Guidelines and standardization of the Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) for both R1-A and R1-B Zones. Following discussion, the Council introduced the Ordinance changes for 1st Reading, approved changes to the Guidelines reflecting monthly arborist reports, authorized staff to make non-substantive changes to the Guidelines moving forward provided that they be presented to Council as part of any Departmental Report, and incorporated non-substantive changes for clarity to be provided by a member of the public. The Council could not come to resolution on standardization of the TPZ and asked that staff return the question to the Council at a future meeting after public notice to residents. 

Item No. 9 was introduction of an ordinance amending Chapter 17.52, Accessory Dwelling Units and amendments to Chapters 17.36 and 17.60 regarding the same. (~7:28 pm) Following a staff report, questions, and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed issues related to changes based on State law, the Bonus ADU Program, ADUs above garages, screening, fence height, window placement, entry points, stairwells, height of ADUs above garages, and deed restrictions. Following discussion, the Council provided general support for the changes proposed by staff and directed additional changes. The Council could not reach consensus on the Bonus ADU Program. The Council opted to continue the item to the January 17 Regular Meeting for further discussion and directed staff to incorporate the changes directed thus far and return the Ordinance(s) at that time. 

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. 

The first item discussed was Item No. 10, Support for a Youth Advisory Group (~6:34 pm). This item was moved up on the agenda in advance of the Public Hearing items. Following a brief staff report, the Council heard public comment from the newly formed Youth Advisory Group. The Council asked questions related to engagement, participation, planned activities, and school credit for the youth involved. Following brief discussion, the Council expressed support for the Youth Advisory Group, as formed, and supported staff's recommendation to continue to engage with the Group when appropriate..

Item No. 11 was consideration of a conflict waiver request from Burke, Williams and Sorenson. (~8:55 pm). Following a brief staff report, questions, and opportunity for public comment, the Council did not approve the waiver request. 

Item No. 12 was a Report/Update on the Status of the Town's Housing Element work. (~9:07 pm). Following a brief staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council accepted the Report. 

The last item was Item No. 13, discussion and consideration of an AARP application process. (~9:13 pm) Following a staff report, presentation, questions and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to Town commitment, extent of programs and policies proposed, availability of other services in the region, duplication of effort, staff time and resources, as well as pros and cons of an AARP/WHO application. Following discussion, the Council directed that the Task Force and Standing Committee meet one additional time to formulate a final recommendation to the Council on all policies and programs as well as an application to AARP/WHO. 

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

Having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 9:45 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The next meeting of the City Council will be a Special Meeting on November 27 at 3 pm. This is a continuation of the Joint Meeting from November 1 with the Planning Commission and discussion on Objective Design Standards for the proposed multifamily zoning district. Following that meeting, the Council will meet for a Study Session on December 6 at 4 pm. The Council will discuss a proposed amendment to the lease for Mademoiselle Colette, a report. on the Cost Allocation Plan Study and consideration of fee adjustments, and a Proclamation to Betsy Glikbarg. For more information and calendar of events, visit the Town's website.

GeorgeThanks for reading!
 George Rodericks
 City Manager
Town of Atherton