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Sep 22

That's A Wrap! - September 20, 2023

Posted to City Manager's Blog 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

Jun 05

Town Center Update - June 5, 2020

Posted to Town Center Project Activity Blog by grodericks grodericks

Atherton Town Center - Project Activity

Construction continues in earnest on both City Hall and the Library. Floors have been poured for the new City Hall - both 1st and 2nd floor. Work continues now on installation of the utility systems, roofing systems, and fire systems. On the Library, most of the work is dedicated to the new rammed earth walls. 

Live webcams for Library
and City Hall/PD Building are active on the Town's website. There is also a project progress photo gallery

Naming and Donation Opportunities

New_RoadConstruction funding for City Hall, Police Building and Site Improvements ($28.7 million) consists largely of donations and the Town's General Funds. To assist with cash flow during the project's construction timeline, the Town issued a Certificate of Participation (COP). COPs are a short-term funding tools for projects and are used mainly for large, multi-year infrastructure projects. The Town would like to retire this short-term debt sooner than it would be obligated to do so (10-years). To do so, additional donations toward the project would be required.  

Recently, the City Council mailed a Naming and Donation Opportunities letter to all Atherton residents - this is available online as well. The Council invites the community to become a part of Atherton's history by donating with a Naming Opportunity. The Council identified unique Naming Opportunities connected to the project - some of which have already been selected but there are plenty more opportunities! The City Council considers awards of naming opportunities at their regular meetings as donations are received. 

Donations will assist the Town in reducing or eliminating the need for a short-term COP to bridge the revenue flow gap during construction. The opportunities for naming have various ranges with the most significant being the ability to name a new road that will connect Fair Oaks Lane to Ashfield Road and run next to the new Town Center. 

It is very exciting to see this long-awaited new Town Center and Library come to life. The projected opening is Fall 2021, absent delay associated with COVID-19. For more details on naming opportunities and donations and how to enhance your current donation or become a part of history by making a new one, visit the donation website.

City Hall and Police Building

The image below is from today as interior utility work continues on the City Hall Building. The Building is taking clear shape.   
City Hall June 2020

On the right of the image is the single-story Council Chambers portion of the Building. The Council Chambers also serves as the Town's Emergency Operations Center and connects directly to the Police Building. The second floor of the Police Building is set back from the first floor and includes the break room, training room, locker rooms and offices. The lower floor of the Police Building includes the briefing room, interview rooms, and evidence storage. 

Along the left side of the image on the lower floor is the lobby area and on the second floor is the walkway across the lobby to Community Development (Building, Planning and Public Works Offices). Administration is on the lower floor on the left. 

In the near portion of the image, you can see vehicles in the temporary Police Parking Lot. This area will eventually become the Civic Court of the new facility. 
Below is a Site Plan for the full project. 


Historic Town Hall

Historic Town Hall InteriorMost of the interior work of the Historic Town Hall building is further down in the project timeline. There is currently no activity on the Historic Town Hall.

This building will ultimately become a part of the new Library connected via a deck and french doors that spill out from the side of the building onto the new deck. 

Library Building

The image below is from this week. Work this week focused on the forming of the new rammed earth walls for the Building.
Library Shotcrete  

Site Work

Site work continues for utilities and other required site improvements. 

Here's a view of the new entrance to City Hall coming in off of Fair Oaks Lane. Administration Offices are on the right. The first floor will be Town Administration and the Post Office. The second floor is the Building, Planning, and Public Works Departments. The bottom and top floors on the left are the Police Department. Secure Parking Lot entry is off to the left of the main building. 

The Look Ahead

Work Areas for the Week of June 8
  • Installation of Fire Service and Water Lines
  • Installation of Power and Communication Conduits
  • Exterior Wall Layout/Deflection Clips
  • Install Steel at Mechanical Platforms
  • Installation of Utility Ductwork 
  • Installation of Overhead Plumbing and Piping
  • Rough-in Fire Protection
  • Install Stair 2-3
  • Place Forms and Shotcrete for Rammed Earth Walls
Work Areas for the Week of June 15
  • Exterior Wall Layouts
  • Installation of Utilities, Plumbing and Piping
  • Form Interior Curbs
  • Frame Coordinated Walls
  • Install Door Frames (Ancillary Building)
  • Place Forms and Shotcrete for Rammed Earth Walls

Project Financials

 Payment Request Period Town Share Library Share Total
Payment Request #1 June 2019 $983,533 $538,622 $1,522,155
Payment Request #2 July 2019 $540,673 $587,037 $1,127,711
Payment Request #3 August 2019 $605,478 $972,754 $1,578,232
Payment Request #4 September 2019 $997,235 $638,317 $1,635,551
Payment Request #5 October 2019 $969,456 $252,633 $1,222,089
Payment Request #6 November 2019 $1,318,002 $341,692 $1,659,694
Payment Request #7 December 2019 $1,346,738 $555,978 $1,902,716
Payment Request #8
January 2020
$1,289,498 $480,925 $1,770,423
Payment Request #9 February 2020 $1,042,792  $342,867 $1,385,659
Payment Request #10 March 2020 $1,242,721 $440,645 $1,683,366
Payment Request #11
April 2020
$309,292  $248,412 $557,694
Payment Request #12
May 2020
$1,391,401  $713,524 $2,104,924
Totals   $12,036,809 $6,113,406 $18,150,215
Initial Project Bid   $28,701,034 $18,375,966 $47,077,000
Net Change Orders   $41,168 $73,803 $114,971
Updated Project Cost   $28,742,202 $18,449,769 $47,191,971
% Complete based on $   42% 33% 38%
Target Based on 25-Month Schedule   48%

At 38% completion, approved change orders for the project are at 0.24% - $114,971 of $47.1 million. 

George Rodericks
City Manager