Displaying all posts tagged with:


Oct 08

September 2015 City Manager's Monthly Report

Posted to City Manager's Blog on October 8, 2015 at 5:22 PM by grodericks grodericks

City Manager's Monthly Report - September 2015

Monthly-report.pngWelcome to the newly formatted City Manager's Monthly Report! With the June 2015 Report, I moved to the Blog format. Instead of attaching all of the various bits of backup information (making for a rather large file) it includes them as links via the Town's website. Lastly, each sectional entry includes the date the information was provided to the City Council. 

Please remember, the City Manager's Monthly Report is a consolidation of issues, communications, and Town activity during the prior month. As I review the information to include, I will remove duplicate updates in favor of the most recent, remove information regarding events that have already occurred, and edit information that requires update - hopefully to make it more useful. Overall, the information is generally the same as it was presented to the City Council in their weekly Council email.

The Report reads with the most recent first. As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding the Monthly Report, please feel free to contact me via email or phone.


George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504

September 25 Report to Council

1. ICMA Annual Conference - League Annual Conference

I will be attending the ICMA Annual Conference in Seattle from September 26 through September 30. Upon return, I will be attending the Thursday and Friday sessions of the League of Cities Annual Conference in San Jose. 

2. Animal Services Monthly Reports

Linked here are the July 2015 PHS Monthly Report and August 2015 PHS Monthly Report for Animal Services in Atherton. As an FYI, I am serving on the review committee for the County’s responses to the Request for Proposal for the Design-Build Animal Shelter. I am reviewing the proposals this week and next and will be providing feedback to the County by October 2. 

3. Menlo Park Fire Protection District - Time Based Performance Standards

Following the Town, the County, and the City of Menlo Park discussing the modification of El Camino Real and Middlefield Road, the Fire District Board of Directors began a conversation around time-based performance standards for emergency response. They completed an updated Standards of Cover Assessment and recently adopted the linked Resolution No. 1818-2015 adopting time-based performance measure standards for the District. 

I sent an email back to the Chief asking what exactly that meant for the Town. Did it mean that the Fire District would enhance its commitment to the communities it serves through the investment in capital infrastructure improvements that go directly toward meeting or improving the time-based performance standards - such as roadway improvements, signal synchronization projects, pre-emption devices, bike lanes (to add width to a roadway), dedicated bus lanes (for bus and emergency response), and identification of and development of new station locations to enhance response? Alex McIntyre echoed the question and further asked what authority it carried and whether there was any binding impact on the communities. 

4. Planning Commission Meeting - September 23, 2015

The Planning Commission, at its September 23, 2015 meeting took the following actions:
  • Provided direction to staff to prepare an Ordinance amending Atherton Municipal Code section 6.04 to modify the regulations for the keeping of chickens.  The Ordinance would: permit up to 12 chickens on an individual property; include setback regulations for the coop; require a permit; include regulations for the cleaning of the coop to address pollution runoff onto adjacent properties.  This item will be discussed further at the October 28, 2015 Planning Commission meeting.
  • Denied a Variance request for an accessory structure to be located within the front yard setback at 52 Marianna Lane.
  • Approved a Special Structure Permit for a pool up to the front yard setback at 89 Mercedes.
  • Approved a Heritage Tree Removal Permit for the removal of two heritage trees at 397 Fletcher.
  • Approved a Special Structure Permit to allow a sidewall height increase and a Variance from the increased setback requirements at 142 Britton Avenue.
  • Continued the request for a Special Structure Permit to allow increased sidewall height at 22 Lane Place to the October 23, 2015 Planning commission meeting.
  • Continued the discussion on General Plan update process to the October 23, 2015 Planning Commission meeting.
5. CalWater Monthly Consumption Report for Atherton

Linked here is the CalWater Monthly Consumption Report for Atherton. The Bear Gulch District reduced its water consumption by 33.6^ when compared to August 2013. The mandate for the District is a cumulative water reduction of 36^ by February 2016. Cumulatively, for the past three months, the District has reduced its water use by 37.7% compared to the same period in 2013. 

6. Library Donor Fund Report

The Library JPA provided an update of the total of Library Donor Funds. As of June 2015, the Town holds $6,183,063 and the Library holds $3,701,918. This is a total of $9,884,981. The fund accumulates approximately $1.1-$1.3 million per year. It is anticipated that the fund will have $13 million by 2017 (completion of the Civic Center Project).

7. Article - Local Infrastructure Financing Bill

In a move to assist local agencies struggling with the loss of redevelopment agencies, the Governor has signed the Local Infrastructure Financing Bill. The Bill (AB 313) enhances the powers of Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs) that were created last year. The legislation gives broad authority back to cities, counties, and special districts to jointly form public financing authorities with power to direct an array of funding streams - to include tax increment powers previously used by RDAs. The projects can range from affordable housing projects to mixed-use developments to water systems and transit facilities. It is possible that this type of District could be used as part of a Regional Water Agency tasked with addressing sea level rise projects in San Mateo County. 

Staff will get “up to speed” on AB 313 and begin work with the County to discuss. 

8. Community Choice Aggregation - September 24 Meeting

I attended Thursday night’s meeting of Peninsula Clean Energy (San Mateo’s Community Choice Aggregation Project). On the Agenda was the presentation of the Draft Technical and Feasibility Study. There are three links below:
First up is the Committee Update PowerPoint Presentation. Here, Jim Eggemeyer provided a brief update of the outreach and presentations to date. We have asked that representatives attend the November 4 or November 18 City Council meeting for a presentation. 

Second was the Technical Study itself. Bottom line via the Executive Summary is that it is a feasible implementation in San Mateo County. If you read through the Technical Study, the Executive Summary is your best read. The PowerPoint, however, is the best summary. 

The CCA Technical Study PowerPoint covered a lot of ground. I will do my best to summarize here, but audio is available via the Advisory Committee website. Slide 4 of the presentation outlines the methodology for the study. Not much time was spent on this slide. Slide 6 provided an overview of the energy load in San Mateo County. This was an interesting slide noting that of the 298,435 Customer Accounts, 554 of them were already direct-access accounts receiving energy from somewhere other than PG&E. The remaining 297,881 accounts received energy from PG&E. These accounts represented 90.3% of the total energy use in the County. The bottom table on the slide showed that of this total, 269,061 were residential customers representing only 37% of the energy use. The remaining 63% of the energy use came from commercial, industrial, AG, and street lighting. These 28,820 accounts represented only 10% of the customer accounts but 63% of the energy use. Slide 6 provides the same information in pie chart form. 

Of the 21 jurisdictions (inclusive of the County), the top 5 cities account for almost 60% of the electricity consumption and 55% of the customer accounts. These top 5 cities are: Redwood City, South San Francisco, San Mateo, Menlo Park, and Daly City. When you look at the geographic distribution of customers, Menlo Park drops out and the County steps into the top 5. 

Slide 11 depicts the current energy mix (2014). PG&E’s energy mix for 2014 has 27% renewables and another 29% GHG-free (nuclear and large hydro). This means that in PG&E’s energy mix, 56% are GHG-free. This comes into play later. 

The consultant prepared 3 Scenarios for discussion (Slide 12). Scenario 1 is the baseline minimum with 35% renewable scaling to 50% by 2013. Scenario 2 (likely the preferred scenario) provides a minimum of 50% renewable content from day one and scaling to 75% by 2013. Scenario 3 provides 100% renewal content from day one.

Slide 13 provides a comparative of the scenarios after year 1. Most of the information on this slide is self-explanatory. Slide 14 shows a comparative after the 2-year phase in (all customers on board). The annual contribution to reserves is assumed as a built-in requirement in the rate structure (revenue requirement). 

Slide 15 shows the environmental impacts of each scenario. This is where Slide 11 comes back into play. With Scenario 1, the CCA would technically ADD GHG emissions when compared to PG&E. This is because the CCA energy mix in Scenario 1 is 35% renewable while PG&E is 27% renewable and another 29% GHG-free (nuclear and large hydro). While others can get into large hydro, the market on nuclear is cornered. 

Slide 17 shows the rate sensitivity analysis. A question was asked if at some point, Scenario 3 was a viable option from day one when looking at rates. All things considered, the answer was yes, but highly unlikely. There is more detail on this analysis in the feasibility study. 

The conclusions were that Scenario 1 highlighted the programs viability on a rate competitiveness basis only. Scenario 2 highlighted the viability on renewable and GHG-free basis with rate competitiveness. Scenario 3 highlighted the rate premium under a 100% renewable option. While there was no correct answer, the program is viable in San Mateo County both at the competitive rate basis as well as the environmental benefit basis - likely best with Scenario 2. 

September 18 Report to Council

1. Commute.org - Autonomous Vehicles

A member of the Council attended the commute.org meeting on Thursday and received a presentation on autonomous vehicles. The Council Member passed along the PowerPoint to share. Experts predict widespread adoption within the next few years and full adoption by 2026. It is possible that this will have an impact on revenue streams and operations for communities (tickets, vehicle accidents, mobility, etc.). Linked here is a copy of the PowerPoint presentation  My two cents is that many folks may envision a “Minority Report” or “Total Recall” utopia where autonomous vehicles proliferate like roving driverless taxicabs. If so and they are underwritten at the Federal level, there must then be some sort of trickle down of funding for roadway and local infrastructure. However, if the vehicles are fee-based services, service industries will pop-up and be regulated. The use fee structure will necessarily include a regulatory pass-thru to local government for roadway infrastructure - parking, roads, signage, charging stations, etc. On the flip side, if the autonomous network is personally owned and operated, local agencies will likely share in the same sort of revenue manner they do today (charging fee/gas tax) - gas tax, roadway use tax, license fees, etc. I do not suspect that the industry will change the revenue methodology dramatically - only its transaction base. 

2. CCAC Special Meeting on 9/21

The CCAC is having a Special Meeting on 9/21 to go through the Cost Estimate provided by Mack5 based on a preliminary Draft Conceptual Plan. As the Council may recall, there were several iterations of the cost estimate as part of the original Master Plan. The Adopted Master Plan provided for 2 buildings - a 2-story Admin/PD/CDD/Council Chambers at approximately 25,000 square feet and a 1-story Library at approximately 9,000 square feet. Both buildings were essentially “boxes” on the plan without articulation or design. The original cost estimate from HMC included an underground parking garage, PV and remodel of the historic Town Hall. This estimate was refined by the CCAC to separate out the PV, parking garage and remodel as separate add alternates and also included a reduction in the contingencies and a reduction in the “gross-up” factor used by the cost estimate to assess the additional square footage needs for hallways, stairwells, etc. The “gross-up” factor is based on the design of the facilities - in other words, if you design a box, the gross-up is less than if you design a long building with designs to fit our constrained site conditions. 

The original estimate (all-in) was $67.3 million including soft costs (design, legal, EIR, testing, FFE) with a construction cost estimate of $41.9 million. The revised estimate was $31.8 million with a construction cost estimate of $23.1 million. Add-alternates for this project are $2.1 million for the historic Town Hall Remodel, Underground Garage for $16.7 million, PV for $1.5 million, and Corp Yard Remodel for $480k, plus some other minor add-alts. It is important to remember however, that the 25,000 square feet for the Admin/PD building also included 1,800 square feet for a Council Chambers. This was planned originally in addition to the remodel of the Historic Town Hall. 

When the HMC Revised Cost Estimate was presented to the CCAC (per their changes) it was noted by the estimator that the reduction in contingency amount at the Master Plan level was lower than they would typically recommend - they provided the same comments with respect to the gross-up factors. Essentially, this meant that in their opinion, lowering these items presented some risk that the final construction costs will be higher than the estimate. 

The Mack5 Cost Estimate based on the preliminary Draft Conceptual Plan provides for 2 buildings - a 2-story Admin/PD/CDD/Council Chambers at approximately 27,000 square feet and a 1-story Library at approximately 9,000 square feet. The cost estimate also includes renovation of the existing Historic Town Hall. The buildings are no longer theoretical boxes but are site specific designs flushed out with entries, hallways, open areas, and connections. Further, there are some design/architecture assumptions that have been made based on comments from the CCAC (such as the assumption for some red-tile roofing for historic connectivity to historic Town Hall). The underground parking garage has been eliminated and the historic Town Hall renovation is part of the estimate - increasing the site work share for the Library. Further, with WRNS as the architect, the buildings are being designed from the ground up for LEED certification. 

The Mack5 Cost Estimate provides a hard construction cost estimate of $33.5 million and another $9.4 million in soft costs. This is roughly $8 million over the revised HMC estimate from 2013/14, when you add in the historic Town Hall remodel. Approximately 69% of this hard-construction/site work cost is attributable to Town Hall ($31 million). In this number is about $4.2 million in contingency and cost-escalation as well as $1.6 million in costs that can be General Fund (post-project costs) for furnishings, fixtures, and miscellaneous equipment.  

In summary and roll-up this is the bottom line comparative from the Staff Report in March 2014, inclusive of all soft costs:

2014 Staff Report
9,143 sf Library Program - $9.8 million
24,928 sf Admin/PD/CDD Program - $21.9 million
Total Project Cost Estimate - $31.8 million
Less Library Fund - ($9.8 million)
Less CDD Building Fund - ($2.2 million)
Total Fundraising Target - $19.8 million

2015 Mack5 Cost Estimate
10, 977 sf Library Program (inclusive of historic Town Hall remodel) - $13.5 million
27,105 sf Admin/PD/CDD Program - $31 million
Total Project Cost Estimate - $44.5 million (built in here is a contingency of $1.2 million and $3 million in cost-escalation)
Less Library Fund - ($13.5 million)
Less CDD Building Fund - ($2.2 million)
Less post-project FF&E General/Library Fund - ($1.6 million)
Total Fundraising Target - $27.2 million

The additional 2,000 sf in the Admin/PD/CDD program is easily attributable to the flushed out design and shared spaces (hallways, stairwells, mechanical rooms, etc.) that occurred in moving from a theoretical box building to an articulated building that meets the site needs  and constraints. The basic programming needs of Administration, Public Works, PD, and Planning did not significantly increase from the Master Plan to the Conceptual Plan.

In the March 2014 Staff Report, it was noted that the CCAC was comfortable with a fundraising range of $20 to $25 million. These numbers have yet to be vetted in their entirety through the CCAC on 9/21 but I wanted to give the Council a heads up on the discussion. The numbers themselves should not change materially; however, the CCAC may make recommendations on project changes to reduce costs. These could include changes to the underlying construction assumptions (building materials, site work, etc.), phasing, or design (balconies, green roofs, building exterior, etc.).  One additional note, the percentage allocation for site work is based on function footprint. With the Town Hall remodel being incorporated into the Library function, the percentage allocation for site work share has changed. The Library is responsible for 46% of the $7.1 million in site work. It is also important to note that there remains a contingency of $1.2 million built into these numbers. While we cannot change the impact of inflation and demand (i.e. cost escalation), we do have more control over change orders and use of the contingency. 

September 11 Report to Council

1. Construction Tenting - 81 Atherton Avenue

We have had a request from the property owner at 81 Atherton Avenue to install construction tenting for the rainy season to allow the project to continue during inclement weather. This is something that has occurred in the past in Atherton and I have seen it on numerous occasions in other communities. We will be advising the homeowner to notify the neighbors, install screening, and provide a copy of an approved Fire Permit. 

2. Marsh Road Channel Project

We have been applying pressure on RWQCB to facilitate processing of our request to repair the Marsh Road/Atherton Channel. We recently met on site with RWQCB staff to address the delay. The RWQCB staff had a number of questions regarding the channel’s capacity and suggested design alternatives (before they would issue any permit) - all of which had the stated objective of eliminating the concrete bottom of the channel. We advised that that is not our objective as we want to ultimately cover the channel for bike/ped access which would be made more complicated if the channel were an open, earthen base channel (environmentally more difficult). We have not had follow-up back from RWQCB staff. If we have not had a response in the next 30 days we will follow-up again. They seem very adamant that the only condition under which they would issue a permit for repair is if the base were removed. 

We expect the RWQCB permit to request additional analysis of alternatives as well as accommodation for an earthen channel bottom (irrespective of cost). If necessary, we will have our consultant conduct the additional analysis. Once the analysis is complete, we will need to go back to the RWQCB with our request and negotiate a solution in order to secure our permit from the Board in whatever ultimate form that takes. We are also waiting for our Army Corp of Engineer’s Permit as well as Federal Fish & Wildlife permits. We are following up again with each of those agencies. 

As an aside, I recently spoke with the County Director of Public Works (Porter) to discuss a request he had to the Town to repair the curb along the channel (destroyed in places by a couple of recent vehicles in the channel). I told him that we would investigate those improvements but that I wanted him to examine the possibility of increasing the capacity at the box culvert along Marsh. He advised that if we sent him a letter of request along with capacity needs (upsize requirements) that he would present that to the Board. He felt that it was supportive of regional needs and that he could get funding to upsize the culvert. We did not discuss timing.

3. Website Fiscal Fuel Gauges (removed for update)

I recently created some “fiscal fuel gauges” for the Town’s website. They are linked via the Town’s home page. 

4. Tennis Ball Machine @ Park

The Tennis Ball Machine at the Park Tennis Courts is out of commission. Staff will be working to get it repaired. 

5. Redwood City - South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project - Alternative D

Linked here is a letter from the City of Redwood City asking that the Town consider supporting Alternative “D” of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report for Phase 2 Alternative Plans at the Alviso and Ravenswood ponds. This is part of a downstream project designed to alleviate flooding in the Friendly Acres neighborhood and the mobile home parks along East Bayshore Boulevard. 

Alternative “D” was developed collaboratively with Redwood City and the State. The alternative is an opportunity to use the salt pond as a retention basin for runoff from the Bayfront Canal. The water would be released to the bay at low tide. 

The Town can certainly draft a letter of support for the Mayor’s signature; however, I would suggest we be careful at this point not to suggest any financial support. While the letter does not directly solicit funding support from the Town it clearly identifies that the water flowing into Redwood City comes from outside of Redwood City. Regional collaboration on drainage issues is a must as downstream capacity limitations impact upstream communities. Finding a cost-allocation method based on flow is one financial model with details long to be worked out; however, in the interim, if communities address their local flooding issues with regional support and collaboration, joint solutions can be found. 

If there is objection to sending a letter of support, please advise. Absent feedback to the contrary, staff will create a letter for the Mayor’s signature on September 17. 

6. Construction Time Limits (38 Sutherland & 18 Ralston)

The Building Department, through a pre-construction meeting with the contractor/property owners, is ensuring that everyone is notified and understands the Town’s Construction Time Limit Ordinance and associated penalty structure. All permits issued in the last two years have signed off on the requirements. However, there are still a few (2 to 3) properties with permits issued in pre-2013 that were not notified other than the normal duty to know the law. One of these properties was notified in March that they were about to reach the limit where penalties would begin to accrue. They are not near enough to completion to avoid penalty. Their permit was issued in 2012, but they did not actually start work until April/May 2013. They have sent in a request for extension which I am evaluating with the Building Official. There is an appeal process written into the Code (City Council), but not a real extension process. Penalties can be steep. 

I will keep you apprised. 

September 4 Report to Council

1. July 2015 Animal Services Report

Linked here is the July 2015 Animal Services Report from the Peninsula Humane Society. 

2. Park Events and Revenue Logs

Linked here are the August Park Events Log and the August Revenue Log.

3. Sign Ordinance Article

Linked here is an interesting article on recent Supreme Court rulings related to free speech and sign ordinances.

4. Chicken Keeping Ordinance

This week I met with a resident on Selby Lane to discuss the Town’s ordinance regarding the keeping of chickens. The resident was concerned that I had “stayed” enforcement of his neighbor’s keeping of chickens until the Planning Commission decided whether to pass forward revisions to the Town’s ordinance to the City Council. We discussed the issue and he will be involved in the process with the Planning Commission as consideration of the issue moves forward. 

5. CCAC Conceptual Plan

I have spoken with each of you regarding the CCAC’s movement forward on the Conceptual Plans for the civic center project. I have also discussed concerns about the dynamics of the committee. I had numerous conversations and email exchanges this week with the Chair, Vice Chair, and members of the Council on the topic. 

One of the issues that the CCAC is facing is the minimum secured parking needs of the Police Department and how those parking needs translate onto the project site when balanced against a desire for more open space. We are working through that issue; but, it is getting more and more obvious that the minimum required parking needs for the Police Department are about 25 /- parking spaces. These spaces are operational spaces and not basic storage spaces for evidence, decoy, or emergency response apparatus. 

6. Menlo College President Lunch

On Wednesday next week I have a scheduled lunch with Rich Moran (Menlo College). We have several issues to discuss to include the Cartan Field Project, summer camps, concerts, and the possibility of the College sponsoring a Town Wine, Cheese and Music Festival in the Spring. 

7. CalPERS Audit 

We have worked through many of the issues in the CalPERS Audit and will be producing a final report in November. There is minimal impact to the Town. 

8. Community Builder Event (SHS) - Atherton Now

As a reminder, similar to last year, Atherton Now in conjunction with Sacred Heart Schools is hosting a Community Builder event on Friday, October 16. Like last year, this is an “under the lights” football game.

9. iLobby - Cafe in New Town Center

As mentioned previously, I worked with local resident, John Thibault to setup an iLobby forum to allow residents another touchpoint to provide feedback. We are testing it out (free) and the Cafe in the Civic Center was selected as the first test topic - https://www.ilobby.co/debate/café-new-town-center-yes-or-no-0

Aug 12

July 2015 City Manager's Monthly Report

Posted to City Manager's Blog on August 12, 2015 at 11:07 AM by grodericks grodericks

City Manager's Monthly Report - July 2015

Monthly ReportWelcome to the newly formatted City Manager's Monthly Report! With the June 2015 Report, I moved to the Blog format. Instead of attaching all of the various bits of backup information (making for a rather large file) it includes them as links via the Town's website. Lastly, each sectional entry includes the date the information was provided to the City Council. 

Please remember, the City Manager's Monthly Report is a consolidation of issues, communications, and Town activity during the prior month. As I review the information to include, I will remove duplicate updates in favor of the most recent, remove information regarding events that have already occurred, and edit information that requires update - hopefully to make it more useful. Overall, the information is generally the same as it was presented to the City Council in their weekly Council email.

I am moving to this new format in an effort to speed up the time it takes me to prepare the retrospective report and improve up-to-date transparency on relevant issues. Hopefully, it proves more functional, informative, and useful. Your feedback is appreciated!

The Report reads with the most recent first. As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding the Monthly Report, please feel free to contact me via email or phone.


George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504

July 31 Report to Council

1. PG&E Leak Detection

In 2014, PG&E introduced a specialized, gas-leak-survey operational crew designed to condense what had been a six- to 10-month effort down to just a few weeks. This reduces backlogs and delays, while enhancing the overall safety and reliability of the gas system.
Central to this PG&E “Super Crew” work is the Picarro vehicle-mounted technology that is 1,000 times more sensitive in detecting gas leaks. In August, PG&E’s Super Crew and Picarro vehicles will again be on the Peninsula as part of a regular schedule. The units will visit portions of Atherton, Menlo Park, Redwood City, unincorporated North Fair Oaks, Half Moon Bay, San Bruno and South San Francisco. The Picarro vehicles usually conduct their drive-through surveys during the evening and overnight hours, with verification the next day by foot patrols. The timeframe is approximately August 2 through August 21, depending on work progress. After any detected leaks are mapped and categorized, repair crews will file for the necessary permits for repair and/or replacement work, with some nighttime immediate-responses expected.

2. RethinkWaste 2014 Annual Report

RethinkWaste has issued their 2014 Annual Report which summarizes the Agency’s accomplishments and major initiatives, program results and summarizes significant Board actions from each Board meeting.

3. New Wireless Antenna @ 555 Middlefield Road (MAHS)

On Tuesday I approved, following a hearing, a new wireless facility at Menlo-Atherton High School mounted on one of their existing athletic field lights. There were several adjacent neighbors that did not have any concerns with the installation and one that voiced concerns related to health issues. The Town cannot address health issues and the installer provided information related to the FCC compliance. 

4. Bel Air International Flight School

This week the Vice Mayor and I met with the owner of Bel Air International Flight School to discuss issues at San Carlos Airport. 

July 24 Report to Council

1. Special Meeting - End of July

The CCAC continues work to finalize a Final Conceptual Plan for recommendation to the City Council. Approval of the Final Conceptual Plan will allow WRNS to move to the Schematic Design Phase. 

The CCAC was unable to make a recommendation at their Special Meeting on July 20. WRNS was provided with feedback and will return to the CCAC at a Special Meeting on August 31 in the hopes of coming to a recommendation. The timing of this will coincide with a planned approval of the Civic Center EIR. 

On August 19, staff will be walking the site with the SFPUC to discuss relocation of their line. I have expressed to the SFPUC that the Town wants to work with the SFPUC to get the pipeline relocated as quickly and efficiently as possible. Because of the layout of the site, we would like to find the best location within the new ROW to accommodate the needs of the SFPUC and still meet the objectives of the development. As I mentioned in my email to their General Manager, timing is important here as the Town embarks on its largest and most important capital project in its history. We advised the SFPUC that we can save them money on the project by coordinating with the a Town's project. Walking the site with the SFPUC and getting a fuller understanding of the issues, locations, constraints and opportunities is the most efficient way to understand the issues at this point - for the Town and the SFPUC. 

2. Rail Station Improvements

We met with Caltrain to discuss renovations currently underway at the historic rail station. The contractor is one that Caltrain has used before at their stations, especially their historic stations. Nevertheless, they have run into a few issues:
  • Frames: no longer made – are being special ordered and even then will need modifications
  • Painting: The contractor was going to hold off on “clearing the windows"until all painting is done, but will clean the windows and will need to do it again when he paints again
  • Woodwork: Subcontractor is performing some exploratory work to determine where and to what extent he would needs to redo the woodwork, which is the reason for the haphazard looking treatment.  Because of the age of the structure and the nature of the work, he is needing to get the wood specially milled.
In the meanwhile:
  • Windows: Caltrain will ask him to clean the windows off, even if it means he will have to perform this activity twice during the project instead of once.
  • Exploratory areas: Caltrain will ask him to dress up these areas while waiting for the newly milled wood.
  • Safety: This contractor is known for keeping a safe workplace and is concerned about people tampering with the work site. He will clean up the site this week. If he finds that his work is being tampered with he will report it to Caltrain security who will coordinate with Atherton PD.  
3. PG&E Follow-up 

Bill Chiang from PG&E will likely be making contact with each of you to discuss the July Council Meeting and next steps. The Council was clear in its directives to PG&E at the meeting and staff is connecting with Bill regularly to answer any follow-up questions. To make sure that the message remains consistent, I would encourage each of you to refer Bill to me, at least until after the September Council Meeting when PG&E returns with their letter for the Council. 

4. Fiber Signals/Intersection Safety

Staff is working with a consultant to design and complete two (2) camera installations at the Park (Little League/Tennis Area & Felton Gate). After we install the first 2 cameras and associated infrastructure, we can consider adding additional cameras in phases depending on budgetary constraints, timing etc. In no particular order, high priority locations for additional cameras may include:
  • - HP Park (parking lots)
  • - Entrances and Exits to HP Park (to include the Watkins Avenue foot bridge)
Staff is also looking at working with Atherton Fiber to identify future fiber drop locations for security and intersection cameras and/or signal cameras. 

5. HAWK Beacons

A Council Member visited Scottsdale, AZ and provided the photos of a HAWK beacon installation similar to what we can expect in Atherton. 

In September, Mike will be presenting a funding agreement with Menlo Park Fire and/or Authorization to Bid for the project on Almendral. As part of the presentation, he will include a few visuals of what the installation will look like and how it will function. 

6. Recology Rate Stabilization Fund

As you may be aware, the Town has a rate stabilization fund for refuse rates. As the franchise moves along each year, the fund is used to draw against in an effort to stabilize rates for residents. Presently, there is approximately $895k in the fund held by Recology. New agreements via the SBWMA allows agencies to retrieve the funds from Recology and hold them locally in trust. The Town has made such a request. The September Agenda will include an item authorizing the creation of the Rate Stabilization Fund in anticipation of receipt of these funds. Funds can only be used for refuse rate stabilization.

7. Menlo Fire Standards of Cover

Menlo Park Fire has completed their Standards of Cover Study. Linked here are four items:

8. HIP Housing Activity

Linked here is the HIP Housing Activity Report.

9. Animal Services Report

Linked here is the June 2015 Animal Services Report for Atherton. 

10. Roof at the Park

The roof project at the Park should begin the last week of August. It will coincide with some audio system improvements in the Pavilion. 

11. Reflectors at Marsh Road Channel Fence

We are installing MUTCD compliant roadway reflectors and a line along the roadway. 

12. Tree Removal - PG&E Project

Sally is putting together a summary of tree inspections along the PG&E route. 

July 17 Report to Council 

1. M-ALL Project Status

As the Council is aware, the M-ALL Project was issued a 30-day extension to finalize the plan details. All work associated with the project has been finished and final turnovers complete. 

Staff will be reviewing the facility for necessary modifications and/or additions consistent with our needs. Staff will be removing the right-field temporary fencing (beyond the bullpen) and storing it contiguous with the infield fence line.  

2. Meeting with Menlo College / Menlo School

The Mayor and I met with representatives from Menlo College and Menlo School to discuss approaches and outlook for the Cartan Field Improvement Project as well as other use issues at the school and college campus. The primary issues addressed were the neighbor concerns raised by current camp uses as well as future development. 

3. Knox Playschool Structure

With the removal of the dead tree, the play area at Knox Playschool was exposed. Knox originally put up temporary “sails” as shade. However, Knox Playschool is now building a shade trellis and metal corrugated lattice. Staff was unaware that this hard structure work was occurring and has stopped all work. Knox has been advised that the structure must either be removed or properly permitted and constructed. 

4. 29 Shearer - Fire/Demo

As you may recall, 29 Shearer was the unsafe site of a burned home. The Town has pursuing code enforcement action against the property owner to make the property safe. The owner has recently hired a demolition contractor and a permit has been issued to demolish the structure. The work should be done soon.

5. ABAG Insurance Premiums

The Town recently received its renewal of insurance premiums from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). The Town has five (5) premiums that apply: 
  • General Liability Premium - $148,678
  • Excess Liability Premium - $5,348
  • Public Official Bond Premium - $877
  • Administrative Premium - $55,014
  • Property Premium - $7,578
Based on prior year premiums, the Town budgeted $217,495 in total premium costs. The 2015/16 Budgeted numbers are shown above. With the 2015/16 actual invoice received this week, the total premium costs are $130,891 - representing a reduction in cost of $86,604. This is both attributable to the cost of insurance, methodology of ABAG, as well as the Town’s claim experience. 

The bulk of the reduction was in General Liability coverage which reduced from $148,678 to $70,666.

6. Follow-up Memorandum from the Grand Boulevard Task Force

Linked here is the follow-up memorandum summarizing the June 24 Meeting of the Grand Boulevard Task Force. 

7. Menlo School Development/Updates

Staff recently met with representatives from Menlo School to discuss their applications for the August 26 Planning Commission. The applications are a continuation of the Campus Master Plan Update that was started earlier in the year, but tabled due to Commission concerns. The resubmittal is more comprehensive and detailed. There are 3 basic components: 
  • A Technology Center addition to the Creative Arts Classroom Building (1 story over a basement)
  • An Addition to Stent Hall to accommodate administrative offices, dining room, extension of student center and library (3 stories with height variance to match existing Stent Hall height)
  • A Performing Arts Center (CUP previously granted as part of Gym and Creative Arts Classroom)
  • Temporary portables in the “Oval” to accommodate users displaced during construction.
8. Storm Response Plan

Weather experts are predicting an El Nino pattern for the fall. Staff is updating the Town’s Storm Response Plan to stay ahead of the issues that might arise. 

9. Menlo Atherton High School Growth

As the Council is aware, Menlo Atherton High School has a pending expansion project. The school projects that their student body will group by approximately 100 students eat year for the next 5 years. They expect to have 2,500 students by the end of their growth. Current figures show 2,300 students on the first day of school - August 18, 2015. The numbers will most likely adjust with transfers and satellite schools. The school boundaries now include all of East Palo Alto. 

The School will be constructing two (2) 2-story classroom buildings. One will house 22 classrooms and be located on the east side of the school near the football field. The other building will house 7 classrooms and be located near the tennis courts off of Ringwood Avenue. Construction will begin soon and continue throughout the school year. 

Several nearby Atherton residents have retained the law firm of Rutan & Tucker to represent them with concerns related to the Environmental Impact Report and development under the Facilities Master Plan. 

10. ConnectMenlo EIR

As you may know, Menlo Park is proposing a major Comprehensive Planning Project on their east side (mainly east of US 101, but with some areas west of the freeway). The project has been named “ConnectMenlo.” In summary, it would facilitate development of an additional 2.1 million square feet of non-residential development and 4,500 additional multi-family residential units. 

The City is in the process of initiating an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and has sent out a notice to adjoining jurisdictions requesting input on studies and analysis that should be included in the document. The Town is responding to that request. Once the EIR is produced, we will have the opportunity to provide specific comments on the EIR itself. The Notice of Preparation and project description can be found on the City of Menlo Park website under Community Development, Comprehensive Planning Projects - ConnectMenlo. 

Our initial response advises that the following studies, analyses, and measures to mitigate impact must be undertaken:
  • Level of service and stop/delay studies at the listed intersections must be undertaken. There should be a recognition and acceptance of the long-term Atherton policy of maintaining all streets in their present two-lane maximum width configuration. 
    • Marsh/Middlefield
    • Fair Oaks/Middlefield
    • Fair Oaks/Atherton Avenue/ECR
    • Watkins/Middlefield
    • Watkins/ECR
    • Encinal/Middlefield
    • Oak Grove/Middlefield
    • Ravenswood/Middlefield
    • Ringwood/Middlefield
    • Oak Grove/ECR
  • Studies of transportation alternatives, including buses and shuttles facilitating interconnects between transportation hubs such as the Menlo Park Caltrain station and the project area must be undertaken.
  • Studies of the project effects on emergency access to and through the Town of Atherton, particularly in view of the substantial increase in traffic that will result from implementation of the project.
  • Studies of the effects, if any, of the project on the capacity and potential for flooding in the Atherton Channel in the Town must be undertaken.
  • Analysis of the project’s impact on the air quality in Atherton must be undertaken. 
11. HUD No. 15-084 - Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Final Rule

Linked here is a copy of a press release on HUD’s new AFFH Rule. Staff is in the process of evaluating local impacts, if any.

12. Recent CalWater Monthly Data for Atherton

Linked here is a copy of the most recent water data for the Town. 

13. iLobby - Cafe in the Civic Center

As you know, the Town is committed to using as many touchpoints as possible to gather input on various issues. We were approached by local resident John Thibault regarding his project, iLobby and using it as a means to stimulate public conversation on a topic. 

I will be working with John to see how it can assist the Town. We will use the Cafe in the Civic Center as the first topic. 

14. Menlo Park Fire District Traffic Calming Devices

The Fire District shared online policy on Traffic Control Devices at the last meeting. They can be found online here:

15. Transportation Committee - Involvement

Staff met with the Chair of the Transportation Committee (and Council liaison) to discuss ways to obtain the TC’s feedback with respect to regional development projects and their impact. There will be a new regular item/update on the TC’s agenda to incorporate this feedback. 

July 10 Report Report to Council

1. June Park Events and Revenue Logs

Here is the link to the June Park Events and Revenue Logs.

2. Caltrain Cameras - Mark Simon

Next week I will be meeting with Mark Simon from Caltrain to discuss the installation of cameras at the rail intersections. On July 16, Transit Police will be doing an education and enforcement campaign at the crossings , including Atherton crossings, letting people know what they should and should not be doing around the rail. Warnings and/or citations may be issued.  

3. Watersmart Software

Staff will be making contact with Watersmart Software, a company that provides intelligent data management to water companies and their customers. The Mayor has asked that they come to the Council with a presentation to determine whether it might be something worthwhile mentioning to our residents and Cal Water. 

4. Beverage Container Recycling Grant Funding

We have been selected with 59 other agencies to be a part of an audit of our 2011/12 Beverage Container Recycling City/County Payment Program grant. Finance will be working with the State to process the audit. 

5. Menlo Park Legends Summer Camp

The Menlo Park Legends Summer Camp will be using the Willie Mays Ballpark for two weeks over the summer for camps. They will be onsite July 13 - 17 and July 20 - 24. from 9 am to 2:30 pm. At this time they do not conflict with any other users and we will be evaluating the use. We have issued a trial approval of the camp. The cost is $150 per day for a total revenue of $1,500.