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Agricultural Advisory Committee Final Report

City Administration
Meeting Minutes
Action Minutes from
Brentwood Agricultural Advisory Committee
Meeting #1
September 15, 1999
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Brentwood City Council Chambers
734 Third Street

I. Welcome and Committee Introductions
Committee members present: Mayor Quintin Kidd, Councilman Michael McPoland, Bill Putman, Edward Meyer, John Chapman, Dave Navarette, Nancy Holloman, Dick Vremere, Peter Wolfe, Mark Dwelley, Ronald Nunn, Jim McKeehan, and John Johnson.

Mayor Kidd opened meeting, 

Jeff Loux introduced MIG’s role in program and reviews agenda

Mitch Oshinsky introduced the Agricultural Enterprise Program in the context of the Brentwood General Plan
* The General Plan directs the city to preserve agriculture as a primary use in the planning area.
* The General Plan also protects approximately 2,300 acres of land zoned for agriculture located east of Sellers Avenue and south of ECCID Main Canal. Mechanisms for protection include:
    * Land dedication 
    * Mitigation
    * Right to farm ordinance

II. Review of Charge and Activities of Committee
▪ Jeff Loux reviewed the Agricultural Enterprise schedule
▪ Comments: Eliminate the December/early January meeting because of low turnout. Reevaluate in November
Committee/Meeting Logistics
▪ City Hall location OK
▪ Target 7:00-9:00 p.m., however may need to start earlier or go later (6:30-9:30 p.m.) to accommodate meetings with heavier agendas
▪ Meet on third or fourth Thursday of the month

Comments on the Mission and Charge of the Committee
▪ There was discussion about the terms “preservation” and “mitigation”. There was also a desire to add the term “voluntary.”
▪ Decision: The new committee charge will incorporate these concerns. The revised charge is “to advise the City of Brentwood on how to protect and enhance agriculture in Brentwood, potentially including an agricultural land mitigation program, agricultural enterprise program and other voluntary approaches. 
▪ The group also agreed it would address the “big picture” of agriculture protection, and not just the fees to be paid for specific developments. 
▪ Councilman McPoland and Mayor Kidd affirmed the intent of convening the group to represent the broad interests of the community.

III. Review and Agree on Committee Ground Rules
Important Points
▪ Members should speak up on their views and the views of their constituencies. They were picked for their ability to represent the diversity of views in the community.
▪ Utilize email for committee communication but full packets will be mailed out.
▪ Let facilitator guide flow of discussion.
▪ Speak one at a time.

IV. Issues
▪ The committee generated a list of issues and questions they wished the project to consider. The first issue was defining the stakeholders. 
▪ Who are the stakeholders?
▪ City
▪ County
▪ Farmers
▪ Developers
▪ Environmentalists
▪ Residents
▪ Consumers
▪ Irrigation District
▪ State
▪ Neighboring cities
▪ How to get all stakeholders to buy in?
▪ How to avoid repeating historic failures of past land protection efforts?
▪ Economic viability of agriculture (global competition, prices/costs, land availability)
▪ Changes in agriculture (shifting economic policy, politics, etc.)
▪ Benefits of small farms/parcels (economic and biological diversity)
▪ Geographic scope of protection (inside/outside city limits and planning area)
▪ Farm worker welfare (housing)
Desired Outcomes
▪ Improved quality of life broadly defined
▪ Fairness to all stakeholders
▪ Avoid conflict (like Tassajara Valley, litigation, etc.)
▪ Scenic values protection
▪ Address new conditions of agriculture (not just protect/preserve in non-viable state)
▪ Buy-in from all stakeholders
▪ Clear focus of protection, agriculture or open space?
▪ What are criteria for setting protection focus?
▪ Soils
▪ Economic viability
▪ Location
▪ Views
▪ Flexible program to include outside partners as fund donors (e.g. County, central C.C. cities)
▪ Multiple modes of assistance to agriculture
▪ Easements
▪ Land trusts
▪ Estate planning
▪ Tax approach
▪ Cooperative relationships between city/county/farmers/consumers
▪ Economic spin-off of agriculture
▪ Agricultural tourism
▪ Local processing/packing/shipping
▪ Educational programs
▪ Team with University of California
▪ Develop Brentwood as research site for agriculture, agricultural economics, etc.
▪ Mixture of funding sources
▪ “Mitigation” fees
▪ Grants
▪ Public funds
▪ Buffer Zones (Some in group uncomfortable with method, consider further)

IV. Additional Questions posed by the Committee
▪ How much money is available in the Ag. Mitigation fund?/How much will/might be available?
▪ Use of soils as criteria for fee amount
▪ Who should pay and when?
▪ At what point in pipeline for residential projects
▪ Non-residential/public projects
▪ Existing residents (first issue paper)
▪ How to invest funds (first issue paper)
▪ How to use matching funds and possibility of obtaining matching funds (second paper)
▪ How can the project be used to lobby state for additional funds as easement purchase
▪ Document other success stories
▪ Davis
▪ South Livermore

V. Brentwood’s Planning Boundaries
▪ Winston Rhodes presented analysis maps including residential projects in the development pipeline and sales in the Brentwood area
▪ Sonia Jacques of EPS presented a summary of the methods used in the upcoming Agricultural land value analysis
▪ Jeff Loux presented a summary of the First Issue paper (Developing an Agricultural Mitigation program). Both documents will be included in the workshop #2 meeting packet.

Next Meeting:  Thursday, October 14, 1999 at 6:30 p.m., City Hall

City of Brentwood Agricultural Advisory
730 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5444
Fax (925)516-5445