CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO.
CITY OF BRENTWOOD
SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Minutes of November 7, 2001
A special meeting of the City Council of the City of Brentwood was called to order at 7:07 P.M. in the City Council Chambers located at 734 Third Street, with Mayor McPoland presiding.
Present: Councilmembers Beckstrand, Gomes, Hill, Petrovich, Mayor McPoland
There were no comments from the public on any item not on the agenda.
1. Consideration of an Ordinance Adopting the General Plan Update (GPU), Associated Zone Changes, and Certification of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Mayor McPoland reported that the process related to the General Plan had been ongoing for over two years, with a General Plan Working Group comprised of over twenty members and professional staff that had conducted twenty five meetings. He stated that the City Council had considered over 110 land use changes and that all residents had been allowed to speak during those series of meetings. At this point, he advised that the City Council would address no specific project, simply the Council would address land use and density issues. He explained that as projects came forward through the process, other meetings would be held to address specific projects and specific land uses.
Community Development Director Mitch Oshinsky reported that the GPU was the item under consideration and the purpose of the hearing was to adopt the GPU and to certify the EIR. He reiterated that no specific development proposals would be reviewed at this time. There would be a review of the overall land use, circulation and growth management. He stated that the GPU included elements mandated by State law, including Land Use, Housing and Safety. The GPU addressed only Land Use, Circulation and Growth Management Elements at this time. He added that the General Plan was a long range, comprehensive Citywide guide to the desirable future development of the community.
With respect to the General Plan itself, Mr. Oshinsky reiterated that the document would summarize policies and not indicate specific projects or detailed regulations in a 20-year long-range plan. The General Plan also reflected the desires of the community and provided the best forecast of the City's future.
As background, Mr. Oshinsky explained that with the City Council’s leadership, over the past two years there had been a collaborative effort by the City, its residents, business persons and property owners to craft a GPU to be able to attain the Council's vision set forth at its inception. That vision was to reduce buildout population, create more jobs, and enhance the quality of life of the City.
Mr. Oshinsky stated that the GPU had accomplished a number of goals to reduce population from 90,000 to 75,000, converted large areas from residential to job generating, increased the jobs/housing balance from 1 to 1.5 jobs per household, reduced densities in some areas and increased density in others to foster Smart Growth, and to preserve and enhance the Downtown.
As to the process, Mr. Oshinsky stated that there had been an intense public participation, which had been praised by the Governor’s Office as “outstanding.” He identified four workshops attended by hundreds of citizens, a 400 person phone survey, a number of newspaper multi-page displays, three mass mailings of over 30,000 notices, flyers sent home with every school child and multiple articles in the City newsletters, cable TV and on the City’s website. To identify the current meeting, notifications had been distributed to over 800 people on the notification list.
Also as part of the process, the GPU Working Group, comprised of 21 citizens and officials, had held 25 public meetings over two years to review public input and to draft the Plan, had developed 27 Principles for the future vision of the City, had create four Study Points, each with a unique land use, population and jobs, and had presented those principles in a March 200 Land Use Options Workbook.
Mr. Oshinsky identified Study Point 1 as the Pipeline Buidout Alternative, resulting in a 40,000 population, which would keep almost all of North Brentwood undeveloped and generate few jobs. Study Point 2 would retain low-density housing and create job centers along the State Route 4 Bypass, provide a population of 70,000 and provide for Smart Growth around job centers and in the Downtown. Study Point 3 had been derived from the 1993 General Plan and retained the population of 90,000 but displayed the land use in a more efficient pattern. Study Point 4 would increase the City's population to 120,000 at build out.
Mr. Oshinsky stated that the GPU Working Group and the public had used charts to compare Study Points in terms of a job/housing balance, schools, parks, traffic, open space and fiscal impacts. He presented one of the charts to identify the comparison table and noted the various elements considered for each of the study points.
During the review process, Mr. Oshinsky reported that there had been additional public input from over 100 property owners. Each owner's request had been reviewed by the Working Group, which led to a modified Study Point 2 as a Preferred Alternative, with a 75,000 population.
Mr. Oshinsky stated that the GPU had achieved the Council’s vision of reduced population, increased jobs and enhanced quality of life.
All residents and property owners had ample opportunity to participate. There had been a high rate of participation, which had contributed greatly to the planning process and the final product. As such, the GPU was a blueprint for community based planning to guide future decision-making.
Mr. Oshinsky recommended that the City Council introduce and waive the first reading of an ordinance to certify the Environmental Impact Report, to adopt the General Plan Update and the associated zone changes, along with two additional land use requests that had been submitted and which had been detailed in the staff report.
Mr. Oshinsky advised that the General Plan consultants were available to respond to questions and comments.
PUBLIC HEARING OPENED
ANNA KELLY, 1770 Kent Drive, Brentwood, a Summerset II resident, stated that she had submitted a number of e-mails and letters to the City. She reiterated her support for making the southeast corner of Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue a commercial property to be able to provide a commercial shopping area to that part of the community to accommodate the growth in that area.
CARMELA TOTA, 1681 Kent Drive, Brentwood, also a Summerset II resident, reiterated what she had stated in previous meetings and in her e-mails sent in support of changing the property on Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue from residential to commercial. She urged Councilmembers to accept and adopt the GPU.
ROBERT MIRAGLIO, 88 Spencer Way, Brentwood, stated with respect to the Balfour Road/ Fairview Avenue property, that he had purchased his home in the Summerset subdivision with the knowledge that property was zoned residential and would remain residential. He did not support a change in the designation of the parcel given his concern that area could become a strip mall that would be degrading to the City of Brentwood.
SUSAN HERMAN, 1250 Brookdale Drive, Brentwood, a resident of the subdivision adjacent to the proposed redesignation at Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue offered her time to Mr. Calhoun.
LESLIE LaFOND, 52 Montrose Court, Brentwood, offered her time to Mr. Calhoun.
JIM LaFOND, 52 Montrose Court, Brentwood, also offered his time to Mr. Calhoun.
PATRICK CALHOUN, 19 Lambert Court, Brentwood, advised that he had submitted information to the City regarding what he characterized as an important element that had been omitted from the General Plan and the Draft EIR related to health and safety issues. He clarified that his latest correspondence had been received by the City Council. He submitted a copy for the record at this time.
Since September 11, Mr. Calhoun noted that the country had been identified as being somewhat more vulnerable to a variety of terrorist attacks. His concern was that there was very limited direct authority on pipelines. He explained that he had investigated the spill at Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue and had found that not only was the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) involved, but other agencies were involved that were not in direct communication with cities or counties.
Mr. Calhoun reported that the Office of Pipeline Safety regulated interstate pipelines, which was in turn regulated by the State Fire Marshall. He commented that what he had found was a recognized concern that pipelines could be target material and needed to be secured. He commented that elements such as the sewer system, the water delivery system, pesticide and fertilizer control also needed to be addressed and secured, and that the applicable statutes covering emergency planning of those and other elements needed to be updated every year, as required by law. It was his understanding that the last time those items had been addressed was in 1993.
Mayor McPoland explained for the benefit of Mr. Calhoun and the audience that since September 11, meetings had been ongoing in the City to address the very issues that Mr. Calhoun had raised and those concerns related to not only pipelines, but sewer, water and all those elements. He added that an updated plan would be reviewed by the City Council within the month.
Mr. Calhoun reiterated his concern that the elements were missing from the General Plan given at that time no such problems related to the current level of terrorism had existed.
Noting that he had provided information to staff related to the operator of the pipeline, Kinder-Morgan Energy Partners, and LoCal Elmira, which had pipelines near Vacaville, Mr. Calhoun explained that there was a persistent and ongoing problem in Vacaville with respect to pipeline leaks. He stated that could be a big issue. Having spoken with Mr. Oshinsky regarding that problem to emphasize the impacts that such leaks could have to groundwater and with respect to contaminating sites, such as had occurred at the Balfour Road site, he stated that he had offered information to staff and the City Council and would continue to provide information as it became available.
Mr. Calhoun also expressed concern with the accuracy of the document given an error in the date of the notice to the State Clearinghouse and urged that the inaccuracies in the document be addressed. He also referred to the Responses to Comments section of the EIR and stated that there were several notes from a number of applicable transportation agencies that he suggested called into question the accuracy of the Circulation Element as being deficient on several accounts.
Mr. Calhoun otherwise took this opportunity to thank the Mayor, City Council, City Manager and all appropriate City Departments for their time. He stated that the effort had been at great personal cost to him and that his research of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and other statutes emphasized the need to better coordinate environmental and emergency response agencies to guard against potential terrorist attacks, as well as safeguarding the environment. He emphasized that he had done a lot of research, had contacted a number of people, and had found interest by the pipeline operator to initiate and coordinate emergency response plans.
RICK HERMAN, 1250 Brookdale Drive, Brentwood, expressed his total agreement with Mr. Calhoun, stated that the area was polluted, which was something that the City should not ignore, and suggested that there could be no development in the area forward of the proposed Safeway site for up to five years as a result. He suggested that another Safeway was not needed in the City.
RANDALL ADAMS, 1391 Arlington Way, Brentwood, commented that by only developing the portion that was currently being developed with houses, it was likely that the remaining parcel at Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue would probably be rezoned given that it was the last parcel to be developed in the area of otherwise residential uses. He suggested therefore that the zoning change would be approved given the pending application and he stated that he and others who had voiced opposition to the rezoning would not prevail in that the issue had previously been decided.
Mr. Adams stated that he had bought his house new three years and had been told, as had others, that the Balfour Road/Fairview Avenue site would be residential. He disagreed that would be the case and he expressed concern with that situation. He suggested that had been decided long before he had purchased his house and he stated that would influence his willingness to remain in his home. He noted that many of those who had moved in at the time he had had already moved from the area and he expressed regret that was the case.
C. LOREN COMEN, 401 Grovewood Loop, Brentwood, stated that to say that Brentwood would not change was incorrect in that there was nothing but change. She therefore supported the redesignation of the Fairview Avenue and Walnut Boulevard given that there was a need for some commercial uses to allow Brentwood residents to shop locally.
TINA GEDDES, 552 Stanwick Street, Brentwood, expressed her support for the zoning changes for Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue and suggested it was a wonderful idea to have more businesses and jobs instead of houses because the site was perfect for commercial uses.
EMIL GEDDES, 5012 Woodmont Way, Antioch, commented that he was temporarily living in Antioch but was a lifelong Brentwood resident where he had taught school and been a member of the school board. He advised the City Council of the amount of support the change in designation for the Balfour Road/Fairview Avenue site had received. He stated that his phone number and e-mail address had been included on all of the flyers and educational materials distributed on the project and he had received hundreds of calls and had 225 voluntary support cards that had come in from residents of Brentwood, which he would submit at the time of General Plan review. He emphasized the tremendous amount of support for the change of designation.
KEITH ROGERS, 552 Stanwick Street, Brentwood, suggested that it was time for Brentwood to grow and it would surely change as a result. He stated that the change at Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue was important for the City and important to generate tax dollars for the City.
POLLY GALLAGHER, 1246 Woodside Drive, Brentwood, stated that she had attended many Planning Commission and City Council meetings as many growth projects and issues had come up. Noting that the constant theme was that growth in Brentwood would be planned growth and quality growth, she stated that the plan for residential for Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue was a quality plan and had been planned for that use in mind. She urged the City Council to follow through on its plan for growth in the area and noted that many had made decisions and expended funds based on that planning that called for residential on that parcel.
Commenting that one of the goals of the General Plan was to enhance the quality of life in Brentwood, Ms. Gallagher suggested that the commercial uses would not enhance the quality of life. It would simply add convenience.
Ms. Gallagher emphasized that most of those in support of the change would not be affected by the traffic, noise, lights and by the traffic congestion that would circulate in that area if commercial uses were allowed on the site. She stated that there was a lot of commercial growth planned along the State Route 4 Bypass, which had been planned and where those building and buying in that area could plan around that use. She was not in favor of a land use change on either side of Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue.
With respect to the circulation in the GPU, Ms. Gallagher noted that a consultant had spoken on the fact that since the population in the General Plan would be reduced from 90,000 to 75,000, there was little need for mitigation in the General Plan with respect to circulation. She suggested that the citizenry currently needed to be apprised of what would occur with the City when achieving its growth from now to that 75,000 population.
DICK SESTERO, 4021 Port Chicago Highway, Concord, representing West Coast Homebuilders, the owner of Special Planning Area (SPA) E at the west end of Sand Creek Road, explained that the extension of Sand Creek Road west of the SR4 Bypass would bisect the property into a southern half that was Residential and a northern half that was Regional Commercial (RC) and Business Park (BP).
Mr. Sestero explained that his firm had been working with City staff over the last year to formulate the assessment district that would improve some of the major roads in the area. He looked forward to developing the site now that the SR4 Bypass was being completed and looked forward to the opportunity of job generating development, which his firm had been conducting in other cities.
Mr. Sestero took this opportunity to request a slight change in the designation of the residential area of the site and explained that the firm's land planner and architect would clarify that request.
CARL CAMPOS, President of Loving and Campos Architects, specializing in land planning, pointed out the property in question referenced by Mr. Sestero and presented a number of exhibits to identify the current proposed zoning for the residential section as Very Low Density Residential (VLDR). He commented that there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the cities of Antioch and Brentwood to protect some hill forms and a component of open space on the property.
Typically with a regional commercial center, Mr. Campos stated that the densities were feathered from the regional commercial from a medium density to a low density and from the rural area to very low densities. He referenced an existing project of low density under construction by Shea Homes and suggested that the VLDR designation was out of character with Sand Hill Road, which was a major arterial with a lot of traffic. He identified the SR4 interchange and the larger homes and larger lots that would feather out into the more rural areas. As such, he suggested that the 100 large homes to be built on large lots on that site would be trapped in an urban corridor.
Mr. Campos presented another exhibit to propose low density next to low density or even medium density. He noted that the MOU required low density to meet the medium density, and suggested that the most appropriate configuration for the Bridal Gate subdivision was low density zoning. On the 53.5 acres, he stated that would yield 237 homes where the prior General Plan would have allowed over 400 homes on the property.
Mr. Campos stated that the LDR designation would provide a nice buffer between the two cities where the hill forms and the landscaping would provide a buffer and make it easier to sell the homes. He urged a change from the VLDR designation in what would become a busy urban corridor and stressed that it would be difficult to market those homes with that designation.
Councilmember Hill inquired whether or not Mr. Campos was involved with the project at the corner of Heidorn and Lone Tree Way, to which Mr. Sestero explained that was an apartment site that had been sold to an apartment builder and was not being developed by West Coast Homebuilders.
Mayor McPoland commented that a few years ago, the City had required a buffer between Antioch in the area under discussion, which was to have been done to preserve a buffer between the two cities.
Councilmember Petrovich stated that he had also been involved in that situation and recalled that to be the case a few years ago.
Mr. Campos commented that it made sense to pursue traditional zoning in that area to avoid a need for a zone change in the future given the urban corridor.
Mr. Sestero clarified that the request was to change the area shown as VLDR to LDR. He stated that change would lower the ultimate population on that residential site by 500 people, which would represent a fifty-percent reduction over the current General Plan.
Councilmember Hill clarified his understanding that there would have originally been 100 homes in a VLDR designation while the proposal would involve 250 homes, to which Mr. Sestero concurred but explained that the current General Plan had a mixture of Medium Density Residential (MDR) and LDR on that site on 80 acres, which could have involved up to 400 homes.
J. GLEN DUKE, 214 Summerset Drive, Brentwood, a Summerset II resident supported the GPU and specifically the property at the corner of Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue. He added that Summerset was an active adult community, which was overwhelmingly in support of the change in designation for that site.
SUSAN HARRIS, 440 Tayberry Lane, Brentwood, as a fairly new resident to the City explained that she had been concerned with the growth in Brentwood. Referencing a similar experience with her prior residence in Pleasanton, she stated that a shopping center built in that residential area had proven to be a good, clean, safe, quiet neighbor. As a result of that experience, she supported the commercial development at the southeast corner of Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue as a good addition to the growing City of Brentwood.
KATHY GRIFFIN, 386 Pecan Place, Brentwood, stated that she had been a proponent for the decreased population in the City based on the fact that she and her family had moved into the City for the agricultural and open space elements of the City. She brought up what she characterized as the inequity in the weight of the public forum and the outreach efforts to the citizenry. She noted that the 400-person survey she had understood was a 1,200-person survey where over 57.3 percent of the population had supported a growth of no more than a 40,000 population for the City. She urged careful consideration of the weight put on those workshops.
Ms. Griffin reported that she had been in attendance at the public workshops where it had been noted that hundreds of people were in attendance. She suggested that was not the case when eliminating those who had conducted the workshops. She added that she had been present at a workshop where only 45 people were in attendance where a hybrid plan of a 79,000 population had been discussed. She urged that the different components and how they were being weighed be carefully considered. She also noted that after the first few meetings of the General Plan Working Group, the public had not been allowed to speak given what had been perceived as disruptions from the public.
Ms. Griffin added that she took offense to the eleventh hour request for a change to the General Plan from Ron Nunn related to some of the areas adjacent to the agricultural core east of the City where a LDR as opposed to an Urban Reserve (UR) designation had been proposed, which areas were outside the Urban Limit Line (ULL) and the sphere of influence (SOI) of the City. She commented that she now saw leaping development adjacent to the County's agriculture core.
Ms. Griffin added that the Citizens Alliance of a Better Brentwood had submitted petitions to the City with over a thousand signatures and those signatures had not been taken into consideration as part of the General Plan process. She commented that she had since been informed by the Brentwood Union School District (BUSD) that 1,089 homes could be developed in the City without being finished given that there were no purchasers for those homes. She understood that the homes would sit, unfinished until purchased.
Further, Ms. Griffin took offense to any development that impacted the ULL and contributed to urban sprawl. While many wanted the City to grow, she objected to what she characterized as the Mayor's Growth Acceleration Plan, which exceeded the requirements of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) for residential development by 100 homes each year. She suggested that the current plan lacked economic development and viable employers to remove commuters from the City arterials that were already clogged and limited. As such, she urged the City Council to reconsider the document.
Ms. Griffin characterized Brentwood as a bedroom community, noted that many had not been able to attend the meetings, and urged that those comments be weighed more heavily. She suggested that the proposal, as presented, would make the City inoperable with gridlock and jeopardize the quality of life of Brentwood residents.
Ms. Griffin referred to a recent article in San Francisco Magazine where several Brentwood residents had voiced their opinion as to how they wished Brentwood to develop. She quoted from an article from Better Homes and Gardens regarding urban growth and noted that sprawl and urban blight threatened to engulf suburbia. She stated that the City had a chance to be different from any other East County community and she was disappointed that would not be the case with what had been proposed.
DON SARKOZY, 482 Summer Road, Brentwood, added his support for the General Plan, specifically for the Balfour Road/Fairview Avenue portion of the Plan. He noted that he had been amazed with the population of Summerset I, II, III and IV where over 4,000 people would be residents and with the 5,000 to 7,000 anticipated in the Shadowbrook subdivision, which total population west of Fairview Avenue would represent nearly twenty percent of the City’s population in need of services.
BEN CERRUTI, 540 Chesapeake Terrace, Brentwood, saw the area as having a lot of people, along with the proposed hospital and the office building, as well as the traffic to be generated by the SR4 Bypass, which he suggested would make Balfour Road an arterial roadway, with ingress and egress by trucks supplying the businesses in the area, including the stores in the downtown. In his opinion, those who lived in the area, particularly the older citizens who might not want to travel very far to be provided with those services, would need services. He therefore suggested that the commercial zoning was well suited for those located in the immediate area and expressed his support for the proposal for commercial at Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue, as did his neighbors.
GARY HESS, 1982 Cherry Hills Drive, Discovery Bay, representing the Board of Directors for the Town of Discovery Bay referred to a letter submitted by the Board last week. He requested that the far east boundary of Bixler Road be considered as the east boundary of the study area. He referred to the planning map and noted that none of the study points addressed Bixler Road as the east boundary, although another map acknowledged that Bixler Road was a land use designation and agricultural conservation consistent with the General Plan.
Mr. Hess explained that Bixler Road south to Camino Diablo would include 379 homes that were located in Discovery Bay. He acknowledged the letter of July 26, 2001 addressing the issue, concurred with the Agricultural Enterprise Program, wanted it to remain agriculture, understood the guidelines in the General Plan outside its jurisdictional territory, felt vulnerable, was jealous, and stated that as an unincorporated service district, Discovery Bay could do no land use planning.
Mr. Hess stated that Discovery Bay was at the discretion of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and how it chose to see the far East County develop. He understood that the government could formally communicate its concerns for the future land use and neighbors jurisdiction, but for the 379 homes he was puzzled as to how that would fit into the plan when obtaining water, sewer and recreational services for the service district in Discovery Bay. He otherwise had no problem with Bixler Road in the northeast corner. He saw those as options that maintained the agriculture and the area without basically having 379 homes in Discovery Bay be included in the planning area.
HENRY PRUYN, 220 Summerset Drive, Brentwood, had submitted a card to speak but did not wish to speak at this time.
ELINOR BUCHEN, 1601 N. Main Street, Suite 105, Walnut Creek, representing the Greenbelt Alliance, a land conservation and urban planning non-profit with 1,800 members in the East Bay, addressed the last minute addition of the Nunn property east of the City and outside of the ULL. She suggested that the property should not be included in Brentwood’s General Plan in that it was located on prime agricultural land outside of the ULL and outside of the SOI, had not been considered by the General Plan Working Group, had not gone through environmental review, and was attempting to circumvent the General Plan and CEQA process.
Ms. Buchen suggested that the designation of the land would worsen urban sprawl and degrade the viability of the agricultural core. If included in the GPU, she suggested that would be an amendment to the General Plan requiring a recirculation of the EIR and a modification to the GPU. She urged the City Council not to consider that request.
KAREN ROGGE, 2321 Windy Springs, Brentwood, read a written statement that she submitted into the record and addressed the three land use issue changes in the staff report. She stated that the first change related to the 152 acres located south of Sunset Road and immediately west of Sellers Avenue, which change would result in approximately 454 additional units and add approximately 1,300 people to the City's population and change an UR area to LDR outside of the ULL.
Ms. Rogge emphasized the need to preserve the ag core and to place UR designations adjacent to the ag core to serve as a buffer to preserve the core. She suggested that area should be developed last, even if it was close to downtown and suggested it would still be considered urban sprawl. She commented that the General Plan Working Group had tried to create infill development in the General Plan, not urban sprawl.
Ms. Rogge also suggested that no developer should be allowed to build anymore houses in the Sunset area unless they were willing to develop the new intersection at Sunset Road and Brentwood Boulevard and pull Sunset to Brentwood Boulevard.
With respect to the second change related to SPA E, Ms. Rogge stated that the requested change from a Ranchette Estates (RE) to a VLDR had now been proposed by the developer at this meeting to be changed again to LDR. In order to keep the hillside intact, she suggested that there be a designation that the developer be allowed only to build on the 36 acres. She commented that there would be too many homes on that property and she supported a retention of the RE designation on that site.
Speaking to the third change related to the Ginochio property on Deer Valley and Balfour Roads, Ms. Rogge, questioned the advisability of changing the UR to a SPA when outside the ULL. She suggested that the area was to have been a buffer area between Antioch and Brentwood and she urged that the City Council prior to a vote consider the motivation behind those changes.
LEE HANCOCK, 610 Discovery Bay Boulevard, Discovery Bay, stated that he had attended the workshops. He expressed his understanding of the consensus of the workshop that the RE on the O'Hara extension north of the creek become VLDR when moving away from the RE designation. He requested that the original recommendation remain or that there be a mid-range in the RE designation.
HORACE SIINO, 2335 Fairview Avenue, Brentwood, objected to the redesignation of Fairview Avenue and Lone Tree Way related to the remaking of the Fairview Avenue connection to Lone Tree Way and the resultant commercial piece on the southwest corner. He stated that the traffic studies from the Planning Department were totally inconsistent with the creation of commercial at that end given the traffic considerations. He had not seen the burden and overburden of the traffic issue as a result of the redesignation, which were inconsistent with the traffic problems and the traffic studies conducted in March by the Planning Department. He objected to the redesignation and requested that it remain RE at that corner specifically because of the impacts to that Fairview Avenue corner.
LUCIA ALBERS, 9601 Deer Valley Road, Brentwood, requested that the City Council consider the General Plan as recommended by the Planning Commission.
Ms. Albers commented that the Fairview Avenue realignment had been moved almost entirely into her five-acre parcel and she stated that much of her land was being taken to move the road. She stated that the road would completely wrap around her property and she requested that the property be left as is. She also requested that the one-acre site at the corner of Highland and Sand Creek Road be changed from HDR to Professional Office (PO). She commented that she had spoken with some of her neighbors who had expressed a desire to see a PO as opposed to high-density apartments or condominiums in that area.
SISTER DOLORES CASTRO, 5212 Balfour Road, Brentwood, requested that the City remember and honor the people and the integrity of the Orchard Park neighborhood given that the City owned the property behind some of the existing homes in a commercial/light industrial area. She requested that be kept in mind when building behind those homes to ensure that the land would remain commercial, as promised, and that the land uses be kept low and quiet.
RON ENOS, 1120 Second Street, Brentwood, referred to the staff description of "general" as meaning that the plan summarized policies and did not indicate specific projects or detailed regulations, and "long-range" meaning that the plan looked beyond current issues to opportunities twenty years down the road. With respect to the northwest quadrant area, he referenced the designations of the area and advised that his concern was that if RC took off in that area, there might be no high density in that area. In the northwest area running along Heidorn Road, he requested that the entire area include RC along with BP, with a circle around HDR given that to provide the infrastructure in that area a minimum number of units would be required. With just BP running along Heidorn Road, he recommended that it be GP/RC in that area to provide flexibility for a mall, if desired, and stated that if the HDR needed to be moved around, at least there would be that flexibility.
DONNA VINGO, 1044 Folsom Avenue, Brentwood, referred to the RE area along Lone Tree Way and Brentwood Boulevard, and recommended that the RE be changed to MDR. She stated that the RE designation had been intended to allow the maintenance of animals when the Homecoming subdivision had been developed. Since that time, problems had been created and she requested that the area be changed back to the MDR designation.
It was moved/seconded by Hill/Petrovich to close the public hearing. Motion carried unanimously. A recess was taken at 8:30 P.M. The meeting reconvened at 8:43 P.M. with all Councilmembers present.
In response to the Mayor, Mr. Oshinsky explained that the Planning Commission had not considered the requests from Ms. Albers and Ms. Vingo. He referred to the first request at Sand Creek Road and Heidorn Way designated as HDR with the request for a land use change to PO with a Commercial Office (CO) zoning that would allow for development of a professional office building. He stated that the staff review had found that to be a minor change and would further the City’s need to provide a jobs/housing balance. While across from existing homes, he suggested that with good planning an office use could be compatible with housing and generate fewer impacts than would retail adjacent to housing. He suggested that was a small change that could be approved, if so desired.
Councilmember Hill clarified that there would be no retail use of any kind in that designation.
On the second request from Donna Vingo, Senior Planner Winston Rhodes presented the map to show the area at Hansen Lane with a proposed designation of RE.
Mr. Oshinsky noted that the particular piece of property had properties around it to the west, north and east currently designed RE, which were proposed to remain as RE. He stated that only a portion of the piece was requested to be changed, although that site would be surrounded on three sides with RE. To the south was Homewood, a MDR. As such, the change requested would result in spot zoning in that case.
Councilmember Hill acknowledged the long list of issues. He wanted to evaluate the list of issues that had been raised to be able to resolve them. With respect to the pipeline presentation, he characterized that presentation as thought provoking and noted that a video provided had helped him understand what the fear of the unknown could be. He emphasized that issue in itself would be there regardless of whether the zoning was as proposed or as currently existed. In that sense, the General Plan designation was not as important as when proceeding with the implementation of the General Plan, at which time the issues that had been raised would be very important irregardless of what application was pursued. He stated that the Council and staff had heard the concerns and would have to address those issues with respect to whatever zoning was brought forward.
With respect to SPA E from Dick Sestero, Councilmember Hill commented that he was satisfied that the plan was sufficient to proceed. As to the easterly property boundary raised by Mr. Hess from Discovery Bay, he stated that there was no intention to overlay a planning area on another community and he was not opposed to pulling the boundary back to Byron Highway, or keeping it at Bixler Road but taking it up to State Route 4, whatever was appropriate to address the situation and allow Discovery Bay to create its own community. He emphasized that the City Council did not want to create a situation where the County could plan for areas adjacent to the City without requiring input from the City.
With respect to the issue raised by Mr. Hancock, Councilmember Hill noted his recollection that the discussion was consistent with Mr. Hancock’s request and the way the new O’Hara Avenue would be configured, where the LDR designation would remain to the west of O’Hara with some form of RE to the east. He suggested that might be done by removing the mid range, which required two acres per unit to one acre minimums in the RE designation. He suggested that might be more desirable in the real estate market than a two-acre minimum. He therefore supported either a one-acre minimum on the RE or going back to the originally agreed LDR along O’Hara Avenue, up against the existing RE.
Mr. Oshinsky explained that a change to a one-acre minimum in RE would affect the entire City. He recommended that the designation itself be changed.
Councilmember Hill referred to the Anderson Avenue designation at O’Hara Avenue and suggested that island of RE might not be viable for the simple fact that there were some property owners at half acres and one acres at Gracy Lane and a one unit for two acres would preclude a reasonable subdivision. He suggested it should be recognized that was not what had originally been agreed upon.
With respect to Ron Enos' comment related to SPA P, Councilmember Hill stated that the reason the Council had discussed that prior to adoption was that Mr. Reinhardt had proposed a specific plan with commercial, office and a VHDR. He stated that a developer on SPA P had not shown a specific plan. He questioned the number of units that could be involved if allowing that flexibility throughout SPA P. He suggested if it was the intent to retain 475 units anywhere along SPA P was one thing, but to allow that type of zoning all along SPA P would be difficult to administer. He wanted to see those units in one project managed by one company to offer value to the community.
Councilmember Hill stated with respect to the GC designation at the top of Fairview Avenue and Lone Tree Way and in light of the Council’s recent discussion, that the frontage along Lone Tree Way would be severely hampered by a grade change and therefore the frontage that would be accessible would be limited at best and any type of commercial development regional in nature would load off of Fairview Avenue. Much for the same reason that PO had been requested at Highland and Sand Creek as more complementary to the neighbor, he proposed that be taken to Office instead of GC. He was concerned with a littering of GC along Lone Tree Way where strewed out zoning would occur. He supported Office as a better use with fewer impacts to the neighbors.
In response to the request for a clarification by Councilmember Beckstrand, Councilmember Hill explained that Sister Dolores lived in a section on Balfour Road west of Garin Parkway across from the Garin Ranch subdivision where the frontage road was located. Behind that subdivision was property owned by the City in the form of a detention basin at this time. The residents were concerned that when developed, the property not be utilized as a warehouse looking down on and impacting the residential units. He suggested that the point was not to place that type of warehousing adjacent to the existing residential units.
Councilmember Beckstrand supported the request from Ms. Albers for the property at Highland and Sand Creek Road for Office as previously discussed by the City Council. She shared the same concerns as staff with respect to Donna Vingo's request and she did not support spot zoning in areas that were predominately built out. With respect to SPA E and the West Coast Homebuilders properties, she was also in agreement that property should be left as VLDR. She noted that there had been many adjustments to that property over time and she preferred to leave that area as recommended at this time.
Speaking to Mr. Hess’ request with respect to the readjustment of the boundary with Discovery Bay, Councilmember Beckstrand supported a readjustment as required to address both Discovery Bay and Brentwood needs. With respect to the land referenced by Mr. Hancock at Anderson and O’Hara, she supported the shifting of the lines with LDR and RE, and supported some of those recommendations to adjust that area more appropriately to the circulation elements.
Councilmember Beckstrand stated with respect to the property at Fairview Avenue and Lone Tree Way, that she also had concerns with the property being designated as GC, but did not believe it would do well as residential and suggested that Office might be a viable solution for the area.
Councilmember Petrovich recalled with respect to the request from Dick Sestero that the referenced agreement had been made with the City and he therefore felt obligated to fulfill that request.
Councilmember Petrovich stated that he had no problem with the requests from Ms. Albers and noted that GC was needed at Fairview Avenue and Lone Tree Way. He had no opinion one way or another and stated that Office would be acceptable to him at that location. He had no problem with Mr. Hancock’s request or Mr. Hess' request and no preference on the other issues that had been raised.
Councilmember Gomes commented that he had been interested in Mr. Enos’ presentation on the SPA P area and noted that Mr. Reinhardt's property to the south had been allowed an option for a very high BP/RC and the potential for the loss of 475 homes that could have been utilized by the workers of the jobs being created. He suggested that some VHD be considered in SPA P to offset that loss and provide affordable housing for City workers. He was supportive at least of granting a BP/RC to allow an opportunity for an extension of the RC in the SPA P area, and he remained in support of a revisit of that area given the jobs that would be generated, particularly for VHD to provide apartments for the workers.
With respect to the request by Mr. Sestero, Councilmember Gomes stated that he liked the presentation with the open space around it and he understood that there had been agreement that there would be development on the other side where there would be RC. He had no problem with a LDR designation and commented that the area was almost completely surrounded by open space. He also agreed with the change in the HDR to Office for the SPA D area.
For the corner of Lone Tree Way and Fairview Avenue, Councilmember Gomes stated that he could support Office or Commercial and did not find the area viable for a residential use. As to the ULL outside of the City limits, he had no certainty as to the legality of the City’s designations given that was not part of the City or the General Plan at this time. He characterized that more as a wish for the future. He stated that he would require more explanation from staff as to why that would need to be done at this time.
In response, Mr. Oshinsky noted the question of why designating lands outside of the ULL for urban development and suggested that there was no right or wrong answer. He stated that Brentwood had a General Plan to project the future twenty years out and had identified its planning area for years and years and its growth was consistent with that planning. He stated that the City Council had the ability to designate land use in areas even if out of the ULL, given that the ULL could change in the future and the City had the right to designate land for development. He commented that the City could remain consistent with the County and for areas outside of the ULL designate an UR, which was a holding pattern and did not allow development potential until the rest of the City was built out.
Mr. Oshinsky added that a future Council could always change those designations.
Mayor McPoland commented that for those areas outside of the ULL and in County unincorporated area, it was a good idea to plan for the future. He noted that there was infrastructure going down Balfour Road, and although future development had been eliminated by the ULL, that represented good planning for the future. With respect to the Ginochio property, he explained that was just a SPA designation. He noted that Sunset Road should start any day. He also commented that Sand Creek Road across from west to east would go out to bid on the remainder, which would come to Brentwood Boulevard It therefore behooved the City for circulation purposes to extend that road to Sellers Avenue, which he suggested would occur sooner than later dependent upon the economy..
The Mayor noted that changes to the ULL, as it existed today was an arbitrary line and was subject to the will of the County Board of Supervisors. He stated that the City of Brentwood was the only city that had taken the ag core program to the Mayors Conference where it had been very well received. He added that the City would be appearing before the Board of Supervisors with the program and was the only city doing anything about preservation.
As to specific issues, Mayor McPoland explained that the commitment had been made to West Coast Homebuilders approximately three years ago to allow open space and allow densities on the SPA E site. He stated that promises made would be promises kept.
With respect to Mr. Hancock’s request, Mayor McPoland commented that he had always had a problem with the infrastructure in the O'Hara Avenue area and two-acre designations on RE disturbed him in that in some cases those areas could become a weed patch. He suggested that designation itself ought to be considered in some other areas on a case-by-case basis.
Speaking to the Albers request at Highland and Sand Creek Road, Mayor McPoland supported an Office designation. He supported the staff recommendation on the Hansen parcel. As to the five acres at Fairview Avenue and Lone Tree Way, he had no problem with a GC designation in that area.
Mayor McPoland referred to SPA P, noted the comments from Mr. Enos, and agreed with the comments and the need for densities in that area, although pending a specific application, he suggested that flexibility was required in that SPA.
When asked, Councilmember Gomes stated that if pushed, he would support a GC designation at the corner of Fairview Avenue and Lone Tree Way.
With respect to SPA P, Councilmember Hill had no objection to 475 units in a particular project on SPA P, as initially proposed for the Reinhardt property.
Mayor McPoland noted the desire to get as much of the good commercial as possible, both retail and office. He did not want to discourage any of those types of uses.
In response, Mr. Oshinsky suggested that when the General Plan Working Group had evaluated that area, they had allowed the 475 units. He had no problem allowing the 475 units to float over the SPA and noted that the City would not lose any economic development because of that.
Councilmember Hill stated that he wanted to see those units as one project, and Mr. Oshinsky concurred that would make sense, to be planned as a whole project.
Councilmember Gomes commented that he had been concerned with displacing the 475 units on the Reinhardt property.
Councilmember Hill proposed a maximum 475 units, all in one project for the entire SPA. It was the consensus of the Council that would be the case. When asked, the General Plan consultants concurred.
With respect to Fairview Avenue and Balfour Road, Councilmember Hill stated that there had been an inordinate number of phone calls and e-mails and he had an opportunity to explain to those he had spoken with what had occurred to date. He noted that many people had been under the impression that a proposal would be approved at this time. He described some of the miscommunications that were involved, commented that no issues had been determined at this time, explained that many options were being explored with a combination of uses, and described some of the types of uses that could apply in a GC designation.
Councilmember Hill emphasized that a number of public economic development meetings had occurred with participation by the landowner, the developer of the project and Safeway and he emphasized that none of those issues had been decided. He stated that many options were being explored as part of the process. The application under consideration was on ten plus acres with a 2.82-acre buffer along Clearview with no ingress or egress to the zoning of commercial on Clearview or anywhere interior to the Pulte Home subdivision or the new subdivision currently being developed.
Councilmember Hill added that contrary to comments, the developer of that new subdivision had apprised him of the application and the zoning and the actual current situation was currently being reported by the sales staff of that subdivision. He stated that he had personally not experienced any deception. He noted that if a home was sold without an identification of a pending fact that there was an application for a rezoning, that would be a serious legal issue. He clarified that the City was not a party to that situation.
Councilmember Hill stated that a number of people had been adamantly opposed to the project and many of those were not currently present given that they had been apprised that there had been enough attempts to minimize the impact to the adjacent neighborhoods while maximizing the benefits to the adjacent neighborhoods. He stated that the City Council had an obligation to ensure that the appropriate amenities were dispersed in the community.
Referring to the City of Pleasanton, Councilmember Hill noted that city had seven grocery stores with 68,000 residents. He also referred to Rossmoor where residents were able to access grocery stores and other commercial without having to travel great distances, which was a positive amenity to the community as a whole.
While recognizing the concerns of those living in the immediate area of the proposed site, Councilmember Hill emphasized his belief that there was support for the project and the designation for the Fairview Avenue/Balfour Road parcel.
Councilmember Beckstrand stated that she had also tabulated the comments pro and con on the parcel at Fairview Avenue and Balfour Road and she suggested that the tabulation had found a fifty/fifty proponent/opponent count. She suggested that when many residents were apprised of the actual situation, those residents were no longer opposed to the change in designation. She emphasized that the site was needed to provide services to the community, that other options had been explored, and given the tally she had tabulated, she would have to support the proposal.
Councilmember Beckstrand also emphasized that change in the community itself would occur and she commented that Safeway had mitigated many of the concerns and there had been a noticeable swing in those initially in opposition to the project who were now in support of the project.
Councilmember Petrovich stated that he had found 120 in favor and 61 in opposition to the proposal at Fairview Avenue and Balfour Road based on his tabulation of the letters and e-mails that he had received. While in support of the GC General Plan designation, he did not support the Safeway proposal. He stated that he had also visited the adjacent residential development and the proposal had been identified at that time. He took this opportunity to urge the members of the audience to participate in the hearing when the application was presented to the City Council.
Councilmember Gomes stated that he had also received many responses from residents of the community and he equated the current controversy with the corner of Fairview and Balfour to a similar controversy for a Chevron gas station. He did not support a gas station or a fast food restaurant at the subject location. He emphasized the importance of quality of life and noted that quality of life was increased now that people did not have to travel all the way across the City. As a member of several transportation committees, he supported a lessening of vehicle trips and suggested that the proposal would free up traffic in the community. In that respect it was therefore positive. He was also supportive of any development that generated jobs so that some residents would not have to travel out of town to work.
Councilmember Gomes emphasized that the Council was not deciding what type of commercial development would occur at the site. The question was the rezoning to a GC designation as appropriate for the site, which he suggested was the case. He stated that there was no offensive commercial development that he would support at the site, such as gas stations or fast food restaurants. He emphasized that some type of quality commercial development would have to be placed at the site.
Mayor McPoland stated that the comments that had been made were correct in that nothing had specifically been decided as to whether the parcel should be commercial or residential. He supported a commercial designation. He also noted that the City would continue to have problems with in-fill development, which it would have to address.
Mayor McPoland complimented Mr. Calhoun on the pipeline issue and stated that the City at an economic subcommittee meeting had previously discussed the pipeline issue. He stated that Mr. Calhoun’s concerns were the City Council's concerns. With the exception of those items, the Council concurred with the recommendations of the General Plan Working Group.
Mr. Oshinsky noted the direction of the issues that he summarized at this time:
Ø To plan 475 units total in SPA P as a single whole project;
Ø The majority favored the retention of a Commercial designation at Lone Tree Way and Fairview Avenue;
Ø The request to redesignate the RE area along Lone Tree Way and Brentwood Boulevard back to MDR was not supported;
Ø The majority supported LDR on SPA E;
Ø Support to change RE to LDR at the O'Hara Avenue extension north of the creek;
Ø Support for Office at Sand Creek at Highland;
Ø Bring in the Planning Area Boundary to avoid the Syntex property, which was the concern of Discovery Bay.
On the discussion of the planning boundary related to Discovery Bay, Councilmember Hill suggested that with a Discovery Bay West, there would have to be regional mitigation. He stated that was more a statement to the County and not any statement to Discovery Bay.
Councilmember Gomes stated that under SPA P, Heidorn Ranch, he had clarified the option of allowing RC, which had been included in the addendum.
As to the Nunn request, Mr. Oshinsky advised that had already been included in the addendum.
Councilmember Hill commented that although addressed, he found it odd that another "chunk" of property would be left in UR. He noted that when the 1993 General Plan had been adopted, it should have been planned all the way to Sellers Avenue with the rest of the community south and the northern portion. He did not want to create a no-man's land within the City's planning area, which at the time was Sellers Avenue. He suggested that it would be very unlikely that the unit count and the population would be created within the 20-year period of time given the amount of density outside of the ULL. He suggested that there should be some consistency taking the planning boundary up Sellers Avenue.
By consensus, it was recommended that the area be designated as a VLDR.
It was moved/seconded by Petrovich/Beckstrand to introduce and waive the reading of the Ordinance [next in number] to certify the Environmental Impact Report and to adopt the General Plan Update, with the changes as noted.
There being no further business before the City of Brentwood City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 9:43 P.M. to the next regular meeting of the City Council scheduled for November 20, 2001 at 7:00 P.M.
Anita L. Tucci-Smith