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Current Council Agenda and Past Meeting Information

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 14

Meeting Date: April 27, 2004

Subject/Title: Approve a Resolution authorizing staff to execute necessary documents to the California Department of Fish and Game for the necessary Habitat Mitigation measures for the Wastewater Treatment Plant, Sunset Industrial Complex and Sunset Road Realignment projects.

Prepared by: Engineering: P. Eldredge

Submitted by: Engineering: B. Grewal

RECOMMENDATION
Approve a Resolution authorizing staff to execute necessary documents to the California Department of Fish and Game for the necessary Habitat Mitigation measures for the Wastewater Treatment Plant 5 mgd Expansion, CIP Project No. 592-5911, Sunset Industrial Complex, CIP Project No. 336-3128 and Sunset Road Realignment, CIP Project No. 336-301.

PREVIOUS ACTION
Over the past several years there have been numerous City Council actions relating to the Wastewater Treatment Plant 5 mgd Expansion Project, Sunset Industrial Complex Project and Sunset Road Realignment Project; therefore, every previous action relating to these projects will not be listed in detail in this staff report. There have been no specific previous actions relating to the above recommended action.

BACKGROUND
As part of the environmental impact reports prepared for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Project (WWTP) and the Sunset Industrial Complex Improvements Project (SIC), the City has performed a biological assessment 30 days prior to the start of construction. During this investigation, burrowing owls were found to occupy a portion of the site to be affected by the construction activities. A total of four burrowing owls were found on the WWTP and SIC sites respectively. Pursuant to the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) requirements, the City was to mitigate 6.5 acres per burrowing owl for a total of 26 acres. Additionally, as part of the Sunset Road Realignment, a stream bed alteration agreement was required from DFG for the bridge over Marsh Creek and one of the conditions of the permit was for the City to provide one acre of habitat mitigation due to the “temporal disruption of the site”. It was agreed by City and DFG staff that the one acre of habitat would be burrowing owl habitat and would be included in the mitigation for the WWTP and SIC projects for a total of 27 acres.

City staff has been discussing mitigation sites with DFG staff for some time now (dating as far back as July 2000 for the WWTP). Originally, the City had identified a piece of property in San Joaquin County called the Rustin Ranch. It encompassed approximately 400 acres of land that was slated as acceptable habitat for burrowing owls. The City contacted the owner to see if they would be willing to sell the property. The owner had agreed to sell the property to the City for a sum of approximately $50,000, with an additional amount of approximately $30,000 required for a habitat endowment required for the preservation for this habitat for perpetuity. Subsequently, the City initiated a biological assessment of the property to ensure it was suitable habitat and submitted the report to DFG for approval. However, DFG had expressed some concern that the Rustin Ranch property was too far from Brentwood and additional discussions ensued between each respective agencies’ staff members. Recently DFG staff had indicated that they prefer the City to mitigate within Contra Costa County. Unfortunately the cost of purchasing 27 acres in Contra Costa County would have been cost prohibitive.

Parallel to these habitat mitigation discussions for the above referenced projects, the City has been an active participant in the East County Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The HCP establishes among other things the local mitigation of environmental impacts and financial contributions in lieu of purchasing mitigation property that would probably not be contiguous to an overall habitat area.

In recent discussions with DFG staff and City staff they have agreed that in lieu of purchasing this property, the City of Brentwood will make a financial contribution as mitigation to HCP. The amount set forth in the HCP for such a contribution would be approximately $300,000; however, City staff explained that this mitigation has been lingering on for time now and the City has been attempting to operate in a good faith effort. DFG staff agreed, therefore, the total contribution amount for all three projects will be $80,000, which should be shared between each project based upon the acreage each project needs to mitigate. The justification for the lesser amount is that the purchase price for the Rustin Ranch Property was going to be approximately $50,000 for the 27 acres and the City would be required to establish an endowment to maintain the habitat for perpetuity. The price for the endowment would have been approximately $30,000, hence the $80,000.

FISCAL IMPACT
The total cost of this habitat mitigation is $80,000, which has been included in the approved 2003/08 Capital Improvement Program Budget for each respective project. The cost per acre works out to be $2,962.97, and would be allocated to each project based upon the acreage each project needs to mitigate and is further depicted below:

Wastewater Treatment Plant 5 mgd Expansion, CIP Project No. 592-5911
13 Acres @ $2,962.97/acre = $38,518.61

Sunset Industrial Complex, CIP Project No. 336-3128
13 Acres @ $2962.97/acre = $38,518.61

Sunset Road Realignment, CIP Project No. 336-3012
1 Acre @ $2,962.78/acre* = $2,962.78

Total contribution to the HCP = $80,000

*The amount for the Sunset Road Realignment was reduced by 19 cents per acre to account for rounding associated with two significant figures.

Attachments:
Resolution
Site Maps
Letter from DFG Regarding Owl Habitat

RESOLUTION NO.

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AUTHORIZING STAFF TO EXECUTE NECESSARY DOCUMENTS TO THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME FOR THE NECESSARY HABITAT MITIGATION MEASURES FOR THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT 5 MGD EXPANSION, CIP PROJECT NO. 592-5911, SUNSET INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, CIP PROJECT NO. 336-3128 AND SUNSET ROAD REALIGNMENT, CIP PROJECT NO. 336-3012.

WHEREAS, as part of the environmental impact reports prepared for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Project (WWTP) and the Sunset Industrial Complex Project (SIC), the City has performed a biological assessment 30 days prior to the start of construction; and

WHEREAS, during this investigation, burrowing owls were found to occupy a portion of the site to be affected by the construction activities and a total of four burrowing owls were found on the WWTP and SIC sites respectively; and

WHEREAS, as part of the Sunset Road Realignment a stream bed alteration agreement was required from DFG for the bridge over Marsh Creek and one of the conditions of the permit was for the City to provide one acre of habitat mitigation due to the “temporal disruption of the site”; and

WHEREAS, it was agreed by City and DFG staff that the one acre of habitat for the Sunset Road Realignment would be burrowing owl habitat and included in the mitigation for the WWTP and SIC projects, for a total of 27 acres.

WHEREAS, the City identified a piece of property in San Joaquin County that encompassed approximately 400 acres of land that was slated as acceptable habitat for burrowing owls and the owner agreed to sell the property to the City for a sum of approximately $50,000, with an additional amount of approximately $30,000 required for a habitat endowment required for the preservation for this habitat for perpetuity; and

WHEREAS, DFG expressed concern that this property was too far from Brentwood and they prefer the City to mitigate within Contra Costa County, but the cost of purchasing 27 acres in Contra Costa County would be cost prohibitive; and

WHEREAS, City staff and DFG staff have agreed that in lieu of purchasing this property, the City of Brentwood will make a financial contribution to HCP in the amount of $80,000.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood, that staff is authorized to execute necessary documents to the California Department of Fish and Game for the necessary habitat mitigation measures and make a financial contribution to the East County Habitation Conservation Program (HCP) in the amount of $80,000.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting on the 27th day of April 2004 by the following vote:
 

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