CITY OF BRENTWOOD
SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING
November 16, 2005
A special meeting of the City Council of the City of Brentwood was called to
order at 6:03 p.m., at the Community Center, 730 Third Street, Brentwood, CA
94513, with Vice Mayor Gutierrez presiding.
Present: Council Members Beckstrand, Brockman, Gutierrez, Taylor
Absent: Mayor Swisher
PUBLIC COMMENTS (6:04 p.m.)
4. PUBLIC HEARING: Consider a Resolution certifying the Environmental Impact
Report (EIR); consider a Resolution to amend the General Plan (GPA 05-05);
consider an Ordinance to approve the Downtown Specific Plan (SP 05-01) and
consider an Ordinance to amend the City’s Zoning Ordinance (RZ 05-18)
creating a new zoning designation for the Downtown Specific Plan Project.
(H. Sword/J. Zilm)
Senior Planner, Jeff Zilm, presented a staff report explaining the Downtown
Specific Plan, noting the intent was to keep the Downtown a viable place to
live and work. Planning Commission had unanimously recommended approval of
the project at their October 24, 2005 meeting. He asked that Council certify
the EIR and the Mitigating Monitoring Plan, the General Plan Text Amendment
and a Map Amendment; approve the Downtown Plan itself with the amendments
proposed by staff and rezone amendment to the City’s Ordinance. He explained
the proposed Plan, informing that each district was set up with its own
development standards, which would regulate heights, setbacks, the
relationship to single-family homes that might be adjacent, frontages,
maximum building height and lengths, spaces between buildings open space in
the areas around them, street standards and block sizes. Changes and
refinements to the Plan were based on staff and public input and included
changing parking calculations for existing structures when the use was
changing, how to adapt the parking standards and make them consistent with
the recommendation by the traffic consultant and Institute of Transportation
Engineers recommendations. There was a change to the Downtown Specific
vision plan statement to reflect cultural attributes desired by the
community and revise the applicability section to address existing
structures and uses that were in the Plan now and what changes would be
allowed after the Plan took place. Signage and awning regulations were also
added to the Plan.
Council Member Taylor requested that copies be made available to anyone
needing them. Senior Planner Zilm said that copies were available on the
website and in the Planning Department for review.
Vice Mayor Gutierrez opened the public hearing.
Phillip Chatham spoke about his property at Indiana Avenue and Planning
Commission Resolution No. 86-12 adopted May 20, 1986, which he felt gave him
permission to add on to the nine existing houses and to develop the land
further. On August 26, 1986, Ordinance 397 was adopted regarding rezoning
the area to high density. In 1986/87 there had been completion on the first
unit and occupancy. The project was not continued and in 2001/02 he had
spoken to the City Attorney and planners who said he could continue the
project based on what had been done. Planners had asked him for higher
density so he built townhouses. He had submitted plans and there had been
approvals from the Fire Department on a tentative street improvement for
turnaround and he did not want to be restricted with the proposed roads or
traffic coming down from Oak Street and other areas. He asked that the
Resolutions in effect remain and that his project not be severely impacted
with the possibility of not being able to build.
Arnold Camba said he believed that the intersection off of Twain and Oak
Street was very poorly designed with the round-a-bout. Far too many cars
speed from Sellers through the intersection especially if there were games
or events in the downtown area and he asked that it be made a four-way stop.
He was in support of the Downtown Specific Plan.
George Gambel stated that the proposed apartment houses would abut his back
fence and there was already a minor traffic problem at the intersection of
Oak Street and Walnut Boulevard. He asked what mitigation factors were being
incorporated to alleviate traffic from the proposed apartment or townhouse
development. He said he believed a traffic light was needed at the
intersection of Dainty Avenue and Walnut Boulevard and that the Quik Stop,
located on the corner of Dainty and Walnut, was very handy and generated tax
dollars. He asked why it was proposed for removal. He said he did not like
the idea of having apartment dwellers looking over his back fence and would
not like the noise. He suggested an eight foot sound wall between the
proposed development and the abutting properties to the south. Years ago,
there had been a proposed development to the south, where Walnut Boulevard
curved from the north/south to the east/west and he had received a report of
a subsurface soil contamination with arsenic and he asked if the
environmental impact addressed that issue.
Tom Gregory stated that he was also speaking on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Fred
Merritt. He asked if the there were plans to widen the area of the highway
at the corner of Brentwood Boulevard and First Street. The Merritt’s had a
rental home there and he asked if both of the properties would be involved
in the widening of the street. The Merritt’s had received a letter
pertaining to BART and he asked what type of time frame would they be
looking at regarding the possible widening of the road and if the property
located on First Street was still zoned commercial. He asked about his
properties on Walnut Boulevard and Dainty Avenue, noting that the Dainty
property was for commercial lease and he was wondering if he could rent it
as a professional office building since the change would be made in the
Pat Lindsey said she was a property owner in the area, noting that the
property was currently in the commercial zone and the map showed
residential. She asked that the property remain commercial.
Leslie Servin stated that her back fence abutted the western corridor plan
and she was opposed to any multilevel homes that may be placed there. There
was a problem with the mobile home park behind her since the mobile homes
sat on a foundation which brought the view over her back fence and they
could look into her bedroom window. A single level dwelling would be
alright. She asked what would be done about the noise, lights, and traffic.
Byron Bonnickson asked how many houses, rentals, businesses were involved in
the Plan. He asked why this was being done and if the notice was sent out to
Spanish speaking people in Spanish and if an interpreter was present. He
suggested that this be placed on the next ballot for election and if anyone
had been grandfathered in.
Barbara Guise said that Chestnut Street, between Brentwood Boulevard and
First Street, was not considered commercial and they did not receive lights
in the trees. She was in support of Pat Lindsay and she asked to see
Chestnut Street, from Brentwood Boulevard to First Street, be considered
part of downtown city commercial.
Louella Norton noted that she lived on Brentwood Boulevard and it was to be
rezoned from COR to DT and she did not know what that zoning consisted of to
make her residence in compliance. She would like to preserve the old in the
area. She said that there were citizens and Hispanic families that did not
understand the letters received. She was concerned that her family home
would be lost and that would not preserve or enhance the downtown area.
It was moved/seconded by Beckstrand/Taylor to close the public hearing.
Motion carried. Mayor Swisher absent.
In response to questions posed by Vice Mayor Gutierrez regarding public
comments, Senior Planner Zilm stated that Mr. Chatham had seven to eight
buildings that were leased out to people and was currently working with
staff to make his plan work. There were no current project submittals from
Mr. Chatham, who had brought forth plans to discuss with Planners and to
create a plan on how to move forward. He proceeded to explain proposed
changes to the area should the area develop the way the Plan said it could.
Council Member Taylor noted that Indiana Avenue was extremely narrow and
asked how the routing of emergency vehicles would impact what could be built
Senior Planner Zilm said when development occurred, the road would not be
same as it was today and would need to be based upon the development and
there would need to be some other access out of that area and a potential
access point had been shown on the map.
Senior Planner Zilm addressed the traffic issue spoken about by Mr. Camba,
noting that the Specific Plan and the EIR had been done as a whole. He said
he could not point out where development would or would not occur and he
would need to wait until a development occurred before it could be analyzed.
Director of Community Development, Howard Sword, explained that when an
application came in, it would be processed and an environmental document
would be done on it and hearings held. This was a program EIR, not a project
Council Member Beckstrand explained that with a project such as the Downtown
Specific Plan, Council wanted to mold and shape the Downtown and overlay a
vision to transition the area into. She said what was overlaid did not mean
that the City would come in and change all of it in the next year but the
overlay was the vision for what it would probably look like in 20 to
30-years from now. If someone wanted to stay in a home for 40-years that had
a different overlay, it could be done since that property would be
considered grandfathered in. If the family no longer wanted the property, it
could be purchased by someone with a vision who could work together with the
City pertaining to the new overlay.
Senior Planner Zilm stated that the City was not forcing anyone to do
anything and the Quik Stop could remain there. The City wanted to continue
to work with people in order to continue economic development.
Senior Planner Zilm spoke regarding the wall requested by Mr. Gambel, noting
that the Code said whenever a commercial project abutted a residential
project, there must be a sound wall there. If a sound wall was needed, it
would be installed. He said he was not aware of arsenic contamination in the
area described, and the EIR did not go into that detail but if a project
went onto that site, a project EIR with specific environmental work would be
done. The soil would be analyzed and if arsenic was in the soil, it would
need to be mitigated before anything could be built on it.
Senior Planner Zilm responded to Mr. Gregory’s questions about specific
properties, noting that the City Engineer would be able to assist regarding
the widening of Brentwood Boulevard and that the homes would remain there
until the widening happened.
Council Member Beckstrand commented that as long as Caltrans owned Brentwood
Boulevard, and operated it as Highway 4, there would not be any widening due
to funding. Once the Bypass opened, tentatively scheduled for December 2007,
the finalization of the relinquishment process, involving the California
highway system, would convey that road back to the City. The City could then
look at what could be done to make the road fit the standard of City roads.
It would be a minimum of three years before the widening could begin.
Senior Planner Zilm continued with regard to Mr. Gregory’s questions by
stating that the only office allowed was along Central Boulevard and it was
proposed to allow for three clusters, where only one cluster was allowed
before at the termination of Oak Street. If one of the sites turned into a
BART station site, it would place three clusters close together and did not
allow for office space since office could occur along Central Boulevard. As
long as the use was a commercial use and the intensity use was not any
greater than what was there now, Mr. Gregory would be allowed to lease the
property as commercial but he could not change it into a use that was not
allowed in the area.
Council Member Beckstrand stated that any contracts or conditional use
permits entered into or undergone by Mr. Gregory prior to the Ordinance
taking effect would be under the current zoning.
Vice Mayor Gutierrez and Council Member Taylor asked about the Lindsey and
Senior Planner Zilm said that one of the recommendations from staff and
Planning Commission was that the properties be changed to the Downtown core.
Since two of the three parcels were entrenched in a retail business and the
likelihood of them changing to residential was minimal. There were residents
on all four corners close by so staff felt that there was no need to change
and it would be left residential.
Vice Mayor Gutierrez asked about Mrs. Servant’s comments, noting that she
had opposed multi-level homes next to her home and she spoke about noise and
Senior Planner Zilm said a project EIR and analysis would be done if and
when a project would occur and if it needed to be mitigated for noise or
traffic, the project would be tagged with those as conditions of approval.
Vice Mayor Gutierrez asked about Mr. Bonnickson’s comments and questions.
When the City had first started the community involvement plans,
transmitters were purchased for access by translators. It was an option and
was available upon request.
Senior Planner Zilm stated that the plans were not available in Spanish;
however, there were Spanish speaking people available in the office to
translate and that service could be provided.
Vice Mayor Gutierrez said that Mrs. Norton spoke about the rezone for her
Brentwood Boulevard property.
Senior Planner Zilm stated that there were about eight or nine zones in her
area, and it was proposed to eliminate all of those zones and create one
zone for the entire area and call it the Downtown Zone. There would be six
districts created within the downtown area and it would be a transition from
the current to the new Downtown Code.
Vice Mayor Gutierrez asked what the long term mitigation plan was and Senior
Planner Zilm responded that it boiled down to what uses would go there. If a
certain use generated a lot of parking, the use would be analyzed and if it
called for a downtown parking structure, that would be part of the condition
of approval. If it was a small business with parking for one or two, it
would be analyzed to see if the parking was adequate.
It was moved/seconded by Taylor/Beckstrand to waive full reading and adopt
Resolution No. 2005-275 certifying the Environmental Impact Report and
approving the Mitigation Monitoring Plan for the development of the Downtown
Specific Plan. Motion carried. Mayor Swisher absent.
It was moved/seconded by Beckstrand/Taylor to waive full reading and adopt
Resolution No. 2005-276 approving a General Plan Text and Map Amendment (GPA
05-05) of the Land Use Element to change the Medium Density (M), Schools (S)
and Public Facility (PF) Land Use designations within the Specific Plan area
to the Downtown (DT) Land Use designation. Motion carried. Mayor Swisher
It was moved/seconded by Beckstrand/Gutierrez to waive first reading and
introduce Ordinance No. 817 approving the Downtown Specific Plan (SP 05-01),
the Addendum to the Specific Plan and the development standards for all the
properties located within the Downtown Specific Plan area. Motion carried.
Mayor Swisher absent.
It was moved/seconded by Taylor/Brockman to waive first reading and
introduce Ordinance No. 818 approving a Rezone Amendment (RZ 05-18) to the
City’s Zoning Ordinance changing the Central Business (CB), Thoroughfare
Commercial (C-3), Commercial/Office/ Business (COB),
Commercial/Office/Residential (COR), Single Family Residential (R-1-6),
Moderate Density Residential (R-2), High Density Residential (R-3), Open
Space (OS), Planned Development (PD) 37, Industrial Commercial (IC) and
Public Facility (PF) zoning designations to a new Downtown (DT) zoning
designation for the Downtown Specific Plan area and remove the Central
Business District (CB), PD-37, and Industrial Commercial (IC) zoning
designations from the Brentwood Municipal Code and adopt a new zoning
designation for the Downtown (DT) Zoning District and all relevant
development regulations, standards and uses regulations contained within.
Motion carried. Mayor Swisher absent.
5. NEW BUSINESS – Selection of a preferred eBart station site within the
City of Brentwood. (H. Sword/W. Rhodes)
Senior Planner, Winston Rhodes, introduced Trent Leftco and Ellen Smith,
Ellen Smith, BART, said there were six stations along the proposed 23-mile
rail extension into eastern Contra Costa County: Railroad Avenue, Pittsburg;
L Street, Antioch; Hillcrest, Antioch; Empire Avenue/Neroly Avenue,
Oakley/Antioch; Brentwood and Byron/Discovery Bay. The estimated capital
costs in 2002 were $377 million and BART was working toward being in service
Trent Leftco, BART, spoke about station site options: Site No. 1 was O’Hara
Avenue, which had room for substantial surface parking or parking structure,
its shape and size allowed for design flexibility and it had relatively low
land acquisition costs. Some of the constraints were that it was the
furthest location from Downtown core, would require a long walk to Downtown
on pedestrian unfriendly streets and had potential conflicts with existing
bus service. Site No. 2 was Central Avenue/Walnut Boulevard, which was
located adjacent to Downtown, had a moderate amount of surface parking
available and sufficient land for structure if necessary and had the lowest
land acquisition costs. Some constraints were that the parcel shape moved
the platform away from parking lots and there was less available area for
surface parking, compared to O’Hara. Site No. 3 was Maple/Walnut
Boulevard/Oak Street, which used the existing Park ‘n Ride lot, would direct
pedestrian access to Downtown via Oak Street and was convenient by
automobile and bicycle access. Some constraints were that there was limited
area for surface parking; insufficient space for parking structure, two
parcels were required and tenant relocations needed and the land acquisition
costs were high. Site No. 4, Oak Street/Brentwood Boulevard, was located
adjacent to Downtown, had direct pedestrian access via Oak Street and was
convenient for automobile and bicycle access. Some constraints were that
there was the least amount of area available for parking, two parcels would
be required and tenant relocations needed and it was the highest land
Senior Planner, Winston Rhodes, stated that many different agencies were
working together to obtain funding to bring mass transit to East Contra
Costa County. Staff requested that Council provide direction on a preferred
site that would be analyzed further. He said staff recommended Station Site
No. 2 as the preferred Brentwood eBart station location for further study
and environmental review.
Bob Bach stated he was the owner of the Quik Stop and Brentwood Laundromat
located on Walnut Boulevard, which was Site Location No. 3. He said he did
not wish to sell and wanted to continue with the business. He asked Council
to consider Site No. 2 as the preferred location.
Sam Baranbo said he worked for Quik Stop and asked that a site be selected
other than the site close to the business. He asked Council to consider the
impacts of their decision.
Claudia Brown said she lived in the vicinity of Dainty and Walnut and she
asked that Council not select Site No. 2. There were hardly any riders on
the buses now and said she felt it would be a waste since the buses sat
empty with no one on them. She did not want a train station in her backyard.
Allen Payton, Vice President of ETRANS USA, said he was working to bring a
private electric transit system to the East Bay, which was much lest costly
than the preferred alternative system known as eBart. It was an elevated
system that did not have a problem with cross traffic and was much quieter.
He asked that Council be aware of the system in their selection of sites
since this alternative could offer more than just one site or station
because of cost and the amount of space needed for a station location.
Neil Garcia-Sinclair, President of Cybertram International, spoke about the
Cybertram system he was developing, which had been originally developed at
the U.S. Department of Energy and was privately commercialized in 1998. The
system was automated and consisted of approximately 20-passenger vehicles
that ran autonomously, which meant that the structure required to carry the
vehicles was much less extensive than it would be to carry a 100,000-pound
vehicle and was more like a 10,000-pound vehicle so a lot of the
infrastructure costs would be dropped since it ran automated. Stations were
off of the main line and were more like a freeway off-ramp/on-ramp and if no
one was waiting for transportation, it would keep moving. It was more energy
efficient and could be operated on demand and direct the destination. The
system was not currently in passenger service and a demo was planned with
agencies in the East Bay. It would be three years before a system with
passengers would be running. He was not in opposition to BART and he
intended to continue along the development path and to reach passenger usage
within three years. He added that there may be a point in time where Council
would have the additional option of his system.
Council Member Brockman said Site No. 2 seemed most logical since BART owned
part of the property and the City owned part of the property and acquisition
costs would be nominal. It was a higher density area and would be perfect.
He encouraged the Cybertram system to work with BART. He asked which
location the County was considering for a BART station in Byron/Discovery
Mr. Leftco said that one location was at Marsh Creek Road, where it
intersected with the right-of-way and the other site under consideration was
Council Member Brockman said the County was looking at placing a station at
Marsh Creek Road in the middle of the agricultural core where there was no
Council Member Beckstrand said some sites could be mitigated much better and
more to the satisfaction of the community than others.
It was moved/seconded by Beckstrand/Taylor to approve the selection of
Station Site No. 2 in Downtown Brentwood as the preferred Brentwood eBart
station location for further study and environmental review. Motion carried.
Mayor Swisher absent.
6. Selection of a preferred Empire Avenue/Neroly Road eBart station site.
(H. Sword/W. Rhodes)
Trent Leftco said that the site was well served by the arterial network and
Neroly Road would be realigned and the Oakley portion would sit between
Empire/Neroly and the right-of-way. Slatten Ranch Road would be extended in
Antioch and the station would sit between Slatten Ranch Road and the
right-of-way. The parking count at the site would be 1,100 spaces and
surface parking could be taken, converted to mixed use and have the parking
be structured or within the development project itself. If the City of
Antioch endorsed the Empire Avenue/Neroly Road location, there would be a
ridership development plan processed for that station and the process would
be collaboration between the cities of Oakley, Brentwood and Antioch.
Senior Planner, Winston Rhodes, stated that as the ridership development
plan phase of studying eBart was entered into, there would be a detailed
analysis of the areas within one half mile radius of each station location.
Portions of the Empire Triangle and Rose Garden, fell within the one half
mile radius. All three cities would be working together on transit
supportive land uses. He recommended that Council endorse the Empire
Avenue/Neroly Road eBart station site for further study and environmental
It was moved/seconded by Taylor/Beckstrand to approve the preferred Empire
Avenue/Neroly Road eBart station site. Motion carried. Mayor Swisher absent.
It was moved/seconded by Taylor/Beckstrand to adjourn the special meeting.
Motion carried. Mayor Swisher absent. There being no further business the
special meeting was adjourned at 8:04 p.m.
Cynthia Garcia, CMC
Assistant City Clerk