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Current Council Agenda and Past Meeting Information



Meeting Date: August 28, 2007

Subject/Title: Discussion of requests by residents for public improvements in existing developments

Prepared by: Casey McCann, Assistant Community Development Director

Submitted by: Howard Sword, Community Development Director

Because this is a discussion item, no action is required. The City Council is requested to discuss this matter, and if necessary, provide any direction to staff.

On October 24, 2006, the City Council adopted Resolution No: 2006-269, amending a Council/Administrative Policy for the funding of public improvements in existing developments, neighborhoods, and subdivisions.

At the Land Use and Development (“LUD”) subcommittee meeting on June 21, 2007, two residents from Madrone Place, who adjoin a proposed KB Home residential project on the north side of Balfour Road, complained that noise levels along Balfour Road are excessive and are negatively affecting their quality of life. They are recommending that a replacement wall be installed and that its cost should not be paid by the residents. Staff has informed the residents that established policy does not provide for the City to pay for public improvements in existing developments and that their request is inconsistent with previous meetings staff has held with this neighborhood. At the LUD meeting, Council Member Becnel indicated that this matter would be placed on a future City Council agenda as a discussion item.

Staff receives, on a regular basis, inquiries from residents who want to know if the City will pay for the installation or construction of a variety of public improvements, including street lights, masonry walls, wooden fences, sewer and water utilities, and landscaping. Public improvements are typically required, within the limits of the Subdivision Map Act, when the City adopts conditions of approval for new developments. Frequently, however, residents in existing neighborhoods will request that new or upgraded improvements be provided. For example, staff is currently responding to three separate resident requests for replacement fences or walls.

In 2006, the City Council adopted a Council/Administrative Policy to establish budget and fiscal policies for user fee cost recovery, capital financing, and debt management. Policy 1.2 specifically states:

1.2 Objective for Funding Public Improvements in Existing Developments, Neighborhoods and Subdivisions

1.2.1 City funding for new or improved public improvements in existing developments, neighborhoods and subdivisions shall be the financial responsibility of the adjacent or benefiting parcels. If the aforementioned improvements are desired by the property owners, then they shall enter into a financing mechanism, such as assessment or benefit district, that will cover the full costs of the improvements to repay the City its full soft and hard costs in a timeframe that is acceptable to the City.

The intent of the City Council in establishing this policy is to ensure that the costs are directly paid by those property owners who would specifically benefit from the public improvements – and not from the general fund. When residents request improvements, staff informs them of the established policy and provides assistance in considering funding options, such as assessment or benefit district.

This discussion item has no associated action that could result in a fiscal impact to the City. However, if the City Council were to direct staff to re-evaluate the existing Council/Administrative Policy, a study would be necessary to assess the anticipated fiscal impact upon the City’s budget.

1. City Council Resolution No. 2006-269


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