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MINUTES
CITY OF BRENTWOOD
REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY MEETING
October 28, 2003

A regular meeting of the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Brentwood was called to order at 5:33 p.m. in the Council Chambers located at 734 Third Street, with Chairman Swisher presiding.

Present: Agency Members Beckstrand, Gutierrez, Hill, Petrovich and Chairman Swisher
Absent: None

AGENDA REVIEW – None.

CITIZEN COMMENTS – None.

CONSENT ITEM

Consent calendar items acted up separately.

Item 1 Approve Minutes of September 9, 2003.

It was moved/seconded by Swisher/Gutierrez to approve Item 1. Council Member Petrovich abstained. Motion carried.

Item 2 Approve Minutes of September 23, 2003.

It was moved/seconded by Swisher/Petrovich to approve Item 2. Council Member Beckstrand abstained. Motion carried.

Item 3 Approve Warrant List dated October 28, 2003.

It was moved/seconded by Swisher/Hill to approve Consent Calendar Item 3 as recommended by staff. Motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS

1. Hear re-presentation of November 26, 2002, Downtown Retail/Parking Structure Phase I Report; Re-affirm or Deny Past Actions and Directions regarding Proposed Retail/Parking Structure in Downtown Area; Engage in Discussion and Take Actions Regarding the Addition of New Study Areas a Potential Retail/Parking Structure; and Engage in Discussion and Take Action regarding the Investigation of Developing First Street into a Pedestrian Mall.

Redevelopment Manager, Gina Rozenski, stated that the comprehensive economic development plan adopted by Council in 2001, identified the ability of the downtown area to support an additional 80,000 square feet of restaurant and shopping space, 40,000 in the next five to ten years and the remaining 40,000 over the remaining 20 years. The recommendation was further strengthened by the strategies and program for a vital town center prepared by Gruen & Gruen and accepted by the Redevelopment Agency in May 2003. Both reports recommended the creation of the kind of Main Street environment that enhanced shopping opportunities, encouraged pedestrian oriented atmosphere and promoted cultural and community functions in the downtown. With construction of the Bypass and regional shopping centers along the City boarders, the City’s action plan cautioned that the continued success of the town’s center was at a crossroads. The City needed to invest in the downtown by attracting additional retail and restaurant uses to create and sustain a robust town center market. The representation of the highlights of the first report, dated November 26, 2002, represented further study, examination, community input and deliberation by the Agency of the potential project. Heather Horn and Michelle Windler of Watry Design would, once again, present the information of November 26, 2002 regarding design alternatives, construction cost estimates, retail square footage in each alternative, net new stalls, cost per stall and other important details. She stated that Chapter 5 in the first report did not intentionally recommend a type of architecture but rather described the level of architectural and landscaping treatments used in the cost opinions and had received a high level of the treatments. The actual finish and treatments would take shape if the project moved past the examination phase and when an architect was chosen for the project.

The Agency had invited David Gates, and the urban design consultant from the 1991 downtown streetscape improvements. To present sketches of possible architectural and landscaping treatments for retail parking structure. To assist Agency Members, the audience and the community at large, Community Development was presenting the potential design level and pedestrian experience available for such projects.

Heather Horn, Watry Design, presented the Phase I report, noting that Study Area 1 was located on Brentwood Boulevard and was bounded by Oak Street and Maple Street; Study Area 2 was located on Second Street and bounded by Oak and Maple Streets and Study Area 4 was located on First Street and would be bounded by Chestnut Street and an alley. Several options had been looked at, which could be placed on multiple sites. Option A could be placed on Study Area 1 or 2 and was a park-on ramp and have a sloped surface where people could park at 90 degrees with generous-sized stalls. There would be approximately 24,000 square feet of retail, which would hide the ramp in back. She explained the circulation route and noted that there would be 337 stalls in this option and that the 24,000 square feet of retail would need 119 stalls, leaving a net new stall of 218. The option was similar to Options A and AS and the floor plan and flow were the same and the only difference between the two options was that one had sheer walls and the other did not and the sheer wall option was more cost effective. Option B was a smaller option and could fit on any one of the three sites and was specifically sized to fit on Site 4 and could also fit on site 1 or 2. The stalls were the same as the other option and on the ground floor, it had 20,000 square feet of retail, which would be on the front portion facing First Street and a portion would be facing Chestnut. She explained the circulation route and noted that a light well was in the middle and would allow fresh air and natural light into the structure. There would be 264 stalls in this option and 20,000 square feet of retail and would need 100 stalls, leaving a net new stall of 164.

Agency Member Petrovich asked if this option could be reversed and Ms. Horn responded that all of the options could be imaged and that it could face Oak Street instead of Chestnut Street, if it was on Lot 4.

Ms. Horn said Option C had similar circulation to Option B and was lengthened to fit on either Study Area 1 or 2 and would have approximately 30,000 square feet of retail that wrapped around all three sides of the building and would hide the parking in the center of the structure. She explained that the circulation was the same as Option B and provided 373 stalls and the retail requirement would 155 for a total of 218 net new stalls. All three Options assumed very high levels of construction to meet City standards.

David Gates, Watry Design, presented conceptual photos of the proposed structure.

Manager Rozenski noted that two additional study areas had been suggested to site a potential retail parking structure. The first site identified as potential was Study Area 6, which included the Veterans Hall to the north and Sweeney’s restaurant on the south. The reason for the suggestion was twofold and it facilitated the Gruens’ recommendation that First Street be a catalyst for the northerly expansion of the downtown and it was located in the center of downtown. The second study area, identified as Study Area 7, included the old Centromart, the existing Police Station, the Highway Rooms, a residence and a couple of vacant parcels. The ten unit apartment complex was not included in the proposed study because of the significant relocation expenses associated with it. The fiscal impact associated with the addition of either of the study areas in the continued examination and investigation stage included the cost for the additional studies, such as land assemblage estimates, site contamination studies, environmental impact report, traffic and engineering studies and new parking structure design. If a new site was included, at the pleasure of the Agency, Community Development requested that the approval of the environmental impact report in the Phase I site assessment contracts be postponed to accommodate the new study areas in that scope and would come back to the Agency with new agreements. Staff requested that Agency discuss and take action on Area 7 for the investigation of the closing of First Street between Oak and Chestnut Streets, and to develop First Street into a covered pedestrian mall. The fiscal impact of such a development, should the Agency wish to investigate that area, would include additional studies such as mall construction estimates, traffic studies and economic impact on businesses that were only pedestrian accessible. Staff requested that the Agency, following citizen comments, discussion, and deliberation, take actions on Items 1 – 4, in the staff report, Items 5 – 6 for additional study areas and Item 7 to investigate the creation of a pedestrian mall.

Steven Hendrickson said he felt that his livelyhood was threatened and he represented his family’s interest in the preferred site by the Redevelopment Agency where the proposed parking garage was to be built on Second Street. He had placed balloons to represent the 50 foot top floor level of the proposed, huge building. He said that the City would force him to sell or seize his property to build the project and he would be forced out of business downtown. He objected with the City interfering with private enterprise. The planned parking garage could have up to 32,000 square feet of commercial rental space and be in direct competition with privately owned real estate and he objected the City being in the real estate business and it violated his rights as a property owner. He objected to the whole concept and said it would dominate the area and ruin it. He said a rented parking lot was under utilized and occupied by City vehicles. He said he believed that people had the right to know what was going on and that the public should have the right to vote on it.

Steve Bridges said he was a business owner in the downtown area and was concerned about parking downtown. He had been promised last February that parking would be enforced downtown and that had not been done and 50 percent of parking was taken by people who work downtown. Rejuvenated downtown areas did not allow office space on ground levels. There was more office space on First Street than there was retail since retail space had gone away and office space had come in. He believed that parking needed to be enforced before a new structure would be put in and only half full. He knew someone that would not bring their business downtown because of the parking and impact to the customers. He was opposed for the site at the park but something needed to be done.

Chris Moser said he was a broker and was in favor of a parking structure for the City. As a citizen, he stated he was not happy with the project. The City needed a parking structure in the downtown area. He explained that he had potential business clients for the downtown area that would not bring their businesses there because of the lack of pedestrian traffic and lack of parking. He said that the Lone Tree Way corridor had priced most of the small local retail out of the market since the rents were excessive. The City should strive for a jobs-to-housing balance and encourage a community that was self sufficient and would reduce commute trips and the parking structure with the proposed amount of retail would do that. The parking structure would retain and encourage an intensification of a retail office and entertainment uses in the downtown and direct the City’s civic and cultural uses to locate downtown. He said he believed that the project was struggling because there was a conflict of interest and because of outreach to the community and that many of the decisions made were from the Economic Development Subcommittee. His solution was a steering committee headed by Agency Member Beckstrand with two members of the Planning Commission, Steve Padgett and Jeff Schultz, along with a member of the Arts Commission and three citizens at large. He said he believed that they should continue to have more public outreach meetings and give a recommendation to the RDA based on the location and size of the project.

Laine Lawrence said she was concerned about the height of the structure and it would be massive. She had attended three general plan committees and everyone had come in and presented their vision of how they would like to see the City. People wanted to keep the small town feel of downtown and she believed that it was important to keep that. She was happy with the downtown right now. Mr. Gates had designed the streets and sidewalks and trees and it was nice. She said she was not opposed to parking or a parking garage or buildings on the lower floor but she was opposed to the height. She said she would rather have the Redevelopment Agency money spent in the north part of the City and that those people need infrastructure and a second village-like area needed to be developed in the western part of the City. She asked the Agency to consider the size of the project and encouraged the Agency to take their time. The City had retained a unique character in the town and it should be planned and done right.

Barbara Guise was not in support of the height of the structure because of safety and traffic. There was gridlock at 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. when students went in and out and it would be a major problem with the parking structure there and could create problems such as graffiti and the homeless who would love to sleep in the parking structure. The structure would impact viable businesses for one or more years and the building would utilize redevelopment funds, which should be used for blighted areas. The Highway rooms should be revitalized and the Police structure was already owned by the City and it made more sense for a parking structure. The location at Second Street would deter pedestrian traffic and would be better to make it at Brentwood Boulevard so that people could walk to the park for concerts and so that foot traffic would be increased and people would experience the downtown area and utilize shops. A parking garage at Second Street would destroy the quaintness of the City and she had heard that people liked the quaintness of downtown area. The present parking lot where the structure would go was underutilized and when the Police were out that parking lot it could be used and expanded to take care of concerts in the park. The office people parked on the street and that was the problem and that was why the City did not have much parking. She asked that Agency not destroy the ambience of the downtown area.

Karen Rogge said she worked downtown and that the structure was too high and the location was important. She said she had been to all of the meetings and that she was not happy with the location across the street from Liberty because it would be difficult to enforce and the location on Brentwood Boulevard because it was not condusive to restaurants and sidewalks. She said that Area 7 was excellent and that the Police Department would be an excellent location. She did not want to impact houses or apartments that were there and Brentwood Boulevard would be an excellent location. She said she would like to see three stories instead of four and noted that it would be excellent to have the retail front on to Chestnut Street and Brentwood Boulevard would be at the entrance.

Ed Stack said he was Chairman of Redevelopment Project Area Committee and shared concerns with the Agency regarding the parking. It was the general consensus of the Committee that across from the park was not a good location and that they liked the smaller unit, Number 4, and the general consensus was that Area 7 made the most sense. The Committee had looked at the cost of installing underground parking instead of having a high building but the cost per square parking space went up dramatically. Having a two story would not create enough parking spaces. The general consensus of the group was area Area 7 and did not include the Centromart and when realizing that the Centromart was a possibility and that Highway 4 would be widened, that area made more sense and would tie in with the end of First Street. The Committee objected to the parking with angled ramps since it was difficult for elderly people and suggested that if the Agency decided to do a parking ramp, angle parking would be better, even if spaces were lost.

Pat Lindsay said she was a business owner in the downtown area at Brentwood Liquors and was in favor of the parking structure. There had been a parking problem and the parking was much needed. The parking lot that the City had for City cars was being used by merchants. She said she preferred the site across the street from the park since it was centrally located. The small site behind Rich’s Drive-in was had been sold to the City. The homeless people would stay in the parking structure and she did not foresee the high school students parking there, and she said she believed that could be remedied.

Barbara Bonnickson spoke about Second Street across from the park and spoke about the community feeling for the park and what would be lost if a big tall structure would be placed across from the park. She said it was important for the Agency to have affection for the park. She read a historical article given to Agency Members and said she hoped that Agency would have an alternate decision.

Patrick McKerran pointed out that a 35-foot structure would take away from the quaintness of the town. He was concerned about a structure taking away from the entrance at Walnut and Oak Streets. He said that Area 7 made sense to him and was two blocks from the City park and had a lot of functions held there and this would revitalize blighted areas. He noted that a steering committee was a good idea and asked the Agency not rush into this. He added that people moved into the City for the quaintness of the downtown area.

Ron Nunn said he agreed with Barbara Guise and Laine Lawrence. It was important to protect and keep the ambience in the small town. He asked to make the town survive and thrive and make it convenient to get here and make it convenient to park. He said he believed that more investigation needed to be done on Area 7 since it was close to the retail areas and the structure would be across from the park. The area was blighted and this would be an opportunity to incorporate some of the widening of Highway 4. To keep the City viable, the City would need to grow around the town and not just on one side.

Gregg Robinson said that additional parking was needed downtown. He agreed that the new Area 7 would allow more retail and parking and the area needed to be cleaned up. He asked that parking be enforced downtown more and that if the parking structure would be paid parking or free parking, time limit parking or all day parking. If a time frame was placed on the parking, the City would be back to the same situation and if people were working for eight hours in a day to park, they could not park for two hours.

Agency Member Hill said that there was a problem with parking and that it needed to be dealt with, whether it be enforcement or more parking. He said Area 7 should be studied and there was a piece of Area 7 that needed to be incorporated, which was the economic viability of the retail space, which was a component of financing the overall project. He asked that Area 7 be investigated and that there needed to be some economic viability.

Chairman Swisher asked about Area 4 and Agency Member Hill said that Area 4 was the half block option and it was cost prohibitive based on the lack of number of net new stalls and square footage of new retail, which would balance that out and push the overall cost up. The larger structure in the sense of geographical space yielded better economic sense and he agreed with eliminating Area 4.

Agency Member Beckstrand said she liked the full block options and as these were studied, the Agency looked at netting more parking spaces. Any of the other options for less than the full block or anything else less than two stories, ended up with basically the same amount of spaces that the City already had and it did not make sense to go through with it and would not be the best use of Redevelopment Agency dollars. She reaffirmed removing options B and BS, the partial block structures, and asked to continue studying full block strictures in Area 7, keeping in mind that the downtown would expand to the north. The Agency wanted to spend the money on something they would be glad about ten to twenty years down the road.

Agency Member Petrovich said that Agency had not affirmed what Agency Member Beckstrand had wanted to reaffirm and noted that the staff report had said it the was the Subcommittee and that the Redevelopment Agency had not affirm that. He was in favor of looking at the ¾ block option in Study Area 4 with the mall concept and to make First Street a mini-mall and parking from the currently-owned City parking lot up to the Lindsay building. He would like to tie the architecture of that building into the parking structure a mall. He favored Option 7, which was a great location for parking and retail. Option 6 was as bad as the one across from the park and the one on Highway 4. He said that there could be a problem with obtaining that property where the legion was because it may be deed restricted and was dedicated as a Veteran’s building. He said he building was not blighted and it was a terrible place to put a structure that could be up to 50 feet tall. Option 6 was all right but was just as bad as Options 1 and 2.

Agency Member Gutierrez asked to look into Area 7 and the property on Chestnut and exploring how the Agency could use it to develop the City economically and still maintain some of the hallmark features that the City was known for. The downtown attracted so many people and there were landmarks in the center of the City that were kept the same even if the City was growing and for that reason she would shy away from Option 2 across from the park. A strong sense of maintaining the downtown and the unique characteristic of the City. She was concerned that the kids would use the parking across from the school for parking if Option 2 was chosen and she asked to explore Option 7.

Chairman Swisher agreed that if parking was not enforced on the streets now, a parking structure would not help. He liked placing the structure so that people would have to walk past the businesses and shops to get to events or to get to parking since it would bring in foot traffic. Option 7 needed be looked at and the 35 foot height ordinance would need to be complied with and looked into since he had heard that anything above that would take away from the quaint downtown.

1. It was moved/seconded by Swisher/Beckstrand to eliminate Options B and B-s (the ¾ block options) from further investigation. Petrovich opposed

Agency Member Petrovich clarified that this had never been affirmed by the vote of the Agency.

2. It was moved/seconded by Beckstrand/Hill to direct staff to take a new action regarding the second phase of investigation include a blending of Options A-s and C-s, with additional 5,000 square feet of retail space in Option A-s, and an analysis of increasing the parking stalls in A-s to accommodate the on-site parking needs for the additional 5,000 square feet of retail space. This recommendation was based on the desire to effectively compare the parking structures on equal footing as it relates to retail space, number of stalls, and costs per stall. Petrovich opposed.

Agency Member Petrovich said that this had never been affirmed by the vote of the Agency.

3. It was moved/seconded by Gutierrez/Hill to accept the Downtown Parking Structure Phase I Report, and direct staff to commission Watry to conduct the secondary study to include, among other issues, a site selection analysis. Petrovich opposed.

Agency Member Petrovich restated his objection that this had never been affirmed.

4. It was moved/seconded by Hill/Beckstrand to direct staff to incorporate option ES in the ongoing Phase II investigation. Petrovich opposed.

5. It was moved/seconded by Hill/Beckstrand moved to disapprove the addition of Study Area 6. Motion carried unanimously.

6. It was moved/seconded by Hill/Beckstrand to approve the addition of Study Area 7 for investigation to site a potential retail/parking structure. Motion carried unanimously.

7. It was moved/seconded by Petrovich/ to approve the investigation of closing First Street between Oak and Chestnut Streets and developing First Street into a covered pedestrian mall and incorporating a retail/parking structure. Motion failed for lack of second.

It was moved/seconded by Gutierrez/Hill to disapprove the investigation of closing First Street between Oak and Chestnut Streets and developing First Street into a covered pedestrian mall and incorporating a retail/parking structure. Petrovich opposed.

NEW BUSINESS

5. Authorize Executive Director to execute a Professional Services Agreement with Raney Planning & Management, Inc., (RPM) to prepare the required Environmental Impact Report for a Potential Retail/Parking Structure in Downtown District, authorize Executive Director to execute change orders up to 10% of the contract amount, and approve a Resolution authorizing the Agency Treasurer to use funds from the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Brentwood Tax Allocation Bonds, Series 2001, to fund this Agreement.

It was moved/seconded by Beckstrand/Hill to continue Item 5 to a date uncertain. Motion carried unanimously.

6. Authorize Executive Director to execute a Professional Services Agreement with Consolidated Engineering Laboratories to perform the Phase I Environmental Site Assessments for the required Environmental Impact Report for a Potential Retail/Parking Structure in Downtown District, and approve a Resolution authorizing the Agency Treasurer to use Funds from the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Brentwood Tax Allocation Bonds, Series 2001, to fund this Agreement.

It was moved/seconded by Beckstrand/Hill to continue Item 6 to a date uncertain. Motion carried unanimously.

7. Approve Resolution authorizing the reservation of Low/Moderate Housing Funds in an amount not to exceed $225,000 for development of the Habitat for Humanity Fairview Project, and direct staff to prepare the necessary documents and agreements to support the project.

Redevelopment Manager, Gina Rozenski, stated that the Mt. Diablo Habitat for Humanity was proposing to build four single family dwelling units, on a parcel located on Fairview Avenue, south of Arlington Way. The .65 piece of land that Pulte had tentatively and verbally agreed with Habitat for Humanity to sell the parcel for one dollar to the Mt. Diablo Habitat for Humanity, which was a non profit organization that provided affordable homes for lower income households through volunteer labor, tax deductible donations of money and materials. They built modest, decent and affordable homes in the communities. Habitat had a selection committee that reviewed applications and interviewed applicants in their homes and families were selected based on three primary criteria: the severity of their present housing conditions, their willingness to partner with Habitat and help themselves and their ability to make the monthly mortgage payments. Habitat for Humanity had requested Agency assistance in the amount of $225,000 to pay for the City fees necessary for the four units. The Redevelopment Subcommittee and the Project Area Committee had reviewed the project and recommended that the Agency reserve $225,000 for the project with conditions. The conditions would be in exchange for Redevelopment financial assistance and execution by the parties of an owner participation agreement, evidence of site ownership by Habitat for Humanity, establishment of silent second loans on each of the four units and that purchasers must occupy homes as their principal residence and that each of the units had a 45-year deed restriction and that they receive the necessary development entitlements. Since this was a project outside of the project area, the Agency had authority to spend housing funds outside of the project area and would only receive a two for one credit and would receive credit for two units even though they were building four. Staff recommended that the Agency consider approving the resolution to set aside $225,000 for the project and direct staff to start the necessary document preparation.

Marge Perez, President of the Mt. Diablo Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity, said she believed that the community was in support of the project. She looked forward in partnering with the Agency to provide quality, affordable homes and asked for Agency support to waive fees and use funds for the fee costs.

Manager Rozenski said she had received a report that the Habitat for Humanity had started their family selection for the next bank of Habitat for Humanity homes over the next eighteen months. There were over 100 families in attendance, which reflected the high need for the affordable homes and reflected the commitment of families willing to earn their homes.

RESOLUTION NO. RA-77

A RESOLUTION OF THE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AUTHORIZING THE RESERVATION OF LOW/MODERATE HOUSING FUNDS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $225,000 FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE HABITAT FOR HUMANITY FAIRVIEW PROJECT, A VERY-LOW INCOME HOUSING PROJECT, AND DIRECTING STAFF TO PREPARE THE NECESSARY DOCUMENTS AND AGREEMENTS TO SUPPORT THE PROJECT

It was moved/seconded by Gutierrez/Beckstrand to approve Resolution No. RA-77 as recommended by staff. Motion passed by the following vote:

AYES: Agency Members Beckstrand, Gutierrez, Hill, Petrovich, Chairman Swisher
NOES: None
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN: None

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS – None.

ADJOURNMENT

It was moved/seconded by Swisher/Hill to adjourn the Redevelopment Agency meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 7:28 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cynthia Garcia
Assistant City Clerk
 

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