November 6, 2006

Council Votes to Extend Downtown Moratorium and ACI Asks for Rate Increase for More Pickups

The San Leandro City Council voted unanimously in its November 6, 2006, meeting to extend the moratorium on downtown development for another year or until the Transit-Oriented Development Strategy is completed, which is expected in July 2007. Council-member Bill Stephens was not present.

The moratorium affects 39 sites ranging in size from .2 to 11.6 acres and totaling 125 parcels and 73 acres. The moratorium does not change zoning or existing uses and does not preclude the issuance of building permits or business licenses. Applications for planning entitlements will be allowed to proceed, but the application will not allowed to become final.

Community Development Director Hanson Hom noted that the Executive Director of Building Futures with Women and Children sent a letter in support of the moratorium and other letters expressed opposition to the moratorium.

Priscilla Coluga of the Woodcreek Homeowners Association expressed support for the moratorium while Robert Fox asked the council to delay its vote until after the new City Council was seated.

Council-member Joyce Starosciak asked if the vote could be delayed. Hom replied that it could but City Attorney Jayne Williams quickly corrected him and stated that California code does not permit an additional 45-day extension.

During public comments, Harold Perez complained about the condition of streets in San Leandro and said that money should be spent on streets instead of being wasted on the Cherry Festival and the holiday lighting and banners.

In a presentation entitled "Special Rate Review for Alameda County Industries" Public Works Director Mike Bakaldin reported that Alameda County Industries (ACI) requested a special rate review on March 1, 2006. ACI has a contract with San Leandro through 2010 and serves about 60% of San Leandro's population. ACI proposes to increase collection of recyclable materials (paper, cans, glass and plastic) for single family homes to every week instead of every other week. In addition, ACI would begin pickup of recyclable and food wastes from commercial users. To pay for the increased service, ACI proposes a 2% rate increase in July 2007 and another 2% rate increase in July 2008, in addition to the normal annual rate adjustment.

Council-member OB Badger asked if the changes were need to meet the City's requirements for diverting waste from landfills and City Manager John Jermanis replied that it was, noting that nearby cities have gone to weekly service. Mayor Shelia Young asked if ACI had perfected a compost facility as she knew that Alameda County has been trying to find a suitable facility location.

Alexis Strauss, the director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Water Division for the Pacific Southwest region, presented the City of San Leandro with its second-place award for "outstanding and innovative achievements in wastewater treatment and pollution prevention." Click here for the US EPA press release. In March 2006, the City of San Leandro received a Water Quality Excellence Award from the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Vice Mayor Surlene Grant made a plea for people to support Proposition 1C, noting that it would help programs such as one which recently lost funding that helps foster children after they are too old for the foster care program.

Mayor Young reported that a new map was presented at each monthly meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission over the past year. The most recent meeting produced a map showing the condition of street in the nine Bay-Area counties. Currently, San Leandro is shown in green, indicating that the streets are in good condition.

The meeting was adjourned in the memory of Wayne Glaze, the brother of former Council-member Bob Glaze, Alvin Mertz, Floyd Dade, Jr., a member of the 761st tank battalion in World War II known as the Black Panthers, and Margarita Tapia, the mother of John Tapia, who works in the City's Information Services Department.

Click here for Daily Review coverage.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at November 6, 2006 9:50 PM | TrackBack
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