Sep 16 2014

Former Council Member Garrett Keating finds Committee rejection of proposals inappropriate . 

It was revealed by the chair of the CIP Committee [Capital Improvement Program Review Committee] at the September 15, 2014 Council meeting that the Blair Park proposal was not even evaluated for WW [East Bay Regional Park District Bond Funds worth $507,325] eligibility, because it was considered too controversial.

The charge from the City Council to the CIP Committee was to evaluate the eligibility of staff and public proposals for WW funding, and the Council repeatedly stated that no proposals were to be prejudged. On several occasions, this intention was explicitly stated to Moraga Canyon residents requesting improvements to Blair Park. It is unfortunate that the Committee chose to categorically dismiss the Blair Park proposal, which on paper would seem to be the most appropriate use of WW funds.

Public comments solicited for last night’s meeting were strongly in favor of improvements to Hampton Field, but the only improvements being considered at this time are to the tennis and basketball courts and the play structure.   And under the current design, converting the outfield to artificial turf will not be possible because of insufficient pervious surface.

Garrett Keating, Former Piedmont Council Member and Current Member of the Piedmont Public Safety Committee

Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association.  There are no recordings or minutes of the CIP meetings.
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Sep 14 2014

Where is the public?

A rare opportunity for Piedmont to use $507,325 appears to be lacking general public input.

Will the City Council at their September 15 meeting open up the consideration process for comprehensive public input?

When Piedmont voters approved the East Bay Regional Park District WW Bond Funds tax measure, there was the promise that funds would be available through 2018 to improve Piedmont recreational facilities, a senior center, or parks.  Time has been slipping away as a result of delays.

With the exception of Livermore, which did not vote on the measure and will not benefit from the funding, Measure WW was approved by 72% of voters in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in November 2008.  To receive the funds requires no matching funds. Annually, every property owner in a participating jurisdiction, such as Piedmont, is required to pay $10 per $100,000 of assessed property value to provide the WW funds.

Piedmont delays in utilizing the funds originated primarily from staff and others intentions to use the money for night lighting at Coaches Field on Moraga Avenue; however, there was never a specific public hearing on the use of WW money for that purpose. There has never been a general public hearing or workshop on how Piedmonters want their $507,325 entitlement in WW money to be used. Some have likened the lack of early public participation in the decision to the controversial, failed Blair Park /Moraga Canyon sports complex proposal.

Unlike the outreach for Piedmont’s Draft Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan, there have been no community meetings or general public outreach to hear from Piedmonters on their preferences. No surveys, no Town Hall meetings, and no public hearings prior to the winnowing down to “five qualifying projects.”

Will Piedmonters be allowed to have a community voice in how to spend the fast approaching deadline for the $507,325 entitlement? 

The task of determining what should be done with the money has largely been delegated by the City Council to their appointed Capital Improvement Program Review Committee (CIP).  This select group of well intentioned members have been meeting to discuss which projects would qualify and have selected five non-prioritized projects.

The CIP meetings have been held in the City Council Conference Room, a small room near the Council Chambers, and at a meeting in the Main Park.  Those who wanted to know what was discussed at the meetings were unable to obtain meeting minutes or view the proceeding from their homes.

Interested residents concerned about Blair Park improvements, long term correction to the dangerously cracked tennis courts at Hampton, and expansion of Coaches Field have been challenged by the decision process.

Mark Feldkamp lends staff support to the CIP meetings.  Suggestions on how to spend CIP money have ranged from curtains in the Community Center to replacing Main Park’s stone walls, daylighting the stream down the center of Dracena Park and drainage issues.  Feldkamp recommended, much to the disappointment of some, that some projects were not advised.  He has encouraged the Park Commission to be present at the September 15 Council meeting to participate in the decision process. 

It is unprecedented for Piedmont to receive $507,325 to spend on unspecified recreation facilities, a senior center, or parks.

Some public frustration is evident from the emails found in the staff report and emails . There are competing interests for sports, beautification, recreation and park improvement. Blair Park’s Council approved plans are not on the list for funding.

The five projects chosen by the CIP committee are listed below.

Partial staff report for September 15 City Council meeting:
EAST BAY REGIONAL PARKS MEASURE WW NON-PRIORTIZED PROJECT LIST

Piedmont Community Hall Plaza and $600,000 to $700,000
Connector Pathway Renovation:
This project would replace the broken and stained aggregate concrete in the Community Hall front plaza area with the existing brick paving spokes left intact. The likely material to be installed in place of the concrete would be a cut stone surfacing mortared on a steel
reinforced concrete slab that would aesthetically tie in with the existing stone pavement improvements located throughout Piedmont Park. Staff would propose to install electricity under the slab and install decorative lighting to the specimen Yulan Magnolia
located in the center of the island. This area is used extensively for parties and large functions that generate much needed revenue for the city. The improvements would also include the installation of several removable decorative metal bollards limiting the vehicular damage caused by cars and trucks that now use the plaza as a turn-around and
drop off zone.
The project would also complete the final phase of the Exedra Master Plan as recommended in prior CIP proposals. This portion of the project combines several prior projects, including the installation of a new swings for older children, new lawn area and seating along the bicentennial wall, new walkways that would replace the existing asphalt roadway, lighting along the walkway leading to the Exedra Plaza, modifications to the overlook area including improvements to better accommodate movies in the park and improvements to the driveway that leads to the amphitheater.

Hampton Park Improvements (Harris Plan) $1,500,000 (construction costs only): [Phased approach not encouraged by staff.]
The Master Plan was approved by the Park & Recreation Commissions and City Council in 2007. City Council approved funding for the completion of the construction documents that are due by November 2014 and possible bid in January 2015. The Landscape Architect has recently submitted the 30% Design Development working drawings.
Public support from the Hampton Park improvements has been strong and staff is exploring possible private funding opportunities. This project could be broken into phases, depending on the budget constraints. Project phases could include the refurbishment of all of the hardscape areas including the tennis, basketball and handball
courts. This in conjunction with the improved drainage in these areas could serve as one phase. Another phase could include all improvements at the baseball field, including all new drainage system, turf, new warning track and site furnishings. The Landscape
Architect is prepared to package the construction drawings and bid documents that would be compatible with the proposed construction budget. A decision will be needed to address what items would be in each of the construction phases.

Dracena Park, New Entrance $300,000 to $350,000
at Park Way and Dracena Avenue:
Develop an in-house master plan for a new entry patio and walkways at the corner of Park Way and Dracena Ave. The construction of the new pedestrian bridge at Dracena Park has brought to the forefront the need for a new pedestrian entrance and gathering spot at this corner of Dracena Park. The existing connector walkways to the new bridge are in need of a complete over-haul. The existing landscaping should be enhanced and an efficient irrigation system installed.

Renovation and Rehabilitation of the Recreation Building $100,000 to $150,000:
The existing structure is very antiquated and a Master Plan is needed to make better use of the existing space. As part of an overall Master Plan, staff proposes to relocate the registration and main offices downstairs to the first floor. This arrangement would be more user-friendly allowing the public to have direct and unimpeded access to
Department staff. The construction would include not only renovated office spaces but also provides improvements to the existing HVAC systems, lighting and internet services. The Recreation Department provides a wide variety of city functions and the working environments should meet these needs, allowing staff to efficiently serve Piedmont residents.

New Play Structure at the Recreation Center $75,000 to $100,000:
The existing play structure is antiquated and is in need of replacement. A new play structure would provide ADA access for all users and would invite and encourage a safe play environment. The design would have areas for all age groups encouraging the children to use their imagination as well as providing physical challenges. This play structure is in a prime central play location that serves numerous groups on a daily basis.

Read the staff report and emails for the September 15 City Council meeting agenda.

The Council meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont. The use of WW Bond Funds falls well into the agenda of the September 15 meeting. Home observers can tune into Channel 27 or go to the City website on line to view the proceedings.

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Sep 14 2014

City Seeks Volunteers for Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee – Deadline: Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Want to participate in important financial decisions impacting all Piedmonters? Want to learn in detail how your tax dollars are expended?  Want to advise the Piedmont City Council on financial matters?  The Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee (BAFPC) offers a great opportunity.

The following is the City’s press release:

The City of Piedmont is looking for a few talented volunteers for vacancies on the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee. The committee, originally established by the City Council as a temporary body in March 2012, has been made a permanent body with an expanded membership of five regular members and two alternate members.

The charge of the committee is to:

• Review the financial projections prepared for the City’s Annual Budget and provide comment on whether they provide for the long term sustainable financial future of the City. This review shall take place between the preparation of the budget in April and its approval by the City Council in June of each year.

• Review and provide comment on the Mid-Year Budget Reports.

• Provide a financial review of any new program commitments and funding sources in excess of $250,000 in any fiscal year.

• Periodically review and comment on the sufficiency of funding for long term obligations, including the Sewer Fund, Equipment Replacement Fund, Facilities Maintenance Fund and the City’s pension and retiree healthcare costs and funding.

• Periodically examine the need for the Municipal Services Special Tax (Parcel Tax) and recommend whether this tax should be continued, and if so, at what rate.  This charge shall be accomplished not later than eighteen (18) months prior to the expiration of the tax as set forth in Chapter 20B of the City Code.

Applications are due to City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue, on or before the deadline of Tuesday, September 30, 2014. 

Interviews with the City Council for these positions will be scheduled for the evening of Monday, October 6, 2014. No appointments will be made without a Council interview.

Residents with questions are invited to contact the City Clerk’s office at (510) 420-3040.

City Clerk, John O. Tulloch

Sep 14 2014

Waterways and streets have become cleaner.

The following is a press release from StopWaste of which Piedmont is a member.                                                                                                               

Since it began in January, 2013, the reusable bag ordinance has had dramatic results. In Alameda County, overall bag purchases by affected retail stores have declined by 85 percent. The number of shoppers bringing a reusable bag to affected stores, or not using a bag at all, has more than doubled during this time.

The ordinance, adopted in 2012 by the Alameda County Waste Management Authority, also known as StopWaste, went into effect January 1, 2013, and affects 1,300 stores countywide. The ordinance prohibits the distribution of single-use bags at most retailers selling packaged food, and places a $0.10 per bag minimum charge on recycled-content paper or reusable bags. Alameda County is the most populous county in California to have a reusable bag ordinance.

“It’s fantastic to go grocery shopping and see everyone with their reusable bags,” stated Authority Board President Jennifer West. “I think we can all appreciate fewer plastic bags flying around in the street.”

Store owners have noticed the changes first-hand. “People used to ask for two bags, now they don’t even want one,” said Rubin Dhillon, a manager at a Union City 7-Eleven. Conchita Hung of a Valero station in Dublin added, “I’ve been the owner for over 20 years – it’s been a big change. It’s changed people’s habits because they don’t want to pay 10 cents.” Other store owners reported their bag purchases going down between 50 and 90 percent.

The ordinance was influenced by tough new requirements for cities to reduce the amount of trash entering waterways. In 2007, the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board declared five waterways in Alameda County – Strawberry Creek and Codornices Creek in Berkeley, Sausal Creek and Damon Slough in Oakland, and San Leandro Creek in San Leandro – so polluted with trash that they violated the federal Clean Water Act.

Despite several years of voluntary efforts to promote reusable bags countywide, plastic bags were still consistently collected in large numbers by volunteers in Alameda County on Coastal Cleanup day.

San Francisco and San Jose have seen similar decreases in plastic and paper bag distribution and cleaner waterways as a result of their bag ordinances.

For futher information contact: Jeff Becerra:

(510) 891-6549jbecerra@stopwaste.org

 

Sep 8 2014

At their September 8, 2014 meeting addressing short term housing rentals in Piedmont, the Planning Commission took no formal action; however, by consensus all commissioners expressed their opinion that Piedmont should not allow short term housing rentals.  Concern focused on changing the character of the community due to parking problems, noise, and instability in neighborhoods.

Referring to short term rentals, Commissioner Tony Theophilos noted only a downside and no upside.

Planning Director Kate Black expressed concern if second units were used like a hotel rather than meeting affordable housing needs.

Other commissioners were concerned that any revenue from permits, fees, or taxes would not offset the cost of managing such a program.

Former Mayor Patti White made a statement during Public Forum requesting no approval of short term rentals, largely because of inherent safety issues for young children.

The staff will prepare a report describing the various points expressed by the commissioners.

Sep 8 2014

Are you interested in Piedmont School Parcel Taxes and learning A to Z how the Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) expends funds?

An important opportunity is presented by the voter required PUSD School Support Tax Subcommittee of the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC).

The voter approved parcel tax started at $2,406 per parcel and can be increased 2% on a compounded basis each year by the School Board.  The parcel tax is currently $2,454 per year.  The Advisory Subcommittee is based on voter action requiring an annual report to the School Board on the need to levy the parcel tax and any increase for the following year. Three appointments to the subcommittee will be made on the recommendation of the President and Vice President of the Board to the full Board.

None of the meetings of the Budget Advisory Committee or Subcommittee have been publicly broadcast.  In the past, all meetings and deliberations on the parcel tax by the Subcommittee have been held in private and were not open to the public.

Piedmont Unified School District is seeking applicants for seats on its Advisory Subcommittee for the School Support Tax (Measure A) passed by the voters on March 5, 2013. Applicants must be Piedmont property owners subject to the School Support tax and cannot be current PUSD employees or consultants.  Contact the Piedmont Unified School District for an application. 

Applications must be received on or before Friday, October 17, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.

The following was approved at the Board of Education meeting of 4-10-13.

The Subcommittee will operate independently of the BAC and report directly to the Board of Education. The Subcommittee will establish its own meeting schedule and agendas. In addition to the budget information provided to the BAC, the Subcommittee may request additional information relating to the budget or School Support Tax from the Assistant Superintendent for Business Services, who will be the primary point of contact for the Subcommittee.

Charge to the Subcommittee

The Subcommittee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Education to help review and project the financial needs of the PUSD with respect to the levy of the voter approved School Support Tax. The Subcommittee shall conduct an independent examination of the District’s budget and related documents prior to making formal recommendations in its annual report to the Board.

The scope of work for the Subcommittee shall be limited to advice on whether and to what extent to levy the School Support Tax, as set forth below. If the Board wishes to expand the Subcommittee’s charge to consider other items, the Board must do so by majority vote.

As part of the District’s annual budget development process and during the term of the School Support Tax, the Subcommittee shall submit an annual report to the Board of Education showing:

A high level, comprehensive analysis of the District’s budget, including relevant metrics, historical trends, and comparisons with similar school districts, that provides an analytical basis for the Subcommittee’s recommendations.

The amount of funds collected and expended from the proceeds of the School Support Tax in the current fiscal year and projected for the next fiscal year, as well as the status of any projects or programs required or authorized to be funded from the proceeds of the School Support Tax, as described in the Full Text of the March 5, 2013 Ballot for Measure A (Exhibit A).

A recommended levy amount for the School Support Tax, up to the maximum allowable for the subsequent year’s tax. The Subcommittee shall recommend to the Board whether to (1) maintain the existing School Support Tax levy; (2) increase the existing levy up to a maximum of no more than two percent; or (3) decrease the existing levy. The Committee shall explain the basis for its recommendation, including the fiscal impacts of recommended and alternative funding levels on the District’s budget.

Board of Education Responsibility

Establish the Charter for the Subcommittee no later than May 5, 2013, after two public hearings at Regular School Board meetings.

Appoint to the Subcommittee, by November of each year, a total of 3 to 5 members representing a variety of stakeholder groups, and with appropriate finance knowledge and experience.

Appoint at least one Board liaison to the Subcommittee, to serve on an annual basis.

Revise and/or clarify interpretation of the Charter as necessary at regular meetings of the Board.

Operations of the Subcommittee

The Subcommittee shall elect officers by majority vote. Offices shall be limited to a Chair and Secretary, who are elected annually at a meeting of the Subcommittee.

- The Chair is responsible for preparing agenda materials, administering meetings, and ensuring that the Subcommittee’s charge and expectations for the annual report are fulfilled by the Subcommittee each year.

- The Secretary is responsible for preparing minutes of the meetings and administering meetings when the Chair is absent.

Meetings shall be held a minimum of two times per year, but otherwise as the Subcommittee decides

Recommendations shall be made by majority vote provided, however, that a minority recommendation may be submitted.

A quorum shall consist of a majority of the full Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee should coordinate with District administration and staff to secure information and input in ways that are not unduly burdensome.

The Subcommittee’s annual report to the Board will be submitted at least one month before the Board votes on the School Support Tax levies for the following budget year.

In general, the report would be due in January or February of each year.

Standards of Conduct of Committee and its Members

Although each Subcommittee member may have differing perspectives on the financial budget information, analysis and recommendations made by the Subcommittee, individual members will conduct themselves in ways that reflect mutual respect for different perspectives, and work collaboratively to develop the Subcommittee’s annual report.

Committee Composition and Length of Service

Membership: Three to five members, with Board option to expand as needed.

Term of Service: Two years, except that two of the members first appointed to the Subcommittee should be prepared to serve for three years to allow for staggering of membership terms.

Removal: Repeated absences, failure to prepare for and participate in meetings, routine failure to attend Budget Advisory Committee meetings, health matters, or professional or personal demands.

Compensation/Reimbursement: None.

Membership Requirements

Subcommittee members must be Piedmont property owners and subject to the School Support Tax.

Current PUSD employees or consultants are not eligible to serve on the Subcommittee.

Members of the Subcommittee should include representatives from various groups in the community, including parents, senior citizens, taxpayer advocates, and those without students in the schools.

Subcommittee members shall also be active members of the BAC who have appreciable financial knowledge and experience.

Application Procedure

Must submit application by facsimile, mail, email or in person to the Office of the Superintendent, 760 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611. Applications will be available at the District Office or from the District website: www.piedmont.k12.ca.us

Selection of the Committee

The Board will work with the Superintendent’s office to recruit new Subcommittee members and set a reasonable timeframe for filling openings on the Subcommittee.

The Superintendent or designee will review applications to verify eligibility to serve on the Subcommittee (i.e., homeowner and taxpayer).

Board President and Vice President will review applications and as needed interview potential candidates for new and open positions on the Subcommittee.

Nominees will be confirmed by the Board of Education at a Regular Board Meeting.

Additional information:

http://www.piedmont.k12.ca.us/district-info/parcel-tax-program/

 

Sep 8 2014

USE OF LAND LINE PHONES NOT POWERED BY PG&E: Think twice before totally eliminating your home land line.  When the electricity is off because of an emergency, earthquake, fire, etc., many of today’s phones will not operate.  If you have a land phone line that operates totally with the power available from the phone service provider, you might be able to continue to make phone calls.

CELL PHONE CALLS: Typically when there is a major emergency, everyone uses their cell phones; however, this causes the service to be overwhelmed rendering most cell phones useless. Additionally, cell towers may be damaged in the emergency.

TEXT MESSAGES: Your cell phone can generally be used to send text messages to others. During the recent earthquake in Napa, text messages continued to flow when cell phone call service failed.

HAVE A PLAN TO CALL SOMEONE OUT OF THE AREA:  Local phone numbers are frequently jammed during an emergency.  If you have a relative or friend residing outside your immediate area or state, you can delegate this person as the point person to call during an emergency.  This person can then relay messages to others.

CITY PAY PHONES:  The City Council at their September 3, 2014, meeting voted to remove pay phones from all Piedmont public facilities with the exception of the Police Department reception area pay phone.  This phone will be available 24 hours 7 days a week.  The staff has found the other phones located throughout the City on public property are rarely or maliciously used costing taxpayers thousands each year to maintain the unneeded phones.

Sep 6 2014

Will Piedmont’s houses become commercialized?

Per City Council direction, staff will introduce for Planning Commission comment, discussion, and direction the topic of short-term rentals of properties in Piedmont.

Monday, September 8, 2014, the Piedmont Planning Commission will discuss short-term rentals of Piedmont housing.  Currently, there are restrictions on these increasingly popular rentals.  Complaints based on noise, unfamiliar individuals in neighborhoods, taxis, crime potentials, irregular comings and goings, and parking issues have been received by the City Council, staff, and Planning Commission. Benefits appear to go to the owner/lister while presenting problems for others.

Piedmont, long established as a primarily single-family residential city, has for a century spurned commercial encroachment on the City’s character. Use of housing for private gain while disadvantaging neighboring home owners has increasing been difficult to thwart due to internet promotion.  Money made from short-term rentals is sometimes viewed by individual homeowners as a lucrative way to off-set high mortgage payments and property tax demands.

The Piedmont City Council has asked the Planning Commission to consider the pros and cons of short-term rentals and provide advice.

The short-term rental agenda item is #10, the last item of the Planning Commission agenda at the September 8 meeting. The public is welcome  to attend or view on KCOM or on the City website :

 “you might want to tune into KCOM, cable 20 or by logging onto the city’s website at www.ci.piedmont.ca.us: on the right hand side of the homepage under the “City Council” heading, click on the “Online Video” link, then scroll down under the “Sections on this Page” heading, click on the “Planning Commission” link, then on the “September 8, 2014” heading, click on the “In Progress” (live) link, and be prepared to come on down to City Hall as the meeting progresses closer to Agenda #10.”

Some of the companies providing short-term rentals are: Airbnb, Flipkey, Craigslist,HomeAway, Roomorama, Stopsleepgo, TravelMob, BedyCasa, ZenRentals, WaytoStay, Interhome, Windu Tripping.com.

How are Short Term Rentals Currently Regulated in Piedmont?

- Renting a Portion of the House: Piedmont residents wishing to rent out a room in their house for fewer than 30 days may not do so pursuant to Section 17.39.2:17.39.2  The owner of a single family dwelling unit in any zoning district is permitted to rent one or more bedrooms in the dwelling unit, when the circumstances fit the definition of a rented room at Section 17.2.58B:

Rented room means the renting of a room or any combination of rooms within an existing single-family dwelling where:

(a) one or more rooms, including at least one bedroom eligible for use as a bedroom, is rented to a single lessee under a single rental agreement, not for the entire dwelling;

(b) for a minimum of 30 consecutive days;

(c) with the common use of the primary kitchen facilities, and with no temporary or permanent cooking facilities in the rented room(s);

(d) with either shared or separate bathroom

- Renting the Entire House: Property owners who wish to rent their entire house may currently do so for any amount of time.

- Renting an Existing Approved Second Unit That is Not a Rent- Restricted Unit – Owners with a legally approved second unit (not including rent-restricted units) may currently rent it for any amount of time.

“It is important to note that any rental, whether for one year or one day, is subject to Piedmont’s rental tax.”

A recent scan of listings in Piedmont on one website, Airbnb.com, showed 8 listings.

“It is not easy to tell what the addresses for these properties are (you must book the rental in order to get an address), but from the map, it does not appear that the current listings match the locations where we have received resident complaints, indicating that there are more properties with such listings. This is just one of the companies (and it tends to have the most market share), but it can be assumed that there are listings on Craigslist, and other internet-based sites.”

Piedmont Planning staff believes that currently, most of the owners of these short-term rentals are not paying rental taxes. Of six known, or strongly suspected property owners who are renting to short-term renters, four have not yet paid a rental tax on their properties, although two property owners who were advised by the City of the regulations, submitted Intent to Rent forms.

Effect on Housing Element – 

“In addition to the concerns expressed by Piedmont residents, staff have concerns about the effect on the City’s housing supply, especially the more affordable second units. The City has worked hard at meeting our Regional Housing Needs Assessment by providing second units and room rentals (for more than 30 days) as a way of providing lower cost housing while maintaining Piedmont’s single-family character, without the requirement of up-zoning that has occurred in other communities. Each house, second unit or room rental that is rented for short periods to different people, are units that are not providing needed housing to people who wish to reside in and create ties with the community.”

Given the direction by the City Council for an examination of this issue, there are several options offered by  the Planning Department for Commission and Council consideration:

- Prohibit all rentals for fewer than 30 days. This would require a Code change to prohibit single-family residences and second units from being rented for fewer than 30 days. Staff would need to work with the City Attorney so that the policies are developed in compliance with State and Federal law.

- Permit An Entire House to be Rented for fewer than 30 days. No change in the Municipal Code is needed, as this is currently allowed. However, the City might wish to consider a registration requirement, regular safety inspections and either the creation of an occupancy tax, which is assessed up-front, or the current rental tax. The current rental tax is assessed annually based on rent collected for the prior year. The tax is a minimum of $200 or gross receipts multiplied by .01395, whichever is greater. Property owners are required to provide tax receipts, lease agreements, or the Federal Form 1040 as proof of rent collected.

- Permit Second Units that are not Rent-Restricted to be Rented for fewer than 30 days –  No change in the Municipal Code is needed, as this is currently allowed. However, the City might wish to consider a registration requirement, regular safety inspections and either the creation of an occupancy tax, which is assessed up-front, or the current rental tax.

- Permit a Room or Rooms to be Rented for fewer than 30 days – This would require an amendment to Section 17.39 of the Municipal Code. Additionally, the City might wish to consider a registration requirement, regular safety inspections and either the creation of an occupancy tax, which is assessed up-front, or the current rental tax.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Comments addressing the issue may be sent to the Planning Commission through Kate Black at kblack@ci.piedmont.ca.us or via a phone call to her at 420-3063.

Members of the Planning Commission are:

Phillip Chase, Susan Ode (Chair), Louise Simpson, Tony Theophilos, Tom Zhang, and Eric Behrens (Alternate)

Council Liaison is Tim Rood – 239-7663

Sep 6 2014

How do you know if the plan is okay?

Piedmonters should take a look at the Draft Piedmont Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan to find out if changes are suggested for their neighborhood or public facilities.  Will your street be changed?

After numerous meetings, Piedmont’s Draft Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan will be considered for environmental review with a goal of meeting California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) qualifications.

Piedmont Planning Commission Meeting

Monday, September 8 – 5:00 p.m. City Council Chambers

 CEQA consideration is the first item on the agenda.

The Draft Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan and CEQA document will be  heard at the September meeting of the City’s Planning Commission. The meeting will be held on Monday, September 8, 2014 at 5 pm in the Council Chambers in Piedmont City Hall (120 Vista Avenue). At the meeting, the City’s consultant on the plan will present the CEQA initial study and negative declaration, and the Planning Commission will provide comments on the Draft Plan and CEQA document in preparation for recommendation to the City Council for final adoption. This is a very important meeting and we encourage the public to attend to provide any comments!

The CEQA document has been posted online and is available for public review. The Final Plan and CEQA document will be presented again to the Planning Commission at their October 13 meeting, and subsequently to the City Council for official adoption by the City.

Draft Piedmont Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan (This is a large document, which may take several minutes to download)

Appendices: Comments received through the two online surveys on the needs assessment and on the improvement options

To submit comments on the Draft Plan to the Planning Commission, please either email your comments to City Planner Kate Black at kblack@ci.piedmont.ca.us or mail them to 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611 byFriday, October 3.

For more information about the PBMP, contact Kate Black at kblack@ci.piedmont.ca.us or at (510) 420-3063. If you would like to stay up to date on the development of the plan, contact Janet Chang atjanetchang@ci.piedmont.ca.us or at (510) 420-3094 to be added to the email list for the project.

Get involved—these are your streets and sidewalks. Your voice is important!

The PBMP is being funded entirely through a grant from the Alameda County Transportation Commission (CTC; www.alamedactc.org) and through the City’s existing funds for pedestrian and bicycle improvements (pass-through Measure B funds), also distributed by the Alameda CTC.

Sep 6 2014

Piedmont has benefited from residents identifying activities that appear suspicious.  It’s important to report suspicious or unusual behavior.  Your eyes and ears expand the ability of our police to reduce crime.

Do not hesitate to call the Police Department at either 911 or 420-3000.