Sep 1 2017

Statement from Acting Mayor Robert McBain

September 1, 2017

The past days have been tumultuous, sad, and extremely difficult for Piedmont residents and for the city organization. The opinions and postings of former Mayor Jeff Wieler were in no way reflective of the values and sensibilities of this community. We, his colleagues on the City Council, took swift action to communicate our collective outrage and disappointment in his statements. At the same time we were clear and consistent in our requests that he should resign as Mayor and from his position on City Council. In the end, Jeff made a decision that was well-advised and in the best interests of all concerned.

I am proud of how the Piedmont community responded swiftly to the situation and affirmed our shared values. Our residents are intelligent, committed, and engaged in civic affairs. We have great schools, a history of sound leadership, and a City organization of talented people committed to providing excellent services. We are a resilient community and will be quick to get back to focusing our attention on all that makes this such an outstanding place to call home.

So, what is next? Our City Council will be meeting next Tuesday, [Sept. 5, 2017] with a full agenda. First up will be the election of Mayor and Vice Mayor. In accordance with the rules set out in our City Charter, the Councilmembers elected to these offices will serve through the general election of November 2018. In December 2018, the Council will again elect a Mayor and Vice Mayor from its members. As to the vacancy created by the resignation of Jeff Wieler from his seat on Council, the Charter directs the City Council to fill the vacancy within thirty days.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Council will also consider a resolution reaffirming Piedmont’s commitment to inclusivity and opposing actions of hate groups, a contract for the development of a Master Plan for the Linda Beach Playfield, and bring renewed focus and discussion on the subject of a new aquatic facility for Piedmont. We look forward to taking care of the city’s business and working together to make this an even better community.

Acting Mayor Robert McBain

Jul 17 2017

Recreation Commission Agenda Wednesday, July 19, 2017 7:30 p.m. City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

Call to Order Public Forum: This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda. The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Commission.

Regular Agenda

1. Welcome

2. Approval of Minutes – May 17, 2017 and June 21, 2017

3. Chair’s Report

4. Aquatics Coordinator Transition Plan

5. Update on PRD Adult Programming

6. Updates on Facility Master Planning Projects

  • Aquatics
  • Recreation Department/Veteran’s Hall
  • Linda Beach Playfield
  • Coaches Field

Announcements, old business

This meeting can be viewed on Cable Channel 27 or on the City of Piedmont website.


Jun 4 2017

The staff reports for the meeting are:

06/05/17 – Approval of a Modification to a Conditional Use Permit for Sarah Baldwin, DMD at 1375 Grand Avenue, Suite 101

06/05/17 – Introduction and 1st Reading of Ord. 732 N.S. Making a Technical Correction to Section 8.1 of the City Code to Clarify that the 2016 California Fire Code is in Effect

06/05/17 – Authorize the City Administrator to Sign a Letter of Support Authorizing Participation in the 2017 East Bay SunShares Program

06/05/17 – PUBLIC HEARING Regarding the Proposed Budget and Fee Proposals for FY 17-18 and the Levy of the Municipal Services Tax and Sewer Tax

a. Presentation of Report from the Budget Advisory & Financial Planning Committee

b. Report on the FY 17-18 Budget Proposal

06/05/17 – Introduction and 1st Reading of Ordinance 733 N.S. Amending Chapter 17 of the City Code Related to the Grand Avenue Sub Area of Zone D

06/05/17 – Report from the Chief of Police Regarding Diversity Education and Outreach as well as Collaboration with PUSD and Other Stakeholders (Oral Report)

06/05/17 – Consideration of the Award of Contract for the Linda Avenue Crosswalk Improvement Project to Bay Construction in the Amount of $328,672.80 and approval of an Overall Construction Budget of $406,515

06/05/17 – Consideration of the Operational Analysis for the Aquatics Center Master Plan Conceptual Design

The agenda for the City Council – Monday, June 5, 2017   < meeting.

May 11 2017

The Piedmont City Council continues the practice of working on the City Budget without benefit of recordings or broadcast. The public is welcome to come to the meeting and speak to the various issues related to the budget: capital expenditures, revenues, taxation, employee benefits, new projects, roadways, sidewalks, trees, recreation, public safety, Schoolmates, planning, sewers, or any other issue related to City budgetary matters.  

Special City Council Budget Meeting

Saturday, May 13, 2017

9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

East Wing, 801 Magnolia Avenue (across from Piedmont High School)


1. Overview of the Proposed FY 17-18 Budget by the City Administrator

2. Presentation by the CIP Review Committee of Project Proposals for FY 17-18

3. Review of Departmental Budgets for FY 17-18

a. Police

b. Public Works

c. Recreation

d. Fire

e. Administration

f. Other Funds Budgets

City announcement:

The Piedmont City Council will consider the proposed annual budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 at three separate meetings. A Saturday work session will be held in the East Wing of 801 Magnolia Avenue on May 13, 2017 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Public hearings regarding the proposed budget and the levy of the Municipal Services Tax and the Sewer Tax will be held during regularly scheduled City Council meetings on June 5 and June 19, 2017.

The public is invited to attend these meetings and speak to the City Council about spending priorities for the city in the coming year.  Click to visit the 2017-2018 Proposed Budget page, where all sections of the budget are available for download.

For questions on contents of the budget, please contact Interim Finance Director Jim O’Leary via email at or by phone at 420-3045 with any questions.

If you wish to write to the Council regarding the budget, please send an e-mail to the City Council at or send a letter via U.S. Mail to Piedmont City Council, c/o City Clerk’s Office, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, 94611.

May 3 2017

The Capital Improvement Project Committee, plus interested individuals, will participate in a “potential” project tour on Saturday morning, May 6, 2017 to view and discuss projects currently under further consideration.  The Committee will make recommendations to the City Council for their action during the annual budget process.  The activities and tour are open to the public. 

Regular Agenda:  [All times are approximations.]

1. Tour of Sites to be Considered by the CIP Review Committee starts at 8:00 Piedmont Park Tea House in Piedmont Main Park.

8:15 – 8:45 –  Crocker Park Path Improvements (Corner of Crocker Ave & Hampton Rd.)

9:00 – 9:30  –  St. James Lanterns (Corner of La Salle Ave. and St. James Dr.)

9:45 – 10:15  – Wildwood, Winsor, Warfield, and Wallace Avenues Intersection Improvements

10:30 – 11:15  –  Linda Beach Tot Lot and Park Improvements (Linda Beach Playfield)

11:30 – 12:00 –  Coaches Field Turf and Lighting Improvements (898 Red Rock Road)

Times are approximate. Map and project descriptions will be available at all tour stops.

2. Working Lunch at Tea House in Piedmont Park  [Discussions and considerations of projects will occur.]  The public may attend.


For transportation details, contact the City at 42o-3040.

Mar 19 2017

An underlying goal of the building code changes (Chapter 17) is to increase housing density in lower Piedmont and provide more affordable housing.

On Monday, March 20, 2017, the Council plans to approve an ordinance that will mean more houses, more apartments, and reduced parking requirements in Piedmont. The City Council on March 6, approved the first reading of the massive rewriting and changes to Chapter 17 of the Piedmont City Code.  The second reading is planned at the March 20 Council meeting.

Council members are convinced that Piedmonters have been informed and engaged in the process.

In a cursory survey of Piedmonters, few had any substantive knowledge of the proposed changes with the exception of changes to Grand Avenue and short term rentals.

On March 6, the Council members decided to remove consideration of short term rentals and commercial property regulations on Grand Avenue pending further input from the public.

The Grand Avenue neighbors have been active and organized in attempting to make new regulations compatible with the neighborhood.

Civic Center Apartments

One citizen, Ted Kinch, referred to the 92% of Piedmonters who responded to the heavily relied upon 2007 Survey, who expressed their preference to keep the small town feeling of Piedmont.  Kinch emphasized the potential problems from adding apartments in the Civic Center – above the Wells Fargo Building and Mulberry’s.  He mentioned that watching children walk to school was refreshing and should not be threatened by increased traffic and parking.

Council approved the proposed building code changes for apartments to be permitted in the Civic Center.  There has been no organized opposition from any neighborhood group, school representative, or emergency service person in regard to traffic, safety, or congestion next to emergency services and schools in the Civic Center.


Only a few of the numerous code revisions received inquiry by the Council members.  The exception was Council member Jen Cavenaugh, liaison to the Planning Commission, who questioned reduced off-street parking requirements for residences and businesses, structures allowed to be built up to the property line, and for profit businesses in public buildings, amongst other issues.

Cavenaugh questioned the likelihood Estates Zone residents would want their neighbors building up to the property line, “Not wanting people to be on top of each other in that way.”

There has been no indication that Piedmont residents in lower Piedmont (Zone A) would accept their neighbors building a structure up to the property line. Planning Director Kevin Jackson claimed the intent was to encourage property owners to build garages and structures at the back of the lot to leave more open space.

Mayor Jeff Wieler was concerned about the reduction in Zone A (residential) lot size from 10,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet.  He stated,  “Our lords and masters in Sacramento… we’re suddenly changing our zoning to satisfy some bureaucrat up in Sacramento. I resent it.”

Council members Teddy King and Tim Rood quickly defended the reduction in parcel size in lower Piedmont as an effort by Piedmont to assist in supplying the area with more housing plus more affordable housing.

King stated, “This is actually a component of the entire revision process (Chapter 17) so that we meet the requirements and spirit of the housing needs in the Bay Area. … To the extent that some of the controversial elements in this proposal have caught the attention of Piedmonters, it is important to explain that many of these changes we didn’t dream up. They are tied to other efforts put in place by State and Federal authorities. We don’t conceive of our own housing and density in a vacuum.”


Although a lack of adequate off-street parking has been a major issue in numerous Planning Commission applications, King and Rood liked reducing the off street parking requirements to encourage a reduction in automobile usage and an increase in transit ridership. Bedroom additions will no longer necessarily trigger the need to provide off-street parking.

The Planning Commission has been responsible in the past for determining if traffic, parking and safety impact applications, yet traffic and parking studies are not required by the process potentially leaving the matter to subjective opinions.

Short term rentals deferred once more.

A short term rental (under 30 days) prohibition was held for further consideration maintaining the status quo of no City enforcement of ongoing short term rentals. According to Piedmont’s existing Home Occupation Ordinance, all home businesses, including airbnb, require homeowners to obtain a business license and Home Occupation Permit. Short term rentals currently do not qualify for a home occupation permit because the home business owner cannot use a residential property addresse in advertisements or for client access. Organized interest by promoters of short term rentals has been active. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to prohibit short term rentals.  Seeking further input, the Council has not acted on the pending short term rental issue during a three year period.

The Council meeting will be held on Monday, March 20, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber to act on the ordinance changes.  Viewing is available on Channel 27 and from the City website.

Staff report for Item #7 on the agenda.

Draft minutes of March 6, 2017 Council meeting when zoning issues were previously considered.

Agenda for March 20, 2017 Council meeting


Mar 2 2017

    On February 15th, 2017, the Piedmont Recreation Commission held its monthly meeting to discuss the updates and planning for construction projects around the city of Piedmont. The meeting covered construction of Hampton Field, the plan for the Piedmont Pool, Linda Beach Playfield restrictions, and various other proposed projects to improve Piedmont.

    The meeting was called to order and it was announced that the memorial service for Wildwood Elementary School teacher, Andy Weidcamp, would be held on March 8th. Shortly after announcements, a report was given about the Piedmont Community Pool by Aquatics Coordinator Tyler Waespi. The report involved details of activities the pool will be offering throughout the coming year. The medium pool will soon be opening and the Piedmont High School Swim Team will start practice beginning early March, marking the beginning of the pool’s spring season. Additionally, over Spring Break lifeguard training will be held to recruit lifeguards in preparation for the busyness of the pool over summer. Activities such as water polo, water aerobics, and swim lessons will be offered as summer approaches.

    Next, Recreation Director Sara Lillevand brought to discussion the Linda Beach Playfield restrictions, which set limits on when the field could be used by the public. These restrictions were made to allow time for sports programs to use the field that previously used Hampton Field which is currently under construction. It was proposed that public use of the Beach Playfield on Sundays be made permanent and that an additional four hour block of time for public use would also be allowed. Given that there have been no complaints about these changes to the Playfield access, the proposal was passed unanimously by the commissioners.

    The meeting next moved on to an update on Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) given by Commissioner Betsy Smegal Anderson. The CIP is a committee that residents can send ideas to about projects to better the city. It was suggested that the lights along the Piedmont Bridge along Oakland Avenue over Beach Playfield be extended. This project is currently being funded by the CIP and will soon undergo installation.

    Lastly, Director Lillevand gave an update on the construction of Hampton Park and the Aquatics Master Plan Concept. Four to five trees came down behind the basketball courts at Hampton Park during several storms and will delay the target opening date by one week. Hampton Park is set to have its grand opening on March 25th and all are welcome to attend the celebration. The Aquatics Master Plan requires a cost-operative test before a budget can be submitted to the City Council for their consideration.

    After the meeting had come to a close, Recreation Director Sara Lillevand was kind enough to share some of her thoughts about the meeting. She enjoys being a part of these meetings and being able to influence projects that bring positive changes to the city. Having discussed the Hampton Park project on several occasions, she is very excited for its completion and looks forward to the grand opening.

By Ian Dickson, Piedmont High School Senior

Feb 21 2017

 VOLUNTEER for important positions!

Be a part of Piedmont’s decision processes!

Application Deadline: Monday, March 20th – 5PM

The City Council of Piedmont is looking for volunteers to be appointed to Piedmont commissions and committees. Interested Piedmont residents may download the > Application for Appointive Vacancy.

Applications are due to City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue, on or before the deadline of Monday, March 20, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

No. of Vacancies No. of Incumbents Eligible
for Reappointment
Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee 3 Vacancies 2 Incumbents
CIP Review Committee 2 Vacancies 2 Incumbents
Civil Service Commission 1 Vacancy 0 Incumbents
Park Commission 2 Vacancies 0 Incumbents
Parking Hearing Officer 2 Vacancies 2 Incumbents
Planning Commission 3 Vacancies 1 Incumbent
Public Safety Committee 2 Vacancies 2 Incumbents
Recreation Commission 3 Vacancies 2 Incumbents

Interviews with the City Council for these positions will be scheduled for Monday, March 27, 2017.   All applicants must be interviewed.  No appointments will be made without a Council interview.

You can read about the duties of the commissions and committees by clicking here.  The Planning Commission considers construction laws, applications regarding houses, apartments, and buildings in Piedmont, some as referred by the City Council or Planning Department. 

For more information, contact City Clerk John Tulloch at: (510) 420-3041


Until February 24th, the City Council is also recruiting for members of the 2030 Climate Action Plan Task Force. For more information on appointments to that body, please click  > Volunteers Sought for Climate Action Plan Task Force.

Feb 9 2017

The Budget Advisory & Financial Planning Committee will meet on Monday, February 13th at 6:30 pm. The meeting will be held in the East Wing of 801 Magnolia Avenue (Piedmont Center for the Arts Building).  This location does not provide for broadcasting of the meeting. Those interested in City finances and a potential bond measure may speak at the meeting.

The agenda lists a review of the 2016 -2017 Mid-year Financial Report and the City’s bonding capacity. 

The City has been studying and planning improvements to recreation facilities including a new aquatics center with potential for-profit activities such as a food concession, etc.  In addition, the City has been considering various Civic Center projects. Fiscal projections have indicated a need for additional funding to finance the projects. Bond funding has been mentioned as a potential source of funding.

The City’s bond capacity informs many decisions.

Bond approval per the City Charter and State laws requires approval by 2/3rds of Piedmonters voting on any bond measure.

Nov 19 2016


Piedmont Schools Resale Shop Needs a New Location! Ideas are needed! 

Did you know that Dress Best for Less (DBFL), Piedmont’s own non-profit resale shop, is one of the largest donors to the Piedmont Education Foundation (PEF) every year?

Dress Best For Less –  3861 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611

For decades Piedmont schools have benefited from numerous volunteers and voluminous donations of clothes and resalable items for the thrift store on Piedmont Avenue adjacent to Commis Restaurant.  The fund raising effort regularly donates to the Piedmont Education Foundation (PEF), estimating contributions of over a million dollars to benefit the schools.

Recently, the owner of the shop’s property informed Dress Best For Less (DBFL) they would not be renewing the long held lease as Commis Restaurant would be taking over the space to increase the size of its popular upscale restaurant.  Most of the clients of the thrift store originate from the Kaiser Hospital facilities making it an ideal location for DBFL.

  Since 1982, DBFL, a 501c3 charitable organization, has donated over $1 million to PEF.  The resale operation sells and recycles donated goods from local residents. DBFL supports Piedmont schools while helping Piedmonters reduce, reuse and recycle.

 Gayle Sells, Chair of DBFL Board stated, “We are currently looking for a place to rent on Piedmont Ave as half our customers are from Kaiser. However, we are open to other ideas.”

The Carriage House Marking Room is proposed to be eliminated for a new Aquatic Center development.

Carriage House Marking Room at Magnolia and Bonita Avenues – 799 Magnolia Ave., Piedmont, CA – 510-653-0221

Compounding challenges for DBFL, the proposed Aquatic Center includes destruction of the Carriage House, valued as a quaint landmark of Piedmont’s past. The Carriage House has long served as the DBFL sorting and marking room and a very convenient drop off center for donations.  On any day of the week Piedmonters can be seen bringing bags and boxes of toys, outgrown clothes and housewares to the Carriage House.

The elimination of the Carriage House as a marking room is not immediate. However, if a bond is approved by voters for the Aquatic Center, a new marking room will need to be purchased, rented or built in a central Piedmont location for the convenience of volunteer workers and donors, who donate or work at the Carriage House before picking up kids or after swimming next door. 

Are there any other City owned properties that could serve as well as the Carriage House for donations and recycling in the community? Perhaps the east wing of 801 Magnolia Avenue or the City garages on Magnolia Avenue?

According to Gayle Sells, Chair of DBFL Board, “We hope that the city and school community can find us another space if the pool gets the go ahead.  Our board supports the idea of a new community pool.”

Recycling locally is an important contribution to fulfilling our required reduction of greenhouse gases and reaching the objectives of Piedmont’s Climate Action Plan. 

If you have ideas or can help relocate DBFL, let DBFL know at


On the last Saturday of the month, there is a $10 bag sale from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Carriage House Marking Room – Bag Day is a popular adventure allowing avid thrift shoppers to stuff a standard brown grocery bag full of items for $10.


“DBFL strives to resell only the highest quality donations. Everything on the floor is either in new condition or gently used.  If anything is placed on the floor that is found to have holes, stains or looks too worn, it is removed.”

DONATING at the MARKING ROOM Carriage House

Marking Room at Magnolia and Bonita Avenues – 799 Magnolia Ave., Piedmont, CA – 510-653-0221

• All donations are preferred during business hours at the Marking Room, however a new drop box outside of the Carriage House is available at all hours.
• All sporting goods and furniture should be donated here.
• Please DO NOT leave donations outside. They will be stolen.
• We do not take computers or other electronics.
• No skis, cribs or soiled goods.

3861 Piedmont, Oakland, CA – 510-658-8525

• Small donations are accepted Monday through Saturday 11am-6pm.
• Do not leave items outside

While DBFL greatly appreciates the generosity of all of your donations, please be aware that large furniture, inoperable electronics, car seats, edible products and cosmetics will most likely be discarded automatically.

Donations can be dropped off and the then the donor can print their own Donation Form by clicking below:  

Cleaning closets? Recycle and reuse with Dress Best for Less! DBFL is always in need of gently used and good condition clothing, books, sporting goods and other small household items that will produce revenues for the schools. (Please no computers, non-working electrical items, or soiled, stained, moldy items!). Donate items at the marking room at 709 Magnolia Avenue, across from Piedmont High School.

Shop at the Store for Great Bargains. DBFL is the best upscale resale store in the East Bay! We sell only the most current styles and labels as well as household items in a friendly, organized atmosphere.  Come to the Store located at 3861 Piedmont Avenue.

DBFL Store:
3861 Piedmont Avenue,
Oakland, CA 94611
Phone – 510-658-8525
Tuesday -Saturday – 11am to 6pm

Marking Room:
799 Magnolia Avenue,
Piedmont, CA 94611
Phone – 510-653-0221
Monday – 10:00am – noon
Tuesday – 9am – 1:30pm
Wednesday – 9am – 4pm
Saturday – 10am – noon

DBFL is an important resource for Piedmonters and Piedmont Schools. 

Read more about Dress Best for Less here. <