Jan 30 2012

Utility Undergrounding Moratorium Extended for Two Years

At its meeting on January 17, 2012, the City Council extended the moratorium on utility undergrounding districts for two more years, until March 2014. This was the Council’s first step in implementing  recommendations of  the Council’s own Audit Subcommittee and the League of Women Voters Task Force, both of which  investigated and reported on the serious and costly flaws in the City’s management of the Piedmont Hills Utility Undergrounding District.

As previously requested by the Council, the City Administrator submitted a proposed resolution extending the City’s existing moratorium on new underground assessment districts for another two years. The moratorium was established in March 2010 to allow the City sufficient time to complete its investigations related to the Piedmont Hills Underground Assessment District as well as re-evaluate and revise the City’s undergrounding policies, procedures and processes. The Piedmont Hills Undergrounding District matter is currently in litigation and the City’s re-evaluation of policies, procedures and processes is in its preliminary stage. The City Administrator and Council acknowledged that the moratorium does not apply to privately funded utility undergrounding projects arranged directly between property owners and PG&E.


Resolution 5-12

WHEREAS, it is the intent of the City Council in adopting this resolution to extend the existing moratorium on underground assessment districts until the City is able to put in place policies and programs which substantially reduce the financial risk to the City of Piedmont of establishing Underground Assessment Districts; and

WHEREAS, the City will need to establish programs and policies to implement the recommendations of the and League of Women Voters Task Force to Investigate and Report on Piedmont Hills Undergrounding Project, to establish a minimum approval threshold for balloting, and methods to fully inform homeowners of the risks and responsibilities attendant to the establishment of Underground Assessment Districts; and

WHEREAS, litigation concerning the Piedmont Hills Underground Assessment District remains under way; and

WHEREAS, until the adoption and implementation of the above referenced policies and procedures, it is not in the best interest of the residents of this city to invest city funds in support of new underground assessment development, including but not limited to expenditure of staff time and resources or the promissory use of the city’s 20A funds from PG&E; and

WHEREAS, it is difficult to predict exactly the time required for the above actions but the Council wishes to allow sufficient time for a comprehensive public process; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Piedmont City Council extends the existing moratorium on all new underground assessment districts in the City of Piedmont for a period of two years until March 2014.
Moved by Fujioka, Seconded by Chiang
Ayes: Barbieri, Chiang, Fujioka, Keating, Wieler
Noes: None
Absent: None

Leave a Comment