May 9 2022

Special Planning Commission Meeting – Thursday – May 12, 2022

 WHERE ARE 587 NEW HOUSING UNITS GOING TO GO IN PIEDMONT?
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The City of Piedmont is moving ahead with a new Housing Element.    Few Piedmonters have trudged through the almost 400 page Draft Housing Element containing profound suggested changes to Piedmont zoning.  The proposal suggests ending the Piedmont City Charter requirement of Piedmont voter control over zoning.
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Piedmont’s Planning Commission will hold a hybrid, in-person and virtual meeting on May 12, 2022, at 5:30 pm to consider a recommendation on the Draft Piedmont 6th Cycle Housing Element. On April 8, 2022, the City of Piedmont published the Draft Housing Element for public review and comment. The Draft Housing Element is posted to the homepages of the City of Piedmont website and Piedmontishome.org. Other formats are available upon request to the City. 

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Agenda and participation information >Planning 2022-05-12 Special Meeting

 

May 2 2022

 City Proposal for Housing Element Includes: Zoning Changes, Transitional Housing, ADU Heights to 24 feet, City Charter Amendments, Converting City Hall and Veterans Buildings to Low-Income Housing, Coaches Field, Blair Park, etc.

There’s more than just numbers (587 new housing units to be exact) to the Housing Element.  There are several programs and policies in the draft that have not gotten much attention in the city workshops or outreach program, some are noted below:

Require large home remodels include an ADU in the expansion. 

• Establish a transitional home for 6 homeless individuals in a residential neighborhood. Collaborate with a nonprofit affordable housing organization to convert a home or homes to transitional housing for six persons.  This would require changing current residential zone restrictions to allow transitional housing throughout the city. (page 74),

• Create additional local housing opportunities for persons employed within Piedmont in order to reduce commuting and associated greenhouse gas emissions. A particular emphasis should be placed on transportation and on housing for municipal and school district employees, since these are the largest employers in the City. (page 75).

• Allow ADUs to be built to a height of 24 feet if the ADU is deed restricted for 10 years. (page 55).

• Amend the City Charter to eliminate the requirement that the reclassification of zones and/or reduction or enlargement of size or area of zones be subject to a majority vote at a general or special election. (page 57).

• Rezone the Corporation Yard and areas around Coaches Field to accommodate 130 housing units.  Fifty high density units would be built in the Coaches Filed overflow parking lot and 50 units on the slope below the third base line of the field.  If this plan is infeasible, develop 200 high density units in Blair Park. (Appendix B-14)

• Convert Veterans and City Halls into low-income housing (Appendix B-15).

Public comment on the Housing Element started April 6, 2022, and will run for 3 months with Council adoption expected in June 2022. Once approved by Council, the Housing Element needs to be approved by state authorities.  By statute, the deadline for state approval was recently extended to May 2023.  

City Council should take advantage of the state time extension and extend public comment on the Housing Element through November 2022. There are a number of reasons for doing so. 

  •  The plan needs work and a June hearing should still be held to address deficiencies of the current draft so that revisions can be made. 
  • The plan currently does not achieve the equitable distribution of affordable housing throughout Piedmont.
  • The plan for Coaches Field is really half-baked. 
  • There are many new programs and policies called for in the Housing Element that need better vetting with the community. 
  • By extending public comment through November, Piedmont voters can express their opinion on the draft Housing Element by seating a majority of Council (3 seats will be on the ballot).  This timeline offers residents an excellent opportunity to have their voices heard and two of the Councilmembers will likely serve for 8 years, the lifespan of the 6th Cycle Piedmont Housing Element, ensuring some continuity. 
  • Postponing consideration of the Housing Element until after the November election would engage the entire community in setting Piedmont’s affordable housing future, a legacy everyone could be proud of.  

Public comments on the Housing Element will be sent to the Planning Commission if received by May 5.  Send comments to Piedmontishome@piedmont.ca.gov.  The public can also comment on the Housing Element at the Special Planning Commission meeting, a virtual meeting on Zoom on May 12.  Read the draft Housing Element at:

https://p1cdn4static.civiclive.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_13659739/File/Government/Departments/Planning%20Division/Housing%20Programs/Housing%20Element/DRAFT-Housing_Element-Public-Review.pdf

Garrett Keating, Former member of the Piedmont City Council and Piedmont Resident

Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Contact information:

510/420-3050 – Planning Staff

510/420-3040 – City Clerk – City Council
Ask for the email address where you can send comments.  Sending an email to the City Council is a good place to send a comment.  Written comments become part of the public record, phone calls do not. 
Go to the City of Piedmont web page for more information.
May 2 2022

“City Staff is asking Park Commissioners to provide feedback on the Draft 6th Cycle Piedmont Housing Element as community members and key stakeholders. The Park Commission meeting on May 4 gives the public further opportunities to learn about the Housing Element update process and to give their input and feedback.”

Numerous proposals are in the Draft Housing Element many occurring throughout Piedmont.  Density increases, removal of parking requirements, raised height limits of buildings, end to neighbor input on proposals, zoning changes, Charter change, etc.

 All proposals in the 374 page Draft Housing Element document can be read online for public comment.  See link at the end of this article.

6. Proposed Specific Plan: Page B-12, Appendix B, of the Draft Housing Element proposes to prepare a specific plan (Government Code §65450 et. seq) for the area of the Public Works Corporation Yard to accommodate new housing development, incorporate existing amenities, and modernize current city functions. The portion of the site utilized for park Page 2 of 62 and recreational uses, are intended to remain as an amenity for the proposed specific plan area, with the existing vehicle parking reconfigured, as needed.  See map on linked attachment below.

7. Blair Park: The Draft Housing Element identifies Blair Park, which is located on the south side of Moraga Avenue, as a potential alternate site for housing if the proposed specific plan for the Public Works Corporation Yard fails to yield 122 housing units (page B-13). Blair Park is 3.55 acres, with the potential for 210 units if developed at 60 units per acre.

8. Zoning Amendments: In order to meet the 6th Cycle RHNA target with Piedmont’s limited available land, the Draft Housing Element’s Goal 1, New Housing Construction, proposes to increase the allowed residential density for housing affiliated with religious institutions in Zone A (program 1.D, page (37) and increase allowed residential density in Zone B (program 1.F), Zone C (program 1.G), and Zone D (1.H).

READ the Draft Housing Element May 4 presentation to the Park Commission and Agenda, including participation information below:

> 2022-05-04 Park Agenda

May 1 2022

Receipt of the Piedmont Community Pool Design Development Package and Consideration of: 

1) Approval of Design Modifications to the Recreation Pool; and

2) Authorization for Staff and ELS to Advance to Construction Documents Phase

RECOMMENDATION: Receive the 100% Design Development Package and Cost Estimate for the Piedmont Community Pool Project and by a single motion, take the following actions with regard to the project:

1) Approve design modifications to the shallow water recreation pool as recommended by the Community Pool Advisory Committee (PAC):

a) Lap Lanes: increased length of the three lap lanes from 20 to 25 yards with a depth profile that moves side to side from approximately 3.5 feet in the middle of the pool to approximately 5 feet at the western edge of the pool

b) Rotate the stairs 90 degrees such that the stairs enter the open free water area rather than the rectangular lap lane area

2) Approve expansion of the zero-beach entry area in the recreation pool by approximately 300 square feet

3) Authorize Staff and ELS to advance to Construction Documents Phase

FULL STAFF REPORT >Pool Acceptance 522022

council- 522020 agenda

Apr 24 2022

Piedmont is scheduled to adopt a new Housing Element to accommodate 587 new housing units in Piedmont.  You can play a role in deciding how! 

For development potential, some residents and City staff have suggested,  amongst other areas, the area around the City Corporation Yard on Moraga Avenue.  Undeveloped areas are unlikely to provide housing space for 587 new housing units leading to new units added in single family neighborhoods. 

Once the Housing Element is approved, the City will be prohibited by law from informing neighbors of certain proposed projects, potentially turning garages into housing, subdividing properties, adding new housing units on existing properties, restructuring existing homes as apartment buildings, etc. .

The Housing Element is important to all areas of Piedmont, for after parameters and requirements for housing are approved in the new Housing Element, “ministerial” permits are to be issued by the City Planning Department for all conforming proposals without neighborhood notification or input. 

The Piedmont Planning staff, along with outside consultants, have devised the new DRAFT Housing Element.  Attempts have been made by the City to involve Piedmont residents in the process.  The result is a 374 page DRAFT Housing Element document outlining conditions for approval of housing units. 

Go to the end of this article to learn how you can voice your preferences and read the DRAFT Housing Element.

TIME FOR WRITTEN INPUT TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION IS  ENDING ON MAY 5, 2022.

If you are not able or need assistance with submitting your ideas to the City, contact City Clerk John O. Tulloch at 510-420-3040 or Senior Planner Pierce Macdonald at 510-420-3050.

  The Piedmont City Council has planned a limited comment period based on an earlier State deadline for submittal of Piedmont’s new Housing Element. 

State Housing Element Update Timeline was Extended to May 2023 due to a recent state law requiring additional review and longer comment periods.

  • April 8, 2022: Publication of the Draft Housing Element > Draft Piedmont 6th Cycle Housing Element.  (374 pages)

  • May 12, 2022: Special Planning Commission public hearing, starting at 5:30 pm to discuss and consider the Draft Housing Element. Approximately one month comment period.
  • June 2022: City Council public hearing. Approximately one month comment period.
  • May 2023: NEW deadline for adoption of the final draft of the updated Housing Element, date amended due to recent state law requiring additional review and longer comment periods! 

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Special Planning Commission Meeting – May 12, 2022 – City News Release Below
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Piedmont’s Planning Commission will hold a hybrid, in-person and virtual meeting on May 12, 2022, at 5:30 pm to consider a recommendation to the City Council on the >Draft Piedmont 6th Cycle Housing Element. On April 8, 2022, the City of Piedmont published the Draft Housing Element for public review and comment. The Draft Housing Element is posted to the homepages of the City of Piedmont website and Piedmontishome.org. Other formats are available upon request. The Planning Commission agenda will be published on the City website and posted by May 9, 2022.
Cover of Draft Housing Element
The 374-page Draft Housing Element, shown above, includes policies to increase housing access and affordability in Piedmont.
Places to Find Draft Housing Element Online
Purple arrows identify the locations of the links to the Draft Housing Element on the homepages of the City website and Piedmontishome.org
Win $50 Gift Card To Ace Hardware!
Piedmont Puzzle Welcome Page
The web-based Piedmont Housing Puzzle supports the development of the next Housing Element by giving you the tools to imagine sites for 587 new housing units in Piedmont. Links to the Puzzle are posted here:
Over 300 Piedmont community members have already visited the Piedmont Housing Puzzle or submitted their housing plans and comments. We would like to reach more!
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Please share the City’s Facebook page at the link above, or share the link to the Piedmont Puzzle on social media or via email. People are 100 times more likely to follow a link online if it is recommended by someone they know.
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There are only 10 days left to provide comments about new housing sites through the Piedmont Housing Puzzle. The Puzzle ends Sunday, May 1, 2022.
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Win a $50 gift card to Grand Lake Ace Hardware by submitting your housing plan, email, and comments in the Piedmont Housing Puzzle. Click below to start!

How to Read and Review the Draft Housing Element

The Draft Housing Element enables construction to occur, but does not force property owners to build or otherwise change the ways that they use their property. [Notification to neighbors of certain proposals is prohibited by State law.] The organization of the Draft Housing Element begins with an executive summary and then the following four sections:
  • Introduction
  • Projected Housing Need
  • Housing Resources
  • Housing Plan: Goals, Policies, and Programs
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There are six technical appendices that provide analysis of housing law, demographics, constraints, and other issues in greater detail, including Appendix F, an analysis of compliance with AB 686 and goals to affirmatively further fair housing in Piedmont.
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Community members (everyone that lives, works, attends school, or cares about housing in Piedmont) are encouraged to review the Draft Housing Element and provide comments to City decision-makers. Comments can be made using any of the following methods:
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-Use the Share Your Voice tool on the homepage at: https://Piedmontishome.org *
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-Use the Piedmont Housing Puzzle at: https://Piedmont.abalancingact.com/housingsim
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-Mail to: Draft Housing Element, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611*
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-Attend a public meeting: Planning Commission is May 12, 2022, starting at 5:30 pm. City Council is tentatively scheduled for June 2022.
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*Comments received by May 5, 2022, will be forwarded to the Planning Commission the weekend before the first public hearing.

 This is a City website.

STAY CONNECTED & INFORMED
The City of Piedmont wants to keep you up to date on planning-related issues regarding transportation, sustainability, housing and changes to development regulations that affect you. Community participation is key to the success of new City policies. Contact pmacdonald@piedmont.ca.gov to learn more.
Get this Update email right in your inbox! Share with friends, family and neighbors!
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This is a City website.

Apr 17 2022

Monday, April 18, 2022 – 6:00 p.m. Piedmont City Hall

Mayor Teddy King, who’s position ends in  November, has planned a Special Council Meeting dedicated exclusively to her presentation on the State of Piedmont.

Recently, only once has a Piedmont mayor made such a presentation.  The King presentation preempts Council action at the usually scheduled council meeting.

A reception will follow the Mayor’s presentation.  The meeting and reception are open to all. 

Agenda and participation details are linked below:

4-182022council-current-agenda

Updated April 19, 2022 – 

Read Mayor Teddy King presentation >  State of the City Address – As Prepared

Apr 2 2022

Piedmont for the first time has an all female city council and school board plus, a female City Administrator and City Attorney.

When Piedmont became a city in 1907, women could not vote.  In March during Women’s History month, women were urged to become more involved in public policy making.

Meet your Piedmont elected officials, City Administrator, and City Attorney. 

Mayor Teddy Gray King

Teddy Gray King

Mayor Teddy Gray King was elected to the Piedmont City Council in 2014 following a decade of service to the city of Piedmont on various commissions. She brings to public office extensive government and public policy experience, having worked as staff to a member of Congress in Washington DC and for the city and county of San Francisco. Her areas of expertise include, energy, transportation and infrastructure, housing, and environmental sustainability. Teddy represents the city of Piedmont at the League of California Cities, where she is a member of both the Women’s Caucus and the Hispanic Caucus. In addition, she serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Mayor King lives with her three children in Piedmont where they attend local public schools.

Current term: Second term expires 11/2022

Contact
tking@piedmont.ca.gov
(510) 420-3048


Vice Mayor Jen Cavenaugh

Jen Cavenaugh

Jennifer Cavenaugh was elected to City Council in November 2016 and is serving her second term. As a former business executive, a wife and mother of three children in Piedmont schools, and a high-impact community organizer, she strives to preserve the many aspects that make Piedmont special while investing in the city’s future.

Prior to being elected, Cavenaugh was a member of the Piedmont’s Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee Member where she focused on required investments to fund the city’s infrastructure. This infrastructure includes municipal buildings, parks & recreational facilities, and streets and sidewalks. She also led the Recreation Department’s Community Outreach Project which allowed the department to better align its growth with community interests.

She has served as the liaison to several city commissions including Public Safety, Recreation, Planning and Audit. She is active in the League of California Cities as a Legislative Policy member on Environmental Quality and Community Service committees. She participates in regional initiatives through East Bay Economic Development Alliance, Association of Bay Area Governments, East Bay Community Energy and the Alameda County Transportation Commission.

She works to collaborate with schools and community organizations for mutually beneficial solutions and to increase equity and inclusiveness which makes Piedmont a more welcoming community to individuals with diverse perspectives.

She earned her MBA from the University of Chicago and her B.S. from the University of Illinois.

Current Term: Second term expires 11/2024

Contact

jcavenaugh@piedmont.ca.gov
(415) 215-6933


Councilmember Betsy Smegal Andersen

Betsy Smegal AndersenCouncilmember Betsy Smegal Andersen was appointed to the City Council in October 2017 and elected to her first term in November 2018. Councilmember Andersen grew up in Piedmont and has a long history of community involvement, including service on the Public Safety Committee and the Recreation Commission. She is a proud graduate of Piedmont High School, Duke University and the UCLA School of Law.

Current term: First term expires 11/2022

Contact
bandersen@piedmont.ca.gov
(510) 420-3048


Councilmember Conna McCarthy

McCarthy PhotoIn November 2020, Conna McCarthy was elected to her first term on City Council. McCarthy serves as liaison to the Planning Commission and the Civil Service Commission. She serves on the Board of Directors for  East Bay Community Energy. Growing up in San Francisco, in a family where advocacy, activism and participation in democratic processes was required, McCarthy spent a good part of her youth and early adulthood engaged in community organizing projects. Moving to Piedmont in 1989, she has contributed over 25 years of volunteer leadership to the Piedmont Community. McCarthy is a graduate of Santa Clara University and Santa Clara University, School of Law. She is a licensed attorney, wife, and a mother of three adult children. She takes special pride in her affiliation with The McCarthy Center for Public Service at USF where students prepare for careers of ethical public service in government, business, the environment, healthcare, and education.

Current Term: First term expires 11/2024

Contact
cmccarthy@piedmont.ca.gov
(510) 420-3048


Councilmember Jennifer Long

Councilmember Jennifer Long, an attorney, was appointed to the Piedmont City Council on February 7, 2022 and took Office on February 22, 2022.

Current term: Unexpired term expires 11/2022

Contact
jlong@piedmont.ca.gov

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Piedmont City Administrator Sara Lillevand

Sara Lillevand

The City of Piedmont has a council-administrator form of government. in this form of government, the City Council provides legislative direction while the City Administrator is responsible for day-to-day administrative operations of the city based on the Council’s policy direction and recommendations.

Piedmont’s City Administrator is appointed by the City Council and serves as the chief administrative officer of the city. The City Charter and City Code spell out the duties of the City Administrator.

Sara Lillevand took office as Piedmont City Administrator on July 15, 2019.

Ms. Lillevand can be reached by phone at (510) 420-3040 or via email at slillevand@piedmont.ca.gov.

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City Attorney Michelle Kenyon

https://www.bwslaw.com/meet-our-people/michelle-marchetta-kenyon/

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Piedmont School Board______________PUSD

Cory Smegal

President
csmegal@piedmont.k12.ca.us
1st Term Start: 12/2016
1st Term End: 11/2020
2nd Term Start: 12/2020
2nd Term End: 11/2024

Megan Pillsbury

Vice President
mpillsbury@piedmont.k12.ca.us
1st Term Start: 12/2018
1st Term End: 11/2022

Veronica Anderson Thigpen

vthigpen@piedmont.k12.ca.us
1st Term Start: 12/2020
1st Term End: 11/2024

Hilary Cooper

hcooper@piedmont.k12.ca.us
1st Term Start: 12/2020
1st Term End: 11/2024

 

Amal Smith

amalsmith@piedmont.k12.ca.us
1st Term Start: 2/2014
1st Term End: 11/2018
2nd Term Start: 12/2018
2nd Term End: 11/2022

Apr 2 2022

  On Monday, April 4, City Council will be voting on whether the energy system for the new Aquatic Center will be all-electric or continue to rely on natural gas (a fossil fuel) for heating pool water, as in the past. Here are some frequently asked questions about an all-electric pool system, with answers drawn from information presented at the March 21st Council meeting by the City’s Sustainability Program Manager, as well as ELS Architecture and their energy engineer.  

Q: What are Piedmont’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets?

A: Our current targets, as outlined in our 2018 Climate Action Plan 2.0 (CAP 2.0), were in line with  State targets at that time – that is, to reduce our in-boundary emissions to 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 and to 8% below 2005 levels by 2050. But State goals have become stronger since then. California now targets achieving 100% emissions-free electricity and carbon neutrality by 2045.

Q: How close is Piedmont to achieving the GHG emissions reduction goals we set in 2018?

A: Piedmont has made incremental improvements over time but has far to go to meet our CAP 2.0 goals. The majority of our reductions so far can be attributed to forces outside Piedmont, such as increased home appliance efficiency. Since the majority of Piedmont’s emissions come from the residential sector, we can only meet our reduction targets if all residents make a concerted effort to decarbonize both their homes and their transportation. Unfortunately, rather than declining, our use of natural gas, the main source of GHG emissions from Piedmont buildings (municipal, residential, and commercial), has risen by 14% since 2014.

Q: What role must the City play in encouraging residents to decarbonize their homes and transportation?

A: The CAP 2.0 emphasizes that the City must focus on educating residents about emissions reduction opportunities and lead by example. Even though City emissions are only 2-4% of total Piedmont emissions, reducing these emissions will play an outsize role in Piedmont’s success in reducing its emissions overall, due to the demonstration effect the City’s efforts will have in motivating residents to decarbonize their own homes and transportation. Specific municipal or City goals in the CAP 2.0 include committing to Piedmont’s municipal facilities and activities becoming Zero-Carbon by 2050, about 25 years after the opening of the new pool facility.

Q: Will the City be able to meet its municipal carbon emissions reduction targets (as outlined in the CAP 2.0) if pool water in the new Aquatic Facility is heated by natural gas, a fossil fuel?

A: No. Heating the old pool with natural gas generated ~87% of the GHG emissions from municipal buildings and structures. If the new facility, with its increased pool square footage and water volume, were heated with natural gas, it would generate between 55-76% more emissions than the old pool (depending on whether or not some solar is installed). The City would not be able to make up for this increase in emissions by cutting emissions from other sources. In contrast, GHG emissions from operating an all-electric facility that relies on a combination of photovoltaic and thermal solar, electric heat pumps, and green grid electricity would be zero. The City would entirely eliminate the GHG emissions generated by the old facility, achieving a very significant municipal GHG emissions reduction.

Q: Using electric heat pumps to heat commercial-sized pools is a new application of this technology in California, so how can we be certain it will work?

A: ELS Architecture and the engineering firm they are working with are fully confident that electric heat pump technology will work for the new Piedmont Aquatic Center. They have designed an all-electric pool for Mountain View which will soon go out to bid. The reason an all-electric municipal pool seems innovative is that aquatic facilities comprise less than 3% of new public construction statewide. Looking at the public building sector overall,  from State and municipal buildings to buildings in the public education systems, new all-electric facilities are being constructed everywhere, and old buildings are undergoing significant retrofits to become all-electric. We are in the midst of an all-electric movement within both the public and private building sectors. Electric heat pump technology has been around for a long time, and, in states like Florida that are not piped for natural gas, 90% of commercial pools are heated by electric heat pumps. The reason this hasn’t been the case here in the West has been the cheap price of natural gas, a situation that is fast ending.

Q: How do the costs of an all-electric vs. a gas-powered system compare?

A: The upfront costs of an all-electric system will be higher by at least $600,000 (a more exact figure, based on recent facility design changes is forthcoming), but a lifecycle analysis shows that an all-electric facility will result in approximately $1,000,000 more in cost savings over 25 years, as compared to a system that uses natural gas. For more information, see the March 21 Staff Report on ELS’s Energy Use Report.

Q: Might the noise of the heat pumps be problematic for pool and tennis court users, as well as nearby residents?

A:  This will not be a complicated issue to resolve, as solutions are routinely found for much more complex noise issues. ELS will work with an acoustician on measures to dampen any undesirable sound from the array of heat pumps. Most of this work will take place after all the pool equipment is in place and functioning, but some pre-work may be done (for example, insulating certain walls and suspending a roof over the equipment).  Since we’ll have an array of heat pumps, it will be rare for them all to be working at their top (i.e. noisiest) capacity – for example, when the temperature gets below 30 degrees F. In addition, the heat pumps we’re looking at have a low decibel nighttime rating.                       

Q: Will relying on the clean electricity grid be more expensive than natural gas over the next 20 years?

A: The era of cheap natural gas is ending. Already, natural gas prices have gone up 200% since 2018, and every indication is that they will continue to rise. PG&E is proposing a 40% increase in natural gas prices over the next four years, as they add transportation and distribution costs for natural gas that aren’t on our current bills. In addition, the California Public Utilities Commission is moving cost rates for natural gas infrastructure solely onto the developer (vs. sharing with rate payers). Moreover, within the next 5-10 years we’ll be seeing carbon pricing or carbon taxes adding to the cost of natural gas.

Q. Will the electricity grid be able to reliably supply us with the clean electricity an all-electric Aquatic Facility will need?

A: Yes. While upgrading California’s electricity transmission systems to accommodate the level of clean electricity the state aims to generate by 2045 is undoubtedly a challenge, there is no reason to worry that there won’t be enough electricity available. Our local clean electricity provider, East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), is supporting various projects to generate clean electricity locally and is continuously increasing the percentage of electricity from renewable sources in its power mix. Thanks to a 2018 City Council decision, the City is enrolled in EBCEs Renewable 100 plan, whereby the electricity EBCE purchases on our behalf comes only from renewable sources (wind, solar, and small-scale hydroelectric). Approximately 95% of Piedmont residents are also enrolled in Renewable 100.

Q: Isn’t it risky to rely on electricity during Planned Power Outages during fire season?

A: There’s no advantage to having a natural gas system to heat pool water during a power outage, since all natural gas boilers sold in California have electric power starts. They no longer have standing pilots that allow you to have gas service during an electric outage. The pumping system for keeping water circulating is the same between a natural gas and an all-electric system, so natural gas has no advantage here either. Currently, battery storage technology to use for emergency backup is not available, but advances are being made in solar battery storage.

Q: Could we start with a natural gas heated pool and pivot to an all-electric system later?

A: It would be hard and prohibitively expensive to retrofit for electricity later. Even if we included the pre-conduits and other infrastructure for electrification in a system that initially relied on natural gas, this would also push up costs. In either case, we would be paying for the cost of two different energy systems and abandoning the natural gas system before the end of the pool’s lifetime.

Q: Was the concept and cost of an all-electric facility factored into Measure UU?

A: No. When the conceptual master plan was initially developed in 2016, all-electric pool heating was not considered, and the baseline assumption was for natural gas, although some “green features” were proposed (solar and thermal tubes). But the details of the energy system were not specified, in the same way that most of the other details being fleshed out now (pool size, building and public space design, etc.) were not. Similarly, the 2016 conceptual plan did not do a GHG emissions analysis or consider how this municipal construction project would comply with Piedmont’s 2010 Climate Action Plan then in place. Since 2016, not only was Piedmont’s 2018 CAP 2.0 adopted, but the transition off natural gas and towards full electrification of public and private buildings and facilities across the state began in earnest, and other municipalities began to consider or actually design all-electric pools. After the passage of UU, Piedmont Connect and residents focused on how to reduce the carbon footprint of the new pool complex. Connect researched and modeled the possibility of designing an all-electric facility that would emit zero GHG emissions in its operation and help the City meet its CAP 2.0 goals. Connect’s calculations showed that it would be both economically and technologically feasible, the same conclusion that the project architects and engineers have now drawn. (A report Connect prepared in 2021 can be viewed here.) City staff and Council have made public commitments several times to support the “greenest” pool possible. When hired, ELS was directed by the City to conduct an energy analysis of the pool, and it stated publicly that it would design for an all-electric option. Since the City chose to wait until the design phase of the project to conduct this energy feasibility assessment and to decide on the facility’s energy system, it may appear that an all-electric facility is an afterthought. But, in reality, this discussion has been going on for some time.

Submitted by Margaret Ovenden, Piedmont Resident

Agenda and Participation Information HERE.

Staff Report HERE

Apr 2 2022

Update on Community Pool Design Modifications and Direct Staff to: 1) Continue Review of Program and Cost Considerations Related to the 20 Versus 25 Yard Recreation Pool Lanes with Referral to the Community Pool Advisory Committee for a Review of the Recreation Pool Length, and 2) Direct Staff to Prepare a Donation Policy for the Acceptance of Donations for the Piedmont Community Pool Project

Staff Report HERE.

Agenda and Participation Information HERE.

 

Mar 30 2022
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On Monday April 4th at 6:00 p.m., the City Council will consider the method of heating for the new Piedmont Community Pools.
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Community members are invited to share your thoughts with the Council at the meeting. The agenda (which contains participation details) and staff report will be posted to the City Council’s web page by 9:00 a.m. on Friday, April 1.
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More Information on the project is available on the Piedmont Community Pool Project page.