Jan 31 2023

Regular Agenda for 5:30 pm meeting in the City Council Chambers:


1. Approval of Park Commission Minutes for January 4, 2023

2. Update on Liquid ambar Street Trees on Selborne Dr.

3. Update on Opportunities to Memorialize the Sidney and Irene Dearing Family History at the  Triangle Park at the Intersection of Magnolia and Wildwood Avenues

4. Update on City Park Projects


a. Linda Park Lawn Renovation and Linda Off Leash Dog Park Closure

b. Highland Guilford Handrail and Stair Project

c. Piedmont Park Irrigation and Native Garden Renovations

d. Bottle Filling Stations in Various Parks


5. Update on Tree Inventory and Street Trees

6. Update on the Pedestrian Bridge in Piedmont Park

7. Update on Arbor Day – April 27, 2023

8. Update on Heritage Tree Signage and Nominations for 2023

9. Monthly Maintenance Report: Park, Open Space, and Street Tree Update for the Month of
January 2023

Jan 30 2023

Following the 6 pm Call to Order in Council Chambers, the Council will adjourn to a Closed Session in the Conference Room for one agenda item:

a. Public Employee Appointment (Government Code Sec. 54957 (b)(1))
Title: City Administrator

Jan 14 2023

MONDAY, JAN. 16, 2023 – 11:00 – 12:30 PM 

PIEDMONT HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE <New location

800 MAGNOLIA AVENUE

Photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We hope to see you at Piedmont’s 26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, presented by the Piedmont Anti-Racism & Diversity Committee (PADC) and the City of Piedmont.

This year’s event will take place on Monday, January 16th from 11 to 12:30pm at the Piedmont High School’s Alan Harvey Theatre, 800 Magnolia Avenue. Featured speakers include:

  • Congresswoman Barbara Lee
  • Piedmont Mayor Jen Cavenaugh
  • Corrina Gould of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust
  • Kate Schatz, co-author of Do the Work: An Anti-Racist Activity Book
  • Dr. Calyborne Carson, founding Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute at Stanford University.
Nov 22 2022

Lights Up! Longstanding Piedmont holiday tree lighting event returns with new celebrations, activities on December 7.


The City of Piedmont and the Piedmont Beautification Foundation invite community members to kick off the holiday season on Wednesday, December 7th at 7:00pm at Lights Up! A New Community Holiday Lighting Celebration in front of Piedmont Community Hall.

This event represents an expansion and evolution of Piedmont’s beloved holiday tree lighting ceremony, which dates back to 1969. Longstanding traditions, including the illumination of the 80-foot redwood tree and a cappella serenades by Piedmont High School’s Troubadours will continue, enhanced this year by new additions intended to create a more inclusive and welcoming event that celebrates the diversity of our community.

In the depths of winter, celebrations centered around light are common to cultures across the globe. Building on this theme, Lights Up! will include new lighting around the park, the lighting of a menorah concurrently with the tree, and an interactive activity hosted by Piedmont’s Girl Scouts inviting attendees to document how they plan to share their own inner light in the new year. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area will provide a recipient to flip the switch for the lights.

Piedmont Boy Scouts will serve warm apple cider and hot cocoa generously provided by Piedmont Grocery and Heafey Baum Group, respectively, while Chabad Oakland will add to the festivities this year with a latke station. The Piedmont Recreation Department will provide a variety of activities to entertain young children.

Per tradition, Santa Claus will be available for photos inside Community Hall, and children are invited to write letters to Santa and deposit them in a special mailbox addressed to North Pole. Santa will read every letter. Children with special needs will be able to see Santa starting at 6:00pm.

Lights Up! will take place rain or shine.

The Piedmont Beautification Foundation (PBF) obtains, maintains, installs, and removes the colorful LED lights that adorn the illuminated tree each year. Throughout the year, PBF partners with the City to provide research and funding for projects that increase safety, beauty, and function of Piedmont’s extensive and unique public facilities. Community members can support these efforts by donating at piedmontbeautificationfoundation.org/donate. A donation to PBF this time of year provides an opportunity to extend warm wishes to friends and neighbors as part of the group’s 54th Annual Holiday Greeting Campaign by way of names of donors being listed in the Post and the Exedra.

For questions regarding Lights Up! or Piedmont Beautification Foundation’s work, contact Barbara Love at pbf.piedmont@gmail.com. For general questions about the City’s winter holiday events, including Lights Up!, Santa’s Workshop (December 10th), Donuts & Dreidels (December 18th), and Noon Year’s Eve (December 31st), contact City of Piedmont Recreation Director Chelle Putzer at cputzer@piedmont.ca.gov.

Published November 22, 2022


This is a joint message from the City of Piedmont and the Piedmont Beautification Foundation.

Oct 20 2022

Piedmont Police PRESS RELEASE

At 4:21 am this morning October 20, 2022, Police officers observed multiple wooden pallets on fire in the ACE Hardware parking lot on Grand Avenue. Officers worked to put the fire out with fire extinguishers and were assisted by the Piedmont Fire Department.

Later in the morning, Halloween decorations were lit on fire in the 300 block of Wildwood Avenue and the 100 block of Sierra Avenue.

No one was injured and there was minimal property damage in all the events.

An unknown subject was captured on video at the involved locations.

If you have any information related to this subject or additional video of unusual activity related to these events, please contact detectives at (510) 420-3000.

 

 

Sep 14 2022

City of Piedmont Budget Advisory & Financial Planning Committee

Thursday, September 15, 2022 6:00 p.m. Via Teleconference

Agenda and Participation >- 2022-09-15 Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee Agenda

1. Review of FY 2021-22 Revenue and Expenditures: Actual vs Budget

FY 2021-22 Highlights

 Revenue exceeded annual budget by $5.9 million

Major variances include:

• Transfer tax receipts totaled $6.0 million,

• $3.2 million HIGHER than budget, but $0.3 million LESS than last year

• Home sales 11% LESS than last year (152 vs 170)

• Average Sales Price increased 6% to $3.0 million

• Recreation revenue up $0.9 million as programs and facilities rentals returned to normal levels versus conservative budget.

• Building Permits and Planning Fees $0.5 million higher than budget

• Mutual Aid \ Strike Team revenue was $0.5 million as we participated in battling the seasons severe wildfires.

• Property taxes exceeded annual budget by $0.3 million

2. Review of Proposed FY 2022-2023 General Fund Transfers

Year End General Fund Transfers • Projecting Ending Balance of General Fund to be $10.1 million.

Staff recommends the following:

• $1.7 million to the Facilities Maintenance Fund.

• $1.0 million to the Equipment Replacement Fund.

After transfers, General Fund will be $7.4 million, or 24% of Expenditures.

READ the full staff report on revenue and expenditures:   >BAFP_Meeting_09-15-2022

Available records of the BAFP Committee have been limited and minutes are not kept and approved by the Committee.  Those interested in the subject matter are advised to participate in the meeting as noted in the Agenda > 2022-09-15 Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee Agenda

“SECTION 6.05 PUBLIC RECORD Minutes for each of such boards and commissions shall be kept as a record of its proceedings and transactions. Each board or commission shall prescribe its own rules and regulations which shall be consistent with this Charter and with City Council ordinances and resolutions, and copies of which shall be kept on file with the City Clerk.” City Charter

READ the full Piedmont City Charter >charter

Committee Roster –

  • Andrew Flynn
  • Cathie Geddeis
  • Deborah Leland
  • Robert McBain
  • Paul Raskin
  • Frank Ryan
  • Vanessa Washington
  • Alice Cho (Alternate)

Council Liaison: Jennifer Cavenaugh | jcavenaugh@piedmont.ca.gov | (415) 215-6933
Staff Liaison: Michael Szczech | mszczech@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3045

Jun 3 2022

What’s with all those suggestive banners on Grand Avenue?  “A Housing Element for All,” “How Will Piedmont Grow?” and a couple more I could not either see (for the trees) or remember.

Anytime I see advocacy for Piedmont to grow, I hope they mean more kids in the existing housing.   I was one at ABAG — at both Regional Planning and the Executive Board, who insisted that some communities were not meant to build more housing for a number of reasons.  
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There is this compulsion that California needs to grow its population.  This began with Governor Pat Brown (Jerry’s Dad) in the early 1960’s.  The senior Brown wanted California to become the most populous state and, therefore, have the most electoral votes.  Well, we have the most votes but we have a state whose population is outrunning its resources.
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The State water project (also championed by Pat Brown) was never completed.  We lack the water capacity to support both population and agriculture.  Now, how does this affect Piedmont and it’s planning?  You run the very real risk of over burdening the community’s resources by way of infrastructure and effect on other imported resources such as water and energy.
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The State has adopted this philosophy of build, build, build and we have, have, have.  California loses valuable agricultural land to development every year.  We have less land to produce food for more people.  When did this become a good idea?  This elongated period of drought has caused tremendous harm to the underground water supply in the Central Valley.  Yet there is this continuing demand to build right over those aquifers.
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I am not even going to get into the status of public education and the effects this has on the future of public vs. private education.   
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Forcing communities, such as Piedmont, to grow its housing is just symptomatic of the harm being done throughout California.  Jerry Brown, as Governor, the second time around, spoke of a California with 50 million people.  However, he did not add that it would be 50 million living with resources for 35 million.
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The State needs to pull back on the draconian mandate to build more housing and assess California’s resources and how best to manage them.  The only State offered water plan continues to be building a piped version of the Peripheral Canal.  Likewise, why has the State been lax in planning for California’s agriculture assets?  How much more ag land can be paved over before Sacramento realizes the danger this poses for the future of this state?
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“How shall Piedmont Grow” is an indicator of how far off the rails California is headed (and I don’t mean all the money invested in “high speed rail”) with this forced building policy (more like extorsion) while under planning for the resources to supply the population.
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Steve Eigenberg, Former Piedmont Mayor and Councilmember
Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Jun 3 2022

As heat ramps up ahead of what forecasters say will be a hotter than normal summer, electricity experts and officials are warning that states may not have enough power to meet demand in the coming months. And many of the nation’s grid operators are also not taking climate change into account in their planning, even as extreme weather becomes more frequent and more severe.

All of this suggests that more power outages are on the way, not only this summer but in the coming years as well.

READ the full article:   https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/31/us/power-outages-electric-grid-climate-change/index.html

May 19 2022

City pursues electrification of houses and multi-family high-rise buildings.

Preliminary ideas from staff include the development of Reach Codes for new high-rise multifamily buildings (four stories or more) and for new non-residential buildings and non-residential alterations, which would apply to offices, stand-alone retail shops, and restaurants. 

Since Ordinance 750 N.S. (Reach Codes) went into effect, several areas arose in which City staff found that the existing Reach Codes may be unclear and may benefit from further specification to ensure the intent of the local code amendments are being met. These include:

• Clarifying whether natural gas or propane plumbing should be allowed to be installed for exterior recreational features and amenities (e.g., outdoor fireplace, heat lamp) at a newly constructed low-rise residential building or new detached ADU that is required to be all electric and would otherwise have no working gas service;

• Clarifying that a project proposing a new ADU or Junior ADU (JADU) fixated to or located within an existing detached accessory structure (i.e., garage, carport) must be built allelectric;

• Specifying that a kitchen or laundry room renovation project is required to not only include electrical outlets for future appliance services, but also include an energy efficiency insulation or electrification improvement; and

• Specifying that low flow water fixtures selected as energy efficiency improvement are required to be installed in all areas of the low-rise residential building not just the area of renovation.

2022 Energy Code and Future Considerations:

The 2022 Energy Code revises energy efficiency standards for newly constructed buildings, as well as additions and alterations to existing buildings. The Code builds on California’s technology innovations, encouraging inclusion of market-ready electric products in new construction, such as heat pumps for climate control and water heating. The Code also requires all new homes to be electric-ready. These updates and improvements and crucial steps in the state’s progress toward 100% clean electricity and carbon neutrality by 2045, or earlier.

READ the complete staff report and Reach Code results linked below:

reach code results 522020

TAKE THE REACH CODE SURVEY
In February 2021, the City Council adopted reach codes that require energy efficiency measures to be included in new construction and existing building renovations. Reach codes are local amendments that go above and beyond existing California building codes (Title 24) to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The primary goal of the reach codes is to help Piedmont meet its Climate Action Plan 2.0 emission reduction goals by reducing natural gas use and increasing energy efficiency in buildings. Title 24 receives updates every three years to incorporate the latest changes in construction and technology. The latest update (2019 Energy Code) went into effect on January 1, 2020. Starting January 1, 2023, the 2022 Energy Code will go into effect. When the Energy Code is updated, the City will also need to adopt any local amendments to the Code, including readoption of the reach codes.
To help inform the development of the next iteration of reach codes, City staff request all those who live and work in Piedmont to participate in an online survey to provide feedback about the current reach codes and suggestions for the next round. The survey is live and will be open until May 20, 2022.

All those who complete the online survey will be entered into a raffle to receive a sustainability prize. > Take the Community Survey

Learn more about Piedmont’s Reach Codes

 

May 16 2022

The City released the draft budget for 2022-2023 last week and it’s on the May 16 Council agenda. ( City of Piedmont 2022-2023 Budget).

One purpose of the document is to project tax revenue growth for the next 10 years so that City can implement long-term financial planning.  Growth from property tax revenue in Piedmont is pretty stable, increasing 4-5% a year.  Transfer tax revenue, the 1.3% tax assessed on the sale of homes, can be volatile, but contributes more to annual growth than the property tax.   
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As the figure below shows, revenue bounces between $2 and $4M/yr (the exception being the three years of the Great Recession) and shows a steady rate of growth from 2010 to 2020.  Averaged over those 10 years, the transfer tax is $3.4M/yr and the City projects that as a flat growth rate for the next 7 years, leading many city funds into the red. Alternatively, when the transfer tax growth rate is used to project growth (Transfer Tax Projection), transfer tax revenue grows to almost $5M/yr over the same time period.

The City describes 2020-2021 transfer tax revenue ($6.3M) as an outlier, but that remains to be seen.  2021 transfer tax revenue was a record for Piedmont that may well be broken this year. Through the first quarter of the 2021-22 fiscal year, transfer tax revenue was ahead of last year by about 24% and carried over the year that comes to a transfer tax of $7.8M for 2021-2022.  Staff may provide an update on this tax revenue at tonight’s meeting.

So this is good news but will it last?  I don’t know, but it strikes me that averaging over the past 10 years is too conservative an approach that naturally leads the City to seek tax increases to make up for funding it projects it won’t receive when in fact it will.   The City should at least run two financial projections – flat growth and expected growth – to provide City Council with a more balanced report for long-term planning.  Perhaps the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee can request this from staff.

Garrett Keating, Former Piedmont City Council Member

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