Feb 26 2022
The 6th Cycle (2023-2031)

Housing Element Update

Environmental Impact Report

Public Scoping Meeting


March 1, 2022, 5:30 PM

On February 16, 2022, the City of Piedmont issued a Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed City of Piedmont 2023-2031 Housing Element update and associated amendments to the Piedmont General Plan.
The City of Piedmont is preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the City’s Housing Element update (“the project”) and is requesting comments on the scope and content of the Draft EIR. This scoping stage of EIR preparation seeks comments that would answer the following questions:
  • What do we need to know to prepare the EIR for the Housing Element update?
  • What potential environmental impacts from the City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) of 587 housing units should be studied as part of the EIR?
The EIR is being prepared by the City of Piedmont, which is the lead agency for the project, in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and CEQA Guidelines. In accordance with CEQA Guidelines section 15082, the Notice of Preparation (NOP) was sent to the California State Clearinghouse, Alameda County Clerk, responsible agencies, trustee agencies, adjacent cities, and is being made available to members of the public, including individuals and organizations, to solicit comments on the scope and content of the analysis in the EIR.
Written Comments: Responses to the NOP and any questions or comments should be directed in writing to: Kevin Jackson, Planning & Building Director, City of Piedmont, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611; or kjackson@piedmont.ca.gov.
Responses to the NOP must be received on or before 5 p.m. on Friday, March 18, 2022. In addition, comments may be provided at the EIR Scoping Meeting (see details below). Comments should focus on the scope and content of the EIR, such as significant environmental issues, reasonable alternatives, and mitigation measures.
EIR Public Scoping Meeting: The City of Piedmont will conduct a public scoping session on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, as part of a special Planning Commission meeting to receive comments on the scope and contents of the EIR. The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. and be held via video and teleconference. Information about how to join the meeting is available: here
Project Location: The project, which is an update to the Housing Element of the City’s General Plan, is applicable to the entire City of Piedmont (citywide). The City of Piedmont is located in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern Alameda County. The City of Piedmont encompasses approximately 1.7 square miles with a population of approximately 11,300 residents and 4,000 housing units. The Housing Element is one of the 7 state-mandated elements of the local General Plan and is required by the State of California to be updated every 8 years. Detailed project description information and background information are provided in the NOP, located here.
Probable Environmental Effects: Approval of the proposed Housing Element update would not include approval of any physical development (e.g., construction of housing or infrastructure). However, the EIR will assume that such actions are reasonably foreseeable future outcomes of the Housing Element update. The EIR will evaluate the potential physical environmental impacts that could result from future actions for implementing the policies proposed under the Housing Element update at a programmatic level, in accordance with CEQA Guidelines Section 15168. The topical areas that will be addressed in the EIR are: Aesthetics, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Energy, Geology and Soils, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Hydrology and Water Quality, Noise, Land Use and Planning, Population and Housing, Public Services and Recreation, Transportation, Tribal Cultural Resources, Utilities and Service Systems, and Wildfire.
The Draft EIR will also examine a reasonable range of alternatives to the proposed project, including the CEQA-mandated No Project Alternative and other potential alternatives that may be capable of reducing or avoiding potential environmental effects while meeting most of the basic objectives of the project. In addition, the EIR will address cumulative impacts, growth inducing impacts, and other issues required by CEQA.

Produced by the City of Piedmont

Produced by the City of Piedmont

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.
Dec 1 2021

View where the new Electrical Vehicle (EV) charging station will be on Magnolia Avenue near the Exedra at Main Park.

Scroll down on the link below to view EV maps and information for the December 1 Park Commission Meeting Agenda. 

Park Commission Agenda 12-1-2021 FINAL


Nov 20 2021

Who is fighting to stop the State takeover of local land use planning?

California residents, including Piedmonters, are becoming more and more aware of the loss of control over local land use planning in their cities and neighborhoods. Public interest groups are forming to fight State takeover of local planning processes.

Developers are projected to be the monetary gainers of State control over housing and planning.

The continuing loss of local citizens’ ability to control development and feel confident of their community’s future is felt and shown in the number of homeowners deciding this is the time to leave California. 

To date, the Piedmont City Council has fully supported the Piedmont Regional Housing Need Assessments (RHNA) calling for an additional 587 housing units added in Piedmont.  Proposals call for the Piedmont Planning Department to ministerially take action on approvals without neighborhood input on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) that meet certain criteria. Areas in Piedmont, including a park, are  being considered to be designated for multiple housing units. 

State legislation impacts Piedmont’s two “single family” residential zones differently.   Zone A where smaller parcels are typically found in “lower Piedmont,” there is a requirement of a 5 foot setback from side and rear property lines for habitable buildings.  Zone E (Estate), an elite zone where parcels are generally located in upper Piedmont,  require more space  around their homes for the greater 20 foot side and rear yard setbacks.   Roof overhangs are allowed into the setbacks further narrowing the distance between buildings.  Zone E has been questioned as illegally established as never having been established by voter action per the City Charter . 

The required number of RHNA housing units was assigned to Piedmont without consideration of the numerous substandard, narrow, and winding road ways impacting safety and emergency vehicles.   Deficient municipal open space, lack of local employment, and other local problems were also not factored into Piedmont’s 587 new housing unit assessment.

Various groups opposing State imposition of housing requirements are linked below for information.

Oct 3 2021

How Healthy is Piedmont’s Tree Canopy in 2021?

The tree canopy is like an umbrella sheltering what is below.  Tree canopies vary greatly in their penetrability based on the density of branches.  It is easier to simply count the number of trees than to evaluate their sheltering effectiveness on a citywide or regional scale.  The Region 5 EarthDefine tree canopy >map indicates in 2018 Piedmont had at least 25 trees per person, using the 2010 census population of 10,667. How many Piedmont trees and significant tree branches have been lost in the past three years? 

California’s tree canopy was estimated to contain 173 million trees in 2017; the annual value of ecosystem services from these trees has been estimated at $8.3 billion and the urban forest asset has been valued at $181 billion (McPherson, E., et al 2017).  The tree canopy layer was created by EarthDefine, under contract with the USDA Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE).  See map of 2018 California tree canopy here.

The purpose of the Tree Canopy analysis is to help communities plan to retain or create the Climate Action benefits from trees.

A tree’s canopy cover – its leaves, branches, and stems that provide coverage of the ground – provides numerous environmental, social, and economic benefits:

– reduce summer peak temperatures,

– improve air quality,

– reduce stormwater run-off,

– enhance property values,

– provide wildlife habitat.

Using the California Tree Canopy map can help communities develop sustainability plans, and manage threats to canopy loss.

Sep 27 2021

Make the change to a healthier landscape now!

Piedmont Connect’s Fall FRONT Garden Tour and Related Events

Piedmont Connect’s Healthy Landscapes Fall Front Garden Tour begins Saturday, Sept. 25 and continues through Sunday, Oct. 3. During this period, Piedmonters can get sidewalk views of 14 selected front gardens featuring an array of drought-tolerant and native plant landscapes in neighborhoods throughout the City, from Baja to St. James Wood and from Moraga Ave. to Boulevard Way.

Check out www.piedmontconnect.org for a map [or see below] of the street addresses, plus photos and complete descriptions of the front gardens explaining what, when, why and how the gardens were transformed from lawns or ivy patches into healthier landscapes.

Additionally, join Piedmont Connect for two related events during the week of the garden tour: On Wednesday, Sept 29 at 10:30 a.m., join Dick Carter’s Wednesday Walkers group for a guided tour of some of the gardens on the Fall Front Garden Tour. A special guest from Piedmont Connect will discuss the significant features of the gardens on Dick’s customized walking route. Meet at the Piedmont Exedra to participate in this free Wednesday Walkers’ walking tour.

On Thursday, Sept. 30, from 7 to 8:15 p.m., Piedmont Connect, with City of Piedmont technical assistance, will host a Zoom event “Living With Drought”. Join the live webinar via the link at www.piedmontconnect.org. “Living With Drought” will be moderated by dynamic Piedmont resident and water expert Eileen White, following an introduction by Piedmont Parks Manager Nancy Kent. Our Water Our World’s Suzanne Bontempo will give helpful outdoor water-saving techniques.

For the finale, three Piedmont residents whose gardens are featured on the Fall Front Garden Tour will inspire viewers with their garden transformations, explaining how they use the latest research to sustain healthy ecosystems and maintain chemical-free, water-efficient oases that support a diversity of wildlife. There will be time for viewer questions and answers following the presentations.

For residents wanting to reduce water use, limit garden maintenance work, adapt to climate changes, build drought resiliency, and attract beneficial life to the garden, fall is the time of year when planting is recommended. Hoped-for (and likelier) winter rains help young or relocated plants to establish new root systems naturally, without supplemental water. Cooler temperatures also impede a few common plant pathogens to which some young plants are susceptible.

Make the change to a healthier landscape now!

By Hope Salzer and Marjorie Blackwell, Piedmont Connect

>Healthy Garden Tour Map

> Descriptions and photos of gardens

>CONNECT garden tour 2021

Sep 22 2021


On Thursday, September 23. 2021 at 4:00 p.m.. the Piedmont Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee will meet via Zoom to consider a recommendation to the Piedmont City Council on how to spend $2,663,729, Piedmont’s COVID funds. 

To participate and view the meeting see the Agenda link below.

Of the $2,663,729 allocated to the City, $2,382,545 is tied to lost revenue and can be used in category 3 which, as noted in the full staff report linked below, may be used for any governmental services, including infrastructure projects. The remaining $281,183 must be used in accordance with the provisions of the other four categories.


By motion, recommend that the City Council allocate the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds as proposed by staff:

A. Devote lost revenue funds to address urgent facilities projects, prioritized as follows:

1. Dispatch Center Relocation\Remodel

2. Initiation of Master Planning Process for the Future of Police, Fire and City Hall

3. City Hall Basement: Digitization of Residential Property Files and Remodel Office Space

3. Fire Department Living Quarters Renovation 3. Recreation Department Building Renovation

B. Devote the remaining more restricted funds as follows:

1. Cover the City’s direct COVID related expenses incurred after March 3, 2021

2. Provide premium pay to Recreation Department personnel who were exposed on a daily basis to critical health risks while interacting with the public due to the nature of their jobs

3. Provide COVID-19 specific support to the Piedmont Unified School District by providing funding toward a temporary full-time school nurse to assist PUSD in its COVID-19 response. Such resource would be available to support the City’s Recreation Department COVID response needs as well.

AGENDA >2021-09-23 Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee Agenda

READ  FULL STAFF REPORT >2021-09-23 ARPA Funding Direction – BAFPC

Sep 14 2021

23rd Annual Harvest Festival

The City of Piedmont is excited for the return of the Piedmont Harvest Festival, now in its 23rd year, on Sunday, September 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This year’s Harvest Festival will feature all the fun events and activities you’ve come to expect, with a few new twists as we adapt to the new normal. The Piedmont Education Foundation Carnival is back and in full swing, the main stage will be jumping with the Jazz Festival, and the Food Trucks will be fired up alongside the Village Market Farmer’s market as usual. Also returning, as the heart of the event, will be the Piedmont Edibles Contest! Grow on Piedmont!

For full details of the Harvest Festival event, see our Events page

And don’t forget the Movie in the Park!

Harvest Festival Movie in the Park
Friday, September 17
Movie: “Bee Movie”
Bee Talk & Honey Tasting: 6:45 pm
Movie Starts about 7:20 pm
Piedmont Park

Aug 10 2021


The Piedmont Recreation Department (PRD) is creating community through our new Senior Meet-up Groups!

A meet-up is simply that—a group people that meet up to enjoy a common interest. Do you want to practice speaking French? Are you an avid bird watcher? Meet new people while playing, exploring, creating and doing the things you love. PRD will help promote and even supply your group with a meeting room.

Various ideas for Meet-up Groups!

Art Enthusiasts: Meet at different museums

Chess Club: Check mate!

Dog Lovers: Meet at various dog-friendly hikes

Documentary Scholars: Watch a documentary and discuss

Pickballers: Schedule a weekly pick-up game

Poker Night: Just don’t let it get ‘out of hand’

These are just a few of the ideas PRD came up with…e-mail > Eva Phalen and let PRD  know what activities you enjoy!

 To phone the Piedmont Recreation Department – call 510/420-3070 

Aug 3 2021

Regular Agenda:

1. Approval of Park Commission Minutes for June 2, 2021

2. Update on EBMUD Pipeline Replacement Project on Manor Drive

3. Update on Highland-Guilford Steps and Handrail Project and Adjacent Mature Coast Live Oak

4. Update on Drought Response in Parks and Open Spaces

5. Update on Regulation of Glyphosate Products in the City of Piedmont

6. Update on Heritage Tree Signage in the Parks

7. Update on “Walking the Perimeter of Piedmont” – A Self -Guided Walking Tour

8. Monthly Maintenance Report: Park, Open Space, and Street Tree Update for the Months of June and July 2021 Announcements, old business a

READ the full Agenda and ways to participate, staff reports, and minutes by clicking the link below:

Final Publish Park Agenda 2021-08-04

Jul 10 2021

Many gardeners know that pesticides are harmful to the environment and try to
minimize their use, but did you know that many of the plants that you buy come
pretreated with pesticides called neonicotinoids (neonics)?

Neonics are derived from nicotine, and these pesticides contaminate the entire plant for at least 10 years, as well as the soil they are planted in, the water they come in contact with, and the insects and pollinators that feed on them.

According to the Pollinator Posse, plants treated with neonics may be more attractive to
pollinators like bees, which may amplify their harmful ecological impact. Neonics are
considered a primary contributor to the massive decrease in bee and monarch butterfly
populations, along with climate change and habitat loss. Perhaps more alarming,
neonics are also linked to nervous system toxicity and reproductive disorders in

What can you do?
● Buy and plant wildlife-friendly, California native plants.
● When purchasing plants, read the plant label carefully or ask if they have been
treated with neonics. Let proprietors know that you prefer untreated plants. If in
doubt, shop elsewhere. Native plants are typically grown by specialist native
plant nurseries that do not use neonics. Luckily, Inner East Bay gardeners have
several neonic-free native nurseries nearby: East Bay Wilds Native Plant Nursery
in Oakland; Native Here Nursery in Berkeley; Oaktown Native Plant Nursery in
Berkeley; and The Watershed Nursery in Richmond. Ace Garden Center on
Grand Ave carries some (but not all) neonic-free brands and their native plant
section is quite small. Find a more complete list of Bay Area native plant
nurseries here.
● Buy organic produce whenever possible– it is not treated with neonics.
● Recognize that bites out of a plant leaf are a sign of a healthy ecosystem where
plants, pollinators, and other small lifeforms co-exist.

Pesticides are regulated at the federal and state levels. On the federal level, “Saving
America’s Pollinators Act” was introduced in Congress by the U.S. Representatives Earl
Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) in June 2021 and would require the
EPA to take action to stop pollinator decline. Several US states and communities have
also instituted regulations. California is currently considering whether to list neonics
under Proposition 65, based on neurodevelopmental and reproductive effects on
humans. The European Union banned the use of outdoor neonics in 2018.

The City of Piedmont follows federal and state regulations and, in 2010, adopted an
integrated pest management (IPM) program that focuses on preventing infestations and
using pesticides only in rare cases (to save a mature native tree, for example) and as a
last resort.

For more information about neonics, check out these resources: the Natural Resources
Defense Council, Beyond Pesticides, and the Environmental Working Group.

By Indira Balkissoon and Marianne Mitosinka of Piedmont Connect