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

SCHOOLS, RECREATION, BUILDING RENOVATIONS, CITY MASTER PLAN, PUBLIC SAFETY AND MORE –

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.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION:

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 16 2021

Piedmont Water Saving & Drought Education Events in September

by Hope Salzer and Marjorie Blackwell, Piedmont Connect

In the face of California’s current, severe drought, Piedmont Connect is hosting two events focused on saving outdoor water.  First, from Saturday, Sept. 25 through Sunday, Oct. 3, Connect will sponsor a self-guided tour of Piedmont front gardens that include drought-tolerant and native plants.

SELF-GUIDED TOUR SEPT. 25 – OCT. 3: Participating gardens will be announced at the Piedmont Harvest Festival on Sunday, Sept. 19.  Maps and garden descriptions will be available at:

www.piedmontconnect.org.

On Thursday, Sept. 30, Connect and the City of Piedmont will host a virtual event, “Living with Drought,” from 7 to 8:15 p.m. The event will feature a speaker from Our Water Our World explaining techniques for outdoor water conservation, as well as presentations from Piedmont residents who have transformed their landscapes to reduce water use, replenish groundwater, enhance our local biosphere and eliminate fossil fuel emissions. To learn more about water reduction options, get new ideas, ask questions, and explore methods used by other Piedmont residents, access the link for the Zoom event at www.piedmontconnect.org A link to access an event recording will be available after the event.

According to a 2019 Public Policy Institute of California report, 50% of California’s residential water is used for landscaping, primarily for water-intensive lawns. In order to meet Gov. Gavin Newsom’s drought declaration goal of reducing household water use by 15 percent, the report states that “in urban areas, the greatest potential for further water savings lies in long-term reductions in landscape irrigation– a shift requiring changes in plantings and watering habits.”

A number of Piedmont residents are heeding the Governor’s call by curtailing sprinklers and letting their lawns turn a tawny-gold. Some are augmenting their landscapes with California native flora that need little water, are deep-rooted to impede erosion and sequester carbon, are disease-resistant, and harbor an array of life forms.

A trip around Piedmont also reveals that residents are beginning to discover the wide variety of native grasses suitable to our geographic setting. These include grasses that flourish in sandy/loamy soil, and others adapted to heavier clay, as well as grasses that prefer full sun and those adapted to shade or dappled light.  Some grasses grow around East Bay native oaks, and others can be mowed to mimic a conventional lawn or grown with native, annual herbaceous flowers and/or low perennial flowering shrubs to approximate a meadow setting.  If native grasses are allowed to flower, resident and migratory birds will feed on the seedheads later in the year and/or collect stems for nesting material.  There are also options for planting low-maintenance native groundcovers that support moths and butterflies, prevent soil erosion, and are fire-resistant.

Piedmonters are invited to take the self-guided tour to view these example gardens where residents have curtailed outdoor water use and then to learn more from garden experts and residents at the “Living with  Drought” Zoom event on Sept 30th.

Visit www.piedmontconnect.org for more details about these events and to find more water-saving and drought adaptation tips.

Sep 14 2021

Planning Commission Makes Recommendation to City Council Regarding Use of Measure A-1 Funding –

“(Our community) needs time to understand and explore what this means… Development is more successful with community support behind it.” 

On September 13, 2021, the Planning Commission recommended that the City Council direct staff to continue developing an affordable housing program using Piedmont’s share of Alameda County Measure A-1 funding. The Commission supported the three-step approach for the funds recommended by the Planning Commission’s Ad-Hoc Subcommittee on Measure A-1.

The Commission recommended the City Council explore ways to: 1) Establish a Piedmont Affordable Housing Fund; 2) Launch a low-interest loan program for affordable housing, such as scattered site single-family homes, ADUs and JADUs, conversion of commercial land, small houses, and shared housing; and 3) Preserve $2.2 million in funding in the form of a low-interest loan for the development of an affordable housing development of up to 40 housing units on ½ to 1 acre of land in Piedmont.

The reason behind the Commission’s recommendation of a sequential use of the Measure A-1 funds, first for the low-interest loan program that then transitions for use towards a traditional multifamily development as the loans are repaid, is that the County’s timeline does not allow for the time necessary to successfully identify and analyze a site for a multifamily project and carryout robust community engagement for the General Plan amendments and zoning ordinance revisions that would be necessary to attract a developer.

Planning Commission Chair Rani Batra stated, “(Our community) needs time to understand and explore what this means… Development is more successful with community support behind it.”

Commissioner Tom Ramsey stated, “All of us support a traditional affordable housing development… Where we have discussion is how we get there.”

In making its recommendation, the Planning Commission determined that the development of a multifamily affordable housing project on City-owned land would have a greater chance of attracting a developer and gaining entitlement once the City had completed its update to the Housing Element, the related zoning code revisions and environmental review. That process is not expected to be completed within the constraints of the County’s timeline for receipt of Measure A-1 funds.

The City Council’s receipt of the recommendation for the approach for the use of the funds has not been scheduled but is expected to occur in October or November.

During the meeting, the Planning Commission heard comments from eleven community members. Many urged the Commission to recommend that the City Council approve the 2023- 2031 Housing Element update and associated changes by November 2022 so that the Measure A1 funding could be used towards the development of affordable housing in Piedmont within the faster timeline requirements set forth by Alameda County.

In 2016, Alameda County residents voted to adopt Measure A-1, a $580 million property tax revenue bond for affordable housing. The City of Piedmont is allocated $2.2 million in Measure 2 A-1 funding in the form of a low-interest (3%) loan program administered by the Alameda County Department of Housing and Community Development (County HCD). Piedmont’s Measure A-1 allocation must be used for the development of affordable rental housing or site acquisition.

State requirements have challenged City officials to find sites and policies to promote the construction of 587 new houses and apartments by 2031. Earlier this year the City Council engaged the services of Lisa Wise Consulting to assist the City in preparing a Housing Element update that facilitates the production of this allocation of housing units, and the services of Rincon Consulting to perform the related environmental review required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

At 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 29th, the Piedmont Planning Commission and Housing Advisory Committee will hold a joint study session about the basic requirements for Housing Element updates in California.

Senior City Planner Pierce Macdonald-Powell

For more information and project updates, please visit the City of Piedmont’s web site at http://piedmont.ca.gov

Aug 19 2021

Let the City of Piedmont know how our streets and sidewalks can be made safer.

Improved sidewalks, pavement improvements, signage, and enforcement of sidewalk parking prohibition are some  suggestions.

The City is seeking additional input on the detailed  Piedmont Safer Streets Plan and all aspects of safer Piedmont streets and sidewalks. 

Your direct input to the City is invaluable to the process. Send an email directly to SaferStreets@piedmont.ca.gov 

Comments on the Draft Plan are due this coming Monday, August 23, 2021!

The draft Piedmont Safer Streets Plan is now available for public review and comment. the City would love to hear what you think, especially about Chapter 4, Recommended Projects; and Chapter 5, Prioritization and Implementation. A series of appendices noting all public comments received during earlier phases of the project is also available for review.

Please send the City your comments in writing to SaferStreets@piedmont.ca.gov or by U.S. mail to Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee; 120 Vista Avenue; Piedmont, CA  94611. Your feedback is important to us! The deadline is this coming Monday, August 23, 2021.

For questions about the Piedmont Safer Streets project, contact Gopika Nair (City of Piedmont) at SaferStreets@Piedmont.ca.gov or at (510) 420-3054.

Aug 19 2021

How to Prepare Expired Drugs for Careful Disposal

It is very important to remove personal information from containers of liquid and cream medications.  Pills and tablets should be  combined in a small sealable baggy –Their containers use up volumes of space in the disposal bins limiting capacity of the bins.


  1. Remove pills and solid medications from their prescription containers and place them in a clear, sealable bag. Keep liquid and cream medications sealed in their original containers.
  2. Take medications to an authorized collection location or place them in a mail-back envelope or package for delivery to an authorized destruction location.
  3. Remove, black out, or scratch off your name and other personal information from prescription drug containers.
  4. Place empty pill bottles and other containers for solid medications in your household recycling bin.

 

Unfortunately, Piedmonters are finding a number of local pharmacy bins too full for additional drop offs. The Well Spring Pharmcy on Piedmont Avenue and the CVS on 41st St have been full for at least a week in August.

Other Safe Expired Drug Disposal Bin Locations near Piedmont include:


CVS/Pharmacy #10475

2964 Broadway
Oakland CA 94611


Kaiser Fdn Health Plan Fabiola 1 Pharmacy #115

3801 Howe St 1st Fl
Oakland CA 94611


Kaiser Health Plan Pediatric Pharmacy #118

3505 Broadway
Oakland CA 94611


Rite Aid #5952

1991 Mountain Blvd
Oakland CA 94611

Aug 17 2021
INTRODUCTION TO THE HOUSING ELEMENT
City of Piedmont Housing Element Introduction - Piedmont Is Home

Piedmont Planning Director Kevin Jackson.

The City of Piedmont has produced a brief video explaining the process currently underway to update the Housing Element of the Piedmont General Plan.
.
Watch the video and visit https://piedmontishome.org for more information.
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

Aug 3 2021

The draft version of the Piedmont Safer Streets (PSS) plan, an update to the 2014 Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, is now available for public review. Let us know what you think, especially about Chapter 4 – Recommended Projects, and Chapter 5 – Prioritization and Implementation. The deadline for public comments is Monday, August 23, 2021. Appendices noting all written public comments received prior to July 1, 2021 is also available for your review.

Submit written comments by August 23, 2021 via email to saferstreets@piedmont.ca.gov or U.S. Mail:  Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.

Please consider providing your feedback so the city can move forward with prioritizing and implementing future projects. For more information or any questions, please contact Associate Planner Gopika Nair at saferstreets@piedmont.ca.gov or visit www.piedmontsaferstreets.org to view all past discussions and documents leading up to the issuance of the draft plan.

Jul 31 2021

$691,230  plus $252,619 ($943,849) for housing consultants – 

Piedmont city staff recommends that the City Council approve a $252,619 Agreement  for services related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the City’s 6th Housing Element Update covering the period 2023 through 2031.  The  Piedmont City Council, unlike numerous similar Bay Area cities, has acceded to the suggested new housing to be built in Piedmont.  City expenditures are being made now in an effort to expedite the construction of 587 new housing units.  Piedmont currently has approximately 4,000 housing units. 

The consultant recommended by staff for approval by the City Council is Rincon Consultants, Inc. (Rincon).  An Optional Task (see Exhibit A in the report) is a Study of Piedmont Sewer Capacity.

Read the report & agreement here.

On May 3, 2021, the City Council approved an earlier consultant agreement addressing the 587 new housing unit allocation in the amount of $691,230 with Lisa Wise Consulting, Inc. (LWC), to provide for professional services to update the Housing Element and prepare for the additional Piedmont housing units

The consultant agreement will be considered by the City Council on Monday, August 2.  Participation and timing details can be found on the City Council Agenda linked here.