Jul 22 2019

Public Safety Committee Agenda Thursday, July 25, 2019 5:30 p.m. City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

The meeting will not be broadcast, however the meeting is open to the public.  Minutes are kept of the meeting.

AGENDA:  7-25-19 PSC Agenda

Public Forum This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda. The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Committee.

1. Election of Chair Pro Tempore for July 25, 2019 Public Safety Committee Meeting

2. Approval of Public Safety Committee Meeting Minutes for 3/5/19, 3/28/19, & 5/30/19Public Safety 2019-03-05 DRAFT    Public Safety 2019-03-28 DRAFT  Public Safety 2019-05-30 DRAFT

3. Update on ALPR & Public Safety Cameras

4. Update on PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)PG&E Public-Safety-Power-Shutoff-Fact-Sheet

5. Update on Police Department Social Media

6. Update on National Night OutTuesday, August 6  – For more information contact Sergeant Bolden at nbolden@piedmont.ca.gov

7. Update on Get Ready, Piedmont Guide http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/fire/docs/get-ready-piedmont.pdf

8. Update on Map Your Neighborhood Announcements, old business and consideration of future agenda items

Jul 16 2019

PG&E Warns EBMUD and Piedmont Customers of Planned Power Outages of 2 to 5 days –

PG&E may turn off electricity in designated areas when extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted (such as Red Flag Warnings, low humidity, high winds, and dry conditions). The specific areas and number of affected customers will depend on weather conditions and which circuits PG&E turns off for public safety. These precautions are called Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).

EBMUD has an action plan should we lose power. While PSPS is focused on high fire-threat areas, outages may affect any of our water facilities. Outages are expected to last up to two days; depending on weather conditions and power restoration efforts, however, some outages may last longer.

A PSPS event could force EBMUD to switch to backup generators and pumps to power pumping plants, water treatment plants and other key facilities to keep water flowing, maintain storage and fire flow, and keep water distribution lines pressurized. 

What can you do?

Before a PSPS event:

  1. Make sure your contact information is updated with EBMUD a1nd your local energy company.
  2. Store a minimum of two gallons of water per person per day, enough to last three to seven days, and don’t forget your pets. The more water you can store, the better.
  3.  Identify your unique/critical water needs and plan ahead.
  4. Clear property of excess, dead and highly flammable vegetation. Trim grass and vegetation at least 30 feet around your home.
  5.  If you have a backup generator, test it and ensure it’s ready to operate safely.

If you are affected by a PSPS event:

  1. Minimize water use during an event to leave as much water in the reservoirs as possible for firefighting.
  2. Shut off irrigation.
  3. Reduce indoor water use.
  4. Stay tuned; there will be ongoing updates available through social media, news media and on EBMUD’s website.After a PSPS event:
    1. Restock your water supplies
    2. Prepare for the next PSPS event
    3. Reset your irrigation controller while resetting other electronics to prevent overwatering
    4. Check regularly for updates from EBMUD and PG&E
Jul 7 2019

City Commissions Will Not Meet in July

There will be a lull in City Commission meetings throughout the month of July with no meetings of the Park, Planning or Recreation Commissions.  In addition, the standard July 15, 2019, City Council meeting will not be held.

Scheduled July meetings of the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee and the Police and Fire Pension Board have not been cancelled.

The City Charter revision (Charter Amendment Measure BB) approved by Piedmont voters at the November 2018 election eliminated the requirement that the City Council meet twice a month.

Jun 21 2019

Fencing in Lower Dracena Park Quarry will be increased.


The grassy circle in Lower Dracena Park, site of the old Dracena rock quarry, has had an ongoing issue with rocks sliding off the walls of the former quarry onto the encircling walkway. Although potentially dangerous, children frequently find climbing on the unstable rock sides adventurous. 

The potential for rock slides has been known since Dracena Park was originally developed decades ago from a pond, old quarry, and City storage facility. 

Park goers have long noticed strong fencing intermittently  installed around the quarry sides placed to keep rocks from falling on those enjoying the park.  Existing fencing has proven to be insufficient, as rocks often cascade below onto the perimeter walkway.

The new fencing is being installed in rock slide areas to  further protect park visitors and prevent children from climbing on the dangerous rock sides.

The City of Piedmont will install safety fencing within certain areas of the Dracena Park quarry area between Tuesday, June 25th and Friday, June 28th. During this work, the quarry area will be closed for public use between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and barricades and signage will be in place during this time. The Tot Lot and all other areas of the park will remain open to all users while the quarry area is closed.

As with all construction projects, there may be periods of time when there will be noise and dust created. Best management practices will be in place to minimize impacts to nearby residents and park users. The City will be reserving the needed parking spaces for the contractor at the end of Artuna Ave.

If you have questions regarding this project or have special circumstances that the City should be aware of, please contact Director of Public Works Chester Nakahara at (510) 420-3061 or via email at cnakahara@piedmont.ca.gov. Thank you for your cooperation.

Chester G. Nakahara Director of Public Works

Posted: June 21, 2019

Jun 18 2019

Qualified Single-family Occupants with Certified Physical Limitations Will Not Submit New Supporting Documents Annually

Finding that repeated validation of approved application is costly and time consuming for Piedmont staff, the City has decided to follow other cities lead and go to an honor system after initial approval of backyard refuse service. 

The policy has the following provisions:

1.The applicant must complete and submit an application form.

2.With the initial application, the applicant must submit a doctor’s certification or a current California disability parking placard.

3.As a component of the application, the applicant must verify that there are no able-bodied residents or caretakers in the household that can move the carts to the curb.

4.There is no application fee.

5.The exemption must be renewed annually, and the City will provide an annual reminder of the renewal requirement.

6.City staff provides a list of approved applicants to Republic Services.

Staff has found that the annual renewal requirement is not necessary.

Read the report below for more details.

06/17/19 – Consideration of an Amendment to the Policy Allowing for Residents with Certain Physical Limitations to Receive “On-Premises” (Backyard) Service at Curbside Rates

Jun 18 2019

Piedmont pieces together funding for Oakland Avenue Bridge pedestrian railings and accepts bid for the installations.  The railings will be on both sides of the bridge sidewalks.

To view the railing design and read the contract, click below:

06/17/19 – Consideration of a Resolution Awarding the Contract for the Oakland Avenue Bridge Pedestrian Railing Project to Valentine Corporation in the Amount of $343,369, Approving an Overall Budget for the Project, and Determining that the Project is Exempt from the Requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act

Jun 11 2019

School Board on June 11, 2019 to Approve Resolution 21-2018-19 “Prohibiting Any District Purchase or Use of Herbicide Products Containing the Chemical Glyphosate”

Glyphosate described:


Time Certain: 9:25 PM  School Board Agenda > https://agendaonline.net/public/Agency.aspx?PublicAgencyID=1241&AgencyTypeID=1

VI.G. Approve Resolution 21-2018-19 “Prohibiting Any District Purchase or Use of Herbicide Products Containing the Chemical Glyphosate”


VI.H. Approve Administrative Regulation 3514.2 – Integrated Pest Management Plan

9:40 PM


Jun 1 2019

Every property, home, business, landscape, zone, fence, and development is potentially impacted by the proposed Design Guidelines. 

“It would be really helpful if some sort of an Executive Summary was provided briefly describing exactly what these changes are relative to existing guidelines. An explanation
regarding the need for these changes and what impact they will have on specific sites ( Valero Gas Station, for example ) should also be included.” PCA Commenter

To try to understand the new Design Guideline changes residents will need to spend hours reading the proposal and checking it against the existing guidelines. 

As an aid to understanding what will be different in the future, community members requested an Executive Summary of the voluminous pages in the proposed Design Guidelines.  None was produced. 

Upon an inquiry by PCA made to Planning Director Kevin Jackson, he stated,  “The report itself is an executive summary. If you are interested in what is changing in the guidelines, I suggest you review pages 4-6 of the report and Attachment 2-A on pages 13-21.” 5/23/19

Below is an entire list of the various Chapters of the proposal as posted on the City website:

Within the proposed Guidelines, there are numerous professionally taken color photos of “YES” AND “NO” designs either meeting or failing the guidelines. 

Readers might find it interesting to see if their home is pictured as a YES, meeting proposed Design Guidelines, by clicking the Chapter links above. 

Changes to building requirements were considered by a staff chosen group of individuals, plus two Planning Commissioners, Behrens and Ramsey, who met a number of times with the City consultants and Planning staff.  No neighborhoods were included in the deliberations and no public notice or general public participation was included in the development of the Guidelines.  The proposed Design Guidelines have been presented as a package to Piedmont decision makers – Planning Commission and City Council. 

The Planning Commission has recommended approval of  the Guidelines.  The City Council will give a one time consideration of the Guidelines at their meeting Monday, May 3, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.  The meeting is open to public participation, and the meeting will be broadcast live on Cable Channel 27 and the City website under videos/ City Council. 

Throughout the Guidelines, there are  references to prior documents – General Plan and Zoning Ordinance.  Those not regularly working with the planning process will find it difficult to ferret out the changes proposed and their impact upon their property or neighborhood. Most residents will learn of the Guidelines when projects are considered by the Planning Department. 

If you have the time or interest to read the proposal, the Design Guidelines are available at:

Staff report for 6/3/19 is below:

06/03/19 – Consideration of the Adoption of Design Guidelines

Below is the City notice regarding the proposed changes.

At its meeting on Monday, June 3, 2019, the City Council will consider updates to the city’s Design Guidelines, which provide a framework for actions of staff and the Planning Commission in making decisions regarding planning applications from residents. During this meeting, the City Council will receive a presentation from staff, take testimony from the public, engage in a discussion, and consider adoption of the updated Design Guidelines.


In April 2018, the Planning Commission appointed a subcommittee comprised of two commissioners, City staff and planning consultants to draft updates to the Design Guidelines, which were originally adopted in 1988. At the end of March 2019 the subcommittee completed its work and draft updated Guidelines were posted on the City’s website. The Planning Commission considered the document during its meetings of April 8 and May 13, at which the Commissioners unanimously voted to recommend that the City Council adopt the updated Design Guidelines.

This project to update and reformat the City of Piedmont Design Guidelines is the fifth and final phase of policy updates undertaken in response to the adoption of the General Plan in 2009 and the Housing Element in 2011. The first four phases were related to revisions of City Code Chapter 17 (the Zoning Ordinance) and were completed between 2012 and 2017. Specifically, Action 28.E in the Design and Preservation Element of the 2009 General Plan calls for the City’s Design Guidelines to be updated.

Draft updated Design Guidelines

In addition to updating and reformatting the guidelines for single-family residential construction, the draft update includes new guidelines specific to multi-family residential construction, commercial and mixed-use construction commercial signage, and landscaping. A chapter that includes design guidelines for wireless communication facilities will be added at a future date.

The draft Design Guidelines are available on the City’s website at http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/design-guidelines-update/. Printed copies are available for viewing at the Public Works counter in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.

Public Engagement

Public comment is invited throughout the process. Interested members of the public are encouraged to read the draft Design Guidelines and staff report, and attend the City Council meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 3, 2019 in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.

For questions on the contents of the Design Guidelines, please contact Planning Director Kevin Jackson at kjackson@piedmont.ca.gov or (510) 420-3039.

If you wish to write to the City Council regarding the proposed updated Design Guidelines, please send an email to citycouncil@piedmont.ca.gov or send a letter to Piedmont City Council, c/o City Clerk’s office 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.

Jun 1 2019


(Excerpts selected from the Piedmont Planning Consultant and Staff Report)

The draft Piedmont Design Guidelines include seven chapters plus a glossary. The contents are organized as follows:

Chapter 1 (Introduction) – Provides an overview of the document and its objectives, including how to use the Guidelines.

Chapter 2 (Design Review Process) – Describes the different types of Design Review permits required, and the process associated with each permit. The chapter also lists exceptions to 1 An eighth chapter addressing wireless facilities is expected to be added at a future date.   Design Review requirements and documents the submittal requirements for applicants seeking Design Review permits. The City’s story pole procedure also is included, as is the protocol for site visits.

Chapter 3 (Site Design) – Includes Guidelines for site design, including the siting and orientation of structures on a parcel, and the design of driveways, parking, landscape features, fences, retaining walls, trash enclosures, and other outdoor site features. The chapter begins with a discussion of neighborhood typologies in Piedmont, which helps provide the foundation for Guidelines and standards that reference “neighborhood context.”

Chapter 4 (Building Design: General) – Provides design principles applicable to all buildings in Piedmont, regardless of occupancy type. The Guidelines apply to single-family homes, multi-family housing, accessory structures, commercial and mixed use buildings, civic buildings, and other structures. Guidelines address exterior building elements, such as facades and architectural details, porches, decks, exterior stairs, roofs, ornamentation, windows, and mechanical equipment. This chapter also identifies green building measures. Chapter 4 begins with a discussion of predominant architectural styles in Piedmont, which provides the context for guidelines and standards that reference design compatibility.

Chapter 5 (Building Design: Single-Family) – Guides the design of single-family homes. It complements Chapter 4, which applies more broadly to all structures, by focusing only on Guidelines unique to single-family homes. The Guidelines cover building scale and massing, the design of garages, accessory dwelling units, and other accessory structures.

Chapter 6 (Building Design: Multi-Family) – Guides the design of multi-family buildings. It complements Chapter 4, which applies more broadly to all structures, by focusing only on Guidelines unique to multi-family housing. The Guidelines cover neighborhood context, building scale and massing, architectural style, and garages and driveways. This is a new section of the Guidelines, applicable only to the 25 or so properties in Piedmont where multi-family housing is a permitted use. Piedmont currently has no Guidelines for multi-family housing, and this section fills that gap.

Chapter 7 (Building Design: Commercial and Mixed-Use) – Guides the design of commercial and mixed-use (commercial and residential) buildings. It complements the Guidelines in Chapter 4, which apply more broadly to all structures. The Guidelines cover neighborhood context, building scale and massing, architectural style, garages and driveways, and signage. This is a new section of the Guidelines, applicable only to the roughly 20 properties in Piedmont where commercial and mixed use development is allowed. Piedmont currently has no guidelines for commercial and mixed use development, and this section fills that gap. A glossary of terms is included at the end of the document. The glossary is not intended as an exhaustive list of architectural terms, but rather as a reference for how commonly used terms are used within Piedmont.

The Guidelines rely extensively on graphics to communicate their intent.

In addition to photographs, graphics in the document include:

– A series of “process” flow charts illustrating the Design Review process (sec 2.02-2.04)

– Diagrams illustrating how to display and calculate floor area for zoning calculations (sec 3.03.03

– Diagrams illustrating how to display proposed changes in lot coverage

– Diagrams showing how setback conditions on a street should influence the siting of buildings or additions (sec 3.05.01)

– Diagrams showing siting allowances for accessory and primary structures on single-family lots (sec 3.06.02), multi-family lots (3.06.03), commercial lots (3.06.04), and estate lots (3.06.05)

– Diagrams for driveway and turn-around design (sec 3.07)

– Acceptable locations for trash enclosures (sec 3.10.02)

– Window types (sec 4.03.02)

Window types (sec 4.03.02) While most of these diagrams are new to the Guidelines document, they have long been used separately to communicate existing standards and guidelines, and do not introduce new requirements.

2 One benefit of linking the Guidelines to General Plan and zoning language is the recent SB 35 requirement for “objective” design guidelines for new mixed use and multi-family residential development near transit.


As noted earlier, the draft Design Guidelines under consideration are primarily an update to the 1988 Guidelines, as amended over the last 30 years. Appendix A to this staff report provides a “Crosswalk” between the 1988 Guidelines and the proposed Guidelines. While the new document is longer than the 1988 document, the 1988 document has been augmented over the last 30 years by numerous supplements and memos. Accounting for these supplements, the two documents are similar in size and most of the expanded volume in the proposed Guidelines is attributable to the addition of photos, graphics, and the new commercial/mixed use and multi-family sections.

Substantive changes to the existing Guidelines are highlighted below:

The new Guidelines use a hierarchy that begins with the most general topics, followed by more specific ones. This eliminates a shortcoming of the existing Guidelines, where one needed to hunt for particular guidelines in sections of the document where they did not intuitively appear. For example, many of the “new construction” guidelines in the 1988 Guidelines are regularly applied to remodels and additions, although they do not appear in the “remodels and additions” section of the 1988 document.

Many of the existing guidelines were transferred without modifications. Others were edited to resolve issues that often arise during review of projects by the Planning Commission or Planning staff. For example, Section 3.05 (Compatibility with Street Right-of-Way) now clarifies how existing setback patterns on a block affect where new construction and additions should be sited (relative to the street). Similarly, Section 3.02 has been added to address the factors to be considered when planned improvements are adjacent to public walkways and parks.

Chapters 1 and 2 of the Guidelines are largely new to the document, although the contents of these chapters reflect existing practices and policies. Including a more robust introduction and discussion of Design Review processes and submittal requirements provides the context for the Design Guidelines and facilitates use of the document by applicants.

Section 4.01 on Building Styles has been added to the document, clarifying the determining factors for what constitutes appropriate additions to existing homes.

As noted earlier in this report, Chapters 6 and 7 of the document address construction types that were not addressed in the prior Guidelines. Although the extent of multi-family and commercial/mixed use development in Piedmont is limited, the absence of standards for these uses has created a gap in the past. Recent state housing legislation makes it important Page 6 for the City to close this gap. The new Guidelines also provide more formal design direction on Accessory Dwelling Units (currently only covered through Frequently Asked Questions).

Minor changes to the submittal requirements for Design Review have been proposed (see Section 2.06). Some of these changes reflect requests by staff and/or the Planning Commission Subcommittee. An initial list of proposed changes was presented at the architect stakeholder meeting on September 25, 2018. This list was revised as a result of their input. In addition, a new submittal form has been created to streamline the intake process and assist applicants with their submittal information.

May 18 2019

The Piedmont City Council is recommended to approve joining a coalition of local governments organized by Best Best & Krieger LLP (BBK) in opposition to the proposed FCC Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule, authorize the filing of comments on behalf of the City of Piedmont in FCC rulemaking proceedings, and authorize the City Administrator to execute a retainer agreement in an amount not to exceed $2,500. 

READ the staff report for the May  20, 2019 Council meeting by clicking below:

05/20/19 – Authorization to Join a Coalition to Oppose Proposed FCC Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule and Authorize Comments in Response to Rulemaking

READ the May 20, 2019 agenda by clicking below: