Dec 11 2018

Wireless Antennas for 18 Sites to be Reviewed by City in New Crown Castle Applications

At its December 17, 2018 regular meeting, the Piedmont City Council will consider whether to approve a proposed settlement in the law suit filed against the City by Crown Castle NG West LLC challenging the Council’s denial of applications for five wireless communication facility (WCF) sites and conditional approval of three other sites. A ninth site, which was conditionally approved by the Council, was not included in the suit.

The proposed settlement agreement, which is the product of over eight months of mediation between Crown Castle and the City of Piedmont, provides that Crown Castle will file new applications for the eight original sites and ten additional sites. The additional sites are included because the applications will be deleting the 700 MHz radios for which they previously applied. Instead they will use only 1900 and 2100 MHz bandwidths which would serve the same area as the original proposal. Elimination of the 700 MHz radios allows for smaller antennas and radios. Fifteen of the sites are proposed for existing utility pole sites. Antennas will be located at the top of the pole and will be three feet in height. The radios will be mounted on the poles. The antennas and the radios will be concealed within shrouds. There are a few utility poles with different designs to address site specific site issues and to eliminate or reduce impacts on City trees. Three sites will be on City light poles with two foot antennas and above ground mounted cabinets.

If approved by the City, the proposed sites will have smaller antennas and radios, be mounted higher on poles, reducing visual clutter, and have less or no impact on City trees. These applications will go through the normal City hearing process applicable to the particular site. If approved, Crown Castle will dismiss its lawsuit against the City. If not approved, the lawsuit will proceed.

It is important to note that the settlement agreement does not approve the installation of any new wireless sites in Piedmont. Crown Castle must submit applications for a Wireless Communication Facilities Permit for all the sites included in the settlement agreement. The Planning Commission reviews and makes a recommendation to the City Council regarding approval or denial of applications for all new sites. The City Council then considers all applications and make a final decision.

The City Council staff report for the proposed settlement will be posted on the City website (http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/citycouncil…) on Thursday, December 13, 2018.

Comments regarding the proposed settlement agreement may be sent to the City Council via email to: citycouncil@piedmont.ca.gov. To send comments via U.S. Mail, please use the following address: Piedmont City Council c/o City Clerk, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.

Residents with questions about the settlement may contact Senior Planner Pierce Macdonald-Powell by email at pmacdonald@piedmont.ca.gov. Any correspondence sent to the City may be considered a public record.

The City Council meeting on December 17, 2018 will be televised live on KCOM-TV, the City’s government access TV station and available through streaming video on the City’s web site at www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/video.

Dec 1 2018

On November 8th, the City hosted an Energy Efficiency workshop for residents to learn how to achieve climate action goals at home.  There was a great turn out with speakers from East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), StopWaste, and Community Energy Services Corporation (CESC).

The City would love to host more workshops for the community in order to achieve our climate actions goals set forth by CAP 2.0.

Please complete the quick survey below so the City can get a sense of what topics would be of interest for Piedmonters!

https://goo.gl/forms/zHDspkKTZzJd7Yhz1

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Brooke Edell

Climate and Sustainability Fellow

City of Piedmont – 120 Vista Avenue – Piedmont, CA 94611

Phone: (510) 420-3085

Email: bedell@piedmont.ca.gov

Nov 28 2018

Get involved!  Public participation is needed.
HELP PIEDMONT BE HAZARD-READY!
A Local Hazard Mitigation Plan is currently being developed by the City of Piedmont.

Fires, drought, earthquakes, and severe weather are just a few of the hazards to be addressed in the plan.

While hazards such as these cannot be prevented, a Hazard Mitigation Plan forms the foundation for a community’s long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses by breaking the repeated cycle of disaster damage and reconstruction. Additionally, only communities with a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan are eligible to apply for both pre- and post-disaster mitigation grant funding.

Nationwide, taxpayers pay billions of dollars annually helping communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals recover from disaster. Some disasters are predictable and, in many cases, much of the damage can be reduced or even eliminated through hazard mitigation planning.

The people most aware of potential hazards are the people that live and work in the affected community. In addition to plan participation by local, state and federal agencies, the community is seeking all interested community members to hear more about our Local Hazard Mitigation Planning project.  The City encourages attendance and participation from the general public at an upcoming public meeting:

Thursday, December 6, 2018
Public Meeting: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Piedmont Community Hall
711 Highland Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94611

For additional information, please contact Chris Yeager at (510) 420-3067 or email at CYeager@piedmont.ca.gov.

Nov 27 2018

Public Safety Committee  Meeting – This meeting is not recorded or broadcast.  The public is welcome to attend. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

5:30 p.m.

City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

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.

Regular Agenda – 

  1. Introduction of New Committee Member
  2. Update on Get Ready, Piedmont Guides and Checklist
  3. Update on School Liaison Activities and Campus Safety Preparedness  – This may include discussion of hiring a Police Officer for the School District.
  4. Update on Crime Prevention/Community Outreach – This is likely a discussion of the expenditure of over $500,000 in COPS funding to be used by the City of Piedmont. 
  5. Update on Neighborhood Meetings
  6. Update on Public Safety Camera Subcommittee

Materials related to an item on this agenda submitted to the Public Safety Committee are available for public inspection in the Police Department during normal business hours.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the City Clerk at (510) 420-3040.  Notification at least two business days preceding the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to this meeting. [28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title II].  In accordance with G.C. Sec. 54954.2(a) this notice and agenda were posted on the City Hall bulletin board and also in the Piedmont Police Department on November 26, 2018.

Nov 5 2018

Community Hall, 711 Highland Avenue,

Thursday, November 8  – 7 pm

On November 8, 2018 at 7:00PM, the City of Piedmont will host a community workshop on how residents can achieve climate action goals at home. The workshop will help residents determine how they can do their part to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions through electrification of home appliances combined with electricity from 100% renewable sources.

The workshop will include presentations from East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), StopWaste, and Community Energy Services Corporation (CESC). These presentations will provide information on EBCE, Piedmont’s new local clean power provider, benefits and ways to electrify your homes, and on electric heat pump water heaters.

An EBCE representative will talk about the 100% renewable energy plan residents are automatically enrolled in. Following EBCE, a representative from StopWaste and CESC will present information on ways to make your homes more energy efficient. It is essential for residents to learn more about EBCE as they are the new community choice aggregation (CCA) for Piedmont that will provide 100% renewable energy to your homes. The 100% renewable energy plan will go into effect this November.

For more information about this workshop or to be added to the climate action email list, please contact Assistant Planner Mira Hahn at mhahn@piedmont.ca.gov or (510) 420-3054.

Nov 4 2018

The following Letter to the Editor of The Piedmont Post was sent to the Post, but was not published in the Post.  It is published here for PCA readers.

VOTE NO on CC – Unacceptable City Charter changes.

CC  – the “hire, but can’t fire” proposal –  would unacceptably change Piedmont’s successful government by prohibiting the City Council from acting to retain or terminate their chosen Department Heads – Fire Chief, Police Chief, Finance Director, Recreation Director, etc. 

Piedmonters should not enact this law. It promises problems found in other cities where councils have lost their authority and ability to act.  A new government layer will separate Piedmonters from Council authority. 

Only one person, the unelected City Administrator, would be allowed by Charter to evaluate, direct, retain and terminate Council-hired  key employees -Police, Fire, Finance, Recreation, etc.  

Piedmont’s current Charter works and is coveted by others. 

With 22 years in elected office – Mayor, Council Member, Planning Commissioner, AC Transit President and Director, I have reviewed the Charter proposals and found proposals not in the best interest of keeping Piedmont a great place to live. 

The Charter merits updating, but NOT as proposed by Measure CC.  

Keep Piedmont’s Council strong. Await appropriate Charter change proposals.

VOTE NO on CC at the end of your ballot. 

Alice Creason,

Former: Piedmont Mayor, Council Member, Planning Commissioner, AC Transit President, Director, Piedmont Beautification Foundation Trustee

Nov 2 2018

City of Piedmont
Joint Park Commission and
Recreation Commission 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

7:00 p.m.

City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

 Receipt of a Report on the Revised Conceptual Plan for the Linda Beach Master Plan and
Consideration of a Recommendation to the City Council on Next Steps

A summary of the distinguishing attributes of the revised plan are as follows:

  •  A California Playscape designed with landscape buffers near the Oakland Avenue Bridge and along Howard Avenue fills the now dormant south end of the park with natural adventure play for all ages
  •  Creation of a new enclosed tot lot (~4000 sq. ft.) for children age 3 and younger at the north end of the park within the existing tot lot footprint with a new restroom building to serve the tot lot, flex space and tennis courts
  •  A Sport Court Flex Space that can serve as multipurpose outdoor recreation program space for all ages (e.g. weekday adult/senior programs such as tai chi, outdoor fitness and painting; afterschool enrichment activities such as jump rope, martial arts, arts and crafts; outdoor and overflow space for Schoolmates)
  •  An artificial turf bocce ball court that makes efficient use of space required for ADA access grading
  •  Multiple picnic areas suitable for small family gatherings
  •  New modern restrooms and storage for community youth sports organizations at the south end
  •  Significant landscape buffers at the south end of the park
  •  Two ADA entrances from Linda Avenue and stair access from the north end of the pedestrian path near Beach School to the tot lot and stair access from the tennis courts to the sports field
  •  Retention of the notable trees on site including the Melaleucas along Linda Avenue and the mature redwoods below the play field
  •  Two tennis courts with north-south orientation and slightly larger offsets than existing courts
  •  The use of permeable surfaces for hardscape areas and paths to create options for green infrastructure allowing for appropriate storm water treatment options to be integrated into the landscape
  •  Phasing approach that allows for the long neglected south end of the park to be constructed first
  •  Allows for a third phase of the project which would add a multi-purpose recreation building to the northwest corner of the park expanding indoor recreation programming opportunities for Piedmonters of all ages (bridge, mahjong, book club, yoga, art, lego, knitting, carpentry, ballet etc.)
  •  Phase three building also creates an indoor/outdoor interface that will accommodate robust and complete full day summer camp offerings as well as after school enrichment activities and small evening and weekend gatherings
  •  Fencing plan allows for controlling park use after hours

READ the prior meeting draft minutes, full staff report, and schematic plan Joint Park and Recreation Commission Meeting 11.7.18 Packet

Oct 26 2018
Who do Piedmonters want to control retention and dismissal of the Piedmont Police Chief, Fire Chief, Finance Director, Recreation Director – elected City Council or the appointed City Administrator?

The City Charter currently states the elected 5 member City Council has the hiring, retention, and dismissal control over the top employee positions – Fire Chief, Police Chief, Finance Director, Recreation Director, etc.

Measure CC  takes authority and control from the elected Council regarding Department Heads and gives authority and control to the unelected City Administrator.

Measure CC forbids the City Council by Charter from continuing to determine if their Fire Chief, Police Chief, Finance Director, Recreation Director, etc. should remain in their positions.  The City Administrator will be the only person in Piedmont able to retain or dismiss the key-employees the City Council recruited and hired.

MEASURE  CC asks, “Shall the measure amending the Charter of the City of Piedmont to clarify the duties and reporting structure for officers and employees of the City be adopted?”

Voters will decide whether to keep the City Charter as written or change it by voting Yes or No on Measure CC. The choice is as follows:

  • Keep the City Charter, as is, with City Council controlling  = Vote NO

  • Change the City Charter placing City Administrator in control = Vote YES

 

Oct 16 2018

Press Release:

City of Piedmont Joins Coalition to Appeal FCC Orders

On Monday, October 15, 2018, the City Council decided to join dozens of cities across the U.S. that are appealing new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules governing wireless communication antennas on city-owned structures, roads, sidewalks, planting strips, and other parts of the public right- of-way. Previously, on September 17, 2018, before FCC approval, Mayor McBain signed a letter, along with hundreds of cities across the U.S., strongly opposing the rules. The City Council decided to join a coalition of cities across the nation to appeal orders approved by the FCC on September 26, 2018.

The new FCC rules drastically change the City of Piedmont’s ability to manage and regulate wireless communication facilities on structures in pubic roadways within Piedmont. Unless a court-ordered injunction delays the new rules, they would become effective on January 14, 2019. These orders are intended to limit local control over the placement of small wireless facilities (small cells).

For the first time, these orders set a definition for what is considered a small cell. The order defines small cells wireless facilities where each antenna is no larger than 3 cubic feet per antenna (no limit is specified as to the number of antennas); where other equipment occupies not more than 28 cubic feet total; and where the facility is mounted on a new, existing or replacement structure as high as 50 feet (and in some cases, even higher). The size limit for equipment of 28 cubic feet is approximately the size of a large kitchen refrigerator.

In addition, the order shortens the timeline in which a city must make a decision regarding wireless applications to sixty days for installations on an existing structure and ninety days for installations on a new structure. This shortened timeframe significantly reduces the time cities have to review applications as well as changing the rules about which types of applications fall under which timeline. The FCC also adopted new remedies to make it more likely that courts will immediately require issuance of permits and other authorizations if a deadline is missed.

The orders also changed the standards by which cities can reject applications, only requiring the wireless carrier to declare that the application provides or improves an existing personal wireless service or offers a new wireless service to justify approval. Previously, many cities in California required carriers to show that there was a significant gap in service and that a proposed facility was the least intrusive means of closing that gap in order for a project to be approved.

Communities around the country are joining in the appeal, including Anne Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Milpitas, Marin, New Orleans, Palos Verdes Estates, Philadelphia, Pleasant Hill, and Santa Ana.

For more information, please visit the Wireless Communication Facilities page on the City of Piedmont’s web site at http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/publicworks/wireless.shtml

Contact: Pierce Macdonald-Powell       October 16, 2018 (510) 420-3050    pmacdonald@piedmont.ca.gov

Oct 14 2018

Where is the Disaster Preparedness Information Citizens Need?

October 18, 2018 is the 10th Anniversary of ShakeOut, officially occurring at 10:18 am.  By understanding your risk, you can minimize or avoid injuries, damage, and long-term financial consequences.

California Office of Emergency Services alerts Californians:

“Preparedness is everyone’s job. ” ​

The State suggests that refer to this website to learn the hazards in your area.

San Francisco offers its citizens the latest information, detailed preparation information, and training through a series of neighborhood emergency response team classes:

San Francisco Disaster Preparedness & Response Curriculum:
The goal of this program is to help the residents of San Francisco be self sufficient in a major disaster situation by developing multi-functional teams, cross-trained in basic emergency skills.  Through this program, individuals will learn hands-on disaster skills that will help them as members of an emergency response team and/or as a leader directing untrained volunteers during an emergency, allowing them to act independently or as an adjunct to City emergency services.  There is no cost  for the neighborhood training, and the class sessions are approximately 3 hours.

Class Session #1 Earthquake Awareness, Preparedness, and Hazard Mitigation
Earthquake type, magnitude, history and probability
How to prepare before it happens
What to do when the earth starts to shake
Class Session #2 Basic Disaster Skills
Natural gas, water and electrical controls, why, when and how to shut them off
Types of fire, and using extinguishers to put it out
Hazardous Materials awareness in the home, on the road, and all around you
Terrorism Awareness
Class Session #3 Disaster Medicine
Health considerations for the rescuer
Opening airways
Stopping bleeding and shock position
S.T.A.R.T. triage
Minor injuries and burns
Class Session #4 Light Search and Rescue
Different types of construction and where to look for damage
How to classify damaged buildings
Building marking system
Interior search patterns
Lifting heavy objects and mechanical advantage
Victim carries
Class Session #5 Team Organization and Management
City Disaster Plan and where the NERTs fit
NERT Incident Command System, managing the disaster
Disaster Psychology
Class Session #6 Skills Development and Application
Final Exam Review
Hands-On-Training
Extinguishing fires
Triaging and treating moulaged victims
Extricating a victim trapped by heavy timbers
Interior search for reported missing persons
Exterior building damage assessment
Award of Achievement and course evaluation