Jul 21 2020

What is a Safe Social Distance?  Where did the 6 foot Rule Originate?

A Journal of the American Medical Association article by a particle fluid dynamicist at the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology suggests unmasked people might do well to stay more than 27 feet apart (8.2 meters) to avoid infecting one another.  It finds “wearing of appropriate personal protection equipment is vitally important for health care workers caring for patients who may be infected, even if they are farther than 6 feet away from a patient.”  See American Medical Association article here.

The World Health Organization recommends three-feet is wide enough social distancing based on the 1930s practice in treating tuberculosis.  But in 2003 it was found that SARS infections were communicated between people six feet apart—not three.  See December 2003 New England Journal of Medicine article here.

All of these distance reports focused on droplets, which fall.  However, the much smaller aerosols linger and move through the air as they are evaporating.

The Alameda County Public Health Officer ordered face coverings be worn at all times in public, if you are or are likely to be within 30 feet of another person outside of your household:

A person does not need to wear a Face Covering when outdoors alone or with a member of their Social Bubble and they have a Face Covering visible and immediately ready to cover the nose and mouth (such as hanging around their neck) and nobody else (other member of their own Social Bubble) is outdoors within 30 feet (10 yards) of them. It is recommended that people from the same household or living unit wear a Face Covering when outside, even if others are not nearby, any time others may appear without much notice.

Read the Alameda County Public Health Officer order on face coverings here.

On June 18, 2020  California’s Governor Newsom declared Californians must wear face masks in public under State coronavirus order.  A few days later the Governor threatened to withhold $2.5 billion in the upcoming budget from local governments if they don’t enforce the state’s orders on wearing masks, testing and other measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Jul 21 2020

City of Piedmont Joins a Coalition to Oppose FCC Wireless Communications Facilities Rule

At its meeting on July 20, 2020, the Piedmont City Council joined a coalition to oppose new Federal Communications Commission rules regarding wireless communications facilities. The new rule, approved by the FCC on June 9, 2020 significantly reduces the already limited decision making power held by local governments to minimize the impact of wireless communication facilities on their communities.

“We believe there are ways for wireless communication devices to be deployed in an aesthetically appropriate manner. Unfortunately, the FCC seems intent on making that much more difficult, if not impossible,” said Kevin Jackson, Director of Planning and Building. “So unless there is a court-ordered injunction, the new FCC rules will further reduce Piedmont’s ability to control the installation of wireless communication facilities.”

Section 6409 of the Spectrum Act requires a city like Piedmont to approve an “eligible facilities request” for a modification of an existing wireless tower or base station that does not “substantially change” the physical dimensions of such tower or base station.

The FCC has changed the definition of “substantial change,” as well as other important changes. Changes in the new Eligible Facilities order include, but are not limited to:

  •  The 60-day shot clock is now triggered when the applicant takes the first procedural steps, giving the city less time to review for the compliance with the City’s codes.
  • The definition of concealment has been narrowed so that concealment is only “stealth” design, e.g. look like something other than a wireless tower or base station. Now under the new FCC order, concealment of a facility at a specific location would not include screening by a rooftop or placement behind a tree line or fence.
  • In addition, the FCC order specifies that aesthetic requirements originally imposed as conditions of approval, such as vegetation cover, fencing, screening, and similar requirements will not be grounds to deny an expressly allowed height or size increase.
  • The order allows the installation of additional antenna up to 20 feet, plus there is no cap to the height of new antenna, for towers outside the public right-of-way.
  • On an existing structure such as a utility pole, the FCC made modifications to the number of equipment cabinets that can be installed per an eligible facilities request.

For more information, please contact Director of Planning and Building Kevin Jackson at kjackson@piedmont.ca.gov.

Jul 4 2020

From late May through July 2, 2020 Piedmont’s Confirmed Positive Covid 19 Test Results remained at a total of 13.  On July 3 an additional reported case brought the total to 14.  Some joggers, bikers, skateboarders, dog walkers, and others are still out and about in Piedmont without face coverings despite the Governor’s threat to withhold State funds from Cities that do not enforce masks/face coverings.

Our neighbor Oakland’s total has continued to grow, reaching  2,587 Confirmed Positive Covid 19 Test Results as of July 3.

The Coronavirus Tracker of the Bay Area reports daily the latest Positive tests.  Follow the numbers daily here.

Jul 1 2020

At its regular meeting on July 6th at 7:30 p.m., the Piedmont City Council will consider the first reading of an ordinance implementing “reach codes,” which are amendments to state’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards and state Electrical Code, which are designed to promote efficient building methods in homes in Piedmont.

Electric Appliances – Electric Heating – Home Energy Audits required prior to listing a home for sale or applying for a Design Review permit

The Council will also consider an ordinance requiring home energy audits under certain circumstances. Click to read the Agenda Report for this item, [Adobe Reader required]which includes the proposed ordinances, as well as links to background documents and details on the public outreach.

These measures are being proposed because Piedmont’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0 calls for the community to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions from the building, transportation, waste, and wastewater sectors, combined, from about 38,000 metric tons of CO2e in 2017 to just 9,800 metric tons in 2050. Currently, a large percentage of Piedmont’s emissions come from natural gas appliances in buildings, especially gas furnaces and water heaters. To meet CAP goals, the Piedmont community must decrease natural gas use in buildings by improving insulation, and by switching out natural gas appliances for electric appliances powered by renewable energy.

The specific proposed requirements are as follows:

  • Newly constructed low-rise residential buildings, including new detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs), must use all electric building appliances.
  • Projects proposing an entire new upper level on a low-rise residential building, or that increase a low-rise residential building’s total roof area by 30% or more, are required to install solar panels on their roof.
  • A housing renovation on a low-rise residential building, that costs $25,000 or more, will require the applicant to include one item from a list of energy efficient insulation or electrification fixes (renovations of $100,000 or more must include two). Multiple items are cost-effective.

The City Council will also consider other amendments to the Building Code and policy changes that, while not Reach Codes, will also help reduce natural gas use. They are:

  • An application for an electrical panel upgrade must include space in the panel to accommodate future electrification of all building appliances.
  • Kitchen and laundry area renovations must include electrical outlets to allow for future electrification.
  • Requiring completion of a Home Energy Score or Audit (homeowner’s choice) when listing for sale of a property or submitting an application for a design review permit.

The proposed code amendments were drafted following extensive public outreach – including two public surveys and five public outreach forums – significant research, and collaboration with East Bay Community Energy and several cost-effectiveness analysts.

Members of the public are encouraged to participate by submitting comments and attending the Council meeting. Comments regarding the proposed code amendments 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.

If you have questions about the proposed ordinances and policy, please contact Planning & Building Director Kevin Jackson by email at kjackson@piedmont.ca.gov. Any correspondence sent to the City will be considered a public record.

Jun 30 2020

Alameda County Public Health Department Effective June 8, 2020 and valid until replaced, amended, or rescinded: Health Officer Order with updated Face Covering guidelines for Alameda County.

Summary of the Face Covering Order:

This order generally requires wearing Face Coverings when people are outside their homes, and is intended to provide simple rules that we must all follow in the months to come. Widespread use of Face Coverings is a critical part of reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Per the Order, everyone over the age of 12 should wear a Face Covering when outside their home and within 30 feet of anyone else other than members of their Social Bubble

City of Piedmont:  “We owe it to each other to wear a face covering! We are all working towards the common goal of not spreading the Covid-19 virus, and as cases have increased across the nation, we must do all we can to prevent increased numbers in Piedmont. Alameda County’s updated face covering order issued on June 5th mandates that face coverings be worn at all times in public, if you are or are likely to be within 30 feet of another person outside of your household. Always have a face covering with you when you leave the house, and wear it. We’re all in this together.” 

For more detailed information, please see the Alameda County Public Health Department website. 

http://www.acphd.org/media/584316/alameda-county-health-officer-order-20-13-english.pdf

http://www.acphd.org/media/584409/press-release-2020.06.05.pdf

Jun 26 2020

Locations proposed for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are 4 parking spaces in the Piedmont Community Center parking lot, one parking space near Havens School on Highland Avenue, and 2 parking spaces near ACE hardware on Grand Avenue.

Park Commission Wednesday, July 1 will make a recommendation to the City Council on converting  parking spaces to EV charging stations.

The Piedmont Park Commission will meet on Wednesday, July 1 at 5:30 pm via ZOOM Teleconference.

The agenda:

1. Approval of Park Commission Minutes for June 3, 2020

2. Update from the Piedmont Unified School District Regarding Phase 2 Construction at Piedmont High School and Discussion on New Street Trees in Coordination with the City of Piedmont

3. Consideration of a Recommendation to City Council to Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in the Civic Center and Grand Avenue Commercial District in Conjunction with East Bay Community Energy.

  [East Bay Community Energy charges $0.28 per kWh, limits charging to 4 hours and requires the City or private entity to police the occupancy of the charging stations. see below]

4. Update on the Impacts of the COVID19 Emergency on City Parks, Open Spaces, and Landscape Maintenance Regulations

5. Monthly Maintenance Report: Park, Open Space, and Street Tree Update for the Month of June

East Bay Community Energy EV Charging Station Policy

  • A flat rate fee of $0.28 per kWh will be charged for the use of the station.
  • There is a four (4) hour time limit for charging at the EV station. Violators may be subject to towing at owner’s expense.
  • Vehicles parked in EV station spaces MUST be connected to the charging station. Violators may be subject to towing at owner’s expense.

State of California law on EV’s (AB 475 Butler)

“Electric vehicles (EV’s) must be plugged in for refueling when occupying an EV designated parking space, otherwise they may be towed. In addition, the law prohibits a person from obstructing, blocking, or otherwise barring access to an EV-designated parking space.”

Click the red link below to:

Learn how to participate in the July 1 Park Commission meeting 

Read the minutes of the prior meeting

View the maps of charging station locations near Havens School,  Community Center Parking Lot, and Grand Avenue.

View Piedmont produced video and read questionnaire.

PCA Park Commission Agenda_2020-07-01

 

Jun 5 2020

Piedmont resident Clifford Chan to be named by the East Bay Municipal Utility District Board of Directors to lead the water district. 

Chan is well known in Piedmont having been raised in the city and attended Piedmont schools. 

CLIFFORD CHAN

READ THE PRESS RELEASE BELOW

https://www.ebmud.com/about-us/news/press-releases/clifford-c-chan-be-named-ebmud-general-manager/

______________

Congratulatory letter to Chan from Council Member Jennifer Cavenaugh

WOW! This is great news and surely much-deserved. Congratulations on your recent promotion. I was just raving to our City Administrator about the great tour you gave me of the EBMUD facilities in Piedmont. It was great to learn more about your operations and challenges and how integral EBMUD is to our lives everyday.
I am very excited about your promotion and am confident that you will provide the essential leadership necessary to help EBMUD achieve its goals for the future.
I am proud to see a fellow Piedmonter reaching new heights, giving back to our community, and being a steward of one of our most precious natural resources, clean water.
Thanks for all you do and good luck in your new role.
Best,
Jen
Jen Cavenaugh | Council Member

City of Piedmont

jcavenaugh@piedmont.ca.gov

Jun 5 2020

VOLUNTEERS FOR PIEDMONT ! 

CLICK BELOW for the list of City Council appointees to Piedmont’s various commissions, committees, and appointed positions.

PCA 2020-05-28 Commission Appointments

Jun 5 2020

In response to recent State of California housing legislation, the City of Piedmont is inviting statements of qualifications from experienced planning and design consultants (or consultant teams) to develop new housing programs, including:

1. Objective design standards for mixed-use and multi-family residential projects

2. Prototype plans and incentives for rent-restricted accessory dwelling units

3. Programs to affirmatively further fair housing

4. Associated public outreach and environmental review

FOR DETAILS ON THE CONSULTANT POSITION, CLICK BELOW

PCA 2020-05-28 Housing Programs RFQ

May 25 2020

Budget Advisory & Financial Planning Committee Meeting

Wednesday, May 27, 2020       3:00 p.m.

Consideration of 2020 – 2021 Piedmont Budget

Via Teleconference

Zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88326534001

Members of the public may comment on agenda items. See details on agenda linked below:

2020-05-27 Budget Advisory & Financial Planning Committee