Mar 16 2019

CIP Review Committee Agenda Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:00 p.m.   City Hall Conference Room, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

What is being considered for City expenditures?

The CIP meeting is open for public participation. Minutes and recordings are not made of the meetings, and there are no broadcasts of the meetings.  Meeting materials, staff reports, citizen requests have not been publicly distributed. Attendees at the meeting, and thereafter, all individuals have a right to view and obtain copies of all information distributed to the Committee. Meeting attendees may make recordings of the meetings, as long as the meeting is not disrupted by the recording device.

The March 19 meeting agenda includes:

  1. Update on Public Safety Projects from Police Chief Jeremy Bowers
  2. Review of Revised Work Schedule and Tasks for the CIP Review Committee for Fiscal Year 2019-20
  3. Review of Proposed Projects

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

As of this writing (3/17/19) PCA has not received agenda information materials for the 3/19/19  meeting. When information is submitted to PCA, it will be published here. 

New CIP member, Recreation Commissioner Conna McCarthy, was chosen to serve on the CIP Review Committee, as the representative from the Recreation Commission.

Mar 8 2019

Deadline for proposals: Tuesday, March, 19, 2019

The Capital Improvement Projects Review Committee (CIP) is soliciting proposals for new city projects which would enhance our community. Ideas submitted by individuals, community organizations and City Staff are all considered. If you have a great idea, the committee would like to hear from you.

Download the > Proposal Form. Proposals are due no later than Tuesday, March 19th at 5:00 p.m.  Completed forms should be returned to the Department of Public Works, 120 Vista Avenue.

All applicants/residents that have submitted proposals will be personally invited to attend the CIP meeting scheduled on April 9, 2019.  At this meeting, applicants will be asked to briefly describe their projects to the CIP Review Committee. The CIP Review Committee will then determine which projects will require a site visit.

The April 9 meeting is a public meeting.  All interested individuals are welcome to attend and participate in the meeting proceedings.

The CIP Site Visit Tour will be scheduled for a Saturday in early May. The tour will commence at City Hall at 9:00 am and then will proceed to CIP tour stops located throughout the City. At each of the tour stops the CIP Review Committee will see the locations for proposed projects first hand.

At noon, a working lunch will be provided at City Hall for Committee members, city staff, and interested citizens. At this working lunch the CIP Review Committee will attempt to compose their list of 2019-2020 CIP projects that they recommend as a part of this year’s budget process. The CIP chair in conjunction with CIP Review Committee members will be asked to prepare a list of recommended projects and narrative that will be forwarded to the City Council for consideration in the budget process.

If you have questions regarding the CIP process, please contact Nancy Kent Parks & Project Manager, at (510) 420-3064.

CIP Committee Roster as of 3/7/19

Michael Henn

Susan Herrick

Bobbe Stehr

Jeffrey St. Claire

PBF Representative – Nancy McHugh

Park Commission Representative – Jim Horner

Recreation Commission Representative – TBD

Mar 6 2019

In 2013, our current flat rate per parcel School Tax was passed by voters to replace the previous Tax based on a five tier parcel size levy, a modestly progressive tax. Our School Board expressed sincere regret at eliminating the progressive tax but believed it had no choice other than to tax all parcels regardless of size at the same rate because of the 2012 Boricas v Alameda USD Appeal’s Court decision.

Of the 3,921 School tax parcels in Piedmont, 76% of Piedmont homes are on parcels under 10,000 square feet (“sf”). These taxpayers previous $1,989 and $2,260 tax became $2,406 in 2013, a 6% to 21% increase.  Owners of undeveloped parcels went from $1,009 to $2,406, a 238% increase. However, a small percentage of taxpayers benefited as owners of large parcels, commercial buildings and multi-unit buildings saw reductions of 7% to 80%. Some large commercial buildings previously taxed at $5,052 went to $2,406, a 52% decrease. 20,000 sf lots went from $3,378 to $2,406, a 29% decrease. A multi-unit building went from $11,907 to $2,406, an 80% decrease.

A progressive tax based on per square footage of building space is used in Alameda and other districts. The current Alameda tax passed by 74% in 2016 was challenged in 2017 on the validity of levying a tax on building square footage. Mar 4, 2018, the Alameda Schools per square footage of building tax was found legally valid in Alameda County Superior Court. Jan 31, 2019, a California appellate court validated a local agency’s special tax calculated on the basis of square footage of improved structures (Dondlinger v. Los Angeles County Regional).

Piedmont Schools previously embraced a partially progressive tax and now has an excellent progressive tax option that is far more equitable by using building per square footage. I propose the following progressive tax:

(1) Tax will be at $1 to $1.05 per square foot of building size. The District will determine the exact rate needed to provide funding at slightly above the current level.

(2) $4,999 will be the maximum tax for any building.

(3) Currently some multi-parcel estates are subject to multiple taxes and some are subject to one tax (GC 53087.4). So that all multi-parcel estates are treated uniformly and given that many multi-parcel estates have large homes that will be assessed at the maximum tax, a contiguous parcel exemption will be included. No property owner for a single home will pay more than $4,999.

(4) $1,099 will be the rate for unimproved lots.

(5) A 2% annual cost adjustment will be included.

(6) The tax may include an income based senior exemption at a rate to be determined so as not to cost the District more than 2% of the what the total tax revenue would be without this exemption.

(7) Compassionate SSI and SSDI exemptions will be included. These are not aged based.

        Rick Schiller, Piedmont Resident

Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Feb 25 2019

The City Council of Piedmont is looking for talented Piedmont volunteers for vacancies on Piedmont commissions and committees. Interested Piedmont voters may > apply online or download the > Application for Appointive Vacancy.

Applications are due to City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue, on or before the deadline of Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 5:00 p.mPostmarks will not be accepted for paper applications.

All applicants and appointees must be qualified voters residing in the City of Piedmont.

You can read about the duties of the commissions and committees by clicking here.

Interested candidates may view more information on the City’s website at http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us.

Interviews with the City Council for these positions will be scheduled for the evening of Monday, March 25, 2019.  

Importantly, no Council appointments will be made without a Council interview.

The vacancies are as follows*:

Commission/Committee

No. of Vacancies

No. of Incumbents Eligible for Reappointment

Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee

3 Regular 1 Alternate

2 Regular 0 Alternate

CIP Review Committee

2

1

Civil Service Commission

2

0

Park Commission

3

3

Planning Commission

2 Regular 1 Alternate

1 Regular 1 Alternate

Public Safety Committee

3

2

Recreation Commission

3

3

* Updated 3/7/19

Residents with questions are invited to contact the City Clerk’s office at (510) 420-3040.

Jan 29 2019

I’m all in favor of youth sports; however, when Coaches Field was first conceived and approved by our city council, the neighbors above strenuously objected to field lights. The project was approved with the express promise from the council that lights would never be put on the field. That promise is as valid today as when it was made.

A few years ago, the request to put lights on the field was put before the council. When reminded of the commitment to those who would be most impacted, the spokesperson for the youths’ sports league responded that promises were made to be broken. What an appalling role model for our community’s children. With the latest plan that will be coming up for approval, it appears that this sentiment has gained traction.

We as a community should honor our promise to the neighbors of Coaches’ Field. When the children who utilize the field ask why there are no lights on the field, they should be told that there has always been a high demand for playtime on our city’s fields, however, a promise was made when the field was developed, and that promise is being honored. Isn’t that the take away that we all want our children to have? Promises are just that, and a person of integrity always honors his or her promise.

Anne Cobbledick Gritzer

Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Jan 9 2019

The Recreation Commission will hold their public meeting scheduled on

Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 7:30 p.m., City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue,

at which time the Commission will consider two items for recommendations to the City Council.  See the attachments linked below.

Numerous meetings have been held to discuss and consider ways to provide facilities for the ever growing popularity of Pickleball.  The game has been well received by seniors in Piedmont. Long term future plans for Pickleball were mentioned by a recent speaker as a possibility for Dracena Park or Blair Park.

Plans to improve Coaches Field are proposed to make the recreation space more useful.  The proposal includes the installation of night lighting, pedestrian access, and parking.

Within each public notice below are City contact addresses.

Agenda:

–          Recreation Commission to consider Pickleball Trial at Linda Beach and Hampton Tennis Courts –

1-16-19 RC Public Notice Pickelball Trial

–          Recreation Commission to discuss Conceptual Plan for Improvements at Coaches Field

1-16-19 RC Public Notice Coaches Field Improvements

The City will also host a meeting for Coaches Field neighbors on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 7:00 p.m. in the Police Department Emergency Operations Center to display and explain the proposals.

Jan 9 2019

Jan 9, 2019

In 2012 the current School tax was formulated because of the Boricas v Alameda USD (“AUSD”) Appeal’s Court decision. At that time Piedmont Unified School District (“PUSD”) declared the only possible tax methodology was to tax every parcel at the same rate because Boricas had rendered Piedmont’s previous attempt at a progressive tax by parcel size legally invalid.

PUSD’s hurried decision was not the only option and certainly not the best option as compared to the previous five tier parcel system, the current flat rate tax raised the rate of 75% of those in smaller homes by about $300 while lowering the rate by over $1000 for the largest estates.

I. A progressive tax based on a per square foot (“sf”) of building space has been and is currently used by AUSD. The current AUSD tax Measure B1, passed by 74% in 2016, was challenged by the 2011 Boricas Plaintiffs and in 2018 AUSD prevailed. PUSD cannot in good faith claim per square foot of building tax levy is invalid. < https://tinyurl.com/yb8g4f92 >

A progressive tax is essential for Piedmont’s expensive school support tax. No other School Tax comes close in cost to taxpayers. While Piedmont had previously embraced a partially progressive tax, PUSD now has a progressive tax option that is far more equitable using building square footage.

Commonly accepted is the direct correlation of the quality of Piedmont Schools and ever increasing real estate values in town. Values are also a function of home size: the larger home in a given neighborhood will proportionally increase in value more than a similar smaller home. Ask any Real Estate professional.

Additionally, the larger Piedmont home generally accommodates more children; the large homeowner again economically benefits proportionately more from the school tax than the small or average size homeowner. Incorporating a square foot of building tax will be both more equitable and palatable to a large majority of taxpayers and an easier sell for the Tax Campaign Committee.

The Piedmont tax currently provides about $10,400,000. There are about 10,340,000 square feet of residential buildings so about $1 a foot is needed. The average home size is about 2,430 sf so essentially many homeowners will pay close to the current amount. Median size of 2,710 sf indicates that those with larger homes will proportionately pay their fair share.

II. Piedmont taxpayers voted on a tax that stated every parcel will be taxed but every parcel with a unique Assessor Parcel Number (APN) is not taxed. Examples include several parcels over 20,000 sf that are not taxed yet other large vacant parcels are taxed. An eight sf parcel at the edge of town is taxed yet the adjacent 144 sf parcel is not taxed. The hodge-podge system must end. A tax based on square foot of building and flat rate for vacant parcels, as AUSD uses, will take care of these inequities. A contiguous parcel exemption may be appropriate.

III. From high to low most California school taxes include a senior exemption.
San Marino USD with its $1,215 parcel tax has a senior exemption and West Contra Costa County with its 7.2 cents per sf of building has a senior exemption.
Among California’s top ten school districts Piedmont alone does not include a senior exemption.

According to the US Census about 20% of Piedmonters are over 65 and a straight senior exemption may unfairly tax young families given the very high Piedmont school tax. An income based Senior Exemption is needed; one or two per cent of seniors would qualify.

In 2012 the Board informed the public an income based Senior Exemption is not allowed by State Law yet the income based senior exemption was then and is now commonly used elsewhere. Locally income based senior exemptions are used in Oakland, Berkeley, Orinda and Moraga. State law applies equally to all school districts.

The current SSI based tax exemption is meaningless and an income based senior exemption will include any SSI recipients.

Respectfully

Rick Schiller, Piedmont Resident

Att: May 4, 2018 AUSD Press Release

Dec 10 2018

The PUSD design for the high school STEAM and theater buildings incorporate the District’s science, art, computer science, and performing arts  See the schedule and architect’s renderings of the exteriors and interiors of the new buildings here.

Nov 27 2018

School Board Consideration of Safety Measures Wednesday, November 28, 2018, City Hall Council Chambers 7:15 p.m. 

The Alan Harvey will be closed beginning in March of 2019. Closing Alan Harvey Theater during the Spring of 2019, rather than waiting until the end of the school year, will help keep the STEAM project on schedule for completion before the 2020-21 school year. There may be questions about how starting work during the school year may affect students, staff, and campus flow.

While the District plans to demolish the theater over Spring break when there are no students or staff on campus, if the demolition cannot be completed during that week, the District will develop a schedule for the remaining demolition, to minimize the campus impact to the greatest extent possible.

Read agenda by clicking below:

https://agendaonline.net/public/Meeting.aspx?AgencyID=1241&MeetingID=68232&AgencyTypeID=1&IsArchived=False

7:15 PM
VI.A. H1 Update – Safety Measures During Alan Harvey Theater Demolition

Speaker:
Pete Palmer, H1 Construction Manager
Attachments:
Background H1 Update   < Click to read

 

Nov 15 2018

Street paving, tennis courts, budget actions –  

November 19, 2018 – the Piedmont City Council staff reports are linked below.

11/19/18 – Approval of Agreements Related to the Repair of Cavendish Lane. 

“Cavendish Lane is a street which extends west from Park Boulevard and is located immediately south of Trestle Glen Road. It is approximately 1/10th of a mile in length, ending in a cul-de-sac. Cavendish Lane and its right-of-way are located within, owned, and maintained by the City of Oakland. The cul-de-sac is located at the extreme west end of the street and serves four homes located within the city of Piedmont. The only access to these four Piedmont homes is via Cavendish Lane.”

a. Reimbursement and Indemnification Agreement with the City of Oakland

b. Agreement with Coastland Civil Engineers for Project Specific Engineering

11/19/18 – Consideration of the Rejection of All Proposals for the Corporation Yard Solar Photovoltaic System Project 

11/19/18 – Consideration of FY 2017-18 Year-End Appropriations and Carryforwards      Street paving

 11/19/18 – Consideration of FY 2017-18 Year End Fund Transfers 

“In FY 2017-18, conservative budgeting combined with favorable revenue trends resulted in net income of approximately $3.5 million in the General Fund. Specific revenue categories that exceeded budget and accounted for the majority of net revenue include real property transfer tax (+ $1,045 K); secured property tax (+ $484 K); supplemental property tax (+294 K); mutual aid revenue for wildfire assistance (+$480 K); and recreation revenue (+ $232 K).”

11/19/18 – Consideration of the Issuance of Bid Documents for the Recreation Center Tennis Court Resurfacing Project and Direction to Staff Regarding Fundraising 

The November 19, 2018 Agenda can be read HERE.