Jun 3 2022

Is more resident engagement needed for the Housing Element?

Many Piedmont residents do not understand or approve of plans for adding 587 new housing units within Piedmont’s built-out city limits of 1.8 square miles. The Piedmont City Council, unlike other City Councils in the region, has energetically and swiftly pressed to further densify Piedmont and add the 587 new housing units.  

No survey has been mailed to Piedmont residents, the most direct, useful, and inclusive means of gaining resident opinions.

Expensive banners are up throughout the city creating dismay about their meaning:  their grammar; insulting slogans; and seeming downgrading of neighboring communities.  Despite hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on staff, mailers, meetings, banners, postcards, City news releases, consultants, puzzles, preferred interest-group participation,  committee and commission presentations,  fewer than 300 Piedmonters have participated by writing to the City in the process.

 The City printed “Piedmont is home.” postcards for residents, yet sent no questionnaire or survey by direct mail to Piedmont residents to gather their input. Most outreach of the Housing Element draft was conducted during the raging pandemic via the  internet, eliminating many seniors not current with the internet.  A mailed survey would no doubt have produced far greater input.

Wait Until the New Council is Elected in November to Act on the Housing Element

Piedmont is holding its election for 3 Council seats this November, 2022.  Of the three seats, one seat is totally open (Mayor King is termed out of office.), one seat has an incumbent (Councilmember Andersen), and one seat is held by an appointed incumbent (Councilmember Long).  A citizen suggested allowing the Housing Element to be thoroughly aired during the election process and campaigns.  This would conform to state extended deadlines while allowing greater resident participation and understanding of the Housing Element.  The current Council plans are:

“Summer 2022: With the City Council’s consent, submission of Draft Housing Element to the CA Housing and Community Development Department for certification.”

“May 2023: Deadline for adoption of the final draft of the updated Housing Element, date amended due to recent state law requiring additional review and longer comment periods.”  City publicity.

Summary Information and Question Answers missing from publicity.

Most residents have no idea of how proposed changes will impact Piedmont as a whole or their homes.   Additionally, some input has been ignored by the City. While little direct information is provided to residents, notions abound and concerns persist.

  • Is safety the foundation of all proposals in the Housing Element?

  • Have safety considerations been given for high fire areas, substandard streets, overhead utilities, public safety access, traffic, parking, transit, mud slides, water, sidewalks, city staffing requirements?

  • The City Charter specifically prescribes Piedmont voters have a right to approve zoning changes.  Will the proposals require this to be ultimately taken away from Piedmont voters?

  • What zoning or land use changes are proposed?

  • How much will the expanded staffing and public safety needs cost in taxes or other sources of funding? 

  • Will the proposed changes make Piedmont a less desirable city?

  • Is loss of air and light to be considered with proposed new higher height limits for each garage/ADU living unit?

  • When will the public be allowed to provide input on building proposals in their neighborhood?

  • The Moraga Avenue Corporation Yard was chosen for high-rise buildings. What public transit is available, new streets, new electric signaling, sidewalks, water, sewer, waste?

  • Trees in Piedmont are prized. How does the proposal protect the trees on public and private property?

  • The current pandemic has pointed out the vital need for open space and air for healthy living conditions.  How has this been addressed in the proposal?

 

City News Release below:

DRAFT HOUSING ELEMENT TOWN HALL

The City of Piedmont will host a virtual Town Hall on June 7, 2022, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm to provide an opportunity to learn more about the >Draft Housing Element. [over 600 page document]

This Town Hall will provide an opportunity for community members to pose questions about the Draft Housing Element. Following a short presentation, a panel the City’s team of housing consultants and staff will provide responses to questions submitted by attendees.

The City has received over 275 written comments from community members on the Draft Housing Element via email and the Piedmont Housing Puzzle. Over 50 community members participated at the April 19th Housing Advisory Committee meeting and at the May 12th Planning Commission meeting.

You are welcomed and encouraged to participate using the following formats:

  • Computer or smart phone:

     Click on https://piedmont-ca-gov.zoom.us/j/86477811380

  • Computer or smart phone:

     Click on https://piedmont.ca.gov/government/meeting_videos

  • Telephone:

Dial (669) 900-9128 and enter webinar/meeting number 864-7781-1380

  • Television:

Watch on KCOM, Comcast Channel 27 or AT&T UVerse Channel 99

We look forward to seeing you there!

City news release below:

The City of Piedmont will host a Town Hall on June 7th at 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. to provide an opportunity for Piedmont residents to learn more about the Draft Housing Element. This Town Hall
will provide an opportunity for community members to pose questions about the document.

Following a short presentation addressing some of the issues, a panel  [names not listed] will provide responses to  questions submitted by attendees.

“We have received over 275 written comments from community members on the Draft Housing
Element via email and the Piedmont Puzzle. And have heard from over 50 community members at
the April 19th Housing Advisory Committee meeting and the May 12th Planning Commission
meeting,” said Kevin Jackson, the City’s Director of Planning & Building. “Several of those
comments included questions. We intend to provide answers to those questions and clarity on the
purpose and scope of the Draft Housing Element at this Town Hall Q&A meeting.”

Residents can participate in the Zoom meeting or watch the meeting by tuning to KCOM TV,
Comcast channel 27 or AT&T channel 99.

Housing Element Update Timeline:

June 7, 2022: Virtual Town Hall Q&A Meeting at 6:00 p.m.

June 20, 2022: City Council Consideration of Draft Housing Element.

Summer 2022: With the City Council’s consent, submission of Draft Housing Element to the CA Housing and Community Development Department for certification.

May 2023: Deadline for adoption of the final draft of the updated Housing Element, date amended due to recent state law requiring additional review and longer comment periods.

Four informational videos about the 2023-2031 Housing Element have been produced by City staff.
Please visit Piedmont’s Youtube channel at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX3RUnN7wcyGgnnjmYmFnXQ

or watch these videos on the homepage of https://piedmontishome.org.

Piedmontishome.org

The City has created a web site, https://piedmontishome.org, which is a one-stop shop for information
on the City’s housing efforts. This site contains information about the 2023-2031 Housing Element
process, as well as other fair housing programs.

Community members are encouraged to review the materials on the site and submit comments,
questions, ideas, and concerns to piedmontishome@piedmont.ca.gov. This email address will capture
official public correspondence about City of Piedmont housing policy work, including the 2023-2031
Housing Element Update.

2022-05-24 Housing Element Town Hall Meeting

Mar 21 2022

Where Should Piedmont Grow?

Housing Element Community Workshop #2 [Virtual only]

Sites Considerations

Thursday, March 24th, 2022, 5:30 p.m.

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On Thursday, March 24th, at 5:30 p.m., the City of Piedmont will host a VIRTUAL Housing Element Community Workshop, focusing on Housing Element sites. This will be the second public workshop about the 2023-2031 Housing Element update.
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The Community Workshop on March 24th will feature an introduction to the draft 2023-2031 Housing Element and a demonstration of a new, interactive community planning tool, called The Piedmont Puzzle, hosted on Balancing Act software. During the Community Workshop, Chris Adams, president and co-founder of Balancing Act, will lead a demonstration of the new software app, which adds transparency and creativity to government policy discussions.  
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The Piedmont Puzzle, hosted on the Balancing Act app, is an online tool that let’s you pick where Piedmont grows in the future and what form that growth takes. Is it ADUs, apartments over ground-floor commercial, triplexes, fourplexes, tiny homes – or a mix of building types?
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Balancing Act app welcome page online
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Chris Adams is president and co-founder of Balancing Act, which is a company that offers government transparency tools and which has been named to GovTech 100 every year since 2017. He is also a Senior Fellow at the University of Colorado School of Public Affairs.
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Please let the City of Piedmont  know you will be there at: Piedmontishome@piedmont.ca.gov
[This is a request by the City, however it is not required. See below for links. ]

Community members can access the workshop in the following ways:

• Join the Zoom meeting (computer or smart phone): Click https://piedmont-cagov.zoom.us/j/87034575751

• Dial (669) 900-9128 and enter webinar meeting number 870-3457-5751

• Watch on KCOM: https://www.piedmont.ca.gov/government/meeting_videos

*Participants are asked to have a smartphone for live polling during the virtual workshop.
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Confused about RHNA?
Watch these short videos for 10 things you need to know about the Housing Element. Topics covered in the videos include:
•What is the RHNA?
•What is the Housing Element?
•What are the components of the Housing Element and General Plan?
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City staff and housing consultants LWC and Plan to Place are reviewing new ideas and suggestions made by the Piedmont community and drafting new housing strategies. These housing strategies and the locations of sites for new housing will be outlined in the draft Housing Element to be released in April 2022.
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Important Upcoming Dates for Fair Housing Policy and Programs
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March 18 – Deadline for comments on the scope and breadth of the Housing Element Environmental Impact Report (EIR). More information is available on the City website at this link. Send comments to kjackson@piedmont.ca.gov
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April 7 – Welcome to Piedmont: Real Estate Practices In Support of an Inclusive Community, co-sponsored by City of Piedmont, Piedmont League of Women Voters, Piedmont Anti-Racism and Diversity Committee, and Piedmont Racial Equity Campaign. Event details at the City website at this link.
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April 2022 – Release of Draft Housing Element for public review and comment.
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Please check the Get Involved page at PiedmontisHome.org
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  THOSE UNABLE TO USE OR MANIPULATE A SMARTPHONE OR COMPUTER WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS  HOUSING ELEMENT POLICY MAKING PROCESS.

For more information call:

CITY OF PIEDMONT, CITY CLERK  (510) 420-3040

PIEDMONT PLANNING DEPARTMENT (510) 420-3050

For more information and future meetings click below:

PCA2022-03-21 Housing Element Workshop 3-24

Mar 12 2022

Now is the time to tell the City if you have concerns regarding adding 587 housing units to Piedmont!

The City is planning an important review of conditions in Piedmont and potential issues relevant to the environment in Piedmont.

Adoption of an EIR will impact every area of Piedmont and potential development.

Without input from residents, the basis for developing the EIR is lessened. 

Once the EIR is approved by the City Council, it will be used repeatedly to measure, approve, or deny development in Piedmont using the EIR to determine environmental impacts.

Some issues not necessarily included in the EIR considerations are:

  • Safe roadway widths for vehicles
  • Safe pedestrian access
  • Viable provisions during an emergency
  • Lack of medical facilities
  • Insufficient police and fire services
  • Wildfire areas
  • Overhead utility wires
  • Pandemic resources
  • Open space/park preservation
  • Transit services
  • Urban trees and canopy preservation
  • Water provisions
  • Social services
  • Animal/fauna, pollinators survival
  • Landslide areas
  • Clay soil areas
  • Underground drainage systems 
  • Emergency exits from the City

Any questions, issues, or comments should be directed in writing to: Kevin Jackson, Planning & Building Director, City of Piedmont, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611; or kjackson@piedmont.ca.gov.

To assure the Piedmont City Council and the Piedmont Planning Commission are aware of any issues, public comments can also be sent and addressed to:

Piedmont City Council – citycouncil@piedmont.ca.gov

Planning Commission – kjackson@piedmont.ca.gov.

 

The 6th Cycle (2023-2031)
Housing Element Update
Environmental Impact Report

Public Scoping Comments

from Piedmonters are

Due March 18, 2022

On March 1, 2022, a Scoping Meeting for the Housing Element EIR was held by the Planning Commission  Click to view the video of the meeting. In response to comments during the scoping meeting, the following information is being provided to community members who may be interested in providing comments on the scope and preparation of the EIR. Please click on the links provided below (in blue font).
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This is a list of the environmental factors that are required to be examined under an Environmental Impact Report.
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In this Appendix, for each environmental factor, a list of questions is provided that an agency might ask when studying potential environmental impacts.
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On February 16, 2022, the City of Piedmont issued a Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed City of Piedmont 2023-2031 Housing Element update and associated amendments to the Piedmont General Plan.
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The City of Piedmont is preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the City’s Housing Element update (“the project”) and is requesting comments on the scope and content of the Draft EIR. This scoping stage of EIR preparation seeks comments that would answer the following questions:
  • What do we need to know to prepare the EIR for the Housing Element update?
  • What potential environmental impacts from the City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) of 587 housing units should be studied as part of the EIR?
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The EIR is being prepared by the City of Piedmont, which is the lead agency for the project, in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and CEQA Guidelines. In accordance with CEQA Guidelines section 15082, the Notice of Preparation (NOP) was sent to the California State Clearinghouse, Alameda County Clerk, responsible agencies, trustee agencies, adjacent cities, and is being made available to members of the public, including individuals and organizations, to solicit comments on the scope and content of the analysis in the EIR.
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Written Comments: Responses to the NOP and any questions or comments should be directed in writing to: Kevin Jackson, Planning & Building Director, City of Piedmont, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611; or kjackson@piedmont.ca.gov.
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Responses to the NOP must be received on or before 5 p.m. on Friday, March 18, 2022. Comments should focus on the scope and content of the EIR, such as significant environmental issues, reasonable alternatives, and mitigation measures.
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Project Location: The project, which is an update to the Housing Element of the City’s General Plan, is applicable to the entire City of Piedmont (citywide). The City of Piedmont is located in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern Alameda County. The City of Piedmont encompasses approximately 1.7 square miles with a population of approximately 11,300 residents and 4,000 housing units. The Housing Element is one of the 7 state-mandated elements of the local General Plan and is required by the State of California to be updated every 8 years. Detailed project description information and background information are provided in the NOP, located here.
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Probable Environmental Effects: Approval of the proposed Housing Element update would not include approval of any physical development (e.g., construction of housing or infrastructure). However, the EIR will assume that such actions are reasonably foreseeable future outcomes of the Housing Element update. The EIR will evaluate the potential physical environmental impacts that could result from future actions for implementing the policies proposed under the Housing Element update at a programmatic level, in accordance with CEQA Guidelines Section 15168. The topical areas that will be addressed in the EIR are: Aesthetics, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Energy, Geology and Soils, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Hydrology and Water Quality, Noise, Land Use and Planning, Population and Housing, Public Services and Recreation, Transportation, Tribal Cultural Resources, Utilities and Service Systems, and Wildfire.
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The Draft EIR will also examine a reasonable range of alternatives to the proposed project, including the CEQA-mandated No Project Alternative and other potential alternatives that may be capable of reducing or avoiding potential environmental effects while meeting most of the basic objectives of the project. In addition, the EIR will address cumulative impacts, growth inducing impacts, and other issues required by CEQA.
Feb 26 2022
The 6th Cycle (2023-2031)

Housing Element Update

Environmental Impact Report

Public Scoping Meeting

Tuesday

March 1, 2022, 5:30 PM

On February 16, 2022, the City of Piedmont issued a Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed City of Piedmont 2023-2031 Housing Element update and associated amendments to the Piedmont General Plan.
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The City of Piedmont is preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the City’s Housing Element update (“the project”) and is requesting comments on the scope and content of the Draft EIR. This scoping stage of EIR preparation seeks comments that would answer the following questions:
  • What do we need to know to prepare the EIR for the Housing Element update?
  • What potential environmental impacts from the City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) of 587 housing units should be studied as part of the EIR?
The EIR is being prepared by the City of Piedmont, which is the lead agency for the project, in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and CEQA Guidelines. In accordance with CEQA Guidelines section 15082, the Notice of Preparation (NOP) was sent to the California State Clearinghouse, Alameda County Clerk, responsible agencies, trustee agencies, adjacent cities, and is being made available to members of the public, including individuals and organizations, to solicit comments on the scope and content of the analysis in the EIR.
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Written Comments: Responses to the NOP and any questions or comments should be directed in writing to: Kevin Jackson, Planning & Building Director, City of Piedmont, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611; or kjackson@piedmont.ca.gov.
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Responses to the NOP must be received on or before 5 p.m. on Friday, March 18, 2022. In addition, comments may be provided at the EIR Scoping Meeting (see details below). Comments should focus on the scope and content of the EIR, such as significant environmental issues, reasonable alternatives, and mitigation measures.
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EIR Public Scoping Meeting: The City of Piedmont will conduct a public scoping session on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, as part of a special Planning Commission meeting to receive comments on the scope and contents of the EIR. The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. and be held via video and teleconference. Information about how to join the meeting is available: here
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Project Location: The project, which is an update to the Housing Element of the City’s General Plan, is applicable to the entire City of Piedmont (citywide). The City of Piedmont is located in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern Alameda County. The City of Piedmont encompasses approximately 1.7 square miles with a population of approximately 11,300 residents and 4,000 housing units. The Housing Element is one of the 7 state-mandated elements of the local General Plan and is required by the State of California to be updated every 8 years. Detailed project description information and background information are provided in the NOP, located here.
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Probable Environmental Effects: Approval of the proposed Housing Element update would not include approval of any physical development (e.g., construction of housing or infrastructure). However, the EIR will assume that such actions are reasonably foreseeable future outcomes of the Housing Element update. The EIR will evaluate the potential physical environmental impacts that could result from future actions for implementing the policies proposed under the Housing Element update at a programmatic level, in accordance with CEQA Guidelines Section 15168. The topical areas that will be addressed in the EIR are: Aesthetics, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Energy, Geology and Soils, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Hydrology and Water Quality, Noise, Land Use and Planning, Population and Housing, Public Services and Recreation, Transportation, Tribal Cultural Resources, Utilities and Service Systems, and Wildfire.
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The Draft EIR will also examine a reasonable range of alternatives to the proposed project, including the CEQA-mandated No Project Alternative and other potential alternatives that may be capable of reducing or avoiding potential environmental effects while meeting most of the basic objectives of the project. In addition, the EIR will address cumulative impacts, growth inducing impacts, and other issues required by CEQA.

Produced by the City of Piedmont

Produced by the City of Piedmont

STAY CONNECTED & INFORMED
The City of Piedmont wants to keep you up to date on planning-related issues regarding transportation, sustainability, housing and changes to development regulations that affect you. Community participation is key to the success of new City policies. Contact pmacdonald@piedmont.ca.gov to learn more.
Jul 19 2018

Earthquake preparation for water lines – 

On Wednesday July 11, 2018,  an East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) District Board briefing was held at the EBMUD Administrative Building on 11th Street in downtown Oakland. Present at the meeting were EBMUD Board of Directors for three of the Wards for EBMUD local service areas: Doug Linnet, William B. Patterson, and Marguerite Young.  Invited Guests present at the meeting included other EBMUD representatives, elected officials, local media (including PCA), and other community leaders. Director Marguerite Young is the elected representation of Ward 3, the local service area which includes the City of Piedmont.

Much of the briefing focused on many of the general issues that confront the east bay with regards to water and water waste. In terms of the ongoing drought, Director of Operations and Maintenance, Clifford Chan says that the end of year water storage and reservoirs look good and healthy.

Issues included recapping on certain projects in the area, like a 7 million dollar odor reduction operation that was just completed on the water treatment plant beside Interstate Highway 80. This insures a reduction in the strong odors that drift across the highway and into the Target store and other shopping centers in the Emeryville area. This accompanies other projects that EBMUD has taken on.

During the 2017-2018 year EBMUD has begun the process of replacing old transmission pipelines. Several of these pipeline replacements will take place in EBMUD Ward 3 and will have an effect on daily activity in Piedmont. One such case is the replacement of an 88-year-old pipeline that runs beneath Grand Avenue on a stretch between Arroyo Avenue and Oakland Avenue. The construction on Grand Ave will force some lane closures, but EBMUD says it will maintain two way traffic at all times. In case of water service interruption, residents will be notified either in person or with a door hanger.

Several of the replacement projects in Ward 3 will have pipes rebuilt to withstand seismic activity like pipes running through Berkeley and Oakland that are built near or on the Hayward fault line such as a new pipeline that is running by Cal Memorial Stadium and beneath Highway 24, which services water through Berkeley, Oakland, and Piedmont. This line near the fault line will need to be engineered to withstand a large earthquake within a close proximity.

by Joe Creason, Journalism Intern

Mar 4 2016

Lawsuits –

On February 19, Piedmont’s City Clerk announced resolution of the second of two lawsuits arising from the excessive cost overruns of the Piedmont Hills Undergrounding District, and the Hampton-Seaview Undergrounding District.  The City recouped $667,000 from over $2 million of excess costs.  The bottom line is that Piedmont’s taxpayers are stuck covering a $1.3 million debacle.

Now it’s over.  It’s time to move on.  We must accept the penalty and see that such gross mismanagement is never repeated again.   True enough.  But there are consequences from this financial fiasco.  Future proposals for tax increases or bond funding for big projects will have to meet higher standards of review.  And if there is any doubt at all about the veracity of new proposals, or the competence of their sponsors, Piedmont’s citizens will probably reject them.  Once bitten, twice shy.

Bruce Joffe, Piedmont Resident
3-4-16

 Editors’ Note:  Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Feb 23 2016

I estimate that taxpayer expenditures total $1,806,845   (taxpayer cost estimate updated on Feb. 26, 2016 to $1,640,000 -see comment below) directly related to the Piedmont Hills Undergrounding District (“PHUD”). This is public money for private benefit as Appeal Courts have found in other cases. As litigation is concluded, it seems appropriate to close the undergrounding debacle with transparency and not bury it in bedrock. I base my total on the following direct expenses and credits:

  •  Nov. 16, 2009, taxpayer cost to repair Crest Road: $275,000
  • Dec. 12, 2009, Council gives $1,004,832
  • Feb. 6, 2010, Council gives $1,127,013
  • Litigation expense up to Sept. 30, 2012 is $118,739
  • I estimate additional litigation cost at $298,260 to Feb. 2016.

I put a letter in to City Council asking for the total litigation cost with no response. I speculate the $417,000 Harris settlement covers litigation cost. Credits include $917,000 litigation settlements and PHUD offered to contribute $100,000.

$616,491.50 cost for another private underground district –

Additionally there is $300,000 in City litigation cost plus $316,491.50 settlement cost for $616,491.50 total taxpayer expense for the neighboring Sea View Undergrounding District that fortunately did not go forward. How many millions more would we have spent excavating bedrock next to PHUD had Bert and Deborah Kurtin not brought suit to stop that District?

A Feb. 6, 2010, City Council Resolution states: “WHEREAS, while the City Council requests that any funds expended by the City for completion of the construction project that are not recovered from legal actions against responsible parties be contributed by residents of the District.”

There is no action on or acknowledgement of this resolution.

This June a 30% higher parcel tax will be put before voters.

Rick Schiller, Piedmont Resident

Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Feb 22 2016

City regains $917,000 out of over $2 million – 

Over 5 years ago, City Council members were suddenly informed about construction cost overruns for installation of underground utilities in the private utility district known as the Piedmont Hills Underground Assessment District.

To complete the underground work and litigate the matter cost the City was well over $2 million.  The final cost arising from the problem is not known at this publishing.

The City brought litigation against two engineering firms, Robert Gray and Associates and Harris and Associates, who were responsible for the underground project design work.  Settlement with Gray was $500,000 and combined with the $417,000 Harris settlement equals $917,000. 

The City in approving the private utility district contracts assumed the project risks for the private project, which proved to be financially consequential.  The plans had not indicated the large amount of rock encounter in the excavations resulting in significant additional cost to complete the project. Various individuals and entities were considered to be potentially culpable in the matter.  Known legal action was taken only against Gray and Harris.

Press release from City:

City Announces Settlement with Harris & Associates

At its regular meeting of February 16, 2016, the City Council approved a settlement agreement with Harris & Associates, the second of two engineering firms that the City had sued to recover costs associated with the Piedmont Hills Underground Assessment District. The City previously settled with the other engineering firm, Robert Gray & Associates.

The City filed suit against engineering firm Harris & Associates in April 2011, alleging causes of action for both breach of contract and professional negligence related to Harris & Associates’ engineering practices. The agreement provides that Harris & Associates will pay the City $417,000 to settle the suit.

“This settlement brings an end to our legal disputes relating to the Piedmont Hills Undergrounding Project, provides the City with partial compensation, and allows the City to put this unfortunate chapter in our history behind us and to focus our attention on Piedmont’s bright future,” said Mayor Margaret Fujioka.

“This settlement is the result of protracted negotiations with Harris & Associates and their attorneys,” said City Attorney Michelle Marchetta Kenyon. “While the attorneys representing us in this case would have worked tirelessly to prevail in a lengthy trial, settling this case best conforms to the City’s long term interests.”

Read the staff report and correspondence on the settlement with Harris & Associates

<<<  To read a full accounting of PCA reporting on the subject, click “Undergrounding”on the left side of this page and scroll down. 

Feb 13 2016

Honoring President’s Day and delaying their meeting one day, the City Council will convene on Tuesday, February 16 at 7 p.m. in a Closed Session with legal counsel in the City Hall Conference Room to discuss litigation concerning Harris & Associates, the engineering firm instrumental in the failed and costly private underground utility district.

At 7:30 p.m. the City Council will begin its Open Session in the Council Chambers, with the Consent Calendar:  approve Council liaison assignments, approve catastrophic leave donations for Firefighter David Abernethy, and authorize a settlement with Harris and Associates in the amount $417,000.

Next the Council will take up its regular agenda, including the 2014-15 Audit Report, 2015 Piedmont Crime Report, Police Computer Upgrade in the amount $426,205, Emergency Operations Plan Update, Midyear Fiscal 2015-16 Report, and Midyear Appropriations increasing budgeted expenditures by $964, 250.

The meeting is open to the public, broadcast live.  A copy of the meeting will be retained in the city’s archives.

Read the agenda.

Staff reports:

Council liaison assignments for 2016

Catastrophic leavdonation

Settlement agreement with engineers Harris & Associates

Audit Report

Year End Crime Report

Dispatch Software Purchase

Emergency Operations Plan

Mid-year Financial Report

Mid-year Additional Appropriations 

Jul 3 2015

On Monday, July 6, the Council will consider a full release of all claims against the engineering firm Robert Gray and Associates in exchange for $500,000.

Michelle Kenyon, Piedmont’s City Attorney recommends that the City Council authorize the settlement agreement with Robert Gray and Associates (RGA) in the amount $500,000. The City’s lawsuit originated in 2011 in connection with the Piedmont Hills Undergrounding project.

Agreement with RGA by the City Council is not the final step, as it would still have to be approved by the Superior Court of Contra Costa County.

Read the full report here

The City’s litigation against the additional engineering firm, Harris and Associates will continue.