Pleasanton city officials have a new game plan for improving parking conditions downtown after the City Council approved the Downtown Pleasanton Parking Strategy and Implementation Plan on Tuesday night.
The 140-page policy document, prepared by city staff and consultant firm Fehr & Peers, is designed to serve as a guide for implementing parking improvements in and around downtown, including a list of top 10 strategies for more immediate consideration.
"Probably about a year ago, I was one of those people who ... was throwing a lot of rocks about downtown parking. And I look at this now, this implementation plan; it's terrific. We've come a long way in that year," Councilman Arne Olson said Tuesday night in the council chambers.
"I think there are some really good things in here that have been identified to at least evaluate and consider that will get us additional supply as well as manage it more effectively," added Councilwoman Kathy Narum.
The plan includes an analysis of current parking conditions, strategies for increasing the parking supply, factors influencing occupancy rates, demand management strategies, future demand scenarios and an implementation plan.
It also contemplates options such as the feasibility of a potential multimillion-dollar parking structure, as well as acknowledges the possible impacts that autonomous cars and ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber might have on future parking needs.
And the plan singles out a top-10 strategies list to implement sooner:
* Complete parking strategy for the downtown transportation corridor
* Enhanced time restrictions
* Designated employee lots or permits
* Bicycle access and trail connectivity improvements
* Private lot utilization for weekends and evenings
* Identify opportunity sites for surface parking
* Establish transportation demand management association
* Short-term bicycle parking
* Loading zone time-of-day restrictions.
Council members heard from two residents on the plan Tuesday night: one a downtown landowner who urged better enforcement of 20-minute parking zones and the other a resident who opposed one-way traffic on downtown streets -- the latter wasn't being recommended by city staff.
The council voted 4-0 to approve the plan as presented, except for asking staff to add a map showing all public and private handicap parking spots downtown and directing staff to consider options for a bike corral downtown as soon as possible.
Mayor Jerry Thorne was absent from Tuesday's meeting.
In other business
* The council spent nearly 40 minutes talking about a proposed water pressure booster station at the Ken Mercer Sports Park to serve the city's recycled water efforts on the south side of Pleasanton before approving the purchase of the pre-packaged facility for around $425,000.
The booster station would improve the efficiency of irrigation at the Sports Park and the Tennis and Community Park, as well as could meet the demands of future expansion of the recycled water system to southern Pleasanton, according to city staff.
Measuring 12.5 feet by 23 feet by 10 feet, the automated station would operate generally between 10 p.m, to 6 a.m. City staff recommended placing it adjacent to Hard Ball Field C near the intersection of Parkside Drive and Harvey Court, deeming that the best location operationally and visually.
One citizen spoke to the council on the project, a Harvey Court resident who criticized the booster station as too noisy for nearby residents and an eyesore for park-goers.
City staff said the contractor would have to build the station to not exceed 60 decibels at 25 feet away -- similar volume to conversational speech or an air conditioner -- and that it would be no louder than 15 decibels at the nearest home 150 feet away, well below ambient noise levels in the area.
Council members approved the purchase contract and location near Hard Ball Field C, but asked that the final landscaping and site design plan return to them for approval to make sure the station fits in with other structures at the park.
The station, with a fiberglass exterior designed to look like stucco, is expected to be installed in the fall.
* The council voted to approve a contract with Walnut Creek-based FirstCarbon Solutions, for a maximum of $252,370 with a 10% contingency, to prepare an environmental impact report (EIR) for a proposed housing development near Callippe Preserve Golf Course.
The current proposal from developer Tim Lewis Communities calls for 39 single-family detached homes and associated improvements on the approximately 154-acre Spotorno property at 1000 Minnie St., about 1.5 miles east of the Interstate 680 ramps at Sunol Boulevard and north of golf course.
The houses would sit in about 30 acres of flatland on the site, according to city staff.
The developer has filed a variety of applications with the city, including for a rezoning plan, General Plan amendment, Happy Valley Specific Plan amendment and a development plan. The Planning Commission is also scheduled to host a workshop on the proposal next Wednesday evening.
Councilwoman Karla Brown asked city staff Tuesday whether the EIR contract was coming to the council too soon, with the commission's workshop pending and the city still working to finish mapping Pleasanton's southeast hills, including the Spotorno site.
City Manager Nelson Fialho said the EIR consultant would need to complete at least a year's worth of technical work that should begin as soon as possible.
The council voted 4-0 to sign off on the EIR contract with FirstCarbon Solutions, adding a caveat at Fialho's suggestion that the draft EIR cannot be completed and released to the public until the southeast hills mapping is finished and vetted by the Planning Commission, council and residents.
The developer would reimburse the city for the costs of the consultant's EIR preparation, under an agreement also approved by the council Tuesday.
* The council endorsed changes to the Pleasanton Municipal Code regarding accessory dwelling units in response to new state laws requiring local jurisdictions to make it easier for property owners to build the extra units.
Also known as granny units or in-law units, second-dwelling units in Pleasanton could be attached or detached and would be limited to 1,200 square feet. The council also created rules for junior accessory dwelling units, which would be up to 500 square feet within an existing interior space but with an exterior entrance.
The code amendments did not include changes to the city's administrative design review process nor the physical development regulations for accessory dwelling units.
* Council members gave city attorney Daniel Sodergren a 5% raise, retroactive to November 2016, the date of his positive sixth-month employment review.
Sodergren, who started as Pleasanton city attorney last May, now receives an annual salary of $210,000. No other changes were made to his contract.
* The council approved a new three-year agreement with Alameda County for the city to operate and maintain water and sewer systems for unincorporated Castlewood through June 2020. The city has provided those services for the county's Castlewood service area since 2012 on a series of one-year agreements.