City Council OKs downtown parking strategic plan

Also: Recycled water station at Sports Park, Spotorno development EIR, accessory dwelling units, city attorney raise

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

* Wayfinding

* 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.


7 people like this
Posted by Sammy
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 20, 2017 at 6:58 pm

140 pages? Are consultants paid by page count?

7 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 22, 2017 at 9:22 pm

What's wrong with one way traffic on downtown streets, sure would throw a monkey wrench into the cut thru commuters shortcuts?? Why do we always hire consultants to point out the obvious? It seems like the only thing the city doesn't have trouble with is building more houses and apartments.

6 people like this
Posted by Steve M
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Apr 22, 2017 at 9:25 pm

Great! As if traffic on Sunol Boulevard during rush hour wasn't already backed up or blocks. Add these to Lund Ranch II and everyone can add another 30 minutes to their commute going south.

7 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 23, 2017 at 7:27 am

I thibk think 1 way traffic lanes down town makes a lot of sense. Helps with flow, pedestrian safety, and space usage

5 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 23, 2017 at 4:20 pm

1 way traffic idea pops up about every 10 years and for some unknown reason it always gets shot down?? Have the traffic on main flow north to south, put in red light cameras and lighted crosswalks then maybe they can toss all those " no u turn" signs that nobody pays attention too.

5 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 24, 2017 at 8:45 pm

What a bunch of hooey! We as citizens should insist that before Staff and Council go out and build themselves their Taj Ma City Hall, that they finally buck up and build a parking structure Downtown.
All those great ideas in the 140 page report are great ideas, but few are new... The City does not enforce their own rules! Until they enforce the signage, collect from an in-lieu contract, actually offer an incentive to a private lot owner, nothing is going to change!

6 people like this
Posted by Haight Estate resident
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 25, 2017 at 7:27 pm

and while we are on the subject of traffic downtown I have heard 5 different times today of horns blasting and brakes squealing the at intersection of Peters@W. Angela. YET the city feel we don't need this to be a 4 way stop. this doesn't mention two accidents in the p[ass two month one totalling a car.
I saw a city worker sit at the intersection one day for a whopping 10 minutes in his city emplemed car-the entire time he was busy texting and didn't even look up once.

who needs the demolition derby when you have this intersection.

3 people like this
Posted by Lugnut
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Apr 25, 2017 at 9:51 pm

No worries, Chamber gives Council their marching orders. We shall see what levers they pull.

7 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 26, 2017 at 7:12 am

Narrow peters down to 1 lane and put in angled parking- we gain more parking downtown, run that 1 lane south to north and put stop signs at every cross street before somebody gets killed and you gain yet another deterrent to those cut-thru angry commuters

2 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 27, 2017 at 11:19 am

Flightops is a registered user.

How about a new plan for that 3-way stop at St Mary's and Main. What a cluster at commute time, cars blocking the intersection and the crosswalks, pedestrians having to walk around cars and 2-3 cars blocking the intersection waiting for lights to change 2 blocks further north, there is no honor among commuters on the streets when they are trying to cut thru town as quick as possible

5 people like this
Posted by no cut throughs
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 27, 2017 at 12:42 pm

There is no reason to change the signs or lights in our town. We just need the PPD to actually TICKET these cut throughs who block intersections, fail to give way to pedestrians, speed through red lights, etc, etc.

Make it harder to cut through our town and these morons will either get back on the freeways or they will pay enough in fines for our city to have a new revenue source.

6 people like this
Posted by Silicon Valley Commuter
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 27, 2017 at 1:31 pm

No cut throughs makes a valid point. I've been commuting through Milpitas and Fremont for 25 years and they very aggressively enforce traffic laws. You learn very quickly to be a polite driver as you commute through these towns. I would normally follow the laws - but seeing the motorcycle cops all over the place is a constant reminder.

The only challenge for me is some of the restrictions Pleasanton puts in place may negatively impact me. But I can easily mitigate it by shifting my commute hours and working from home as much as possible. So I am all for tougher enforcement!!

Also, let's add in tougher enforcement of no cell phones and stopping at crosswalks while we're at it.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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