City Manager Nelson Fialho said the work plan "serves as the basis for the development of our two-year work plan, but also our two-year budget and our capital improvement plan which will be presented in June."
The council completed the biennial planning process on May 4, following a special meeting and workshop the previous week that lasted six hours and was continued to the following week at Mayor Karla Brown's request.
City staff, residents and other stakeholders in the community all gave input during the two meetings on the comprehensive list of various projects, many of which are expected to become Pleasanton's top priorities once the council approves the 27-page document at their next meeting.
"Tonight's discussion is really not about the debate of the policy implications of the items that are before you or even the options will be considered," Fialho told the council during the second meeting. "Rather, today is whether or not to spend any time or resources on the issues that you'll see for prioritization over the coming two years."
Fialho added, "The details, the analysis, the options will come at a later time."
The last work plan was completed about a year before the pandemic started and brought out nearly 300 resident speakers and attendees for the public debate, but this year's online format had many call in during the April 28 workshop.
In particular, about half of the approximately 100 callers during the April 28 meeting's three-hour public hearing urged the council to prioritize developing a cricket field and facilities in Pleasanton.
Youths complained about practicing before 7 a.m. just to get a shot at using local facilities when they're available, while parents lamented they were spending hours "just commuting and driving" their children for practices every week.
The cricket fields were originally listed a "C-level" priority status -- meaning they wouldn't have been started in the next two years -- but Brown said, "We heard from almost 50 residents today saying can we move this forward faster than a C level," then asked her colleagues to "consider raising this up to an A, at very least a B to get cricket pitch started in Pleasanton."
Councilmember Kathy Narum concurred that "it's time to make this a priority" and said "we've heard that pretty loud and clear."
Other residents were also very vocal at the April 28 workshop about a staff proposal to pave over a large portion of the open green space at Bicentennial Park, in order to add parking for the historic Century House in Santa Rita Road. In the end, the council agreed to evaluate alternative options and prioritize a master plan to renovate the Century House for future use as an event space.
Some items with majority or unanimous council support are local public works projects, such as repairing and replacing sound walls on Stoneridge Drive as well as West Las Positas Boulevard and Valley Avenue designing lighting improvements on St. Mary Street from Peters Avenue to the Railroad Parking Lot, conducting a facility assessment of Amador Theater, implementing renovations at Lions Wayside and Delucchi parks, and designing improvements for Fire Station No. 2.
Others relate to continuing work on the first phase of the Bernal Park Community Garden, updating the city's water and sewer master plans (including city connection fees) plus utility rates, adopting a 10-year infrastructure and facilities replacement plan, and developing a planning framework for the Stoneridge Shopping Center area.
Housing also is prominent throughout the work plan from the Merritt property senior housing development, updating the city's Housing Element, and monitoring related legislation, to restarting the East Pleasanton Specific Plan.
Regional priorities for the council include continued support for widening to four lanes on Highway 84 between Pigeon Pass and I-680, completing plans to connect BART to Valley Link, and designing a permanent reconstruction of West Las Positas.
At first, a proposal for an ordinance to reduce single-use disposables and plastics from retail and dining establishments had the support of just one council member, but it was unanimously boosted to a B priority after nearly a half hour of deliberation at the May 4 meeting.
Councilmember Julie Testa was originally the sole supporter of creating a local ordinance to decrease waste from plastic forks, knives and other disposable cutlery in local restaurants and retail establishments. The proposal was also on the last work plan but Testa said she was "horrified" by the proliferation of plastic utensils from restaurant takeout and food delivery during the pandemic, and wanted to address the issue sooner.
"Everything is being given to us in massive amounts of plastic and I think it's a huge priority," Testa said.
Fialho explained that Alameda County's StopWaste program has been developing a similar countywide ordinance, and recommended waiting until it becomes available some time later this year before using city resources to create a local ordinance.
Fialho said, "It was really a matter of whether or not we wanted to dedicate time and resources to a Pleasanton local customized ordinance that may be in conflict with the county ordinance."
Because "StopWaste doesn't technically have jurisdiction to impose ordinances upon cities," Fialho said municipalities must either opt in or opt out, "regardless of action taken."
"As a substitute to this item, I'd suggest that we come up with a different priority that says opt into the county ordinance when it becomes available ... and show that as a priority A," Fialho added.
Ultimately, the council upgraded the item from a C to a B priority, and agreed to evaluate the county ordinance when it becomes available. Should the council not be satisfied with the county ordinance, then they will consider a local ordinance for review and consideration.
Council members are expected to ratify the final two-year work plan at their meeting on Tuesday (May 18), starting 7 p.m.
This story contains 1029 words.
Stories older than 90 days are available only to subscribing members. Please help sustain quality local journalism by becoming a subscribing member today.
If you are already a subscriber, please log in so you can continue to enjoy unlimited access to stories and archives. Subscriptions start at $5 per month and may be cancelled at any time.