AUGUST 07, 2007

MEETING MINUTES

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

AUGUST 7, 2007  

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on August 7, 2007, in the Livingston Veterans’ Memorial Hall, with Mayor Samra presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

Mayor Samra opened the meeting at 5:02 p.m.

ROLL CALL

    Mayor Gurpal Samra

    Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram (Excused)

    Council Member Frank Vierra

    Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

    Council Member Roy Soria

The Council went into Closed Session at 5:03 p.m. to discuss the following matters:

1.      Conference with Legal Counsel: Existing Litigation—Government Code Section 54956.9(a). Foster Poultry Farms, Inc. v. City of Livingston, Merced County Superior Case No. 149443.

      2.   Conference with Legal Counsel: Existing Litigation—Government Code Section 54956.9(a). City of Livingston v. Foster Poultry Farms, Inc., Merced County Superior Court Case No. 149647.

3.      Conference with Legal Counsel: Existing Litigation—Government Code Section 54956.9(a). Foster Poultry Farms, Inc. v. Richard Warne & Paul Creighton, United States District Court, Eastern District Court of California: 1:06-CV-00931-OWW-DLB.  

      4.   Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

            Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

            Employee Organization:  Livingston Police Officers’ Association.    

      5.   Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Employee Organization:  Supervisory Employees Bargaining Association.

      6.   Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Employee Organization:  Police Management Employees Association.

7.      Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Employee Organization:  Management/Confidential Employees Association.

8.      Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Employee Organization:  Clerical Employees Bargaining Association.

9.      Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Employee Organization:  Public Works/Parks Bargaining Association.

10.  Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  Mayor & City Council.

Unrepresented Employee:  City Manager.

11.  Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Unrepresented Employees:  Contract Employees.

12.  Conference with Real Property Negotiator—Government Code Section 54956.8.

Property:  Director’s Deed # 00801-01-01, # 00802-01-01 (4 parcels).

Negotiating Parties:  City Manager Richard N. Warne and City Attorney Tom Hallinan.

Under Negotiation:  Purchase Price.

13. Conference with Legal Counsel—Anticipated Litigation.  Significant Exposure to Litigation.   Government Code 54956.9(b).  3 Cases.

The Closed Session ended at 5:54 p.m 

OPEN SESSION  

The Council came out of Closed Session and into Open Session at 5:55 p.m.

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Samra called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m. 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE  

The pledge of allegiance was recited and was led by Denis Wells. 

ROLL CALL  

    Mayor Gurpal Samra

    Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram (Excused)

    Council Member Frank Vierra

    Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

    Council Member Roy Soria

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

There was no reportable action; the Council gave direction to staff.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

At the request of City Manager Warne, Item No. 11 was removed from the agenda.

The item pertained to the award of bid for the Safe Routes to School Cycle 6 Sidewalk Installation Project.

JOINT CITY COUNCIL AND PLANNING COMMISSION WORKSHOP

1.      General Plan Update Presentation.

Sara Allinder, Pacific Municipal Consultants (PMC), gave an overview of the update presented and a background of the General Plan and the City’s reasons for updating the plan.  Ms. Allinder noted there have been seven workshops on the General Plan since 2004 and the same four issues were incorporated in the last General Plan as in the proposed plan.

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, asked if a person had to live in the City limits to submit questions on the General Plan.  He also commented on regulating minimum lot area and lot width which was on the agenda as Item #15.

Mayor Samra commented the General Plan Update was on the agenda tonight only for discussion and not action purposes.

Jerry Martin, 5050 Sultana Drive, asked a question about the water treatment plant being part of the plan.

            Ms. Allinder replied that the document is being reviewed.

            City Manager Warne explained that the City will notify the public when the General Plan item comes up.  He noted the final draft is expected to be presented to the City by January 4, 2008.                          

Colette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255, Livingston, commented that the City should do a better job of notifying the public when meetings dealing with the General Plan are scheduled.  She said she was not informed of tonight’s meeting.

City Manager Warne commented that the meeting notice was included in the City utility bills, posted at City Hall, and placed on the City website and the cable community access channel. 

Richard Harriman of Fresno, an attorney representing the Albert Arakelian family, commented on various issues concerning the City’s plans to locate its proposed wastewater treatment facility on land owned by the Albert Arakelian family, the lack of notice to his clients, and what he deemed as inconsistencies the City is giving the public in reference to the wastewater treatment plant.  Mr. Harriman gave a copy of his comments to the City Clerk.

Community Development Director Kenney commented that the Council was not approving the wastewater treatment plant expansion tonight.

Denis Wells questioned why the sewer plant was not included in the General Plan as he is concerned about prevailing winds and odor.  He commented that several years ago he had suggested that land located by Foster Farms be used for a sewer plant.  Mr. Wells further commented that he was glad to see less industrial in the plan.

Bob Kuyper, 1811 Park Street, asked for clarification regarding the General Plan map.  He commented said that he is concerned that their senior housing project is not adjacent to the City limits by the required 35%.

Mayor Samra recommended that Mr. Kuyper should meet with Community Development Director Kenney regarding their plan.

Doug Wells, 1605 River Road, was concerned with the proposed location of the wastewater treatment plant and asked why the City can’t move east toward Gallo property instead.  He gave the Council and Planning Commission some suggestions as to where to locate the facility.

Mr. Wells further asked if an environmental document was prepared before the General Plan.

Ms. Allinder explained a Program EIR is in process.

Jim Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255, Livingston, said he would like to see percolation ponds move to the east also.

Planning Commissioner Diann Benafield commented that she had just received this information today and did not have sufficient time to review the material.  However, she agreed with the various comments that were made.     

Planning Commissioner Martin Silva agreed that more time was needed for review and expressed a concern with prevailing winds.

Commissioner Benafield commented that the document was not prepared in two or three days, so the Commission should not be expected to review the material in two or three days and more time was needed.

Mayor Samra explained that the document is just now out for public review and no one has had time to review it.

City Manager Warne explained to the Planning Commission that they could take as much time as needed to meet and review the document.

Mayor Samra closed the public comment period at 7:25 p.m.

2.      Joint City Council and Planning Commission Workshop on RV Parking, Carport Structures and Cyclone Fencing.

Community Development Director Kenney presented the agenda item and asked for Council and Planning Commission direction.

The meeting was opened to the public at 7:45 p.m.

Denis Wells, 1159 Second Street, commented that cyclone fencing should remain to discourage paths across yards.  In regards to RVs, he noted that people are advertising “RV Parking” when they put their homes up for sale.  Mr. Wells stated that carports are not a problem if they look good.  Commercial should fall into the same standards, he noted. 

Mike Torres commented that the existing Code on RV parking should be enforced.  He said that alley access is 20 feet wide and RVs should be able to park five feet from the rear property line. 

Mr. Torres further commented the existing Code should be left as is except for the 15 foot rear setback.  He noted that code enforcement is the problem and code enforcement will take care of temporary carports and will eliminate them.  Mr. Torres added that a lot of corner houses violate the site distance triangle with hedges.

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street, stated the City needs to abate fifth wheel trailers and cars parking in front yards.

The public comment period was closed.

Planning Commission Chair Maricela Alvear stated the City needs a Code Enforcer.  She read a recap of the last Planning Commission minutes.

Commissioner Benafield said the Planning Commission was denied a second workshop on these issues last year.  She pointed out that amending the City Code will not work if there is no Code Enforcer.  Commissioner Benafield added that she did not like the 15 foot distance from the rear property line.

Commissioner Silva thanked Mike Torres for pushing the issue of holding a workshop.  He commented that the existing Codes need to be enforced and carports should be prohibited or regulated.

Council Member Vierra agreed with most of the comments brought up tonight and stated that he also wants a Code Enforcer.

Council Member Espinoza commented that it is obvious the City needs a Code Enforcer.  He noted there was too much parking on lawns.  Council Member Espinoza also stated he has no problem with the five foot rear setback for RVs and agreed that cyclone fencing should be discouraged.

Council Member Soria agreed with the need for a Code Enforcer.

Mayor Samra agreed with Council Member Soria.  He stated the City is not enforcing all the Codes and the Council will get complaints if the City does not get a Code Enforcer.

Commissioner Benafield commented that the community needs to be educated before the Codes are enforced.

Council Member Vierra, commented that the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) has been working on a presentation regarding a Code Enforcer to include what other cities that are half the City’s size are doing. 

CAC Chair Kaye Greeley commented that the CAC is about two weeks away from inviting the Council and Planning Commission to meet and review the information gathered. 

3.      City Council and Planning Commission Discussion of Goals.

Commissioner Benafield stated her goals were:

1.      Hammatt and “F” Street cleanup.

2.      Promoting commercial development.

3.      Educating the community, not just on these items, but about our community.

Commissioner Avila commented that the City is growing and the Council and Planning Commission need to work together.  He added Commissioners do not have City shirts as the Council does.

Council Member Espinoza noted that Donna Barnes is ordering shirts for the Planning Commission. 

Commissioner Blevins stated he has the same goals as Commissioner Benafield and in addition would like more recreation facilities and preservation of agriculture land.           

Commissioner Silva commented that more downtown commercial businesses are needed. 

Planning Commission Chair Alvear wants to enhance the downtown and attract more commercial businesses and support recreation opportunities for high school students.   

Council Member Espinoza agreed about the need for more downtown commercial and recreation opportunities.

Council Member Soria commented the City Redevelopment Agency is working on a Downtown Revitalization Plan and many prospective projects are included. 

Council Member Vierra commented that staff can’t find previous work done on the Downtown Revitalization Plan, but the City needs to redevelop the downtown.  He stressed the need for a Code Enforcer and noted that other projects he would like to see develop were to beautify the Hammatt entrance to downtown, opening “B” Street to “F” Street, more commercial development, recreation, and saving agriculture land. 

Mayor Samra proposed that the Council have a joint workshop with the Planning Commission to prioritize goals.

By consensus, a joint workshop was scheduled for August 14, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.

The joint meeting ended at 8:50 p.m.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

      4.   Appointment of Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) Member.

City Manager Warne stated staff had advertised the vacancy in the newspaper and posted the vacancy on the City bulletin board, City website and the community cable access channel.  He noted there were three letters of interest submitted by Daniel Varela, Pamela Tamez and Nancy Vancieos.

Council Member Soria nominated Daniel Varela to fill the vacancy.  The motion was seconded by Council Member Vierra and carried 4-0-1.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

      Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports 

      John Vang, Administrative Assistant to Supervisor Pedrozo, reported:

·         Supervisor Pedrozo could not be present tonight.

·         Good turnout for Merced County Fair.

·         Final day to approve County Budget is August 21st.

·         High Speed Rail meeting scheduled for August 27th.      .

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports. 

Council Member Soria

·         No reports.

      Council Member Vierra

·         No reports.

Council Member Espinoza

·         Questioned if roads that are being cut will be paved.  Staff replied yes.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

·         No reports.

CITIZEN COMMENTS 

Denis Wells said he found an old State Resolution in the garbage.  He noted the Resolution stated the proposed Community Center needs funding (grants).  Citizens raised $50,000 in 60 days. Child Care Center opened in August 1973.  Mr. Wells commented that we need to look at a building’s history before changing things.  

Mike Torres commented that he is glad the City is putting in water lines, but Hammatt is bad because there is loose gravel and the temporary patching is sinking into the ground.  He also noted there is a water leak behind the Veterans’ Hall and he felt the City should do something to remedy the problem. 

Nichol Alvernaz, 15975 Vinewood Circle, commended the City Council for the workshop and recommended scheduling future workshops on different days than Council meetings.  She noted the meeting was lengthy and there were many elderly people who had interests in some of the items that were scheduled tonight.  

Luis Flores commented that he is working on recycling with Public Works.  He said they took a tour in Modesto with Gilton Solid Waste.  Mr. Flores noted that to oversee the collection of waste and recyclables is the goal of Public Works.  He added that we have to think green which is a priority.  Mr. Flores added that he likes the new recycling trucks and wants a “buy-back center.”  

PUBLIC HEARINGS  

5.   Resolution Approving the Revised Water Distribution Master Plan. 

The agenda item was presented by Community Development Director Kenney and Jose Gutierrez of Carollo Engineers.

Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 9:21 p.m.

Colette Alvernaz asked that the Council not approve this item and said she was denied copies of  the Master Plan.

Richard Harriman commented on high rate of population growth in the new draft of the General Plan.  He stated the rates of growth cause infrastructure.  Does not assume doubling rate of growth.  Mr. Harriman further urged the Council not to approve the plan.

Diana Pedrozo, representing the Merced County Farm Bureau, made several comments regarding the Master Plan, in particular the outrageously high growth numbers and the fact there is no regional water study.  She presented a copy of  a letter from the Farm Bureau to the City Clerk.

Community Development Director Kenney commented regarding Mr. Harriman’s question.  Infrastructure will be paid by the developers, she noted.  

Regarding Mrs. Pedrozo, Director Kenney commented that she is correct, this document is not a regional study; it is about pipes and tanks, infrastructure.  

Richard Warne concurs with her.  They are not adopting a regional study.  

Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing at 9:40 p.m., there being no further comments from the public.

Council Members Vierra, Soria and Espinoza asked if the plan included only pipes, tanks, etc.  

Community Development Director Kenney replied yes.

Mayor Samra commented on that the expansion of infrastructure to Cressey.  He said the water table needs to be addressed in another document.

Mayor Samra asked City Attorney Hallinan if he felt there was a reason why the Council should not move forward with this item tonight.

City Attorney Hallinan replied no.

Motion:  M/S Soria/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2007-34 approving the Revised Water Distribution Master Plan.  The motion carried 4-0-1 by the following vote:

AYES:                        Council Members:       Espinoza, Samra, Soria, Vierra

NOES:                        Council Members:       None

ABSENT:       Council Members:       Ingram

6.      Resolution Approving the Revised Wastewater Collection System Master Plan.

Community Development Director Kenney and Jose Gutierrez from Carollo Engineers presented the agenda item.

Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 9:50 p.m.

Luis Flores commented that the focus of the plan should be legality and not environmental reasons.

Colette Alvernaz, read a letter expressing various concerns and recommended that the Council not approve this item.  She stated that she was denied copies of the document for many months.  Ms. Alvernaz presented a copy of her letter to the City Clerk.

Richard Harriman disagreed with staff about the location of future ponds.  He concurred with statements made by Mrs. Pedrozo and pointed out the growth figures were outrageous.

Jerry Martin asked Mr. Gutierrez who selected the area to the west and why this particular land was picked when it is located outside the City’s Sphere of Influence.

City Manager Warne explained the property acquisition processes.

City Attorney Hallinan agreed with the explanation.

Mrs. Pedrozo asked if the City has the water to sustain future growth.  She stated she did not understand why we don’t have all the resources before you approve this item.  She asked if the City owns that sewer line. 

Community Development Director Kenney commented that the Grand Jury looked at the situation and didn’t say it was illegal.  That issue, she noted, has been addressed and dropped.  Housing development has slowed.

Director Kenney explained that these items are just plans, recommendations and suggestions and have to be approved in an effort to move forward.

Mrs. Pedrozo commented that she doesn’t understand the logic and said the City is impacting people’s lives with this plan.

Doug Wells also questioned the logic for picking land to the east of the City.  He commented that farmers are not always educated people and the City does not realize that its plans are affecting people.

Jean Okuye, 10029 Olive Avenue, asked about the Grand Jury recommendation and the infrastructure that has not been paid for.  She commented that these bedroom communities are costing residents’ money and changes need to be made.

Mike Torres commented that the City is assuming many things with this plan and it appears they are not listening to the farmers who have come to share their concerns.  He asked that the Council study this plan again before a final decision is made.

Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing at 10:24 p.m., as there were no further comments from the public.

Council Member Espinoza commented that this is just a plan and if the City does not approve the plan, the City will not be able to grow.

Mayor Samra commented that he has heard all comments from the farmers and he can understand their concerns, however, we can’t stop growth.  He noted that he did not see any reason why the Council should not move forward with approval of the plan.

Motion:  M/S Samra/Soria to adopt Resolution No.2007-35 approving the Revised Wastewater Collection System Master Plan.  The motion carried 4-0-1 by the following vote:

AYES:                        Council Members:       Espinoza, Samra, Soria, Vierra

NOES:                        Council Members:       None

ABSENT:       Council Members:       Ingram

      7.   City of Livingston FY2008 Budget  

Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 10:30 p.m.  

Mike Torres said he would like to see a resolution that all incoming Council Members and Planning Commissioners receive City shirts.  

Mr. Torres referred to budget information regarding parks and asked who is going to furnish park equipment.

City Manager Warne explained that the majority of equipment will be paid for by developers.

Mr. Torres questioned what happened to Swan Park.  He commented he had asked staff  to investigate because Foster Farms took over the land when it was City property. 

Mr. Torres further made reference to a position that was not filled and asked what happened to the money that was allocated for this position.  He added that he would like to see this money used for the hiring of a Code Enforcer. 

Mr. Torres further asked questions regarding certain items in the budget. 

Warren Urnberg spoke about Swan Park and about his concerns with the Council possibly receiving health benefits.

            Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing to the public at 10:50 p.m.

Mayor Samra moved to continue the Public Hearing to the Regular Meeting of August 21, 2007.  The motion was seconded by Council Member Espinoza and carried 4-0-1.    

CONSENT CALENDAR

            Motion:  M/S Vierra/Soria to approve the following consent calendar items:

8. Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on July 17, 2007.

      9.   Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on July 31, 2007.

10. Approval of Warrant Register Dated August 1, 2007.

11. Pulled from the agenda.

12.  Resolution No. 2007-36 Approving the Execution of the Certificate of Acceptance and the Recordation of the Corporation Grant Deed for the Parkside Basin, APN: 047-190-052.

13.  Resolution No. 2007-37 Certifying Public Uses Upon Acceptance of Surplus California Department of Transportation Properties.

14.  Resolution No. 2007-38 Approving Submittal of a Grant Application to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for HOME Investment Partnerships Program Funds.

            The motion carried 4-0-1.

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS    

15.  Discussion and Staff Direction for Section 5-3-16, Lot Development Standards and Table 7, Lot Configurations, of Title 5, Chapter 3 of the Livingston Municipal Code Regulating Minimum Lot Area and Minimum Lot Width.

The Council continued this item to the Regular Meeting of August 21, 2007.

16.  City Manager Announcements and Reports.

·         No announcements or reports.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 11:00 p.m.

                                                                                    _______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED:  October 16, 2007

 

___________________________

  Mayor or Mayor ProTempore

One thought on “AUGUST 07, 2007

  1. Pingback: Cancellations, Postponements, and Appointments (Or the Politics of Hurry up and Wait) « Thegardeningsnail's Weblog (because not every critter is hiding under a rock…)

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