DECEMBER 04, 2007




DECEMBER 4, 2007

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on December 4, 2007, in the Veterans’ Memorial Building, with Mayor Samra presiding.


Mayor Samra opened the meeting at 6:34 p.m. 


    Mayor Gurpal Samra

    Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram

    Council Member Frank Vierra (Excused Absence)

    Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

    Council Member Roy Soria

The Council went into Closed Session at 6:35 p.m. to discuss the following matters:

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

Property:  APN #024-134-005.

Negotiating Parties:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Under Negotiation:  Purchase.           

2.      Conference with Legal Counsel—Anticipated Litigation.  Significant Exposure to Litigation. Government Code 54956.9(b). 1 Case.

The Closed Session ended at 6:43 p.m. 


The Council came out of Closed Session and into Open Session at 6:44 p.m.



Mayor Samra opened the meeting at 7:05 p.m.


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.


    Mayor Gurpal Samra

    Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram

    Council Member Frank Vierra (Excused Absence)

    Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

    Council Member Roy Soria


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




1.      Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) Report.

On behalf of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee, Committee Chair Kaye Greeley requested the Council agendize and consider the hiring of a Code Enforcement Officer.

Committee member Pamela Tamez spoke in favor of the position and asked when this item will be placed on the agenda.

Committee member Linda Wright noted that the CAC previously provided information to the Council on why a Code Enforcement Officer is needed.

      2.   Appointment of Parks and Recreation Commissioners.

City Manager Warne commented on the appointment of three alternate members to the Commission and asked that the proposed resolution reflect the terms as expiring on January 31, 2009.         

Motion:  M/S Espinoza/Soria to adopt Resolution No. 2007-60 appointing James Olivera and Juan Pulido to the Parks and Recreation Commission and recruit for a third position on the Commission.  The motion carried 4-0-1 by the following vote: 

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

NOES:         Council Members:       None

ABSENT:    Council Members:       Vierra                     


      Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports. 

      Supervisor Pedrozo made the following reports and comments:

·         Asked that he be personally notified when there is a meeting location change for City Council meetings.

·         Spoke about the High Speed Transit Rail Committee and stated that the amount of passengers has increased 20% from last year.  He noted there will be a rail passenger day in Sacramento on February 20, 2008, if anyone is interested in participating.  Also noted that Supervisors throughout the Valley will be meeting to discuss the Transit Rail Committee meeting in Sacramento at the end of December.

·         In regards to the Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG), stated that his commitment is to Livingston and each Supervisor supports the district they serve.        

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.       

      Council Member Soria

·         Wished everyone happy holidays and asked Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram to report on the sports complex funding he is working on.

      Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram

·         Relayed a happy holidays greeting to all.

·         In response to Council Member Soria’s request, reported that he met with Supervisors Pedrozo and Kelsey, the City Manager and Recreation Superintendent regarding the sports complex.  He noted that Supervisor Kelsey is interested in a joint venture to support the sports complex and he had requested that she coordinate this proposal with Supervisor Pedrozo.

Supervisor Pedrozo addressed the project and said he would consult with the County grant writer to determine if funding opportunities are available to support the project.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

·         Extended happy holidays to all.

·         Announced that there will be no Council Meeting on December 18, 2007.


Colette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255, Livingston, stated she has received no response to her public records request which she feels is a violation of the law.  She asked for documentation on the statistics reported in the Draft General Plan of 2007 and the Draft General Plan of 2005.

Gerri Martin, 16181 W. Vinewood Avenue, referred to the November 6, 2007 Council meeting, where the subject of locating soccer fields on Washington Blvd. was discussed.  She pointed out that just because the City owns the land, the land is outside the City limits and the City does not have jurisdiction over the land.

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, asked for an update on the ordinance regarding RVs, carports and cyclone fences and noted that it has been three years and nothing has been done.  He also asked about the hiring of a Code Enforcement Officer and noted there is money allocated in the budget to hire for this position.

In regards to Ms. Alvernaz’s comment on the public records request, City Manager Warne noted that not all public records requests have documents and all public records requests are being handled through the City Attorney’s office.  He added that City Hall has an open door policy and invited citizens to come in and discuss their concerns.


3.      Resolution Approving the Modifications to the City of Livingston Public Draft General Plan Update. 

Sara Allinder, Contract City Planner, gave a power point presentation and explained the purpose of the public hearing and the items for consideration.  The public hearing consisted of two parts:

1.   A presentation of the summary of comments received during the 45-day review period.  No action was required by the City Council.

2.   Discussion of specific land use and policy change requests made during the public review period.  The City Council was presented with specific recommendations on the land use and policy changes.

Ms. Allinder explained the following twelve primary issues identified in the summary of comments received:

1.      General Process Overview/Opportunities for Public Input.

2.      Special Planning Areas.

3.      Population Projections/Overall Growth.

4.      Infrastructure and Financing.

5.      Conservation of Resources.

6.      Loss of Agricultural Lands.

7.      Housing.

8.      Downtown.

9.      Circulation.

10.  Impacts to the Environment.

11.  Expansion of Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plant.

12.  Existing 42-Inch Pipeline West of Robin Avenue and South of the Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Ms. Allinder summarized the following four land use change requests.

Land Use Change Request 1.

This area consists of 5-10 acres located at the northeast corner of Westside and Lincoln Boulevards.  This property is currently planned for Low Density Residential in the General Plan Update.

The request is to make this property commercial; however, there are already three sites within ¼ mile that are planned for commercial and to add an additional commercial area to this site would saturate the area with unnecessary commercial sites.  The Planning Commission recommended to the City Council that this site remain as Low Density Residential.

Land Use Change Request 2

This area consists of 144 acres located along the south edge of SR 99 and the railroad tracks, between Dwight Wayand Sultana Drive.  The existing land use is primarily Service Commercial and Light Industrial.

The request is to change the area to residential land uses.  This is a request that has come to the City before and its decision, at the time, was to leave it as Service Commercial and Light Industrial.

Land Use Change Request 3

This area consists of 125 acres currently located outside the Sphere of Influence as well as outside of the planning area.  It is located north of Olive Avenue, just west of Livingston-Cressey Road in the Bird Avenue area.

The request is to bring the area into the planning area.  There was no specific land use request made; they just want the area to be within the Sphere of Influence boundaries.

Staff recommended that area remain outside the planning area.  In earlier decisions discussed by the City, it was determined to leave the area north of Olive Avenue out of the planning area.  Some of the concerns cited include the agricultural uses north of Olive Avenue, the industrial lands located adjacent to the area, and also the cost of extending infrastructure.

Policy Change Request 4

Existing Language Policy 6.2A (1).  This is a 1999 General Plan Policy that was carried over.  It requires that new residential development may be substantially contiguous to existing urban development before development occurs.  The 1999 General Plan defined substantial as 35% of the property.

Staff received a request that wanted the “shall” language to change to “should” to provide the City with some flexibility in determining contiguous properties.

This policy has been implemented a little differently than the policy language read; therefore, staff came up with the change requested for the language which is to focus the policy on annexations needing to be substantially contiguous to the City limits rather than requiring that development be substantially contiguous.  This will allow the City flexibility in allowing properties to be annexed, and in not requiring that all 35% of a property be located next to the City limits.  When staff looked at future annexations, it was discovered that it was going to be difficult to get any parcels to be 35% adjacent to the City limits.

The Council considered the following recommendations made by the Planning Commission:

·         Land Use Change Request No. 1

Recommended Denial

·         Land Use Change Request No. 2

Recommended Denial

·         Land Use Change Request No. 3

Recommended Denial

·         Policy Change Request No. 4

Recommended Approval with Modifications

            Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 7:39 p.m.

Robert Kuyper, 1811 Park Street, stated he would favor the change in language if the City would develop affordable senior housing.  He noted the senior housing project is open to everyone in the City.  He asked for clarification of the “shall” versus “should” language within the policy

Shirley Olson, 15141 W. Vinewood Avenue, supported Mr. Kuyper’s recommendation that the policy language be changed to include the word “should”.

Gerri Martin, 16181 W. Vinewood Avenue noted a change in the staff report and pointed out the words “willing seller” were added to the report.  Regarding the Wastewater Treatment Plant, she asked what the alternative site for the plant would be.  Ms. Martin further noted that she emailed questions and concerns to City Hall and also hand delivered her questions on November 28, 2007, and there has been no response.

Pirus Abraham, 11466 W. Peach Avenue commented on his property shown on the screen as Land Use Request #2.  He asked about zoning changes and noted that he was told the changes were not set in stone.  Mr. Abraham also noted that the frontage road runs the entire length of his property and the road is not necessary because it will consume property.

Colette Alvernaz stated the Alvernaz family wishes to continue to farm their land and asked that the property be removed from the General Plan area. She further commented on the 42 inch pipeline which she said the City has no jurisdiction over and asked that the Council not approve the resolution adopting the General Plan.

Frank Borges, representing Joseph Gallo Farms, commented that the Gallo family has been working to develop their property for years and have been patiently going through the process.

Roberta Avila, Stevinson, claimed the 42 inch sewer line is an existing condition which is false.  She asked that the General Plan resolution not be accepted by the Council.

Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing at 8:03 p.m., there being no further comments from the public.

Council Member Soria  noted the City makes all efforts to stay within the law and has a professional staff and a City Attorney to ensure the City operates within the guidelines of the law.  He commented that citizens’ concerns are heard and considered by the Council, but the City must move forward and plan for the future.

Council Member Espinoza addressed the comments and concerns received and the four issues presented.  He commented that if the General Plan is approved, amendments can be made to the document.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram asked that the Council and Planning Commission hold an open town hall meeting to hear citizen concerns and have staff available to answer questions. He requested that a special meeting be held for the General Plan and the proposed ordinance on RV parking, carports and chain link fences.

      Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram commented on Land Use Request #2 regarding Peach Avenue between Dwight and Sultana.  He stated that the changes within the proposed plan were not recommended.  Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram agreed that the language in the policy be changed to “should” instead of “shall”.

      Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram further noted that changes to the General Plan can be made twice per year.  He agreed with Council Member Soria that the City is not doing anything outside of the law and relies on professionals for advice.  Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram pointed out that the 42 inch sewer line does not belong to the City; only one mile was authorized by the City and inspections were done.

Mayor Samra noted that he read the comments and said that most comments were in favor of growth.  He commented that the General Plan can be amended and feels it is necessary for the City to move forward.  Mayor Samra further noted that the City does not intentionally mislead anyone and has an excellent staff that guides the Council.

      Council Member Soria wanted to note for the record that he favors revisiting the previously removed Hunter Road over crossing in the Traffic Circulation Master Plan.

      Motion:  M/S Ingram/Soria to adopt Resolution No. 2007-60, approving the modifications to the City of Livingston Public Draft General Plan Update.  The motion carried 4-0-1 by the following vote:

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

      NOES:         Council Members:    None

      ABSENT:    Council Members:    Vierra

4.      Resolution Approving Site Plan/Design Review 2007-03, Foster Farms Deli Plant Break Room Expansion Project.

Community Development Director Kenney gave an overview of the project.

Dennis Strand, representing Foster Farms, was present to answer questions.

Mayor Samra opened and subsequently closed the Public Hearing as there were no public comments.

Council Member Espinoza commented that he had reviewed the plans and asked that Foster Farms install sidewalk on Livingston-Cressey Road and on Stefani Street.  He noted he was not asking for this to be a condition of approval of the project.

Council Member Soria noted this is a good project and he agrees with Council Member Espinoza regarding sidewalks on Livingston-Cressey, Stefani and Swan Streets.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram said this is a worthwhile project and concurred with Council Members Espinoza and Soria about sidewalks.  He also expressed gratitude for the City’s continued relationship with Foster Farms.

Motion:  M/S Ingram/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2007-61, approving Site Plan Design Review 2007-03, Foster Farms Deli Plant Break Room Expansion Project.  The motion carried 4-0-1 by the following vote:

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

      NOES:         Council Members:    None

      ABSENT:    Council Members:    Vierra

5.      Resolution Approving Site Plan/Design Review 2007-05, for Two New Floor Plans in the Mansionettes at Davante Villas Subdivision.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram exited the Council Chambers due to a conflict of interest.

Community Development Director Kenney gave an overview of the request by New America Homes (Davante Villas Subdivision) and noted the project meets the City’s design guidelines and is being recommended for approval.

Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 8:37 p.m.

Mike Torres asked if the homes will be inside the existing fence line.

Staff replied that some of the lots are outside the existing fence line.

Mr. Torres asked that the Council table this item for further research.

City Manager Warne commented that the item before the Council is to approve floor plans only. 

Director Kenney offered to meet with Mr. Torres and review the subdivision plans.

Mayor Samra stated his concern is about the asphalt roofs and he is not in support of them. .

Motion:  M/S Soria/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2007-63, approving Site Plan/Design Review 2007-05, for two new floor plans in the Mansionettes at Davante Villas Subdivision with the condition that all roofs will be tile.  The motion carried 3-1-1 by the following vote:

      AYES:         Council Members:    Espinoza, Samra, Soria

      NOES:         Council Members:    None

      ABSTAIN:  Council Members:    Ingram

      ABSENT:    Council Members:    Vierra  

      Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram returned to the Council Chambers to participate in the remainder of the meeting.


            The following Consent Calendar items were presented to the Council for consideration:

6.      Resolution No. 2007-64 Accepting the Memorial Park Improvements Project, Authorizing the City Clerk to Record a Notice of Completion with Merced County, and Authorizing the City Manager to Release Performance and Materials Bonds and to Make Final Payment of Retention Monies to Lockwood General Engineering, Inc.

7.      Approval of Warrant Register Dated November 28, 2007.

8.      Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on November 13, 2007.

9.      Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on November 20, 2007.

10.  Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on November 28, 2007, as amended.

      Motion:  M/S Ingram/Espinoza to approve the Consent Calendar as presented.  The motion carried 3-1-1 with Council Member Soria voting no.


11.  City Manager Announcements and Reports.

            Wished everyone a Merry Christmas.  Commented that he was recommending that there will be no Council Meeting on December 18, 2007.              


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:50 p.m.


 City Clerk of the City of Livingston


APPROVED:  January 15, 2008


  Mayor or Mayor ProTempore

The written meeting minutes reflect a summary of specific actions taken by the City Council. They do not necessarily reflect all of the comments or dialogue leading up to the action. All meetings are digitally recorded and are an official record of the meeting’s proceedings. Digitally recorded verbatim minutes are available, upon request, and may be obtained at Livingston City Hall.           


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