MAY 01, 2007




MAY 1, 2007  

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on May 1, 2007, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Samra presiding. 



Mayor Samra opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. 


    Mayor Gurpal Samra

    Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram

    Council Member Frank Vierra

    Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

    Council Member Roy Soria 

The Council went into Closed Session at 6:31 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 Legal Counsel—Anticipated Litigation.  Significant Exposure to Litigation.  Government Code 54956.9(b).  3 Cases.  

The Closed Session ended at 6:46 p.m. 


The Council came out of Closed Session and into Open Session at 6:47 p.m. 



Mayor Samra called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. 


The pledge of allegiance was recited.


    Mayor Gurpal Samra

    Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram

    Council Member Frank Vierra

    Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

    Council Member Roy Soria 


There were no announcements. 




  1. Presentation by Seyed Sadredin, Executive Director, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control Board.  

Mike Nelson, a member of the Merced County Board of Supervisors and a Board member of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control Board gave an in depth presentation on recently updated Board rules and regulations. 

Mr. Nelson introduced Tom Jordan who gave a power point presentation and addressed pollution levels comparing the San Joaquin Valley to the Bay Area and South Coast.  Mr. Jordan also spoke about the 2007 Ozone Reduction Plan that had just been approved. 

Kaye Greeley, 1571 Monte Cristo Way, asked the possible air pollution produced by the Riverside Motor Sports Park if it is built. 

Mr. Jordan explained that this is a touchy subject, but one has to look at growth and the jobs the project will bring to the Valley. 

Denis Wells, 1159 Second Street, asked about the new vehicle smog test that he has heard about. 

Mr. Jordan commented the San Joaquin Valley was one of the first to implement the vehicle smog check. 

Mr. Wells asked why the smog check did not apply to farm equipment and motor and street vehicles

Mr.  Jordan said because there is a cost factor involved. 

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, asked if there is a ban on wood burning stoves and fireplaces because there are few burning fireplaces and wood stoves are rare. 

Mr. Jordan explained that natural gas is the cleanest and wood pellets are preferred over a regular wood stove.   

Council Member Vierra asked if the new regulations will help to control odors as well as particulate matter, pointing out that Livingston had bad odors already coming from the Foster Farms processing plant.     

Mr. Jordan said that usually there is no solution to control the smell. As an example, he noted, that if the public complains about odors, they will work with that company to create a plan to reduce the odors. 

Council Member Soria asked what time of the day does the Valley have the worst smog. 

Mr. Jordan commented that it depends on the time of the year.  He said that in the summer it’s usually late in the afternoon and in the winter in the morning. 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram commented that vehicle smogging needs to be strictly enforced. 

Mayor Samra asked how the Valley can keep the Bay Area smog out and what can the Bay Area do to help the Valley. 

Mr. Jordan thanked the Council and encouraged them to spread the information presented. 

Council Member Soria asked Mr. Jordan if he made a presentation to the school boards as he felt the more people reached, the more people that will be aware of the new restrictions. 

Mr. Nelson also thanked everyone and said that if they wanted more information to check the SJVAPCB web site. 



      Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports. 

Reported the following: 

·         Attended the Public Safety Awards banquet in Atwater.

·         Took a tour of the Livingston Branch Library to determine its needs.

·         Attended Health Fair at the Livingston Medical Group that had quite a turnout.

·         Will donate $1,000 to Livingston High School Sober Grad.

·         The Los Banos Fair started today.

·         The architect’s contract for the new County Government Center was approved by the Board.  

Mr. Wells asked Supervisor Pedrozo if the Librarian had asked about lighting needs.  

Council Member Vierra thanked Supervisor Pedrozo for the Sober Grad donation. 

Mayor Samra called for a break at 7:43 p.m. 

The meeting resumed at 7:46 p.m. 

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports. 

Council Member Vierra  

·         Commented there will be a meeting on May 7th, 3:30 p.m., at the MCEO office regarding the Valley Continuation School.

·         Relayed that the Court Theater Committee thanked Public Works staff for installation of the project renovation sign. 

Council Member Soria  

·         Stated that he, Council Member Espinoza and City Manager Warne met with Senator Jeff Denham in Sacramento concerning funding for the overpasses and will meet with the Senator again. 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram  

·         Commented that his wife was in ICU and if he received a call he would have to leave. 

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.  

·         No announcements or reports..  


Kaye Greeley, Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee, reported the Committee would like a Code Enforcement Officer hired and would like this item to be placed on the agenda. 

Mike Torres brought up the matter of RV parking and carports and said it has been two years and this issue has not been resolved.  He also commented on the house on Second Street that was moved in and said nothing has been done about this matter either. 

Denis Wells thanked the Council for having a representative attend the Veterans/Police/Fire Fighters Awards dinner.  He also noted that May is Military Appreciation Month. 

Mr. Wells referred to the time of the MCOE meeting on May 7th and said he was going to write to MCOE Superintendent, Lee Andersen, regarding the inconvenient time of the meeting. 

Victor Estrada addressed the Council about having a march for Jesus Christ.  He said he would like to hold a gathering for people in the community to come together; however, he didn’t know where to hold the event. 

Mayor Samra commented that because this is a religious event, the City could not get involved.

However, he referred Mr. Estrada to the Police Department regarding the march. 

Peggy Gipson, 2265 Johannisburg Drive, said she did not understand why the Mayor would tell the newspaper he wanted as much public comment as possible and then turn around and shorten public comments to three minutes. 

Mike Torres also questioned why the citizens comment period had been changed. 

Ms. Gipson asked if the Council has paid for the polo shirts they are wearing.  She also complained about no sidewalks on Eighth and Park Streets.   

Staff replied that they are working on this matter. 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram noted the sidewalks on Eighth and Park are not completed because PG&E has to move a utility pole.  

Martin Silva defended his appointment to the Planning Commission and brought up a personnel issue; however, he was asked to stop the discussion because it was a personnel matter. 


2.      Resolution Approving Proposed Street Name Changes in the Country Lane 2 Subdivision and Authorizing the City Engineer to File a Notice of Correction of the Final Maps with the Merced County Recorder’s Office.     

The agenda item was presented by Community Development Director Kenney.  

      Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 8:20 p.m.  

Denis Wells commented that he would like to see three of the new Japanese names be that of veterans. 

Kaye Greeley agreed with Mr. Wells that veterans should be included. 

Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing at 8:26 p.m., there being no further public comments. 

Council Member Vierra commented that naming of streets is a tribute to the Japanese families who built the Yamato Colony.  He also agreed with Mr. Wells that veterans should be included and said he is okay with staff adding the veterans’ names on the final map. 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram said that he was a veteran and agreed with Mr. Wells on the naming of streets. 

Motion:  Ingram/Vierra to adopt Resolution No. 2007-19, as amended, approving proposed street name changes in the County Lane 2 Subdivision and authorizing the City Engineer to file a Notice of Correction of the Final Maps with the Merced County Recorder’s Office.  The motion carried 5-0 by the following vote:

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

NOES:                        Council Members:       None

ABSENT:       Council Members:       None 



The Council considered approval of the following items under the Consent Calendar:  

3.   Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on April 17, 2007. 

4.   Approval of Warrant Register Dated April 24, 2007. 

5.      Internet Upgrade.   

Motion:  M/S Vierra/Ingram to approve Items 3 and 4 on the Consent Calendar.  The motion carried 5-0. 

At the request of Mayor Samra, Item 5, Internet Upgrade, was pulled for discussion. 

Mayor Samra asked Jorge Campos of QuickPCSupport, the City’s computer experts, various questions about the computer and proposed Internet upgrade. 

Motion:  M/S Vierra/Ingram to approve Item 5 on the Consent Calendar.  The motion carried 5-0. 


      6.   Approval of the Financing Plan for the City Hall Expansion Project and Authorization

            To Go Out to Bid Once Tenants are relocated. 

            The agenda item was presented by City Manager Warne. 

Peggy Gipson asked if the project has been approved and when will the project begin. 

Kaye Greeley commented that she was impressed that project funds will be taken from developer impact fees. 

Councilmember Soria provided background on this project and congratulated those working on the project for their efforts. 

Council Member Vierra felt the project is needed and he especially like the layout for the new Council Chambers.   

City Manager Warne noted that if the City issues a minimum of 80 building permits each year the City will receive more than the monthly payments on the 15 year loan which he expects will be paid in three or four years. He added there would be a reserve account of two years of payments in case permits dropped off to zero.  

Director Kenney said she has approved 30 additional permits since the City Manager computed his figures. 

Council Member Espinoza asked if the Recreation Center will be incorporated to the City   Hall building.   

Staff replied yes.                      

Mayor Samra commented that the vast majority of the people are in favor of the project even though they are concerned that their utility bills may be raised.  He asked City Manager Warne to repeat for the record how this project will be paid.  

City Manager Warne reiterated that the project will be paid for by the use of developer impact fees and that no General Fund monies will be used. 

Motion:  M/S Soria/Ingram to approve the financing plan for the City Hall Expansion Project and authorize staff to go out to bid once tenants are relocated.  The motion carried 5-0 

7.      Resolution Amending Section One: Residential Development of the Livingston Design Guide Concerning the Installation of Rooftop Equipment. 

The agenda item was presented by Community Development Director Kenney.  

Hermila Cairncross, a resident of Davis Street, asked if people with existing swamp coolers have the option to install rooftop air conditioning units. 

Director Kenney noted that this already allowed.      

Martin Silva commented that the Planning Commission had recommended that the City allow residents in older neighborhoods the option to install rooftop units due to hardship. 

Councilmember Espinoza pointed out that his former residence on Swan Streetis not owned by him, but by his father and the home already has a rooftop unit, so this change will not benefit him.  He felt the City should let residents have the option to install rooftop units especially if it causes a hardship. 

Council Member Vierra asked if this applies only to residential structures and not commercial. 

Staff explained that rooftop units on commercial buildings is already allowed.   

      Lengthy discussion followed. 

Council Member Soria commented that he lives in an older section of town where this change applies and asked the City Attorney if he should abstain from participating in this vote.  

City Attorney Hallinan replied that it would be safest for Council Member Soria to abstain. 

      Council Member Soria left the Council Chambers. 

Council Member Vierra asked Director Kenney for clarification regarding rooftop units on new commercial development in the downtown.  He also asked what the Planning Commission vote was on this subject. 

Director Kenney explained that since commercial structures have no setback requirements, they tend to build to the property lines and must locate the units on the roof behind a parapet. 

Director Kenney noted the Planning Commission had voted 4-1 to allow the installation of rooftop equipment. 

Motion:  M/S Ingram/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2007-20, as amended, amending Section One: Residential Development of the Livingston Design Guide Concerning the Installation of Rooftop equipment.  The motion carried 3-1-1 as follows:

      AYES:                        Council Members:       Espinoza, Ingram, Samra

      NOES:                        Council Members:       Vierra

      ABSTAIN:     Council Members:       Soria 

8.   City Manager Announcements and Reports.

            No reports or announcements.


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:17 p.m.

                                                                                     _______________________________                                        City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED:  May 15, 2007


 Mayor or Mayor ProTempore


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