Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on March 20, 2012.

Meeting Date: MAY 01, 2012

Agenda Item #6. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on March 20, 2012.

 

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MEETING MINUTES

 

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

MARCH 20, 2012

 

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on March 20, 2012, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m.

ROLL CALL

 

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments. There were no comments from the public. The Council subsequently adjourned to Closed Session at 5:33 p.m. to discuss the following matters:

1. Conference with Legal Counsel—Potential Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(b)(1)]

Number of Cases: 4

2. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Agency Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees

OPEN SESSION

 

The Council came out of Closed Session to begin the Regular Meeting.

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

 

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

ROLL CALL

 

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

No announcements were made.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

 

City Manager Ramirez tabled Item No. 11 on the regular agenda.

Council Member Samra requested that Items No. 6 and No. 7 on the consent calendar be continued to the next meeting.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

 

1. Presentation by Justin Surratt, Schneider Electric Company, “Energy Saving Partnership.”

City Manager Ramirez introduced Justin Surratt with Schneider Electric Company.

Mr. Surratt gave a detailed presentation on an energy saving partnership.

Council Member Samra asked that when this item comes back to the Council if the City Manager could look into the decrease in overall electric usage. He further asked if the City is also getting the benefit in the decrease in rates.

Mr. Surratt added that this project would not obligate the City to stay with PG&E and the City would still be seeing the savings. He also gave an explanation on how the cost is set-up.

2. Presentation by Council Member Gurpal Samra, One Voice Program.

Council Member Samra relayed that MCAG is sending a delegation to Washington, DC towards the end of April. He added that over the years we have always advocated that we need to look at ourselves beyond the City limits; we need to be part of the regional group. He also stated that we haven’t participated regionally over the years and then if we don’t participate and other cities get things that we didn’t we look at ourselves and ask why didn’t we get that? He said it is because we are not participating. Council Member Samra stated he knows that times are tough, but there is something about going to Washington in numbers, just like in these Council meetings if one person gets up and comments, we consider the comments. And if one hundred people get up we consider the item more strongly, therefore, by sending the largest delegation to Washington that we can, the elected officials will say these are our constituents, our elected officials and we better pay attention. Council Member Samra asked for the Council’s permission for his participation in the One Voice Program, April 24-25, 2012.

Mayor Espinoza commented that he was going to go with MCAG to Washington, DC, but he went with the City delegation earlier in the year. He said they had an MCAG Board meeting last Thursday and they were addressing the priorities for MCAG; this is the reason why MCAG has the One Voice program to address these issues. Mayor Espinoza gave an update on the Los Banos project. He noted that is why we all work together to help out our neighbors. He agreed with Council Member Samra that they will do a good job for us in Washington, DC.

Council Member Land commented that she has concerns with spending $2,000 plus for the One Voice trip when we already spent $3,000 so far on the most recent trip to Washington, DC. She stated that One Voice is representing the San Joaquin Valley not just our City and we are asking all of our departments to cut back so we need to set the tone and cut back as well. She feels the same way as she did with the last trip and she is not in favor of it.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar commented on the importance of having a voice and that we are the voice of the people; we need to speak for our residents. She noted that on their trip they actually got to talk with congressmen and representatives and let them know what they were looking for. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated the One Voice Program has been very successful and they have received $5 million for projects in the Merced County region that don’t normally include city issues. She stated that it is important for us to let our voices be heard for the cities. She knows that Council Member Samra has this chance to go and he can add to what they have already done in Washington, DC.

Mayor Espinoza stated that they were the first city representatives to meet with the Department of Justice and that in the months to come the Department is going to do their best to help out the cities.

City Manager Ramirez noted that the Council does have a travel budget of $10,000 and they currently have funding to absorb the $2,000 expense.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 added that in the presentation and discussion of the One Voice Program she heard large terms like transportation, education, but these are very broad terms that encompass a whole bunch of items. She would like to hear a little more about what roads, what educational programs, what specific issues will One Voice be going to advocate for and which of these concerns and projects will be benefiting Livingston directly or indirectly?

Mayor Espinoza replied that she can go onto the MCAG website, MCAG.gov and view a priority list on the issues One Voice will be addressing.

GRANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

 

None.

 

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Absent.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Recreation Superintendent Benoit announced that the Recreation Department has been hosting a pitching and sliding clinic for the minor and major league baseball players. She thanked Dennis Brusenski, Peter Gallegos, Mike Andam and the Livingston Wolves softball team for coming out and coaching the kids.

Superintendent Benoit added that she made tamales with the Knights of Columbus recently; they sold 1,100 tamales to benefit the kite festival. Parks and Recreation Commissioners Cota, Peterson, Valadez, and Chamber of Commerce President Alex McCabe assisted and everyone had a good time.

She invited everyone to attend the March 22nd meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission held in the Council Chambers at 7:00 p.m. Superintendent Benoit noted that March 30th is the opening day ceremonies for baseball at Alvernaz Field, and co-ed softball and volleyball is beginning.

April 5th starts the open air market downtown; everyone should have received a flier in their water bill. Superintendent Benoit said they are looking for more vendors, not food vendors due to the time needed for health department approval. April 7th the Easter bunny will arrive at the Sports Complex for children ages 2-10. April 15th is the kite festival hosted by Livingston Middle School from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

She further gave an explanation on how contract classes work and how instructors are chosen.

Mayor Espinoza added that he had 5 baseballs for sale at $25 each to benefit the Recreation Department. He said perhaps they could sell more baseballs this year if the Council wanted to sign some new balls and he hoped to sell at least 10 this year.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar commented that Superintendent Benoit had indicated she was looking for non-food vendors and asked if that means there are no more vendors that want to sell food?

Superintendent Benoit responded that we have more food vendors than anything else, so we want everyone to try and make a little bit of money on their booths.

City Manager Ramirez added that we want a little competition, but not too much.

Council Member Land asked what time opening ceremonies for baseball were.

Superintendent Benoit responded 6:30 p.m.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney announced that staff is working on the City-wide yard sale, dates will be set for sometime in May and September. She received revised plans for the Livingston Commons shopping center and staff has not seen any substantial changes.

Mayor Espinoza asked when they anticipated starting construction.

Director Kenney responded possibly in the fall.

Council Member Samra asked for an update on Taco Bell.

Director Kenney replied that they have submitted the building sets and they have been approved. Once construction starts, it should be complete in 90-120 days.

City Engineer Nanda Gottiparthy gave an update on the consultant on the TCP project; they received the preliminary design report. Also an acquisition of additional land that is required for the TCP facility and they have completed an appraisal for the land and also received an appraisal report and reviewed it and sent a copy to Foster Farms.

City Engineer Gottiparthy provided an update on Well 16, the media change they have been working on. Before they enter into a contract for media they want to do a final study to determine and make sure that they know what the costs will be and for that process they have contracted with UC Davis. The testing started and should be completed in mid-April.

City Engineer Gottiparthy added that two CMAC grants they have been working on the 2010 CMAC program, 4 vehicles that were approved and we went into the bidding and contract process. He further gave an update on the sidewalk grant; approaching the end of the project, should be completed by the end of April.

Regarding the 2011 CMAC grant for the dump truck, they have been working with MCAG and Caltrans to get waivers and this is progressing very well. The picnic shelter project is nearing completion and should be done by the end of April.

They have received the proposal on the utility rates study; however, the consultant has not yet been selected. City Engineer Gottiparthy provided further updates on more grants – the Cycle 10 Safe Routes to Schools grant application is due at the end of the month; the Phase II water line project is out to bid. This project is funded by City funds and bids will be opened the first week of April.

City Manager Ramirez added that they have addressed about 1/3 of the City water lines that need to be replaced and the next phase will address about another 1/3 left after this project.

Mayor Espinoza asked if the picnic area was lighted.

City Manager Ramirez responded that we are looking at the overall lighting underneath the canopy and then the footprint outside.

City Engineer Gottiparthy noted that there is lighting provided for the restrooms and the parking lot as well. He added that the facility would be used mostly during the day and if it is used more at night we can make accommodations for additional lighting.

Mayor Espinoza commented that if more people do start using the picnic area then the lighting will provide more security.

City Manager Ramirez commented that there could be lighting, but if the wattage is low, then we need to increase the candle power so we can see it from a far away distance.

Mayor Espinoza commented that PG&E says it has loans to cover street lighting to the downtown with a zero percent interest. He said they met with representative last week at a dinner and they shared that information.

Council Member Vierra asked City Engineer Gottiparthy if he had said something about a low bidder and if that has come before the Council.

City Manager Ramirez responded that the bid was approved by the Council already and tomorrow is the physical meeting.

City Manager Announcements and Reports

City Manager Ramirez announced an upcoming event being held on May 12th; he feels this is an opportunity to tie in our ribbon cutting ceremony for the picnic shelter. AAA is holding a safety fair where they will come out and bring a lot of professionals with them. They will be checking child safety seats to make sure they are installed correctly; some child safety seats will be donated. They will be checking to see that car batteries are properly secured. Another component will be the bike rodeo where they will talk to everyone about the safety of riding bikes. In addition, we will be having our animal control officer talk about related animal control issues and the Police Chief will provide information on neighborhood watch.

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City Manager Ramirez commented that on Monday we re-submitted the Tiger Four grant. He said this time we received a lot of good information from the Department of Transportation. Also a Mercy Medical Center health fair is being held on May 12th from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. He is planning to meet with the State Director for USDA Rural Development. He noted that we currently have a grant that has been submitted for police vehicles. He has printed out the itinerary for the Washington, DC trip and wanted to share that with the Council.

City Manager Ramirez announced that CalOSHA has two agencies, one which is a consolatory (consulting) division and he would like to approach them to do an assessment of City facilities. Plus if there are any violations we cannot be fined because we are addressing those areas first.

He and the Police Chief have been discussing having a report and having it broken into categories on what crimes are being committed within the City. City Manager Ramirez relayed that he has a mobile consulate coming to the community; he is working with the Consulate of India to provide the same type of services in Livingston as the Mexican Consulate has been providing.

He commented that people should notice that there are signs posted on Livingston-Cressey that state that come July 1, the street name will be changed to North Main Street.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Land announced that the 3rd Annual Young Women’s Conference will be held March 31st from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 15th will be Livingston’s Feet for the Cure Run for all children ages 5 – 80+. Any information on this event may be obtained by contacting David Meyers at 648-5138. Council Member Land reported that next week at the Livingston Middle School for any of the students that are coming to LMS next year, if parents want to request teachers for next year, next week is the time to come in and make a request.

Council Member Samra announced the Sunday will be the annual Sikh parade. He invited everyone to come out and join them.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza relayed that the Regional Transportation Impact Fee (RTIF) will be on the next agenda; he is pushing the City to join all cities in the County of Merced. He noted that over the last ten years they have collected $11 million.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

3. Introduce and Waive the First Reading of Ordinance No. ___, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving Development Agreement 2009-03 and Resolution to Approve Site Plan/Design Review 2009-03 and Confirming Conditional Use Permit 2009-03 for the Livingston Family Apartments.

Community Development Director Kenney presented the item.

City Attorney Jose Sanchez added information on the density bonus law and gave an explanation of this law. He wanted to point out that the developer is waiving the bonus allowed for the density concessions. They are saying they don’t need that, but what they do need is a concession. The concession that they are asking for would be the calculation of density and the way to make this project work. The developers’ attorney did provide us with an email and he knows the applicant is here and they can talk about how these tax credits work and how it is crucial for this project to have this density concession under the density bonus.

City Attorney Sanchez wanted to add something; he did get this request after the agenda was posted and he wanted to add a finding into the ordinance and into the attached resolution for the Council’s consideration. He would like to do that now so that the Council can consider the ordinance and resolution in a complete version. In the ordinance on page 2 there are six findings that are listed under section 1, page 2 of that ordinance.

Section 1 has six findings and he would like to add a 7th finding. It would read as follows, “developer has requested a concession under California Government Code section 65915 and the Livingston Municipal Code section 5-5-1 related to density bonus.” Pursuant to the law the project is 100% affordable housing and, therefore, qualifies for the density bonus and concessions. The developer has decided not to take the density bonus; however, has requested that the interpretation of gross acre for the purposes of density for this affordable housing project be interpreted as the project site after dedication of land to the City for public use. That dedication would be at the edge of the property and easily separated from the project site. This concession will promote the intent of Government Code section 65915 and Livingston Municipal Code section 5-5-1 by providing incentives for the production of housing for affordable households. This concession is consistent with the goals and policies of the City’s Housing Element. City Attorney Sanchez also added this under the Resolution as attachment 2. Page 2 has six findings and what he just read would be the 7th finding.

Community Development Director Kenney continued with the site design review presentation.

City Attorney Sanchez added that in order to follow the order of the staff report he wanted to touch on the Conditional Use Permit (CUP). He said the appeal wasn’t a traditional appeal as far as when a project gets appealed by someone challenging the project, the appeal was submitted by the applicant and the idea was that the Council would be considering the project as a whole so we want the CUP there. Therefore, if the Council wasn’t for the project then there was no need for the CUP to be attached to this. It was seen as a package and the applicant thought the best idea was to bring everything forward and we agreed and that is why you have it here.

Director Kenney noted that was correct and the resolution is attached to this report and she wanted to address the site design review as well as confirming or denying the CUP. The separate ordinance is for the development agreement itself. She continued with her presentation.

Lengthy discussion followed on creative financing.

Director Kenney commented that at the Planning Commission meeting we had one Commissioner who was interested in removing the water feature at the project entrance. She added that staff would like the water feature to remain in the project.

Mike Kelley thanked staff and everyone for taking the time to work on the project.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing for public comments at 8:52 p.m.

Mary Ann Cardozo, P.O. Box 96 asked who will own this project and who will maintain the landscape. Also who will be responsible for the pool and the liability if there are any accidents?

Mr. Kelley responded that investors own 99% of the project, they do manage it and they have their own asset management department. They will also oversee the landscaping and the pool and they carry their own liability insurance on them as well.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 asked if the $500,000 will be booked as a separate line item so we can track this over the years.

Assistant City Manager Odi Ortiz responded that we currently have two funds set up for the special districts, one for the CFD and one for lighting and landscaping so the deposit will be put in the appropriate two funds.

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 asked how do we determine what is affordable. He is totally in favor of the project.

Mr. Kelley commented that affordability is determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street asked how many ways are there in and out of the project and is it surrounded by a block fence or wrought iron fence. He would like to see an emergency gate included.

Director Kenney noted that one is shown on the plans.

Mayor Espinoza closed the hearing at 9:00 p.m. as there were no further public comments.

Mayor Espinoza asked if this project does meet our housing element.

Council Member Samra asked what our target is for HUD at this time.

Director Kenney responded it is around 80 units. She added that this project will help us meet this goal.

Mayor Espinoza added that the last one was Casitas Del Sol.

City Attorney Sanchez stated that when your housing element is not in compliance with the General Plan, you cannot apply for housing grants. A Housing Element gets reviewed by the State every five years.

City Manager Ramirez commented that a portion of the funding that the RDA has is a 20% set-aside. That funding is the money that communities who have redevelopment agencies will set forth for projects like this. There is a responsibility by the City to use that money for low to moderate income projects.

Council Member Land asked for the rents on the 3 and 4 bedrooms.

Mr. Kelley responded that the 3 bedroom units at 30% of median income is $451 per month, and the 50% of median income is $753 per month, but they will be a little less than that because the tenants will be given a utility allowance that is subtracted from their rent. The 4 bedroom at 30% median income is $402 and the 50% is $746.

Council Member Land stated that she is in agreement with this project as it is needed in our community. She went to see their recent project in Riverbank and it is a beautiful facility. This project is needed in our community, therefore, she is happy to have this project.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar agreed, she feels the project is needed as well. She stated the Casitas Del Sol is close enough to Selma Herndon School so that our educators have a lot of students that live in that area. She commented that we have to remember that we have those residents in those situations. We must be open minded and know that the project managers know their business well and will take care of problem situations when they come up. She is in support of the project.

Council Member Samra concurred with his colleagues; one of the toughest things in town is for our residents to find apartments. He feels this will not increase our population, it will relieve some of the crowed housing that we currently have. Council Member Samra thanked staff and the applicant for working on the development agreement – it made their job easier. He is fully in support of the project.

Council Member Vierra wanted to remind the Council that when Casitas Del Sol opened he thought that our own town people would have the first preference and the majority of those people selected to live there were from out of town. Therefore, we have families here that were not selected.

Mr. Kelley responded that he does not know the answer to that and they cannot discriminate.

Ken Koss added that the majority of those people have Section 8 certificates and if they have a Section 8 certificate in the County, they can go live anywhere within the County with that certificate. It is against the law for any landlord to turn that person away because they live in a different city with a Section 8 certificate. He added that they will advertise to rent to the people in the City of Livingston, but again if they come with a Section 8 certificate from somewhere else within the County they have to accept their applications.

Council Member Vierra added that they need to know this and in the case on B Street, the majority selected were not Livingston people.

Council Member Land asked the developers that when applicants come to rent one of their places is it on a first come, first serve basis.

Mr. Kelley responded yes, but they do have to meet all the criteria that they have.

Council Member Vierra added that he does not have a problem with the water feature, but asked if it can be recycled water. He also indicated that a Planning Commissioner had commented that the apartments in town have no reported crime, He shared that when he lived in the Olive Tree Apartments for about 6 years there was crime and the police were there a lot. And that one was supposed to be a 24/7 manager on site, but at 5:00 p.m that manager was gone and you didn’t see her until she opened the next morning.

Mr. Kelley added that they provide a unit rent free to the manager on site.

Council Member Vierra commented that they provided a manager at the Olive Tree Apartments as well, but she always left at 5:00 p.m. and there were a lot of problems while she was gone.

Mr. Kelley stated that they would keep close tabs on their manager.

City Attorney Sanchez gave an explanation on Condition of Approval #1.

Council Member Vierra asked why Condition #3 would not be included.

City Attorney Sanchez explained that Condition #3 of the BAD financing district section may not be needed. He noted there are conversations with the engineers at this time.

Council Member Vierra stated his concern about storm drains and drainage and the long-term maintenance of it. Fifty-five years is a long time to maintain the site off a deposit. Down the road 30 years from now, are we going through this again on the backs of people’s children and their grandchildren?

City Attorney Sanchez responded that he did not have the answer to that. The only answer he had was that the $525,000 upfront payment will be used by the City in a method that would create additional funds to cover the maintenance of police and fire and different requirements.

Council Member Vierra added that in the minutes from the Planning Commission meeting, it talks about the cap of $10,000 for engineer and attorney bills and then it was mentioned that $18,000 was owed prior to the meeting. Then someone said that the cap was raised to $25,000 and not to exceed. Again, what if it goes over that?

City Attorney Sanchez responded that page 13 has an explanation.

Council Member Vierra commented that all of these things that we are setting aside are setting a precedent. He still has a problem with it and with the skate park. If the Council remembers we had students come in and we assured them that the skate park was going to happen.

Lengthy discussion followed.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Land to introduce and waive the First Reading of Ordinance No.589, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving Development Agreement 2009-03 and Resolution No. 2012-22 to Approve Site Plan/Design Review 2009-03 and Confirming Conditional Use Permit 2009-03 for the Livingston Family Apartments. The motion carried 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Land, Aguilar, and Samra

NOES: Council Members: Vierra

ABSENT: Council Members: None

4. Resolution of Intent to Change Posted Speed Limits at Various Locations Throughout the City.

Assistant City Engineer Mike O’Connor presented the agenda item.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing for public comments at 9:34 p.m.

Mike Sperry, 1328 First Street commented that we didn’t need to raise any speed limits; we needed to slow this City down.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 stated that she seconded that comment. She noted that people have a tendency to drive five miles over the speed limit anyway. She has driven around the City and even driven around slower because she knows that there is an apartment complex nearby and around the schools because kids play in these areas. Ms. Schell Rodriguez said she cannot tell us how many times if she had been driving the speed limit, she would have hit someone, because a child darted out and if she had been driving the legally posted speed limit she would have hit the child. She stated we shouldn’t be raising the speed limit just because we have speeders break the speed limit by the average high miles per hour just like most people do. You see at 65 miles per hour posted speed limit, people driving 70 and you see at 55 miles per hour, people who are driving 60; we do need to slow down.

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street wanted to third that. He stated that law enforcement needs to get out more in the residential areas. When you move up the speed limit and then you are racing through the stop signs faster. He recommends to keep the speed limits as is and get law enforcement out there and do more ticketing.

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street stated that in the past, there was a survey taken before asking for speed bumps. That is how bad it is already; we asked for this to slow them down.

Manuel Mercado, 1459 Second Street added that he has grandkids and he has to yell at the people because they are going too fast. He said they use Second Street as a race track; they need to slow down more.

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 feels that it is not a good idea to raise the speed limit. He added that we just had a kid that was hit in front of the school.

City Engineer Gottiparthy commented that it does not surprise us when people ask why to raising the limits; it is a state law that cities are required to conduct speed surveys every 5-7 years. The reason why the requirement is there is for the police department to enforce the speed limits. The traffic court and the law require you to set the speed limit based on 85% of the people going that speed. If you do not set the speed limit higher, and the City can decide not to increase the speed limit, however, if we do not follow the 85% rule, we lose the ability to cite.

Mayor Espinoza added that if you have a lack of patrol around the City and then you have the survey, again you will have an increase in traffic and speed. If you have more patrol around town, that will cause traffic to slow down. If we had another speed test, then of course the speed limit would go down. People will see the signs and see the officers and will slow down. He asked how often we do these surveys.

City Engineer Gottiparthy responded that state law says every 5-7 years.

Mayor Espinoza asked if the City could initiate this maybe the police can patrol certain areas more frequently.

City Engineer Gottiparthy added that sometimes people tend to speed on better streets and straight sections, for example B Street.

Police Lt. Chris Soria stated that he agreed with everyone. He didn’t want to see the speeds go up, it is not his intent nor the City’s. He noted that the whole purpose for this is if the police try to work radar on the streets that are not surveyed, the case just gets thrown out of court. He noted that it is really hard. There is another way to cite and that is pacing like the State Patrol does , which is really hard to do. It is not feasible on the surface streets such as the City of Livingston. Lt. Soria noted that we need to have that tool to slow down traffic here and the way to get that tool back is by raising the speed limit. He stated that he can show that some of the streets over time, when more people are living here, more schools, more work you start to get more traffic. He would like to get a handle back on this, as does the new Police Chief so this is one of the things that we are going to have to do to get that handle back .

Council Member Samra commented that he agreed with everyone that spoke, but he can see what the people are doing and he doesn’t want to see this. He noted that if we have this survey and then don’t adopt it, then they can challenge us in court. He asked what the cost was for the survey.

Engineer Gottiparthy responded that they surveyed 19 locations for the study and the cost was $3,000 – $3,500.

Council Member Samra asked if there are exemptions to the rules for the street signs.

Lt. Soria replied yes, it is based on road size and the length of the actual road.

City Manager Ramirez commented that one of the grants that we are going after with the Department of Transportation is to look at traffic on measurers that are incorporated in our streets. It has been shown over and over again if the people see no trees they tend to go faster so if we start having trees and canopies and we start incorporating islands, then people tend to slow down. So there are different things that we are going to be looking at.

Mayor Espinoza added that if there is no police presence it is not going to help. We have the signs up there and it doesn’t matter what speed it is if people don’t see officers, people speed. He stated even when he is going down the freeway and people see a CHP they slow down including him. So if we have the police presence and the radar gun and trailer it will help.

Councilmember Vierra said that with Casitas Del Sol, there are little kids that cross at that area all the time . The survey was done at 9:27 – 10:00 in the morning when they are in class. So the numbers don’t show what really goes on when people have to slow down. The other was the Livingston Cressey – Campbell Blvd. to Olive segment. You have Yamato School there and he believes one child was hit there not too many years ago. Then again Main Street has the high school, which was done at 11:30 – 12:33 when kids are in school. We are a closed campus, so people drive faster when students are not out on the street. It is bad in the morning and afternoon. Again Peach from Dwight to Main, which is again the high school. The students still cross the street all over the place, not at the lighted crosswalk. Also the study at Peach Avenue was done from 14:02 – 15:00. If you are out there just a little before dark, those people will go 60-70 miles per hour. Council Member Vierra stated that someone is going to get hit and if we raise the speed limits in some of the mentioned areas we are going to have problems.

City Engineer Gottiparthy stated that the timing of the survey is specified in the traffic code. He said we are not allowed to survey during peak travel times. They are trying to come up with the average speed that most of the people are driving.

Council Member Land asked when was the last survey was done.

Engineer Gottiparthy responded at least 7 years ago.

Council Member Land commented that she has seen police present at the schools and she appreciates that.

Lengthy Discussion followed.

City Attorney Sanchez added that staff is requesting direction. He noted that one possible direction, besides continuing this item, is directing staff to prepare a resolution and then further discussion could happen at that time.

Council Member Vierra commented that he would like to see a proposal and then pick out the speed limits that we don’t want increased.

City Engineer Gottiparthy said he could bring back a resolution as to which sections to approve and then we could fill in those segments.

City Attorney Sanchez commented that it is just creating the changes and then things could be stricken out and it may be the easiest process.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar felt that the resolution should come back with everything written out and then just change it as we go through it.

Council Member Land said she would like to hash it out now and be done with it.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Espinoza to bring the item back at the next meeting. The motion carried 3- 2 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Aguilar, and Samra

NOES: Council Members: Vierra and Land

ABSENT: Council Members: None

 

CITIZENS COMMENTS

 

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street commented on the pile of dirt where the antenna is going up on Park Street. He asked what was going to happen with that dirt. He suggested if the City wasn’t going to do anything with that dirt we should use it to fill the holes in the alley. Mr. Urnberg further asked if the animal control officer was back to work as there are a lot of dogs running around town. He would also like to see the stop sign placed back at Main and Park Streets.

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 thanked everyone who helped with the tamale fundraiser. He announced that the kite festival is forthcoming and he thanked everyone who has been working on this event. He added that they still need a Punjabi dance group as well as sponsors, vendors and volunteers. Mr. Valadez noted that July 4th raffle tickets are available for sale.

Manuel Mercado, 1449 Second Street, in regards to the proposed medical clinic on his street, stated that the medical clinic will change his neighborhood forever. He noted that a group of residents conducted a survey of everyone who received a public notice regarding the clinic and only a few received the notice. They went door to door to see who was in favor of the clinic; therefore, he was here tonight to share that this survey will be presented to the Council at the next meeting.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 stated that if our state legislators have so much time on their hands that they could consider banning taco trucks within a certain number of yards from schools you would think they could spend the time fixing vehicular traffic regulations that give us heartburn.

She commented that since items 11, 6, and 7 are no longer on the agenda then she assumed they were fair game for public comment. Regarding item 11, the independent contractor, does that also mean you are going to put on hold check number 74666 for $3,835.00 that was issued prior to this contract being signed?

Ms. Schell Rodriguez said she is a strong proponent for paying for services rendered and paying bills when due and she is used to seeing some kind of contract in place before the services are rendered and before warrants are issued.

Her next question was regarding tabled items 6 and 7, the Memorandums of Understanding with the employee associations. She noted this discussion has been going on for over nine months and the new fiscal year is about 3 months away. She wonders why it is taking so long. Also she would like to know more about section 21 which talks about a financial disaster. If it took place, it would allow the City to reopen the contract. She asked if they could be more specific as to what would constitute a financial disaster which would allow this to happen.

Finally, she said the Council has made it clear that a bar or club will not be allowed at 444 Main Street and her question is what will the Council allow to go into that spot and how would they accommodate any different projects in regards to parking.

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street commented that the City dug up the sidewalk at the corner of Swan and Dwight and they put in the forms and they are still there. He said it has been four months and asked when they are finishing that sidewalk.

Mayor Espinoza responded that they are waiting on the weather to get better.

City Engineer Gottiparthy explained that the sidewalk at that corner was included in the recent CMAC grant. The reason it was broken up is because there were drainage issues and there are not many storm drain basins in that area and this adds to the problem.

Mayor Espinoza added that they are trying to do a better job for the drainage problem.

City Engineer Gottiparthy gave an in-depth explanation of the drainage problem and how it will be corrected.

David Blevins, 1019 Fourth Street announced that baseball is in full swing and practices have started. There are 411 kids playing this year and they have 33 teams and 9 sponsors. Mr. Blevins commented that any business that can help us out with the fields and uniforms would be appreciated.

Joylynn Peterson, 2858 Evergreen Court reported on the following events: April 16th for McSparkle Night and April 19th for McSport Night that will help with getting our kids good sports equipment; May 5th, Fill the Helmet will benefit Parks and Recreation; May 12th, a golf tournament that Recreation is sponsoring. The cost is $60 and a flier can be picked-up at Mike Sperry’s gun shop – this is to help with the 4th of July celebration; May 15th another McSport Night. She added that Parks and Recreation is still selling stepping stones; raffle tickets are available for the 4th of July; lots of prizes this year. She thanked everyone who came out to the McSparkle Night to support the 4th of July. She announced that Sober Grad is also having a fundraiser at McDonald’s on April 3rd.

Mike Sperry, 1328 First Street announced his shop is open and he does have forms for the 4th of July fundraiser. He said he would like to see a citizens advisory committee put together by the City. He also commented on the amount of cars parked in front of homes on J Street.

Council Member Land asked Mr. Sperry if his shop is open or not.

Mr. Sperry responded that he is not open for business yet.

CONSENT CALENDAR

 

5. Adopt Resolution No. 2012-23 Authorizing the City Manager to Execute Agreements with the California Department of Transportation for a Transportation Planning Grant Application.

 

6. Resolution Approving a Two (2) Year Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Livingston and the Management and Confidential Employees Association.

Continued to next meeting.

7. Resolution Approving a Three (3) Year Extension to the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Livingston and the Clerical Employees Association.

Continued to next meeting.

8. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on February 21, 2012.

9. Approval of Warrant Register Dated March 14, 2012.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Land to approve consent agenda Items 5, 8, and 9 with corrections. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Land, Aguilar, Vierra and Samra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

 

10. Adopt Resolution of Intent Concerning Nonconforming Uses in the Highway Commercial (C-3) Zoning District.

Community Development Director Kenney presented the item.

Mayor Espinoza stated that he saw the results on the home on F Street. He said it used to be boarded up and the owner has done a lot of work on it. It is in a DTC zone and it has been vacant since 2009.

City Attorney Sanchez commented that anytime you make changes to an ordinance, it should be in the form of an ordinance and not a resolution; in this case it is called the Zoning Code. The City could sunset the ordinance to end when the legal nonconforming section would not apply. This would be the cleanest way to amend the zoning code because when residents come forward, they want to know what they can do.

Genaro Pulido, no address given asked to proceed as fast as possible as they would like to close escrow. Mr. Pulido said the buyer doesn’t want to have to wait too long. He is willing to pay any amendment fees because he would like to close escrow as soon as possible.

Council Member Vierra asked if the property had been cleaned up and is ready for people to move in.

Director Kenney responded that the owner has only replaced heating units within the individual apartments. The septic system did fail, however and she noted that the property needs to hookup to City sewer which is stubbed out in front of Blueberry Hill.

Council Member Vierra asked that if the Council approved this, then all that stuff needs to be fixed before they can move in there, correct?

Director Kenney replied yes, they would pull building permits and then the City would work with them to bring the apartments up to code.

Council Member Vierra responded that options 2, 3, and 4 are going to cost the City.

Director Kenney added that it would not cost for upgrading the apartments, it would just be for the processing fees.

Council Member Vierra stated that they would not be able to open the apartments back up to the public until all work is completed.

Director Kenney responded this is correct.

City Attorney Sanchez added that the process, if the Council did approve the resolution of intent, is it would be public noticed, and the CEQA likely would be handled already because it currently is a use out there so there shouldn’t be many CEQA issues. He stated it would go to the Planning Commission as an ordinance, then would come to Council with the Planning Commission’s recommendation for the Council’s decision. It would go through two meetings. The first meeting would be the first reading of the ordinance, the second meeting would be where the ordinance gets adopted, and then the ordinance would be effective 30 days later. This shouldn’t take too long, he said, but we do have to work with the public noticing requirements.

Council Member Vierra commented that the property is currently zoned C-3 and because of the time it sat vacant, it cannot be residential and they are asking for us to suspend that requirement and for how long.

Director Kenney replied for two years.

City Attorney Sanchez commented that we are talking about a zoning code amendment and about not enforcing certain provisions for this property.

Mayor Espinoza stated that it would help the community as well if they wanted to remodel.

Council Member Land stated that she wanted to make it clear to the applicant that he knows it is just not the $1,035 Planning application fee he needs to pay to get this project moving; it is also the CEQA, city attorney and engineer’s costs too.

Mr. Pulido said he understood that.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Aguilar to Adopt Resolution of Intent No. 2012-24 Concerning Nonconforming Uses in the Highway Commercial (C-3) Zoning District. The motion carried 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Land, Aguilar, and Samra

NOES: Council Members: Vierra

ABSENT: Council Members: None

11. Approval of Independent Contract with Gillroad Associates.

City Manager Ramirez pulled this item for consideration a later date.

12. Resolution Approving the First Amendment to City Manager Employment Agreement.

City Attorney Sanchez presented the item.

City Manager Ramirez commented that he had been looking for a house in Livingston for two months prior to his employment with the City. He said that it has been a challenging task. He has been close to buying several times and he just submitted a counter offer today. City Manager Ramirez noted that he has gone through the process three times already. His preference is to purchase a home soon; it has just been a long process.

Mayor Espinoza commented that the City does own a home and we could give the tenants a 60 day notice if the City Manager was interested in moving in.

Council Member Vierra asked if we added “a reasonable distance from City Hall” to the requirement?

City Manager Ramirez added that he has been looking for homes in Livingston.

Manuel Mercado, 1449 Second Street, asked where he lives currently.

City Manager Ramirez responded Firebaugh.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated that she was concerned about the time period and that Mr. Ramirez had indicated a shorter time period when they spoke. She asked if three months would be okay instead of the six months. Again she stated that the City does own a home that the City Manager could occupy in the interim.

City Manager Ramirez responded that he did not have a problem with three months.

Council Member Land asked what Mr. Ramirez’s thoughts of moving into the City house were.

City Manager Ramirez stated that his preference was not to rent, but to buy, but he did appreciate the offer. He said he wants peace of mind and since it does belong to the City, he felt there would be criticism. He would also like a home he could call his own.

Council Member Land added if Mr. Ramirez would be opposed to amending the contract to three months and if it didn’t pan out would he move into the City house.

City Manager Ramirez responded that would be fine.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Samra to adopt Resolution No. 2012-25 approving the First Amendment to City Manager Employment Agreement. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Land, Aguilar, Vierra and Samra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

ADJOURNMENT

 

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 11:14 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: May 1, 2012

______________________________

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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