MAY 08, 2012 Draft Minutes

Note from TheGardeningSnail. This document was produced by taking a PDF Image File and bouncing it through a program that converts Image to Text. My apologies for any Textual Gremlins and Gaffes.

MINUTES

LIVINGSTON PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING AGENDA MAY 8, 2012 7:00P.M.

The regular meeting of the Livingston Planning Commission was held in the City Council Chambers on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. The meeting was called to order by Chair Flores at 7:01p.m.

Commissioners Present: Chair Luis Enrique Flores, Vice-Chair Roy Soria, Commissioner Harpreet Bains, and Commissioner Mario Mendoza.

Commissioners Absent: Commissioner Francisco Castellanos and Alternate Commissioner Manoj Bains (Excused).

Staff Present: Community Development Director Donna Kenney, Administrative Analyst Filomena Arredondo, and Assistant City Attorney Michael Minkler.

Others Present: Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, David Blevins, Mike Sperry, Timothy Miller (Metro PCS), Craig Beardsley (AT&T), and others in the audience.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

CONSENT AGENDA

ACTION MINUTES FROM THE FEBRUARY 14, 2012 AND THE MARCH 13, 2012

REGULAR MEETINGS

Motion by Vice-Chair Soria, seconded by Commissioner Mendoza, to approve the minutes from the Regular Meetings of February 14,2012 and March 13,2012. Motion carried 4-0, by the following vote:

AYES: Chair Flores, Vice-Chair Soria, and Commissioners H. Bains and Mendoza

NOES: None

ABSENT: Commissioner Castellanos and Alternate Commissioner Manoj Bains

CITY COUNCIL UPDATE

Director Kenney gave a brief update of agenda items going before City Council:

" City Council expressed interest in reviewing some sections of the Municipal Code that have not been updated recently. This is part of the process for the zoning code update that will take place after adoption of the General Plan Update.

• City staff has been working with the General Plan Update consultant and the CEQA consultants from the City Attorney’s office on finalizing the language on the General Plan Update. Director Kenney is meeting with the Merced County Farm Bureau to update them on the status of the document.

Chair Flores mentioned he noticed the land off of Hammatt Avenue is already being cultivated. Director Kenney said that is the result of Conditional Use Permit 2012-02 approved by the Planning Commission on March 13, 2012.

Chair Flores asked Director Kenney if the applicants have expressed interest in returning to the Planning Commission during the allotted 90-day period after CUP approval to request permission for the use of pesticides.

Director Kenney replied she informed the applicants of this option and they appeared to be happy with no pesticides.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Chair Flores opened the public comment period at 7:04p.m.

Mike Sperry, 737 Main Street, thanked the Planning Commission for approving his Conditional Use Permit for the sale of alcohol at 444 Main Street. He thinks they made the right decision. Unfortunately he hit a political wall with the City Council and they turned it down.

He announced he is running for Mayor in the upcoming election and he promises to support the Planning Commission, if elected. He encouraged all Commissioners to run for City Council seats.

Mr. Sperry said he is aware that Council is looking at several sections of the Municipal Code and asked Director Kenney how many codes the Municipal Code is composed of so that he can determine how many sections can be targeted on a broader scale.

Director Kenney replied the Livingston Municipal Code consists of eleven (11) titles. There are some police sections in Title 10 and some code enforcement sections in Titles 8 and 9 that have been brought up, so she pulled out five sections in Title 10 to start.

She added that Council is not focusing on Title 5 -Zoning Regulations, at this time because that will come up after adoption of the General Plan Update.

Mr. Sperry said he feels Council is targeting certain types of businesses that are currently beyond their control, such as gun shops. He asked how many types of businesses are listed in the Municipal Code.

Director Kenney replied there are dozens of businesses listed, but not every type of business has a chapter specific to it, only the ones that could have major negative impacts.

Lengthy discussion followed.

Chair Flores stated he would presume any City ordinance that would be considered controversial would come about after the election.

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston, said she has been watching the City Council and the Planning Commission very intently since the 2008 election cycle. She pays close attention to how people act, how they vote, and what they say, and one of the things she has noticed coming out of Council’s mouths over and over again is that they believe they should be the absolute, positive, and final authority and, therefore, they should have the final say on anything and everything that has to do with City business.

That’s why when she saw the article in the Merced Sun Star about a gun shop opening in Livingston which stated that it got its approval from the Police Department and not from the Planning Commission and/or City Council, she immediately thought, "Hello, sooner or later it’s going to hit the Council agenda!"

Ms. Schell-Rodriguez said she examined various firearms regulations books and noticed that gun shops are one of the most, if not the most, highly regulated industries in the planet, especially in the state of California. We have to abide by the federal fire arms regulations, state regulations, and local regulations; yet we have a City Council that at the very last minute decides to pull a section of the Municipal Code to look over and determine if they want to amend the existing language which regulates how weapons can be sold in the City of Livingston.

She finds the timing quite strange. She also finds it strange those specific titles that were on the last agenda all had to do with adult entertainment and other items that come under the impermeable jurisdiction of the Police Department. Are we saying we don’t have confidence in our new Chief of Police to do his job?

She read those particular sections of the Code and they are quite detailed. They were acted upon in the year 2000 and revised in the year 2006. They were looked at once and twice, and for the amount of detail and the thickness of them, she cannot help but wonder why so close to the November election cycle Council suddenly wants to look at those sections. They cannot say that they were just randomly pulled out of the City Code and then Council decided to look at them. She has every reason to believe it is all political.

Chair Flores closed the comment period at 7:15p.m.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

SITE PLAN DESIGN REVIEW 2012-01

Metro PCS has applied for a Site Plan/Design Review to replace and relocate four (4) new panel antennas and two (2) new microwave dish antennas on an existing tower located at 2370 Walnut Avenue, pursuant to LMC 5-5-8.

Director Kenney presented the staff report and indicated the new antennas will be positioned ona new mounting frame at the 175-foot level of an existing 195-foot tall tower. She explained City staff has some history on how the tower came about with the different projects, special considerations and conditional use permits that have been processed for this existing tower and the description of the lattice tower property, which has not changed except for the addition of some equipment with each addition of antennas.

The tower is visible from Highway 99. Photo Sims and antenna technology sheets were included in the Planning Commission’s packets. There is a bit of a change where the frames will be at the higher level, but normally the average person will not even notice the change.

The Planning Commission is expected to make a recommendation to the City Council. Metro PCS Agent Tim Miller was present at the meeting to answer questions.

Chair Flores asked if City staff had received any public comments on this project.

Director Kenny replied City staff had not received a single comment even though the Public Hearing notice was published in the Livingston Chronicle, posted at City Hall and mailed out to the neighbors within a 300-foot radius.

Chair Flores opened the public hearing at 7:17 p.m.

Timothy Miller, 9859 Mosswood Circle, Folsom, CA, said he read the staff report and feels it describes what Metro PCS wants to do. He also feels the conditions of approval are acceptable. He explained Metro PCS wants to move up to a higher level on the existing tower in order to increase their range and be able to process more information to keep up with the new technology. They also want to expand their residential services given that nowadays more than 25% of residential units don’t have landline phones anymore. He added that part of the reason for doing this now is that AT&T, who owns the tower, is proposing to upgrade the tower and, consequently, will require that Metro PCS contribute a substantial amount of funds as their share of cost.

Mr. Miller explained how the range of a cell phone site is affected by things such as surrounding trees and fields and being that this site location is rather flat, he would guess that it can serve anywhere from 4-7 miles from inside a vehicle and anywhere from 1-2 miles from inside a building, depending on the weather.

Chair Flores closed the public hearing at 7:25p.m.

Vice Chair Soria asked Mr. Miller what other net sites are found along the Highway 99 corridor. Mr. Miller replied Metro PCS covers Highway 99 almost endlessly which means they havetowers every few miles.

Motion by Vice-Chair Soria, seconded by Commissioner Mendoza, to approve Resolution 2012-10, a Resolution of the Planning Commission of the City of Livingston Recommending to the City Council the Approval of Site Plan and Design Review 2012-01 for Metro PCS. Motion carried 3-0-1 by the following vote:

AYES: Vice-Chair Soria and Commissioners H. Bains and Mendoza

NOES: None

ABSENT: Commissioner Castellanos and Alternate Commissioner M. Bains

ABSTAIN: Chair Flores

SITE PLAN/DESIGN REVIEW 2012-02

AT&T has applied for Site Plan/Design Review to add three (3) new antennas, add six (6) new "RRU" tower amplifiers and relocate the new equipment and nine (9) existing antennas on new twelve (12) foot support frames at the 190-foot level of an existing 195-foot self-supporting lattice tower located at 2370 Walnut Avenue, pursuant to LMC 5-5-8.

Director Kenney presented the staff report. She said the project description, background and history of the tower are the same as for Metro PCS, since it is the same tower, except that AT&T is the owner of the tower. It is staff’s understanding that AT&T will be doing some additional engineering to insure that this tower can support the additional antennas going up now and in the future.

No public comments were received by City staff on this project. AT&T’s Agent Craig Beardsley was present to answer questions. Chair Flores opened the Public Hearing at 7:29p.m.

Craig Beardsley, 6717 Folkstone Way, Elk Grove, CA, stated AT&T, just like Metro PCS, is at this new technology race and, thus, proposes similar projects. New technology wan·ants additional antennas to facilitate the traffic in the area. AT&T is going to keep the same height specifications that they originally built the tower to.

Chair Flores asked Mr. Beardsley to define "RRU". Mr. Beardsley replied it is a tower mounted amplifier.

Commissioner Mendoza asked if they will be able to provide AT&T U-Verse service for residential units with this upgrade.

Mr. Beardsley replied this has nothing to do with U-Verse.

Mike Sperry, 737 Main Street, expressed concern with the amount of weight going up on the top of the tower. He asked how that was going to be regulated.

Mr. Miller replied they are regulated by the federal government, the State, and the City. For them to obtain a building permit, they have to pass specific structural requirements which take into account wind-loading and if they cannot pass those structural requirements, they cannot get a building permit.

Chair Flores asked Director Kenney if she knew how often that tower is assessed for safety. Director Kenney said the City building inspector does not conduct regular safety inspections on the tower, but it is her understanding that AT&T sends a maintenance person out to the site on a monthly basis. She added that generally Californians tend to over-engineer due to earthquakes. Even single-family residential homes are engineered for 80-mile an hour winds on the roofs.

Mr. Miller said in this day and age you don’t see telecom towers falling down. They are over­ engineered to a typical standard of about 25% above the highest level. Every time a new network changes anything on the tower, they have to have a complete new structural report done by a third party and turned into the network that owns the site. These things are looked at and will continue to be looked at constantly in the next few years as the arrays continue to change so they can meet their demands.

Chair Flores closed the Public Hearing at 7:36p.m. Commissioners Comments:

Vice-Chair Soria

• Mentioned the only difference he sees is that AT&T is increasing the load at the top of the tower to a higher level.

Motion by Vice-Chair Soria, seconded by Commissioner Mendoza, to approve Resolution 2012-11, a Resolution of the Planning Commission of the City of Livingston Recommending to the City Council the Approval of Site Plan and Design Review 2012-02 for AT&T. Motion carried 3-0-1 by the following vote:

AYES: Vice-Chair Soria and Commissioners H. Bains and Mendoza

NOES: None

ABSENT: Commissioner Castellanos and Alternate Commissioner M. Bains

ABSTAIN: Chair Flores

Director Kenney informed Metro PCS and AT&T representatives that their Site Plan/Design Review items were tentatively scheduled to go in front of the City Council at their next regular meeting in June.

Chair Flores asked if Council was still having their regular meeting on Tuesday, June 51 even though it was Election Day.

Director Kenney said Council may decide to hold their meeting in the Conference Room to allow the Elections Department to use the Conncil Chambers as a polling place.

PLANNING COMMISSION TRAINING

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA)

Assistant City Attorney Minkler conducted a quick overview of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) passed in 1970. Handouts were provided to the Planning Commission.

Attorney Minkler explained CEQA is an information disclosure statute. It is the environmental review process that projects have to go through before approval. The whole purpose is that the state and local agency decision-makers have an understanding of the environmental impacts of the projects they are approving and that the public has an understanding of what those environmental impacts are.

CEQA does have some mandatory requirements in terms of mitigating significant impacts which makes it a little bit stronger than the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which is the federal equivalent of CEQA.

Procedural Devices of Environmental Review: CEQA Documents

Every time a CEQA conclusion is reached, essentially you go through some version of an initial study. Part of the initial analysis is determining if any of the exemptions to CEQA apply. There are exemptions in the statute from the legislature and there are also exemptions in the CEQA guidelines which are regulatory interpretations of the statute.

Chair Flores asked how often categorical exemptions are updated.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler replied the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is the regulatory agency that adopts the categorical exemptions. The legislature does, from time to time, adopt new statutory exemptions and guidelines, but it is pretty rare.

Negative Declaration (ND)- A statement from the agency that they looked at the potential environmental impacts and there is no evidence of a significant environn1ental impact.

Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) Essentially the same statement as a Negative Declaration, except it includes some changes in the project or some mitigation measures that will be required in order for the agency to make that conclusion.

If there are going to be any environmental impacts from the project, you go straight to the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). CEQA "Project"

The first question you will be asking is whether or not the activity you are talking about is a Project. A CEQA "project" is a discretionary activity, which means the legislative body has a discussion to approve or conditionally approve the project undertaken by a public agency. Discretionary approval by the agency is what normally comes in front of the Planning Commission.

Players

• Lead agency For most of the projects, the City is the lead agency which has the most control over the project.

• Responsible Agencies Agencies that also have an approving authority over the project, such as Caltrans and air, water, and sanitation districts.

• Trustee Agency State agencies having jurisdiction over natural resources affected by a project, such as the Department ofFish and Game.

Exemptions from CEQA

• Statutory Exemptions Based on legislative policy, not necessarily on environmental protection.

• Categorical Exemptions Apply to classes of discretionary agency actions that have been found to not result in significant environmental effects.

There are exceptions to the exemptions, mainly for the categorical exemptions. T

he exceptions have to do with having enough evidence of an environmental impact that is unusual for a project that would otherwise be in that category. If so, you can apply for a categorical exemption. What the agency does is looks at general categories of projects that tend not to have environmental impacts.

An example of exemptions would be the Metro PCS and AT&T antenna projects just approved.

Initial Study

The initial study is what gives you enough information to decide what level of environmental review you have to do- a Negative Declaration or an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

Negative Declaration

A negative declaration is prepared if the lead agency determines that a project "would not have a significant impact on the environment."

Mitigated Negative Declaration

A mitigated negative declaration is prepared for a project when the initial study has identified potentially significant effects on the environment, but

• Revisions/mitigations are made to the project before the proposed negative declaration and initial study are released for public review that would avoid the effects or mitigate the effects to a level of insignificance.

• The project, with the mitigation measures, would not have a significant effect on the environment.

Public Review of Negative Declarations

Before approving a draft negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration, the lead agency must provide a notice of intent to adopt the negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration to the public, responsible agencies, and the county clerk of the county in which the project is located.

The biggest difference between a negative declaration and exemptions is that an agency’s decision to apply an exemption to a project is not circulated for public comment.

Negative Declarations are circulated for a minimum 20-day public review period; 30 days if submitted to the State Clearinghouse.

EIR’s are circulated for 45 days or longer.

Chair Flores asked if the consideration has to be documented.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler replied it does not have to be documented.

Adoption of a Negative Declaration

Prior to approving a project, the lead agency must consider a negative declaration and any comments received.

The big difference between the negative declaration and the EIR is that with an EIR you have the legal requirement to address each individual comment that is environmentally significant and many times, on very contentious projects, you can get a 50-page comment letter from a law firm and you have to’ go through the environmental document and respond to each individual comment that addresses an important environmental issue and it has to be documented.

With a negative declaration, you don’t go near that level of detail. You just have to be able to show and document that staff considered it and, more importantly, that the legislative body was aware of the comments before approving the project.

Director Kenney said each of these documents (Notice of Exemption, Negative Declaration/ Mitigated Negative Declaration, and EIR) require a certain amount of staff and consultant work. The more environmental review done, the more delay, work, and cost involved.

A Notice of Exemption normally done at staff level will cost about $200.

– A Negative Declaration/Mitigated Negative Declaration which takes a few months to complete will cost approximately $5,000 to $10,000.

An EIR, which could take 1-1/2, years to complete will fall in the $200,000 or more range.

Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

Assistant City Attorney Minkler stated the main criticism that CEQA gets from developers is that the environmental review process is lengthy and expensive.

Vice-Chair Soria asked how far Wal-Mart’s EIR was from being completed.

Director Kenney replied that EIR was at a week away from going out to public comment.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler explained that a lot of work goes into an EIR before it gets to the public comment period. Typically, you will have administrative drafts on each portion of the EIR that are circulated for comments between staff, the City Attorney’s office, the applicant’s attorneys and the applicant’s staff. These administrative drafts are fairly thick, so it takes a lot of time to go through them and it usually takes at least two administrative drafts before publishing a public draft.

He said the fact that Wal-Mart got to that point of the process and then pulled their project was very costly.

Director Kenney stated the cost of their EIR was at $260,000 to that point.

Chair Flores asked if the administrative versions of the EIR are available for public review.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler replied administrative drafts are generally vague and they are protected by attorney-client privilege, so they don’t become public until the public draft is released.

Director Kenney said a "draft" is a work in progress document which keeps changing, so when the lead agency starts looking at litigation, it doesn’t want several different drafts out to the public.

Chair Flores asked if another big box store could purchase Wal-Mart’s $260,000 EIR and build on that location.

Director Kenney replied the project developer did want to complete the EIR for a big box store, so City staff went back and pulled out Wal-Mart’s name from the document so that when it went out for public comment, it would just refer to a generic big box store of a certain size and it could be used by any big box store.

Unfortunately, the project went into foreclosure and they had to put a stop to it.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler explained an analysis would have to be done after the EIR is adopted, so if down the road a big box store comes in with a specific project proposal, they still have to go back and look at the EIR and make sure that it has covered all the environmental concerns. If it has, then the project is adopted under that EIR. If it has not, they may have to do a supplemental EIR or a subsequent EIR.

Chair Flores asked if City staff writes the EIR.

Director Kenney replied the City sends out a Request for Proposals (RFP’s) to hire a consultant to write the EIR for the developer.

Assistant City Attorney stated the consultant does all the work and environmental analysis and the developer pays for everything.

The parties involved in the process are City staff, the City Attorney’s office, and the City policy making bodies who actually adopt the project, but the lead agency is ultimately responsible for the environmental review process.

It has the authority to direct the consultant towards the appropriate level of analysis it deems necessary and when the Planning Commission has an EIR document in front of them to consider approval of a project, they have to make a finding that states they are exercising their independent judgment in approving that document.

He added City staff and the City Attorney’s office are always very closely involved in the development of those documents and normally the policy making bodies have an opportunity to closely review those documents before they adopt the project.

Chair Flores asked if Rancho San Miguel is doing an EIR for their project.

Director Kenney replied Rancho San Miguel has a negative declaration and added they are part of a 2006 approval

Assistant City Attorney Minkler stated that from a legal perspective, one of the biggest considerations goes into the decision between a negative declaration and an EIR.

The attorneys advise the City as to whether they should adopt a negative declaration or an EIR after an initial study. The reality is that if the City gets sued on those documents, which happens regularly, they would generally have a much easier time defending an EIR as opposed to a negative declaration; consequently, that becomes part of the analysis in the initial study.

Director Kenney explained part of the consideration for Rancho San Miguel’s document is the fact that this property was already covered under the Gallo’s Development Agreement, and so there was environmental analysis already done on this site for this type of retail activity ten years ago.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler said the biggest piece of the EIR is identifying each significant environmental impact and mitigation measure.

Checklist for Required Contents of an EIR Environmental Setting

This is a very important part of the document because it is the baseline to start from to compare a project’s environmental impacts against.

There has been a couple of lawsuits and decisions in the last year from different courts of appeal in California that have adopted different interpretations of what an agency has to adopt as their baseline for judging environmental impacts. There is an ongoing fight right now that will probably get to the California Supreme Court before too long as to determining at what point in time can the agency set its environmental baseline.

Mitigation Measures

You must go through and identify each significant environmental impact and identify all feasible mitigation measures to reduce that impact from significant to less than significant. If you cannot, you have to adopt a statement of overriding consideration. It doesn’t mean you cannot adopt the project, it just means that you have to balance the benefits of the project against the environmental impacts. This is where CEQA becomes stronger than NEPA.

Alternatives

This is another important part of an EIR. CEQA requires that an agency analyze a reasonable range of alternatives to the project when they get to the ElR stage.

Deferred Mitigation

Generally in an EIR, you try to avoid deferring mitigation to the future. You generally want to have in your document a pretty detailed description of what mitigation is required. It has to be enforceable and feasible. You have to have a plan that shows how you are going to implement your mitigation.

EIR Process

After the initial study, if you decide not to do a negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration, you have to do a full EIR, provide at least one administrative draft EIR and then the draft EIR and that is what gets circulated to the public and other agencies for at least 45 days.

CEQA doesn’t have any public hearing requirements that are generally tied to the project approval public hearing; therefore, with big, contentious projects such as a 5,000 unit project, you have two public meetings during the 45-day review period where people can come and submit their comments, discuss the project, and discuss the EIR.

Chair Flores asked what you do if nobody shows up to the public meeting.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler said public hearings for large projects that are contentious will normally generate attendance.

Once the public comment window closes, they have to go through each public comment and respond to significant environmental issues and determine if they have to re-circulate the draft, so if the comments point out things to the agency that require major changes in the project or the EIR, they have to re-circulate it for public review.

Essentially, your final EIR is your responses to comments on the draft EIR. Generally you don’t publish the EIR anew unless there are exceptions and you have to re-circulate it.

Certifying the EIR

The lead agency must certify the EIR stating that:

• The EIR complies with CEQA.

" The EIR was presented to, reviewed and considered by the lead agency prior to project approval.

• The EIR reflects the lead agency’s independent judgment and analysis.

The lead agency must also adopt the mitigation monitoring and reporting program; certify they dealt with the mitigation measures; and adopt a statement of overriding consideration for any items that could not be mitigated. Then a Notice of Determination is prepared, which starts the statute of limitations.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler explained you don’t have to have a perfect answer to everything. It has to be a good faith effort of full disclosure of environmental impact. You can’t possibly address everything. The agency just has to make that good faith effort and they have to base their project approval decision on substantial evidence. That is why when you get to the EIR stage, you are going to get more deference from a court than you would if you adopted a negative declaration.

Subsequent and Supplemental EIRs

This happens after you have certified and approved the project. You certify the EIR and if you want to adopt a project that may come down the road later or make a change to the project after you have approved it, you have to look at that change to the project and decide whether it fits within the old EIR or if you need to address some new potential impacts, you must adopt a subsequent EIR, which is essentially a whole new EIR.

A supplemental EIR is when you are just changing one chapter or portions of the EIR.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler mentioned CEQA law changes regularly. There is new case law this year striking down some of the CEQA guidelines, so there will likely be more changes coming up.

Chair Flores asked how CEQA protects or does not protect the residents.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler said the only recourse through CEQA is the implementation of the mitigation measures, so once the statute of limitations runs on the document, you can no longer sue the agency for a flawed environmental impact report, but you can challenge the agency’s failure to implement mitigation measures. It’s relatively infrequent and it is a little bit difficult to do, but it can be done.

However, if a project gets approved, the statute of limitations runs, and if a year later you find out that there are environmental impacts that were not discussed in the EIR and we are suffering the consequences from it now, you cannot go back and force the agency to redo the EIR.

Chair Flores asked if there was a CEQA flow chart available.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler said the Office of Planning and Research publishes a great flow chart that is available to the Planning Commission.

Chair Flores wonders if there is any other state as strict as California with their environmental quality act.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler said there are approximately fifteen (15) other states that have adopted similar environmental review statutes, but he does not think there is any other one more stringent than CEQA.

REPORTS

Planning Commissioners Commissioner H. Bains Nothing to report.

Commissioner Mendoza Nothing to report.

Vice-Chair Soria

• Gave kudos to the new police chief for getting involved with community events. He has had the opportunity to see Chief Chavez in action and thinks he is doing a great job.

Director Kenney said Chief Chavez is looking at bringing back bicycle patrolling to Livingston so officers can have more one-on-one contact with the public. They will be doing some fundraisers to purchase new bicycles and equipment they will need in order to be out in the streets.

• He noticed decoy patrol cars near the Livingston schools and thinks that’s a good idea to slow down traffic.

• He asked for the status of the clean up process at the Foster Farms industrial wastewater ponds.

Director Kenney explained Foster Farms got their plant up and running and then began decommissioning the City plant. Part of that has to do with going in with big trucks and hauling out sludge. Once that is completed, they will add water to dilute what is left. Tests will be conducted along the way until the process is completed. This will take approximately 2-3 years.

Director Kenney added there has been some discussion about putting a solar farm on half of those acres.

Chair Flores

• Wished all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.

• The Merced County school district is offering free lunches in Livingston for the summer, June 4th- June 291h, at Shelby School, 6738 N. Sultana Avenue, from 10:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

• Mercy Hospital is having a fundraiser for the stroke fund on Saturday, May 12, 2012, starting at 8:00 a.m.

City Staff

Community Development Director Kenney

• Taco Bell is just a few details away from getting a grading permit.

• Rancho San Miguel recently completed a legal estoppel associated with the Development Agreement. There was a parcel map done and it will be sent to Merced County for recordation. Once the parcel map is recorded, the individual parcels can be sold and individual developers can move forward like Rancho San Miguel and the pharmacy.

• City Engineer Gottiparthy met with Livingston Family Apartments to discuss offsite improvements.

• Campus Park students will take a tour of City Hall, Police Department, and Fire Department on May 10th.

• On Friday, May 4, 2012, Director Kenney, Hector Bravo (LHS) and Basheer Grewal (LHS), met with the Humanities Dean and the head of the Punjabi Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) to discuss possible connections between UCSC, Livingston High School (LHS) and the City. Topics of conversation included: UCSC field trips to Livingston parades and other Punjabi events; the recruitment of LHS Seniors to UCSC; the creation of Punjabi Studies scholarships; Punjabi and Folkloric dance troupes at UCSC; outreach to our Punjabi and Mexican citizens, temples and churches; etc. It was a wonderful first meeting with the Dean of Humanities making plans to come visit Livingston in the very near future.

• Wished her daughter Andrea a Happy Birthday.

• The 4th of July Committee is planning a carnival July 6-8, 2012, with a fire works show on Saturday, July 7, 2012.

4th of July Committee member Mike Sperry announced their golf tournament fundraiser this weekend at Rancho Del Rey in Atwater. Entrance fee is $70. Event starts at 8:00 a.m. For more information, contact Julio Valadez at (209) 277-1402.

Mr. Sperry also announced the Police Department Safety Fair event on Saturday, May 12th, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00p.m., at the Walnut Sports Complex; and the Knights of Columbus Mother’s Day dance on Saturday, May 12th. 

City Wide Yard Sale on May 19th and 20th

Bike Rodeo is scheduled for Saturday May 19th. The Police Department will be giving away new bikes and helmets.

Administrative Assistant Arredondo Nothing to report.

Assistant City Attorney Minkler

• He’ll be participating on the 4th of July golf tournament this weekend.

• Meyers Nave will be offering a free CEQA webinar in the next few days.

• Encouraged all Planning Commissioners to attend the Central California Planning Commissioners’ Workshop in Visalia on May 18, 2012.

• Wished all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.

ADJOURNMENT

The regular meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:33 p.m.

APPROVED:                          , 2012

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Chair, LUIS ENRIQUE FLORES

Secretary of the Planning Commission, DONNA M. KENNEY

The written meeting minutes reflect a summary of specific actions taken by the Planning Commission. 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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