posted 07-11-2005 10:12 AM
CITY OF GRASS VALLEY
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE GRASS VALLEY CITY COUNCIL
TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2005, 5:30 P. M.
CLOSED DOOR SESSION: Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957
Public Employee Appointment / Employment
Title: City Engineer
Direction was given to staff.
REGULAR MEETING OF THE GRASS VALLEY CITY COUNCIL,
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AUTHORITY AND REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2005, 7:00 P. M.
1.0 CALL TO ORDER: 7:00 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Andy Cassano
ROLL CALL: Council Members Ingram, Swarthout, Williams, Vice Mayor Johnson and Mayor Tassone were present. Also present were Gene Haroldsen, City Administrator, Ruthann Ziegler, City Attorney, and Stephanie Levings, Deputy City Clerk.
2.0 INTRODUCTIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
2.1 Recognition of Tracy Corris on his Retirement from KNCO Radio
Mayor Tassone read the proclamation recognizing Tracy's years of dedicated service. Tracy commented that he has had some very special times over the years that he has covered Council meetings for KNCO.
2.2 Recognition of Charlie Wilson for his service as Human Resources Manager from March 11, 2002 to May 10, 2005.
Mayor Tassone described Charlie as a very dedicated person who has made significant accomplishments in the time he has spent with the City and he will be missed.
Charlie Wilson stated it has been a pleasure to work with Council and the management staff and employees of the City.
2.3 Bike Commute Week – May 16-22, 2005
Rose Asquith and Darwin Leek, representing local bike clubs, stated that May 20th is the day the clubs are trying to organize with local businesses to promote this event. They have support from the Nevada City Council, the County Board of Supervisors and the Nevada County Transportation Commission (NCTC) will be considering a similar action later this month.
Motion by Council Member Ingram, seconded by Council Member Swarthout, and unanimously carried to adopt Resolution #05-25 of support.
3.0 ANNOUNCEMENTS, AGENDA REVIEW AND CHANGES - None
4.0 PUBLIC COMMENT
Reinette Senum, 540 W. Broad Street, Nevada City, announced that there will be a Townhall Conference on May 21st regarding peak oil. Discussion will center around the issue of rising energy prices. The intent is to bring the community together to address the issues and find local solutions. She provided written information about the mission statement. This event has the support of KVMR, Yubanet, NCTV and Terry McAteer, Superintendent of Schools, has provided high school student scholarships
5.0 BRIEF ANNOUNCEMENTS / REPORTS BY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Council Members Ingram and Johnson stated they attended budget meetings.
Council Member Ingram stated she attended the Friday Night Live Awards where fifteen young people were acknowledged.
Mayor Tassone stated he was in Limana, Italy and brought back the official signed Sister City document. He added that Limana is a gorgeous area and is a community of about 5,000 residents.
6.0 CONSENT ITEMS
Motion by Council Member Swarthout, seconded by Council Member Williams and carried by a
unanimous roll call vote to approve the consent items as follows:
6.1 Minutes of Council Meeting of February 23, 2005
6.2 Warrant Registers
Approved disbursements of $1,032,685.51.
6.3 Department Reports: - Treasurer’s Report
Received and filed.
6.4 Guidelines for Accrual Usage by Exempt Staff
6.5 Disposition of Surplus Property
Adopted Resolution #05-26 authorizing the disposition of surplus property through the County of Nevada and execution of an agreement with Auctioneer Bob Ramay, subject to legal review.
6.6 Solid Waste Parcel Fees – Request of Nevada County
Adopted Resolution #05-27 granting the City’s consent to allow the County to levy solid waste parcel fees pursuant to Government Code Section 25830.
6.7 Inter-Agency Services with Sierra College – Fire Department
Authorized execution of agreement for training purposes.
6.8 Nevada County Fair – 17th District Agricultural Association
Authorized execution of an agreement for reimbursement of personnel costs for traffic control during the County Fair, subject to legal review.
6.9 Ironhorse Townhomes
Approved Final Map 03-06 and the corresponding Subdivision Improvement Agreement, subject to legal review.
6.10 Traffic Signal Preemption Equipment Installation (Opticom) – Update
Received and filed.
6.11 Grass Volleyball Tournament Co-sponsorship - Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
Authorized execution, subject to legal review.
6.12 Litton Retail Center Rezoning Ordinance
Waived the reading of the ordinance in its entirety and adopted Ordinance #649 pertaining to rezoning of the property from Corporate Business Park (CBP) to Commercial (C-1).
7.0 COUNCIL – No Items
8.0 PUBLIC HEARINGS – No Items
9.0 STAFF REPORTS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
9.1 Status Report on the Crestview / Smith Interchange Study to Evaluate the Location of a Southerly Connection to State Highway 49 – Dan Landon of NCTC and Mark Thomas
Dan Landon, Nevada County Transportation Commission (NCTC), gave an overview of the project stating it was initiated in 2003 at the request of the City of Grass Valley. NCTC is acting as a facilitator due to the multi-jurisdictional nature of the project as well as its regional significance. He stated Grass Valley's General Plan anticipated a connection to State Route 49. The purpose of this project was to do some planning to determine the feasibility and the location of where that intersection/interchange should take place. CalTrans has given their approval of the interchange location and the general conceptual design. Now additional analysis can be completed and the public can be given more definitive information.
Tim Fleming, Mark Thomas & Company, stated the study is to evaluate and determine an appropriate interchange location. They looked at the acceptability of an at-grade intersection that would serve in the interim and then determine the general design, cost and funding options for this interchange. There are a number of topographic challenges. A workshop was held in July of 2004 and they propose to have an additional workshop to clarify the options that the project development team has selected. At the July workshop the preferred alternatives were narrowed down to two that seemed more feasible. Those two alternatives were evaluated and screened down to one basic alternative, alternative A. The primary reasons for recommending alternative A is the right of way impacts and the traffic operations. Alternative A would require acquisition of two homes and have additional impacts on eight homes and change the nature of the ambience around people's homes. Alternative A improves the operations at McKnight Way and also works better at Allison Ranch Road. Implementation plans and strategies are now being worked on.
Tim Fleming stated that they are working hand in hand with City staff in terms of the marketing study and how that determines the absorption of development in this area and how that affects traffic. He stated it may make sense to go with an interim at grade and then upgrade to an interchange in the future. CalTrans will want assurances when they make the initial approval that there is a plan in place to address financing. An environmental analysis and environmental impact report (EIR) will be done as part of the South Hill Village development and will be done in a way that is compatible with CalTrans standards. The interchange will necessitate additional traffic analyses, forecasts and operations analysis. The financing plans and alignment study need to be finalized and will be presented to Council for review.
Council Member Williams asked when the study is expected to be finished and who is paying for it.
Tim Fleming responded that the alignment study should be completed in a few months. The implementation phase will include environmental documentation for the intersection which is part of the South Hill Village EIR and is 9 to 10 months out. The interchange approvals would happen sometime after that.
Dan Landon stated about $200,000 has been expended on the study thus far and the money is coming from two SDA developers.
Council Member Johnson believes one of the key things is to make sure that the improvements occur simultaneously as the development occurs. This project brings up a couple of big challenges and he believes this all needs additional thought.
In reply, Tim Fleming stated that Highway 49 will need to be widened. We are finding the constraint is south bound Hwy 49 immediately south of this interchange location. We are trying to go back into greater detail within the NCTC traffic model to find out the components of growth that are factored into that model. He stated there are four SDA's contributing to the ultimate growth along with some infill. We are trying to identify sequencing and how that factors into the market state.
Council Member Johnson asked for confirmation that this project is being driven by two particular development proposals, Northstar and South Hill Village.
Tim Fleming replied the project is identified in the General Plan which recognizes the four SDA's, of which two have applications which are triggering the review of it now.
Council Member Johnson stated he feels it is not appropriate to do an at grade intersection. He thinks if this development is going to happen we need to do it right up front and not piecemeal it by doing an intersection. He would like an interchange constructed.
Tim Fleming replied that they have done some development of the geometrics of the intersection as well as the interchange. In terms of the costs of the intersection, the overall cost is $15 million. Of that $15 million, about $12 million is for main line improvements to make the intersection work properly.
Council Member Johnson asked for information about how the environmental process works in terms of an interchange project like this.
Joe Heckel stated Council has directed staff to defer processing any of the SDA applications except for South Hill Village until the SDA Market Study has been looked at and resolved. There will not be any environmental review started for the Northstar project nor for any of the other SDA's. The South Hill Village EIR has been started. The one issue that hit it at the beginning was that the location of the interchange would drive where the intersection was being proposed by South Hill Village. Direction from Council in regards to the South Hill Village EIR is to wait until the location of the intersection is resolved and allow it to be prepared based on that decision. The EIR cannot be released until Council provides authorization to staff.
Council Member Swarthout is concerned about how this community will come up with the funds to pay for an interchange to allow the development to occur that is being discussed. The City has been looking at something similar for Dorsey Drive since the 1980's and it has not occurred. She does not feel comfortable about putting in an at grade intersection now because the money should be available in a 5 to 10 year period to do the interchange. She is not opposed to development occurring in these areas with sufficient traffic mitigations.
Dan Landon stated that as part of this study the financing options and strategies will be brought to Council for review.
Council Member Ingram stated there is a lot of work that still needs to be done. There will be additional opportunities for more information to be shared with the public and Council.
Mayor Tassone asked what is most likely to be the funding mechanism.
Dan Landon replied that a benefit assessment or some type of developer related funding is being looked at. A financing firm will help determine what options are available.
9.2 Downtown Parking Demand and Supply Study
Joe Heckel, Community Development Director, stated one of Council's goals for this fiscal year is to prepare and complete a downtown parking assessment to look at the future and existing demand for parking in the downtown, and to come up with some financing strategies for parking. The consultant chosen would prepare a study that evaluates the demand for existing and future parking, the current parking requirements and provide suggestions on how to address mixed uses, shared parking and landscaping. They would also review available site adjacent to the downtown for enhancing and creating additional parking and develop a strategy for the design and financing of additional parking areas and/or a parking structure. Finally, they would prepare a final report with a plan for immediate and future parking development.
Joe Heckel stated the emphasis is not so much to remove any buildings or take out any construction currently in place, but to look at what is in place and how it can be enhanced. He stated staff is suggesting the creation of a subcommittee comprised of a Council Member, a member from the Planning Commission, a member from the GVDA and a business owner from the downtown. Staff hopes to come back to Council in approximately 45-60 days with a proposal and a contract with a consultant.
Council Member Williams stated since we are in the process of creating a new development code, we should include it even thought it may still be in rough draft form. This might be helpful to the consultant. The scope of work refers to opportunities for creating a parking structure and also for expanding existing parking lots, but what is omitted is looking for new parking lots.
Joe Heckel responded that these could be added.
Mayor Tassone suggested Council Member Swarthout be a member of the subcommittee with Council Member Ingram as the alternate.
Motion by Council Member Johnson, seconded by Council Member Williams, and unanimously carried to approve the Request for Proposal (RFP) and appoint Council Member Swarthout (Member) and Council Member Ingram (Alternate) to serve on the Advisory Committee.
9.3 Condon Park Update
Jeff Jewett, Director of Public Works, reported that at the last Council meeting several members of the public expressed concerns regarding Condon Park and Public Works maintenance activities at the park. He met with some of the neighbors of Condon Park, walked around the park, discussed their concerns and looked at various areas of the park. As a result of this meeting and other communications, it was decided that the Public Works Department is not going to go forward with a mechanical brush removal project. He stated he would like to continue to work with the neighbors of Condon Park to find solutions for maintenance needs and address other concerns.
Carol Kuczora, 11198 Butler Road, Grass Valley, stated one of her main concerns has to do with poison. She read excerpts from a handout about balancing fire safety and natural ambiance.
Jackie Platt, neighbor of Condon Park, thanked Mr. Jewett for meeting with them and for having a spirit of cooperation. She shared her vision of the park and stated she does not believe the park has adequate fire and police access. The most obvious fire danger in Condon Park is the brush piles and dead wood. She stated the neighbors would appreciate the efforts of a biological inventory and survey along with a map to locate and identify both the wildlife food sources and the species that presently exist in the park.
Sandra Beach, 400 Butler Street, Grass Valley, expressed enthusiasm for the non-use of poisons.
Tom Stafford, 418 Butler Street, Grass Valley, spoke about speed bumps and getting the cul-de-sac back.
An unidentified neighbor of Condon Park stated he has seen a lot of improvements and also destruction at the park over the years and much of the wildlife has disappeared. His main concern is the spraying that occurs after the brush is cleared as the wrong kind of spray will kill the wildlife.
9.4 Wastewater Treatment Plant – De-nitrification and Ultra-Violet (UV) Disinfection
Jeff Jewett, Director of Public Works, stated that four proposals were received and interviewed by staff with Carollo Engineers being the recommended firm.
Motion by Council Member Ingram, seconded by Council Member Swarthout, and carried by a unanimous roll call vote to authorize execution of an agreement with Carollo Engineers for the pre-design of the facility upgrade in the amount of $39,308, subject to legal review.
9.5 Temporary / Seasonal Workers – Recreation Division of Public Works
Jeff Jewett, Director of Public Works, stated that in an effort to gear up for the upcoming season at the Memorial Park Swimming Pool, there is a need to hire staff to manage the pool. Currently there is a Pool Manager who along with the Recreation Facilities Manager interviewed applicants for the various pool positions. The list of preferred candidates was distributed this evening.
Motion by Council Member Swarthout, seconded by Council Member Ingram and unanimously
carried to approve appointments of various part-time seasonal staff for the purpose of operating the Memorial Park Swimming Pool.
10.0 ITEMS REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR FOR DISCUSSION OR SEPARATE
ACTION AND / OR ANY ADDED AGENDA ITEMS – No Items
11.0 GRASS VALLEY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY – No Items
12.0 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AUTHORITY - No Items
13.0 CLOSED DOOR SESSION
13.1 Conference with Labor Negotiator – Pursuant to Government Code 54957.6
Agency Negotiator: Human Resources Manager
Employee Organization: Unit 6
13.2 Conference with Legal Counsel – Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 (a)
Name of Case: Andrade vs. City of Grass Valley OAH No. N2004050388
Direction was given to staff.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m. by Mayor Tassone.
GERARD TASSONE, MAYOR Stephanie Levings, Deputy City Clerk
[This message has been edited by Bobbi (edited 07-11-2005).]