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Recap of 10/24 City Council Meeting

Post Date:11/06/2017 4:00 PM

** (note: following are highlights only; for more detailed information, please see meeting minutes)

CEREMONIAL MATTERS/PRESENTATIONS

Photo of North Bay Science Discovery Day Committee receiving proclamation 

The City Council presented members of the North Bay Science Discovery Day Organizing Committee with a proclamation recognizing October 28, 2017 as North Bay Science Discovery Day. This annual science fair is the highlight of the annual week-long Bay Area Science Festival to get kids excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

 

Photo of Lori Simpkins receiving proclamation

The City Council recognized City of Novato employee Lori Simpkins for 37 years of dedicated service to the Novato community. Lori has been an integral member of the Parks, Recreation and Community Services team through many years of transformation and transition, and during key projects--such as the launch of the new recreation registration program. We wish her a very happy retirement.

 

Image of HR Analyst presenting new and recently promoted employees

HR Analyst Christine Russell presented Council with an introduction of new and recently promoted employees.

 

Image of Russ Thompson providing Council with an update on the North Bay Fires 

Public Works Director Russ Thompson provided the Council with an update on the North Bay Fires. During the fires, the City worked closely with Marin County Office of Emergency Services and Novato Fire District by providing equipment to the Marin County evacuation site, preparing Margaret Todd Senior Center as an evacuation site, if needed, and setting up a staging area for evacuees in the parking lot of the former Fireman's Fund location.

 

CONSENT CALENDAR - Council approved all items with the following exception - Item 2 was pulled to be discussed at a future Council meeting

Item 1 - Waive Reading and Authorize Introductions and/or Adoptions of Ordinances by Title Only

This is a standard procedural action to waive any first reading of an ordinance on this agenda, so that the City Council does not have to read the ordinance in its entirety, only the ordinance's title.

Item 2 - Approve City Council Regular Meeting minutes of July 25, 2017 (This item was pulled to be discussed at a future Council meeting)

Item 3 - Approve City Council Regular Meeting minutes of September 12, 2017

Item 4 - Approve City Council Closed Session meeting minutes of September 12, 2017

Item 5 - Approve City Council Workshop Meeting minutes of September 19, 2017

Item 6 - Approve City Council Closed Session Meeting minutes of September 26, 2017

Item 7 - Approve the Master Subscription Agreement and Service Level Agreement with Granicus Inc. in the total amount of $113,315.45 for upgraded services and authorize the City Manager to execute same

Item 8 - Adopt an ordinance amending chapter 1 of the Novato Municipal Code to add new Section 1-7 (Administrative Citation and Penalty) to create citation authority for enforcement of code violations and amending Section 1-2 (Definitions)

Item 9 - Authorize the City Manager to sign an agreement amendment in the additional amount of $20,000 with Whitlock & Weinberger Transportation, Inc. to provide traffic engineering services

Item 10 - Adopt a resolution to provide paid time off (“Disaster Leave”) for eligible employees who were directly impacted by the North Bay fires

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS 

Council held a public hearing and introduced an ordinance amending Novato Municipal Code Section 14-16 to change the title thereof, add regulations addressing controlled substances and/or marijuana, amend definitions and add specific penalty and fine provisions.

The City of Novato enacted Novato Municipal Code section 14-16 in 2002 to address minor access to alcohol at private social gatherings. The section was amended in 2007 to reduce the number of minors present at a gathering to constitute a violation of this ordinance. This ordinance is commonly referred to as the Social Host Ordinance 

 

Council held a public hearing and adopted an interim ordinance extending for one year a moratorium on the outdoor cultivation of nonmedicinal cannabis, approve a report on the steps taken to alleviate conditions leading to adoption of the moratorium, and make findings that said adoption is exempt under CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061, among other provisions.

Council held a public hearing and adopted an interim ordinance extending for one year a moratorium on the indoor cultivation of nonmedicinal cannabis, except under certain circumstances, approve a report on the steps taken to alleviate conditions leading to adoption of the moratorium and make findings that the adoption of said ordinance is exempt under CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061, among other provisions. 

On November 8, 2016, the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“AUMA”), commonly known as Proposition 64, was passed by the voters. Proposition 64 legalized the nonmedicinal use of cannabis by persons 21 years of age and older, and the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants.

 

Council considered adopting an interim urgency ordinance imposing a moratorium on the outdoor and indoor cultivation of medicinal cannabis, except under certain circumstances, and all commercial cannabis activities, and make findings that the adoption of said ordinance is exempt under CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061, among other provisions. (This item was pulled from General Business to be discussed under Public Hearings)

Council directed the City Attorney to return with additional information at a future Council meeting.

 

Council held a public hearing and introduced an ordinance modifying the radar enforceable speed limit from 45 mph to 40 mph in both directions along the segment of Novato Boulevard between the west city limit and the rear parking lot of San Marin High School and finding the modification exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA guidelines Section 15061 (b)(3).

Members of the Novato Safe Routes to School Task Force requested a review of the posted speed limit on Novato Boulevard west of the San Marin High School due to its influence on school zone traffic. The current Engineering and Traffic Survey (E&TS) was completed on May 4, 2016, with the associated speed zone survey data collected on April 20, 2016 and a scheduled expiration date of May 4, 2023. Due to the high degree of community interest in this posted speed, the City Engineer determined that a review of the E&TS was appropriate. Based on the April 20, 2016 speed zone survey data, the 85th percentile speed is 46 mph, so the nearest five mph increment is 45 miles per hour. However, the City Engineer has determined that an additional 5 mph reduction is appropriate in consideration of the safety of bicycles who must share the road with eastbound drivers, the lack of continuous sidewalk or crossings to facilitate pedestrian safety, and the adjoining 35 mph speed zone to the east.

 

Council held a public hearing and adopted a resolution approving an amendment to the Pacheco Meadows Open Space Easement to permit public access and the construction of trails by the County of Marin; directing the City Manager to execute the revised easement and take all such action necessary to effectuate the recordation thereof; and finding that the approval thereof is exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), pursuant to CEQA guidelines section 15061(b)(3).

Presentation

As owner of the Pacheco Valle Open Space, the Marin County Open Space District (District) manages the property in accordance with the policies of the District. County staff have requested that the City amend the Original Open Space Easement to permit public facilities such as trails, signs, gates, stream crossings, retaining walls, or erosion control measures, vegetation management activities necessary for fire fuel management and improvements necessary to reduce the risk of damage caused by geologic hazards. 

 

Council held a public hearing and adopted resolutions approving amendments to the Downtown Novato Specific Plan to allow freestanding signs on properties zoned Planned District in the Downtown Novato Specific Plan area and amending the Woodside Office Center Precise Development Plan to conditionally permit two freestanding signs to be placed at the Office Center, as well as make findings that these actions are exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Sections 15061(b)(3) & 15311.

Mach II Woodside, LLC (“Applicant”) desires to implement a master sign program for the Woodside Office Center (“Office Center”), including two freestanding site identification signs. According to the Applicant, tenants of the Office Center have complained that clients often have difficulty locating the building and its lone entry drive at Redwood Boulevard. Given these complaints, the Applicant is proposing to install two freestanding site identification signs to better identify the Office Center and select tenants when viewed from the surrounding street system (Redwood Boulevard, DeLong Avenue, and Diablo Avenue).  

 

Council held a public hearing and introduced an ordinance amending Chapter 19 of the Novato Municipal Code to clarify applications subject to design review, clarify design review authority, increase the radius for mailed public notices and require the posting of an on-site notification sign for certain application types and finding that the adoption thereof is exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), pursuant to CEQA guidelines sections 15268 and 15061(b)(3).

At its meeting of November 29, 2016, the City Council provided direction for staff to improve and enhance the City’s public notification and engagement efforts in the development review process. The proposed improvements included endorsement of a tiered approach to public notification of proposed development projects that associate the level of public notification with the type of application.

 

GENERAL BUSINESS

Council received a report and approved proposed Public Engagement policies and practices for the Public Works Department for Capital Improvement Projects with the exception of reducing the Tier 1 mailed noticing radius from the proposed 1,000' to 600'.

At its November 29, 2016 meeting, the City Council provided direction for staff to improve and enhance the City’s public notification and engagement efforts, including capital improvement projects. The proposed enhancements included a tiered approach to public notification of proposed projects that associate the level of public notification with the type of community impact.

 

Council adopted a resolution revising the mission, roles, and responsibilities of the existing Economic Development Advisory Commission to increase membership from five to seven and made other miscellaneous changes to the established duties of this committee to more accurately reflect their functional role.

The City has had an Economic Development Advisory Commission (EDAC) for twenty-five years in various iterations. Over the years, the Commission’s role has been advisory to the City Council on matters of economic development with the primary purpose, in all iterations of the Commission, of supporting economic vitality in the City.

 

Council received and filed the report regarding the revenue and expenditures of the City’s general fund for the 1st quarter of Fiscal Year 2017-2018.

The purpose of this report is to provide the Council with a summary of the revenue and expenditures for the 1st quarter of the fiscal year. The report is not meant to be an inclusive nor detailed listing of all finance and accounting transactions that occurred during the period. The intent is to provide the Council and the public with an overview of the City’s general fiscal condition.

As part of the City’s budget preparation for fiscal year 2017-2018 and during staff presentation of the mid-year budget review, staff will provide a detailed analysis and review of expenditures and revenues for all City funds; as well as, a review of the Five-Year forecast.

 

Video of meeting (Please note: Due to technical difficulties, audio was lost one hour and 38 minutes into this meeting.)

Upcoming meeting: Tuesday, November 14 at 6pm

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