Citizens for Balanced Growth Posts

The status of the Lafferty Communities’ “Garaventa Hills” housing development is one of the most frequent questions we are asked. It is an understandable concern for many of our residents in an environment where there is very little new information.

Real Estate Robots

Some online real estate sites have listings that add to the confusion. Many of them are robots that scrape old information, present it as new, and the search engines treat it as current information despite it being bogus. Thus, if you search for “Garaventa Hill” or “Garaventa Hills” with any regularity, you are bound to see some misleading results. Today, we saw this:

Garaventa Hill 2023 Update

This deceptive site masquerades as a place you can get actual real estate information. The date – April 2023 – gives one the impression that it is somewhat current information about a downtown Livermore development with inventory. When you click the link, you are shown other properties. Classic clickbait.

Legitimate Media Not Without Fault

There are also innocent mistakes that have caused unnecessary confusion. For example, there was the electrical expansion project that PG& E failed to realize was no longer necessary. There is no need to expand infrastructure for a cancelled development. It was a disturbing episode, but the way it was reported by The Independent was far from perfect. The headline “”Litigants Surprised By Renewal of Garaventa Project” accidentally suggested that the developer was preparing to move forward. The content of the article was well done, but anyone who stopped at the headline could get the wrong impression.

Garaventa Hill Is Safe (until further notice)

The “Garaventa Hills” housing development project does not exist. Rest assured, nothing has changed since the Supreme Court invalidated the EIR. No substantive attempt to resurrect it has been made. All the funding necessary to buy the land for the purpose of conservation is in a protected account and ready to be used whenever the landowners would like to sell. In the mean time, there is no development option.

It is always possible that someone will try something with any undeveloped piece of property. Fortunately for Garaventa Hill, there are now several organizations which will be ready to act promptly in opposition if any hint of development discussions comes about.

Livermore Wine Country Inn proposed hotel and conference center location
The proposed 30-room Inn with large restaurant, full bar, hair salon with day spa and gift shop cannot proceed as the design violates aspects of the South Livermore Valley Specific Plan.

There is a proposal for a hotel called the Livermore Wine Country Inn. It would be located at the intersection of Hansen Road and Arroyo Road in deep South Livermore. The project is separate and has no connection with the Presidio Companies’ proposal for a potential downtown hotel.

Progress on the development was halted by the Court of Appeals. The reason behind the ruling against the developer follows a theme that is becoming uncomfortably familiar, as it is a result of elected officials insisting on not doing what the regulations state they must do, and ignoring public advice to do what is legal.

The proposed site is located in the South Livermore Vally Specific Plan area (SLVSP), which articulates the requirement for 100 foot setbacks on that parcel for the B&B. Instead, both the Planning Commission and the Livermore City Council sided with the developer and against the residents. The developer wanted to bend the rules and require only half the required setback (50 feet) – officials were happy to go along.

Now the entire project is uncertain. If all parties would have simply followed the rules and developed the space as originally envisioned in the SLVSP, Livermore Wine Country Inn might be hosting guests already and supporting our tourist industry. Instead, it is possible it can’t be built at all, and tremendous time, money and attention will have been wasted.

Planning Commission should have done everyone a favor and rejected the design in 2019. Failing that, the Council should have listened to the pleas of residents to make the project conform.

The next mistake to be made is up to the City Attorney. He could keep it going in the courts, or support the community and accept the loss. Let us hope the legal process is over and that the project can be reworked accordingly into a form more closely envisioned in the framework of the South Livermore Valley Specific Plan.

New housing developments of 11 or more units are required to make at least 15% of those units permanently priced significantly below market value. This applies apartments, condos, townhomes, single family homes – any form of dwelling unit.

Developers usually don’t like building them, so they take advantage of a loophole. Instead of creating affordable units, they are allowed to offer a payment to the City as a condition of making more or all of the units available at market rate. This fee goes into a special fund that is held with the City, that is supposed to eventually be used in some manner to build affordable units in the future. There are a number of problems with this arrangement that directly lead to the inadequate affordable inventory.

Not enough units have been built

This is the obvious primary problem. Many people who work in Livermore cannot live there due to insufficient income. A variety of essential occupations fall into this trap, such as teachers, healthcare workers, first responders, and the list goes on.

Affordable projects take too long

As the fees are collected over time, the challenge becomes how to spend them. The typical scenario is that City staff and the Council should be proactive in getting them applied toward actual, shovel-ready projects in what would hopefully be a sufficiently rapid pace. The expensive market rate projects can be ready to be occupied in as little as a year or two, but the affordable projects can languish for decades. When they do get built, they tend to be 100% below market concentrated compounds. It has long been known that such a configuration is not the best way to welcome people with diverse income levels into the fabric of the city.

“Inclusionary Housing” is superior to affordable housing projects

Like most communities, Livermore practices inclusionary zoning policies (also known as inclusionary housing policies and IZ policies). They aim to create affordable housing units by encouraging or requiring housing developers seeking to construct new market-rate units to set aside 15% of the units as affordable for moderate-income to low-income tenants or homeowners. IZ policies are designed to encourage new housing developers to build affordable homes in market-rate housing areas with the goal of creating communities with diverse income levels.

Here’s how it works in Livermore

Inclusionary zoning can be mandatory, voluntary, or a combination. Livermore requires new constructions of 11 units or more to set aside 15% of dwelling units for affordable housing programs. Developers often claim that the project won’t be feasible for a variety of reasons and may offer to pay their way out of building as many, or any. Sometimes several factors interact to either increase or decrease the number of units built such as: density bonuses, expedited approvals, fee waivers, and subsidies.

Benefits of Inclusionary vs. Concentrated Affordable Zoning

  1. Increased supply of affordable housing: Inclusionary zoning policies help increase the amount of affordable housing available to lower-income and moderate-income households. IZ also offers a path to meeting federal fair housing standards set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  2. Greater opportunity for low-income households: As housing prices soar, inclusionary zoning ordinances aim to help low-income renters and homeowners afford to live in areas with greater access to employment, schools, and public transportation.
  3. Decrease economic and racial segregation: Inclusionary zoning can help create a more economically and racially diverse city by enabling people to live throughout Livermore and not just relegated to parts of town deemed less desirable.
  4. Healthier: Living in a mixed-income community can have a positive effect on our residents’ health, such as a reduction in stress and overall improved mental health.


Fees are too low

With developers so commonly choosing to buy their way out of building the units, clearly the fee structure is inadequate. The city council has the sole authority to adjust the fee.

The usual standard in the US is for the fee to be adequate to construct each of the unbuilt units at a future date. A case in point is the Lassen Road Townhomes, where the developer (WestGate Ventures) was allowed to avoid building 14 townhomes for a mere $776,000. In no version of reality could a future unit be built for $55,000. This has been a common condition in recent years, and fees need to be substantially higher.

Systemic Dysfunction

City Staff and Council are prone to run on autopilot when it comes to developers. Projects get proposed Planning Department, then run through Planning Commission with a lot of negotiations and modifications. By the time it gets to Council, it is easier to say “yes” than it is to challenge the process for adequacy, as was not done with Lassen Road Townhomes. Council needs to demand much more to ensure a better affordable mix within future housing developments.

The standard practice of producing EIRs was upended to some degree by a recent loss in the Supreme Court by the City of Livermore. We decided to investigate deeper into the process of how these reports are created and by whom.

In Livermore’s case, the report with the salient deficient information was produced by Lamphier-Gregory for a development that would have been called Garaventa Hills. Now, an effort by Save Seven Hills Ranch to preserve open space instead of developing it into housing gives us the opportunity to examine the DEIR documents of these two nearby proposed developments. The first one has already failed, and we believe this new one is on its way to a comparable


Recently, we noticed a striking similarity within a key element of each report: the “No Project Alternative”. This is the component that was found to be out of compliance with CEQA law in three different courts, with finality at the California Supreme Court. Although we are a Tri-Valley organization, we do share some environmental kinship with neighboring counties; we also receive court mandated compliance reports on water delivery in Contra Costa County, where Seven Hills Ranch is located. Thus, we’ll wade into the Spieker development for the purposes of education and study.

Comparing the “No-Project Alternatives”

For the Livermore “Garaventa Hills” proposal, the DEIR was written by Oakland based Lamphier-Gregory. The DEIR for the Spieker proposal was written by San Jose based David J. Powers & Associates.

EIRs are usually very long documents – well over 100 pages. As we have observed before, the purpose of these reports is often far less about environmental protection and much more about pushing a development project forward. For the good of the environment, CEQA requires a No-Project Alternative for a legislative body to consider. It usually is identified as the environmentally superior alternative among all the others, as to avoid describing it this way would be inaccurate.

Here they are side by side:

Garaventa Hill (Lamphier):

Under a “no development” alternative, the Project site would remain in an undeveloped state. There would be no impacts on the environment, because no new development would occur.
Ability to Accomplish Project Objectives and Feasibility
A No Project/No Development alternative would not meet any of the project objectives, except for separating adjacent habitats from development activity (objective 6) and preserving the knolls (objective 7). With no development, this alternative would not complete implementation of the Maralisa development, would not contribute to housing availability, and would not provide housing near employment centers. It is assumed the existing informal trails would remain on site.

This alternative represents the possibility that no project is approved on this site. However, there is no current proposal for the City or other agency to purchase this site or otherwise preserve it in an undeveloped state. This site is zoned for and previously indicated under the Maralisa plan for residential development. Therefore, while this alternative analyzes a no development scenario, it is not necessarily feasible to assume the site would remain undeveloped in the long term.

Seven Hills Ranch (Powers):

The CEQA Guidelines specifically require consideration of a “No Project” Alternative. The purpose of including a No Project Alternative is to allow decision makers to compare the impacts of approving the project with the impacts of not approving the project. The Guidelines specifically advise that the No Project Alternative is “what would be reasonably expected to occur in the foreseeable future if the project were not approved, based on current plans and consistent with available infrastructure and community services.” The Guidelines emphasize that an EIR should take a practical approach, and not “…create and analyze a set of artificial assumptions that would be required to preserve the existing physical environment (Section 15126.6[e][3][B]).”
The No Project Alternative assumes that the project site would remain as it is today with the existing buildings being reoccupied.
Comparison of Environmental Impacts
The No Project Alternative would avoid all the project’s environmental impacts.
Relationship to Project Objectives
The No Project Alternative would not meet any of the project objectives as no change would be made to the existing land uses at the site and the current land uses do not provide any senior living facilities.
Because the No Project Alternative would not result in any new development on the site, this alternative would avoid all environmental impacts of the project. This alternative would not, however, meet any of the project’s objectives.

Notice the similarity in the language, and the general disinterested “mood” of the content. It is hard to believe the reports were prepared by two entirely different companies, for different counties, and different developers. Let’s face it, Lamphier-Gregory and David J. Powers are both essentially saying to their respective legislative bodies, “you seriously can’t do this”. As one of three alternatives presented in the massive EIRs, they occupy less than a page each.

We believe we see rather unhelpful brevity and insincerity of the overall effort to truly examine the alternative that is in the public’s best interest. That is what was struck down by the Court.

The Appellate justices noted (in “Save the Hill”): “As the Guidelines make clear, an EIR “shall focus on alternatives to the project or its location which are capable of avoiding or substantially lessening any significant effects of the project, even if these alternatives would impede to some degree the attainment of the project objectives, or would be more costly.” (Guidelines, § 15126.6, subd. (b), italics added.)” and:

“Lacking adequate information regarding the no-project alternative, the city council could not make an informed, reasoned decision on whether this Project should go forward. Accordingly, its decisions to certify the RFEIR and approve the Project must be set aside… (See Sierra Club v. State Bd. of Forestry (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1215, 1236;”

Getting Involved Earlier

The public often desires to make a real difference in how our government agencies impact the environment due to legislative actions. Typically intervention begins after the information spreads about an undesirable proposal, at some point after a DEIR is first produced. Community organizing then starts, with the focus on the legislative body being primary. This may be too late. Could there be a better way?

If the public can get ahead of the process at an earlier stage, (for example, if active concerned residents were to intervene at the bidding stage where environmental consultants first get involved) it might go a long way toward redirecting the momentum of staff and the elected body.

Let’s suppose an RFP is bid on by three consultants. The choice of vendor will be made at a public meeting, where comments could be given at this earlier date and perhaps encourage the bidders to reconsider their interest. Bidders may learn about crucial elements that might make the project unbuildable or very difficult evaluate. Perhaps they would need to adjust their bids to reflect additional costs, consider undiscovered obstacles, or not get involved at all. No consultant, no project.

Conclusion (for now)

CBG has not spent an extensive amount of time collecting the large number of EIR documents that would be required to discuss any definitive patterns within the Environmental Consultancy industry. What we do see in this case is an extraordinary similarity in the methods by which environmentally superior alternatives to development are disadvantageously positioned in legislative body reports. We expect to add more information as it becomes available.

The Garaventa Hills development process evolved from a fairly straightforward housing development proposal, onward through considerable public pushback, and now moving forward toward full preservation as open space. A core enabling factor of saving “The Hill” was the discovery of a specific sum of money to buy the land – the Dougherty Valley Settlement Agreement Fund, or DVSA. Many people have been asking for more details on the origin and structure of the funding, and how CBG relates to it.

Litigation Cornucopia

There were many lawsuits and other settlements associated with the various Dougherty housing projects. This page discusses our settlement as it relates to CBG’s actions and has nothing to do with other funds similarly named in Contra Costa County. Feel free to investigate, as we haven’t focused on that. There was some legal action with Danville. In San Ramon there was a lot happening – here is a Dougherty Valley Settlement document that might get you going in the right direction.

Zone 7’s Journey into the Abyss

It all started in 1998. Zone 7, the Tri-Valley’s wholesale water supplier, was considering whether to broaden its services to include delivering water to future customers in Contra Costa County. A series of housing developments, sometimes referred to as the Dougherty Valley Project, would be a massive, unpopular development of 11,000 houses that faced many obstacles. Crucially, it did not have a source of water and thus would not be buildable.

The developer was unable to find a supplier until cooperative talks began with Zone 7 (via DSRSD), even though the area was outside of its allowable service boundary. Dublin was agreeable to provide the infrastructure, but they did not have a source for water. That’s where some all too creative methods began to be employed.

Here’s what they figured they would do. Dublin would provide water connections, and Zone 7 would “wheel” water from the Berrenda Mesa source, and on to Contra Costa County. They reasoned that doing it this way wasn’t really servicing outside the Tri-Valley, even though it was, and they could get around the inconvenient restrictions. Illegal, but technically possible with the addition of some infrastructure.

CBG’s Dougherty Valley Lawsuit

A public hearing process was required. On January 28, 1998, the Board held a public hearing on proposed contracts and an escrow agreement associated with the multifaceted plan. Many members of the public, including CBG and some of our executives (such as former Livermore Mayor Don Miller, former Zone 7 Director Margaret Tracy, former LVJUSD Director Jim Day), as well as Livermore Vice Mayor Tom Reitter, future DSRSD Director Tom Ford, and Sierra Club’s Cynthia Patton, pointedly informed Zone 7 that they were about to break the law. The minutes also reveal that the negotiations were rushed and had just concluded, giving the public only hours to review the many pages of documents. They felt the process was being ushered through the approval too quickly.

Representatives from the housing development interested parties also stated their case and recommended that Zone 7 should indeed serve their development projects.

In the end, the Directors reiterated the many benefits they claimed justified the actions, ignoring out of hand the many issues of law and insufficient review presented by resident speakers. Setting aside all the testimony, the Zone 7 Board then voted 6-1 to authorize the President to sign five agreements approving and implementing the contracts for delivery of water by Zone 7 for the Dougherty Valley Project.

CBG sued Zone 7 on behalf of Valley residents March 19, 1998. Days later, we were joined by the City of Livermore. Months of court mandated proceedings ensued. To avoid prolonged litigation and a near certain loss in court, Zone 7 offered to settle our litigation in November 1999. As part of the provisions, the settling parties paid all of CBG’s and Livermore’s legal expenses, as is common when plaintiffs prevail in court, and the DVSA Fund was established.

So how does the Fund benefit Valley residents?

The purpose of the Fund is to provide some measure of relief from excessive traffic and also support habitat preservation. One of the many reasons I-580 is so congested is because our water agency in essence, played a small part in creating thousands more commuter cars that take to the roads every day. Many of them go straight for the freeway, and that traffic is reduced to a small degree by preserving some land that would otherwise be built up and therefore a traffic source. When such purchases protect endangered species, all the better. In this way, we got “something” in exchange for the traffic caused by the defendants.

Process of Implementation

The money itself resides with the City of Livermore. Over the years, the Fund has been put to use for its intended purposes as needed.

We believe that Garaventa Hill will be the next acquisition in the chain. It will be leveraged as soon as the City Council receives a request for funding via a bona fide buyer who enters a purchase agreement, and wants to own and preserve the Hill in perpetuity.

Expenditures are geographically limited. In the Tri-Valley, we can consider funding any open space purchase east of Collier Canyon Road and North of I-580.

Ongoing oversight

The City of Livermore, DSRSD, and Zone 7 continue maintain actionable responsibilities to CBG. DSRSD and Zone 7 make regular reports to us in connection with the Settlement. They have cooperated fully and courteously over the years.

Livermore performed admirably for more than a decade. Their performance has declined recently, most notably in their failure to inform us, discuss or pursue the possibility of protecting Garaventa Hill. We hope to make arrangements for improving the ways we work together on applying funding in the best interests of residents.




As reported in The Independent:
“After noticing the PG&E workers near Bear Creek Drive and Garaventa Hill, nearby neighbors began asking questions about why power was being extended to an open space area that environmentalists recently battled and later won in court protecting it from a luxury housing project proposed by Lafferty Communities Inc.”

Vladimir Pavlushkin worked for an environmental engineering consulting firm and has experience with encroachment permits. He asked for a copy of the work permit and looked at the specifications. It showed that a residential power line was being pulled down Bear Creek Drive, parallel to existing utilities. It will serve no purpose and basically dead-ends with the street and never be needed.

It turns out that PG&E asked the city for a permit to do work on the street, which is a common activity for any utility, and the company did not look deeper into the issue of whether electrical service would still be needed. The housing development it would have supplied was to be called Garaventa Hills, and it should have been common knowledge by then that the site is not buildable for environmental reasons. That part of the memo did not seem to reach all the right people.

Apparently the previous developer of the proposed tract (Lafferty Communities) had requested the work be done at some point, and PG&E eventually followed up with a request of their own from the City of Livermore. It seems to be an extreme case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing.

We applaud PG&E for taking any steps to improve the grid reliability and safety. It would be prudent for them to more carefully determine which projects are necessary and which should not be pursued. With all the power outages we had recently, priority should be given to areas that suffer failures due to capacity constriction.

The City of Livermore had difficult choices to make

Lafferty Communities‘ attempt to develop Garaventa Hill into a housing tract began in 2011 and ended in 2022. Here’s a brief look back at the series of tasks were undertaken, and how it all unraveled in the courts.

  • 2011 Lafferty sought out Lamphier-Gregory to begin the environmental review process.
  • 2011 Lamphier-Gregory arranged to be paid by the City of Livermore to produce the EIR (no competitive bid)
  • Lamphier-Gregory drafted a Notice of Preparation

Our City staff submitted the Notice of Preparation to the State in 2011

Various episodes followed over the next several years, including a Draft EIR in 2012, a “Final” EIR in 2014, and then a “Reissued” final EIR in 2018. Upon the Council’s (now illegal) 2019 certification of the FEIR, a lawsuit was filed by residents which ultimately resulted in their Supreme Court victory.

Upon being “noticed” that a lawsuit would be filed, City staff had the responsibility to make recommendations to the Council. Legally, when a legislative body votes on a decision, they must stand by that decision in court no matter how regrettable the original vote might have turned out to be in hindsight. So, Staff was responsible for presenting options for the kind of defense case they would mount on behalf of Livermore residents, against Livermore residents. Though unfortunate and ironic, it is not an uncommon corner into which agencies can find themselves painted.

The best possible outcome would be for Livermore to lose the case, and thusly save The Hill. Public opposition to Lafferty Communities and concern for the health of the environment made for an attractive potential outcome – win by losing.

Three options to consider

  1. Concede the case and negotiate a costly compensatory arrangement with Lafferty Communities.
  2. Have the City Attorney prepare a reasonable case and argue it in a manner which satisfies the legal defense obligation but might not have the greatest chance of winning. Cost would be minimal. (Pro Tip #1: losing is winning on this issue).
  3. Make a side deal with Lafferty communities where they would manage the case, cost, and liability. (Pro Tip #2: winning is losing on this issue).

They chose option 3. The City would fight its residents in the most aggressive way at their disposal. Lafferty Communities was motivated by tens of millions in profit if they won the case, and were willing to finance a vigorous defense. City Staff thought this would be a good idea, as it absolved them from having to do any work. They also mistakenly thought they had a winning defense case.

The Trials

Livermore outsourced its defense to the discretion of Lafferty Communities. They hired the Buchalter Law Firm in San Francisco, with their attorney Doug Straus heading up the case. On the advice from CBG and others, the residents (“Save the Hill Group”) hired Greenfire Law to serve as plaintiff’s representative.

CBG was able to witness the trials in action. We were highly impressed with Mr. Straus’ performance and command of his various arguments. Basically, he really knew his stuff. Likewise, Greenfire’s Jessica Blome was every bit Straus’ equal, and based on the final result, superior.

Lafferty Communities was disadvantaged from the beginning. The property is more environmentally sensitive than the nearby Farber property, where developers tried to get an EIR for 15 years before giving up. Livermore’s Council received some bad advice from Livermore’s City Attorney during the EIR process. The EIR also had fatal flaws, as Lamphier-Gregory (the company that produced it) left out some key research and findings related to preserving the property as a “No-Build” option. In the end, all things being equal, this case was lost from the start.


Greenfire was able to tease out the necessary facts of the law in order for the plaintiffs to prevail on the merits in all three courts where the case was heard. On this basis we don’t believe Council made a good decision to fight their own residents with everything they had. In hindsight, we hope they would agree. All parties would have been much better served by gracefully allowing the inevitable loss to transpire with far less drama. It would have saved Lafferty Communities time and money as well. The saddest part though, is the magnitude of mistrust created by Council’s desire to fight their own constituents tooth and nail. That’s not how good government is supposed to work.

lamphier-gregory Garaventa Hills
Livermore’s appeal to the California Supreme Court in an effort to erase their Appellate Court loss was unsuccessful.

Lafferty Communities cannot develop Garaventa Hill

The Garaventa Hills Lamphier-Gregory Environmental Impact Report (originally prepared by Rebecca Auld of Lamphier-Gregory) was upheld as defective on July 13th 2022 by the California Supreme Court. The case remains officially published, despite the additional request by the City of Livermore to have the decision “depublished”. As such, it is now “California Case Law” which can be referenced in other environmental lawsuits indefinitely.

On March 30th 2022, a three-judge panel on the California Court of Appeal First District ruled in favor of the residents who brought the case.  The Livermore City Council erred in allowing a housing development to proceed on the environmentally sensitive property. 

The proposed “Garaventa Hills” housing tract was to be located in Northeast Livermore between Laughlin Road and Vasco Road, just north of Altamont Creek School.  For nearly a decade, developers attempted to push their plans through the City’s processes, only to be repeatedly thwarted by a myriad of unmitigable environmental consequences that would result from development.

The Hill is home to a number of threatened and endangered species, including the endangered Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp, California Tiger Salamander, Burrowing Owls, the Livermore Tarplant and other species on and around the site.  The U.S. Dept of Fish & Wildlife Service has designated it as critical habitat for the Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp.

The Appellate panel of judges agreed with the Save the Hill, who argued that the City Council failed to adequately consider whether Garaventa Hill could be purchased and preserved in perpetuity for conservation as a part of a “No-Action” EIR alternative. Lafferty Communities, the applicant and developer at the time, paid for the EIR, then court actions, all the way through the eventual defeat.

Conservation funds have been available to buy it for decades, and the California Environmental Quality Act requires that there be appropriate attention applied to a “no project” option as part of the EIR certification process.  The funds were left completely out of the Report, as Lamphier-Gregory failed in their due diligence to include conservation funding as part of their research and discovery process. Without this vital information, even after being asked to provide it by the plaintiffs during public testimony, the City Council’s certification of the EIR violated the law.

What is an EIR – why did Lafferty Communities need it?

An Environmental Impact Report is required by California law whenever a new proposal will have enough potentially negative effects on the environment to be of significant concern. This is a very broad description, and the law has many complex parameters and requirements. If we attempt to peel back several layers of metaphorical curtains, here’s a very abbreviated example of how one might be created.

After a developer decides that it is worth risking capital for the chance of making a profit, it all begins by a public agency’s staff being approached about starting a permitting process to build a project . The agency, in this case a city council and staff, invokes a “positive declaration” to indicate a developer’s proposal will require a legal EIR prior to permits being issued. A private company that specializes in writing these lengthy documents is required.

An environmental consultant is first retained.

Typically, the developer will assure the retention of a company with a reputation that supports the likelihood of success, not necessarily one that leans toward environmental protection, as the stakes are very high if the report doesn’t get certified. Here’s where the potential for conflict of interest begins and the players start to dance an ethically loaded tango.

By law, the agency (council in this case) is the customer of the EIR company. This is because the council should be looking out for the best interests of the residents, and the primary allegiance of the EIR company should be to the council and residents. However, the report costs money; it is nearly universal that the agency will include a side deal with the developer where council will not be liable for the costs of the report – the developer pays back the agency as soon as the agency pays the consultant. While the council has the final word in choosing the EIR company (the one often requested by the developer), the REAL customer is the developer, and they will demonstrate their alliance throughout. Corrupt? Unethical? There is nothing illegal about this sort of out-in-the-open money laundering.

Enter Lamphier-Gregory

In the Garaventa case, Lafferty sought out and chose a company called Lamphier-Gregory. They may have done so in part because of Lamphier’s extraordinary success in another controversial local project: The Sunol Valley Aggregate Quarry. Similar to Garaventa, the conversion of a productive stretch of farmland to a gravel quarry faced stiff opposition from virtually every environmental group that spoke on the matter. The locals were infuriated by the prospect, and made every effort to derail the progress. Lamphier-Gregory’s EIR was a resounding success, as the property was converted and not stopped by a successful lawsuit.

After Lafferty instructed Lamphier-Gregory (see pg 54) to pursue the Garaventa project, they went through the administrative movements to get themselves hired by Livermore as the environmental consultant without a competitive bid. The deck was stacked against the residents from the outset. The weak approach by Lamphier-Gregory to expend only minimal effort to include a legitimate “no project alternative” was ideal for Lafferty’s interests. It was also their downfall. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for Livermore residents, that’s illegal. The Supreme Court said so.

More about the attempted “depublication” of the ruling

Save the Hill‘s Supreme Court win was a powerful message to any California agency that is required to adhere to CEQA. There are many public and private interest groups who generally prefer to avoid protecting the environment, as it can get in the way of their development plans. After the Appellate Court victory, no less than five separate entities decided to take action.

With the goal of making it harder to protect the environment in the future, they thought it would be wise to try to cover up the ruling by requesting “depublication”. They submitted their requests to the only remaining court that could do it – The California Supreme Court. If successful, future development strategies would no longer face the inconvenience of complying with the newly enhanced CEQA power.

It didn’t work. As a published case, Save The Hill Group v. The City of Livermore is far reaching and widely relevant. For the record, the five requestors were:

The effect of the published ruling is that in the future, any plan for new developments that do significant damage to the environment must include a genuine study of a “no-project alternative”. This means that there needs to be a sincere effort to investigate any and all ways a damaging project can be avoided in order to protect California from unnecessary harm. Not all development projects threaten the environment, so this ruling does not unduly impede development in California. But, if you want to abuse the environment for profit, you can’t do so in an illegal manner, or as easily as before.

Will there be another EIR ordered by the City (Developer)?

Since the court decision, there have been ongoing communications between City staff and Lafferty Communities regarding Lamphier-Gregory. The City performed their court mandated duty to rescind the approval in November 2022. The election of a development opponent to the council district (Ben Barrientos) in 2022 will provide for at least four years of pushback within the City administration that never existed before.

Attempts were made to contact Lamphier-Gregory in order to gain more insight, but they did not want to speak with us. We hope they might reconsider, as we want to make sure the information we post is accurate and fair. One particular item we would like to explore is a statement they made about the project. “Lamphier-Gregory was also asked to help the City negotiate the process of choosing an identified alternative in place of the project at the Final EIR stage.” This was precisely the issue that the justices called out most explicitly in ruling against them, so it seems odd to have promoted this service to Livermore as a “value added” feature.

After such a publicized defeat at the supreme court, one might speculate that Garaventa Hill is too hot to handle, and Lamphier-Gregory may decide not to participate again. Other environmental consultants may also need to carefully consider the potential downside as well.

For eight long years, the resident opponents did what they could without a completely equipped skill set to guide them through the various complexities. Though poorly armed, they brought their case all the way to the Supreme Court and won. Now, the same people are more motivated, have a GREAT Environmental law firm, are apparently well funded, highly visible, and have newfound political power. It seems unlikely that Lamphier-Gregory will reenter the fray, but why would any competent environmental consultant want to walk straight into a buzz saw? The same question applies to Lafferty Communities.

Maybe they’re thinking about trying anyway.

Lafferty Communities have said very little. They are active on Facebook, but seem to ignore their Yelp page which has a 1 star rating. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle just after the court defeat, attorney Alicia Guerra stated, “Lafferty Communities remains fully committed to its in-fill housing project in the city of Livermore which will offer needed excellent and affordable housing to the community.”

The process itself would really be a return to where they started in 2011, but from an even more disadvantaged posture. It’s a lot of work, new surveys, a greatly expanded “no-project alternative”, etc. The public scrutiny will be substantial, and could be overwhelming.

Actions do speak louder than words though, and a bewildering action by PG&E did take place. A high capacity power line was run up to The Hill a few months after the court ruling. Apparently there was an old request for infrastructure and they failed to put the brakes on in time, as they were unaware that Garaventa Hill is no longer being urbanized. A lot of money went to waste.

What if Lafferty Communities were to restart the process?

The procedure would not be easy, quick, or cheap. An RFP for a new EIR has to be ordered by city staff, and they will be encouraged to exactly NOT prepare one. If an RFP is produced, this time it will be challenged. Then if it goes out for bids, bidders may be reluctant to participate (based on what happened to Lamphier-Gregory). If it receives bids, the applicants will become the subject of immediate public attention (and not the good kind). Don’t forget the Notice of Preparation, and the staff time it takes to process that prior to any work on a new EIR.

Unlike the passive exercises that took place in 2011, nothing will be left unattended. Active vigilance can be expected from the very first moment, now that the residents know what to do, and with a greater sense of confidence.

If all of this somehow gets as far as a draft EIR, it has to first go through planning commission and be posted as a public hearing item in advance. At the meeting, it will face unrelenting scrutiny and public input. That’s the first test of its survival, and if it somehow succeeds, then it will be on to City Council.

Once there, the same obstacles apply, and more. DEIR for public comments. Advance posting. City Council public hearing with expected opposition. In addition, Garaventa Hill is habitat sensitive territory that would be unlikely to obtain buildable evaluation. Even if a future council did certify one, it would undoubtedly face more lawsuits by an even better prepared legal team. Finally, the legal defense Lafferty employed did a splendid job, lost anyway, and it is doubtful Lafferty Communities could find more effective representation.

Final Thoughts

The story of Garaventa Hill is a tribute to what local residents can do if they are persistent in an attempt to pursue justified environmental protection. Neither a hostile City Council, aggressive developer, nor lack of legal sophistication or money can overturn the will of the people as long as it stays strong and resolute.


  • 2012 Lamphier-Gregory Garaventa Hills DEIR. This is the original proposal for 76 homes. The “no project” Alternative A is included
  • 2014 Lamphier-Gregory Garaventa Hills Final DEIR. This includes public comments and letters.
  • 2018 Lamphier-Gregory Garaventa Hills Reissued Final DEIR

Many people spoke to object to the refusal of the City Clerk to advance petitions of Move Eden Housing.

Transcript with timestamps

on tonight’s monday july 25th 2022 virtual regular meeting of the livermore
city council at uh 7 pm uh calling the meeting to order can we have
the roll call please i am here
council member cake here council member monroe i’m here vice mayor bonanno it’s absent
for the record mayor warner uh with an excused absence and uh
here so and now join me in the pledge of allegiance please
i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands
one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all thank you
so we’re now on to a proclamation declaring august 2022 as muslim
appreciation and awareness month presented to munir sifi of the islamic
center of livermore and councilmember monroe will read the proclamation
sorry i was trying to find my unmute button it gives me a great pleasure
to present this this uh proclamation for muslim appreciation awareness month uh
and i will read it as follows unfortunately i’ve tried holding this up to zoom and because of the nature of
zoom backgrounds didn’t work so well but trust me it’s a lovely proclamation and we will be
delivering it in person to uh the islamic center shortly this is what it says whereas the city of
livermore has been and continues to be home to people of different national origins immigration or refugee status
cultures histories races ethnicities religious affiliations or none gender identities sexual orientations
ages education economic status and physical mental or emotional abilities
our strength is derived from our diversity and inclusiveness from respecting one another from welcoming
immigrants and others and from collaborating with one another across our differences and
whereas the city council believes that a city can best stand against bigotry
intolerance and hate through leading by example and living our shared community values of welcome
inclusion and respect and by developing common ground in venues that allow us to talk and work
together in service to each other and our community and whereas muslims have been part of the
u.s history from its beginning and have contributed to the production of wealth and the construction of the nation
they are also part of the rich history of the civil rights movement over 90 000 muslims live in alameda county and make
innumerable contributions to the cultural political and economic fabric and well-being of our state in our
country and whereas the coven-19 pandemic forced the temporary closure of the islamic center
of livermore and other mosques in the tri-valley during this time these mosques and community organizations
provided online programming and service service sermons with small faith group
prayers outside they also answered the call for help by donating funds distributing food and by sewing masks to
help those on the front line and they have educated their congregations about social distancing guidelines and
practices to keep the community safe now therefore the city council of the city of
livermore proclaims august 2022 as muslim appreciation and awareness month
and thanks the members of the islamic center of livermore for their contributions to the city and encourages
members of the community to come together to celebrate our diversity
that’s on behalf of the city council of livermore and the actual proclamation i’m going to see if i actually can hold
it up here no it really doesn’t work um that will
be delivered to uh to the islamic center tomorrow or the next day thank you so
much okay thank you we’re now on to item 4.0
citizens forum uh city clerk would you please explain the process uh for participating in tonight’s meeting
yes thank you mayor the city council’s agenda provides opportunities for the public to participate in the meeting by
addressing the city council in the following ways first for non-agendized items the public has the opportunity during citizens
forum to address the city council on any item of interest that is within the city council’s subject matter jurisdiction
second for agendas items the public can address the city council on each item of business it considers when the mayor
opens public comment and should be focused on that particular item please note the speaker is not required to
answer questions from the city council and the city council is not required to answer questions from the public
however the mayor has the discretion to ask staff to address the speaker’s comments when a council member believes
it is relevant to a particular business item when participating in tonight’s meeting one comment may be given per
person per item members of the public can participate in person as noticed on the agenda apologize
remotely as noticed on the agenda to provide a comment please use the raise hand feature
using zoom or press star 9 if you’re calling in when the item begins once the public comment opens each
participant’s name will be announced and their three minutes will begin upon being unmuted if you submitted a comment
earlier today by email or e-comment those comments have been provided to the city council and posted to the city’s
website earlier this afternoon the mayor will announce conclusion of the public comment period after comments have been
voiced into the record thank you mayor
thank you see we’re starting just before 7 10. so we’ll allow the first uh 30 minutes for
uh citizens forum if there’s any spillover we’ll pick it up at the end of the meeting
uh before item eight so the uh so that means 7 40
and uh city uh clerk staff will announce there’s a five when there’s five minutes
um remaining and uh the city clerk will announce how many speakers will be heard
after the matters for consideration so if we could do we have any members of
the public that wish to address this this evening
yes mayor the first request to speak it’s from vic avila followed by carol
silva and darcy kent vic avila please and meet yourself
yes hello
and can you hear me and or see me
uh vica we can faintly hear you okay i i will okay how’s this am i can i can you
hear me now hi
hey yes we can hear you okay very good uh thank you good evening mayor and council i feel the voters should be
given an opportunity to vote on the referendum the previous mayor and council fueled
the train that carries this downtown development a development that in my
estimation is a metaphorical baker’s dozen it’s trying to put too many eggs in one
basket trying to do too many things in a plot a plot
that is not large enough to com accommodate all the uses the previous mayor and council fueled
the train you want to send it down the track i feel overloaded
i feel it’s a very poor idea for an an iconic western
downtown thank you for listening
next speaker is carol silva followed by darcy kent and donna caban carol silva please meet yourself
thank you city council members i’m carol silva a livermore resident who opposes
the currently proposed location of eden housing at l street and railroad avenue
recently i was talking to one of my friends about the relatively recent changes and the
proposed changes to livermore’s downtown specifically the four-story legacy
complex at the old growth brothers site and the location of the yet to be built four-story eaton housing complex
my friend stated that she knew absolutely no one who wants eden housing to be built at the old lucky site she
asked me if i knew anyone who wants bean housing to be built at that location
i thought for a moment trying to recall if i personally knew anyone who wanted it built there and then i told her i
don’t know anyone who wants eden built across the street from the monstrosity of the legacy apartments
barry fandom the attorney for move eden housing organization
is quoted in july 21st edition of the independent the news article entitled
city clerk declines to process referendum mr fatham provides both
election code specifications and case law to support that the city clerk is in
violation of her duties by refusing to process the referendum signatures on the
petition that was signed by more than 8 000 registered livermore voters
i asked the livermore city council to allow livermore voters a voice on the
location of eden housing this is something that should have been done a long time ago
instead of trying to strategically fight against voters who have to organize
against the council’s decisions to have a better downtown that respects livermore’s history and
that benefits all livermore citizens and visitors please accept the petition and let’s
move on from here thank you
the next speaker is darcy kent followed by donna command and zoom user darcy ken please unmute
darcy kent please don’t meet yourself
sorry about that um good evening to the mayor and to the city council
my parents have raised me along with my sisters to be working woman we’ve all
spent our time since since we were teenagers in either part-time or full-time work
we were trained to be to work hard to be honest and to be fair with the belief that women
what could be um are equal in every way
in the world and able to contribute equally in the workforce i have taken that to heart and i now own
two businesses with my two daughters and my husband
through the years the thing that i’ve despised the most
when working is when i was bullied by someone who thought that they could get their way just by intimidation and
threat i’ve never experienced a bigger case of
bullying or i’ve never seen a bigger case of bullying than what i am seeing now
our city clerk marie weber is experiencing the greatest act of bullying intimidation and threat that
i’ve ever seen it’s unconscionable the city clerk as the elected officer
for our city is in is a constitutional officer with the
duty to the citizens of livermore
the tactics used by move eden housing and the independent paper are the most
egregious i’ve ever seen marie weber this is a small group
and their tactics are ruthless and unfair
i support you and i know that the majority of the citizens of livermore
also support you i fully support
the eden housing project it was made over the past years with
several votes by the people and the council and we are ready to move forward
thank you the next speaker is donna caban followed
by zoom user and david b kent donna kaban please meet yourself
good evening donna caban livermore resident for 40 years
let the residents of livermore vote eight thousand residents sign petitions
eight thousand livermore residents signed the referendum
the city voters want a voice on the location of eden housing
the city should respect the process and allow a vote
the residents never had a vote on the location of eden housing the previous
vote was on the location of the hotel and
giving rights to the development there the courts will determine
if what the city is doing is legal however
forcing this measure to go to the courts is wasting taxpayers dollars
taxpayers dollars that could be better spent on more critical issues
instead we should be putting this issue in front of the voters immediately
respect the democratic process government of the people
by the people for the people let liver more residents vote on this
issue thank you the next speaker is has the username of
zoom user followed by david b kent and lisa tramovich doom user please don’t meet yourself
hi hello mayor and council this is deborah mcqueen and i’m a 30-year resident and homeowner in
livermore i’d like to thank you for your work for maintaining and supporting our city
i’m asking that the council let livermore vote on the issues at hand allow the 8 000 livermore citizens who
signed the petition to qualify for the referendum and give the city voters a
voice on the location of eden housing the city should be respecting the process and allowing a vote
the courts not the city will determine whether what the city is doing is legal or not but by forcing this measure to go
to the courts you’re wasting taxpayer dollars again so instead we should be pulling this
issue in front of voters immediately i respectfully ask that you allow this to go forward thank you very much
next speaker is david b kent followed by lisa tramovich and laurie souza david b kent please unmute yourself
good evening well apparently we’re all talking about the same issue tonight the the referendum
uh i would like to express my gratitude to the city clerk for doing her duty
upholding the law and preventing our city from descending into administrative
gridlock where no legitimate policies can be implemented based on the illegitimate actions of a
disgruntled political action committee this entire episode which is a direct
attack on our system of representative government also makes me question if moni knop is
fit to serve as our next mayor according to the independent newspaper
money was a leader in the petition gathering the citizens of livermore elect the
mayor and their district councilperson to represent their interests and act on
their behalf this is how a representative government works apparently money doesn’t agree
as mayor will moani fail to act and simply kick every decision back to the
voters and will he delay the implementation of every vital city program
until the next election because he is uncertain and inexperienced if so city services would would come to
a complete stop if if money opposed the downtown plan
including the locations of the hotel stockman’s park and affordable housing
why didn’t he circulate a petition to block the plan at the time these legislative acts were taken that was in
early 2018. well probably it’s because virtually everyone including the independent
supported building affordable housing at l street and railroad avenue
that was what came out overwhelmingly in the outreach process and everyone supported it at least right
up until the very moment when it looked like housing would actually be built
and 130 working families would have a safe and affordable place to live
did people really support affordable housing here or were they just going through the motions
i think it was a ladder moni’s claim let the people decide is self-serving the people decided in 2016
when they removed two council people who had an unpopular vision for downtown and in 2018 the voters rejected every
candidate who opposed the new downtown plan in 2020 the voters again upheld the
location of the hotel by a two to one margin and in the fall the voters elected
supporters of the new downtown plan and rejected naysayers such as moani who
sought only to dither and to delay completion of our downtown
so what is moani really saying let the special interests decide
let their money talk and screw the will of the people if money is opposed to representative
could you uh your time is up if you just conclude yep if if he’s opposed to
representative government why is he seeking office and will he represent only special interests when mayor
thank you next speaker is lisa tramovich followed
by laurie souza and lenny thompson lisa tramovich please don’t meet yourself
uh hello uh honorable mayor and council i’m lisa tramovich livermore resident
and homeowner i’m taking this moment to support city clerk marie weber’s recent action to
deny the petition for move eden housing because it is simply not a referendable
item the city clerk is an elections official for our city she is a constitutional
officer with a duty to the citizens as a whole to uphold the election laws the duties she performs support not just our
city but the democracy of the united states lawyers for a recently formed group
calling themselves move-eating housing are attempting to intimidate marie into altering her assessment and
determination and submit petition signatures for further review against the rules and laws that govern the use of taxpayer
dollars to put a referendum on the ballot this group is pressuring our city clerk
for their own erratic political purposes i’m sorry she’s going through this and i
want her and council to know there are citizens out here who support her and
anyone willing to stand up for what’s right against those using money and intimidation to get what they want
without regard for the democratic process that process has already been fully respected in the case of the downtown
development including the use of housing funds to purchase the land and the requirement to build housing on a
portion of that land we’ve had multiple elections referendums and propositions and months and months
and months of public engagement activities we are now simply moving forward on due process already taken
the beautifully designed eden housing project will complement the adorable legacy apartments almost completed these
projects are part of the overall plan to support local businesses and our city as a whole
everyone i’ve spoken with looks forward to these much needed additions to our city my friends and co-workers support
marie lee and all city staff working against bullies and instead keeping our city moving
forward i commend our city clerk marie weber and the rest of our city staff who literally
worked tirelessly to help create the wonderful city of livermore that we all
enjoy thank you very much [Music]
the next speaker is laurie souza followed by laning thompson and gene king lori souza please don’t meet
yourself good evening mayor warner city council
members and staff i’m laurie souza and i’ve lived in livermore for 43 years my comments this evening are directed to
marie webber marie i want you to know that the vast majority of the residents in livermore
appreciate your integrity in fulfilling your role of constitutional officer
you recently had to deny a request from the move eden housing group knowing they would likely respond
unprofessionally i was disappointed to read the exchange you have had to have with the move eden
housing group they’re not interested in the truth or fairness their actions are not beneficial to anyone
it’s outrageous that they are suggesting that we’re you’re wasting taxpayers money when they’ve been wasting millions
of our taxpayers dollars over the last few years even though they tried to intimidate you
and with their disingenuous posturing you have shown great courage and leadership in upholding the law they’re
attempting to once again mislead livermore residents by claiming this action is that of the city council
instead of acknowledging it is what it is a legal matter i’m sorry you have to
deal with this it can’t be easy your job is challenging and sometimes disheartening and you have earned our
respect and gratitude thank you for standing up to these bullies and for doing the right thing
thank you next speaker is lanny thompson followed
by gene king and robin groth hill landing thompson please don’t meet yourself
good evening council members as a long time affordable housing
advocate and current officer of interfaith housing i find it reprehensible that the group known as
safe livermore downtown slash move eden housing
etc is accusing marie webber our city clerk of not doing her job properly when in
fact she is doing just that fulfilling her obligations as the city’s election
official city attorney jason alcala has determined that the council’s made 23rd
decision to amend its previous legislation regarding sale of the parcel at the
southeast corner of railroad nell streets to eden housing is not in itself a legislative action
and therefore is not eligible for a referendum this property was purchased 17 years ago
with affordable housing funds specifically for the construction of apartments for families who can’t
otherwise afford to live and work in livermore there is a national shortage of workers
to staff restaurants and hotels drive buses and perform countless other tasks we count
on every day and the situation is even worse in livermore because the cost of housing is
extremely high move eden housing’s petition to challenge the council’s recent decision
so that some future council might decide something different what’s on
shaky grounds to start with and is just another of their delaying tactics
i pray that future council members will be able to discern that the elite citizen group’s
alternative plans to move the housing across the street are impractical unworkable and possibly
unfundable and probably just a ploy to ultimately eliminate this desperately
needed affordable housing as our election official ms weber weber’s job is to ensure that
our elections are completely legal and that ballot issues are not inc
encumbered by confusing trumped-up referenda i see her actions as totally appropriate
in this case thank you next speaker is gene king followed by
robin grothhill and alan marling gene king please don’t meet yourself
good evening this is jean king i ask you to submit the referendum petitions for
verification the more than 8 000 who signed the petition are asking for a voice in the development of the downtown
the signers must not be ignored we are not a small group more citizens would be here this evening
to speak in person but are discouraged since most comments must wait until the
end of the meeting but it is uncertain how late that will be i’m not saying there’s anything wrong
with the process to have the agenda items heard before the citizens forum just that it does make it less likely
for citizens to wait to speak until the end i thank you for accepting written comments by email and including them in
the supplemental comments in the agenda packet in that packet there are 75 additional
comments submitted there in favor of the referendum and allowing a vote
there are four comments supporting the city this is such an important decision for
the heart of our city let the citizens be heard listen to us take our comments
seriously we are not a small group we are largely supported by the community members
citizens have the voice with the city development they should be speaking the voice and deciding what is
going on downtown the legal decisions about what exactly
is the proper legal method to move forward will be made by
knowledgeable legal authorities in the meantime let’s make sure that the
voices of the citizens are heard thank you very much
next speaker is robin groth hill followed by alan marlin and alan burnham robin groth hill please and meet
can you hear me hi this is robin grove hill and i am a lifetime livermore resident 53 years
third generation of livermore um family to be here obviously i’m very invested
with what’s going on downtown given that my old dealership was the site um where
the legacy buildings are now built i am very frustrated sitting back
watching the citizens of little moore be withheld a voice and a
part to be in this decision to loan the money to eden and also to
complete this purchase before this can go to a vote to the citizens
if you know what i’m hearing is all of these people saying that everybody’s for it that’s not been my experience
everybody i’ve spoken to and again i know a lot of people in this town being here 53 years i’ve not heard anybody
that is for the downtown placement of the affordable housing everybody is for affordable housing just
not in that location so i believe that it is something that
the city council should put to a vote of the citizens if you are so sure that
this is what the citizens of livermore want there is no harm in letting us have a voice come november and finding out
that this truly is what is voted by for by the majority of livermore citizens so
i believe that the referendum should whether the referendum stands or not stands but this
should be put in some capacity towards a vote to deliver more citizens so we can
find out once and for all what the majority of livermore wants thank you
the next speaker is alan marling followed by alan burnham and marianne brent allen marlin please add meet
yourself i’m born and raised in livermore uh
mayor and council members first of all i would like to thank the city clerk mary webber for her work she is doing her job
in service to livermore and does not deserve to be attacked for following the law
i wish i could say that respect for the law is shared by the move eden housing campaign and its plutocratic sponsors
they view our legal system as a tool to veto decisions made by democratically elected officials even unanimous votes
in favor of affordable housing the plutocrats are willing to fundraise for lawsuits that delay necessary
infrastructure no matter how many taxpayer dollars that litigation wastes
this referendum is no different first of all it’s illegal the past administrative decision made by
the city council cannot be changed no matter how many signatures you pay people to gather
the referendum organizers knew this but still deliberately wasted everyone’s time signing outside supermarkets as a
promotional stunt for move eden housing and as another delayed tactic
neither can eden housing be moved the city doesn’t own the alternative land
and even if it did trying to relocate the affordable housing would delay it by at least half a decade
housing is a matter of social justice and justice delayed is justice denied
campaigning to move eden housing is a continuation of the smoke and mirrors deception from the independence owner
jones seppla strip away the unethical journalism and impossible promises and
you have a campaign platform against affordable housing in a housing crisis i would like to
think that livermore is better than that the move eden housing campaign claims
the signatures they gather gives them a mandate nothing could be further from the truth
the people they paid to lurk outside supermarkets pitched the referendum as a
way to help house the homeless people signed in support of affordable housing like eden not against it they
wouldn’t have been so quick to sign if the paid gatherers had been at all truthful say if they had said will you
waste a few minutes of your time to delay local affordable housing another year to satisfy the whims of plutocrats
joan suppla and gene king who think they own the town and are furious they don’t
own the city council yet anyway sign here the affordable housing is for people
making our wine people answering calls at the police station people caring for
our elderly in nursing homes and people teaching our kids we owe so much to these workers and to
return their service by scornfully denying them a place to live is not the
coming of livermore thank you excuse me mayor and council members we
have five minutes remaining in citizens forum
the next speaker is ellen burnham followed by marion brent and jackie coda alan burnham please don’t meet yourself
for four years group known as save livermore downtown has worked against the city on
revitalizing a town instead of with it wasting both their money and the city’s money most recently they collected
signatures on a referendum with legality that is dubious at best sld either knew
or should have known that it was likely that any such vote if held would be meaningless so it was clearly just a
political ploy now that the city clerk has declined
to process the referendum signatures moral outrage accompanies their disa information campaign
i support the city clerk not doing something of such a dubious legality
i will restate my position i have expressed earlier two to three years ago it might have been possible to come up
with a compromise plan that would be better than the current plan but the ship has sailed if the city
is not sued by the save little more downtown group or one of their affiliates it will be sued by affordable
housing groups unless someone comes up with tens of millions of dollars very soon we will get the current eden plan
or worse after wasting more time and money on pointless posturing it’s too bad that they didn’t put a
referendum in front uh or collect students for a referendum for raising 50 million dollars give or take in order to
move the housing plan if they really wanted to move it and see how the voters thought about that sort of
initiative thank you very much
next speaker is marianne brent followed by jackie cota and doug mann marianne brent please unmute yourself
good evening mayor werner and council members and staff i am disappointed that the city wishes
to reject a petition for a referendum against the transfer of land to eden housing
however the legal decision regarding the petition is not yet concluded
the progress of the petition has been interrupted livermore voters have a right to
petition the city the city accepted their petition
and the city clerk had a duty under the elections quote to process the petition
this did not happen little more voters who signed the
petition for a referendum deserve to be recognized the petition should be processed and
forwarded to alameda county registrar voters which checks that the signatures are
from people who are registered to vote in livermore the referendum then returns to livermore
where the city can adopt the referendum or put it to a vote in november
livermore voters wishes need to be recognized that is the issue here
thank you for allowing me to speak
next speaker is jackie coda followed by doug mann and money knopf jackie excuse
me i think this will be the uh last speaker before we uh pick it up at the end of the meeting
jackie coda please don’t meet yourself
over the last two years we’ve seen council take steps consistently to punitively punish community members for
exercising their rights according to the law why are we surprised when presented with 8 000 plus signatures in one month
gathering we the people’s objection to more stack impact building than the heart of our downtown looming over
blacksmith square is ignored let livermore vote eight thousand plus livermore citizens
signed petitions to qualify a referendum giving city voters a voice on the location of any more housing why do you
feel it’s fair to sell city property to only a single entity i thought you had an obligation to present for sale
property to bid i could be wrong but it doesn’t seem equitable or inclusive
the city should be respecting the process and allowing a vote just like they did with the hotel location
this has not been voted on by the people in fact the community outreach um unlike
what was said previously said that people wanted open space and to maintain the downtown ambiance our community
members have spoken in swift action multiple times the fact the city is playing political games with the preservation of our downtown audience is
puzzling when presented with the facts that more there will be more housing where that parking lot is currently the
community is against it no matter how many special interest comments council picks meetings with community members
are against it furthermore the city marketing as workforce housing trying to appeal to the uninformed motion by
painting misinformation that first responders and teachers will be living there is unconscionable salary levels of
those professions exceed eden’s limits we’d rather it remain an open lot then why not farmers markets can be there
local car shows food trucks festivals would be much better use of that space complementing the black box theater and
science center and um unlike mr he them who said the city doesn’t own other land they do across from heritage uh estates
there’s city-owned property outright right there they can move it and there’s schools fuel grocery stores over there
so why not farmers markets can be you know where the current open space is local car shows like i said there’s
plenty of other spaces we’ve presented that make more sense for housing well i encourage every community member to remember this from going to the polls in
november this council on their personal agendas have gone too far certainly do not re-elect any current or previous
council mayoral members people are moving to livermore because they enjoy the ambience of our downtown festivals ultimate car cruisers shows
parades rodeos and the good hometown feeling don’t ruin our center gathering places by infringing on commuting the
open space with intrusive housing don’t forget about what the city is doing to our downtown come this november it’s
time for livermore to get back to making livermore great again
okay that concludes the first 30 minutes of our citizens forum we’ll pick it up
again after 7.3 we’re now on to the consent calendar
consent calendar items are considered routine in nature and are acted upon by the city council with a single action
members of the audience wishing to provide public input must submit uh speaker carter used the
raise hand feature in zoom during the public comment period to comment on any of the consent
calendar items uh and before i go to public comment would the council like to pull any of
the items for discussion council member monroe
um i do not wish to do that but what i did want to do is actually return to the
proclamation i believe i saw the mcc zoo moderator generally we allow someone receiving a
proclamation to have a comment um i don’t think we did that and i just wanted to uh see if we could return
there briefly and give a chance for a response
okay uh you you saw this earlier but didn’t let us know or anyway go ahead is there
someone who would like to i i saw it during public comment and did not have a way to really respond this is the first
opportunity sorry that’s fine
hello council yeah yes thank you so much for allowing me to
speak this is munir safi with the muslim community center uh good evening mayor
and council thank you so much for honoring our state’s designation of august being muslim appreciation and awareness month uh this is the seventh
year this destination has happened in california uh and this is the second year this happened in livermore i can
tell you the hundreds of muslim families in livermore and the nearly 15 000 muslims in the tri-valley we truly
appreciate the livermore city council presenting this proclamation today uh so i’m representing the pleasanton muslim
community center we um serve the entire tri-valley we’re a vibrant regional mosque and
we’ve been on uh in pleasant for the past 11 years and i’m also joined by colleagues in congregation from the
islamic center of livermore they’re all they were watching online and probably are still watching i just want to quickly say american
muslims we’ve lived and contributed to our community since our country’s founding in the last decade and a half the impact of islamophobia has been real
but despite this we continue to do our blood drives our bulletin drives our highway cleanups our
weekly food distributions we have an open door policy at our friday services we serve as a red cross
disaster site uh host esl classes interfaith events open houses uh we’re
green moss special needs friendly mosque so you can hear we’re just part and parcel of our community and i can tell
you that this recognition makes a world of difference for your livermore constituents who are muslim so again on
behalf of livermore resident and center muslim and tri-valley residents who are muslim we thank you so much for the
support from the proclamation and this recognition thank you well thank you for all your do and thank
you councilman monroe for uh recognizing that he was still in the audience so thank you very much
so sorry about that and zoom is just an odd thing to work with isn’t it yeah
okay so i’ve seen no counselor wants to pull any of the
consent calendar items for separate discussion i’ll at this point open public comment
on the consent calendar is there anyone who wishes to address us on any of the items
yes mayor there are three requests to speak the first is from aces straw followed by pranam chef and carl winty
aces stroup please don’t meet yourself hi uh thank you i just wanted to uh
thank you for taking the time um for this um i was looking over the matters in consideration i was actually um
thinking about this for the last couple of months and i’ve noticed that you guys are authorizing the purchase of a couple
items here and i was wondering um why we’re even voting on this if anything we
should be taking these things to the people to vote on this i know we’re purchasing something for 250 000 that’s
a lot of money um we should be taking all of these items off and then taking it to the the people um simply because
we are purchasing things and um as we’ve heard the last couple of uh days in the local media and uh in tonight’s public
comment um that purchases like this should not be um voted on by council even though
you were voted on to do so that they should be taken to the people um and for anybody listening
if uh that sounded ridiculous is because it was complete sarcasm all of these items are you know
standard uh things that the council does and if the everybody
in livermore was expected to vote onto these sort of items nothing and i mean absolutely
nothing would get done these are the things that we have voted
everybody on this council to do to represent the citizens live more and i’m thankful that they’re
taking their time to do so because if we didn’t we might as well abolish the council on the mayor and just have a
direct democracy for every single item and get nothing done so again i want to thank you for your
time i want to thank the staff for putting all this information together and providing it to the public so we can see
in a transparent manner how this money is being um appropriated for various things that
keep our city running smoothly um for everybody’s benefit and that’s my comment thank you
next speaker is pronum chef followed by carl wintee and jackie coda pranam chef please don’t meet yourself
hello there hi this is pranam sheth uh he used to be a resident livermore and then pleasanton and active involvement
in many items concerning valley this is regarding uh 5.9 which is the um
the resolution to temporarily suspend the airport development policy and create new policy
as council is well aware there was over 6 500 people signing petition to
[Music] really against the kaiser project which is a large project um
and another 1500 people actually read council in 2004 if you recall um really not looking for an airport
expansion um i do applaud the um airport management for wanting to redevelop the
uh policy um it’s it’s outdated and uh needs a lot of work
what really does no need to happen is that in the development this policy my recommendation is that you actually
select non-aviation related citizens to be part of the committee to develop this policy
the city of livermore has two major impacts um in that development of the airport
one is that you actually set the policy of how development happens this is something
that the faa doesn’t do the second thing is you as council and and the city of livermore
you set the policy the land use so if you want large hangars you can put large hangers in your policy
if you want a certain restriction on height which would lower the types of planes or the types of activities on
that land you get to set it this is something that livermore staff have highly failed to
consistently inform the council that they actually you actually have control on the airport land and its land
use and the policy so my recommendation on this particular resolution several things one is it has
community involvement non-a non-aviation related members are on the committee so that the public
voice the community voice the mass majority of citizens is involved in the development of this
policy and not just something that’s built from a set of airport principles and rubber-stamped later
second is direction to airport staff to put in this policy
what is needed to either limit or restrict the land use that the citizens of livermore have
asked for for over 15 years now third is the transparency
that all applications are immediately provided and made public as opposed to be hidden they’re right now hidden you
can’t find out what they are um in whatever the current process is
so at the end of the day really make sure that this policy and this is the direction i’d like for you to give to um the airport staff that the
policies align with the public sentiment of no large fpos large jets and
additional noise this is your choice now council i want to thank you very much
thank you next speaker is carl wintee followed by
jackie coda carl winty please don’t meet yourself
hello city council mr mayor uh staff of the great city of livermore my name is
carl wente i’ve been in this town around this town for five generations and care
deeply and i’m talking on the consent calendar which is about really the process of
government what is good government how does government work and we are a constitutional representative democratic
republic um and then the constitutions are stacked with the u.s constitution which
laid out the three the legislative uh executive and judicial uh california constitution which per
article two section nine does provide for referendum process process of government california constitution then
there’s alameda county general plan city of livermore general plan there’s various other area plans specific plans
that go into it but good government is a process and the good thing about it too is
we document this stuff so we can bear witness we can go back and look at what the truth was of situations because of
the process like this again i’m speaking on the consent calendar as a representation of how you go from our
proclamations to our open to the consent matters uh or to
matters for consideration to matters initiated part of the process that goes through
and so legislative executive and judicial but in the city the legislative and executive sort of
overlay with the city manager and how it operates and the mayor so that becomes administrative and article two section
nine per this good government and this flow sort of clearly states what our legislative acts and what our
administrative verse executive what are judicial because of this stacked constitution because of how this process
works so i just like to again thank the city government the people that can
help us continue to make this work this this worst form of government except for every other form of
government that’s ever been and it happens indeed because of people
of the people by the people for the people by all means follow the process follow the good books of those staffed
constitutions go back and where we can go through and we understand how it works so i just want to say thank you
for those that care that lean in and that are trying to hold this little experiment together the best that we can
i’d also like to thank those who put on a bulletproof vest to go to work keep us safe those who wear a badge
those that are fighting fires and knock on wood uh may we not have fires come our way
but just those that serve take part in the community i salute you the elected officials ye mr mayor city council thank
you for serving thank you city staff for knowing your duty is to have this be an
open public and purposely slow process
you know our voices matter so i appreciate everyone leaning in speaking up and caring about our city namaste
the next speaker is jackie coda checky coda please unmute yourself
thank you i’m speaking specifically about uh on the consent calendar there’s a couple of
items uh with regard to like to make a few um uh comments um the
fleet service truck uh the petersons truck in corp um incorporated
um you know i i think it’s good to see that um the city is is spending money
where uh it’s appropriate because um city services and law enforcement truly what is
government’s um number one role and that is to serve the people we the people
um one more item also you know that’s on here is the airport policy i see that
it’s going to be rewritten i just want people to keep in mind you know that um you know increasing hanger space so that
repairs can be done over at livermore airport is not such a bad thing actually it’s
it’s a good thing and plus you know everybody who’s purchased a home within the flight path you’ve all been warned and you’ve all been notified years and
years ago i know i was when i was considering buying a house over in that area that the airport would be expanded
so the fact that people are bellyaching about it still is is unconscionable but
more so as far as we’re wrapping it up with regard to the consent calendar mr strout’s comments being um quite
sarcastic you know um we the people have a right to make comments public comments
on any item that we want and um you know telling people as far as the consent calendar some people that are online
right now think that the council is going to cover each agenda item that they have to wait until they uh raise their hand until they get to that agenda
item before they make a comment not realizing that on the consent calendar they need to speak up about anything
underneath there right now otherwise they’re going to lose their opportunity that not being clarified before has made
it so that people on zoom in the past have had their voices squashed just like the referendum where the people the will
of the people are being squashed you know it’s not okay if people want to speak up it’s
they it’s important for the council to listen to we the people because that’s their job to listen and when they
don’t listen then we the people have to take steps to force them to listen especially when
they’re contradictory in their words and actions and not only that when they spread misinformation
such as saying that the city clerk is an elected position it’s not it’s not an
elected position i’m saying that she’s miss ms webber’s being bullied hey
following the legal process is not bullying someone and then coming back and blaming something on money knock
you know that’s absolutely ridiculous you know these consent items that are here under the calendar these are for
what the council needs to be reviewing as well as the public and saying that someone who is against something that
someone the community is bringing to the city is bullying is ridiculous
mayor at this time there are no more requests to speak close the public comment bring it back
to the council any uh discussion or do i have a motion council member carling
yes think i just wanted some clarity on 5.9 mr
brought that up about the makeup of the the folks that would work on the policy
uh are what what is the do we get to weigh in on that at some later date
uh i know we’re just going to approve the fact that we want to suspend the current policy but i just
wanted to know what the process would be moving forward can somebody help me with that
absolutely um honorable mayor if i may this is your city manager mariana matashiva
council member carling you’re absolutely right item 5.9 will suspend the current
administrative policy we do not have a council approved comprehensive development policy
staff will take time to draft a comprehensive policy and that policy will go through
at least two rounds of review one is with the airport commission that is
comprised of pilots and non-pilots and there will be an opportunity for the public to weigh in
on that policy during commission meeting or meetings the second round of reviews will be with
the city council where the city council will review the commission’s recommendations and staffs
recommendations as well hopefully that answers your question councilmember carlene yes great thank you very much
thank you mayor any other comments
so i’ll just say that on that i’m pleased that that 5.9 is on the agenda
i think that’s what we need to do to look at the airport and to get the
input on it so do i anybody care to make a motion for the consent calendar councilmember
monroe i’ll move the consent calendar a second okay moved and seconded uh any further
discussion if not we have a roll call please that’s member carly hi councilmember
kate hi councilmember monroe hi mr bonanno is
unanimously uh we’re on now to uh 6.1 hearing to adopt a resolution approving the waiver
and refund of a 132 k in penalties and interest related to the delinquent special taxes
levied in the city of livermore community facilities district 99-1
that’s the tri-valley technology park on property owned by the livermore valley joint unified school district we have
the staff presentation please yes good evening honorable mayor warner and members of the city council this is
your city manager mariana martial item 6.1 will be presented by tina olsen the
city’s administrative services director ms olsen
miss olson if you’re trying to speak we can’t hear you must be muted
there we go sorry i’m going to try again with this do you hear me now
we can hear you miss olsen but we can’t see your slides anymore if you could put them up please
almost there let’s go there you go thank you okay
uh good evening sorry about this
uh so good evening mayor warner
yesterday uh good evening mayor warner city council members this is tina olson your
administrative services director to provide some background
on this evening the item before you this evening in 1999 the city established the community facilities district or cfd
99-1 to support the tri-valley technology park development that allowed the city to levy special taxes in that
district to be used to repay bonds and related administrative expenses those bonds were used to help pay for
infrastructure improvements and the tri valley technology park area in 2018 the livermore school district
acquired three properties in cfd 99-1 the school district mistakenly thought
it was exempt from paying the cfd taxes and therefore did not pay them for four years
in march of this year the school district paid the back cfd taxes and 132
562 dollars in penalties and interest the school district requested a waiver
and refunded those penalties in interest since we do not require the 132 562
dollars to pay debt service on the bonds or to administer the cfd staff supports the school district’s
request to waive and refund the penalties and interest as such
staff recommends the city council hold a public hearing and approve waiver and refund of the school district’s cfp
penalties and interest after deducting expenses of two thousand dollars incurred by the city to address
delinquency and waiver requests and that concludes my presentation and
i’m available for any questions okay i’ll open the public hearing at this point is there anyone who wishes to
address us your no comments have been received
close the closing the public hearing on 6.1 bring it back to the council of for
deliberation any questions comments or a motion
move approval thank you councilmember monroe hey well
a second thank you moved in seconded uh no further discussion do we have a roll call please remember carlene hi
councilmember kik aye councilmember monroe aye
voicemail banana is absent for the record and mayor warner aye passes uh unanimously thank you
we’re on to 6.2 hearing to consider comments and protests relating to the disposition of
city-owned property at 2324 second street that’s the former switch and two um
to mr michael messenger for the purposes of converting it from an office to restaurant use and a resolution
improving the sale of the property and authorizing the city manager to execute the first amendment to the purchase and
sale agreement with michael messenger to update the schedule of development we
have the staff presentation first yes honorable mayor warner members of the city council this is once again your
city manager mariana marshawa item 6.2 will be presented by fran reisner our
housing programs manager ms reisner okay thank you ms marshava
oh excuse me one second
okay um can everyone see my see my screen properly now
yes miss rice we can see you very much thank you okay good evening honorable mayor and city council i am fran risner
housing programs manager tonight for council’s consideration our actions and approvals necessary to
complete the disposition of the 23 24 2nd street property to the buyer mr michael messenger
the subject property is located at the corner of south livermore avenue and 2nd street
the building was constructed in 1928 to house the bell telephone service and
continuously operated as a telephone related use until the city’s former redevelopment agency purchased it from
svc in 2004. the building was intermittently used for storage until 2011 when the city
solicited letters of interest from prospective buyers and selected mr michael messenger who proposed to
convert the building into a restaurant use mr messenger also owns the pete’s
coffee and tequila’s taqueria building next door and his concept creates some
opportunities for synergy between the properties upon dissolution of the redevelopment
agency the asset was transferred to the city the city’s long-range property
management plan identified the site to be sold to mr messenger for the stated purpose and the oversight board for the
former redevelopment agency approved that plan and in 2021 the city entered into a
purchase and sale agreement with mr messenger so under the terms of the purchase and
sales agreement the buyer will mr messenger will pay 860 thousand
dollars to the city for the building as is in its current condition the buyer will redesign the property to
convert it to a restaurant use as mentioned and that that use will
support the development goals of the city’s downtown specific plan as a condition to complete the sale the
buyer is required to secure a downtown design approval and a consistency determination with the historic
requirements both of these approvals are being processed at staff level
included in the staff report and displayed here is a are rendered images of the proposed
design mr messenger has proposed significant upgrades to the building including the addition of a raised patio
deck along livermore avenue and 2nd street new windows and doors the installation
of elevator access to all floors a rooftop patio for dining
and landscaping and lighting improvements staff is currently working with him to finalize the design
the purchase and sales agreement also requires the buyer to submit building plans for all structural and tenant
improvements and sets the date for transfer to occur no later than december 31st of this year
so the design processors as you can see there’s another angle a view of the proposed design
the design process is nearly complete and now the purchase and sales agreement needs to be amended with the schedule of
development adjusted to reflect the updated development timeline according to the amended timeline
conditions would remain in place to ensure the buyer makes progress on his proposed plans as
follows so the buyer as i mentioned will secure all design approvals and clearances uh
estimated at the end of this month or early part of august the buyer will submit a building permit
application for all structural and tenant improvements to the city’s building division by november 1st
and will secure a determination of completeness with that application from the city’s
building official by december 1st and under the agreement the city manager would be authorized to further adjust
deadlines with the exception of the deadline to close escrow which is necessary
to maintain in order to comply with an exemption from rules
current property disposition rules imposed by the state so
now staff recommends city council um hear any comments and protests on the
following actions related to the disposition of the 23 24 2nd street uh property and adopt a resolution
authorizing the following um take final action to approve the sale of the property as set forth by government code
sections 37 422 dash though through 37 423
and and authorized the city manager to sign on behalf of the city of livermore the first amendment to the purchase and sale
agreement with mr michael messenger and all related documents necessary to effectuate the sale of the property
subject to city uh attorney’s form approval and this concludes staff’s presentation i am able to answer any
questions that you may have okay thank you uh open the public
hearing on this item do we have anybody who wishes to address us miss mayor there is one request to speak
alan vernon please then meet yourself
uh yeah this is alan burnham um and people earlier were talking about how long they’ve lived here i’ve lived here
for 45 years just in case that makes any difference which it probably should not anyway um
i was not planning to speak on this i didn’t even know about the the architectural design but what what we
heard earlier this evening was a lot of people complaining about something after the decision is made it was too late
well i would like to register my objection now to the architectural style i think it fails by a long margin
of having an architectural style compatible with
the downtown now i realize you’re dealing with a sales uh agreement here and the final the design is not
finalized but what i’m concerned about is that oh is that uh you know if if
now’s not the time to object about the the architectural when will it be and will be too late so i think that there
needs to be a clause in here that the the architectural style has to change significantly to make it more compatible
with the downtown um and i give an example of of the the
spark theater where they actually tried to uh come up with a design which
balanced historical architecture with with kind of a modern feel and and when i looked at this particular design i was
reminded of the book the fountainhead some of you may have read that i read it 50 some years ago
where um howard roark designed a building and then somebody uh well he with a less derogatory uh
uh term than people changed the designs we went and blew it up well that was kind of my impression of what this
architectural style has done to this particular building i realize it needs to have substantial uh renovation but it
just it looks like um two architectural styles which are completely incompatible and and that’s
so so basically i want to make sure that if you approve this tonight that that um
there’s not a decision ever coming forth that this particular design gets passed thank you very much
mayor at this time there are no more requests to speak i would like a possible staff to respond to mr
burnham’s question about the design approval process
mr mayor this is paul spence your community development director this scale of design is approvable at
staff level if the council has concerns about design
you can let us know this evening and or direct us to bring it back to you for final
approval okay thank you uh
so at this point i’ll bring it back to uh council for uh deliberation
i um i’ll just say i uh some of mr burnham’s comments uh resonate with
me and uh i would like to see some uh input from
the community and the council on the design uh any other comments from anyone on the
council council member carly
yeah i agree with the mayor right um i guess they’re wondering
in one slide shows just to be clear the the rendering looking at it
from the corner of second and livermore um
i see tiled roof in the back that’s the original building if i’m not mistaken and then
the part that he’s talking about renovating and turning into a restaurant was built in 67 is that correct
correct so the the historic part of the building is the portion that you see with the
uh with the tile roof and our historic guidelines do require
that you not have a faux historicism so we shouldn’t mimic that style but um
that’s um that’s about as far as those guidelines go so you need to be distinct and different
i guess the other thing that i would say is if the council would like us to take this through a public hearing process
we might also ask for the discretion for the city manager to allow the sale to move forward by the
end of the year we don’t want the sale date to be held up by a public hearing process here
yeah yeah i agree with moving the sail forward i guess i would appreciate the
opportunity to look at the at the plans at some point after the sale and after
after mr messenger works with city staff on the design so thank you
councilmember monroe i i would concur with that
i’m looking at the designs right now and i walk by that pretty frequently
it doesn’t do much for me on the other hand i also want to be mindful of being deep
in the weeds there’s some balance here there’s also some balance between
being true to the historic nature of this building which has been around a long time and seen a lot
and with it was moving forward so um but yes let’s let’s let the sale go
forward so that we can um begin the work that we we need to do to
complete the downtown council councilmember kick
uh i actually like it so i think it doesn’t really matter though because i don’t think that’s our job i
think we should let planning to commission look into that and um you know
i i don’t i don’t want us to get too mentally uh in in figuring out what what a design should look like we’re trying
to get a sale done um also just in general
i i think that it’s okay to have things that are new and different sometimes than having the
entire downtown look exactly the same so um i just wouldn’t stress on it is what i’m saying
uh i would like to move that we take staff recommendation and um
approve the sale of this building um that i think will be a very cool restaurant
with the caveat that the design will come back through the planning commission
through the planning commission i’m pretty sure they have to have the design go through the planning commission whether we ask for it or not am i that’s
nothing that’s not what i heard it is a staff level approval but again
the council could ask us to go to the planning commission so if you’re so my request is that your
motion be to make approved staff recommendations with the proviso that the design comes through the planning
commission and the public process
i don’t know that we need all of that i think it’s really unnecessary so my my
motion is to have us take stock recommendation no one agrees to second then that’s on them
all second okay moved in the seconded
i i believe we should look at the uh you know the design
needs to another look so you’ve uh moved and seconded so let’s have a roll call
that’s one more carly can i ask for clarification i mean that approving the sale
and the following the the dates provided in the presentation
don’t obviate the request to bring the design back to us for
review at some later date does it well let’s let’s just be clear
that wasn’t if you we have let’s ask staff but if we were approved staff
recommendations as is it’s not coming back
that’s correct if you approve the recommendation uh staff would work with the applicant on the final design and it
would move forward with the identified schedule right so that’s why i’m a little confused councilmember carlin because you
said you wanted to see the design and now you’re moving it without reviewing the design so i don’t know which way we’re going here
good question i was confused as well so i okay so the way the staff
recommendation we wouldn’t see it again is that right that’s right
well i don’t know what we do at this point well you can withdraw your second
or we can vote and you can vote no i got kicked out so i missed what
happened we need to
well i was confused about uh what we were considering
um i thought that approving the sale by the end of the year to me that was the important thing
um if if i may um yes please pardon me sorry um thank you councilmember um i think as
paul mentioned uh the key date is to be able to complete the sale um
by the end of the year as you mentioned the agreement the amendment authorizes
the city manager to modify the other dates um so the deadlines for
the applicant to submit to get a design approval and to submit
um building plans that reflect that design approval
so i think under the current agreement it would give flexibility to the applicant too so if if there was
additional design review that the council wanted then we would still under the
proposed agreement be able to be flexible i think with those particular dates um and potentially
depending on the level of review move them past the sale date but the sale date is is
the critical path here so um being able to move forward as is with
the sale date um of december 31st approved would be
um i think critical for the applicant for the buyer right so here’s
my recommendation is that we do that we approve moving forward with the sale
date and we make it crystal clear we’re talking about this coming back for
design review and if we just go with stack recommendations
it’s not required so council member carly you’ve got i believe you have the choice you can withdraw your second or we can proceed
with the vote and you can vote no or you can vote yes depending on what you want to do can he second with an amendment or
do a friendly amendment just so we can make this go faster well that’s what i was asking for in the
first place so let’s just do you both want to withdraw your
first and second then we’ll start okay yes
i will withdraw my first and re-first that move that we go with stack
recommendation i don’t think it needs to come back to us i don’t need i think it needs to have a big public comment
period i think we should let planning commission do that if necessary and people can
explain commission if they need to um i just don’t want to get in the habit of us continuing to delay projects
because we’re getting really picky about stuff so that makes sense right okay so you’re moving
staff recommendations with the caveat the design pass through the planning commission
yes but that doesn’t need to come back to us that’s fine
so is there a second yeah a second
okay council member monroe i just wasn’t sure how fast
councilmember carling was going to second but he did so okay can we have a uh roll call please
thanks member carly all right councilmember kick hi councilmember monroe
unanimously okay um we’re on to um
i think one of the main events 6.3 hearing to consider a request for a site
plan design review investing tentative track map to develop the northeast corner of portola avenue and collier
canyon road which would implement the isabel neighborhood specific plan we have staff presentation please
yes good evening once again honorable mayor warner members of the city council this is mariana maruscheva your city
manager item 6.3 will be presented by jake potter associate planner
mr potter yes thank you let me just share my screen here
one moment please all right so as described you know good evening mayor and members of city
council we’ll be discussing the shea portola project that does implement the isabel neighborhood specific plan
so by way of background the outreach for the israel neighborhood specific plan began back in 2014
and carried on through public hearings through 2018 and ultimately into 2020
when the city council adopted the final plan and in 2020 the city council made the
decision for land use and density for the entire plant area and the goal here was for a walkable
bikeable transit oriented development you can see here i’m showing the land use plan
for the specific plan and it’s located within the northwest part of the city and it’s about 1100 acres in size
the plan contemplates about 4 000 residential units and tonight’s project is located
here this is known as site 2b within the plant area
so zooming into the specific project site it’s about 13 acres in size located at
the corner of collier canyon road and portola avenue there is the existing montage residential community to the north
and the overall project proposes 299 total units that consists of 89 condominium units
for sale on the western side of the site and 210 for rent luxury apartments on the
eastern side of the site the condominium units consist of individual floor plans from
about 1 600 feet in size to 2 400 feet in size while the luxury apartments consist of
units from about 700 to 1300. feet in square feet in size
now the project is similar in height to the montage sort of community to the north both exhibiting three-story
development and it is of a similar density near 25 billion units an acre
you can see primary access for this proposed site plan occurs off of portola avenue here at a new signalized
intersection with secondary access at the northeast corner along dovecote lane
and emergency vehicle access as well on dovecote lane other features of the site include
parklets scattered throughout the project and a central pool deck area for the apartment side of the project
now as stated in the previous slide it’s important to note that city council is operating in its quasi-judicial role this evening again the density and the
land use decision was made back in 2020 and so the council is reviewing this project against the established
standards to make sure that it is in conformance with the specific plan now the design review elements you know
the architecture landscape site design are discretionary in nature that if the city council makes the required findings
then they they may approve however the density bonus portion of the project that we’ll discuss
in a later slide is ministerial and it is a requirement of state law in that if the project meets certain
thresholds then the city council is obligated to approve that portion of the project
now here we’re showing the architecture and the landscape on the left hand side of the screen you’ll see
at the top left the condominium project side and at the bottom left you’ll see
the apartment projects side now both of these individual types are of a contemporary
design as called for by the specific plan and you’ll see a number of plane changes both vertically and horizontally
you’ll see deep window and recesses at the first floor a mix of materials um and pedestrian scaled elements like
porches and balconies now the project also um includes over
400 new trees on site of larger species like oaks and sycamores
double rows of trees along the project frontages and also public art at the corners of the project site
now with respect to housing and affordability when when staff is reviewing uh these residential projects
there are three main categories of affordability requirements the first is there’s a required
percentage of affordable units for each new development and here in the specific plan area it’s
20 so 20 of new units have to be affordable um this project does meet that standard providing 60 total
affordable units the second category is affordability levels in that it has to provide these
units to individuals and families of certain income ranges the project also meets those standards providing to
individuals and families with very low low median and moderate incomes
now the third category is a set of performance measures that make sure that the affordable units are designed in the
same way as the for sale units and the project meets all of those performance measures except for one so
you know it meets the standards with respect to bathroom two-bedroom ratios with respect to
the average number of bedrooms except it does not meet the comparability standard
and that standard and that’s particularly for the condo side of the project and that standard does require that all
floor plans have affordable units in this case there are six floor plans
but the applicant has opted to concentrate all of the affordable units for the condominiums into floor plan one
and normally that does not conform to city standards however the applicant has submitted for
a density bonus provision here to use an incentive or concession to strike
the comparability requirement of the city’s development code so the city did seek concurrence with
the california department of housing and community development and state hcd did find that the
applicant is using uh state density bonus law in a valid way
so in your in your staff report packet you’ll find the required uh state
findings for density bonus and staff has been able to make those findings and again
for that reason you know the approval of this particular density bonus incentive concession is
ministerial in nature
now the project does also include a number of sustainability measures in its operations and construction
in fact all irrigated surfaces and landscaped areas will be will utilize recycled water so the
purple pipe the project is located nearby a bus stop on the 30r line
providing alternative modes of transit the project does provide solar panels
on rooftop areas and on canopies and also provides electric vehicle chargers
and with respect to um public engagement staff did hold a neighborhood meeting um
prior to the planning commission meeting and approximately 45 members of the public um from the montage community attended
and expressed concerns with the development about the same number of residents attended the planning commission meeting
as well and expressed the same concerns and as you can see on the screen the primary concerns were
inadequate parking the apartments and affordability levels on site build quality and the city’s public
engagement process now the planning commission heard the concerns and at the planning commission
meeting unanimously recommended that the city council approve the project
the planning commission did include four new conditions of approval with respect to design related to trees pedestrian
connections and wall softening now subsequent to the neighborhood meeting and the planning commission
meeting and in response to neighborhood concerns staff is recommending an additional
condition of approval that would add street parking to the project frontages
now the street parking would be provided in addition to the bike lane the separated bike lane the cars would
function as the delineator between traffic um and the bikes and there would
also be included uh tree wells as well and you know this would only be in locations that the city engineer determines to be
to be safe so you’ll find that additional condition in your meeting packet this evening
now ultimately the project does provide about 300 new units to the city with a range of configurations and sizes
different ownership options rental options in addition to 60 affordable units as we discussed there’ll be over 400 new
trees a new bike lane along the frontage there’ll be parklets throughout
there’ll be again the solar and electric vehicle chargers and the plan is consistent or the
project is consistent with the general plan these will neighborhood specific plan the climate action plan the active
transportation plan and the airport land use compatibility plan and it’s for those reasons that the planning
commission and staff recommend the city council find the projects exempt under seqa and approve
the project so that concludes my presentation but first i believe the applicant would like to share a few words
uh thank you jake i appreciate the um very well put together staff report uh
just as a audio check can can you all hear me
okay great thank you um so uh mr mayor and city council my name is david best i’m with shea
homes we’re the applicant for this project and i appreciate your time tonight to go through and look and look at our
project i don’t know if it’s possible to share my screen
or not
if that’s not possible then we can do without it certainly um but uh just just as a a quick reminder
of the history of shea and this section of the city um back in the early 90s or late 90s rather
shea owned property uh in what is now the isabelle specific plan quite a bit of that property and
and we’ve been developing it over the years several community benefits have been come from
that we’ve dedicated 29 acres of hillside open space um kind of on the north east corner of the
isabelle plan we could we built cayetano park which is a 10 acre public park
we dedicated around 20 acres of land for the isabel avenue interchange project land on the
north side of the freeway that was necessary to construct that that interchange and get traffic off of
highway 84 off of the downtown so we can have our beautiful downtown the way it is today
we also dedicated uh quite a bit of land down the cayetano creek which runs
through the isabelle specific plan and that was land previously owned by shea and we’ve dedicated permanently
conservative amusement in in 2015 we built a secondary access road to
las pozita’s college so that they could continue with their expansion
in the early part of the century in the 2000s and and on today i think they’re
still moving through with expanding that expanding the college so we’ve been here for quite a while um
we built the sage project and the montage project um and uh
um we are uh now coming through with the second to last piece of residential
property that we own here and um uh like
jake um alluded to and his staff report were this is a great project it’s got a
lot of sustainable pieces to it that we’re going to go all electric voluntarily so the we won’t be
plumbing natural gas into this community all the appliances will be electric we’re going to have solar on every roof
we’re going to be in compliance with the 2022 california energy code which is a very
uh requires buildings to be very energy efficient we’re also providing quite a bit of
affordable housing um as as jake showed in his staff report and we’re going to be constructing an
apartment complex here which we think is somewhat desperately needed in the city um the last time an
apartment complex was built other than a couple that i think are in the in the hopper right now
was easily 15 or 20 years ago so we think it’s a great project and we’re really excited to move forward and
uh we’re here to answer any questions if you haven’t thanks for your time
okay thank you at this point i’ll open the public hearing is there anyone who wishes to address us on this item
yes mayor there are three requests to speak the first is from yolanda meter followed
by jeff caskey and matt ontario bill on the meter please don’t meet yourself
uh this is yolanda miter a resident of the montage community since 2012.
i have concerns regarding the proposed shade development on portola avenue one the entrance exit onto dubcot
will cause major traffic congestion at the intersections of dovecot and montage drive
drivers going from dovecot to helicon wanting to get to collier canyon there is an entrance access only
we see drivers not turning around and use the entrance as an exit
this is going to add to already a hazardous situation is it possible to have portola avenue as
their only entrance exit or have an entrance exit on the upper
portion of the new development onto collier canyon i have discussed these concerns both
with jake parder and stephen riley the principal planner number two
install a tubular fence for separation of properties tubular fencing is attractive and prevents people
from the new development to park in the guest parking and also easy access
through the landscaping into the montage community parking in montage is a huge
problem number three at a total we do know what residents
from the new development and that would be the apartments and condos utilizing
montage community tot lot the usage of the residents of the new development
will put the burden on the montage homeowner association for the repair cost and maintenance and again adding to
our parking problems thank you
the next speaker is jeff caskey followed by ontario jeff caskey please don’t meet
yourself good evening uh council and staff
um this actually this looks like a a great plan from shea and i we appreciate the work that shea puts into
these these developments i having gone through the packet quickly i i did not see
any um hillside views we frequently talk about the dublinization
and you know don’t want to speak too poorly of our neighbors to the west but i would it would be good if we could see how the
development affects views both from montage and from the freeway
was that in the packet did i miss it or can we get a look at what these um uh kind of three or three and a half story
buildings will do to our view views thank you
mayor this time there are no requests to speak okay thank you i’ll close the public hearing does staff wish to address any
of the comments we heard in the public hearing
mr mayor it doesn’t seem that staff has any additional comment at this time thank you
okay thank you now i i see someone has their hand
raised but they had it earlier than it dropped out and i was just and just in case was there a technical
problem there or like i’m i’m willing um
well let’s uh okay now i have an opportunity to unmute
sorry i didn’t have the uh opportunity to unmute myself and ask a question earlier
or make a public comment that’s on the 6.3 right
yes yes um uh i would like to uh second um the sentiment that this is a great
development um i’ve been resident of levermore since 2015. it’s uh gotten more and more
expensive to live here um and uh i’m i’m a millennial and like
many of our millennial friends were seeing ourselves being basically priced out out of having families and living in
livermore and i want the city council to cons to keep that in mind whenever they’re
considering new development which is always welcome because it puts down pressure
on prices specific to development i would like to
see the protected bike lanes eventually extended down portola and over the highway
uh that would definitely improve uh safety for cyclists and finally i will
end with um i would like the city council to also think about what is the use
and um really the democratic nature of the so-called neighborhood impact inputs i
i’ve been i’ve been um to several of these sessions myself and i’ve seen the
results of them and they always seem to come back the same which is there’s a handful of usually wealthy and
older residents that show up and demand more parking uh this is not at all representative of the needs of the
livermore city as a whole um and it’s i just call into question
the whole nature of seeking quote-unquote neighborhood input when it always comes back the same which is
we want more free parking um that’s that’s all i got to say thank you very much
okay thank you the okay the public hearing is now closed uh and i’ll bring it back to the council
for a deliberation council member kick a couple questions for staff about one
of the added british provisions adding some extra parking on collier and
portola um i understand just as the previous commenter mentioned that
oftentimes people in my generation don’t do a great job showing up at those
public comments and we generally don’t ask for more parking we generally ask um for cheaper housing
so uh i am just want to make sure that we never compromise our um bike plan in
order to add more parking um are we able to ensure
that no matter what parking we add our bike plan will stay the same and that if
for some reason a bike lane does not fit as if um it was guesstimated that it will right
now once we do like a full design review that it will be up to the discretion of the city engineer to change where that
parking is the number of units um parking spaces et cetera
this is paul spencer community director and yes we will ensure that the bike
lane uh is an incorporated part of the project and parking will only be added where it can be safely incorporated and
where it doesn’t impact the bike lane or other amenities so we’re not making any specific promises um about exactly what or where
it’s that we are looking into it as staff and that the city engineer will make that determination at the staff
level that’s correct our preliminary analysis uh is is that we’ll be able to include it
in certain areas but you’re exactly correct okay thank you appreciate that
councilmember monroe i wanted to appreciate the presentation a great deal i thought it was very clear
i thought it addressed the issues uh raised by
constituents as well as the need for this project i’ve been watching this i’ve had the
privilege of participating in approving the isabelle project as as a
whole is a very exciting way to move forward in creating whole communities as
part of wholes you know as one piece of a whole city in ways that are
that are responsive to a variety of residents and potential residents
so this is really exciting to see this first development come forward
i would uh agree with uh council member kik in terms of ensuring that
um we are paying attention to multiple modes of transportation as we go forward i’m going to say that a little bit more
broadly than you did council member kick but you know it’s that’s what we’re looking for is that all
everybody can can um get from one place to another
um and um i did want to uh pursue the one question of uh
entry exits and the nature of traffic uh this is a frequent comment
when developments come forward but it is um it’s it’s a natural concern if you could
speak to that i would i would appreciate it yeah absolutely um so the project is
relying on the environmental impact report that was prepared uh with the isabel neighborhood specific plan
and that particular environment environmental impact report found that there’d be no significant
traffic impacts in this area and in addition the proposed development is at a lower
intensity than contemplated by that eir and so um you know traffic impacts would
be even lower than um than disclosed and discussed in the eir that sounds great if you could be you
know so could you be a little more specific in terms of no i mean that’s not what it feels like to residents i i believe you
i do um but if you could be a little bit more specific about why that those there won’t be those impacts that people
believe there will be yeah absolutely and so um you know in
general terms uh during a traffic analysis you know you’ll sort of the discussion will be based around the
number of trips generated by you know the certain number of residential units um and so you know there’s calculations
done as to how many trips would go in and out of this particular development
and the eir has stated that you know there wouldn’t be any significant impacts or
set it another way sort of delays to traffic um in this area so i don’t know
if our city engineer has anything to add to that conversation
hi this is bob vigner city engineer and just to go in a little bit deeper in the
detail the eir forecasts traffic volumes at the
intersections around the isabel neighborhood plan including the portolan montage drive
intersection and it looked at traffic from the existing uses and the
proposed future uses and uh it showed that the traffic using
montage drive is is well below um the amount of cars that a
local street like that can handle it’s showing you know peak hour volumes in the
neighborhood of 100 vehicles per hour and that’s very low so
um if you look at the site plan and how the roads connect up there may be
some people that do come out through the montage street to get to
montage drive but it’s probably a lot quicker for a majority of the residents in this new development to head south
straight to portola and and get on that way so i don’t expect
um a lot of traffic from this new development to enter montage at all
thank you i really appreciate the clarification
councilmember carling yes thank you i find this to be an exciting project i look forward to
its uh development and completion i just wanted to point out to the folks that have had some concerns
uh principally from montage i know we’ve gotten some emails from folks and i know that they’re expressed some
concern about the planning commission meeting i watched
nearly all of the planning commission meeting where this was discussed and
heard and saw that the planning commissioners did acknowledge the concerns that the
montage residents had and i think they addressed it appropriately
i appreciate the the slide jake that you had on
reminding us what some of the concerns were and some of the resolutions i do
also applaud the planning commission on terms of increasing the number of street trees as
well as the size of some of them i i don’t remember the exact number but they’re taking down a dozen or a couple
dozen and actually going to plant over 400 trees so i think that is commendable
i also appreciate the developer and with all the all electric uh appliances
uh no gas appliances that certainly speaks to what we’re uh going to focus on here on our climate
action plan appreciate the solar on rooftops and so on um
i also read the street parking i was interested in that i’m glad that the staff took it upon themselves to figure
out uh after hearing the concerns from the montage people about street parking
came up with i think a workable solution not only providing you know
bike safety uh but also additional street parking i appreciate uh council member kick’s concern as to
not to compromise bike safety and i don’t think they have based on at least what i’ve read and i
assume that the staff will continue to monitor that i i find it’s exciting project
all the affordable units i think are just terrific and i think it’s going to be a very nice addition
and another another sort of addition to the
isabel plan so i appreciate all the work on this and look forward to approving it
tonight thank you well thank you uh following uh all my fellow council
members i don’t have too much more to add i thought what councilmember carling said was really very thorough
and i second all of my council members comments in on balance i think this is a well
thought out project it’s uh i appreciate the developer uh working with staff
and listening to the community and the comments from the planning commission and coming up with a
project that pretty well meets all of the things we’re trying to do and i just say in
general isabel neighborhood specific plan is very important and i’m glad to see this project is getting us off to a good
start uh with anybody any further comments or emotion
councilmember carlin i’ll move staff recommendations
councilmember monroe and i’ll second it okay moved in second in any further uh
conversation if not can we have a roll call please let’s remember carly hi councilmember
kate hi councilmember monroe hi vice mayor bonanno is absent for the
record and mayor warner hi passes uh unanimously
so i i think we’ll uh we’re now on to item uh 7.1
and i think this will be the last item we take before we with a break and
this is a resolution authorizing the city manager to purchase renewable 100
which contains 100 renewable electricity from solar and wind sources in california
as the default electricity product for livermore’s municipal east bay community
energy accounts now i’d just like to point out i’m going in the light of potential financial
conflict of interest i’m going to recuse myself from participating on this item and i’m going to do so by turning off my
camera and microphone i will rejoin the meeting when this item has concluded and
to take us to a break so we go on to staff presentation now and i’ll be absent
honorable uh mayor um now absent and members of the city council this is your
city manager mariana marshawn item 7.1 will be presented by trisha ponto senior
planner miss pinto thank you mariana good evening mayor and
formerly mayor and city council members the item before you tonight is a decision to enroll municipal east bay
community energy accounts into the renewable 100 service option the city currently receives electricity from east
bay community energy and we are enrolled in the bright choice service option um but first i want to introduce you to
our climate action plan intern sarah ansel she’s been working with us this summer to move forward a number of our
climate action efforts including this project she’s going to walk you through the
presentation for this item and then we will all be available for questions
good evening mayor and members of the city council east bay community oh next slide please first
good evening mayor members of the city council east bay community energy known as ebce
is a joint powers authority that serves to provide more renewable energy than pg e at competitive rates for customers in
alameda county and the city of tracy and this includes the city of livermore ebce
purchases electricity while pg e delivers power maintains the grid and bills consumers
next slide when ebce started it offered three
energy options for customers to choose from right choice which offered a higher renewable energy content compared to pg
e at a lower rate brilliant brilliant 100 which offered 100 carbon free energy at the same rate
as pg e and renewable 100 which offered 100 renewable energy at a slight premium
over pg e rates renewable energy is carbon free but also naturally replenishable including sources such as
solar and wind next slide the city was a founding member of ebce
in 2016 and started receiving energy in 2018. municipal and count municipal
accounts which include all electricity accounts that are paid for by the city were originally enrolled in bright
choice in 2019 the city council voted to enroll municipal accounts into brilliant one
in 2021 the ebce board voted to phase out nuclear power as a carbon-free energy
source and could no longer offer brilliant 100 at price parity to pg e
as a result brilliant 100 was discontinued at the end of 2021 any accounts on brilliant 100
automatically reverted back to bright choice unless a request was made to enroll them in renewable 100.
because the city did not request to enroll in renewable 100 municipal accounts reverted back to bright choice
on january 1st of this year next slide
today we are currently using the bright choice option bright choice provides approximately 60
carbon free energy and a three percent discount to pg e rates this is less carbon free energy than it
was offered previously due to the recent loss in nuclear power as a carbon-free energy source
based on the city’s 2020-1 2021 electricity usage the 3 discount will
result in approximately 26 000 dollars of savings per year over pg e
in comparison pg e reported 92 carbon free energy in 2021 alternatively
renewable 100 continues to be 100 renewable electricity from solar and wind in california
it is offered at a three-fourths of a cent premium over per kilowatt hour over pg e’s rates this will result in
approximately seven seventy thousand dollars in increased spending over pg e annually
staff is recommending that the city of livermore opt up municipal accounts to renewable 100
next slide there are several benefits of enrolling municipal account accounts in renewable

  1. it will completely decarbonize municipal electricity which is a major component
    of the climate action plan update and will result in gh greenhouse gas emissions and progress towards in sorry
    would result in greenhouse gas reductions and progress toward the state and cap goal of carbon neutrality by
  2. it is also an opportunity for the city to lead by example and take tangible
    actions locally to address climate change additionally ebce invests its revenues
    back into local programs to expand clean energy and energy resilience the city has already benefited from
    these local programs including the new electric vehicle charging hub that ebce
    is installing downtown the city is also pursuing upcoming ebce
    programs to elect your fire municipal fleet and install solar energy with battery backup at critical municipal
    facilities next slide stack staff recommends the city council
    adopt a resolution authorizing the city manager to purchase renewable 100 as the
    default electricity product for livermore’s municipal east bay community energy accounts
    this concludes staff presentation and we are available for questions ebc east staff are also participating in
    the meeting and are also available for questions thank you
    i’m going to jump in because our council members this is your city attorney you do not have a mayor to preside over
    this portion of the meeting nor do you have a vice mayor i would call upon one of you remaining
    to take on that role for the rest of this item can you do that please trish
    um given that i am the representative on council 2 ebce and this is something
    that i’ve been waiting for with great anticipation um i would be happy to do that
    so uh that suits everyone else um i will go for it yes
    councilmember carling you’re okay with that sure okay all right then um i will call for
    public comment uh city clerk do we have public comment at this time
    yes councilmember monroe there are two requests to speak the first is from alan marling followed by matt ontario
    helen marling please don’t meet yourself hello
    council members i’m in favor of this project and i’d like to see more like it further i believe that nuclear energy
    should be part of the green energy portfolio thank you
    the next speaker is matt ontario please unmute yourself
    um yeah hello i uh i actually think that we shouldn’t go to the 100
    renewable plan uh precisely because evce um dropped nuclear from its mix you
    cannot call yourself um you know a serious environmental
    uh organization by taking out nuclear uh from the mix so if the city has a choice
    on which plan to go with it should probably revert back to pg e um
    and that’s it next speaker is carl wendy followed by
    ben barientos carl wintee please then meet yourself
    good evening everybody carl wendy i just want to take another opportunity to say thank you all for what you do what a
    great worthy discussion and uh not myself i am not educated enough to have
    a point of view other than to know and my generation our generation we the
    people know how important this discussion is in terms of how we look towards the future as a community so for
    those that know those that care those that educate themselves on this to continue to come forward for good
    rational pragmatic decisions for our community our species going forward
    those that lean in on it i salute you that’s all
    next speaker is ben varientos
    hi um thank you i think it’s a good idea i think it’s forward-thinking i think we should also
    encourage the company to go look at nuclear because it’s they’re coming up with new inventions and new
    ways of a smaller system that’s uh safer and uh
    you know if you compare nuclear and accidents that happen with it’s very very minimal compared to coal
    and the oil petroleum industry the thousands die and maybe millions
    with the pollution that occurred with carbon and all that so i think it’s a good idea i think it’s forward thinking
    i uh applaud the city council and we i hope we encourage that company to
    start looking at nuclear too
    i’m done council member monroe there normal request this week okay um
    so i would like to address the uh nuclear issue before we move on
    and i’m wondering uh i’m not quite sure the best way to do that this is something that i’ve
    observed as part of the ebce board but i also know that we have alex
    giorgio here from edce uh i’m not sure whether uh
    could somebody please direct me as to who would be the best person to address those questions
    the manager city attorney help ms bentel or mr spence
    who would be the best person to answer this question stop for representative
    this is paul spence your community director i would suggest that we ask the evce representative to
    provide us with some feedback on the removal of nuclear thank you all right then i would ask
    that to be the case uh we could admit uh mr jordan you did
    georgio i i’m really sorry i’m i must be mangling your name
    that’s quite all right can can anyone hear me
    great thanks good evening council members again director monroe members of the public yes on the
    question of nuclear power uh ebce was offered
    an allocation of the existing nuclear power that’s currently generated at
    diablo canyon and dispatched to the grid the the background on this was that
    all current electricity customers in pg e service area whether they’re with pg e
    or they’re with a community choice energy program like ours they all
    have to pay for the nuclear power that’s being generated by diablo canyon it’s
    it’s a legacy contract and so our customers are already paying for
    that it’s actually a line item it’s part of a line item that’s on our bill called the power charge indifference adjustment
    pci a is the acronym for it and if you look at your bill you’ll you’ll see that there
    and so the the reasoning of the of of this nuclear allocation was that
    our our policy team actually led led the effort
    to make the case before the p the puc that because our customers are currently
    paying that pcia charge our agency should be entitled to some of
    the the energy since it’s counted as carbon free nuclear power under california state law does not qualify as
    renewable power but it but it is uh it is considered carbon free uh
    and so evce and all of our sister agencies the others the other community choice energy
    agencies like those in marin and sonoma and and you know san mateo etc
    we all have the opportunity to accept or reject our share of what diabolo canyon
    produces and it was a very contentious item before our board and it was it was
    a very difficult decision for them ultimately
    the decision by our board was to decline to accept the that nuclear allocation so
    i just want to be very clear that this this wasn’t about um you know developing any new nuclear resources or even
    extending the the life of of diablo canyon it is the last operating nuclear
    power plant in the state of california and it’s scheduled currently to close in 2024 and 2025 although now there is some
    talk at the state level of in the federal level of of perhaps reconsidering that um
    but but at the time that our board was considering it um it was just on whether
    or not to accept that allocation and we declined to accept that allocation each year we can reconsider that decision um
    but that’s that’s the background there so we we did not accept the the nuclear allocation um and
    one of the the drawbacks from that is that that’s one of the reasons why pg e now
    can count such a high carbon free energy content in their portfolio is because
    some of the agencies like ebz decided to decline our share of the of the nuclear allocation so
    currently pg e has has the vast majority of it and it helps pg e make the claim that
    they’re more carbon free when on that portfolio um but on the other hand we do
    offer our renewable 100 option which is as you know 100 california based wind and solar and and
    it’s not only carbon free but it’s also 100 renewable so i hope that answers the question i’m happy to follow up if there
    are other questions uh it answers my questions but then again
    i’m kind of familiar with this um you’re an expert at this point
    uh no but there we go um at this point if you would if you could stay on in case there are more questions
    um and uh council member uh carling uh you’re up
    yeah i guess i agree with uh a couple of the speakers i’m disappointed that nuclear is not included
    um but um i do support uh moving to renewable 100 so thank you
    okay uh council member kick um if i can i would move approval that
    we go a staff recommendation to move to renewable 100 and i would direct the public commenters to please go make
    public comment to ebc about this because they get a lot of public comments about why we shouldn’t have nuclear um i used
    to be the ebc representative but we don’t often hear um from you so feel free to um bring your comments there and
    then if they change their mind livermore will also have nuclear power in our portfolio as if we vote for this
    so anyways i made a motion to accept staff recommendation okay i’m i’m going to second that
    and and i’m going to say that i was going to make that motion because i’m the director but there we go
    too too much love here um i so i actually um i really appreciate the uh
    the presentation i thought it was extremely clear i do i am familiar with this so i was watching it with that eye
    with was this was something that would communicate to people who aren’t as familiar i hope and believe it did
    i did want to say a word from my own standpoint on the nuclear and just echo what council member kik said
    which is that i sat through more comments on people explaining to me
    why nuclear was the worst thing ever then i cared to relate as i said at the
    last dbce meeting i am still suffering the scars from those meetings
    and there was a fair bit of misinformation unfortunately the people who spoke here
    tonight in favor of nuclear were not at those meetings and it’s a real shame because livermore’s response to an
    understanding of the place of nuclear in the renewable
    and in the carbon free universe um is very different than um oh just to pick
    on somebody berkeley’s um so um
    you know with with that i believe we have a motion on the on the table uh
    city click could you please call the roll that’s member carly all right councilmember kick
    hi sponsor monroe hi absent from the record and mayor warner
    has recused himself due to a conflict of interest
    okay um we’re now on to our traditional uh break it’s 9 11. let’s come back
    9 21.
    here the time is now 9 21. give me 30. do you need to count them in
    this is mike with tv30 you guys ready yes can you hear me
    yes and then five
    four three two one
    q okay thank you welcome back we’re coming back from our um
    break we’re now on to uh we just finished 7.1 we’re now on to
    7.2 a resolution approximate appropriating 25k from the water enterprise fund for
    participation in the pure water tri-valley portable reuse demonstration project phase two public education and
    outreach efforts can we have a staff presentation please yes good evening honorable mayor werner
    and members of the city council this is your city manager mariana marsh
    item 7.2 will be presented by anthony smith the city’s water resources
    division manager mr smith thank you mariana good evening mayor and
    council members this is anthony smith your water resources division manager so tonight
    sorry sorry about that
    okay mayor and city council i apologize for
    technical difficulties that we’re having this evening okay and i and i likewise apologize um so i
    wanted to give a quick uh history on the the the unofficially titled pure water tri valley project um so potable reuse
    is the use of highly treated wastewater to supplement pot potable supplies and this can be done either directly or
    indirectly in 2018 tri-valley water agencies together completed a joint
    tri-valley potable reuse feasibility study this looked at the feasibility of using
    this highly treated wastewater to augment supplies in the future in 2021 the pleasanton city council
    voted to suspend future participation in some of the follow-up studies having to do with groundwater monitoring
    currently the dublin sand ramone services district has initiated the initial phases of a demonstration project
    the unofficial title again is the pure water tri-valley project the goal is to understand public perception and
    determine the feasibility of constructing a future demonstration project the current phase of this
    project is focusing on public education and outreach right now several different agencies
    have expressed their intent to partner together for this current phase including dsrsd
    the union sanitary district the alameda county water district the livermore amador valley water management agency
    zone 7 water agency and tonight we’re obviously discussing it here
    the request from dsrsd um is for a the potential partners to contribute up to
    25 000 to help with the cost of public outreach and education in addition to staff time
    dsrsd staff currently have no expectation of future participation or future funding
    and if approved by the council 25 000 would be appropriated from the livermore municipal water enterprise fund
    that concludes my presentation and we staff are available for questions
    okay at this point i’ll open a public comment has anybody wish to address this
    yes mayor there is one request to speak carl winty please don’t meet yourself i i also see uh
    dan mcintyre as well but okay
    mr mayor city council and all that care about these critical discussions as well
    our electrical grids previously and water and how it flows and clean water
    and rain and the delta and the bypass and the canals and uh aquifer storage and how we manage
    runoff the central valley project the state water project how it goes and
    flows um sorry and sorry don’t come up and uh for those that uh lean in and spend time
    here in this critical space for the good of our society thank you thank you thank
    you cheers
    next request is from dan mcintyre please don’t meet yourself hi this is dan mcintyre i’m the general
    manager at dublin san ramon services district i just wanted to uh augment a little bit of what uh staff made in
    their presentation so although it’s described as a tri-valley project the uh
    the partnership here is actually broader than that with some interest by alameda county water district and union sanitary
    district so it’s really a chance to look at some alternatives and some options uh in a broader framework it’s a small step
    dsrsd is asking livermore to to become another partner in phase two not only
    the public outreach but it’s also an opportunity in terms of public outreach and public engagement to solicit input
    on the kind of information and research and understanding of uh advanced purification of the
    community both here in the tri-valley and down in the alameda county water district you know what the community
    might want to know more and better understand you know that process would would take a
    year or so we’d also look at funding opportunities there’s a lot of federal and state grant opportunities that are
    available at the current time to fund a phase three project uh the
    scoping for a phase three project would be developed after input from the public over the next year plus and we come back
    to the agencies and say would you be interested in this demonstration pilot project
    actually setting something up uh in 2024 and 2025.
    um this is building on past work uh here in the tri-valley uh one thing that i would
    note is uh recycling is important for our water supply i think the tri-valley has done a great job up to now with our
    recycled water efforts i think we should all pat ourselves in the back in livermore pleasant and dsrsd
    we’re recycling a third of our wastewater collectively every year and that’s a major contributor to our water
    supply in the tri-valley the flip side of that though is we’ve developed only a third of our
    water supply from recycling there’s another two thirds of our supply that’s available as an asset that we can
    develop and what’s the scale of that think about the amount of water we’re
    trying to conserve this year in the drought the amount of water that we’re not using that we could recycle in
    whatever form expanding our purple pipe systems potable reuse other ideas
    the amount of water that we’re flushing to the bay in a year collectively in the tri-valley is twice what we’re trying to
    conserve this year so recycling we’ve done a great job in the tri-valley you know with livermore taking the lead in
    the 80s um and and we should be proud of what we’ve done but there’s more opportunities this
    is a chance to develop concepts talk some more educate the community get
    input from the community and dsrsd support staff recommendations and we hope that you’ll participate thank you
    next speaker is ben barientos please don’t meet yourself
    hi um i was going to recommend a book by erica
    god dies it’s called water always winds i think it’s it’d be a good source of
    people to look at and read and they talk about paleo valleys and
    natural uh water sorts that we’ve cut ignored yeah and i think we should
    people should look at it it’s just an eye-opener i’ve been reading it for a couple days now it’s called water always
    wins that i applaud a little more in what you’re doing to conserve water
    mayor at this time there are no more requests to speak okay i’ll close the
    public comment and bring it back to the council for deliberation council member carly
    yes thanks it wasn’t abundantly clear to me um what you hope to learn
    with the guess the contributions from these various agencies toward this study
    is it i i gathered part of it is whether or not you put it back into the aurora
    creek rather than sending it to the bay is that and the
    efficacy of that in terms of helping refill the aquifer is that right
    or am i completely missing the point so this this current phase of the
    project would um essentially allow us to get out to the
    public and try to see how people understand the implications of of potable reuse see
    what kind of information they would need in the future how we can kind of focus and
    create a an outreach strategy for the future the demonstration project that’s kind of
    being looked at right now if if it constructed so this phase is not the construction of that demo
    project but if it gets constructed um that demo project would put water into um
    into the creek it would go down to the alamico county water district and they would use it for groundwater recharge
    but that’s that’s kind of the next phase in this this current phase is really focused on public education and outreach
    and trying to understand how people perceive um and what they would need in order to
    kind of be convinced in the future convinced of what
    that this might be a viable option for our future water supply
    okay thank you councilmember monroe
    well this um this might be a little tricky but um i think i understand what potable
    water reuse is um and i think i understand why uh we’re
    trying to get people’s understand how people can be convinced
    but um could you explain a little bit in more detail what exactly we’re talking about
    um so the concept of potable reuse um at its at its most basic you know i
    look is taking um advanced treated highly treated wastewater
    and making it available for augmentation of drinking water supplies so the indirect route is perhaps
    injection into the groundwater basin and then it would get further treated as it gets pulled out of the groundwater
    basin um direct potable reuse would essentially go straight to a water treatment plant
    okay so um we know that all the water we drink is actually reused since it’s kind of a
    cycle there in fact it is a cycle so this is simply making the cycle more
    um more direct as it were um and yeah um
    so moving forward on this would enable us to understand people’s understanding of
    that water cycle and how um what they
    to use tom lehrer’s phrase the water that uh you flush into the bay
    they drink for lunch in san jose um a little bit like that
    uh i would say that that’s accurate yes tom lehrer did have a way with words um
    um okay thank you very much um i this sounds like a very worthwhile project to
    help educate and understand where people are coming from
    okay any further council member kick i
    would like to make a motion possible to go staff’s recommendation and continue
    public education and outreach council member monroe
    uh if it’s all right and you have nothing uh to add i would send that
    okay motion made and seconded or something we have any absolutely further
    comment like we have a roll call please that’s remember carlink hi councilmember kik
    hi councilmember monroe hi this is mayor bonanno is absent for the record and mayor warner
    hi the passes unanimously you’re on the 7.3 resolution calling for and giving notice
    of the holding of a general municipal election for the submittal of an initiative entitled south liberal war
    sewer extension project to the voters in the city of livermore and consolidating that election with the
    general municipal election to be held tuesday november 8th 2022. we have the
    staff presentation please yes honorable mayor warner and members of the city
    council this is mariana marshall your city manager item 7.3 will be presented
    by our city clerk marie webber miss weber good evening mayor and council members
    this is your city clerk marie weber the item before you tonight was previously presented to you as the south livermore
    sewer extension project and the measure entitled south livermore urban growth boundary tonight the item is coming back
    at your request the amendment directed by the city council has been made and staff is now requesting approval to
    place the measure on the ballot and ask that the city council determine whether they would like to appoint a subcommittee to prepare the ballot
    argument and rebuttal or defer the argument in favor of the measure to tri valley conservancy as a bona fide
    proponent for the measure you can see staff recommendation before
    you and with that i am available for questions okay before we go there i’ll open the public
    comment do we have anybody who wishes to address us yes mayor there are three requests to
    speak at this time the first request is from carl wendy followed by lori souza and asa stroup
    carl went please and meet yourself
    with apologies my hand was up from a previous item i never took it down
    the next speaker is lori souza followed by asa stroud and nancy mulligan lori souza please don’t meet yourself
    good evening mayor warner and city council and city staff i’m lori souza i’m chair of the board for the tri
    valley conservancy and i just wanted to reassure you that we are prepared to do our part to prepare the ballot argument
    and rebuttal argument or defer argument in favor of the measure thank you
    the next speaker is asus drought followed by nancy mulligan aces draw please and meet yourself
    i thank you mayor council staff for letting us comment on this item before
    any legislative actions are taken you know this is a good opportunity for anyone
    within the city to have their say on how we as a city make decisions before we
    begin executing on those decisions so i wanted to say thanks for bringing this forward to the public so that you know we can get a
    head start on this sort of discussion sooner rather than later thank you
    mayor at this time there an only request to speak okay i’ll close the public comment bring it back to the council for deliberation
    any uh council member carly
    yes thank you i support this action uh would move approval of staff recommendation
    and suggest that tri-valley conservancy prepare the
    argument in favor of the measure and the re and the rebuttal
    okay i’ll second that uh so it’s moved and seconded are any uh
    further comment on the item if not we have a roll call please
    counsel member carly hi councilmember kid aye councilmember monroe aye ms mayor
    bonanno unanimously
    okay so at this point we’re now going to uh return to uh citizens forum
    and uh pretty for the city council rules of procedure we will now continue the citizens forum portion
    of the agenda before we continue with the public comments i believe the city attorney
    would like to provide some information mr city attorney thank you mr mayor this is jason alcala
    and i’m your city attorney i just wanted to briefly provide some information about the petition
    and about referendum law in response to some of the speaker comments made this evening
    referendum law is clear if they petition challenges a legislative act
    then it can be processed as a referendum however if a petition challenges a
    non-legislative act then the petition has no right to be able to proceed
    the reason for this distinction is clear if non-legislative acts were subject to referendum
    then every decision and action by the city council could become mired in politics designed to distract the city
    council from focusing on its business or to interfere with or delay the city’s implementation of the council’s prior
    legislative acts this is so because unlike an initiative that proposes new legislation a
    referendum is intended to repeal legislation here the petition challenged resolution
    2022-085 which approved an amendment to an agreement to sell property
    the original agreement between the parties was approved in 2018 and that agreement implements prior
    legislative acts that occurred well before that for the development of the property as affordable housing
    that resolution does not contain any new legislation courts have determined that a city clerk
    as the elections official is not required to process a petition as a referendum when it challenges a
    non-legislative act specifically courts have held that the clerk cannot be compelled to process the
    petitions and the courts have also held that the city council’s approval of an agreement to sell property is not subject to
    referendum now while performing her duties as a city’s elections official the city clerk
    is a constitutional officer in that capacity she acts independent from the city council
    her duty is to the voters her duty is to ensure their rights are upheld and respected
    it is also her duty to ensure the voters are not manipulated or misled
    here the city clerk declined to process the petition as a referendum so that her office is not used to further mislead
    the voters about the nature of the resolution she must stay above the fray and avoid politics
    as such the city council does not have a role in her decision i hope the remaining speakers find this
    information helpful that concludes my comments
    thank you see clerk could we now proceed with the remainder of those
    who wish to address us on citizens forum
    yes mayor at this time there are eight requests to speak the first request is from doug mann
    followed by yolanda vince checkmo and jeff caskey doug mann please don’t
    meet yourself regarding your city clerk’s refusal to
    submit the move eden housing petitions to the county this was her mike pence
    moment and she blew it as we know uh the vice president during
    the during that election counted the votes and ignored fake electors
    our city clerk received the posit the petitions but refused to do her duty and accepted the fake objection prepared by
    her discredited city attorney i was one of the people who presented
    the signatures to her on that friday and she told me directly that they would be delivered to the county the following
    tuesday or wednesday failing to advance the move eden housing petitions is illegal
    making quasi-judicial evaluations as your city attorney seems to want her
    to do is prohibited by law and look the thing is the relevant case law comes
    from right next door in pleasanton in a published appellate court case from when jennifer lynn sued caiala this stuff’s
    not hard to find remember our pretty our previous city clerk sarah bunting
    she did something similar she was pressured into filing a frivolous lawsuit against the
    residents having to do with another downtown ballot action the council didn’t like
    after probably realizing that she’d never be able to redeem herself or rebuild trust she followed up with the
    only ethical action a person with integrity could have taken she resigned
    this is also the first major test of your new city manager and i’ll be watching what she does
    but here’s the thing you still have six more chances to get your mike pence dilemma right
    five of them are you the council the sixth is your new city manager and
    she can reverse this without asking you but she’s at a disadvantage because i
    doubt you let her know during her interview process that she would have to contend with a city attorney who
    chronically gives very poor legal advice and that she would need to double check every opinion he gave her and look he
    just lost at the supreme court two weeks ago election integrity is paramount and we
    know modern-day voter suppression goes on in places like the slave states but
    we haven’t had any reason to distrust our election officials here in california especially not in livermore
    the current cleric unfortunately should resign and anyone else associated with this
    scandal should also resign you council need to set the earliest
    possible meeting date and express to your city manager that these ballots need to go to the county immediately
    i get it it might have been satisfying to see a referendum that you don’t like take a hit but this is voter
    suppression and you can’t let that happen last year our country came close to slipping into desperate despotism let’s
    not flirt with that here
    next request to speak is from yolanda vinceco jeff caskey and matt montario
    yolanda vinceco please don’t meet yourself
    thank you very much thank you to the mayor to the council members and yes to our city clerk
    and thank you very much for the explanation from our city attorney my name is yolanda finchenko
    but i’m here tonight to show my support for our city clerk in the face of
    the bullies from the affordable housing opposition group move eden housing trying to intimidate
    her for doing her job and trying to intimidate through her the voters who have already voted
    by voting on the existing council and asking them to
    basically vote on the downtown plan for us i actually participated in some of the
    planning meetings and certainly and some of the discussions with the city council and
    was satisfied that this was a job that was already done
    i was shocked like many of you to see an opinion piece on the front page of the independent used as a tool
    to bully our city clerk and also the voters and directly as well as our council like
    everyone here i love this city i hope that unites us what also unites us is what we do and
    how we act livermore us our community we recognize each other by what we do
    so we stand up to bullies people like us do things like this
    a city is complicated we’re bound to disagree it’s inevitable we’ll try to
    use all the tools legally available to us in order to lawfully make our voices and
    our needs and our opinions heard people like us do things like this
    here’s what we don’t do we don’t subvert the will of the voters because we didn’t like the way they voted we don’t hide
    behind a news outlet to intimidate a city employee for doing her job because it thwarts our goals and
    i really hope we don’t tell people who need affordable housing that instead we’re going to give them
    a place for car shows people like us don’t do things like this thank you
    the next request to speak is from jeff caskey followed by matt and ontario and rick nordike
    jeff caskey please unmute yourself good evening mayor and council
    and staff um it is unfortunate that city council won’t even be considering the concerns
    of over 8 000 livermore residents who signed the eden referendum that’s 8 000 people behind besides the
    ones who said i’m not sure let me read more this is 8 000 residents who said heck yes
    and took the time to put their name address and signature on a formal position petition
    some who derisively refer to the group of many names or who say that these people are a small special interest
    now have to consider that that group contains at least 8 000 voters willing to sign their names to a
    petition and say that they want their voice heard let’s see how council responds
    thank you the next speaker is matt montario
    followed by rick nordike and jim hutchins man in ontario please don’t meet yourself
    um yeah i would like to second the second speaker and my support for the council
    and standing up to these bullies and um quite frankly the petition signing that
    took uh place last month was a complete farce the people pushing it were absolutely
    annoying uninformed and uh i wouldn’t that my life on the number of signatures
    that they’ve collected to be actually valid uh never mind the actual legality
    um that’s the first point the second point i want to make a small one about the pdfs uh that you guys sent out with
    the agenda of the meetings it’s very actually difficult to figure out what what are the um
    you know you have to skim the entire document to figure out what is going to be talked about in the meeting it would be good to have a summary like a bullet
    point summary at the top to say what is you know gonna be covered on the uh
    on the agenda um and the last thing that i wanted to say
    uh is regarding street uh uh i think the brick bike brick program and specifically the situation under the
    bridge on p street between uh railroad and chestnut uh by the
    mcdonald’s um so this is uh my understanding is that the city has a
    contract with by brick to periodically clean these sites i think this has been a complete waste of money and a failure
    to my estimate i live north of town north of the railroad um the
    area under the bridge becomes immediately trashed after it’s cleaned and this is very unfortunate because the
    people who go to it are residents uh of uh north part of the town that are
    north of the railroad that are usually working class they’re a bit poorer and
    they walk down they try to live up to the motto of having a walkable livable city they walk to the shops
    and you know they have to either navigate trash or navigate homeless people sleeping
    i have nothing against the homeless people sleeping there i don’t think it’s uh a good place for them to be there it’s
    not safe uh and i will leave with this uh i’ve had enough of this i’ve emailed the city
    i’ve got no response i’ve seen the city do nothing about this in the past three years i’ve started to clean the area
    myself today i’ve taken out four garbage bags full of trash and about three
    uh carts i’m going to continue to do this on a weekly basis to keep my neighborhood
    clean and safe for those family members that go up and from between south side
    and north side of town and i challenge the city council to actually do something about it
    um i think uh a volunteer organization quite frankly
    would do a better job than a very lucrative contract to clean the place uh semi-regularly so
    thank you very much next speaker is rick nordike followed by
    jim hutchins and nancy mulligan rick nordic please don’t meet yourself
    yes good morning mayor and count good evening mayor and council on this morning obviously this issue with eden has been
    around a while and i for one would like just one of you to admit that yes the park with no housing would be beautiful
    but we’ve exhausted all the avenues i repeat all the avenues with the powers that be and there’s no way it will work
    anywhere else or words to that effect but so far nothing else to that has been heard from you the council it
    would give you some much needed credibility and transparency low-cost housing is needed the all-but
    abandoned aim of villa shopping center site on pacific across from the new council chambers would be a great
    location maybe it’s available oh and i’m in favor of putting out to a vote thank you
    next speaker is jim hutchins followed by nancy mulligan and carol jim hutchins please don’t meet yourself
    thank you mayor and city council i am speaking in objection to the city’s actions to refuse to verify
    the collected signatures for the referendum the question is not whether there needs to be housing there there is a need the
    question is where it should be built such decisions need to balance all needs including the needs for the public for
    open space the livermore city council has has been and is preventing the public’s input
    first by ignoring the place works results that they paid for that said the citizens believe high-density housing
    and large buildings are not appropriate in the middle of downtown then by ignoring the constant calls by the
    public to look at alternatives for the even housing location the council by claiming there are no
    alternatives even though they haven’t looked and then by trying to move up the property’s transfer date so that the new
    so that a new council cannot change this council’s decision and now by claiming the referendum is illegitimate
    the citizens have never voted on this housing project that is a misrepresentation that has been pushed
    by certain former elected officials that is intended to mislead the public
    i’m also amazed that when people say they believe the actions of the city clerk are wrong that their actions are
    then called bullying and intimidation so you can’t disagree apparently these people believe that
    when the city attorney says something then it cannot be disputed well tell that to the appeals judges in the
    garivanti hills case that said he is wrong and the state supreme court and when he’s wrong and he is wrong here too
    there is legal precedent against the city’s position and the city’s actions are instead forcing this decision to be
    made by the courts the clerk’s function is to accept the referendum and to verify the signatures
    then to pass it on to the county or for the actual verification it’s the council who would need to say and object to it
    being a referendum a valid referendum the council has a history of working
    behind the public’s back including recently losing that major court case against the very uh the garavantee hills
    lawsuit and then they even sought to have it depublished the council was elected to work for the people and that means doing
    what the public wants the public has spoken through the referendum their signature collection
    and they want the citizens to vote on whether they approve of this council’s actions instead the council is seeking to ignore
    the public or at least to delay the argument until the property is conveniently transferred rendering the
    issue moot the citizens must be allowed a voice and allowed to vote on the referendum thank
    you next speaker is nancy mulligan followed
    by carol and asa stroud nancy mulligan please don’t meet yourself
    okay can you hear me now yes we can hear you oh good okay um
    this was something that i sent to the independent but i know that a lot of you don’t read it so i’m going to read this
    to you last month i spent a few days collecting signatures on a petition for a
    referendum on the eden housing location i live in district 1 by the airport and
    took the petition to the people on my street and the streets nearby i probably went to about 50 houses
    it turned out that not a single person was in favor of the eden housing project
    at every house with the registered voter they either signed the petition or had already signed downtown
    there were a couple houses where none of the occupants were registered voters but they expressed their support of the
    petition in other words 100 percent of the citizens in my area in district 1 are
    not in favor of the eden housing proposal not a surprise because all along i have
    found that everyone i’ve talked to over the past years has been disturbed by our city council that they have ignored the
    express will of the citizens there are plenty of spaces nearby for affordable housing
    but only one central area where we can have a park and community gathering space for all livermore citizens
    less housing on the property would also mean more parking spaces so we would be able to have
    parking spaces that were not so small that it would be impossible to get a child out of a car seat
    and after 8 000 livermore residents signed to have a referendum so voters could make their voices heard it’s
    unconscionable that the city refuses to put the subject up to a vote remember the 500 000 that was spent on
    community input our top priorities were enough parking and open space for all citizens to enjoy
    evidently we all still want that thank you
    the next speaker is carol followed by aces trout and monina carol please end me to yourself
    hi sorry about that my name is carol and i want to thank you all for being here um
    i am not a livermore elite in fact i do come from the north side of
    the tracks um i would actually like to get together with the speaker about cleaning up under
    p street because i agree with him it’s it’s um
    pretty messed up one of the issues regarding um the eden housing is it will
    take the only non-non the only street pathway to downtown is l
    street which is the one in fact that we were talking about with eden housing
    other than that our only access is under the train tracks i spent some time going out and meeting
    people and discussing ideas and concerns in our neighborhood and i also offered a chance to sign the downtown referendum
    in regards to eden housing the downtown plan stood out no one thought it was a good plan
    no one um so i can’t understand why we’re going so forward and even pushing
    the agenda on the citizens why why are we not taking into consideration
    the signatures and the voters what’s the hurry who’s going to gain i’m the future of downtown it’s the
    heart of downtown and um we just need to think about future
    generations thank you
    next speaker is aces stroup followed by moni knop and greg scott he’s the strap please don’t meet
    yourself all right thanks for uh having the meeting go so uh late tonight um i just
    wanted to um more or less reflect on my sarcastic comment from earlier um mentioning that
    if every item that was on the agenda was up for referendum there would there is
    an opportunity for extreme abuse of our democratic process to the
    point where our system specifically the city of livermore
    would not be able to function whatsoever some other recent examples aside those
    that were on the agenda as we recently hired a new city manager the council made decisions on
    that is not something that would go up for a referendum to the council
    we manage salary increases pay increases those are not items that are going to be
    referendable to the city and we’re not going to be voting on every individual item we live
    in a democratic republic where some items are voted through a direct democracy
    while others we elect representatives to do the job to represent us
    and the people you vote for are people who reflect your opinions
    um and in this case the the almost the entire council at this point um has been
    voted on based on their support of the downtown over uh the last six years or three elections
    i think the the fir the one six years ago um maybe had somebody that wasn’t i mean it’s so long ago can i remember
    these days um but my point being is you know when people say that we haven’t
    voted on this is it’s it’s simply not true we voted on it three times by electing representatives
    who support the views of the people who have then supported this project and i say this
    very clearly when these individuals ran they ran on supporting the downtown
    project so it’s not that they you ran on a different platform and
    are sneaking this in it was extremely clear from day one what their campaign priorities are and
    that is the representative democracy that we live in where we have representatives representing us today
    and i just wanted to reiterate that because you know there is um an article in the independent um that
    is owned by joan sepula there was no author to the article because i can only assume that possibly she wrote it
    herself um author may not be the right term it’s not bilined i think that might be the
    proper term that she might have wrote herself that was um basically a back and forth they said they said story that you
    know made both um the paper and the lawyer representing the movie to housing group very they
    looked unprofessional um and frankly some of the comments made by the lawyer were inflammatory and i
    can only assume that um the individual who’s paying for that person gene king and joan supply
    once we see the paperwork we’ll probably find out that’s where it is paying that person your time is up thank
    you next speaker is money not followed by greg scott money not please don’t meet
    yourself good evening mayor city council members
    and staff we have heard a lot of voices tonight and i appreciate everyone speaking up so passionately first and
    foremost as a former police officer i just simply don’t see any anyone being bullied intimidated or threatened particularly
    against our city clerk on a personal note ipad had many contacts with our city clerk on many
    occasions i found her to be amazing always professional and taking the time to respond to any of my inquiries
    she’s doing a great job and i appreciate her hard work very much however and however in this case it’s not about
    bullying or any threats to anyone the fact is the personal attack against me and my qualification to be a mayor
    earlier was more about bullying than anything against our city clerk i have the comments tonight i believe
    that comes tonight we’re more about a challenge to the city clerk’s decision not to move forward with the validation
    of the signatures gathered for their records if our city clerk’s safety was threatened i would be the first to
    defend her and anyone who would threaten or harm her for doing her job tonight i too would like to take this
    opportunity to ask all of you to validate the recently acquired 8 000 plus signatures for the referendum to be
    validated and then placed onto the ballot in november i along many other residents in our
    community have worked very hard to gather those signatures i can personally say had walked out the door and spoke to
    many residents and have signed that have signed a referendum during my walk
    door-to-door to gather the signatures i found most of the residents over 85 of them that i have contacted would like to
    see a change of location for eden housing in our downtown their were simply to have the
    opportunity to vote on it just like measure p of which i supported and gathered those reference referendum
    signatures i believe our residents should have the same right and due process
    to decide on what changes they would like to see all we’re asking from you is to do the right thing for our residents and listen
    to the myriad of voices from our residents despite our differences and let us vote on it
    please allow the signatures to be validated and provide the same due process that all of you had extended to
    measure p over a year ago a lot of people here spoke of the process of the due process tonight
    but i have to ask have we really respected the due process i believe by validating the signatures
    and put it to vote is the real due process i hope all of you as representatives for all of us respect
    the due process too and place it onto the ballot this november thank you
    next speaker is craig scott please and meet yourself
    thank you mr mayor city council and city of council staff the city of livermore staff um
    city of livermore doesn’t have the last word obviously that came about with the deep publishing
    effort of the city of livermore on the garaventa hill decision which the california u.s supreme court
    disagreed with why would the city of livermore do that that was a hard-fought battle by
    livermore citizens it’s indicative of how you do
    not want citizens to exercise their voice it’s 8 000 people that sign this referendum why not let them speak as ms
    thompson pointed out that land was purchased 17 years ago you can’t wait 107 days to vote on this issue
    it doesn’t make sense to to call a vote uh bullying is like out of orwell or while writing
    ignorance is strength it doesn’t make any sense and then on the speaker who calls the opposition to eden housing
    project plutocrats wait a second here the executive director of eden housing
    makes 415 000 a year sixteen or seventeen of the top brass of eden
    housing project claim forty percent of the payroll and one of the main partners in this is jpmorgan chase the
    largest bank by assets in the united states the bank we bailed out with 12 billion dollars in the toxic asset
    relief program during the great financial crisis how housing is a problem of inequality this
    is accentuating inequality it’s saying this is going to solve the housing crisis in livermore is like saying that
    the vineyard 2.0 spending 20 million dollars to house 23 homeless is going to solve the homeless problem no it’s not
    you pull so many shenanigans here it’s amazing why not let the people have their say
    it’s basic democracy it just makes the whole situation
    seem contrived thank you
    next speaker is veronica stewart long please unmute yourself
    thank you mr mayor and members of the council thank you for everything you do for our city i support our affordable
    housing i am proud that livermore is a leader in the tri-valley for supporting people in need in the case of the eden
    apartment complex i wish it were inclusionary and not segregated housing but i do support it in a different
    location i’m speaking tonight because i’m disappointed with the downtown plan frustrated by being continually ignored
    and frankly tired of being bullied even though i am trying to help my city to be the best it can be i’m continually
    told that i am an opponent of the city in spite of the fact that i support affordable housing i am told that i am a
    rich person who is fighting to keep affordable housing out in fact just this week a city council
    candidate told me that i am fighting the city and its people i am attacking neighbors and making people feel
    unwelcome what have i done that makes me such a terrible adversary to my town
    i’ve written about what i see as an amazing opportunity to develop a space that can be strategically designed to
    achieve goals and objectives like strengthening the social fabric of our community
    i write about how a well-designed public space could be a source of pride for residents and something special and
    unique to livermore i see all that opportunity going to waste so i support efforts to look into alternative
    locations for the apartment complex that way we can have affordable housing and
    do something amazing and productive with all that downtown project space i’m so disappointed that the city is saying
    the best that we can do is put in a four-story white stucco apartment complex
    there’s a fill in the bank blanks feeling here we have leftover housing from a plan created in 2004 and then a
    hotel planned by the lennar planners who we got rid of back in 2016 and when it was clear that no one wanted
    housing in the project area council came up with the land swap to get rid of some of it and we got stockman’s park put
    into the mix overall it’s piecemeal and lacking a big picture vision a vision of how that piece of land could benefit our
    entire community i’m so disappointed so i speak up but i’m not even seen or acknowledged
    and in fact i am attacked online anyone who does not fully support city’s plan
    is said to be in that pesky group called friends of livermore or one of its committees dear council members please
    acknowledge us please know that there are thousands of citizens who are independent people and not part of any
    group we have been trying to communicate with you for years now and have been ignored and statements made that
    indicate we are all part of that group of spoiled rich people who are mad because we didn’t get our way
    with all due respect dear council members that is insulting it is dehumanizing please see us and better
    yet listen to us please reflect on the fact that in less than 30 days 8053
    citizens signed a petition please take in that message please hear that citizens are trying to
    reach you and then let us vote
    next speaker is carl winty please don’t meet yourself
    wow lots of uh opinions points of view uh wow
    um may we allow the stacked constitutions to govern us here in terms of the rule of
    law in terms of the due process by the
    said constitutions the u.s constitution the california state constitution and then into the general plans of the
    county and municipalities uh you know set up on that first one of
    us legislative executive and judicial
    and the the staff the executive the administrative they have to make
    decisions they make decisions they have legal counsel and then
    it can get adjudicated but there’s a carriage in front of the horse thing in terms of the timing made of
    quasi-judicial ruling no i think the case law very much supports the decision
    that’s been made that said i’m not a lawyer i haven’t read enough but let let the due process happen by all
    means right in full disclosure all the way through but wow
    when the facts are on your side pound the facts and when the facts are not on your side pound the table
    relitigate history so this stuff is documented as we go back
    like i’ve born witness to this over the course of many a year
    the voice is not withheld there has been ample time like we’ve we’ve been at this for a
    while and uh to say this is uh just basic democracy to say that you can
    come in and overlay an administrative act to sort of cause the government not to function
    it just doesn’t make sense due process and also understand the history of how
    we got here right bullying there’s no good in bullying and i don’t know that anybody’s
    been bullied here and uh marie sorry if you feel bullied uh mr money
    knop sorry if you feel bullied i don’t know that it’s bullied it’s talking about what is qualified for mayor of our
    town like what if like what strange bedfellows are made when you look at it
    let’s just look at the facts and how we got here because i know one thing is true i can speak on behalf of my three
    cousins that live in the city i can speak on behalf of their husbands their five kids collectively a bunch of band
    mates and a bunch of folks that have sought me pat me on the back and be like keep at it like you’re you’re talking
    for people we can’t show up because we’re in different phases of life so for people to come on and be like
    zero people say this absolutely nobody it is a small well-funded group we’ll
    say that out loud joan cepala funds this moves money very well and can spend a lot of money per
    election cycle to will her way into what that is so uh money money it feels a little
    phony uh do the research let’s talk i’ve reached out let’s sit down thank you all for what you do
    namaste here’s the good government out
    here at this time there no more requests to speak okay
    so citizens forum is officially over at this point
    we’re on now to item 8.0 council committee reports and matters initiated by the city manager city attorneys staff
    and council members and i’ll start with uh council member kick
    thanks um on july 13th i had valley link and tbtc
    on july 18th pretty small agendas summer is fairly light for a lot of
    those commissions um i don’t have any matters initiated but i did want to point out because it’s
    our last meeting um for a bit and there are some really cool things
    that are going on in our community that i’ve been lucky to take part in recently a lot of live theater i have been um
    a guest at spark took my family to see life as a cabernet
    and took my daughter to see 39 steps and i will happily be going to um
    las positas to go uh to go see their production
    it’s just been a really nice way to get back into arts in our community and i encourage people to take a minute um
    there are tickets at many price ranges and i hope that people can take the opportunity to have some outdoor summer
    theater fun um and i’ve just we i want to appreciate our community
    partner larpd for putting on some amazing summer camps that my kids have enjoyed um
    and we don’t do them it’s it’s not us but i know that it wouldn’t couldn’t be done without the support of our city
    staff constantly working together to make these things um happen and i’ve heard nothing but um
    good things from fellow parents who are sending their kids back to camp um after after a while after a while off so just
    wanted to end things um on an appreciative note of some of the great stuff that is going on
    in our community uh and i will leave it at that
    thank you councilmember carlin i don’t have anything to add tonight i’ve spent um
    a good bit of the time between the last meeting in this meeting in northern arizona rafting in the colorado
    river with a granddaughter so that was a great time thank you
    okay councilmember monroe um i uh put put my my my comments are mostly
    part of the supplemental report i just want to comment on
    one experience i had earlier this week i attended the
    town hall that congress meant eric squalwell held at the brand new
    gymnasium at lar at the uh sorry wrong governmental agency uh
    the school district’s uh new gym at livermore high turned out it was the very first time that has been used
    and i was quite disappointed that
    some of the people present use the opportunity to shout out from
    the audience use the opportunity to grandstand doesn’t matter what the
    subject was whether i agree with it or disagree with it but i think that thinking about what
    civil discourse is for community matters matters at the national level as we are
    experiencing profound dysfunction
    and it also matters at the local level where we’ve heard in public comment
    some inter some interesting comments i would just encourage everyone
    to stay with the topic stay with the facts be sure you know what the facts
    are and think about who benefits and why
    one of i wanted to comment make one more comment specifically about the petition because
    um i had an interaction i i i i saw a number of people but i had one
    interaction with somebody who was trying to you know was collecting signatures from out of town was trying
    really hard to understand what was going on and why and so i explained to this person i sort
    of walked through the history of this and
    as he’s listening he’s getting more and more upset because he did not understand
    that this would delay public housing uh not public housing would delay affordable housing it would delay
    housing 130 people and i mean assuming that this petition went forward which is
    you know what what his assumption was at the time um and
    it was clear that he felt that although he was collecting signatures
    this was something that was being done to him and to people like him i think that’s
    fairly important for us to reflect on as we go forward into the future
    okay uh the only thing i’ll report out on is had
    gave the state of the city address that was quite a uh a deal a quick
    bottom line for everybody is we’re doing really well so i’m happy with that and
    i actually i got a fair amount of feedback from people who said they felt really happy to be part of livermore
    based on what we was able to report out there so that made me uh
    feel good with respect to matters initiated uh
    could staff maybe speak to the request from matt
    ontario about the p street underpass that did sound and we had two people
    that uh talked about that uh could could you uh just let us know what let
    me know what the situation is there mr mayor um i’m going to ask mr spence
    to comment but i am not sure if we have uh sufficient information at this time to respond fully
    mr spence that’s correct we will uh do some additional investigation and
    provide some information to you later sure that that would be my request is
    that uh reasonable for you to let us know what
    what’s the situation there yes we will follow okay
    so could i get some uh how many head nods to follow up on that okay we got it well thank you
    i appreciate the uh willingness to the follow-up there uh well now we’re on to an adjournment
    and uh tonight’s meeting is going to be adjourned in memory of barbara savoy who was an active uh resident of
    livermore and served as a member of the historic preservation committee for 20 years
    so um adjourn in her honor to a regular city council meeting on
    september 12 2022 at 7 pm held virtually using zoom thank you good night have a

The longtime goal of Livermore residents to protect Garaventa Hill in North Livermore has achieved a monumental victory.  On March 30th, a three-judge panel on the California Court of Appeal First District ruled against the City of Livermore and in favor of the residents who brought the case.  The Livermore City Council erred in allowing a housing development to proceed on the environmentally sensitive property. 

The proposed “Garaventa Hills” housing tract was to be located in Northeast Livermore between Laughlin Road and Vasco Road, just north of Altamont Creek School.  It was approved at an infamous City Council meeting on April 22, 2019.

For nearly a decade, developers attempted to push their plans through the City’s processes, only to be repeatedly thwarted by a myriad of unmitigable environmental consequences that would result from development.

The Hill is home to a number of threatened and endangered species, including the endangered Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp, California Tiger Salamander, Burrowing Owls, the Livermore Tarplant and other species on and around the site.  The U.S. Dept of Fish & Wildlife Service has designated it as critical habitat for the Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp.

The panel of judges agreed with the Save the Hill, who argued that the City Council failed to adequately consider whether Garaventa Hill could be purchased and preserved in perpetuity for conservation as a part of a “No-Action” EIR alternative. 

Conservation funds were available to buy it, and the California Environmental Quality Act requires that appropriate attention be applied to such an option as part of the EIR certification process.  Failing to divulge this information, especially after being asked to provide it, violated the law.

Bianca Covarelli has been spearheading the protection efforts for over a decade.  “The City failed to apply due consideration to the Hill’s preservation as open space”, said Ms. Covarelli. “We are happy the legal issues are in the rearview mirror. As we have said from the beginning, our goal is to buy the property and preserve it forever.  We will be ready to talk to the landowners about consummating a purchase agreement whenever they are ready.”

The panel also noted similarities to another property a few hundred feet away which also failed after 15 years of development attempts.  Known as “ The Farber Property”, it was eventually bought by East Bay Regional Parks and added to the Brushy Peak trail system North of Livermore.