City Council Preview
By Robert Haugh
This week’s City Council meeting is the second of three consecutive regularly scheduled meetings. The Council members have been busy, and the agendas are packed each week.
This week, the Council starts with a 4 p.m. closed session. Ouch.
Stadium Matters (Again)
* Creek Trail – San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail Follow Up
Last week, Council asked Staff to return this week to answer lots of questions about insurance risk assessment, security and information on the how the magnetometers were located and approved.
There will likely be some fireworks related to this item. It’s another test for the council on whether they have any say in how the 49ers manage the stadium and the surrounding land.
* Civil Grand Jury response
The 2016-17 Santa Clara Civil Grand Jury sent a letter on April 12 requesting a response on the status of the implementation of the previous recommendations by the 2015-16 Grand Jury. Staff has developed a proposed response. The response essentially says that the Harvey M. Rose Associates, LLC audit will be completed in two phases with Phase I to be completed in the near future relative to the City’s processes, and Phase II including stadium operations, will be delayed. The letter strangely does not say why Phase II has been delayed. It’s because the 49ers haven’t produced documents. It’ll be interesting to see if the Grand Jury weighs in on the document issue.
* U2 Concert and VTA Services
In a nutshell, it appears that stadium management did not adequately prepare a traffic plan for the U2 concert slated for this Wednesday, May 17, as VTA is not prepared to provide adequate services following the weeknight event.
Stadium Authority and VTA Board member Teresa O’Neill recently engaged conversations with Nuria Fernandez, VTA’s General Manager. Fernandez raised “serious concerns” about the arrangements for transportation away from Levi’s Stadium after the conclusion of the U2 concert. There had been allegedly been no arrangements made for additional light rail trains or buses to be coming to pick up approximately 5,000 to 6,000 concert goers who will ride public transit to Levi’s Stadium that night.
According to the agenda, in pre-concert planning meetings, the Stadium Management Company acknowledged that the U2 concert would not end before the 10 p.m. weeknight curfew, per the conditions of approval of the Stadium. Wow. The 49ers are basically saying we don’t care about your stinkin’ rules.
*Budget Study Session
City Staff will present an overview of the proposed 2017-18 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget. It is expected Council will approve this budget on June 13.
* Resolutions and Procedures
Several resolutions and procedures will be approved. Among the items include:
- amending time limits for speakers at meetings (10 minutes for presentations from applicant/appellant/challenging party,
- five minutes for presentation with written petition,
- three minutes for non-agendized public presentations,
- two minutes for public presentations for individual agenda items
- one minute for Consent calendar items pulled for discussion),
- establishing a Public records Policy for the Mayor and Council,
- and amending the travel policy for the Mayor and Council members.
After our story, Caserta said he would pick up some of the tab himself. It may have led to the travel policy updates.
* General Plan Amendment Projects
An early consideration policy could possibly be approved for General Plan Amendment applications. The four projects include:
- Prometheus (575 Benton at El Camino Real),
- Mariani’s (2500 El Camino Real at Buchanan),
- Hunter-Storm (Gateway Crossing Coleman at Brokaw),
- and Greystar (Freedom Circle at Mission College Blvd.).
The Gateway Crossing (adjacent to Costco) and Greystar projects are expected to be allowed to go forward, as they are both already well under review. The Prometheus proposal and the massive Mariani’s development project are much more controversial.