DRAFT ANNOTATED AGENDA � FOR INTERNAL REVIEW
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Final GENERAL PLAN UPDATE STEERING COMMITTEE MINUTES Action Recap November 28, 2006 I. CALL TO ORDER AND WELCOME The meeting was called to order by Chair Elizabeth Altieri at 6:30 pm. The Chair called for a change of order in the agenda so that Item V, Election of New Chair and Vice Chair, is considered after Item VI, Comments on November 18 Community Workshop and Alternative Concepts Report. Committee Members Present: Elizabeth Altieri, Chair, Paul Germain, Vice Chair, Ken Bukowski, Jason Crouch, Gail Donaldson, Miguel Dwin, Spencer Green, Patricia Jeffrey, Lamonte Mack, and John Scheuerman. Members Absent (excused): Carol Handelman, Dick Kassis and Ron Mooney. Staff Present: Charlie Bryant, Deborah Diamond and Carol Victor. II. CITIZENS TO BE HEARD The Chair said that this is an opportunity to speak on items not on the Agenda. Victoria Jew, a resident of Pacific Park Plaza, brought up concerns regarding the process of the Steering Committee. After reading past reports and meeting minutes she saw certain themes come out, but wondered if they were representative of the views, needs and wants of city residents. The first workshop was not about high density or high rise issues. She felt that the „stakeholders‟ generated the high-rise/density issues and they found their way into the options for the November 18th workshop. Marcelline Krafchick, a Pacific Park Plaza resident, liked the first workshop where there was much discussion of open space issues. She wondered why there was no major discussion of open space at the November workshop. III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES FOR OCTOBER 24, 2006 Patricia Jeffery motioned an approval of the minutes and John Scheuerman seconded. The minutes were approved unanimously without changes. IV. ANNOUNCEMENTS Planning Director Charlie Bryant made several announcements. He apologized that there would be no audio visual coverage of the evenings meeting due to a misunderstanding of the schedule by the service provider. He noted that UC Berkeley‟s Studio presentation was held at the November 21st City Council meeting and that designs are available for viewing in the link between the City Hall buildings. He also notified every one of the collection barrels in the lobby. Toys for Tots and the Alameda County Food Bank will be collecting donations. General Plan Update Steering Committee November 28, 2006 Page 2 of 4 V. COMMENTS ON WORKSHOP AND CONCEPTS REPORT Rajeev Bhatia discussed results of the November 18, 2006 workshop. He said that 99% of the sticky notes were legible and coherent. He gave a brief review of the comments from the first exercise. He also gave an overview of the responses received from workshop participants on the feedback forms. Comments on the November workshop from staff facilitators were summarized by Deborah Diamond. Charlie Bryant reported that the City Council requested a review of the Dyett & Bhatia contract and that this review is scheduled for the December 5th Council meeting. He provided a summary of the staff report to the City Council which will recommend that there be a series of follow-up workshops early next year, and that Daniel Iacofano of the firm Moore Iacofano Goltsman (MIG) be brought in to facilitate these workshops. Staff facilitated a discussion during which each of the Steering Committee members gave feedback on the November workshop. The following points were made: There was confusion about building heights; there should have been more clarification about the connection between zoning and building heights. Workshop materials should have been simplified; they were too difficult for most common citizens to understand. The meeting should have addressed one topic at a time. The meeting went well overall. There was a lot of frustration; it was an overly aggressive agenda. Any follow up workshop should be more hands-on with a focus on parks and open space, and building heights. The quality of graphics was good, but should have been more informal, using trace. The ideas were not absorbed effectively, and people did not want to participate. There should have been time for everyone to come together again at the end. The feedback was fabulous. A clarification should be made that density does not mean high-rise. People did not understand the presentation; the material was presented too quickly. It was a useful learning exercise but could have been better organized for getting input. People tried to do too much at the meeting. The purpose of a workshop is to give transparency in the planning process. The Committee should move on, using the collected information to coordinate one or more future workshops that deal with the topics individually, with an emphasis on making each topic more understandable. The first exercise was good, but the second was too complex and should have been simplified with more time spent on each topic. These are complex issues and there was frustration on both the sides of the consultant and the public. General Plan Update Steering Committee November 28, 2006 Page 3 of 4 The delay in getting the newsletter out was a problem. Overall the workshop was not very helpful. Comments from the public on the November 18 workshop were then heard. They are summarized as follows: Some people thought that current building heights are preferable, and a group facilitator said that a low growth option was not an alternative. There was bias presented in favor of three specific options, and the lack of a low rise option is a disservice to the community. People should not be forced to sit with strangers when they want to sit with neighbors. The table seating format should be abandoned. There was pressure toward certain options but high density is not desirable, nor is infill or high rises. Neighborhood character should be improved. The high level of engagement was impressive, but there was impatience towards those who did not understand. False choices were represented – that people wanted it all, big parks and greenway, mid-rise, high-rises. No one discussed the arts. There should be more honest trade-offs mentioned. There was support for the idea of more workshops and more time spent on each subject and frustration about the false choices presented. There were too many options and some were not real or feasible. The community feedback may be misleading. There should be more integrated, holistic options. Staff and Steering Committee were thanked for having the meeting. There was bias toward larger, central parks, and mixed use development. There should be some control over the mixed-use option, and a more focused workshop on the topics of density and high-rise. The Linen Life Gallery was too small, and the Holiday Inn where the first meeting took place was better. No more than three key issues should be identified and there should be a handout, similar to a voter initiative, with information on the pros and cons. There was opposition to the proposal for the trail on the East Crescent. In the late 1970s the Bodega Bay Institute implemented a wildlife study on the area. This proposal should be erased from the plan because the Crescent has protected status and the development will not occur. The Bay Trail should be extended to the East span of the Bay Bridge. The Bodega Study was done a long time ago and the conclusions are not still valid. CalTrans should give up the onramp, and the trail could be safely extended. The expansion should not be considered an outright negative impact, it should be included as something to explore further. There was concern that the outcome reported on the sticky notes might not truly reflect what happened at the meeting. The meeting was like “trying to fit two pounds of something in a one pound bag”. There was confusion and too much material was covered. The effort was great and there was good feedback. There should be another workshop with more representation from the community. General Plan Update Steering Committee November 28, 2006 Page 4 of 4 Is there was a way to simulate the options and their trade-offs? (Bhatia responded that some things can be simulated better than others – building heights can be simulated well, though land uses cannot.) The building at Hollis and Powell (Emery Station East) is too massive. The categories were being mixed up and the coordination between various land uses and their effect on parks was confusing. People thought that mid-rise would be good, but they need to be aware of the trade-offs. These comments have been constructive. The workshop was disappointing and there is concern that the written report will not represent the community‟s interest. The report should be put off until after the next workshop. People should have had their questions answered and there should have been more of a discussion of where we are in the whole process. The workshop was attempting to solve uncertainties that can‟t be captured in one workshop The workshop should have asked, “What are the terms land use, building height, and density? And what is their impact on the quality of life?” It was noted that the Steering Committee has spent a lot of time on these topics. The public does not necessarily agree with the direction and we need to take a time out. It is refreshing to hear the community. In preparation for the next workshop the Steering Committee needs to educate the community on what is feasible. People wanted to understand what the trade-offs were. VI. ELECTION OF NEW CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR?) Lamonte Mack nominated Patricia Jeffrey as Chair. Jeffrey withdrew. Jason Crouch then nominated John Scheuerman as Chair and Lamonte Mack seconded the motion. John Scheuerman nominated Paul Germain for Vice Chair. Miguel Dwin nominated Liz Altieri for Chair, Patti Jeffrey seconded. The votes were cast and John Scheuerman was elected Chair by a vote of six out of ten. The vote was unanimous for Paul Germain for Vice Chair. VII. OVERVIEW OF NEXT STEPS AND TIMELINE There was no discussion VIII. MEMBER COMMENTS None. IX. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:05 pm.