The Weekly Roundup
May 18, 2018 | What’s Doing in Lafayette?
City Council Approves Pilot Project to Test Second Northbound Right-Turn Lane at Moraga Road/Mount Diablo Boulevard
At its May 14 meeting, the City Council unanimously approved a pilot project to test whether a second northbound right-turn lane from Moraga Road onto Mount Diablo Boulevard could reduce traffic congestion by up to 10% along Moraga Road and at the subject intersection. The project is included in the recently-adopted Downtown Congestion Reduction Plan as a strategy to be tested on an interim basis and then evaluated prior to consideration of a more permanent status. Project evaluation will include traffic congestion impacts, as well as impacts to non-motorized modes such as walking and biking.
As part of this pilot project, the City will also upgrade the signal technology at two Downtown intersections: Mount Diablo Boulevard/Moraga Road and Mount Diablo Boulevard/First Street. The new technology will include updated signal controllers (i.e., the computers that run the signal timing plans) and video detection with traffic data collection capability. The signal tech upgrades represent the first steps toward implementing another Downtown Congestion Reduction Plan strategy to achieve better signal coordination and traffic management along Downtown arterial roadways. Greater detail on the scope of this project can be read in the Council staff report from Monday night.
Council’s approval included direction to launch the pilot project by mid-summer 2018. The official launch date will be contingent upon securing all necessary equipment and labor to implement the project on a test basis. In advance of the project launch, City staff will distribute community-wide informational messaging, so please stay tuned for future updates.
The Blue Box AKA the Chase Bank Project
We have gotten some questions concerning the Chase Bank project and why the adjacent sidewalk and lanes have been closed for so long. There are two Public Works staff monitoring the project and, well, we can find no justifiable reason for the construction delays. The City has urged Chase to complete the project as quickly as possible, and Chase has been penalized for every day that the travel lane and/or the sidewalk is closed. The result so far is that Chase has paid over $140,000 in penalties! One would think this would motivate the company to complete the work sooner, but alas, no. The City will continue to monitor and inspect the project and urge Chase to finish it quickly. If you have questions concerning construction projects in the City, or other situations you see around town, please contact our Communications Analyst, Jeff Heyman, at email@example.com. Jeff will be sure to get answers for you.
The Orange Shirt Report: News from Public Works
Public Works crews are continuing weed abatement primarily with string trimmers, but we also have some discing, a process similar to what farmers do to prepare their fields, scheduled for a couple of the City’s larger properties. As the hillsides and vegetation dries in Lafayette, we encourage all property owners to perform their own weed abatement to reduce the fire hazard this season and excess fire fuel throughout the City. In particular, it is important that each home have a defensible space, with no dried vegetation, within 100 feet.
The City’s contractor for the pavement rehabilitation project is continuing to positively locate utilities that will need to be protected during the road reconstruction phase. They have also started removal and replacement of curb and gutter and storm drain facilities on a couple of the project streets.
Meet Alexandra Majoulet
Alexandra Majoulet is the City’s Engineering Technician and has been working for the City of Lafayette for almost three years. She works in the Engineering Department and has been doing encroachment permit inspections throughout the City. Alexandra, a graduate of UC Berkeley, with a degree in civil and environmental engineering, also serves as staff to the Creeks Committee and helps with our storm-water compliance. Speaking of creeks, don’t forget that this Sunday, May 20, we have our annual Creek Day clean up at Leigh Creekside Park from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Come check out Leigh Creekside Park and see the Creeks Committee and Alexandra in action.
Recapping the Julia Burke Flute Choir Performance
Stanley Middle School's Julia Burke Memorial Flute Choir held a special performance before the Lafayette City Council meeting on Monday, May 14, 2018. The program included chorales by Johannes Rosenmuller and Von Nicolaus Decius, a Gershwin medley and other selections.
The Lafayette City Council looks forward to future performances prior to its meetings. These free events, which showcase Lafayette's rich culture and talent, are open to all.
Batch and Brine: the Newest Addition to Lafayette’s Restaurant Row
A new restaurant, Batch and Brine, is coming to Lafayette! The Planning Department just completed the final inspection of the project and the owners, pictured above, are on their way to a soft opening. The new restaurant is owned by a Lafayette resident who also runs Broderick and Mel’s in Walnut Creek. Look for more news about this new restaurant and find out more on their website here.
Go Green Lafayette! New Banners to Grace Our Streets
New “Go Green Lafayette” banners for Lafayette’s streets were just approved by the City’s Banner Advisory Committee. These banners will be manufactured this summer and hang next March. The Banner Advisory Committee develops the downtown street pole banner program. In carrying out its duties, the Banner Advisory Committee ensures that banners are attractively designed, add color, vitality and design elements to downtown Lafayette and conform to the guidelines set forth by the City Council. Larry Blodgett, Judith Klein Flynn and Lori Lane serve on the Committee and we thank them for their service and their dedication to Lafayette.
Speaking of Going Green, Have You Considered SunShares?
On Monday May 14, the Lafayette City Council authorized the City’s continued participation in SunShares. Administered by the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3), SunShares is a limited-time group-buying program intended to reduce the cost and complexity of purchasing various clean energy technologies through both discounts and educational workshops. SunShares is offered to municipalities, organizations and corporate employers in the Bay Area. Through a Request for Proposals process, BC3 will vet solar, electric vehicle, and electric vehicle charging station manufacturers and will use the collective buying power of the program participants to secure low costs and financing options. Contracts will be between private property owners and the selected vendor(s), and program participation is completely voluntary by Lafayette residents and employees. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, the City of Lafayette participated in the SunShares program. As a result of the program in 2015, 37 new solar projects were installed in Lafayette, resulting in the generation of 235.9 kWh. In 2016, 15 Lafayette residents and/or employees expressed interest in the electric vehicles or the solar photovoltaic panels but no contracts were signed. In 2017, 7 new solar projects were installed in Lafayette, resulting in the generation of 47.5 kWh. Initially solely a residential solar photovoltaic bulk purchase program, this year’s program will also include electric vehicles and residential electric vehicle charging stations.
PG&E Gas Main Replacement Work
PG&E will be replacing the gas main along St. Mary’s Road, between Community Park & Bollinger Dr., starting June 7, 2018. PG&E will be holding an Open House to discuss and answer any question and concerns that residents may have. PG&E’s open houses are Wednesday, May 23, 5–7 p.m., at the Lafayette Library, Community Hall, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. and Wednesday, May 30, 7–9 p.m., at Saint Mary’s College, Claeys Lounge, Soda Activity Center, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, Moraga. If you are unable to attend the open house, please contact PG&E representative, Julian Lacson at 925-459-8093 for detailed information on PG&E’s work.
Central San’s Sewer Renovation Project
The Central Contra Costa County Sanitary District, otherwise known as Central San, is in the process of replacing and rehabilitating approximately 8,600 feet of sewer pipe at ten different locations in Lafayette and Moraga. They are using a number of construction techniques including open-cut, pipe-bursting, slip-lining and Cured-In-Place Pipe during this project, and expect all sites to be completed by January 2019. Maps of project locations can be found on Central San’s website here.
Impacted customers will receive seven-day and 48-hour notices from the contractor prior to work beginning at each new location. This project is part of an ongoing effort to maintain the county’s wastewater infrastructure. Central San will continue to work with the City of Lafayette to coordinate future renovation phases with planned road maintenance and other projects. If you have questions or need information about the project, contact Central San’s Community Affairs Representative, Chris Carpenter, at (925) 229-7316 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lafayette Listens! - Topic of the Week
Lafayette Listens is the place to let your views be known about topics facing the City. This week’s main topic concerns the Lafayette Community Center: Would you utilize after-school care at the Lafayette Community Center if it was offered?
Lafayette's Parks, Trails and Recreation Department receives a high volume of requests for after-school care. Many of the onsite after school programs at the elementary schools are full with a wait-list and parents have had to seek other care. The Lafayette School District approached us to ask if there was any way that Lafayette Recreation could assist with this community need. To develop a program, we are seeking parent input on scheduling and programming needs
Subscribe to Lafayette Listens here and register your opinion today. We’d love to hear from you at Lafayette Listens.
City Council Makes Appointments to the Planning Commission, the Senior Services Commission and the Creeks Committee
The Lafayette City Council, at its May 14, 2018 meeting, made appointments to the City’s Planning Commission, Senior Service Commission and the Creeks Committee. All three appointments were adopted by unanimous vote.
Kristina Sturm, an architectural designer, was appointed to the Planning Commission. Sturm, pictured above, has lived in Lafayette for more than eight years and previously served on the City’s Circulation Commission, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the Downtown Congestion Study Committee and the 2015 Sales Tax Revenue Committee. Having graduated in Architecture from the University of Texas, Austin, Sturm has a long history of working in design, architecture and project management. Also serving on the Commission are Gary Huisingh (Vice Chair), Steven Bliss and Gregory Mason. The Planning Commission is charged with the development of Lafayette’s General Plan, implementation of the City’s Zoning Ordinance and review of development applications.
A 30-year resident of Lafayette, Dorothy Walker, was appointed to the Senior Services Commission. Walker, who is retired, was a Circulation Commissioner for the City for ten years and a past president of the Lafayette Historical Society. She served a number of non-profits over the years and was president and treasurer of the Lamorinda Chapter of the Retired Public Employees Association. Walker joins Committee members Terry Ann Black (Chair), Erin Partridge (Vice Chair), Donovan Jenkins, Ruth McCahan and Sandra Smith The mission of the Lafayette Senior Services Commission is to enhance the well-being of Lafayette's older adults by identifying their concerns, providing information about resources and promoting community programs and services.
Having a life-long love of moving water, Ron Hufft was appointed to the City’s Creeks Committee. He is a 70-year resident of Lafayette and, in addition to serving holiday meals to the homeless, Hufft is involved with a pit bull rescue group. On the Committee, he joins members Will Elder (Chair), Philip Bradley, David Clark, Jeffrey Gilman and Austin Payne. The Lafayette Creeks Committee encourages beautification of Lafayette's more than 16 miles of creeks and improves residents' awareness of creek maintenance and pollution prevention policies.
Proposed Amendments to the City’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance
The City has initiated the process of amending the current Inclusionary Ordinance pursuant to the requirements of AB1505. The proposed revisions are to include a requirement for the developer to provide affordable housing as part of new rental projects. The Planning Commission will review the proposed draft amendments at its meeting on Monday, May 21. You can find a link to the agenda, which includes the proposed ordinance, here.
This Monday’s Public Meetings
Monday is public meeting night in Lafayette. Most of the City’s public meetings are held on Mondays at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, 3491 Mount Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette, California 94549. This Monday’s public meetings are:
- The Planning Commission, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the Community Hall. You can find the meeting agenda and staff reports here.
- The Circulation Commission, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the Arts & Science Discovery Center. You can find the meeting agenda and staff reports here.
5th Annual Dogtown Downtown Tomorrow!
Woof! Bring your dog to downtown Lafayette TOMORROW morning, Saturday, May 19! Join us for owner and doggie yoga in the Lafayette Library and Learning Center's Amphitheater (corner of First Street and Golden Gate Way) from 9:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m., featuring our own local Lamorinda instructor, Dana Dowell. Register for any of our contests from 9:30am-10am at the Library's Amphitheater, including Best Team Tricks (Owner and Dog); Doggie Vogue – Lafayette’s 3rd Annual Canine Fashion Show; Best dog howl (kids up to 10 years old only); and, of course, Best of Show! We welcome everyone to join in the FREE Parade at 10:00 a.m. Meet at the Library Amphitheater and walk down Golden Gate Way to the Lafayette Plaza Park (corner of Mt Diablo Blvd and Moraga Road). Contests, activities, photo opportunities and dog adoptions will be in the Plaza from 10am-noon. Don’t miss it!
And speaking of dogs…
Photo of the Week
City Manager Steven Falk’s dog Ella, who he claims is the most photogenic dog in the land.
Poem of the Week
a real realist
with a real tale to tell
and a real tail to tell it with
This weekly summary is prepared by City Manager Steven Falk for the Lafayette City Council, staff, and the Lafayette community. Do you have thoughts about this week’s Summary or a contribution for next week’s message? Forward it to him now! Do you have opinions about Lafayette? Share them at Lafayette Listens! You can subscribe to The Roundup here.