The Weekly Roundup
Friday, July 20, 2018 | What’s Doing in Lafayette?
Why All the Vacancies? City Council Panel on the State of Retail in Downtown Lafayette, Monday, July 23, 7pm
Is it parking, rents, the internet? From 7-8pm on Monday, July 23, the Lafayette City Council and Planning Commission will hear from a panel of experts on the state of retail in downtown Lafayette. The panel discussion will take place in the Community Hall at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center and is open to all. The City Council asked for this workshop in an effort to understand why there is an increase in the number of vacant storefronts and to determine if there are measures that the City can implement to encourage retail growth. The panel consists of Basil Christopoulos, downtown property owner, Steve Cortese, downtown property owner, John Cumbelich, John Cumbelich & Associates, and Craig Semmelmeyer, Main Street Property Services, Inc. Any questions about the panel can be directed to Eric Singer, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Niroop K. Srivatsa, email@example.com.
Lafayette Listens: Another Way to Comment on Council Agenda Items at Public Meetings
Lafayette’s City Council and Planning Commission will meet on Monday, July 23, 2018, in the Community Hall at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. Items on the agenda include a panel presentation on the state of retail in downtown Lafayette (Item 7B) and an amendment regarding Lafayette’s municipal code for off-street parking (Item 11A). You can read the entire agenda here.
We are introducing a new way for people to file comments with the Council: Lafayette Listens, our City’s forum for civic engagement. This is an electronic way to register your views on agenda items that mimics very closely public comment at City Council meetings.
With Lafayette Listens, you can comment on any agenda item and your comment will be seen by others in real time. People can also support each other’s comments so that the Council and others can gauge community support for a particular viewpoint. A report of all the comments will be presented to the Council prior to each meeting so they can consider comments made online as part of the public discussion.
We realize that people are used to sending email to the City Clerk for the Council. However, from time to time, the City Clerk is out of the office (not often, but it does happen) and cannot forward all the emails in time to the Council. You are certainly welcome to keep sending emails, but Lafayette Listens provides a way for multiple City staffers to access the site and provide the Councilmembers with everyone’s comments before each meeting in a timely manner with no chance that it will be accidentally overlooked or mis-delivered.
If you would like to comment on any of the items on next Monday’s agenda, you can do so, of course, at the meeting, or now online at Lafayette Listens right here. Please register your online comments by noon on Monday, July 23, so that we can provide them to the Councilmembers for consideration at the meeting.
In addition, there are a variety of other topics at Lafayette Listens for which we would like to community input. Take a moment to look, see what’s there and let us know what you think!
Pending County Turn Restriction Pilot for Pleasant Hill Road and Reliez Valley Road
For the last several years, the Lafayette City Council has prioritized study of traffic issues on Pleasant Hill Road and Reliez Valley Road. (Readers are encouraged to learn more about this effort at the City’s dedicated topic web page here). Summarily, based on study recommendations, the Council has approved Pleasant Hill Road signal timing changes (2016) and Reliez Valley Road traffic safety measures (2018). Recent data results indicate these projects have generated some modest improvements. However, concerns still remain about weekday morning traffic congestion on Reliez Valley Road. In an effort to address on-going concerns about weekday morning traffic diverting to Reliez Valley Road from areas north of Lafayette, including via I-680 and Taylor Boulevard, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will soon consider testing time-limited turn restrictions at intersections within its jurisdiction.
City staff has prepared a related informational report for the July 23 City Council agenda packet. These signed restrictions would limit certain turn movements in the County unincorporated area on weekday mornings between 7-8:30am; school buses would be exempted. The objective of this pilot study is to quantify the amount of “cut-through” traffic attempting to bypass higher capacity roadways such as I-680 using the Taylor Boulevard, Pleasant Hill Road, and Reliez Valley Road corridors. Since the study is restricted to locations under County jurisdiction, authority rests with the Board of Supervisors and it is the City’s understanding they will consider the matter for approval at their meeting scheduled for August 7.
It’s Not Just a Safety Fair: It’s Family Fun, A Classic Car Show, Helicopters Landing, and a Motorcycle Competition
The Lamorinda Safety Fair is happening tomorrow, Saturday, July 21, from 9am to 1pm at Saint Mary’s College, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, in Moraga. Come meet your Lafayette police and enjoy a morning of family fun and learn about some of the latest safety equipment and techniques. Here’s what’s in store:
The Safety Fair
• Meet your local first responders and see their equipment.
• Watch police helicopters land
• Learn how to perform CPR
• Learn how to use a fire extinguisher
• Learn how to prepare for the next emergency/disaster.
• Meet Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Members
The Classic Car Show
• See over 50 classic cars on display.
• Meet the owners and learn tips to restore your classic.
• Listen to some music from the time when cruisin' was every Saturday Night.
Police Motorcycle Competition (until 5pm!)
• Meet officers from across the Western United States & Canada.
• See officers perform a variety of skills using their motorcycles.
• Watch as officers compete for first place in various competitions.
July 29: Lafayette’s 50th Anniversary Celebration – Updated Webpage, Parade & Street Closure Info
As most folks know by now, we are going to hold a special party on July 29, from 4pm - 7pm. To celebrate Lafayette’s incorporation in 1968, make sure you grab some Back Forty Texas BBQ (discounted tickets here), enjoy Dave Martin’s House Party band, the kids play zone and, of course, the parade at 5pm. The event is free and it’s going to be a blast.
Make sure to bring something to add to the time capsule set up at the Lafayette Historical Society. If you haven’t visited our updated 50th Anniversary webpage, check it out now. People are uploading photos of old Lafayette to a special gallery, there is a list of 50 facts about Lafayette and much more. See it all right here. Oh, don’t miss the special radio spot produced by the Chamber’s Jay Lifson at KKDV. Listen to the spot here.
With the parade, booths, kids zone, food , etc., we want ensure everyone has a great time and is safe. The City will be closing some streets and limiting some parking in the area of the party. We apologize for any inconvenience this will cause local residents. Here is information on the street closures on Sunday, July 29, 2018:
- Between the hours of 12 noon and 9pm, Golden Gate Way will have both lanes of traffic closed from the south curb line of Mt. Diablo Boulevard to the second driveway of the lower Library parking.
- Between the hours of 3:30pm and 9pm, Plaza Way between Moraga Road and Golden Gate Way will be closed; First Street from Golden Gate Way to School Street, and from Mt. Diablo Boulevard to Golden Gate Way, will also be closed. Traffic monitors will be in place for Moraga Boulevard and Monroe Avenue.
- Temporary No Parking Zones will be established between 12 noon and 9pm, on Golden Gate Way, and from 3:30pm to 9pm, on Plaza Way and First Street.
T-shirts, T-shirts, Get Your Lafayette T-shirts from the Chamber – And Let’s Have Coffee with the Chief
Just in time for the City's 50th Anniversary! Get your Lafayette T-shirt! Adults are $20 each and children's shirts are $10. Shirts can be purchased anytime at the Lafayette Chamber. Also on the agenda is the Mega Chamber Mixer on Wednesday, July 25, 5:30pm-7pm, Lafayette Veterans Memorial Center, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd. The Lafayette Chamber will welcome six other chambers at the July Mega Mixer: Orinda Chamber, Moraga Chamber, Walnut Creek Chamber, Pleasant Hill Chamber, Concord Chamber, and the Hispanic Chamber. Find out more here. Don’t miss coffee with the new Police Chief, Ben Alldritt, on Friday, July 27, 8am, Chamber Offices, and yes, coffee is served!
How Well Do You Know Your Local Trails?
Through partnerships with the East Bay Regional Park District and East Bay Municipal Utility District, the City of Lafayette has developed a vast and well-connected trail system. Beyond recreational opportunities such as hiking, biking, and equestrian uses, these trails also serve as routes that could be used in the time of major disasters or during evacuations. The City has developed a Recreational Trail Map, which you can find here. The map features all of the current Lafayette trails and we recommend that you and your family familiarize yourself with these routes and take advantage of the recreation opportunities that these trails offer.
Camp Awesome FUN!
In case you missed it, Camp Awesome has been having some AWESOME fun at the Lafayette Community Center. Just last Thursday, they celebrated the World Cup with soccer activities and making team flags! Camp Awesome has also had a Floss Dance Off, Dino Day to celebrate Jurassic Park, and their annual Scavenger Hunt! Make sure to follow along and stay updated by following Camp Awesome @Lafayette Rec on Instagram and at Lafayette Recreation on Facebook. Camp Awesome is open until August 17th, so there is still four more weeks of Camp and a lot of awesome fun still to be had! See you there!
Meet Dana Anderson, Administrative Assistant
Dana Anderson is celebrating 12 years with the City of Lafayette. He currently works as a Part-Time Administrative Assistant, supporting Joanne Robbins, City Clerk. After 20 years in the Staffing Industry, managing the contingent workforce for National Accounts, he decided to make a career change. He started working with the City as a Temporary Employee for the Planning Department. While he is part-time, he has filled in for other departments, when there was a need. He filled in for the Accounting Department, Public Works Department and while the Library was under construction, he worked full-time for the Engineering Department. He really enjoys working for the City of Lafayette for various reasons, but more importantly the camaraderie he shares with his colleagues. Dana has also acted in and Directed several plays in the Bay Area. He also has completed several Olympic and Sprint Distance Triathlons and multiple ½ marathons and one full marathon. And Dana is the proud father of two children and 7 grandchildren.
Lafayette Community Foundation Senior Symposium
On August 4, the Lafayette Community Foundation will be holding its 10th annual Senior Symposium. This year it will be at Acalanes High School, and is a free event with booths, speakers, and food, all focused on providing services to seniors. Please see flyer above for more info.
Passenger Bulletin: Update to Temporary Parking Changes at Lafayette
The temporary parking changes at Lafayette Station has been updated and a new bulletin has been delivered to stations for distribution to the public. Above is the new map which shows a different traffic flow at the Lafayette Station. You can learn about the changes on BART’s website here.
This Monday’s Public Meetings
Monday is public meeting night in Lafayette. Most of the City’s open 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 City Council-Planning Commission, beginning at 5pm (closed session), 7pm (open session), in the Community Hall. You can find the meeting agenda and staff reports here.
- The Design Review Commission, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the Arts & Science Discovery Room. You can find the meeting agenda and staff reports here.
What’s Happening at the Library
An Evening of Books & Beads with Janice Peacock: Thursday, July 26, 6:30pm, in the Arts & Science Discovery Center: Join mystery novelist and Lafayette resident Janice Peacock as she reads from her newest book, To Bead or Not to Bead. An Amazon best-selling author, Janice writes the humorous Glass Bead Mystery Series and is also a glass bead maker. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
The Library will have the fabulous Contra Costa Performing Arts Society jazz concert next Friday, July 27. It's one of the most popular music events at the library throughout the year. Eat at one of the many fabulous restaurants in Lafayette and then come to the Lafayette Library to hear some great jazz! Best of all, this is a free event! Learn more here.
Photo for the Week
Do we have beautiful trails or what? See story on our local trails, above.
Poem for the Week
The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;—
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;— a Fairy Tale
Of some enchanted land we know not where,
But lovely as a landscape in a dream.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 - 1882
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.