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The Weekly Roundup, January 10, 2020

Post Date:01/10/2020 2:47 PM

Friday, January 10, 2020 | What’s Doing in Lafayette? 

Monday’s City Council Meeting to Include Update on SB 50

If you’re interested in development matters and legislative housing bills – and the impact these may have on Lafayette – you’re not going to want to miss Monday’s City Council meeting (details below).  Casey Elliott of Townsend Public Affairs, the City’s legislative advisors, will be there making a presentation to the Council on SB 50 (Wiener), a proposed measure that would require local governments to provide an “equitable communities incentive” to developers that construct residential developments in “jobs-rich” and “transit-rich” areas. These may include certain exemptions to specified requirements for zoning, density, parking, height restrictions, and floor area ratios. 

According to Casey, revisions made to SB 50 this week, overall, are an improvement for cities. For example, the inclusion of a two-year delay in implementation, along with the local flexibility provided through an alternative method of compliance, are positive improvements for the City of Lafayette. Additionally, the new provisions provide that local residents would receive priority on 40% of affordable units that are created under SB 50 is an improvement and can help ensure that local residents can benefit from any new affordable developments. However, SB 50 still requires an alternative plan to increase density, reduce vehicle miles traveled, and affirmatively further fair housing. If a city is not able to develop an alternative plan (or doesn’t have something that they have already approved that would qualify as an alternative plan) then you would be subject to the default provisions of SB 50 (which are unchanged from last year) related to density, parking, height requirements, etc. 

Even with the new amendments, the bill still lessens local control, Casey says. There needs to be more detail added to the bill before the City can fully assess the potential impacts of SB 50. Therefore, Monday’s update to the Council on SB 50 is important. Councilmembers will discuss SB 50 and if you’d like them to know your views on this proposed legislation, please plan on attending the meeting. 


Hump Day: Glenside Speed Hump Is Installed

This is good news: The Transportation & Circulation Commission on Monday, January 6, approved the installation of a permanent speed hump on Glenside Drive, between Augustine Lane and Michael Lane. We heard from residents that the temporary speed hump was — how shall we put it – “abrupt,” and people from a neighboring property expressed concern about the clanking noise from trucks driving over the speed hump (although most trucks are not supposed to be traveling on that section of Glenside Drive since it is not a truck route). So, City Staff wanted to replace the temporary speed hump as quickly as possible with a new, quieter permanent one. And it was done. On Wednesday, January 8, which just happened to be hump day, the temporary speed hump was removed and a permanent, quieter speed hump was installed. Nicely done, Public Works!


Residential Parking Permits Available Now

You read that correctly. Residential Parking Permits for 2020 are available now. To make sure you qualify for the Residential Parking Permit Program, please refer to our website for the criteria need to apply for these permits. Both new and renewing applicants will need to provide proof of current residency on their permitted street, as well as a current copy of their valid vehicle registration. For a complete list of permitted streets as well as additional details on residency verification, please visit the parking page on the City’s website.


Meet Renata Robles, Associate Planner

Renata Robles, the City’s new Associate Planner, brings her experience in affordable housing, community development, and urban design to the Planning Department. As the Small Sites Project Manager at a nonprofit affordable housing developer in San Francisco, she managed the acquisition and rehabilitation of a historic seven-unit building in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, preventing the displacement of long-term senior tenants and preserving the building as affordable housing for future generations. Previously, Renata served as the Community Development Manager for the City of Central Falls, Rhode Island, where she administered grants and capital projects to improve public facilities and services. Renata was raised in Orinda and is very excited to bring her commitment to community-centered planning to an area so close to home! In her free time, Renata is an avid skier and is always looking for new trails to hike with her dog and partner. Next time you’re at City Offices, please make sure to say hello and welcome Renata.


Burton Valley’s Distinguished Schools Award

The Lafayette School District proudly announced this week that Burton Valley Elementary School has been named a California Distinguished School for 2020 by the California Department of Education. Burton Valley Elementary was one of only five elementary schools in Contra Costa County to receive the award, which was given to 323 elementary schools across the state. The Distinguished Schools program recognizes schools based on performance and progress on the state indicators as specified on the California School Dashboard. Indicators include test scores, suspension rates, and conditions and climate. Burton Valley Principal Meredith Dolley offered her thanks to teachers, administrators, classified employees, and parents for working together to provide high-quality educational experiences to all students. Superintendent Richard Whitmore congratulated everyone at Burton Valley Elementary on the 2020 Distinguished Schools Award and for the many contributions the school has made to our community. “All residents of Lafayette should be proud of and feel a part of this honor,” Richard noted.


BART to Launch Ambassador Program on Trains

BART has just announced that it will launch an ambassador program next month to increase the presence of uniformed personnel on trains to address rider concerns about safety and security. Ten ambassadors will walk trains in teams of two, seven-days-a-week, from 2:00 p.m. to midnight, with extra coverage on Saturdays. Learn more about BART’s new ambassador program.


Preparedness Tips and Tasks

Emergency Food 

The Lafayette Emergency Preparedness Commission is charged with preparing the city and residents for all hazards. Regularly they present a tip or a task that can make you more prepared for a wildfire, an earthquake, or other disaster. This week’s Task: Winter, when the risk of fire is low, is a great time to plan ahead for disasters of other types. In Lamorinda that means earthquakes. It’s time to review your food supplies. Do you have enough food to last your family for at least five days without refrigeration? Have you checked expiration dates on stored food? How will prepare it? Do you have a heat source like a camp stove that you can use outside if the electricity and natural gas are off? Do you have a manual can opener?    


Triage For All Ages

Did you know that in Lamorinda 40 percent of the residents of Lamorinda are either Pediatric or Geriatric? While almost half of our residents are under the age of 18 or over the age of 65, most triage taught is for 'adults'. There are physiologic and psychological differences in younger and older persons so we should all be aware of the changes that take place as we age. Join Lamorinda CERT Monday night, January 13, at 7:00 p.m., in Room 6 of the Orinda Community Center to learn more about triage for all ages. Come learn about the factors that change the rules! Please RSVP here.


It Did Happen Here: Library Ransomware Attack

As you may have read in the news, Contra Costa Libraries – including the Lafayette Library & Learning Center – were the victim of a ransomware attack last week. The Library is still experiencing some service interruptions as they continue to work to recover from the attack Staff is working closely with IT experts and law enforcement to restore service and ensure the Library network is secure. All 26 community libraries are open for regularly scheduled hours and you can check out and return books as usual. You can find out what resources are available and which are not by getting the latest information here: The Library thanks everyone for their patience.


Read All About It: Events at the Library

Library Event

Friends of the Lafayette Library present Julian Guthrie’s Alpha Girls, on Thursday, January 16, 2020, from 7 – 8:00 p.m., in the Don Tatzin Community Hall. Alpha Girls is an unforgettable story of four women who came to California to make it in a world stacked against them. Through grit and ingenuity, the women became stars in the high-stakes, male-dominated Silicon Valley and helped build some of the most important companies of our day. Come welcome author Julian Guthrie, who spent twenty years at the San Francisco Chronicle, where she won numerous awards and her writing was nominated multiple times for the Pulitzer Prize. Find out more about this and other programs at the Library. Remember: "Support your Library...Shop at Friends Corner Book Shop!"


Assistance League Thrift Shop Launches Quality Cookware & Cookbooks Event

Leave it to the dedicated member volunteers at Assistance League Thrift Shop at the Way Side Inn, located at 3521 Golden Gate Way in Lafayette, to launch 2020 with a new event!  The Quality Cookware & Cookbooks event will premiere on Tuesday, January 21, at 9:30 a.m., and will include over 100 items. Shelves, tables, and display cases will virtually bulge with Calphalon, All-Clad, and Swiss Diamond Cookware, as well as Nordic Ware Baking pans and molds, a Kitchen Aid mixer, and vintage baking pans.  Added to this culinary extravaganza will be beautifully illustrated high-end cookbooks, all orchestrated to ensure gastronomical delight!  As always, when you donate and purchase items at Assistance League Thrift Shop at the Way Side Inn, their primary fundraiser, you will improve the lives of those in our community who are in need.  Bon Appetit!  To learn more, please visit AL’s website:


And Don’t Forget… 

  • The Lafayette Creeks Committee and Walnut Creek Watershed Council are hosting a native plant planting event on Sunday, January 12, 2020, west of 3725 Mt. Diablo Blvd., from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Although the event is now fully sold out, please feel free to come by and see what's going on. The Creeks Committee appreciates all the community support! 
  • Remember to leave your holiday tree at curbside on the same day as your regular garbage collection day next week, January 13-17, 2020. The trees will be picked up and composted.If you cannot get your tree curbside then, the make-up week of January 20-24. Call Republic at (925) 685-4711 if you have any questions. 
  • Call for Artists & Writers: Sunday January 19, Lamorinda Art Council’s Art Embraces Words, Lafayette Library & Learning Center, Arts & Science Room, 2-4:00 p.m. The Lamorinda Arts Council invites writers and artists to participate in Art Embraces Words program.Find out more: 
  • On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and Transportation & Circulation Commission will be held to present the updated Terraces of Lafayette (Deer Hill) Traffic Impact Study Report to the commissions. Transportation-related matters involving the project will be discussed. No final action will be taken on the application at this meeting. More information about the project can be found on the City’s website:
  • Jennifer Perlmutter was named the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Marquis Business Person of the Year. The Marquis Business Person of the Year Annual Dinner will be held on Friday, January 31, 2020, beginning at 6:00 p.m., at the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa. The evening also includes the introduction to the Lafayette Chamber’s 2020 Board of Directors, our incoming President John McCormick (Lamorinda Music), and the “State of the City” address by Mayor Mike Anderson. Please join us for this celebration. 


This Week’s Public Meetings 

Monday is public meeting night in Lafayette, but there are also meetings throughout the week. Unless otherwise noted, public meetings are held at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, 3491 Mount Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette. To view all of this week’s public meetings please visit our full calendar. This Monday's public meetings: 

Design Review Commission, Monday, January 13, at 7:00 p.m., at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, Arts & Science Discovery Room, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Read the agenda and staff reports.

City Council, Monday, January 13, at 7:00 p.m., in the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, Don Tatzin Community Hall, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Agenda items include:

6:30pm Closed Session

Conference with Real Property Negotiators (Gov. Code Section 54956.8) Property: 3483 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette (APN 243-231-022-1) Negotiator: Tracy Robinson, Administrative Services Director Negotiating Parties: Jeanne Armintrout and Bill Stuart Under Negotiations: Price and terms of payment

7:00pm Open Session

Tracy Robinson, Administrative Services Director Introduction of new employee: Renata Robles, Associate Planner

Council Assignments for 2020

Local Roadway Safety Plan (LRSP) Grant Funding Award

Candidate Project for FY 2020-21 Transportation Development Act Grant Application and Resolution 2020-01 Requesting the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Allocate FY 2020-21 Transportation Development Act Article 3 Pedestrian Bicycle Project Funding

Short Term Rentals

Casey Elliott, State Capital Director, Townsend Public Affairs, Inc. Update on SB 50 Greg Wolff, Planning and Building Director Letter to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Regarding the Unwillingness of PG&E to Engage with Lafayette Representatives on Gas Pipeline Safety Concerns

Councilmembers reports

Written Communication: Letter from Senator Nancy Skinner regarding SB 330 and SB 167 and the impact on the Terraces project in Lafayette.

Read the entire agenda and staff reports.


Photo for the Week

Quote for the Week

It is in midwinter that I sometimes glean from my pines... a curious transfusion of courage. 

- Aldo Leopold




The Roundup is prepared each week for the Lafayette Community, City Council, and Staff. If you have thoughts about this week’s Roundup or a contribution for next week’s edition, please email the City of Lafayette's Communications Analyst, Jeff Heyman. Subscribe to the Weekly Roundup and learn more about Lafayette’s publications and social media sites here.