City Manager's Blog - Nov. 19-30, 2018
Welcome to the latest edition of the City Manager's Biweekly Blog, a summary report of updates related to City projects, responses to City Council inquiries, and events and activities of interest to the community. Download a printable PDF of the latest blog. To view past posts or subscribe to receive these on eNotify, please visit www.santaclaraca.gov/cmblog
Santa Clara Firefighters Return from Butte County Camp Fire: Thirteen Santa Clara Fire Department personnel who responded to the Camp Fire have safely returned. During their two-week assignment, firefighters assisted with evacuations, fighting fires and searching neighborhoods for survivors and fire victims. The Camp Fire was the most destructive fire in California history, requiring an extraordinary statewide mutual aid effort. The Santa Clara firefighters expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to help those in need during the wildfire event.
FY 2017/18 Year End Financial Report: On Dec. 4, the City Council will hear a summary of how the City will close out FY 2017/18. Staff has been working diligently to review each fund and promote greater financial transparency. Accordingly, to enhance transparency, this year’s report was restructured to provide the status and recommended increases to reserves in key funds, a summary of year-end performance for the General Fund, and a summary of a reconciliation of carryover capital projects, grants and donation funds. In the past, expenditures related to grants and donations were not consistently budgeted, resulting in an understatement of funds available for department operations. A brief information memo is available for additional detail.
Electric Rates Increase by 2 percent: Effective Jan.1, 2019, a 2 percent increase will go into effect for all electric rates and will show up on bills issued in February 2019. The increase will be used to help cover rising transmission costs, which have risen by almost 200 percent in recent years, and to complete necessary system improvements, including replacing old power poles, cross arms and transformers. These upgrades will help improve system reliability. Silicon Valley Power works hard to keep rates as low as possible in Santa Clara and our electric rates will still remain among the lowest in California. The utility also provides a variety of programs to assist customers in lowering their electric bills. For more information, visit the website or call 408-244-SAVE (7283) for free in-home energy audits, energy efficiency rebate programs or the Financial Rate Assistance Program.
Silicon Valley Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP): The Silicon Valley Power IRP was adopted by City Council at the Nov. 27 Council meeting. An IRP is an electric system planning document required under Senate Bill 350 (SB 350) and is intended to ensure that the utility lays out the resource needs, policy goals, physical and operational constraints, and general priorities or proposed resource choices of an electric utility, including customer-side preferred resources. The plan provides a framework to evaluate how utilities have chosen to align with greenhouse gas emission reduction targets as well as energy and other policy goals outlined in SB 350, including but not limited to:
- Reductions in electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions commensurate with economy-wide reductions of 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030;
- A Renewables Portfolio Standard of 50 percent by 2030; and
- Energy efficiency, gas use efficiency and vehicle electrification targets.
For more information, visit the website.
Pedestrian Bridge Crossing San Tomas Aquino Creek at Intel (Freedom Bridge): A private temporary bridge crossing San Tomas Aquino Creek was permitted by the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) and constructed by Intel Corporation in the late 1990s. Since then, the bridge has remained in operation under a lease agreement between the SCVWD and Intel Corporation. Recently, the City of Santa Clara was informed that the SCVWD notified Intel of their decision to terminate the lease agreement and requested the bridge be removed by Intel. The SCVWD noted that the bridge is not ADA compliant, is not fully available for public use, is structurally deficient, and could potentially exacerbate flooding. The SCVWD has extended the lease until September 2019 and has asked Intel to remove the bridge and other related structures from the SCVWD right-of-way within that time period. For more information, contact Public Works at 408-615-3000.
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds: The application period for the City of Santa Clara’s Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds ends on Dec. 7, 2018. A total of up to $550,000 funds is available for the development of affordable housing. To view the questions and answers, submitted during the application period or for more information, visit the website.
2019-20 Housing Annual Action Plan Survey: We need your feedback! A survey will be available on or before Dec. 13. to obtain public input on the types of projects, programs and activities which the community feels are a need or priority for the City’s low-income residents. The survey will help develop the City’s 2019-20 Annual Action Plan. The survey will be available at santaclaraca.gov/opencityhall.
Thanksgiving at the Senior Center: The Senior Center hosted the annual Senior Nutrition Program’s Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 15. Staff and volunteers decorated the dining room and hosted 98 seniors for a filling meal and of course, pumpkin pie. Each year, the Senior Center serves approximately 16,000 meals to eligible seniors in our community while offering access to other valued services, including health and wellness programs, in a friendly environment. For inquiries, please call 408-615-3170.
CURRENT JOB OPENINGS
Join the Center of What’s Possible! The City is currently hiring for the following positions; to view job descriptions and for information on how to apply, visit santaclaraca.gov/jobs.
RESPONSE TO COUNCIL INQUIRIES/FOLLOW-UP
Update on Smoking Ordinance: The City of Santa Clara has been working on the update of its ordinance to expand smoking and tobacco restrictions. Concurrently, the City applied for and, in November 2018, was notified that it would receive grant funds from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to support efforts to reduce secondhand smoke exposure. Work with the County to document and complete the grant agreement will begin in December 2018. In order to maximize the benefit of the grant if the ordinance is approved by City Council, the proposed expansion of Santa Clara’s smoking ordinance will be scheduled for a January 2019 Council meeting. As currently planned, the grant will fund most of the City’s anticipated costs associated with implementing the ordinance’s proposed changes.
LEVI’S STADIUM RELATED UPDATES
Santa Clara Stadium Authority Annual Report: As Chief Executive Officer for the Santa Clara Stadium Authority (SCSA), I have issued the first annual report to the SCSA Board to increase public transparency of all activities and accomplishments undertaken over the past year. The Annual Report also includes a proposed FY 2019/20 Workplan of new areas to address. SCSA is a public entity formed for the development and operations of Levi’s® Stadium. Read all about the accomplishments and activities here.
Upcoming Stadium Events
49ers vs. Broncos
49ers vs. Seahawks
UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS
Community Meeting with Old Quad Neighborhood on Short and Long Term Rentals: The City has been hosting monthly meetings with the Old Quad neighborhood on topics which are being considered to be incorporated into a potential Old Quad Overlay as part of the update to the City’s Zoning Code. On Monday, Dec.3, Planning staff will host a meeting to receive input on current and potential changes to regulations regarding long-term rentals for group accommodations (i.e. boarding houses) and short term residential rentals. Join us at 5:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 1303 Fremont St. For more information, visit the webpage.
Gateway Crossing Project to be heard by City Council on Dec. 4: The Gateway Crossings project (1205 Coleman Ave.) located within the Santa Clara Station Focus Area at the southwest corner of Coleman Avenue and Brokaw Road is tentatively scheduled to be heard at the Dec. 4 City Council meeting. The applicants, Hunter Storm LLC, propose to construct 1,600 residential units, a 182,000 square foot full-service hotel, and 15,000 square feet of ancillary retail. The project also includes the dedication and development of a new 2.1 acre public park, new infrastructure including new streets, and the improvement of adjacent roadways and sidewalks. The Planning Commission on Nov. 14, 2018 unanimously recommended approval of the project with additional conditions recommending more on-site affordable housing units, additional alternative transportation facilities, and higher transportation demand management measures to be scaled when BART at Santa Clara Station is in operation. For more information, visit the webpage.
Just a few days until the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting! Join us on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, at 5 p.m. for the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at the Central Park at 969 Kiely Blvd. A City of Santa Clara tradition for over 100 years, this event includes a colorful “live” holiday tree with heirloom Teddy Bear, live holiday stage music and entertainment, dancing, children’s and family activities, ice skating rink, non-profit food and information booths, fireworks, a Mayoral Proclamation of an honorary “Holiday Tree Lighter,” and, of course, a visit from Santa. Following the fireworks will be music from Bay Area headliner, “Entourage.” For inquiries, call the Community Recreation Center at 408-615-31
Community Meeting for the El Camino Real Specific Plan on Dec. 13: The public is invited to attend the meeting to hear about topics such as Right-of-Way alternatives and potential removal of on-street parking along El Camino Real. The meeting will take place at Central Park Library (Redwood Room) 2635 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara from 6-8 p.m. For more information, visit the website.
2019-20 Housing Annual Action Plan Outreach Meetings: The City of Santa Clara will be holding two community outreach meetings to obtain public input on community development needs and how to spend the City’s annual Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocation. For more information, visit the website. Join us at one of the upcoming meetings:
- Dec. 13, 6-7 p.m. at Santa Clara City Hall, Cafeteria, 1500 Warburton Ave., Santa Clara
- Dec. 14, 10:30 –11:30 a.m. at Central Park Library, Redwood Room, 2635 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara
Pedestrian Master Plan Project: The City of Santa Clara is hosting a pop-up event and two community meetings related to the City's Pedestrian Master Plan project. These outreach events will be used to introduce the project to the community and gather feedback about your walking experiences within Santa Clara. For more information regarding the project or events, visit the website or call Project Manager Carol Shariat at 408-615-3024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Join us at any of the following events:
Pop-up Event at Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, Dec. 7, 5-9 p.m.
Central Park, 969 Kiely Blvd.
Community Meeting #1
Thursday, Dec. 13, 6:30-8 p.m.
Central Park Library, Margie Edinger Room
2635 Homestead Rd.
Community Meeting #2
Thursday, Jan.10, 6:30-8 p.m.
Northside Branch Library, Northside Community Room
695 Moreland Way
Ice Skating Rink at Central Park Now Open! The ice skating rink at Central Park is now available for open skate, classes, or private events. Open until Jan. 21, 2019, admission tickets start at $10 for Youth (4 -12) and $15 for Adults (13 and up). Children 3 and under are free. For more information, including hours and dates, call the Community Recreation Center at 408-615-3140 or visit the website.
UPCOMING COUNCIL CALENDAR/AGENDA ITEMS
Visit the Tentative Meeting Agenda Calendar for dates of upcoming Council Study Sessions, Joint Council/Commission meetings, as well as Council Public Hearing and General Business agenda items online at Legislative Public Meetings on the City’s website. As you can see, while tentative and subject to change, it provides key policy items that the Council/Board will need to dedicate time to deliberate and that may take considerable time during the upcoming meetings.
Deanna J. Santana