City Council OKs Zoning Changes, JumpstartMD, Web Privacy

The council also authorized hiring of an interim recreation director until the position is filled permanently.

Piedmont City Hall. Photo credit: Charles Burress.
Piedmont City Hall. Photo credit: Charles Burress.
Here's what the Piedmont City Council did when it met Monday, Dec. 2:

—Approved an agreement with the Alameda County Transportation Commission to receive grant funding in the amount of $102,000 for the Bike/Pedestrian Plan.

—Gave a second reading (final approval) to a package of Municipal Code changes, mostly dealing with zoning. These include a provision that would allow mixed-use development in the city's commercial zone, with businesses on the ground floor and multi-family housing on upper stories. Some Piedmont residents have expressed concern that this represents a fundamental change to the zoning and should be subject to approval by the city's voters. According to City Planner Kate Black, residential usage is already permitted in commercial zones and any such projects would be subject to scrutiny and individual approval by city staff and the Planning Commission. The interim city attorney said at Monday's meeting that she and previous Piedmont city attorneys feel the hange does not require voter approval.

—Welcomed Jon Fitzpatrick as the Piedmont Fire Department's newest captain and Kevin Robinson as the PFD's newest lieutenant. Both have worked for the PFD for several years.

—Approved a conditional use permit for JumpstartMD, a weight loss program, at 1337 Grand Ave. (in the space previously occupied by a bank branch). The approval came with a condition that requests the business to work with local agencies to provide the community with information about obesity and weight control.

—Authorized the city administrator to hire an interim recreation director — likely an experienced retiree — until a permanent successor to current Rec Director Mark Delventhal is hired. Delventhal will retire later this month and is taking accrued leave time until then. 

—Approved a policy that allows local homeowners to request that their names be redacted from the version of city agendas and minutes that are posted on the City of Piedmont website. The city has followed a policy of redacting names since last spring, but some names remain on older agendas and minutes. Names would still appear on hard copies of agendas and minutes available at City Hall, and names of speakers at public meetings (the Piedmont City Council and Planning Commission, for example) would not be redacted. The adoption of the policy follows expressions of concern from some local residents that posting of names on the city website makes it too easy to identify someone's home address. City Clerk John Tulloch is preparing a form that residents may use to make such a request; watch the city's website for details.

—Approved an agreement with Koff & Associates to study the classification of municipal employees' jobs and to make recommendations if the consultants feel changes are needed. According to City Administrator Geoffrey Grote, the study results from concerns raised during recent labor negotiations with city employees' bargaining groups. Grote said the work required in some positions has changed markedly in the past several years. Examples might be computerized monitoring of sewer line problems by Public Works employees and more time spent on dealing with other government agencies by city planning staff.

The complete agenda and accompanying staff reports for Monday's meeting are available on the City of Piedmont Website here.

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