Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 14, 2010

City View

A round-up of Palo Alto government action this week

City Council (May 10)

Recycling Center: The council accepted a feasibility study for a 2.4-acre site west of the Regional Water Quality Control Plant and discussed a proposal to build a new recycling center, hazardous-waste storage facility and resource-recovery center at the site. The council also approved a staff recommendation to perform an environmental assessment for the proposed facilities. Yes: Unanimous

Library bonds: The commission approved a staff request to sell $60 million in bonds for the library-reconstruction project approved by voters in November 2008 Yes: Unanimous

Board of Education (May 11)

Curriculum: The board heard a progress report on implementation of new math textbooks in grades K-12. Action: None

Construction: The board heard a presentation on "schematic designs" for an $8.3 million renovation project at Terman Middle School. Action: None

City Council Finance Committee (May 11)

Community services: The committee voted to support staff recommendations for budget reductions in the Community Services Department, including new parking fees at Foothills Park, the Baylands and the Arastradero Preserve, and cost-recovery measures for the Palo Alto Art Center and the Children's Theatre. Yes: Unanimous

Planning Department: The committee agreed to accept staff recommendations for budget reductions in the Planning and Community Environment Department, but voted to restore the code-enforcement-officer position that was pegged for elimination in the proposed budget. Yes: Unanimous

City Council Policy and Services Committee (May 11)

Recycling ordinance: The committee accepted a Public Works Department report on the city's new Recycling Ordinance, which seeks to reduce the percentage of recyclables in local garbage cans. Staff is proposing to focus on education for residential customers for the first two years of the ordinance and consider adding an enforcement mechanism after two years. Yes: Unanimous

Utilities Advisory Commission (May 12)

2011 budgets: The commission discussed and recommended acceptance of the city's proposed capital and operating budgets for fiscal year 2011.Yes: Unanimous

Planning and Transportation Commission (May 12)

Capital program: The commission discussed the city's capital program for fiscal years 2011-15 and concluded that it's consistent with the city's Comprehensive Plan. Yes: Garber, Tuma, Keller, Tanaka, Fineberg, Lippert Absent: Martinez

City Council/Planning and Transportation Commission (May 12)

Comprehensive Plan: The City Council held a joint session with the commission to discuss the city's ongoing update of its Comprehensive Plan. The council and the commission discussed the Housing Element chapter in the Comprehensive Plan and the city's effort to meet the housing requirements set by the Association of Bay Area Governments. The council then took a series of votes to give staff and the commission direction. The council voted unanimously to accept a "bottom up" approach for identifying potential housing sites in the city. The council also voted to have staff reconsider the city's 50-foot height limit for buildings, focusing on sites within half a mile of fixed rail and within a quarter mile of El Camino Real. Yes: Burt, Scharff, Price, Shepherd, Schmid No: Klein, Holman Absent: Espinosa, Yeh

City Council High-Speed Rail Committee (May 13)

Guiding principles: The committee discussed its organizational structure and recommended revisions to the city's guiding principles on high-speed rail. The City Council is scheduled to consider the proposed guiding principles on May 18. Yes: Klein, Burt, Shepherd Absent: Price

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